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Since the postCivil War era law professors have perceived themselves first and foremost as lawyers For the most part during that time we were lawyers teaching students about the law and about how to practice law But we were not merely lawyers teaching apprentices We were law professors mostly in universityaffiliated law schools who wrote scholarly articles and books Even so our scholarship revolved around our perception of ourselves as lawyers We wrote to reform and to improve the law Through our scholarship we directly participated in the legal system in legal and judicial practices by advising lawyers and judges or at least so we imagined Today law professors sense of themselves as primarily lawyers is crumbling Our claimed connection to legal and judicial practices our imagined participation in the legal system increasingly appears spurious Recent recommendations for the future direction of legal scholarship reflect our uncertainties But if we are not lawyers what are we The most likely answer our new or future selfidentity so to speak appears to be that we are university professors But this answer provides a future that seems to many uncertain and frightening If after all these years we recognize that we really are more university professor than lawyer then exactly what type of university professor might we be What are our purposes

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