Today, we’re proud to bring you this guest post by Jennifer Murphy Romig, Professor of Practice at Emory Law School.
“A true scientist doesn’t perform prescribed experiments; she develops her own and thus generates wholly new knowledge. This transition between doing what you’re told and telling yourself what to do generally occurs midway through a dissertation. In many ways, it is the most difficult and terrifying thing that a student can do, and being unable or unwilling to do it is much of what weeds people out of Ph.D. programs.”
—Hope Jahren, Lab Girl, Chapter 8
When—if ever—does a lawyer transition from “doing what she’s told” to “telling herself what to do”?
In one way, never. The client reigns supreme, right?
The lawyer cannot “generate wholly new knowledge” for the sake of contributing to civilization like a scientist. This is one essential difference between practicing lawyers and law professors: law professors can identify an issue, explore it, and write scholarship, advocacy, blogs, op-eds, and so on—even if no client would ever pay them to do that.
The lawyer, however, takes clients as they are and does what they need. Continue reading “Telling Yourself What to Do (Guest post by Jennifer Murphy Romig)”