This article explains how lawyers like Christopher Columbus Langdell and James Barr Ames, a disciple of Langdell, employed rhetoric between 1870, when Langdell assumed the deanship at Harvard Law School, and 1920, when law had emerged as a credible academic field in the United States, to construct a persona, that of a scholar, appropriate for the law professor situated within the university. To do so, the article contextualizes the rhetoric with historical background on the law professor and legal education, draws upon rhetorical theory to give an overview of persona theory and persona analysis as a means of conducting the study, and elaborates upon both the new scholar persona that lawyers like Langdell and Ames constructed and the practitioner persona that other lawyers attempted to promote as the standard. For this study, the term lawyers will refer to practicing lawyers and judges as well as academic lawyers. Although rhetoric cannot resolve all conflicts, the significance of the rhetoric in this case is hard to overstate because the scholar persona constructed after the Civil War and before the Jazz Age is the persona that, with minor modifications, continues to shape law students, and thus future lawyers, in the present day.
Carlo A. Pedrioli, Constructing Modern-Day U.S. Legal Education with Rhetoric: Langdell, Ames, and the Scholar Model of the Law Professor Persona, 66 Rutgers L. Rev. 55 (2013)