Academia: Law review and transferring

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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AZN MegaPoaster
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Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby AZN MegaPoaster » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:23 pm

How big of a deal is law review for academia?

Is it better to be on law review and top of your class at a top50 school, or to be at CCN? I say CCN only because if I get into H I will transfer for sure. So, basically, is it worth it to give up law review at a top50 (let's assume I get my note published, too) where I am number 2 in my class for CCN? Or should I stay at the top50 instead?

mileslibertatis
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby mileslibertatis » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:17 pm

I don't really know, but my impression is that the single most important factor for having a shot at academia is going to HYSCCN. All else is secondary.

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dpk711
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby dpk711 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:18 pm

mileslibertatis wrote:I don't really know, but my impression is that the single most important factor for having a shot at academia is going to HYSCCN. All else is secondary.

lawgrl14
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby lawgrl14 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:39 pm

dpk711 wrote:
mileslibertatis wrote:I don't really know, but my impression is that the single most important factor for having a shot at academia is going to HYSCCN. All else is secondary.


Let's not get crazy. Everyone realizes that academia is tough, but I'm sure there are plenty of soon-to-be professors graduating from those schools you just struck through. Out of 7 doctrinal professors of mine at a T20 this year, none graduated from Y or H and several are (relatively) young, so take that for what it's worth.

With that said, my hunch is that if you are wed to the idea of maintaining a shot at academia, you should transfer to CCN and then work your ass off to do well. But who am I? Just some girl on a message board. You should talk to a professor at your school you feel comfortable with, maybe one that wrote you a rec letter.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Publishing is the single most important factor for academia. A law degree from Harvard or Yale may help you get published, however.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby lawyerwannabe » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:44 pm

IMHO, I would not transfer (given your desire for academia) unless you get into HYS. I would stay at my current school, do law review, and try to publish some awesome papers (of course also while developing great relationships with a few profs so you have some solid LOR when clerkship time comes).

flightcontrol
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby flightcontrol » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:51 pm

In order of priority, the factors that matter most for an entry-level teaching position are:

(1) Publications
(2) References
(3) Credentials

Since most competitive candidates have one or two published pieces, and faculty support happens behind closed doors, (3) looks like it has outsize influence. It does not. Your list of publications and the professors/judges going to bat for you matter much more than where and how well you did in school (which is not to say that importance is trivial). In any case, transferring may help a bit with (3) but you'll be a year behind in building the relationships you need; possibly you could strengthen those relationships by clerking, but that too will be difficult as a transfer. If you stay, you may be able to accumulate stronger faculty support, but your credentials will be relatively weak. Unless you publish an article or two of real note, that will likely sink you as compared to equally accomplished candidates who went to better schools (of which there are many).

In short, it's a very long shot for you to get a teaching job. Not impossible, but a very long shot. If you get into HYSCCN, you should probably transfer, but not for academia; rather, you should transfer because those schools position you better for getting a non-teaching job.

concurrent fork
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby concurrent fork » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:06 pm

flightcontrol wrote:In order of priority, the factors that matter most for an entry-level teaching position are:

(1) Publications
(2) References
(3) Credentials

Since most competitive candidates have one or two published pieces, and faculty support happens behind closed doors, (3) looks like it has outsize influence. It does not. Your list of publications and the professors/judges going to bat for you matter much more than where and how well you did in school (which is not to say that importance is trivial). In any case, transferring may help a bit with (3) but you'll be a year behind in building the relationships you need; possibly you could strengthen those relationships by clerking, but that too will be difficult as a transfer. If you stay, you may be able to accumulate stronger faculty support, but your credentials will be relatively weak. Unless you publish an article or two of real note, that will likely sink you as compared to equally accomplished candidates who went to better schools (of which there are many).

In short, it's a very long shot for you to get a teaching job. Not impossible, but a very long shot. If you get into HYSCCN, you should probably transfer, but not for academia; rather, you should transfer because those schools position you better for getting a non-teaching job.

I don't know that this is accurate. There are tons of kids at TTT schools that get published and have great references. Yet the data shows a massive skew towards HY. I think your chances for academia are better at HY without law review than at a random T50 with law review. I think you're right though for CCN on down.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby lawyerwannabe » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:17 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
flightcontrol wrote:In order of priority, the factors that matter most for an entry-level teaching position are:

(1) Publications
(2) References
(3) Credentials

Since most competitive candidates have one or two published pieces, and faculty support happens behind closed doors, (3) looks like it has outsize influence. It does not. Your list of publications and the professors/judges going to bat for you matter much more than where and how well you did in school (which is not to say that importance is trivial). In any case, transferring may help a bit with (3) but you'll be a year behind in building the relationships you need; possibly you could strengthen those relationships by clerking, but that too will be difficult as a transfer. If you stay, you may be able to accumulate stronger faculty support, but your credentials will be relatively weak. Unless you publish an article or two of real note, that will likely sink you as compared to equally accomplished candidates who went to better schools (of which there are many).

In short, it's a very long shot for you to get a teaching job. Not impossible, but a very long shot. If you get into HYSCCN, you should probably transfer, but not for academia; rather, you should transfer because those schools position you better for getting a non-teaching job.

I don't know that this is accurate. There are tons of kids at TTT schools that get published and have great references. Yet the data shows a massive skew towards HY. I think your chances for academia are better at HY without law review than at a random T50 with law review. I think you're right though for CCN on down.


You can just quote my post from above if you want. :)

aca0260
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby aca0260 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:37 pm

OP - you are asking the wrong people. Whoever is saying that you should stay and publish as much as you can likely has no clue what they're talking about with regards to the path towards legal academia. It seems clear that an elite university is a prerequisite (as in a necessary, not sufficient condition for your LSAT aces).

Go talk to professors at your school. They won't be offended you're considering transferring - they will likely encourage it given your goals. Also, go through the faculty credentials of your school and I'm sure you won't find many (or any) tenured professors from schools below Texas/Vandy.


Younger Abstention
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Re: Academia: Law review and transferring

Postby Younger Abstention » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:54 pm



Good info, but the "Wendel test" didn't really work so hot. It seems quite doable to attain an academic position at a lower ranked (Tier 4) law school, even without absolutely stellar credentials. To get a job at a tier 1, or even top 100 law school, or one in a particularly desirable location is a different story.




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