How to go the all out academic route

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How to go the all out academic route

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 22, 2011 8:21 am

Hi all, using the anon feature a little loosely, but I figure I might give enough info away in the course of this thread to out myself when taken with previous posts (not sure what the consequences of this would be, but it is permanent so I feel it is best to just avoid it).

I'll be a 1L at Yale this year, and I'm shooting for academia; I really feel it is a good fit for me, and so I'm looking to maximize my chances (even to the exclusion of other career paths, if need be). Mostly, I'd like to discuss course selection and what I should do with my 1L summer, but I'm open to any and all advice relevant to my career path. From what I can tell, the closest thing a 1L can get to a clerkship is a summer internship with a judge. Assuming such a summer internship would best position me to make a run at a 2L clerkship, what courses do I take in order to secure (and be prepared for) a summer internship?

If it would help to know what my interests are, I'd be happy to share, but I have a feeling they will change once I start taking courses anyway; of course, feel free to ask about anything else that would be helpful to know.

User avatar
sayan
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:05 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby sayan » Sun May 22, 2011 9:22 am

Get top grades throughout law school
Make friends with influential professors (and dominate in their class)
Extern (proper word for interning, but not clerking, with a judge) with a 2nd Cir or DC CoA feeder judge your 1L summer (you can find that info out on various websites, but I don't have any to provide)
Impress him/her greatly
Get on the Yale Law Journal
Get a top board position on the YLJ (EiC, ME, Articles Editor)
Publish several notes in the YLJ on pioneering topics in law
Clerk for feeder judge on the DC, 2nd, or 9th Cir. (from best to worst)
Get SCOTUS clerkship
Publish some more notes in the Harvard Law Review and the Stanford Law Review.
Get assistant professor job.

In that order.

It would help if you have a Rhodes or Marshall Scholarship or a Ph.D, but not necessary. Would also help if you're an URM.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun May 22, 2011 9:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

Tsispilos
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:37 pm

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Tsispilos » Sun May 22, 2011 9:29 am

What courses you take doesn't really matter that much; just get Yale's version of A's in all of them. Is it possible for you to do a JD/PhD? If so, do that. Econ would be the best PhD, but philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, or neuroscience would also be good choices. Also, make sure you get on the Yale Law Journal, and be sure to get elected to a higher-up editorial board position. Also, make sure that the Yale Law Journal publishes your note. Also be sure to have several articles published by other prestigious law journals. Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and Chicago would all be good choices to have publish your scholarly work. Then clerk for a COA feeder justice. Then obviously clerk for a SCOTUS justice.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Renzo » Sun May 22, 2011 12:37 pm

1) the two above posters are clowns, even thought they were each a teeny, tiny bit right.

2) Your two focuses should be: (A) developing relationships with mentors who will support your attempts to break into the academic market (clerking being a subset of this) and (B) scholarship and publication (with law review work being a subset of this). Grades can't hurt, but aren't that important, and it's flat absurd to say that you need a S. Ct. clerkship to teach law. Legal academia has become much less professional, and much more like other academic disciplines, so it's your publications and pedigree that are going to make the biggest differences.

Working as an RA for professors can be a good way to work on both A and B, and this can be particularly strong if the professor is editing a casebook or treatise, or is on the committee for a Restatement, or something similar. Clerking can be important, both as a resume line and as a source of someone who will reach out on your behalf. A PhD is a good idea, and is becoming increasingly common; it's basically prerequisite now for teaching jurisprudence.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 22, 2011 4:22 pm

I second (third? fourth?) the getting to know influential professors/those who currently work in a field of interest to you, as well as publishing as much as you can before graduating.

A fellow law student that I just graduated with is going the all out academic route, and just got her 4th article accepted for publication by a secondary journal at H in her area of scholarship. She wrote one other article on her own, one as a co-author with another student, and one as a co-author with a relatively new associate professor (that I believe she was an RA for). Don't worry about publishing only in super prestigious law reviews, it's much more important to just get your work out there and show that you have what it takes to publish consistently.

