Paul L. Caron

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Advice for Young Law Scholars

Gordon Smith (BYU) offers some advice for young law scholars, from the perspective of someone who has written 15-20 tenure review letters over the past few years.  I think his final point is often overlooked by young scholars, to their detriment:

You probably can't afford a publicist, so you will have to market yourself. This piece of advice comes from a very basic insight: if I haven't heard of you before I get the call or the email inviting me to review your work, that's a bad sign for you. I almost always accept invitations to write tenure letters simply because I believe this form of service is important. Rarely am I asked to write a review for someone who is completely unknown to me, but it happens. And it's hard for me to imagine writing a letter about how significantly you have influenced the field if I have never heard of you. Send reprints. Get yourself invited as a guest blogger on a popular law professor blog. Go to conferences. Host your own conference. Invite important figures in your field to give talks at your law school. Find a mentor. Do whatever it takes to get to know the players in your field, and cultivate those relationships.

I talked about this at the 2007 AALS Annual Meeting, Building and Marketing Your Scholarly "Brand"

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I actually think this "requirement" discriminates against the painfully shy -- those who entered academia to do good work, not to be publicists.

Posted by: Shy | Jan 10, 2009 3:35:46 PM