How do I become a law professor...

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How do I become a law professor...

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:01 pm

I am a 23 year old 2nd year PhD student (in Political Science) at the University of Chicago. I would love to attend law school at U of C, and I am currently preparing for the LSAT. I don't know much about legal academia, but I would love to know what the traditional route is!

Thanks :D

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Helmholtz
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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:03 pm

Be awesome at law school......but you really won't know if you are or not until you're actually taking classes and getting grades back. UChicago offers you a much better shot at academia, but even then, the number of students who have such opportunities open to them is small, to say the least. All in all, don't go to law school planning on academia. It's all right to have it on the back of your mind and keep it as a goal if you like, but if you don't want to become a lawyer, probably not best to go to law school.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Aston2412 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:05 pm

You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:12 pm

Having the Ph.D will help considerably, too: for better or worse, the academic market views Ph.D (in basically anything) as a proxy for willingness to churn out legal scholarship, and that's king.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:14 pm

Aston2412 wrote:You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.


Y>H>>LOL >S/UChi>>LOLOLOLOLOL > TTT

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Helmholtz
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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:15 pm

Aston2412 wrote:You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.


Don't think NYU is really known as a school that "produces academics"

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:16 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.


Y>H>>LOL >S/UChi>>LOLOLOLOLOL > TTT


To be fair, every UChicago student that has entered the meat market with reasonably competitive credentials has managed to make it, so that's a little unfair to Chicago (and probably to Stanford).

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:21 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.


Y>H>>LOL >S/UChi>>LOLOLOLOLOL > TTT


To be fair, every UChicago student that has entered the meat market with reasonably competitive credentials has managed to make it, so that's a little unfair to Chicago (and probably to Stanford).


What is reasonably competitive credentials?

There is an argument that a lot of academic placement is self selection. Future academics don't end up at Columbia, NYU etc etc in large number. I wonder how true that is.

Northwestern created some law scholar program where they set you up with a professor who teaches you how to publish, but I think it will be a lulzy disaster.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby pattonthicke » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:23 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Don't think NYU is really known as a school that "produces academics"


I dont know about how great it is, but they have that Furman program (which also gives you a full scholly) that is supposed to train academics. They give you faculty advisors and what not, and their job is to try to help you enter academia.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:23 pm

top 10% clerkship-level, which is about the same as it takes to get there from Harvard. Yale is really the only standout as far as academic placement goes, and even then you can't be too "low in the class' (whatever that means at Yale).

And yeah, that scholars program at Northwestern is going to be a disaster.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Aston2412 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:24 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.


Don't think NYU is really known as a school that "produces academics"


That's fair, I wasn't sure about NYU but I know academics tend to gravitate towards the other 5, Chicago less so than the others, but I thought I'd tack NYU on and let someone correct me if I was wrong.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:27 pm

Aston2412 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.


Don't think NYU is really known as a school that "produces academics"


That's fair, I wasn't sure about NYU but I know academics tend to gravitate towards the other 5, Chicago less so than the others


Chicago has traditionally placed substantially more of its class into academia than Columbia. Chicago is typically close to Harvard and Stanford in that department than they are to Columbia.

Yale >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Harvard > SLS > Chicago >>>>> Columbia >>> other T10 schools

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:29 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.


Don't think NYU is really known as a school that "produces academics"


That's fair, I wasn't sure about NYU but I know academics tend to gravitate towards the other 5, Chicago less so than the others


Chicago has traditionally placed substantially more of its class into academia than Columbia. Chicago is typically close to Harvard and Stanford in that department than they are to Columbia.

Yale >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Harvard > SLS > Chicago >>>>> Columbia >>> other T10 schools


Where is LOL?

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby bdubs » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:35 pm

I'm not sure many people on here are answering your question aside from bickering about which schools can realistically claim to produce academics.

The way I understand legal academia is:

1) Go to an elite school (as has been said ITT)
2) Make law review
3) Publish in law review

Once you are done with LS then you have options to gain some experience or potentially try your luck at the AALS since you have a PhD already (I don't know how common straight through is, but I get the sense that it is uncommon). If you want to work you can do a clerkship or work for a firm for a few years, while continuing to build your body of scholarship.

