Teaching Fellowships and VAPs

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Stache
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Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:35 am

Teaching Fellowships and VAPs

Postby Stache » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:50 am

Has anyone participated in a teaching fellowship or visiting assistant professorship? I found a pretty nice list of such programs (http://web.law.columbia.edu/law-teachin ... ships-vaps) and was wondering a few things to anyone who might know about these.

How competitive are they? Is this any sort of reasonable alternative to going to HYS to break in to academia? I assume that the more prestigious the school offering the fellowship is, the more reasonable an alternative it becomes (for example, a fellowship at NYU would probably be better than one at Stetson). After one of these, is academia in some capacity the only real option, or does someone still have a reasonable shot at biglaw or PI?

Really any info at all would be helpful. Thanks!

Stache
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:35 am

Re: Teaching Fellowships and VAPs

Postby Stache » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:37 am

Anyone?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Teaching Fellowships and VAPs

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:49 am

VAPs/fellowships are intended for people going into academia, but they're not really an alternative to going to HYS - they're what HYS folks who want to get into academia do, too. They are generally extremely competitive, in that hiring for legal academia generally is extremely competitive. Look at some of the programs linked to, and see the fellows' qualifications (the Climenko at Harvard is a great example, but even the VAPs at Brooklyn Law have pretty stellar qualifications, if not HYS). Also, you might want to check out the discussion here: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02 ... -trap.html (more the comments than the post itself - there's a followup discussion somewhere so you might try searching that site for "VAP trap"). I don't think you do yourself any favors trying to get into biglaw/PI after doing one of these, because their purpose is so clearly to train you for academia that going elsewhere after is a bit like announcing, Hi! I don't really want your job but I couldn't get an academic job! But this is just general wisdom picked up around the internet - someone who's done a VAP/fellowship may have a different perspective.

Stache
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:35 am

Re: Teaching Fellowships and VAPs

Postby Stache » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:50 am

Fantastic info. Thanks!

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Doorkeeper
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: Teaching Fellowships and VAPs

Postby Doorkeeper » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:32 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:VAPs/fellowships are intended for people going into academia, but they're not really an alternative to going to HYS - they're what HYS folks who want to get into academia do, too. They are generally extremely competitive, in that hiring for legal academia generally is extremely competitive. Look at some of the programs linked to, and see the fellows' qualifications (the Climenko at Harvard is a great example, but even the VAPs at Brooklyn Law have pretty stellar qualifications, if not HYS). Also, you might want to check out the discussion here: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02 ... -trap.html (more the comments than the post itself - there's a followup discussion somewhere so you might try searching that site for "VAP trap"). I don't think you do yourself any favors trying to get into biglaw/PI after doing one of these, because their purpose is so clearly to train you for academia that going elsewhere after is a bit like announcing, Hi! I don't really want your job but I couldn't get an academic job! But this is just general wisdom picked up around the internet - someone who's done a VAP/fellowship may have a different perspective.

This is all great info. Just a few additional pieces:
1. The quality of the school does not correlate to the quality of their VAP program. For example, the Bigelow at Chicago is probably a better program than the Climenko at Harvard.

2. The original point of the VAP was to give people transitioning from biglaw/PI into academia some time to get together a research agenda and a job-market paper, if not a publication or two. This is still largely the case, but you'll also now see JD/PhDs doing the VAP to get some more writing time before going on the market.

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A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22772
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Teaching Fellowships and VAPs

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:00 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:VAPs/fellowships are intended for people going into academia, but they're not really an alternative to going to HYS - they're what HYS folks who want to get into academia do, too. They are generally extremely competitive, in that hiring for legal academia generally is extremely competitive. Look at some of the programs linked to, and see the fellows' qualifications (the Climenko at Harvard is a great example, but even the VAPs at Brooklyn Law have pretty stellar qualifications, if not HYS). Also, you might want to check out the discussion here: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02 ... -trap.html (more the comments than the post itself - there's a followup discussion somewhere so you might try searching that site for "VAP trap"). I don't think you do yourself any favors trying to get into biglaw/PI after doing one of these, because their purpose is so clearly to train you for academia that going elsewhere after is a bit like announcing, Hi! I don't really want your job but I couldn't get an academic job! But this is just general wisdom picked up around the internet - someone who's done a VAP/fellowship may have a different perspective.

This is all great info. Just a few additional pieces:
1. The quality of the school does not correlate to the quality of their VAP program. For example, the Bigelow at Chicago is probably a better program than the Climenko at Harvard.

2. The original point of the VAP was to give people transitioning from biglaw/PI into academia some time to get together a research agenda and a job-market paper, if not a publication or two. This is still largely the case, but you'll also now see JD/PhDs doing the VAP to get some more writing time before going on the market.

Good points. I'll clarify that I didn't mean to suggest that Climenko was better than the Bigelow in terms of preparation - just that the Climenko fellows do a great job at making me feel inadequate. The Bigelow fellows may well be better at that, too. :D




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