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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Law Prof Consultants

Interesting article in this week's National Law Journal:  More Law Profs Consult at Firms; But Moonlighting Can Raise Red Flags, by Leigh Jones:

[Laurence] Tribe is just one of many high-profile legal scholars who have outside jobs with law firms in addition to working as full-time faculty members. The positions not only provide professors with a little cash, but they also provide a little cachet to law firms that can tout the scholar's expertise as a mark of distinction. Law school administrators say they like the idea of professors obtaining some real-world experience, but they also want to make sure their schools are getting their money's worth from faculty members....

Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law Professor Douglas Berman [and editor of our sister Sentencing Law & Policy blog] worked with O'Melveny & Myers on sentencing issues in the criminal case against former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling, and he is eager to do more consulting with private law firms. He said that because faculty pay lags woefully behind law firm partners' pay, consulting with law firms is a way to get compensated for his brainpower. He charged O'Melveny about $350 an hour for his services, he said. "A lot of it is a market reality," Berman said, adding that consulting also provides professors with welcome variety. "As you get more senior and more accomplished, writing law review articles is even more unsatisfying."

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Comments

Without reading the entire article, there is also the consideration that the "moonlighting" professor provides a networking opportunity as a conduit between his/her students and the firm.

Posted by: rich | Jan 27, 2007 10:45:46 AM

I think it depends a lot on what people do. At a high level consulting can certainly keep one fresh and be a benefit to teaching and research. But is this really what most people do?

Posted by: Michael Livingston | Jan 27, 2007 8:30:47 PM