So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

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So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:37 am

I am a 3L at CLS, and I am starting to regret my choice to go to a V5 firm next year. I am definitely going to go to the firm for awhile if only to make some money, but I am worried about the lifestyle and also about long-term career options. Online lots of people claim that even if you go to a big law firm, it is far from certain that you will have job security even in your jobs after the firm (see ITLSS October 31 post comment made October 31st at 8:09PM).

Anyway, so I was thinking that maybe in the future I could get this law PhD from YLS and try to get a teaching job. I guess this is the first year it is being offered, so no one knows what the long-term outcomes of graduates will be or what is required to get in. Perhaps it will turn out to just be a way for YLS to milk its name for money (or is it funded?). But is anyone applying?

As it is, I would not be competitive to get a tenure track academia position although my stats are not terrible: 3.5 at CLS (top ~20-30%), published and e-board of secondary journal, HYP undergrad with lots of honors. I did not apply for clerkships although if I really get serious about this path, maybe I will apply as an alum.

CanadianWolf
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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:26 pm

Ask Yale.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:29 pm

Aspiring academic here. Very similar law school numbers (plus a clerkship and several post-LS scholarly publications), though I've been out a good long while. If you are serious about academia, here's what I'd do if I were you:

1.) Try to steer towards a practice that in demand in academia. This means commercial law (which you can package with bankruptcy, though that's less underserved in academia these days), trusts and estates, IP, health, and then to a much lesser extent, tax and corporate/business orgs. Stay away from anything public law.

2.) Apply for a clerkship as an alum. Even a district court clerkship would be OK (though obviously a COA clerkship would be preferable). The main thing is that you want to make it through the "must have a clerkship or PhD" screen that some hiring committees use. If it was me, I'd probably apply during the fall of my second year at the firm -- that puts you clerking in your third or even fourth year out, so you could apply for academic positions out of your clerkship.

3.) Try to publish one academic article in practice (two is better) and plan to have another ready to submit in the spring of your clerkship year. Your goal should be a top 100 placement. If you can land a top 25 placement that will get people's attention.

4.) If you have those publications/works-in-progress, go on the tenure-track market the fall of your clerkship. You need to get the OK from the judge about this. Plan to strike out. It is INSANELY difficult to get a TT job these days. People who were hired even two or three years ago wouldn't be competitive in this market. Candidates these days are so absurdly well published that a lot of times they will be the most productive scholar in a room consisting of 3-5 tenured or tenure-track faculty members in many of their interviews. And they won't even get a callback because the next woman to interview has a comparable publication list plus a PhD in some cognate field.

5.) If you do strike out, apply for VAP programs. This will buy you another two shots.

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TTH
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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby TTH » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:36 pm

I'm not hating on your career ambitions, guys, and wish you the best of luck. I do have one question, though: what do you have to teach law students about becoming lawyers?

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby luthersloan » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Aspiring academic here. Very similar law school numbers (plus a clerkship and several post-LS scholarly publications), though I've been out a good long while. If you are serious about academia, here's what I'd do if I were you:

1.) Try to steer towards a practice that in demand in academia. This means commercial law (which you can package with bankruptcy, though that's less underserved in academia these days), trusts and estates, IP, health, and then to a much lesser extent, tax and corporate/business orgs. Stay away from anything public law.

2.) Apply for a clerkship as an alum. Even a district court clerkship would be OK (though obviously a COA clerkship would be preferable). The main thing is that you want to make it through the "must have a clerkship or PhD" screen that some hiring committees use. If it was me, I'd probably apply during the fall of my second year at the firm -- that puts you clerking in your third or even fourth year out, so you could apply for academic positions out of your clerkship.

3.) Try to publish one academic article in practice (two is better) and plan to have another ready to submit in the spring of your clerkship year. Your goal should be a top 100 placement. If you can land a top 25 placement that will get people's attention.

4.) If you have those publications/works-in-progress, go on the tenure-track market the fall of your clerkship. You need to get the OK from the judge about this. Plan to strike out. It is INSANELY difficult to get a TT job these days. People who were hired even two or three years ago wouldn't be competitive in this market. Candidates these days are so absurdly well published that a lot of times they will be the most productive scholar in a room consisting of 3-5 tenured or tenure-track faculty members in many of their interviews. And they won't even get a callback because the next woman to interview has a comparable publication list plus a PhD in some cognate field.

