Serving as the editor-in-chief of Legal Writing was a wonderful opportunity for humility for me. I was very bad at it. The Journal appeared thanks largely to the hard work of Jim Levy, Kristin Gerdy, and many others. I have always known that editing a journal was difficult, but serving in that role really made it clear to me.
Thus, one frustration of being the EIC of Legal Writing was dealing with my own ineptitude. Another was dealing with the ignorance of law faculties who did not understand the value of a peer-edited journal. Publication in Legal Writing means not only that your work was selected by some of the best minds in legal writing; it also means that one or more of those minds will help your article be the best that it can be. It broke my heart when we had rounded up volunteers to help an author edit a promising piece, only to be told (albeit in slightly different phrasing), “I’m sorry, but my faculty mentor says that it’s better if I publish in any journal edited by 2Ls rather than in this one that is edited by some of the best teachers and writers in my field.”
That said, I am so proud that Legal Writing exists. It serves such an important role in the development of knowledge about our field. In the past, it was often the only place that would reliably publish articles about legal writing or its pedagogy. Thanks to this reality, back issues of Legal Writing provide a glimpse into the founding theories and practices of the teaching of legal writing. Current issues contain some of the most fascinating scholarship in print (and in pixels) on legal writing, legal reading, and legal thinking.
I have great confidence that Legal Writing will continue to have an impact on the teaching of legal writing and thus, on the practice of law. I am proud to have played my small part in its success.