Text Work as Identity Work for Legal Writers

26 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2011

See all articles by Erika Abner

Erika Abner

University of Toronto - Postgraduate Medical Education Office

Shelley M. Kierstead

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Abstract

The authors conduct an analysis of a number of first year and practitioner legal writing texts in order to examine whether and how these texts focus on the development of a legal identity; in particular, through creation of a personal, professional, or discoursal voice. The question of creation of a legal identity is significant, in part, because of the increased focus on teaching and learning professionalism and professional behaviors, both within law schools and in practice. The authors conclude that there is a limited focus within the texts on the identity work inherent in learning to write with authority under conditions of uncertainty. The social practice of writing tends to be under-emphasized.

Keywords: analysis of practioner legal writing, legal texts, legal identity, text and legal identity, legal professional discourse, creation of legal identity, legal professionalism, identity and authority in legal writing, legal profession and writing, learning legal professionalism, first year law writing

JEL Classification: 120, 121, J24, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Abner, Erika and Kierstead, Shelley M., Text Work as Identity Work for Legal Writers. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1878671 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1878671

Erika Abner

University of Toronto - Postgraduate Medical Education Office ( email )

Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.pgme.utoronto.ca

Shelley M. Kierstead (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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