People Love Legal Authority: Reviews

Need Help? Call 1-800-283-3860.
Already a Member? Sign In
"The most common means of obtaining a job was a letter or other "self-initiated contact" with the employer..."

EA Spotlight





So, You Want to Become a Law School Professor?

By Joy Nesmith

Have you ever looked at your law school professor and wondered what it took to get there? Do you know what it takes to become a law school professor? All of your law school professors have a few things in common. They all possess great credentials, and they are committed to scholarship and teaching.

Although the path to legal academia is not as clearly defined as that of other traditional legal careers, there are certain steps you should take to prepare for a career in teaching law. In this article are information and advice to help you become a law school professor.

The first thing that you will need to do to become a law professor is obtain the necessary educational background. Obtaining the necessary educational background means obtaining a Juris Doctor degree. It also means making sure that you graduate at the top of your class. The typical law professor graduated in the top 5% to 25% of his or her class. To be competitive you should aim for the top 5% of your class.

Also, to be competitive you should attend a prominent law school. One-third of law professors come from schools like Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. You may want to consider obtaining an advanced degree, such as an LLM, an MBA, or a PhD, as well. It will help boost your credentials. Additionally, there are post-JD fellowship programs aimed at bringing law graduates into the teaching field.

Next, you should write as much as you can. Being a law professor is not just about teaching; there is a scholarly aspect to being a law professor. Law schools put a lot of weight on your writing ability because they are evaluated, in part, based on the caliber of their faculties' scholarship.

Since so much weight is given to the scholarship of the faculty at a school when ranking law schools, law schools, in turn, put a lot of emphasis on scholarship when hiring law professors. Therefore, publishing work both during and after law school is important. Your published work should appear in law journals, law reviews, and other scholarly sources.

You should get experience in the area you wish to teach in and become an expert in that field. A great way to gain relevant experience is by working at an elite law firm in that particular area of law. Also, you can work for a high-profile government agency like the Environmental Protection Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, US Attorney's Office, or Public Defender's Office or for certain state agencies.

Another way to gain experience is by clerking for a federal judge, preferably an appellate judge or supreme court judge. An additional way to gain experience is by becoming a research assistant for your law professors while you're in school. This will give you a chance to learn more about your area of interest, see what professors do, and obtain mentoring.

If you find that you aren't really interested in scholarship, but you are interested in teaching, then you should consider obtaining an adjunct faculty position, clinical professor position, or legal research and writing professor position. As an adjunct professor, you usually aren't required to write as much as a tenure-track faculty member because typically you are working a full-time job somewhere else in addition to teaching part-time.

As far as clinical professor positions and legal research and writing professor positions are concerned, law schools tend to place more emphasis on teaching and working with the students than on scholarship. Although the writing requirement is not as demanding for these types of positions, many law schools do require some publishing.

Once you obtain the necessary credentials and published works, you should network and utilize your resources. Three great ways to network are through the professors at your law school, through conferences on your area of interest, and through regional meetings on your area of interest. Two great resources to utilize in obtaining a law teaching position are the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and Legal Authority.

For a fee you can have the AALS provide your resume and cover letter, along with the other 700-plus resumes it gets, to all the accredited and unaccredited law schools in the country. Once you submit your resume to the AALS, you wait for law schools to call you to set up an interview at the annual recruitment conference held by AALS every year, which has been called ''the meat market.''

Also for a fee you can sign up with Legal Authority to assist you in providing your resume and cover letter to law schools. Once you submit the resume and cover letter prepared by Legal Authority to law schools, you wait for law schools to call you and set up an interview. Once you secure an interview, Legal Authority can coach you through the interviewing process.

So, that's my advice on the things you should do to become a law professor. Following this advice is certainly not the only way to become a law school professor. As you know, there are always exceptions to the rule. However, the advice that I have given is the advice that is given by most professors and others knowledgeable about the selection process for law professors.

Good luck in your endeavor to become a law professor!

Facebook comments:

Related Articles

Will an LL.M. help my legal career

Q: Will an LL.M. help my legal career?...

Acting Judicially-The Ups and Downs and Ins and Outs of Judgeship

Judging is often not the first career option a law student considers. Most judges are not appointed to the bench until after many years of practice. Thus, attorneys who ultimately obtain judgeships us...

Law School for Mature Students

Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar? You have been working for years in a high-level career that is not taking you where you want to go...or you have been slaving away working on your Ph....

Advantages of Taking a Clerkship

''The year I spent as a clerk was the most intellectually challenging and relaxing year of my legal career.'' -Former Law Clerk...

Which is Better A Federal or State Clerkship?

It depends. As discussed below, a state court clerkship will generally enhance your marketability if you are planning on working in the state where you are clerking. Nevertheless, the value of a clerk...

Judicial Clerkships-The Ups and Downs and the Ins and Outs

The tradition of young lawyers serving as law clerks to experienced members of the judiciary is a long and important one. The impact of judicial clerkships on the careers of attorneys can be seen in a...


''The year I spent as a clerk was the most intellectually challenging and relaxing year of my legal career.'' -Former law clerk...

