Lawyers and historians

Game designer Drew Wagenhoffer was musing recently on why Civil War history attracts so many attorneys and Eric Wittneberg has taken up this subject, addressing his own situation, in a very revealing piece on Brett Schulte's ACW blog. Eric says,
As law students, we’re taught that you can never, ever assert that something is a proposition of law or statement of fact without having either specific pieces of evidence or legal authority to support that. I’ve always adhered to that important piece of instruction...it’s always been how I attack the writing of history. It’s why I’ve always tried to be exhaustive in my research, and it’s also the specific reason why my work tends to have so many footnotes—I feel compelled to exhaustively document the things that I say whenever possible to do so.
Also, trying cases is a form of story telling. I’ve probably done 60 trials of different varieties in my career. You pick a theme, you build your story around that theme, and then you tell your story piece by piece. Each piece of evidence is intended to build on the last one until the pile of evidence, if you will, meets the burden of proof and the picture is complete. I write history the same way…carefully and piece by piece. In that sense, what I do is exactly the same irrespective of whether I’m doing legal work or writing history….I’m still interpreting and presenting evidence in a fashion that enables me to weave a complete story.
There is much more and it is worthwhile. Have a look.