A normative analysis of the rights and duties of law professors to speak out

As lawyers and members of a profession dedicated to equal justice under law and public service, many law professors have stepped out of the classroom and out of traditional academic scholarship to address perceived injustices in society through efforts such as pro bono litigation and legislative drafting. However, the amount of legally-related public service work by law professors is thought to be quite modest. This article analyzes the normative bases for the rights and duties of law professors to speak out on issues of public concern. It addresses laws that affect the right of a law professor to participate in out of the classroom, or extramural, activities, the legal profession's established precepts on the rights and duties of a lawyer to perform public service, and the legal academy's views of public service. The article concludes that although there are established rights and duties of a law professor to speak out, the legal academy should do more to encourage and assist the public service activities of law professors.
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