*This piece originally appeared on The Global Legal Post's blog on June 30, 2017
by Reuben Guttman, Partner, Guttman, Buschner, & Brooks
Legal academics are sniffy about practitioners who teach. But, says Reuben Guttman, this outdated view does a disservice to the legal profession.
Scholarship means academic study or achievement. It is word without rigid limitations except perhaps when it comes to law schools which more and more are interpreting the word “scholarship” to mean theoretical endeavor not directly connected to the practice of law. This may seem odd but it is quite true. Today the word "scholarship" seems, in part, used as a pretext to discriminate against those whose academic endeavours favour the actual practice of law. Surprisingly, those whose work entails writing case books, legal treatises, or teaching classes on trial advocacy, are not what law school insiders call scholars. This means they are not favoured for tenure track positions or prestigious chairs. Sometimes they are relegated to the title of "professor of practice," which means that their endeavors are so connected to actual legal work that they cannot just be known as a professor.