Paul L. Caron

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Secunda on Tales of a Law Professor Lateral Nothing

Since today is the AALS deadline for faculty to accept a lateral offer (and for law schools to extend a visiting offer), I thought this paper is particularly timely:  Tales of a Law Professor Lateral Nothing, by Paul M. Secunda (Mississippi).  Here is the abstract:

This Essay seeks to uncover the mysterious world of the law professor lateral hiring market, which has become increasingly important in the last number of years as law schools seek to build their reputations in this U.S. News & World Report world through the hiring of prominent faculty members. lthough the advice and guidance given in this essay are sometimes written with tongue firmly in cheek, I do attempt to accomplish two important objectives here.

First, there has been scarcely anything written about the lateral hiring market for law professors, as opposed to the cottage industry that has been devoted to the entry-level law professor hiring market. This essay methodically takes the lateral-to-be professor through every step of the lateral process from the first-person perspective of one who has been on the market for three years and successfully lateraled this past year.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, I want to contribute to the process of bringing back to legal academic writing the form of the first-person narrative. Like my colleague, David Case, I believe that, "the narrative voice is an important, and perhaps underutilized, tool in deconstructing the arbitrary processes of the legal academic hiring market."

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