Undergrad academia

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cmraider
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Undergrad academia

Postby cmraider » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:38 pm

I tried searching for a topic similar to this, but either my search skills are inferior or this topic hasn't been brought up too much.

When talking about a law school's academia placement, I assume people/the schools are talking solely about law school academia. That is, graduates who go on to become law school professors.

But what about undergrad academia?

Does this number get counted in the employment data? I'm not going to get into a school that will open doors in the LS academia department, but I am curious to know about what people know in regards to teaching law/poli sci classes at the undergrad level. Do lawyers use this as an exit strategy if they become burned out from firm life? I figure being a UG prof is a pretty sweet deal in regards to pay per hours worked. I'm curious to know the feasibility and obstacles because it's something I've wanted to do. Granted, it's something I wouldn't consider doing until much farther down the road (10 years or so).

I took a media law class with a prof who had a JD from Concord University. He was a perfectly good teacher, and I think he just got his JD online so he could be qualified to teach the course and had no intent to practice (he had a Ph.D. in communications from Ohio St). Still, I know there were quite a few lawyers who taught law-related classes at my UG.

Is this something a lot of lawyers do? What are the barriers to entry?
Last edited by cmraider on Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cade McNown
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby Cade McNown » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:42 pm

cmraider wrote:When talking about a law school's academia placement, I assume people/the schools are talking solely about law school academia. That is, graduates who go on to become law school professors.


Really, I had assumed the opposite. FWIW my Intro to Law prof in UG was a Yale law grad and former Reagan administrator. He's accomplished and widely published, and my instinct says it would be hard to exclude him from "academia".

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Cupidity
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby Cupidity » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:48 pm

I was on my college's hiring committee and we would regularly receive 200-300 applications for a single spot. Top undergrads will want T-14, state schools will generally require at least a T1 school, or else some notable distinction (ie: publication). For you average university or private college, Law school rank will not matter at all, generally any JD would suffice to get you through to serious review, at which point it is all about personality, compatibility, presentation, etc.

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby bostonlawchick » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:52 pm

I took two UG classes taught by jds, one from WUSTL and one from Illinois. Both practiced in various forms before beginning at my completely nonprestigious state school. So my guess is if you just want a teaching job somewhere, it would be possible from a decent school.

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cmraider
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby cmraider » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:55 pm

Cupidity wrote:Top undergrads will want T-14, state schools will generally require at least a T1 school, or else some notable distinction (ie: publication).

This hits on another thing I forgot to mention in the OP. I assumed WE played a larger role than where you went to school. For instance, if you worked in-house at BMI, I would assume you would have a better shot at teaching a copyright law class than if you did personal injury for Dewey Cheatham & Howe, regardless of where you went to LS. Is this the case?

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A'nold
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby A'nold » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:57 pm

Nice little gig for when you don't want to be an attorney anymore ftw? What are you looking at pay-wise for a tiny state college or less-than-prestigious private?

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thesealocust
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby thesealocust » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:04 pm

For the record, academic placement statistics (like from the 2005 comprehensive NLJ chart) almost exclusively refer to things like 1 year fellowships where you research/write/maybe teach a writing course. Schools (undergrad or law) never* hire professors straight out of law school.

*I'm sure there has been an exception, probably from a PhD who went to law school, but the point stands. Probably 90%+ of new academic hires are coming from firm, government, or clerkship backgrounds - and those jobs will be the ones the school reports in its at-graduation placement.

conn09
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby conn09 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:06 pm

Can we clarify between tenure track and non tenure track? I feel like a random teaching job is probably easy to get, but tenure track w/o a PhD, not so much.

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cmraider
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby cmraider » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:35 pm

A'nold wrote:Nice little gig for when you don't want to be an attorney anymore ftw? What are you looking at pay-wise for a tiny state college or less-than-prestigious private?

I'm not sure if this applies across the board, but here's some stuff I've found by doing a lil internets research.

A few disclaimers first:
-I could only find data from 2008-09 and 07-08, but I think it's a good starting point
-Because of this, I'm making some apples to oranges comparisons
-I don't know how to go about finding out info from private universities. I assume it's nearly impossible since (I believe) this kinda stuff isn't public record.

I found a database from the largest newspaper in my state that listed all the salaries of every state college employee, from janitor to president. I looked up salaries for profs at three different levels: comm. college, large state university (probably the #2 or 3 best state school) and flagship state university. Here's what I found:

Community College
For this, I looked up the paralegal dept., where all four profs (the Dean, assoc. prof, two adjuncts) have JDs. Since the data is a few years old, I couldn't find the salaries of the 2 most junior profs, so I had to rely on the salary info on the assoc. prof. I don't know her experience level,though I would expect it's at least 5 years, but she made 53,420 in 08-09.

Large state university--I went to this school
I looked up a prof I had for Con Law, because I took her class when she was in either her first or second year of teaching. She had a Ph.D. in poli sci, or some other related field of study, not a J.D. She made 47,350 in 08-09.

