Paul L. Caron

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Survey Of Law School Faculty & Staff: Trends in Funding For Legal Scholarship

Primary Research Group, Survey of Law School Faculty & Staff: Trends in Funding for Legal Research & Scholarship (2020):

This study is based on responses for 96 faculty and staff from more than 60 law schools in the USA and Canada.  The report presents detailed data on the amount of time faculty and staff spend in pursuing funding, the results of their searching, and the sources of funding.  Survey participants also comment on their use of specialized databases and other resources to find funding, with specific data on use of general university library resources, law library resources, and general university or law school research office resources.

The study helps its readers to answer questions such as: how many grants have faculty applied for?  How much finding have they brought in?  What do they think of the help that they are receiving from their university and law school research offices, or from the general university or law school library? How satisfied are they with the services of the research office?  What is the outlook for legal research funding in the future?  What percentage of funding comes from the US Federal Government, private sources, or the parent university?

Just a few of the 85-page report’s many findings are that:

  • Law faculty and staff spend a mean of 5.63% of their total work time searching for funding for legal research and scholarship
  • Faculty under age 40 spent 16.67% of their work time seeking funding.
  • The mean value of grants obtained over the past five years by the faculty and staff in the sample was just over $100,000.
  • Private sector sources accounted for 20.54% of funding for faculty and staff from private college law schools vs. only 11.97% for those from public college law schools.

Data in the report is broken out by numerous useful benchmarking criteria such as law school ranking, enrollment size, for public and private institutions, and by personal variables such as academic title, gender, age and even course load.

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