Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fellowships for Aspiring Law Professors (2012-13 Edition)

For practitioners and others contemplating joining the law professor ranks, many law schools offer wonderful opportunities to transition into the legal academy with one- or two-year fellowships which allow you to enter the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference (the "meat market") with published scholarship (and in many cases teaching experience) under your belt. Here are the schools with public information about their VAP programs:

For more information on becoming a law professor, including a discussion of the advantages of these fellowship programs, see:

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Many of them are two year fellowships, so they aren't all coming on the market in a single year. If you divide the number in half (and you reduce a few for fellowships that are really post docs for people aspiring to teach in another discipline), it is not as big a number to absorb. Plus, some aren't always filled (especially in narrow specializations) or allow people to stay a third year if they don't get a job or their scholarship didn't sufficiently advance. There are also likely a few where the average recipient doesn't use it as a springboard to academics (such as the litigation-based fellowships where people work in a clinic and get practical trial experience).

Having said that, some of them (especially the generic VAP positions) are probably being used by schools seeking to fill teaching needs with cheap (and high upside) people without creating a new teaching line altogether. Those are the positions that create the potential for perpetual visitors.

Posted by: anon | Sep 17, 2012 8:21:44 AM

Looks like there are now more fellowships for aspiring law professors than there are openings for new professors...the next bubble?

Posted by: anonprof06 | Sep 17, 2012 3:38:32 AM