If you love the work of academia, legal teaching positions provide a unique career choice. Law schools seek faculty members with a combination of strong academic recommendations, outstanding grades and experience, substantial scholarship, law review, moot court experience and a judicial clerkship (preferably federal). The number of law teaching positions available each year is relatively small, so early planning is crucial to make yourself competitive. Some suggestions:
- Publish! Scholarship is key to getting a legal teaching position.
- Seek membership on a law journal.
- Consider working as a research assistant to a law professor.
- Obtain a federal court clerkship.
- Sit down with a favorite law professor to discuss the possibility of legal teaching. Professors Susan Bloch and Emma Jordan serve as mentors for students interested in teaching.
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) offers three services for those interested in finding a job as a law teacher: the Faculty Appointments Register (a collection of information about candidates interested in teaching at law schools that is given to law school recruiters); the Placement Bulletin (lists available faculty and administrative positions); and the Faculty Recruitment Conference (provides opportunities for law school recruiters and candidates for faculty positions to meet and interview). AALS’ web site is www.aals.org.
Georgetown Web Resources
- Introduction to the Legal Academy (by Robin West)
- Considering a Career in Teaching Law? (by Marilyn Tucker)
- Georgetown Law Library Law Teaching and Scholarship Guide
- Georgetown Law Fellowships
- So You Want to be a Law Professor (webcast)
- Cracking the Academia Nut: A guide to Preparing for Your Academic Career, Margaret L. Newhouse (1997)
- Breaking into the Academy: The 1998-2000 Michigan Journal of Race & Law Guide for Aspiring Law Professors (Spring 1998)
- The Academic Job Search Handbook, Mary Morris Heiberger and Julia Miller Vick (2nd edition, 1996)
- Law Teachers by School (AALS 2005-06)
- The AALS Directory of Law Teachers (2007-08)
- AALS Placement Bulletin (periodical)
- The Chronicle of Higher Education (periodical)
Outside Web Resources
- American Association of Law Schools (AALS)
- Entering the Law Teaching Market (Yale Law Guide)
- Breaking into the Academy: The 2002-2004 Michigan Journal of Race & Law Guide for Aspiring Law Professors
- The Chronicle of Higher Education
- National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
- Fellowships for Aspiring Law Professors (from the TaxProf Blog)
- Legal Scholarship Network
- Clinical Legal Education Association