5.) If you do strike out, apply for VAP programs. This will buy you another two shots.


I am curious as to why you say tax is more competitive than other non-sexy fields. My strong impression has been that tax is the least sexy of the academic fields.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:07 pm

TTH wrote:I'm not hating on your career ambitions, guys, and wish you the best of luck. I do have one question, though: what do you have to teach law students about becoming lawyers?


The point of law professors is to enter the final form of the circle jerk and take a lifelong vow of shunning practicality in exchange for an opulent salary.

It has absolutely nothing to do with teaching law students.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:11 pm

luthersloan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Aspiring academic here. Very similar law school numbers (plus a clerkship and several post-LS scholarly publications), though I've been out a good long while. If you are serious about academia, here's what I'd do if I were you:

1.) Try to steer towards a practice that in demand in academia. This means commercial law (which you can package with bankruptcy, though that's less underserved in academia these days), trusts and estates, IP, health, and then to a much lesser extent, tax and corporate/business orgs. Stay away from anything public law.

2.) Apply for a clerkship as an alum. Even a district court clerkship would be OK (though obviously a COA clerkship would be preferable). The main thing is that you want to make it through the "must have a clerkship or PhD" screen that some hiring committees use. If it was me, I'd probably apply during the fall of my second year at the firm -- that puts you clerking in your third or even fourth year out, so you could apply for academic positions out of your clerkship.

3.) Try to publish one academic article in practice (two is better) and plan to have another ready to submit in the spring of your clerkship year. Your goal should be a top 100 placement. If you can land a top 25 placement that will get people's attention.

4.) If you have those publications/works-in-progress, go on the tenure-track market the fall of your clerkship. You need to get the OK from the judge about this. Plan to strike out. It is INSANELY difficult to get a TT job these days. People who were hired even two or three years ago wouldn't be competitive in this market. Candidates these days are so absurdly well published that a lot of times they will be the most productive scholar in a room consisting of 3-5 tenured or tenure-track faculty members in many of their interviews. And they won't even get a callback because the next woman to interview has a comparable publication list plus a PhD in some cognate field.

5.) If you do strike out, apply for VAP programs. This will buy you another two shots.


I am curious as to why you say tax is more competitive than other non-sexy fields. My strong impression has been that tax is the least sexy of the academic fields.

Not sure if this is what you were asking (and I'm not the aspiring academic above), but although tax is not sexy, it has to be taught at law schools, and it's not something you can pick up and wing as easily as other subjects. Thus there will be some demand for people who study/research/teach tax. Probably not as much demand as the other subjects listed just due to your average trends in academia/things people are concerned about these days due to the economy/where the money is.

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TTH
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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby TTH » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:35 pm

thesealocust wrote:
TTH wrote:I'm not hating on your career ambitions, guys, and wish you the best of luck. I do have one question, though: what do you have to teach law students about becoming lawyers?


The point of law professors is to enter the final form of the circle jerk and take a lifelong vow of shunning practicality in exchange for an opulent salary.

It has absolutely nothing to do with teaching law students.


Well, obvs, but I'm curious if people who realistically are making plans to be law professors think about it differently.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:43 pm

TTH wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
TTH wrote:I'm not hating on your career ambitions, guys, and wish you the best of luck. I do have one question, though: what do you have to teach law students about becoming lawyers?


The point of law professors is to enter the final form of the circle jerk and take a lifelong vow of shunning practicality in exchange for an opulent salary.

It has absolutely nothing to do with teaching law students.


Well, obvs, but I'm curious if people who realistically are making plans to be law professors think about it differently.

Depends on why you're becoming a prof. If you're doing it purely for lifestyle, I have no idea. Some people, though, become a prof because they really do want to spend their life researching and writing academic scholarship about the law. Where else do you do that but in a law school?

The problem with law schools is that they have two diametrically opposed purposes - one is to train future lawyers (ha) and the other is to produce legal scholarship. Being good at one doesn't make you good at the other. At least in non-law grad schools - PhD programs - profs are there to produce scholarship, and to train grad students to produce scholarship. They're training students to do what they do,* which law profs don't (except maybe at Yale).