Government Jobs-The Ins and Outs, the Ups and Downs, and the Methods

The government, at the federal, state, and local level, is in a constant state of change. New legislation can produce new programs and new legal responsibilities. Legal staffs may then be reorganized ...

So, You Want to Become a Law School Professor?

Have you ever looked at your law school professor and wondered what it took to get there? Do you know what it takes to become a law school professor? All of your law school professors have a few thing...

Insights into Finding a Job

The following resources may prove very helpful in providing you with some much-needed insight into your job search....

"Show us you are alive! We want to hear your thoughts. Please comment on this article (below)!"

Article ID:  70082

Article Title:  So, You Want to Become a Law School Professor?

Be the first to comment on this article!

Add Comment

  • Share this story:

  • BlinkList
  • blogmarks
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Sphinn
  • MySpace
  • NewsVine
  • Simpy
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • Print this article!
  • Faves
  • Furl
  • Netvouz
  • Slashdot
  • Spurl
  • Yahoo! Buzz

Sign up for a "Free, No Obligation Resume Critique" and "Free Market Evaluation". Let us tell you how much potential you have!
What Our Clients Are Saying
I wanted to do human rights law and couldn't get noticed. Now, I have two interviews with firms that rejected me when I was doing this myself. You guys did an amazing job. Thank you so much.
- Ryan

After sending out 500 letters, I got two interviews and one offer. All it takes is one!! Thanks for helping. Because I had very little legal experience, I kept working in ad sales during law school.
- Jeff

As a third-year law student, I tried marketing myself and got nowhere. I needed serious help to find a patent job, and my Career Services Office was useless. I used your company to send out 650 letter...
- Amy Z.

Your Options
Getting an In-House Position
Myth Versus Reality for Law Firm Jobs
Myth Versus Reality for In-House Jobs
Myth versus Reality: Law School Professor Jobs
Myth Versus Reality: Federal Clerkships, State &...
Myth versus Reality: Prosecutor Jobs
Pro Bono Legal Work and Your Legal Career
Give Yourself the Most Options
Major Practice Areas Analyzed
Starting a Career as a Real Estate Lawyer
Featured Advice
Featured Advice
New York Versus London Firms
Law School for Mature Students
The First Born Phenomenon
The Story Doesn't End There
Economics and ''Mean'' Law Firms
How to Acquire the Best Legal Jobs
The Art Of Networking - A Guide To A Networking...
How To Use Job Boards And Advertisements To Jump...
Finding Your Niche - The Smart Way To Market Yourself
Be an Effective Negotiator - How to Get the...
Myth versus Reality: Prosecutor Jobs
Stepping Into the Job Search: Spring Cleaning
An Advocate for Attorneys and Law Students to Get Jobs
Simple, Yet Effective, Tips for a Law Grad Job Search
Being in Control
From the Legal Authority Blog
The Practice of Law: To Stay or Go
+ Click here to read more
The Story Doesn’t End There
+ Click here to read more
Will an LL.M. help my legal career
+ Click here to read more
5 Biggest Attorney Job Search Mistakes
Attorneys and law students are one of the most ill-informed groups of people there are when it comes to conducting a job search. MORE
Legal Authority Outplacement Program
Give your attorneys the most opportunities.
Making economic or strategic adjustments in personnel can be a tough decision for any firm... MORE
Law Student Wins with Legal Authority
How a highly successful Manhattan law firm associate auctioned himself off to the highest bidder... MORE
For Employers
Legal Authority's Comprehensive Employee Outplacement Program.
Give your attorneys the most opportunities. MORE
Our Database and Technology
Legal Authority's Comprehensive Database and Advanced
Search Engine.
National Advertisement
Legal Authority and National Media
Take a sneak peek at the marketing strategies of Legal Authority. MORE
Get the best legal jobs through Legal Authority.
Click here to understand the simple process and utilize our services to the maximum.
Download Now
Get on Track
Get on Track
Legal Authority Core Values
How Do You Work With Employer Data at Legal...
Why Legal Authority Works: Myth versus Reality
What Legal Authority Does
Legal Authority and Law Students
What Is Legal Authority?
Using Legal Authority for Law Student Jobs
Legal Authority Works!
Legal Authority Is a Great Way for Law Students...
What Legal Authority Does For You
Choose Legal Authority
Choose Legal Authority for Your Job Search
Legal Authority Outplacement Program
Legal Authority Is the Smartest Way for Law Students to Find Jobs. Period.
If You Can Register on Legal Authority You Can Get a Legal Job
Why Legal Authority Will Transform You and Your Career
Do Not Let Your School Control the Recruiting Process
Who Can Legal Authority Help
Legal Authority Is Not for Everyone
An Advocate for Attorneys and Law Students to Get Jobs
What Legal Authority Does Works
Why I Started Legal Authority
Some Things You Probably Did Not Know about Legal Authority
Legal Authority Can Get You Your Next Law Firm Job
On-Campus Interviewing or Legal Authority
How Legal Authority Started: You Need to Have Desire to Achieve Your Goals
Legal Authority Works for Law Students
Legal Authority assists more attorneys and law students, at more law schools, get jobs than any other source.
Request More Info
Learn more about Legal Authority
First Name:*
Email Address:*
Phone Number:*