Legal Academia

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Otunga
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Legal Academia

Postby Otunga » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:19 am

How's the market for legal professors? Further, if one wants to go into legal academia, which are the best schools to go to? I've read that Yale and Chicago are the best for those who want legal academia and especially for those with philosophical interests. (I majored in philosophy and will likely be attending a Masters program in the Fall.)

It seems to me that the legal academic job market is significantly better than the humanities job market, which is absolutely horrendous (so may not be saying much). And it does seem fairly common for legal professors to teach in various other departments, like philosophy, economics and political science.

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Bronck
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Bronck » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:06 pm

Market = abysmal
Schools to go to = Y > HS.

See FlightoftheEarls's post:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... a#p4188514

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Otunga
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Otunga » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:06 pm

I see. Then legal academia is more elitist than philosophy academia, though both have such issues.

I've checked out Yale's course selection. Love it. If I apply to law schools and have the requisite numbers (my LSAC GPA's 3.92, have a June LSAT) then I'm giving it a shot. To me, it's the big ones or bust. I don't have enough of a desire to be a practicing lawyer to justify attending a law school that gives me bad prospects for academia.

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star fox
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby star fox » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:26 pm

Keep in mind there could (hopefully will) be big changes coming to Law Schools. If schools aren't getting enough applicants they'll have to shut down/cut faculty. Could make it extremely difficult to enter legal academia.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby dextermorgan » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:27 pm

Otunga wrote:I see. Then legal academia is more elitist than philosophy academia, though both have such issues.

I've checked out Yale's course selection. Love it. If I apply to law schools and have the requisite numbers (my LSAC GPA's 3.92, have a June LSAT) then I'm giving it a shot. To me, it's the big ones or bust. I don't have enough of a desire to be a practicing lawyer to justify attending a law school that gives me bad prospects for academia.

QFLulz

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Otunga
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Otunga » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:33 pm

dextermorgan wrote:
Otunga wrote:I see. Then legal academia is more elitist than philosophy academia, though both have such issues.

I've checked out Yale's course selection. Love it. If I apply to law schools and have the requisite numbers (my LSAC GPA's 3.92, have a June LSAT) then I'm giving it a shot. To me, it's the big ones or bust. I don't have enough of a desire to be a practicing lawyer to justify attending a law school that gives me bad prospects for academia.

QFLulz


What's that even mean?

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Bronck
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Bronck » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:45 pm

Otunga wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:
Otunga wrote:I see. Then legal academia is more elitist than philosophy academia, though both have such issues.

I've checked out Yale's course selection. Love it. If I apply to law schools and have the requisite numbers (my LSAC GPA's 3.92, have a June LSAT) then I'm giving it a shot. To me, it's the big ones or bust. I don't have enough of a desire to be a practicing lawyer to justify attending a law school that gives me bad prospects for academia.

QFLulz


What's that even mean?


If you're not trolling us, then you have the worst reason for wanting to attend law school. Only attend law school if you want to practice law. Yale doesn't even give you a good shot to get into academia.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:00 pm

Otunga wrote:I see. Then legal academia is more elitist than philosophy academia, though both have such issues.

I've checked out Yale's course selection. Love it. If I apply to law schools and have the requisite numbers (my LSAC GPA's 3.92, have a June LSAT) then I'm giving it a shot. To me, it's the big ones or bust. I don't have enough of a desire to be a practicing lawyer to justify attending a law school that gives me bad prospects for academia.

Yes, it's way more elitist. I would say the market for JDs, generally, is significantly better than the market for humanities Ph.D.s. But the market for legal academia is not at all better than the market for humanities academia. Is it worse? ehh, hard to say... I think there are higher barriers to entry.

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shortporch
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby shortporch » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:08 pm

It's an extremely tight market. There are probably fewer than 100 tenure-track hires this year. There is a backlog of candidates in visiting assistant professor positions, much like the increasing backlog of PhDs in post-docs. Increasing numbers of candidates have both a JD and a PhD.

Per capita, Yale places at a much higher rate. That said, I don't think you're dramatically worse off for, say, attending Chicago instead of Yale. If you're determined to teach, and you write and publish, you'll put yourself in a better position regardless of the institution. But do not enter under the illusion that you will teach. When I say 100, realize that that's slightly more than double the number of Supreme Court clerks each year. It is not a fertile market. You should go to law school if you want to practice law; and if you do well, you can think about teaching as a possible path at the end.

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Otunga
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Otunga » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:11 pm

Hmm. It's not as though I'm opposed to practicing law. Indeed, if I don't teach, I see it as my next preferred profession. (Well, ideally, I want to be a successful screenwriter. But let's leave that as a hobby for now.)

But thanks for the helpful post, Nony. The market for philosophy professors is abysmal. If the legal academic market's just as bad, I rather stick to the philosophy route.

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banjo
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby banjo » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:01 pm

Otunga wrote:The market for philosophy professors is abysmal. If the legal academic market's just as bad, I rather stick to the philosophy route.


The (top) law school route at least gives you actual desirable options outside of academia.

