CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

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of Benito Cereno
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CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby of Benito Cereno » Fri May 07, 2010 3:35 pm

well?
Last edited by of Benito Cereno on Mon May 17, 2010 7:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 3:43 pm

Not a pipe dream at all.

If you beat at least 90%, and probably more like 95%+, of your peers on exams.

Good luck :D

The time in law school won't look different from somebody pursuing biglaw though, that's crazy.

Here, I'll lay it out for you:

1) Good school (check)
2) Pristine grades (_)
3) Law review (_)
4) Impressive CoA Clerkship (_)
5) Publish 1-2 legit pieces (_), (_),
6) Meat market (_)
7) You're a professor yay look at you!

A PhD after law school can establish a niche and publishing cred, but 1) it's not necessary (plenty of profs hired without it, the 'new trend' you see written about to hire JD/PhDs isn't false but it's also hardly the only way) and 2) it would be fucking stupid to get the degrees together considering the level of performance required at law school to make it a possibility and the total lack of utility the PhD would hold for most alternative career paths.
Last edited by 270910 on Fri May 07, 2010 3:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby Feynman » Fri May 07, 2010 3:45 pm

disco_barred wrote:Not a pipe dream at all.

If you beat at least 90%, and probably more like 95%+, of your peers on exams.

Good luck :D


Do grades really matter so much? I thought connections with professors and publishing mattered more. Obviously law review is huge, but that doesn't require top 5% grades.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 3:47 pm

Feynman wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Not a pipe dream at all.

If you beat at least 90%, and probably more like 95%+, of your peers on exams.

Good luck :D


Do grades really matter so much? I thought connections with professors and publishing mattered more. Obviously law review is huge, but that doesn't require top 5% grades.


1) Yes
2) Also true
3) It requires very nearly top 5% grades or ludicrious luck on a writing competition, depending on school

[also: see edit]

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 3:51 pm

More on grades:

1) Getting good grades will get you noticed by professors
2) Getting good grades will get you taken seriously be professors
3) Getting noticed + taken seriously by professors will help you with writing (topics, advice, publication, editing)
4) Getting good grades will get you on law review
5) Being on law review will require writing + hone your editing skills
6) Publishing will help you get a (good) (CoA) clerkship
7) Getting good grades will help you get a (good) (CoA) clerkship
8) Publications will help with hiring decisions at schools
9) Good clerkship + noticed + taken seriously by profs will help hiring decisions at schools
10) Getting good grades will help with hiring decisions at schools

As you can see from my Helpful List(TM), grades come in everywhere. If you get a CoA clerkship, publish, and make strong faculty connections with midling grades you'll be fine. But the odds are way, way, way, way stacked against you, because the entire legal industry slathers madly over grades.
Last edited by 270910 on Fri May 07, 2010 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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of Benito Cereno
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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby of Benito Cereno » Fri May 07, 2010 3:51 pm

etc
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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby thelawz09 » Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 pm

you could transfer to YLS or HLS

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 3:53 pm

thelawz09 wrote:you could transfer to YLS or HLS


Wouldn't help.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby of Benito Cereno » Fri May 07, 2010 3:57 pm

disco_barred wrote:
thelawz09 wrote:you could transfer to YLS or HLS


Wouldn't help.

YLS would I imagine. There really seems to be a damn serious difference between their placement abilities and CLS's. Though YLS takes like 10 transfers a year so that's almost as much of a crapshoot as aiming for legal academia out of CLS.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby Feynman » Fri May 07, 2010 3:58 pm

As you can see from my Helpful List(TM), grades come in everywhere. If you get a CoA clerkship, publish, and make strong faculty connections with midling grades you'll be fine. But the odds are way, way, way, way stacked against you, because the entire legal industry slathers madly over grades.


I agree with you. But it's entirely possible that a student thrives in the classes he's interested in and gains the respect/attention of professors in that area while also doing average in other courses. Having average performance across the board would seem to be a death knell because it would prevent one from establishing the necessary faculty connections. CoA opportunities are going to be sensitive to grades, but decent grades from a top 5 school combined with faculty connections will probably get a lot of students CoA clerkships (but not guaranteed obviously).