In terms of clerking, from professors I have talked to, the main benefit that law schools see in this (in addition to just the prestige credential) is that recruiting profs who have a close relationship with a judge can help the school in it's clerkship placement. In any case, from everyone I have talked to this is not nearly as important as creating a solid publication record.

For an idea of what someone can do to maximize their chances, take a look at Josh Blackman: http://joshblackman.com/blog/?page_id=10 Dude is coming from like George Mason or something, but is already recognized as one of the top young up-and-comers based in large part on his ridiculous publication record (when you look at his publication list, keep in mind he graduated in something like '09 I think.)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 22, 2011 4:34 pm

Renzo wrote:1) the two above posters are clowns, even thought they were each a teeny, tiny bit right.

2) Your two focuses should be: (A) developing relationships with mentors who will support your attempts to break into the academic market (clerking being a subset of this) and (B) scholarship and publication (with law review work being a subset of this). Grades can't hurt, but aren't that important, and it's flat absurd to say that you need a S. Ct. clerkship to teach law. Legal academia has become much less professional, and much more like other academic disciplines, so it's your publications and pedigree that are going to make the biggest differences.

Working as an RA for professors can be a good way to work on both A and B, and this can be particularly strong if the professor is editing a casebook or treatise, or is on the committee for a Restatement, or something similar. Clerking can be important, both as a resume line and as a source of someone who will reach out on your behalf. A PhD is a good idea, and is becoming increasingly common; it's basically prerequisite now for teaching jurisprudence.


OP here.

Grades aren't that important? I was under the impression they are, although less so at HYS due to the lack of normal grading.

What's your view on publishing notes? I've been advised not to publish my work while in law school. Journals usually won't publish the work of current students, except as notes, and a law professor I'm close with told me publishing my work as notes essentially wastes bullets in my chamber: if they are good enough to be notes in Yale's law journal, they are good enough to be published outright somewhere once I graduate (journals will consider work submitted by a practicing attorney or clerk).

I've been told clerking is non-negotiable, but not by the law professor I know, come to think of it. I'm willing to skip out on clerking, but I had always roughly sketched my path as: 1L judicial internship, 2L SA, 3L COA clerk, dc appellate work, (supreme court clerk if I should be so lucky, fellowship, academic position. Is this no longer tenable due to the high number of phds (also, it sounds like you are saying a phd is required...is that what you meant?!)? Is there a more effective way to spend my time?

I've always gotten the sense that RA positions are what people who can't get real jobs do, but this might me WAY wide of the mark. Can't research be done with professors during the academic year? Yale's graduation requirements are ridiculously lax, I can't imagine I couldn't get some sort of academic credit going for an academic year research position, but I don't know for sure--can anyone weight in on this (whether I can do research during the semester, either for credit or not, and the advantages/disadvantages of this)

JusticeJackson
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:26 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby JusticeJackson » Sun May 22, 2011 4:45 pm

.
Last edited by JusticeJackson on Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 22, 2011 4:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I second (third? fourth?) the getting to know influential professors/those who currently work in a field of interest to you, as well as publishing as much as you can before graduating.

A fellow law student that I just graduated with is going the all out academic route, and just got her 4th article accepted for publication by a secondary journal at H in her area of scholarship. She wrote one other article on her own, one as a co-author with another student, and one as a co-author with a relatively new associate professor (that I believe she was an RA for). Don't worry about publishing only in super prestigious law reviews, it's much more important to just get your work out there and show that you have what it takes to publish consistently.

In terms of clerking, from professors I have talked to, the main benefit that law schools see in this (in addition to just the prestige credential) is that recruiting profs who have a close relationship with a judge can help the school in it's clerkship placement. In any case, from everyone I have talked to this is not nearly as important as creating a solid publication record.

For an idea of what someone can do to maximize their chances, take a look at Josh Blackman: http://joshblackman.com/blog/?page_id=10 Dude is coming from like George Mason or something, but is already recognized as one of the top young up-and-comers based in large part on his ridiculous publication record (when you look at his publication list, keep in mind he graduated in something like '09 I think.)