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jetsfan1
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby jetsfan1 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:05 pm

The (top) law school route at least gives you actual desirable options outside of academia.


+1

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Otunga
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Otunga » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:12 pm

banjo wrote:
Otunga wrote:The market for philosophy professors is abysmal. If the legal academic market's just as bad, I rather stick to the philosophy route.


The (top) law school route at least gives you actual desirable options outside of academia.


Right. And I should make clear that I'm good with making 60k or something coming out of law school - something respectable with most of my moral integrity preserved. I say that without all the loans in my face, granted. But it seems most go into it for the big 100k paying corporate jobs. I have very little interest in that.

I should also note that I'm from Massachusetts, but long-term, I'd like to live and work in California. If that matters. When you go to humanities grad school, you've got to accept that you'll PROBABLY be working long-term in the middle of nowhere, USA at some mediocre college. With law (from a top school), it appears you have way more options.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:27 pm

Otunga wrote:
banjo wrote:
Otunga wrote:The market for philosophy professors is abysmal. If the legal academic market's just as bad, I rather stick to the philosophy route.


The (top) law school route at least gives you actual desirable options outside of academia.


Right. And I should make clear that I'm good with making 60k or something coming out of law school - something respectable with most of my moral integrity preserved. I say that without all the loans in my face, granted. But it seems most go into it for the big 100k paying corporate jobs. I have very little interest in that.

I should also note that I'm from Massachusetts, but long-term, I'd like to live and work in California. If that matters. When you go to humanities grad school, you've got to accept that you'll PROBABLY be working long-term in the middle of nowhere, USA at some mediocre college. With law (from a top school), it appears you have way more options.

Eh, there are a LOT of mediocre law schools you could end up teaching at, too, where students are paying ridiculous sums for degrees that won't get them jobs. Especially in California. But there's nothing about legal academia that makes the location thing any different from humanities academia - you still have to go where the jobs are.

Also, lots of people (including me) go into the law thing saying they'll be happy to make $60K - I'm not greedy, I don't need no $160K job! But the thing is that entry level jobs salaries are really bimodal. Jobs tend to pay market ($120-160K), or $30-40K. There aren't a ton of jobs in the middle.

(ETA: reread and realized your "more options" meant non-academic options too - sorry, my bad. The bimodal salary thing is still true, though.)

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Otunga
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Otunga » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:40 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Otunga wrote:
banjo wrote:
Otunga wrote:The market for philosophy professors is abysmal. If the legal academic market's just as bad, I rather stick to the philosophy route.


The (top) law school route at least gives you actual desirable options outside of academia.


Right. And I should make clear that I'm good with making 60k or something coming out of law school - something respectable with most of my moral integrity preserved. I say that without all the loans in my face, granted. But it seems most go into it for the big 100k paying corporate jobs. I have very little interest in that.

I should also note that I'm from Massachusetts, but long-term, I'd like to live and work in California. If that matters. When you go to humanities grad school, you've got to accept that you'll PROBABLY be working long-term in the middle of nowhere, USA at some mediocre college. With law (from a top school), it appears you have way more options.

Eh, there are a LOT of mediocre law schools you could end up teaching at, too, where students are paying ridiculous sums for degrees that won't get them jobs. Especially in California. But there's nothing about legal academia that makes the location thing any different from humanities academia - you still have to go where the jobs are.

Also, lots of people (including me) go into the law thing saying they'll be happy to make $60K - I'm not greedy, I don't need no $160K job! But the thing is that entry level jobs salaries are really bimodal. Jobs tend to pay market ($120-160K), or $30-40K. There aren't a ton of jobs in the middle.

(ETA: reread and realized your "more options" meant non-academic options too - sorry, my bad. The bimodal salary thing is still true, though.)


Yeah. Not open to 30k...at least after law school. If that's a philosophy job, whatever.

Are there any 100K+ jobs that don't require you to hate your job/life working ridiculous hours?

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star fox
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby star fox » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:48 pm

Otunga wrote:
banjo wrote:
Otunga wrote:The market for philosophy professors is abysmal. If the legal academic market's just as bad, I rather stick to the philosophy route.


The (top) law school route at least gives you actual desirable options outside of academia.


Right. And I should make clear that I'm good with making 60k or something coming out of law school - something respectable with most of my moral integrity preserved. I say that without all the loans in my face, granted. But it seems most go into it for the big 100k paying corporate jobs. I have very little interest in that.

I should also note that I'm from Massachusetts, but long-term, I'd like to live and work in California. If that matters. When you go to humanities grad school, you've got to accept that you'll PROBABLY be working long-term in the middle of nowhere, USA at some mediocre college. With law (from a top school), it appears you have way more options.


Free exchange of goods/services breaches your moral integrity but the idea of having your salary paid by an institution that uses false/misleading statistics to lull naive students into signing up for a lifetime of debt with little prospects for re-paying that debt is what?

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Otunga
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Otunga » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:53 pm

john7234797 wrote:
Otunga wrote:
banjo wrote:
Otunga wrote:The market for philosophy professors is abysmal. If the legal academic market's just as bad, I rather stick to the philosophy route.


