Going to Law School to Teach

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aliarrow
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby aliarrow » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:10 pm

Just an anecdote but:

I was asking a professor about it at the Minnesota ASW and the (un)likelihood of getting into Academia from a T25. She agreed its rough but said a colleague who now teaches at Cornell went to William Mitchell for Law school but managed to get an LLM from Yale, so it served as a 'backdoor'.

I know there's a hatred for anecdotes, but still might be somewhat useful with such a small sample size.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:53 pm

wehman wrote:I want to teach. I like Philosophy, especially Philosophy of Law and Moral Theory. These two components can be applied to Law in some form or another. Not to mention, Law has Philosophical characteristics.

I want the "professorial life" because I like the idea of helping people. I am less concerned with making loads of money and more concerned with financial security. This level of security can be easily achieved by Professors of Law. In addition, there is much more vacation time, much more theoretical writing, and flexibility.

I figured there would need to be work experience after the degree. I respect all of your comments but I still think the element of publishing is being underestimated. Those paths everyone suggested only fit a very small percentage of Law graduates. I know people have looked up the faculty of certain schools but surely the professors at schools 75-Cooley are not all T14 grads. I think more often than not, people like the idea of teaching, get work experience, enjoy their salary, develop a lifetsyle around that pay check, and then do not want to take a cut in pay to become a Professor. On the other hand, if you knew it is what you wanted to do all along, I am sure strategically I could figure it out, even if I wasn't coming from Yale. Undeniably though, Yale would make things a hell of a lot easier.


The law professor hiring norm for tenured track positions follows what people already have previously said (COA clerkship, then ~2-3 big law or VAP/fellowship). If you are working for 10+ years, you are going to have a hard time going after tenure track positions, though you might be able to try to shoot for clinics or do work as an adjunct.

Oh, and law and philosophy is one of the harder niches to go after. Unless you're coming from a top philosophy dept and/or have a PhD in philosophy, it's going to be pretty hard going after that niche.

My dream job is academia too, but you have to be realistic. Recognize it as a dream job that is unlikely to happen (but would be amazing if it did), and plan accordingly.
Last edited by Richie Tenenbaum on Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aliarrow
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby aliarrow » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:56 pm

I have lots of dream jobs (Academia, National Politics, Judge, Partner).

If I have a 2% shot at each and have 10 dream jobs, that means I have a 20% chance of getting a dream job right?

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YaSvoboden
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby YaSvoboden » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:36 pm

aliarrow wrote:I have lots of dream jobs (Academia, National Politics, Judge, Partner).

If I have a 2% shot at each and have 10 dream jobs, that means I have a 20% chance of getting a dream job right?


More like 18.3%, but still a good strategy.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:44 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Bumi wrote:Does anyone else think it's funny that every 0L wants to be a professor, but nobody wants to be a partner or a judge?


I'd like to be a judge, but the odds are long so I'm not going to worry about it yet.



I have a feeling the odds are not very long in your particular case (unless you want SCOTUS lol, but even then, from Y/H/S it may not be entirely out of the question).
Last edited by Lawquacious on Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:49 pm

It has probably been covered in this thread already, but it is very very difficult to get a teaching gig even out of many of the T14 schools.

The one exception that I have noticed to the strong preference for graduates from top schools is that law schools tend to hire many of their own students for teaching positions. But the bulk of alumni hiring seems to be for positions such as legal writing associate professorships or dean of career services, rather than for substantive law professorships. So while there are a number of alumni substantive prof exceptions at my school, most substantive profs were T10 students (with a few non-alumni T30 and T50 exceptions).
Last edited by Lawquacious on Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

firemed
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby firemed » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:53 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Bumi wrote:Does anyone else think it's funny that every 0L wants to be a professor, but nobody wants to be a partner or a judge?


I'd like to be a judge, but the odds are long so I'm not going to worry about it yet.



I have a feeling the odds are not very long in your particular case (unless you want SCOTUS lol, but even then, from Y/H/S may not be entirely out of the question).



Fact is that if you want to be on the bench you don't even need to get into a T14... T50 or a strong regional T2 can do it. You still have to be one of the best in your class.... but you don't have to go T14 (provided you are okay with local or state bench). Now... for federal the odds against getting that outside of T1 get pretty long. But I am guessing that if you are top 1/3 at T14 that federal judge is somewhat realistic, and state judge totes doable.

