What is so attractive about teaching law?

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VincentChase
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby VincentChase » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:06 pm

macattaq wrote:
VincentChase wrote:"Do not have very good social skills."

Not "socially adept."

Where do you guys come up with this stuff? On what planet does standing in front of a classroom of upwards of 100 students day after day, year after year, not require some baseline level of social skills?

For whatever reason, these men and women chose to teach and research law rather than practice. Attributing all these negative character traits to them because of it seems to say more about the posters than about the professors.


Standing in front of a group of people, using a medium as an interface, does not necessarily mean that they can interact with those same people as individuals. Try talking to one of your profs one-on-one.


I'm not a big office hours guy, but the chances I've had to converse with professors they've seemed like perfectly normal, functioning people.

Honestly before I saw this thread, it wouldn't have even occurred to me to attribute any negative character traits to them. Just figured everyone is interested in the law and a lifestyle in a different way, nothing more, nothing less.

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Aeroplane
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby Aeroplane » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:13 pm

VincentChase wrote:I'm not a big office hours guy, but the chances I've had to converse with professors they've seemed like perfectly normal, functioning people.

Honestly before I saw this thread, it wouldn't have even occurred to me to attribute any negative character traits to them. Just figured everyone is interested in the law and a lifestyle in a different way, nothing more, nothing less.

Yeah. I've seen no major trend either way in the social skills of my professors. Most are normal, a couple are weird. FWIW getting hired in academia almost always requires significant networking and relationship-building, as well as involves a highly subjective evaluation process w/lots of interviews and meet & greet type things. Granted, most of the networking is with other law nerds, but still.

Also, people shouldn't confuse the sometimes obnoxious way that some professors behave towards students with a lack of social skills. There's a major power imbalance that enables that, and it doesn't mean they behave that way towards their peers or superiors (Edit to add: at least not before tenure. After tenure might be a different story).

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chromylchloride
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby chromylchloride » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:17 pm

macattaq wrote:
VincentChase wrote:"Do not have very good social skills."

Not "socially adept."

Where do you guys come up with this stuff? On what planet does standing in front of a classroom of upwards of 100 students day after day, year after year, not require some baseline level of social skills?

For whatever reason, these men and women chose to teach and research law rather than practice. Attributing all these negative character traits to them because of it seems to say more about the posters than about the professors.


Standing in front of a group of people, using a medium as an interface, does not necessarily mean that they can interact with those same people as individuals. Try talking to one of your profs one-on-one.


I've tried this, it doesn't work. One time I found a seat outside of class to study at. My torts prof happened to be standing nearby. I said "Hi!" and he looked at me strangely, then slowly walked away.

Snooker
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby Snooker » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:18 pm

apper123 wrote:
Snooker wrote:The profs as massive money makers is a huge myth. Dozens of studies and surveys, published in ABA journals and law reviews (easy to google up) find that the long-term biglaw prospects of graduates varies only marginally with the prestige of the school and the candidate's grades.


This is a forum full of law students of all places. If you are going to make a statement like that you really need to back it up with your own links. If it is so easy to find it on google, why not take the 15 seconds to do it and paste the link here? It will make your post much more credible.

I know this is completely off-topic, but that's just a pet peeve of mine and I'm feeling grouchy today.


I will get around to bluebooking my posts...soon...

edit - I might clarify the post a bit. The chances you'll get into a big firm vary tremendously with the prestige / grades factors, but they don't predict differences in success for people already there. but once you step back from the legal culture and think about it a bit, this should seem fairly obvious.

Oban
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby Oban » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:55 pm

Xiaolong wrote:I think law profs make a small amount of money when you compare it to what they could be making. A law prof will alwyas be someone who has been at the top of their class, oftentimes at a T20 or better. As such most of these people could be working as partners at V20 firms making 10 x, or even 20 x (think Wachtell) what a tenured Harvard prof makes.



making six figures for few hours of work a week plus summer vactions > Making millions for working 60+ hours a week.

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RVP11
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby RVP11 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:53 pm

Oban wrote:
Xiaolong wrote:I think law profs make a small amount of money when you compare it to what they could be making. A law prof will alwyas be someone who has been at the top of their class, oftentimes at a T20 or better. As such most of these people could be working as partners at V20 firms making 10 x, or even 20 x (think Wachtell) what a tenured Harvard prof makes.



making six figures for few hours of work a week plus summer vactions > Making millions for working 80+ hours a week.


FTFY. Few attorneys are making "millions" without putting in a ton of 80+ hour weeks.

Snooker
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby Snooker » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:31 pm

Moreover only a small percent of the associates who go into the firm come out as partners. I don't have reliable statistics off-hand, but I've heard 10% is typical. For law professors, I've never heard of anything so brutal.

insidethetwenty
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby insidethetwenty » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:29 am

Sorry to necromance, but some law profs can end up making tons of money doing extra stuff on the side. If a prof has significant research experience or expertise in something like Corporate law or Asbestos, etc. they can bill $$$ for expert witness.

Think about how much your textbooks cost. Who do you think writes them? Profs. $$$.

When you are a prof, you have tons of free time. What can you do with it? Some appear on TV, give speeches, write political books, host radio/TV shows. Add it up, and you basically get paid to have lots of fun.

And even if you do nothing but publish the minimum amount to get tenure, you are probably still making 100k+ even if you teach at a T4.

fallguy
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Re: What is so attractive about teaching law?

Postby fallguy » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:56 am

VincentChase wrote:The Ph.D. thing can be dangerous. There are far, far, far more people with Ph.D.'s than there are positions, especially tenure track positions. And what do you do with a philosophy doctorate or literature doctorate other than teach? At least if you don't crack legal academia, you still have a professional degree with some utility. That's not the case with a Ph.D.


Very true. I'm in an M.A. program now. Tenure track positions in the liberal arts can be horrible: they work like big law associates and start at about 50,000, max out at maybe twice that (I have tenured professors now that still put in over 60 hours a week). They spend summers researching and writing like crazy because they don't have time do it during the school year because they work so much between teaching and all of the "service" assignments the department dumps on them. They are terrified of offending anyone with unorthodox work before they have tenure because pissing off anybody most likely means you're denied tenure (fired) regardless of the quality of your work. There are many PhDs for every tenure track position available (many end up teaching adjunct positions about $2000-3000 a course, sometimes less, so you can string 5 or so of those together and work 50 hours a week with no benefits for about 25-30 grand a year. This is because their degrees are otherwise worthless.). And I'm probably forgetting more. I guess one positive is that they graduate with little to no debt because of graduate teaching positions (which, ironically, will be the best paying job per hour they ever get).

Teaching law doesn't sound so bad.




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