Flagship university
This data was from 07-08. The adjunct faculty in the poli scie dept. with 1-2 years experience had salaries all over the place. They ranged from 32,000-72,000, depending on whether they were a "lecturer" or "assistant professor." The lecturers made 40,000 or less, while the assistant profs (with 2 years experience) made no less than 52,000, and as much as 72,000 (though I wonder if that is a typo). 52,000 was the norm, though.

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A'nold
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby A'nold » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:00 pm

cmraider wrote:
A'nold wrote:Nice little gig for when you don't want to be an attorney anymore ftw? What are you looking at pay-wise for a tiny state college or less-than-prestigious private?

I'm not sure if this applies across the board, but here's some stuff I've found by doing a lil internets research.

A few disclaimers first:
-I could only find data from 2008-09 and 07-08, but I think it's a good starting point
-Because of this, I'm making some apples to oranges comparisons
-I don't know how to go about finding out info from private universities. I assume it's nearly impossible since (I believe) this kinda stuff isn't public record.

I found a database from the largest newspaper in my state that listed all the salaries of every state college employee, from janitor to president. I looked up salaries for profs at three different levels: comm. college, large state university (probably the #2 or 3 best state school) and flagship state university. Here's what I found:

Community College
For this, I looked up the paralegal dept., where all four profs (the Dean, assoc. prof, two adjuncts) have JDs. Since the data is a few years old, I couldn't find the salaries of the 2 most junior profs, so I had to rely on the salary info on the assoc. prof. I don't know her experience level,though I would expect it's at least 5 years, but she made 53,420 in 08-09.

Large state university--I went to this school
I looked up a prof I had for Con Law, because I took her class when she was in either her first or second year of teaching. She had a Ph.D. in poli sci, or some other related field of study, not a J.D. She made 47,350 in 08-09.

Flagship university
This data was from 07-08. The adjunct faculty in the poli scie dept. with 1-2 years experience had salaries all over the place. They ranged from 32,000-72,000, depending on whether they were a "lecturer" or "assistant professor." The lecturers made 40,000 or less, while the assistant profs (with 2 years experience) made no less than 52,000, and as much as 72,000 (though I wonder if that is a typo). 52,000 was the norm, though.

Thanks for doing that. Were you able to find tenured prof. salaries?

Btw- I wouldn't want to do like paralegal prof. I'd rather do like poly sci lecturing or history of the law in the ancient world or something like that (bachelors degree).

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cmraider
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby cmraider » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:45 pm

A'nold wrote:Thanks for doing that. Were you able to find tenured prof. salaries?

Btw- I wouldn't want to do like paralegal prof. I'd rather do like poly sci lecturing or history of the law in the ancient world or something like that (bachelors degree).

I looked at the database again. Those with the title, "associate professor" or "professor" earned between 76,000 and 107,000 at Flagship U. It should be noted that the least-tenured prof in that range had 9 years experience, although I assume he had many more at other schools, while the longest-tenured faculty member had 36 years under his belt (he made the 107,000). The other database I looked at, which has all the other state schools' info, isn't as search friendly. Although, from just searching individual profs, I would say the salary ranges at Large state U are comparable, if not slightly lower. I would estimate the range to be 70,000-95,000.

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pinkzeppelin
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby pinkzeppelin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:59 pm

cmraider wrote:
A'nold wrote:Thanks for doing that. Were you able to find tenured prof. salaries?

Btw- I wouldn't want to do like paralegal prof. I'd rather do like poly sci lecturing or history of the law in the ancient world or something like that (bachelors degree).

I looked at the database again. Those with the title, "associate professor" or "professor" earned between 76,000 and 107,000 at Flagship U. It should be noted that the least-tenured prof in that range had 9 years experience, although I assume he had many more at other schools, while the longest-tenured faculty member had 36 years under his belt (he made the 107,000). The other database I looked at, which has all the other state schools' info, isn't as search friendly. Although, from just searching individual profs, I would say the salary ranges at Large state U are comparable, if not slightly lower. I would estimate the range to be 70,000-95,000.


Wow. At my state engineering school, the professors average around 150000. I knew they got paid more for doing engineering, but I didn't know it was nearly double other universities.

R1chardParker
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby R1chardParker » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:10 pm

.
Last edited by R1chardParker on Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cmraider
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby cmraider » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:29 pm

After digging a little deeper, I realized the samples I gave are a bit skewed. When researching the info on the universities, I just looked up what profs in Poli Sci were making and listed their salaries. One thing I overlooked was that many of those profs don't have J.D.s, but Ph.D.s instead. Further, after looking at the Poli Sci dept.s at the big schools, there are few J.D.s on faculty, and some of the J.D.s have Ph.D.s as well.