Of course, ATL is going to be SCOTUS someday, so no real issue there for her.

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DeeCee
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby DeeCee » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:55 pm

firemed wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Bumi wrote:Does anyone else think it's funny that every 0L wants to be a professor, but nobody wants to be a partner or a judge?


I'd like to be a judge, but the odds are long so I'm not going to worry about it yet.



I have a feeling the odds are not very long in your particular case (unless you want SCOTUS lol, but even then, from Y/H/S may not be entirely out of the question).



Fact is that if you want to be on the bench you don't even need to get into a T14... T50 or a strong regional T2 can do it. You still have to be one of the best in your class.... but you don't have to go T14 (provided you are okay with local or state bench). Now... for federal the odds against getting that outside of T1 get pretty long. But I am guessing that if you are top 1/3 at T14 that federal judge is somewhat realistic, and state judge totes doable.

Of course, ATL is going to be SCOTUS someday, so no real issue there for her.


Can someone elaborate on what law jobs are research based (besides being a professor). Or point me to a website?

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Lawquacious
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:55 pm

aliarrow wrote:I have lots of dream jobs (Academia, National Politics, Judge, Partner).

If I have a 2% shot at each and have 10 dream jobs, that means I have a 20% chance of getting a dream job right?

:lol:

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dr123
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby dr123 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:56 pm

How can anyone know they wanna be an LS professor when arent even in law school yet

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Lawquacious
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:57 pm

DeeCee wrote:
Can someone elaborate on what law jobs are research based (besides being a professor). Or point me to a website?



Judicial Clerkships
WestLaw or Lexis rep :lol: (actually may be a good gig, IDK)
Doc Review :lol:

Sry I couldn't be more helpful..

firemed
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby firemed » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:59 pm

DeeCee wrote:
Can someone elaborate on what law jobs are research based (besides being a professor). Or point me to a website?



All of them to a greater or lesser degree. Sorry... no website available....


But compared to the kind of research academics do... well, basically not so much.
Last edited by firemed on Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DeeCee
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby DeeCee » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:00 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
DeeCee wrote:
Can someone elaborate on what law jobs are research based (besides being a professor). Or point me to a website?



Judicial Clerkships
WestLaw or Lexis rep :lol: (actually may be a good gig, IDK)
Doc Review :lol:

Sry I couldn't be more helpful..


lol, thanks for the response. I've actually really wanted to look into this but I don't know where to start. Wanted to be a professor about 2 years ago, but then realized it wasn't for me. However, I love writing and researching so I was just wondering what was out there

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Lawquacious
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:01 pm

dr123 wrote:How can anyone know they wanna be an LS professor when arent even in law school yet


I'm sure a lot of ppl's interests change through the process of law school, and prob tons of ppl really have no particularized interest before starting law school. But I also think wanting to be a prof prob isn't much different than the 0L who wants biglaw in a particular type of firm, or someone who wants a particular type of PI work... Interests may change, but there could be any number of reasons that someone may want a particular type of legal job before starting law school IMO.

Edited for massive run-on.
Last edited by Lawquacious on Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:04 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:
DeeCee wrote:
Can someone elaborate on what law jobs are research based (besides being a professor). Or point me to a website?



Judicial Clerkships
WestLaw or Lexis rep :lol: (actually may be a good gig, IDK)
Doc Review :lol:

Sry I couldn't be more helpful..

Doc review is NOT "research based." It is mindless mouse-clicking-based.

WestLaw & Lexis rep jobs are only marginally concerned w/actual research (more marketing/customer service).

Clerkships, on the other hand, do involve a fair amount of research.



Yeah, I was basically joking about those, though I did think in some cases what is referred to as doc review could involve some actual research (but it sounds like I was wrong). To add to the list, I think it is fair to say that working for a firm as an associate is often fairly research intensive..

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dr123
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby dr123 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:05 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
dr123 wrote:How can anyone know they wanna be an LS professor when arent even in law school yet


I'm sure a lot of ppl's interests change (prob most) through the process of law school, and prob tons of ppl really have no particularized interest before starting law school, but I think wanting to be a prof prob isn't much different than the 0L who want biglaw in a particular type of firm, or someone who wants a particular type of PI work... Interest may change, but I think it's fair to say that there could be any number of reasons that someone may want a particular type of legal job before starting law school.