OP again.

Surprised there isn't more being said about coursework. I was thinking I should do as much BLL first year to maximally prepare me for a summer judicial internship. Is the consensus RA (or something else, even)>judicial internship?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 22, 2011 4:56 pm

JusticeJackson wrote:FYI - when you work with a judge while still in law school, that is called an externship. when you work with a judge after you graduated, that is called a clerkship (I can't tell if you are saying COA clerkship after 3L or during 3L). While I felt like I learned things very similar to what a clerk did during my 3L externship, no one looks at that experience as a clerkship. I wish they did.

Also, I had an article published while I was in law school by co-authoring it with a person that had graduated. Some journals don't look too kindly on that, others allow you to publish that way. I'm sure you can find someone to partner up with. With your stats and aspirations, I would certainly be interested if I knew you. You'll probably meet some smart clerks when you extern. See if any of them would be interested in co-authoring an article with you. You could even offer to take a little more of the burden.


My bad on terminology, 0L here =X.

Would want to clerk the summer immediately after graduation, and then go into firm work (dc appellate, but only because I assume this is where a future academic with interest in con law would best fit [read: be happy and be useful]--happy to have someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Co-authoring is a good idea, especially if the credit will not be presumed to go to the more experienced person I write with.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 22, 2011 5:03 pm

OP.
BTW, thanks everyone for the advice, I really appreciate it!

notanumber
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:28 pm

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby notanumber » Sun May 22, 2011 5:05 pm

I think you may be putting the cart before the horse. I think (hope!) you'll be getting plenty of support for navigating the details of this process at YLS. Instead of worrying about summer plans, classes, and other small-potatoes details time might be better spent digesting journal articles and figuring out what sorts of research problems you'd like to explore. Your course selection and summer activities will probably be draped around those ideas, so it really is the essential first step.

But I dunno, I'm just a 0L.

I should also add that I know people with tenure line jobs out of YLS who didn't clerk and didn't serve on the journal, so they're clearly not deal breakers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 22, 2011 5:57 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:A good article titled "Becoming a Legal Scholar" will soon be published in the Michigan Law Review, and is available on SSRN here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1840785. The article touches on OP's question in several ways.


Thanks! I'll give this a read when I get into bed for the night.

notanumber
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:28 pm

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby notanumber » Mon May 23, 2011 3:07 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:A good article titled "Becoming a Legal Scholar" will soon be published in the Michigan Law Review, and is available on SSRN here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1840785. The article touches on OP's question in several ways.


Thanks for posting that article. Was a really interesting read.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 24, 2011 11:19 am

I'm paraphrasing from elsewhere on the web, but there are essentially three mainstream tracks into academia:

1.) Get a reasonably prestigious COA clerkship, either move on to the Supreme Court (really hard) OR publish at least one article in a top 50 law review (not as hard, but harder than you think) while doing it, then go on the market. You'd probably have a 50-50 shot, but even if you struck out, you would be a shoo-in for a VAP or fellowship, which just delays things by two years.

2.) Work at a prestigious firm or government job for not less than two but not more than four years, then apply for VAP or fellowship jobs. A clerkship is not necessary for this route, though it would certainly be helpful in securing the requisite job and VAP/fellowship. Same with publishing.

3.) Get a PhD. Publish two articles while doing so.

DAJ_Summer
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: How to go the all out academic route

Postby DAJ_Summer » Tue May 24, 2011 11:09 pm

Just a note on terminology: Extern and intern do not have standard definitions. It would be great if interns were unpaid summer work and externs were unpaid work during the school year, in my opinion, but they are thrown about much more loosely. Worse yet, many people think whatever set of definitions they are used to is The Answer - but it's legitimately done different ways in different places. I've even heard of judges referring to their unpaid, summer, 1L legal assistants as 'clerks' - so don't get too worked up about the language.

No idea about the rest of the issues in this thread though, lol...




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.