The Past, Presence, and Future of Legal Writing Scholarship: Rhetoric, Voice, and Community
Journal of Legal Writing, Vol. 16, p. 521, 2010
44 Pages Posted: 3 May 2010 Last revised: 30 Jul 2010
Date Written: April 28, 2010
This article welcomes a new generation of legal writing scholars. In the first generation, legal writing professors debated whether they should be engaged in legal scholarship at all. In the second generation, assuming that they should be engaged in scholarship, legal writing professors discerned and defined different genres of and topics for the scholarship in which some or all of us were or should be engaged.
In this article, we map the contours of a third generation of legal writing scholarship -- one that integrates the elements of our professional lives and allows us to engage more effectively with our professional communities, both in legal education and in law practice. The core of such study and practice is rhetoric, and in particular, the rhetorical concept that meaning is constructed out of the interaction of reader and writer, text and context. The study and practice of law as rhetoric is a thread that can run through the fabric of a professional life, weaving together the legal writing professor's work in scholarship, teaching, and professional service.
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