Its easier to have an idea of what its like to be a practicing lawyer esp since many people work as paralegals/legal assistants (or interned at a firm) before going to law school. Most of these people who are deadset on academia have never even taken a class at a law school before, its makes no sense (to me at least) how they could want to be a legal academic

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:09 pm

dr123 wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:
dr123 wrote:How can anyone know they wanna be an LS professor when arent even in law school yet


I'm sure a lot of ppl's interests change (prob most) through the process of law school, and prob tons of ppl really have no particularized interest before starting law school, but I think wanting to be a prof prob isn't much different than the 0L who want biglaw in a particular type of firm, or someone who wants a particular type of PI work... Interest may change, but I think it's fair to say that there could be any number of reasons that someone may want a particular type of legal job before starting law school.


Its easier to have an idea of what its like to be a practicing lawyer esp since many people work as paralegals/legal assistants (or interned at a firm) before going to law school. Most of these people who are deadset on academia have never even taken a class at a law school before, its makes no sense (to me at least) how they could want to be a legal academic


Here's a hint for you: For most academics the joys of teaching law students isn't the primary motivating factor for why they chose that career path.

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DeeCee
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby DeeCee » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:12 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Here's a hint for you: For most academics the joys of teaching law students isn't the primary motivating factor for why they chose that career path.


Exactly. This is why I decided not to become a professor. I realized the only thing I cared about out of the whole professor job description was research.

firemed
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby firemed » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:24 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:First, you can be a judge from almost any law school, as long as by "judge" you mean state and federal judgships of all stripes. Going to a good school or doing well in school may help, but frankly, being politically connected and well respected in the relevant bar matters a lot more. In some instances, one's ability to raise campaign cash and get votes plays a big role too. And independent of any of that, the odds in any one person's case are so infintesimally low as to make it useless to actuall have a judgeship as one's goal.

Second, you "guess[ed] that if you are top 1/3 at T14 that federal judge is somewhat realistic, and state judge totes [sic] doable." If this was meant as a joke, well done. If not, you win a prize for one of the least intelligent posts ever to be made on TLS. The claim is so outlandish as to warrant no more response than that.



To be fair I assumed that in order to be a judge one had to clerk first, which requires good grades. Perhaps I was wrong.

So as far as your first paragraph goes, I'll defer to you.

As far as your second paragraph goes, was it fun being a dick on the internet? Because that is all you accomplished. You didn't actually explain how I was wrong, and managed to not explain it in a rather dickish manner.

I'll admit I don't exactly know what goes into making a judge... I am just guessing from what I have read here on TLS (and from advice I received via PM from a well respected poster). Please feel free to educate me... provided you aren't a dick about it. If you are going to be, will someone else tell me what I said that was so wildly inaccurate?



ETA: I have heard, again and again, contrary to your post that getting a federal judgeship required practicing in the federal system first... and that this usually required T1, since so many of those jobs go to them as opposed to anyone below.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:50 pm

firemed wrote:To be fair I assumed that in order to be a judge one had to clerk first, which requires good grades. Perhaps I was wrong.

So as far as your first paragraph goes, I'll defer to you.

As far as your second paragraph goes, was it fun being a dick on the internet? Because that is all you accomplished. You didn't actually explain how I was wrong, and managed to not explain it in a rather dickish manner.

I'll admit I don't exactly know what goes into making a judge... I am just guessing from what I have read here on TLS (and from advice I received via PM from a well respected poster). Please feel free to educate me... provided you aren't a dick about it. If you are going to be, will someone else tell me what I said that was so wildly inaccurate?



ETA: I have heard, again and again, contrary to your post that getting a federal judgeship required practicing in the federal system first... and that this usually required T1, since so many of those jobs go to them as opposed to anyone below.


GTL Rev is one of the most helpful posters on this site. He probably had issue with you making up a completely arbitrary grade cut-off coupled with estimations of chances of fed. and state judgeship that seem to be pulled out of thin air.

