Catholic University Law Review


Emily Zimmerman


This Article recommends that we think more intentionally about how law students’ engagement in scholarship can promote their professional development. In so doing, we should recognize that legal scholarship plays a different role for law students than it does for law professors. Rather than trying to replicate law professors’ relationship with scholarship, the pedagogy of law student scholarship should focus more intentionally on the value of scholarship for law students—most of whom will not become law professors.

This Article suggests that much of the value of scholarship for law students lies in process, rather than product. Rather than thinking of process largely as a means to the end of students’ creation of a traditional scholarly paper, process should be appreciated for the valuable role that it can play in students’ professional development. The Article offers examples of ways to re-focus attention on the process of scholarship, with a particular focus on topic selection and reflection, to promote the role of scholarly engagement in students’ professional development.

In addition, the Article suggests taking advantage of the scholarly freedom that law students have to think creatively about the products of the scholarly process, in order to enable students to both devote more time to the process itself and engage in projects that have more meaning to them.