Thursday, September 24, 2009
At some U.S. law schools, legal writing professors receive no support to pursue scholarship, neither time nor compensation nor encouragement. Of course it makes little sense to hire a professional to teach writing and then make it almost impossible for them to write. I once wrote an article about this nonsense: The Quest for Scholarship: The Legal Writing Professor's Paradox, 80 Oregon Law Review 1007 (2002).
This week I was reminded of one reason why it's important for legal writing professors to write, when my students handed in a paper at the beginning of a class session. I was facing a writing deadline myself this week, so I had total cred when I told them that I was as tired as they were and knew how they felt. Now I have just clicked "send" and someone else will soon be reading what I have been toiling away at. Again, I share my students' mixture of relief for having the work done and anticipation about the feedback I'll receive. I don't know what they did after class, but I know what I'm going to do: sleep.