Professor Kevin Bennardo’s article entitled, Legal Writing’s Harmful Psyche, challenges the core values of the legal writing community. While his fundamental argument is that the legal writing community should focus less on legal writing equity issues and more on scholarly debate, he neither supports this argument nor examines the interrelationship between the two. Moreover, following Professor Bennardo’s advice would likely undermine many of the strides legal writing professors have made over the last two decades; indeed, legal writing professors would once again become isolated, alienated, and silenced, possibly destroying the discipline.

By way of background, the legal writing community is comprised of professors who teach legal writing, the vast majority of whom are women. As Bennardo concedes, “legal writing faculty are generally afforded lesser status in legal academia.” When the ABA required that law schools offer “at least one rigorous writing experience” to secure accreditation, they began to adopt formalized legal writing programs4 but did not offer teaching and scholarship support for legal writing faculty. In response, those in the legal writing academy formed the Legal Writing Institute (“LWI”) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (“ALWD”) to provide such support and to advocate on behalf of their membership.