"Legal scholarship in fields such as jurisprudence, criminology, international law or comparative law has a function and purpose that is self-evident. Reflection about the province and function of law, the causes and effects of, and ways of dealing with crime, the role of law in the resolution of international disputes, and the insights that can be gained by understanding and comparing different national solutions to legal problems, are not only fundamentally important enterprises. They are enterprises to be undertaken principally within an academic institution. Those who do that work 'belong' to the community of scholars whose ranks include philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, economists and historians. They are occasionally heard to say (quite wrongly, in my experience) that their work is insufficiently appreciated by the legal profession and the wider community, but their security within the academic community is enviable."
"Endeavours of all these kinds have in common the element of placing the products of our legislative, judicial and practitioner colleagues, and the academics and practitioners of other disciplines, within a wider pattern, with a focus on the identification and evaluation of the pattern. In this way, law becomes for academic lawyers a cultural phenomenon rather than simply a process of dispute resolution. The academic does not, qua academic, marshal arguments to advance a particular factual case."
Robert Austin, "Academics, Practitioners and Judges" (2004) 26 Sydney Law Review 463.