Is a J.D. enough to become a prof, or is a Ph.D. going to take you further than a J.D. alone? More to the point, is having a J.D. enough to at least be considered for a college teaching position? Or do you need to have some otherwise hard-to-find skill or specialty? Like the example I put forth in a previous post, would working in-house for BMI (http://www.bmi.com/) help you get a job teaching copyright law, or can a personal injury background be enough of a credential to land a job teaching and intro course?

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prezidentv8
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:42 pm

<Pauses to consider getting Ph.D>

<Is intrigued>

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thesealocust
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby thesealocust » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:08 pm

Folks, the academic hiring market is 1,000 times worse than the legal hiring market.

PhDs are slow and fraught with failure. Roughly 50% (one half!) of those who start the program have gotten a degree within ten years. Those who get a degree face tiny hiring needs (see: tenure), extraordinary hiring competition (see: popularity of PhDs with academic jobs being one of the only target jobs), and difficult tenure paths (tenure is all but certain for law profs but very difficult to obtain as an undergraduate professor).

Look up articles / discussions on PhDs and you'll see a hiring landscape that is much, much, much worse than the law - only PhD students tend to receive money instead of go into crazy debt, so financial ruin isn't nearly as big of a concern.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:13 pm

thesealocust wrote:PhD students tend to receive money instead of go into crazy debt, so financial ruin isn't nearly as big of a concern.


This is relevant to my interests.

Plus, I figure - if you can get into them - hiring for those STEM sorts of Ph.Ds can't be THAT bad, and more likely to receive funding and stipends in the first place.

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AreJay711
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:20 pm

thesealocust wrote:Folks, the academic hiring market is 1,000 times worse than the legal hiring market.

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thesealocust
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby thesealocust » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:21 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:PhD students tend to receive money instead of go into crazy debt, so financial ruin isn't nearly as big of a concern.


This is relevant to my interests.

Plus, I figure - if you can get into them - hiring for those STEM sorts of Ph.Ds can't be THAT bad, and more likely to receive funding and stipends in the first place.


Yeah, STEM is a different ballgame. Still land mines though - bio PhD programs are getting really saturated, from what I hear.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:23 pm

Ooooh idea-


If no law yob, then funded stats Ph.d to defer loan payments/get stipend moneys, then yob teaching political methodology and law courses at a college.

FOOLPROOF BACKUP PLAN!

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prezidentv8
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:24 pm

Man I need to lay off the coffee.

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AreJay711
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:27 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:Ooooh idea-


If no law yob, then funded stats Ph.d to defer loan payments/get stipend moneys, then yob teaching political methodology and law courses at a college.

FOOLPROOF BACKUP PLAN!

I think something like Vandy's Law and Economics Ph.D. might be good for this. At least until you finish that program and find yourself strapped with 5 years of accrued interest and actually worse employment prospects

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prezidentv8
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:29 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:Ooooh idea-


If no law yob, then funded stats Ph.d to defer loan payments/get stipend moneys, then yob teaching political methodology and law courses at a college.

FOOLPROOF BACKUP PLAN!

I think something like Vandy's Law and Economics Ph.D. might be good for this. At least until you finish that program and find yourself strapped with 5 years of accrued interest and actually worse employment prospects


QFT. Although I am seriously curious about how one would hustle a plan like this.

The Real Jack McCoy
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:08 pm

thesealocust wrote:Folks, the academic hiring market is 1,000 times worse than the legal hiring market.

PhDs are slow and fraught with failure. Roughly 50% (one half!) of those who start the program have gotten a degree within ten years. Those who get a degree face tiny hiring needs (see: tenure), extraordinary hiring competition (see: popularity of PhDs with academic jobs being one of the only target jobs), and difficult tenure paths (tenure is all but certain for law profs but very difficult to obtain as an undergraduate professor).

Look up articles / discussions on PhDs and you'll see a hiring landscape that is much, much, much worse than the law - only PhD students tend to receive money instead of go into crazy debt, so financial ruin isn't nearly as big of a concern.


Most of this is very credited but I question the tenure bit. I'm sure it is discipline specific but in most law-related disciplines (I can't speak to others as I'm unfamiliar with them) such as econ or political science or philosophy it is pretty rare to be denied tenure unless you're not doing your job (i.e., not publishing). Most departments probably range from between 80%-100% tenure rates. Tenure is tougher at some of the elite institutions (HYP etc.) but if you're denied tenure at the elite institutions you can easily go down a notch or two to gain tenure.

The real trouble is finding tenure-track employment in the first place. Probably less than a quarter of people entering a PhD program end up getting a tenure-track appointment (as noted above, a 50% attrition rate is common in many disciplines/departments).
Last edited by The Real Jack McCoy on Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A'nold
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Re: Undergrad academia

Postby A'nold » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:16 pm

PHD in THIS: http://news.discovery.com/animals/zombi ... gn=rssnws1 is the waive of the future; tenure track positions for everyone!




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