Paul L. Caron
Dean




Saturday, September 25, 2021

Lederman & Bearer-Friend: Break Into Legal Academia

Learn about the legal academic hiring market! This video discusses fellowships & VAPs; describes what a law professor's job entails; explains how the entry-level hiring market works; and talks a bit towards the end about the lateral market, including visitorships. The video focuses on tenure-track doctrinal positions.

The purpose of this video is to break down information barriers and help level the playing field for those interested in legal academia. In part, Professors Leandra Lederman (Indiana; Google Scholar) & Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar) discuss their experiences. Professor Lederman is a senior professor who has taught at several schools and has served on Faculty Appointments Committees. Professor Bearer-Friend is a junior professor who completed a VAP (Visiting Assistant Professorship) before entering a tenure-track position.

There are several online and other resources discussed in this video. We also recommend seeking out mentors for advice, particularly with respect to your own situation and specific issues or potential barriers you are concerned about. The resources shown or discussed in the video include the following:

Contents of this video:

  • 00:00 - Introduction
  • 00:16 - Focus of the Video: Tenure-Track Doctrinal Positions
  • 00:53 - Disclaimers! (These Are Just Our Experiences)
  • 01:19 - Our Backgrounds
  • 01:25 - Prof. Bearer-Friend's Background
  • 01:54 - Prof. Lederman's Background
  • 03:02 - Self-Assessment: Do You Want This Job?
  • 03:40 - What Does A Tenure-Track Law Professor Actually Do?
  • 04:51 - How To Prepare For A Career In Legal Academia
  • 05:48 - Prof. Lawsky's Entry-Level Hiring Report
  • 06:40 - How To Prepare For Academia After Law School
  • 06:58 - Does Adjuncting Help That Preparation?
  • 07:58 - Do Years of Practice Experience Help?
  • 09:06 - VAPS & Fellowships
  • 09:41 - The Drawbacks Of A National Market
  • 11:41 - Applying For VAPs & Fellowships
  • 13:27 - Traps For the Unwary
  • 14:07 - Getting to Know Other Colleagues
  • 15:03 - Entry-Level Hiring From the School's Perspective
  • 16:14 - The "Meat Market"
  • 16:35 - The Faculty Appointments Register (FAR)
  • 17:23 - Potential Pitfalls in Filling Out the FAR Form
  • 18:00 - Field-Focused vs. General Searches
  • 18:53 - Recommenders Contacting Committees
  • 20:28 - Appointments Committee Efforts To Broaden the Pool
  • 21:18 - Screening Interviews
  • 22:15 - Pre-AALS Screening Interviews
  • 23:05 - SEALS Resources
  • 24:31 - The Lateral Market
  • 24:51 - Visitorships
  • 26:23 - Networking
  • 26:42 - Transparency
  • 27:05 - Concluding Thoughts

Professors Lederman and Bearer-Friend are speaking only for themselves and not for any institution with which they are or have been affiliated. School names are included for identification purposes only.

TaxProf Blog coverage of Break Into Tax videos:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2021/09/lederman-bearer-friend-break-into-academia.html

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