Confessions of a Legal Writing Instructor
Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 46, No. 1, p. 27, 1996
16 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2010
Date Written: 1996
I have taught legal writing, legal analysis, legal method, and lawyering skills for thirteen years at five law schools now. At the meat market in Washington, the chairperson of a hiring committee once asked me the standard question about my scholarly interests. Then he noticed my resume. I did not graduate from an elite law school, and I had been a legal writing teacher at four New York-area law schools after working for a litigation firm in Connecticut. I watched him process who I was. Then there was an uncomfortable moment when I realized that he thought that the hiring committee had made a mistake and called the wrong candidate in for an interview. He asked me, euphemistically perhaps, what my career goals were. I was living in my mother’s home in Connecticut at that time so that my two children could attend decent schools in a town that I could not otherwise afford to live in. My wife had recently returned to school. My job as a legal writing instructor was capped by a policy limiting instructors to three years’ duration at the prestigious school where regular faculty made, literally, three to four times my salary. And I desperately needed a job.
Keywords: Legal Writing, Legal Analysis, Legal Method, Lawyering
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