The (top) law school route at least gives you actual desirable options outside of academia.


Right. And I should make clear that I'm good with making 60k or something coming out of law school - something respectable with most of my moral integrity preserved. I say that without all the loans in my face, granted. But it seems most go into it for the big 100k paying corporate jobs. I have very little interest in that.

I should also note that I'm from Massachusetts, but long-term, I'd like to live and work in California. If that matters. When you go to humanities grad school, you've got to accept that you'll PROBABLY be working long-term in the middle of nowhere, USA at some mediocre college. With law (from a top school), it appears you have way more options.


Free exchange of goods/services breaches your moral integrity but the idea of having your salary paid by an institution that uses false/misleading statistics to lull naive students into signing up for a lifetime of debt with little prospects for re-paying that debt is what?


What on earth are you talking about? Free exchange of goods and services is uh...great. I'm just speculating. I wasn't implying that some 60k job would necessarily make me morally upright - there are obviously a huge amount of variables to consider when approaching a moral concern. Further, I wasn't saying I'd be up for teaching at a school that fucks people out of money and gets away with it. (Well, all schools do to some extent. How about schools that minimize it?)

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:27 pm

popping popcorn for this thread

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Otunga
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Otunga » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:07 am

Anyway, here's what I get from this thread:

People may complain about the legal job market, but they probably have no idea how dire the job market is for people with graduate degrees in philosophy - there are hardly any adequately paying jobs in the field, forget high-paying jobs. Shit, there are hardly JOBS period. So it may be prudent to attend law school if I could see myself content in the law profession. Even if it's making 50K a year, that's better than being an adjunct and getting paid 2K per course and making about...18K for the whole year after eight years of graduate school.

Downside of law school? All the debt.

The biggest financial positive of pursuing the PhD is the lack of debt. But you're lucky to ever make a living off a humanities PhD. It's high risk/high reward. Law school seems to me to be moderate risk/either moderate or high reward if you attend the Harvard's of the world. So if I could enjoy the profession (admittedly not as much as I would that elusive 70k per year philosophy professorship), I'd be mitigating the huge risk of the PhD and be able to make a living at the same time. So...heh. I want badly for philosophy to work out, but there's a much greater chance of law being the thing that does.

I've got to research more into the profession. As it stands, I'm at least going to apply for Fall '14 and see what happens. That said, I need to prep hard for the June LSAT. Not going to bother applying if I can't hit 170.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:10 am

If you're completely dead set on academia, and if you hit a high enough LSAT for HYS contention, why don't you pursue a JD/PhD?

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:34 am

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:If you're completely dead set on academia, and if you hit a high enough LSAT for HYS contention, why don't you pursue a JD/PhD?

If OP is interested in doing a dual degree with philosophy, then getting into a law school is the easy part: http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com/20 ... grams.html

Also, doing a JD/PhD doesn't solve the debt problem of the JD part.

Another also, the legal academic market is in a bad place right now: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02 ... /#comments (Read the comments)

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:39 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
John_rizzy_rawls wrote:If you're completely dead set on academia, and if you hit a high enough LSAT for HYS contention, why don't you pursue a JD/PhD?

If OP is interested in doing a dual degree with philosophy, then getting into a law school is the easy part: http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com/20 ... grams.html

Also, doing a JD/PhD doesn't solve the debt problem of the JD part.

Another also, the legal academic market is in a bad place right now: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02 ... /#comments (Read the comments)


Welp. Alrighty then.

Anecdotal info alert: I have a few friends who went to law school then applied for the dual program as 1Ls who found it easier to get in. Take that for what it is.

But yes you're totally right, the academia market isn't great generally. Nor is the law market. General consensus OP is be very careful when making this decision.

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sublime
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby sublime » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:42 am

..

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:52 am

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
John_rizzy_rawls wrote:If you're completely dead set on academia, and if you hit a high enough LSAT for HYS contention, why don't you pursue a JD/PhD?

If OP is interested in doing a dual degree with philosophy, then getting into a law school is the easy part: http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com/20 ... grams.html

Also, doing a JD/PhD doesn't solve the debt problem of the JD part.

Another also, the legal academic market is in a bad place right now: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02 ... /#comments (Read the comments)


Welp. Alrighty then.

Anecdotal info alert: I have a few friends who went to law school then applied for the dual program as 1Ls who found it easier to get in. Take that for what it is.

But yes you're totally right, the academia market isn't great generally. Nor is the law market. General consensus OP is be very careful when making this decision.


Legal academia had been doing great in comparison to other academic areas for the past 10 or 20 years--it was highly competitive but there were jobs available for the people with the top credentials and the pay is ridiculously high in comparison to other departments. But now with people realizing a JD isn't really worth it in most cases, law schools don't have as much money to throw around: a lot of schools have barely done any (or no) entry level hiring the past year or two and people with great credentials are being frozen out of now both the academic market and the private firm market. The law school model is broken and that means trying to become a law prof just became that much more difficult and, even worse, more unpredictable.

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sublime
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Re: Legal Academia

Postby sublime » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:13 am

..




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