Is there a route to academia from a non-T14 school?

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Is there a route to academia from a non-T14 school?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:57 am

UtahPhi wrote:
ph14 wrote:
vissidarte27 wrote:
Re: publishing -- my interests are all over the map. Do you think it's okay to explore them and have a more varied portfolio or do I need to sit down and choose a particular research area so that my work will be more concentrated? If I can get an article out this year, I'd like to be able to do that, but I don't want to pigeon-hole myself into one area without the freedom to research other things.


No. It's okay to be all over the map at this stage. It's more important to find out where your interests are.


Expanding on this, my limited involvement as a student on faculty hiring committee's is that they like to see flexibility in your topic choice. If you can write quality articles on a variety of aspects, it speaks well to your writing ability.

That being said, if you get to the interview process, you will need to put across that you aren't just absent-minded and that you can eventually become an expert in an area.


Vissidarte--if you get a note published this year, it doesn't have to be on a particular topic relevant to your future interests. If faculty are doing reads on your note years from now, that means something went very, very wrong since you should be striving to have hopefully two maybe even three published articles by the time you go on the market. You should be developing potential research projects right now, which means exploring multiple areas. (Read Volokh's Academic Legal Writing--he's got good advice on developing topics and writing notes and articles.) If you have an interest in Criminal Law and theory right now, take Crim Pro, Evidence, and seminars that involve this stuff. It's pretty common for wannabe academics to have a few different major classes that they really want to teach, and for crim law people it's criminal law, crim pro, and evidence.

As for whether you should have a concentrated research agenda or have variety: The advice I've been given is to try and find an area where you could produce a few different articles. You can of course jump between very different topics, but if you do that you really need to also develop a comprehensive research agenda for what your future projects will look like.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Is there a route to academia from a non-T14 school?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:05 am

Br3v wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:And overall, you need to remember that you really only should publish stuff that you think is really good, whether it's a note or article--you don't want stuff on your record that is mediocre or worse.


Do you think this applies to pre law school non law related material you have had "published"? As in if one were to have a few articles published in the local paper that have grammatical issues or other similar mistakes (not clear logic/not very scholarly sounding/etc) that this would matter at all?


Sounds like a no. Based on my experience, hiring committees won't be digging around to search out your publications--they'll be doing reads on the most recent stuff you've published that's on your resume. They might go further back on your publication record on your resume if there are mixed opinions on the recent stuff or if the new stuff isn't in the area they want to hire you for. But it would be weird if they were doing reads on nonlegal work (unless it's something like you published in like a philosophy journal and you're selling yourself as a law & philosophy person--then they might try to find someone to look it over).

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ph14
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Re: Is there a route to academia from a non-T14 school?

Postby ph14 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:06 am

Br3v wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:And overall, you need to remember that you really only should publish stuff that you think is really good, whether it's a note or article--you don't want stuff on your record that is mediocre or worse.


Do you think this applies to pre law school non law related material you have had "published"? As in if one were to have a few articles published in the local paper that have grammatical issues or other similar mistakes (not clear logic/not very scholarly sounding/etc) that this would matter at all?


No. A professor told me no one really cares about notes either really (and you see a lot of professors, but not all, leave their notes and student-written work off their CV).




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