Blawg Review

It's not just a blog carnival; it's the law! ~ a fool in the forest

Best Law Professor Blog

Hosting Blawg Review #53 on April 17, 2006, "tax day" this year, is Professor James Edward Maule, of the Villanova University School of Law, whose research and teaching interests focus on federal taxation, state and local taxation, computers and the law, decedents’ estates and trusts, and the First Amendment.

MauledAgain, Professor James Edward Maule's weblog, offers more than occasional commentary on tax law, legal education, the First Amendment, religion, and law generally, with sporadic attempts to connect all of this to genealogy, theology, music, model trains, and chocolate chip cookies—and for all that was awarded one of Dennis Kennedy's Blawggies in 2005 for Best Law Professor Blog.

A youthful Jim Maule recently celebrated his Silver Anniversary teaching law, and—tech savvy law prof that he is—he blogged it:
So with the fall semester finished, at least as far as I am concerned, that means I have completed twenty-five, yes, 25, years of law school teaching. Or, if it seems more impressive, 50 semesters. I started when Jimmy Carter was serving the last days of his presidential term. I have worked through 191 legislative enactments that amended the Internal Revenue Code. I have taught the basic income tax course, under a variety of names, 28 times. I have taught Partnership Taxation in the Graduate Tax Program 45 times, and in a J.D. Program 12 times. I have taught Introduction to Taxation of Business Entities 13 times. I have taught Decedents' Trusts and Estates 16 times. I have taught some sort of Computers and the Law course 6 times. I have taught a half-dozen other tax courses anywhere from once to 6 times. I have taught Legal Writing and delivered Legal History lectures during law school orientation. The best estimate is that at least 4,000 students have sat in one or more of my courses. It has been a rewarding experience, especially when students who graduated 3, 5, 10 years ago contact me to tell me they finally figured out what it was about, that they've come to appreciate what I was trying to do to their brains, and that it eventually worked.

I'm sure you're wondering, so here's the answer. I had not yet reached the age of 30 when I began teaching law school. That doesn't set me apart, but it's somewhat unusual. I'll continue with my standard, though surprising, reaction of silence when people comment, "Oh, you must have started teaching in your early 20s." Right. The biggest dose of reality is the realization that, with a few exceptions, the law students now in my classes were not alive when I started teaching. That, according to my children (and others), makes me old.

I would be the person most surprised if I teach another 25 years. Theoretically, it could happen. Theoretically, I could be elected President. Theoretically. As a practical matter, since I don't expect to "celebrate" a Gold or Diamond Anniversary of teaching, I figured I'd make the most of this one and pat myself on the back. I'd buy myself a gift but I don't know what to get. :-)

As for professional writing, it is somewhat more likely that I might make it to a Gold Anniversary, depending on which publication counts as the first one. I'll ignore the student writings and start with the 1978 article about the election by nonresident aliens to file joint income tax returns. That puts me at 27 years, with 23 to go. It's possible.

Now let's see if MauledAgain can find its way to a Silver Anniversary of Blogging. Considering how I enjoy writing and talking, it could happen.
Considering how much we enjoy reading his blog, we sure hope it does.