Faculty Spotlight: Nancy B. Rapoport

Friday, February 26, 2021
Nancy B. Rapoport

What's the most important thing you are working on right now?

I’m continuing to work on the markers for potential malpractice risk that my co-author, Joe Tiano, and I are teasing out of millions of lines of time entries. (Our most recent piece on this topic is here.) We’re going to use some of that data for other projects, including one on how to improve billing judgment.
What is the most significant issue facing your field and how should it be addressed?

Given COVID-19, Joe and I are worried that an organization’s ability to train our newest lawyers to understand not just ethics but the organization’s ethos can be compromised by remote work. How do we get new lawyers to understand how to be “best in class” not just in terms of their ethics but also in terms of their overall professionalism? Joe and I both spent years in BigLaw (though he progressed much further than I did through the ranks) at a time when BigLaw could afford to train new lawyers by letting us watch more experienced lawyers work.  
When students ask you what they should read outside the required textbooks and other law-related books, what do you suggest?

Read literature to get a feel for how the greatest writers express themselves. It’s not necessary to read only law-related books and, frankly, law-related books aren’t always well-written. Find authors who make the words sing.  
What is it about being a law school professor that inspires or motivates you?

I love getting to know our students, each of whom brings a fresh perspective to whatever course I’m teaching, and I absolutely kvell when they do something wonderful, either as students or as alumni.

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