Monday, November 22, 2010

advice from Justices Breyer and Scalia

Here at Texas Tech, we had an excellent third Sandra Day O'connor Lecture Series event last week with Justices Breyer and Scalia speaking to the community on Friday and then at the law school on Monday.

At the faculty lunch, I gleaned a couple of words of wisdom to share:  from Breyer, tell students to "just keep on writing" in order to strengthen their legal writing skills.  From Scalia, be thoughtful in choosing a law firm to start your career--choose one that gives balance and allows for family time and quality of life (he also made disparaging remarks about living by the billable hour).

The last time Scalia was here, I chatted with him about teaching legal writing, which he had done at the start of his academic career.  He said quite emphatically that teaching legal writing well was MUCH harder than teaching contracts well b'c of all the commenting and feedback and b'c one had to be able to identify what a student was doing wrong and then be able to explain it to the student in a way that could help the student to improve.  He, ah, sounded like one of us.  :)


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