(Of course, you can think that it's absolutely pointless to spend your life researching/writing law review articles, but producing legal scholarship is nonetheless one of the purposes of law schools.)

*This is sort of an overstatement but it'll do for this discussion.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby jump_man » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:05 pm

Brian Leiter hates the new Yale PhD. You can read his criticism in this critique.

CanadianWolf
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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:10 pm

Leiter's criticism seems a bit too brief & unconvincing. Appears to be a reflex reaction rather than a well thought-out & well supported critique.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:10 pm

jump_man wrote:Brian Leiter hates the new Yale PhD. You can read his criticism in this critique.


If Brian Leiter hates something, it's good enough for me.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby TTH » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:33 pm

thesealocust wrote:
jump_man wrote:Brian Leiter hates the new Yale PhD. You can read his criticism in this critique.


If Brian Leiter hates something, it's good enough for me.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby jump_man » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:48 pm

TTH wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
jump_man wrote:Brian Leiter hates the new Yale PhD. You can read his criticism in this critique.


If Brian Leiter hates something, it's good enough for me.


For more Brian Leiter fun times, you should check out his rants and raves about Paul Campos, author of the "Inside the Law School Scam" blog.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:10 pm

Paul Campos 2012!

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby ph14 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:20 pm

It's fully funded + stipent, and only has 5 spots, so I imagine it is going to be extremely competitive.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:34 am

TTH wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
jump_man wrote:Brian Leiter hates the new Yale PhD. You can read his criticism in this critique.


If Brian Leiter hates something, it's good enough for me.

If anyone knows anything about going K-Professor, it's Leiter.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby Younger Abstention » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:49 pm

I would imagine admission to the Yale PhD program will be incredibly competitive.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:15 pm

TTH wrote:I'm not hating on your career ambitions, guys, and wish you the best of luck. I do have one question, though: what do you have to teach law students about becoming lawyers?


OP here. Currently I don't have anything nearing a plan to become a professor. I was just throwing ideas around about what to do long-term since my firm job will last about 5% of my career. But I do think you are making a good point. If I did try to go for this Yale PhD, I would probably only have a couple years of experience from my firm + a clerkship, so I wouldn't know much about actual practice. I appreciate professors that just get the BLL across and explain the ambiguities but don't dwell on them unnecessarily. You really see the stark difference between watching the BarBri video to prepare you for the MPRE versus listening to a professor pontificating in a professional ethics class.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TTH wrote:I'm not hating on your career ambitions, guys, and wish you the best of luck. I do have one question, though: what do you have to teach law students about becoming lawyers?


OP here. Currently I don't have anything nearing a plan to become a professor. I was just throwing ideas around about what to do long-term since my firm job will last about 5% of my career. But I do think you are making a good point. If I did try to go for this Yale PhD, I would probably only have a couple years of experience from my firm + a clerkship, so I wouldn't know much about actual practice. I appreciate professors that just get the BLL across and explain the ambiguities but don't dwell on them unnecessarily. You really see the stark difference between watching the BarBri video to prepare you for the MPRE versus listening to a professor pontificating in a professional ethics class.

I understand (and appreciate) the distinction you're making here, but you do realize that what law schools want is the professor pontificating in the professional ethics class, not the MPRE lecturer, right?

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:50 pm

I understand (and appreciate) the distinction you're making here, but you do realize that what law schools want is the professor pontificating in the professional ethics class, not the MPRE lecturer, right?


Actually, what the vast majority of law schools want is the professor churning out 1.25 articles a year that place in law reviews at schools above them in the USNWR rankings.

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Re: So what is the deal with Yale's new law PhD?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I understand (and appreciate) the distinction you're making here, but you do realize that what law schools want is the professor pontificating in the professional ethics class, not the MPRE lecturer, right?


Actually, what the vast majority of law schools want is the professor churning out 1.25 articles a year that place in law reviews at schools above them in the USNWR rankings.

Oh, of course, but that's usually the pontificator, not the MPRE guy. Because those articles can't actually be about practice or BLL.




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