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Law professors occupy a twin role as scholars and (most of them, at any rate) as lawyers. Deborah Rhode has pointed out, in her contribution to this symposium, that the lawyer role of the professor carries with it some frequently overlooked obligations, specifically the obligation to perform pro bono service. I agree with her, and have ventured similar arguments myself. Here I will address the more purely theoretical side of the legal scholar's vocation. The text I will take for my sermon is the famous speech on the scholar's role that Max Weber delivered to a student audience eighty years ago in Munich, under the title "Science as a Vocation." Weber's topic was not just the natural sciences. Wissenschaft, the German word for science, has a broader meaning than the natural sciences: it refers to systematic scholarly inquiry, regardless of the field. Weber's principal theme was the same as I take mine to be, the "inward caIling for science."


© 2001 Association of American Law Schools

Publication Citation

51 J. Leg. Educ. 167-174 (2001)