« Miers on Bush | Main | More on Juries »

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A few (more) thoughts on the job talk

One of the great traditions here at Prawfsblawg is giving great advice to candidates about the legal academic job market.  (For just a few, see here, here, here, here, here, and here.)  In a small effort to add to the collective wisdom, I thought I'd add my two cents on something coming up for some folks: the job talk.

Perhaps the most important part of the job talk is the underlying topic.  Candidates must try to add a provocative new wrinkle to the existing literature, while being careful not to antagonize or offend.  As a helpful guide, I thought I'd give my list of the top ten topics to avoid:

10.  Time Travel and Originalism: Using Technology to Learn What the Founders Really Meant

9.  The Right to Bear Arms Should Include Surface-to-Air Missiles

8.  The Law and Economics of Negligence: What I Learned in 1L Torts

7.  The Sex Life of Law Students: My Three-Year Empirical Study

6. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?  A Deontological Approach to Epistemological Failure

5.  The Law & Economics of Law & Order

4.  La Cosa Blogstra: Why volokh.com is a Criminal Conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 371

3.  Barking Up the (Wrong) Poisonous Tree: Is Tainted Evidence Admissible If It Would Have Been Found By Dogs?

2.  Parsing Rule 10b-5: Thoughts from Das Kapital

1.  In re Random Corp. Class Action Litigation: Illuminating Points I Made in My Brief

Further topics are welcome in the comments.

Posted by Matt Bodie on October 11, 2005 at 03:29 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c6a7953ef00d83459699169e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A few (more) thoughts on the job talk:

» Prawfsblog on the Job Talk from Discourse.net
PrawfsBlawg: A few (more) thoughts on the job talk offers ten job talk topics you should avoid at all costs. It's pretty funny. What's even funnier is that two of them might just make perfectly fine job talks if you did them just right...... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 11, 2005 7:10:06 PM

» Top 10 Job Talk Topics to Avoid from SIVACRACY.NET: Opinions, Rants, and Obsessions of Siva Vaidhyanathan and his Friends and Family
These are law-specific. But the point holds generally. From PrawfsBlawg: 10. Time Travel and Originalism: Using Technology to Learn What the Founders Really Meant 9. The Right to Bear Arms Should Include Surface-to-Air Missiles 8. The Law and Economics... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 12, 2005 2:39:50 PM

» Top 10 Job Talk Topics to Avoid from SIVACRACY.NET: Opinions, Rants, and Obsessions of Siva Vaidhyanathan and his Friends and Family
These are law-specific. But the point holds generally. From PrawfsBlawg: 10. Time Travel and Originalism: Using Technology to Learn What the Founders Really Meant 9. The Right to Bear Arms Should Include Surface-to-Air Missiles 8. The Law and Economics... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 12, 2005 2:41:50 PM

Comments


Other possible topics to avoid:

1. Forwarding Viagra E-Mails to the Dean, and Other Violations of the Clearly Stupid Rule: Some True Confessions

2. Achieving Tenure Based Exclusively on Quality Teaching: Turning the Myth into Reality

3. I'm Smarter than Richard Posner, and Here's Why

4. Using Venn Diagrams to Decipher Bulk Sales Under Article 6 of the Uniform Commercial Code

5. The Fascinating World of FDIC Deposit Insurance

Posted by: tim zinnecker | Oct 11, 2005 6:44:53 PM

Wow, fully 1/3 of thost topics and Tim's sound totally reasonable to me...

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Oct 11, 2005 8:36:22 PM

Um,

1. Reading the UCC, Reading the Coug: Sales Mellencamp-Style

2. There Oughta Be A Law! Why Running An eBay Scheme Through The Firm Mailroom Should Be Constitutionally Protected Speech

3. First [Un]Principles: Why the Plaintiff v. Defendant Paradigm Misstates Everything About Lawsuits

Kinda glad these are buried in the comments, actually.

Posted by: David | Oct 12, 2005 1:09:13 AM

Two among many possibilities:

1) The Incorporation Doctrine Was Inconsistent With the Intent of The Framers, and Therefore Must Be Abandoned

2) