Document Type


Publication Title

The Second Draft: The Official Magazine of the Legal Writing Institute

Publication Date

Summer 2013


Scholarship. For many academics, the word is filled with a combination of excitement, anticipation, obligation, and dread. Academics are expected to reliably produce scholarship, much like sculptors are expected to produce art, baristas cappuccinos, and stockbrokers profits. While “scholarship” has perhaps traditionally been viewed as strictly words on a page, some scholars view it to be a multidimensional enterprise, something that encompasses the many aspects of the life of a scholar. The idea of scholarship as comprising more than just the generation of a tangible written product is taken up in Maksymilian Del Mar’s Living Legal Scholarship, which asserts “five responsibilities of legal scholarship: the responsibility of reading, writing, teaching, collegiality, and engagement.” Del Mar emphasizes that “[t]he five responsibilities must be understood holistically: they work together to provide a picture of the ethical life of a legal scholar.” This article tells the story of how the authors’ journey has led them to the belief that planning and presenting at legal writing conferences is a powerful way to engage in many (and at times perhaps all?) of Del Mar’s “five responsibilities of legal scholarship.” The article concludes with practical guidance based on the authors’ experiences on how seizing the opportunity to do your own conference planning and hosting can benefit you, your school, and the broader legal writing community.

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