Scholars' Briefs and the Vocation of a Law Professor

47 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2011 Last revised: 26 Mar 2012

Richard H. Fallon

Harvard Law School

Date Written: February 28, 2012


This article examines the increasingly common phenomenon of "scholars' briefs" in which collections of law professors appear as amici curiae in litigation before a court. Arguing that many professors compromise their integrity by joining such briefs too promiscuously, the article proposes standards that professors should insist upon before signing amicus briefs that they do not write. The article's methodology involves comparisons among various roles that law professors sometimes play and the distinctive moral and ethical standards appropriate to each. Besides a thorough discussion of scholars' briefs, the article includes broader analysis of law professors' role-based ethical obligations.

Suggested Citation

Fallon, Richard H., Scholars' Briefs and the Vocation of a Law Professor (February 28, 2012). The Journal of Legal Analysis, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Richard H. Fallon (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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