Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Are Adjuncts a Benefit or a Detriment?

David A. Lander (Thompson Coburn, St Louis; Adjunnct Professor, St. Louis) has published Are Adjuncts a Benefit or a Detriment?, 33 U. Dayton L. Rev. 285 (2008),  Here is the abstract:

This article examines the benefits and detriments of the increasing use of adjuncts rather than Full time faculty in the teaching of law school courses. The author presents and analyzes the results of a survey on the use of adjunct during one semester in the 2007-2008 school year. The article turns the spotlight on the use of adjuncts to determine if increasing reliance on them is helpful and harmful. It also suggests strategies that will increase the advantages they bring to legal education and decrease the risks that are intertwined with those advantages.

Here are some intersting data from the article, based on information the author obtained from sixty law schools:

  • A significant percentage of the courses offered by law schools are taught by adjuncts. The median of the forty-four schools that provided this information is 24%; the range was 5% to 40% with the great bulk of schools between 20% and 30%.
  • Full-time faculties teach nearly all first-year courses and teach very high percentages of constitutional law courses.
  • More and more courses in the areas of corporate and tax law are taught by adjuncts.

(Hat Tip: Adjunct Law Prof Blog.)

Law School, Teaching | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Are Adjuncts a Benefit or a Detriment?:


The percentage of courses taught by adjuncts is significant because many full-time faculty have never practiced law (Ivy League to clerkship to teaching). Full-time faculty cannot add any substance beyond the book when they are not experienced in the particular field of interest.

Posted by: 1L2L3L | Jul 24, 2008 5:16:51 AM

Not that I am biased, because I am, but could the uptick in the number tax course being taught by adjuncts be in part due to LL.M. programs which offer a broader range than the average law school curriculum and schools allow JD students to take these these classes (cross list them)?


Posted by: Adjunct Law Prof | Jul 22, 2008 5:52:35 AM