Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

10 Tips for Law Students Who Want to Pursue Law Professor Careers

10 Tips for Law Students Who Want to Pursue Careers in Legal Academia, by Daniel J. Solove (George Washington):

One of the reasons that Yale, Harvard, and a few other schools have so much success [in placing their graduates in tenure-track law faculty jobs] is because they train students to do the things they’re supposed to do to be successful on the teaching market. Not only do they provide a lot of advice about the teaching market and hiring process, but they have their students start doing the two things key to becoming a strong law professor applicant -- read and write legal scholarship. ...

Here's my advice in a nutshell to law students who desire to be law professors:

[Dan provides 10 tips. Al Brophy adds an 11th:  get a Ph.D (the importance of which is empasized at Northwestern.]

Although only a few law schools account for most of the law professors hired, it is possible for graduates of other law schools to be successful. Note that many Yale and Harvard graduates did not end up with law professor jobs whereas some students from schools outside the US News Top 20 did. Strong teaching candidates can come from anywhere. The key is to publish a lot of good stuff. Do this, and the general hiring success percentages in my statistics will not apply to you. You'll be much more likely to be successful.

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Hi Normal Tax Guy,

You ask an important question. I was thinking of a phd in addition to a law degree.

I'm not familiar enough with tax faculty to be able to answer your question. I don't know of anyone off-hand who fits your description, although there are experts on this blog who can given an informed answer.

There some certainly some faculty (my former prof Victor Goldberg at Columbia is one of them; Joyce Malcolm of George Mason is another) who have phds but no law degrees.

Posted by: Alfred | May 28, 2008 11:56:19 AM

Regarding Brophy's number 11:

Can one obtain a tenure-track position at a (top) law school without a J.D., if one is qualified to teach legal tax via a PhD from a "good" school, a wealth of industry tax experience and the CPA designation?

Can you provide--name and school--of such faculty members that have a PhD but no JD who are teaching tax?

Posted by: Normal Tax Guy | May 28, 2008 6:08:18 AM