Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Co-Authoring Legal Scholarship With Students

Richard A. Bales (Ohio Northern) & Stephen F. Befort (Minnesota), Running the Race Together: Co-Authoring Legal Scholarship with Students, 27 Persp. 4 (2019):

The two co-authors of this essay collectively have co-authored more than seventy law review articles or other scholarly publications with students. The vast majority of these are published in law reviews other than those at our home institutions. We’re not legal writing professors, but we are professors who work a lot with students to improve their writing. One of the ways we do that is by encouraging them to publish the papers they write for our courses and by working with them one-on-one to polish their drafts. We’ve learned some key lessons from that experience about improving student writing that we think might be helpful to any law school professors who work with students to improve their writing including LRW professors, law school writing specialists, and doctrinal professors.

This essay describes how we co-author with students; the myriad benefits such co-authoring offers to us, our students, the academy, and the bar generally; and a few speed bumps we have run into along the way.

Co-authoring law review articles with students offers individual benefits for both the student and the faculty member, and institutional benefits for the academy and the practicing bar. Based on our experience, we strongly endorse this facultystudent collaboration. But, faculty participants must be proactive in structuring the collaboration to ensure the best outcome for all concerned.

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