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby neimanmarxist » Fri May 07, 2010 4:01 pm

of Benito Cereno wrote:PhD coursework (likely one year for me given my previous grad work),


To my knowledge, most PhD programs are loath to let you transfer credits, even between schools within the same university. It might be different at Columbia- you'd have to find that out.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 4:01 pm

of Benito Cereno wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
thelawz09 wrote:you could transfer to YLS or HLS


Wouldn't help.

YLS would I imagine. There really seems to be a damn serious difference between their placement abilities and CLS's. Though YLS takes like 10 transfers a year so that's almost as much of a crapshoot as aiming for legal academia out of CLS.


No, it wouldn't.

By the time you have the credentials to transfer INTO YLS, you also have the credentials to get academia FROM CLS. YLS places better than CLS (and all other law schools) when looking it at from the pre-LS choice, but once you have the background the name of the school is less important. The top, say, 5% of the class from CLS with an interest in publication and a working relationship with professors will have a much better time at it than median at Yale.

Transferring you might lose law review (huge loss) and relationships with professors (double huge loss - at securing recs for clerkships and at securing recs come hiring season). I doubt it would hurt (much) but the placement power of YLS into Academia still 1) makes it extremely unlikely any given person will get academia from YLS and 2) won't provide a magical boost to somebody who had the credentials before the transfer.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 4:02 pm

Feynman wrote:
As you can see from my Helpful List(TM), grades come in everywhere. If you get a CoA clerkship, publish, and make strong faculty connections with midling grades you'll be fine. But the odds are way, way, way, way stacked against you, because the entire legal industry slathers madly over grades.


I agree with you. But it's entirely possible that a student thrives in the classes he's interested in and gains the respect/attention of professors in that area while also doing average in other courses. Having average performance across the board would seem to be a death knell because it would prevent one from establishing the necessary faculty connections. CoA opportunities are going to be sensitive to grades, but decent grades from a top 5 school combined with faculty connections will probably get a lot of students CoA clerkships (but not guaranteed obviously).


You have to define 'decent'. CoA clerkships rarely go to students outside of the top 10%, especially in popular locations.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby of Benito Cereno » Fri May 07, 2010 4:03 pm

disco_barred wrote:
of Benito Cereno wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
thelawz09 wrote:you could transfer to YLS or HLS


Wouldn't help.

YLS would I imagine. There really seems to be a damn serious difference between their placement abilities and CLS's. Though YLS takes like 10 transfers a year so that's almost as much of a crapshoot as aiming for legal academia out of CLS.


No, it wouldn't.

By the time you have the credentials to transfer INTO YLS, you also have the credentials to get academia FROM CLS. YLS places better than CLS (and all other law schools) when looking it at from the pre-LS choice, but once you have the background the name of the school is less important. The top, say, 5% of the class from CLS with an interest in publication and a working relationship with professors will have a much better time at it than median at Yale.

Transferring you might lose law review (huge loss) and relationships with professors (double huge loss - at securing recs for clerkships and at securing recs come hiring season). I doubt it would hurt (much) but the placement power of YLS into Academia still 1) makes it extremely unlikely any given person will get academia from YLS and 2) won't provide a magical boost to somebody who had the credentials before the transfer.

seems about right. but that's assuming that top 5% at cls still actually has a shot at academia.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby Feynman » Fri May 07, 2010 4:05 pm

You have to define 'decent'. CoA clerkships rarely go to students outside of the top 10%, especially in popular locations.


I am not talking about desirable locations or feeders, I am talking about getting a CoA. I think people outside the top 10% at CCN get CoAs more often than you think (but my knowledge is anecdotal, I would like to see some data).
Last edited by Feynman on Fri May 07, 2010 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 4:06 pm

of Benito Cereno wrote:seems about right. but that's assuming that top 5% at cls still actually has a shot at academia.


As long as top 5% at CLS follows through, he/she is approaching a lock for academia.

Most schools actually get a fairly high percentage of hires from the people they send to the meat market, and if you restrict it to people at the meat market with CoA + LR + grades + publications most top schools are probably placing the majority of students who fit that bill.

