How does one become a law professor?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

How does one become a law professor?

Postby roranoa » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:34 am

I've recently learned that the famous YLS professor Amy Chua became a law professor at Duke after she practiced law at Cleary for some time.

How does this work? I'm assuming that you only need a JD to become a professor in law. Then what else do you do to become a professor? Do you just privately write papers about certain subjects and wait till they get published and then apply for a job after that?

User avatar
Ruxin1
Posts: 1284
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby Ruxin1 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:37 am

roranoa wrote:I've recently learned that the famous YLS professor Amy Chua became a law professor at Duke after she practiced law at Cleary for some time.

How does this work? I'm assuming that you only need a JD to become a professor in law. Then what else do you do to become a professor? Do you just privately write papers about certain subjects and wait till they get published and then apply for a job after that?


This is like making a thread how do you become president, I heard Obama went to HLS and summered at Sidley. Now what?

roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby roranoa » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:45 am

Ruxin1 wrote:
roranoa wrote:I've recently learned that the famous YLS professor Amy Chua became a law professor at Duke after she practiced law at Cleary for some time.

How does this work? I'm assuming that you only need a JD to become a professor in law. Then what else do you do to become a professor? Do you just privately write papers about certain subjects and wait till they get published and then apply for a job after that?


This is like making a thread how do you become president, I heard Obama went to HLS and summered at Sidley. Now what?


I admit that this is a weird question to ask and weird in its form. But I really don't know how else to start it off.

ze2151
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby ze2151 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:55 am

one does not become a law professor anymore. one is lucky if one can become a lawyer these days.

law professor is not exactly a growth field, especially when people are predicting closures of low-ranking law schools that will flood the legal hiring market with experienced professors. find a new career path, friend.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby Br3v » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:37 am

People are not giving you solid answers because it is incredibly hard to become a law professor in today's world, and you need to be aware of that.

The first thing you need to accomplish is go to a Law school that will allow you to teach. I would say probably half of the market (there are actually numbers out there/TLS'ers who know them so I will allow for correction on that percentage) is dominated by Harvard and Yale. Then Stanford, then probably Chicago. Virginia is about the last school in the T-14 that you stand more than a lucks chance at to entering academia.

The next step is generally to get a clerkship. Then you can start throwing you name into the ring, but you will probably have to find another job first because it will probably take a few hiring cycles at least for you to get hired.

Throughout all of this you also need to be writing and attempting to get your work published. Also a PhD (though probably not cost effective considering the chances of you actually landing the law professor job) makes you much more attractive to schools looking to hire. Economics tops the list as to which PhD helps the most.

User avatar
Nicholasnickynic
Posts: 1126
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:41 am

1. Go to harvard or yale.
2. Be on law review.
3. Get something published.
4. WOrk at a presitegious law firm for a couple years.
5. Get some school to hire you so they can brag about your pedigree while you pull down 6 figures teaching kids shit you hardly know about because you practice for 2 years.

roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby roranoa » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:59 am

Br3v wrote:People are not giving you solid answers because it is incredibly hard to become a law professor in today's world, and you need to be aware of that.

The first thing you need to accomplish is go to a Law school that will allow you to teach. I would say probably half of the market (there are actually numbers out there/TLS'ers who know them so I will allow for correction on that percentage) is dominated by Harvard and Yale. Then Stanford, then probably Chicago. Virginia is about the last school in the T-14 that you stand more than a lucks chance at to entering academia.

The next step is generally to get a clerkship. Then you can start throwing you name into the ring, but you will probably have to find another job first because it will probably take a few hiring cycles at least for you to get hired.

Throughout all of this you also need to be writing and attempting to get your work published. Also a PhD (though probably not cost effective considering the chances of you actually landing the law professor job) makes you much more attractive to schools looking to hire. Economics tops the list as to which PhD helps the most.


Thanks for the useful reply.

But are you saying that one has to write and try to get work published WHILE working at a law firm?

Btw, to those who keep telling me to consider another life path, I'm not looking into become a law professor anytime soon so don't worry.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18424
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:00 am


The Duck
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:14 am

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby The Duck » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:01 am

Nicholasnickynic wrote:1. Go to harvard or yale.
2. Be on law review.
3. Get something published.
4. WOrk at a presitegious law firm for a couple years.
5. Get some school to hire you so they can brag about your pedigree while you pull down 6 figures teaching kids shit you hardly know about because you practice for 2 years.


This, but if you could throw in a Supreme Court clerkship that'd be great as it'd help your odds greatly. (At my school it seems like nearly every professor did at least a CoA clerkship.)

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby Br3v » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:00 pm

bk1 wrote:http://www.law.uchicago.edu/careerservices/pathstolawteaching


OP read this

roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby roranoa » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:23 pm

Br3v wrote:
bk1 wrote:http://www.law.uchicago.edu/careerservices/pathstolawteaching


OP read this


This is super helpful!!! Thanks very much!

roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Re: How does one become a law professor?

Postby roranoa » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:23 pm

bk1 wrote:http://www.law.uchicago.edu/careerservices/pathstolawteaching


Thanks!! This is all I need!




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Maaza, splitterfromhell and 5 guests