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Killing the Motivation of the Minority Law Professor

By Goldburn P. Maynard Jr. Full Text.

This Essay hypothesizes that a significant number of minority junior scholars with radical or non-normative ideas forego those projects or mute them to fit their work within the dominant paradigm of legal scholarship. Even those who move forward and publish their radical or non-normative proposals spend significant time attempting to overcome internal and external resistance, negotiating with mentors, and finding ways to make the radical seem palatable. This disproportionately harms the productivity of minority law professors, not only through inefficiency, but also through the long-term destruction of intrinsic motivation that is vital and overlaps with successful, fulfilling, and productive careers. To counteract some of these stifling effects, this Essay proposes several ways in which universities and the legal academy can support radical and non-normative scholarship.