Legal Philosophy

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Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:57 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:You can still condemn professordom as an unfairly cushy gig if you concede that the vast majority of profs actually do work during their summers, is all I'm saying.

I'm curious as to how you think you know this.

Because I worked as a professor for 9 years, and remain close friends with many many professors at a wide variety of schools. (Note: I said earlier that law professors may be an outlier. I'm not talking about law specifically, although I suspect a number of law profs do *something* work-related over the summer.)

Its hard to believe you were tenured faculty at a major university and left to go to law school. Assistant professors and fellowships are a different ballgame pre-tenure. Its a competitive field and you really have to publish as much as possible at the most prestigious presses (Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Hopkins) early on. So naturally you are working on your 2nd book all summer and it feels like a shitshow so you don't lose the one tenure position on your department in 4 yrs to an outside hire.

First, legal academic hiring is different and the jobs are cushier, and second, Im only talked about tenured faculty. The release from having near total job security is felt. "Purposefullness" aside, you really don't have to work summers or even teach a full courseload unless you're gunning for a chaired professorship at another university.

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Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Paul Campos » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:04 pm

Yes I'm speaking of legal academia specifically. Law profs are not exactly beloved in the rest of the academy, and with good reason. Paying law faculty three times more than history professors is justified by obviously spurious arguments about "quality," i.e., if you don't these people will become S&C partners instead of academics. This has led to a situation where, at at least one elite law school I know of, first-year professors are now making more, adjusted for inflation, than the dean of the school was being paid 30 years ago.

As for what all this money is buying, teaching loads are a matter of public record, as is the average quality of the scholarship being produced by the legal professoriate -- a huge amount of which consists of the same basic article being recycled several times to take into account the latest little tweak in this or that doctrine or what have you. Such productions are not very time consuming.

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Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:10 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Its hard to believe you were tenured faculty at a major university and left to go to law school.

Dude, I never said I was tenured faculty at a major university. (I know plenty, but I wasn't.) But you don't need to tell me anything about what pre-tenured life is like.


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Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:28 pm

There's a lot that explains the high tuition, but one factor is probably narcissism. When you jump through every hoop on the straight and narrow path (college, law school, firm, clerkship), it's not hard to have a sense of entitlement about your lifestyle and what you should be paid. That the salary is debt-financed by students isn't of any particular concern.

It's remarkably similar to the thought-processes of banks and money managers during the crash.

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Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:40 pm

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:Actually becoming an academic, let alone a legal academic, is incredibly difficult. It requires an upper T-14 degree (preferably HYS), several publications, fantastic grades, and maybe some clerking or BigLaw experience to even be in contention.

You've really got 2 viable options here:

1) Go get a PhD and aim to become a Professor. Don't get a JD.

2) Actually want to be a lawyer, get into an upper-T14 (with a hefty scholarship), and do a JD/PhD (funded) and shoot for academia while understanding that you'll more than likely be a lawyer, if you're lucky.

Anything other than that involving law school is probably a terrible option involving taking on a life-crippling amount of debt.

The above is almost all credited. The one thing I would take issue with is that even if OP knows he/she wants to be a legal philosopher, there are many ancillary benefits that open up from getting the JD and starting at a law school over trying to market yourself only to Philosophy departments (higher pay, better job market, more horizontal movement after first job, etc).

A Philosophy or Political Theory PhD is absolutely necessary now to be hired as a Legal Philosopher/Legal Theorist. For that, you need to go to a T6 law school (well, really T5 now that NYU Law's philosophy contingent has been decimated between Dworkin's death and Waldron leaving for Oxford part-time) AND go to a T15 PhD program (especially NYU, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, USC, Oxford, UCLA, Stanford, or Berkeley).


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Postby Myself » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:11 pm

Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Legal Philosophy

Postby JCougar » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:54 pm

Borhas wrote:The ONLY time I've ever read a journal article and found something useful, was when I had to write a research paper. I've written hundreds of motions, and several appellate briefs. Some with novel legal problems. I've never needed to read some circle jerk journal to cite. Practice manuals are good, though not really academic literature.

I cited a law review article once for a brief I handed to a judge. It was written by a student, too. Of course, that student happened to be at Harvard. It was a brilliant article and directly on point. It was also a case we were going to win anyway on other grounds.

Nothing any law professor wrote on the subject was of much use though.

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