The hiring for law school professors is done at an annual meeting of law school faculties, similar to academic hiring in other fields. The conference is called the American Association of Law Schools Faculty Recruitment Conference.
Last edited by bdubs on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby dresden doll » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:36 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
There is an argument that a lot of academic placement is self selection. Future academics don't end up at Columbia, NYU etc etc in large number. I wonder how true that is.


In my experience it holds, but my experience is exceedingly limited.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:41 pm

dresden doll wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
There is an argument that a lot of academic placement is self selection. Future academics don't end up at Columbia, NYU etc etc in large number. I wonder how true that is.


In my experience it holds, but my experience is exceedingly limited.


Your sex life isn't relevant DD.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:43 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Aston2412 wrote:You'll want to go to a school that is known for producing academics if possible. So you're looking at HYSCCN.

Clerking out of school also seems to be a popular stop on the way to the destination.


Y>H>>LOL >S/UChi>>LOLOLOLOLOL > TTT


To be fair, every UChicago student that has entered the meat market with reasonably competitive credentials has managed to make it, so that's a little unfair to Chicago (and probably to Stanford).


Oh, so you go to this conference and you try to get a school to hire you? I would really like to stay here for my law degree, I love the campus, all my girlfriends are here, and it would be tough to go somewhere else.

I have been working with a law professor at another school in chicago on a law review article. If I can publish a couple before I graduate would that be a huge plus? Also what are the odds of staying in Chicago and getting a job at Loyola, DePaul, Marshall, IIT, etc? Is it like academia where you are lucky to get a job anywhere and you just have to go to whoever offers you a job?

Thanks so much for all the info, you guys are so sweet! :)

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby bdubs » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:50 pm

I think it would be pretty tough to get a job if you restricted yourself to Chicago law schools. Not every school recruits every year and some may not be looking for people with your specific research objectives. Just speculation though.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:53 pm

Presumably with a political science Ph.D your research agenda would be focused on the kinds of law everyone wants to research in (con law, etc). That would make it more difficult to get a job, and you would probably have to branch out from Chicago. (You'd probably have to branch out anyway.)

Obviously, publishing actual articles (as opposed to student comments) would make you a strong candidate - but it wouldn't make up for not having the other credentials (such as superior grades). I imagine that publishing in a law review before you even apply for law school (is that what you're talking about?) would probably be a really, really good soft factor re: getting admitted in the first place.

If you got an offer from Yale or Harvard, though, you'd have to take it instead of staying in Chicago.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:55 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Chicago has traditionally placed substantially more of its class into academia than Columbia. Chicago is typically close to Harvard and Stanford in that department than they are to Columbia.

Yale >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Harvard > SLS > Chicago >>>>> Columbia >>> other T10 schools


Where is LOL?

The LOL goes in front of Yale due to the terrible idea of going to law school if your main aspiration is to become a legal academic.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Aston2412 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:56 pm

rad law wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Chicago has traditionally placed substantially more of its class into academia than Columbia. Chicago is typically close to Harvard and Stanford in that department than they are to Columbia.

Yale >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Harvard > SLS > Chicago >>>>> Columbia >>> other T10 schools


Where is LOL?

The LOL goes in front of Yale due to the terrible idea of going to law school if your main aspiration is to become a legal academic.


Except that's like, the only way to become a legal academic?

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:57 pm

Is it not advisable to go to law school for academia because it is so hard to get a job?

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby bdubs » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:57 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:If you got an offer from Yale or Harvard, though, you'd have to take it instead of staying in Chicago.


Why? OP says she (he?) wants to stay in Chicago and is currently enrolled in a PhD program there. Going to Yale just for better academic job prospects seems a bit silly if s/he will have to add 2-3 more years of school on to do it, not to mention the additional cost of not having a stipend and possibly a scholarship.
Last edited by bdubs on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Aston2412 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:00 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
I would really like to stay here for my law degree, I love the campus, all my girlfriends are here, and it would be tough to go somewhere else.
A PhD/law academic, at UofC, with multiple "girlfriends"? Does not compute.


I think OP is a girl and all of her friends are in Chicago. It's confusing for us men when women call their female friends girlfriends. Or maybe he's a philandering floozy. Or a promiscuous lesbian.

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Re: How do I become a law professor...

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:03 pm

I meant friends, I'm a woman!

Could one pursue biglaw or work in a state's attorney office, while applying for academic jobs? Could it be that something opens up eventually if I'm patient?




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