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In the Shadow of War, 58 University of Miami Law Review 449 (2003)


Teaching is a difficult profession. I refer not to the hours we need put in, which are not so long, or even the pay, which I have always regarded as generous, but to the emotional burdens we shoulder. Like most teachers, I spend hours on end preparing for class. I reread the assigned material, trying to identify the most pressing dilemmas within it. In class I address those dilemmas with all the force and energy I can muster and try to engage the students in the inquiry. After an hour or two, or maybe, I confess, a little more, I walk out of the classroom, wondering to myself: Have I helped my students understand the issues better? Have I stirred their imaginations? Have I enabled the class to see the law for all it could be? I amble back to my office, usually alone, full of hope, but uncertain of the answers to these questions. The void or emptiness I experience is shared, I imagine, by most law teachers, and it haunts us in our quietest moments.

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