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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby powerlawyer06 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:59 pm

I know two law professors in my personal life. They both teach at a T50 law school. I asked about the best way to get into academia and I was given very divergent answers. One of them went GULC JD, Clerkship, Big Law, Small Private Practice, Academia while the other went Columbia JD, Appellate Clerkship, LLM, Academia.

However, they both agreed that I should not go to the school they currently teach at if I ever wanted a shot at acdemia. They basically said to aim for the T14 and HYS if possible in order to get into academia.

firemed
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby firemed » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:03 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
firemed wrote:To be fair I assumed that in order to be a judge one had to clerk first, which requires good grades. Perhaps I was wrong.

So as far as your first paragraph goes, I'll defer to you.

As far as your second paragraph goes, was it fun being a dick on the internet? Because that is all you accomplished. You didn't actually explain how I was wrong, and managed to not explain it in a rather dickish manner.

I'll admit I don't exactly know what goes into making a judge... I am just guessing from what I have read here on TLS (and from advice I received via PM from a well respected poster). Please feel free to educate me... provided you aren't a dick about it. If you are going to be, will someone else tell me what I said that was so wildly inaccurate?



ETA: I have heard, again and again, contrary to your post that getting a federal judgeship required practicing in the federal system first... and that this usually required T1, since so many of those jobs go to them as opposed to anyone below.


GTL Rev is one of the most helpful posters on this site. He probably had issue with you making up a completely arbitrary grade cut-off coupled with estimations of chances of fed. and state judgeship that seem to be pulled out of thin air.



Which is why I prefaced them with the word "guess." I admitted in my second post that I didn't know a lot about it.

Here... I'll even apologize for my wild guesses: Sorry.

Look, I don't mind being wrong. I don't mind being educated on why I am wrong. I do mind when someone is a total dick about it in an on-topic forum.

GTL Rev wants to educate, fine. He doesn't have to be a jerk about it. That is what the lounge is for.

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DeeCee
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby DeeCee » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:07 pm

powerlawyer06 wrote:I know two law professors in my personal life. They both teach at a T50 law school. I asked about the best way to get into academia and I was given very divergent answers. One of them went GULC JD, Clerkship, Big Law, Small Private Practice, Academia while the other went Columbia JD, Appellate Clerkship, LLM, Academia.

However, they both agreed that I should not go to the school they currently teach at if I ever wanted a shot at acdemia. They basically said to aim for the T14 and HYS if possible in order to get into academia.


Is academia or are prestigious clerkships closed of to T30 students? I'll be attending UNC in the fall and I foresee myself trying to get a clerkship at some point, but obviously I don't know much about all of this yet.

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powerlawyer06
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby powerlawyer06 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:18 pm

firemed wrote:Fact is that if you want to be on the bench you don't even need to get into a T14... T50 or a strong regional T2 can do it. You still have to be one of the best in your class.... butyou don't have to go T14 (provided you are okay with local or state bench).Now... for federal the odds against getting that outside of T1 get pretty long. But I am guessing (but I really don't know) that if you are top 1/3 at T14 that federal judge is somewhat realistic, and state judge totes doable.


FTFY

GTL REV is usually extremely helpful. He was rude to you though and I think he should apologize.

However he is right, judicial appointments are more political than anything else. State judges are even worse (some states even have partisan elections).

firemed
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Re: Going to Law School to Teach

Postby firemed » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:24 pm

powerlawyer06 wrote:
firemed wrote:Fact is that if you want to be on the bench you don't even need to get into a T14... T50 or a strong regional T2 can do it. You still have to be one of the best in your class.... butyou don't have to go T14 (provided you are okay with local or state bench).Now... for federal the odds against getting that outside of T1 get pretty long. But I am guessing (but I really don't know) that if you are top 1/3 at T14 that federal judge is somewhat realistic, and state judge totes doable.


FTFY

GTL REV is usually extremely helpful. He was rude to you though and I think he should apologize.

However he is right, judicial appointments are more political than anything else. State judges are even worse (some states even have partisan elections).


See... that worked for me. I now see what I did wrong. And I learned something. Thank you.

I do have to wonder how much going to a T14 makes a difference for the political connections at the federal level though... like, since so many in power there went to T14 if that connection can make a huge difference?

And I based my state guesses off my local market, which was probably a bad idea... my bad.




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