Getting the gig is hard, but it's hardly random.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 4:07 pm

Feynman wrote:
You have to define 'decent'. CoA clerkships rarely go to students outside of the top 10%, especially in popular locations.


I am not talking about desirable locations or feeders, I am talking about getting a CoA. I think people outside the top 10% at CCN get CoAs more often than you think.


:lol:

I am NOT saying that it doesn't happen, but it's by far the exception and not the rule.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby thelawz09 » Fri May 07, 2010 4:13 pm

it's all connections. I know someone from a 10-15 law school who did well, went to work for a firm for a few years, then returned to her LS to replace her favorite professor, whom she made a lasting academic relationship with in and after law school. She never let that relationship die.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby 270910 » Fri May 07, 2010 4:16 pm

thelawz09 wrote:it's all connections. I know someone from a 10-15 law school who did well, went to work for a firm for a few years, then returned to her LS to replace her favorite professor, whom she made a lasting academic relationship with in and after law school. She never let that relationship die.


And I know that 99% of all faculty hires come from the meat market as a result of substantial publication credentials + promise and a sterling academic / professional record.

Anything your anecdote can do, my anecdote can do better.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby notanumber » Fri May 07, 2010 4:27 pm

of Benito Cereno wrote: Also, wondering if JD/PhDs between two universites (CLS /Princeton or Yale) are workable. I know someone doing a Yale JD with a Columbia PhD who applied to both at the same time but I'm unclear how it would work applying to outside PhDs while a 1L.


I'll 2nd most of what disco_barred has said, except to add: Don't even think about doing a Ph.D. if your only goal is to increase your marketability.

If you have a specific topic that you want to spend 5-8 years of your life exploring, then by all means take a Ph.D., but it's silly to spend that much time of your life to a purely instrumental process that will only provide marginal returns.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby neimanmarxist » Fri May 07, 2010 5:02 pm

notanumber wrote:f you have a specific topic that you want to spend 5-8 years of your life exploring, then by all means take a Ph.D., but it's silly to spend that much time of your life to a purely instrumental process that will only provide marginal returns.


TITCR, big-time.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby of Benito Cereno » Fri May 07, 2010 5:42 pm

notanumber wrote:
of Benito Cereno wrote: Also, wondering if JD/PhDs between two universites (CLS /Princeton or Yale) are workable. I know someone doing a Yale JD with a Columbia PhD who applied to both at the same time but I'm unclear how it would work applying to outside PhDs while a 1L.


I'll 2nd most of what disco_barred has said, except to add: Don't even think about doing a Ph.D. if your only goal is to increase your marketability.

If you have a specific topic that you want to spend 5-8 years of your life exploring, then by all means take a Ph.D., but it's silly to spend that much time of your life to a purely instrumental process that will only provide marginal returns.

Yes, of course. This is why I choose to wait to apply until next year.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby sbalive » Fri May 07, 2010 10:21 pm

No. Legal academia is not a pipe dream out of CLS.

Maybe 5% of the advice on this thread is accurate. And that's being generous.

OP is welcome to PM me.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby Andrew the Wolverine » Fri May 07, 2010 10:29 pm

What the hell are any of you people talking about? You act as if not going to Yale or being the executive editor of the Harvard Law Review means you can never be a law teacher/professor. Give me a break. Just look at the faculty rosters at any law school, and you'll see members who didn't go to H or Y. Go to Columbia, do your best; there is no reason to accept this nonsense that it'll keep out of legal academia. If that were the case, there would be a massive shortage of people teaching law, and we know that's not true.

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Re: CLS ---> legal academia? pipe dream?

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri May 07, 2010 10:30 pm

A while ago we had a marvelous thread about whether it would be better, generally speaking, to be top 10% + Law Review at CLS or "median" (hard to distinguish) without journals or publications at Yale.

I think the consensus was that CLS students were better for everything. That thread took an unintended turn toward hilarity, but I think the principle holds true for hiring in legal academia. If it were my career, I would hope for the former.




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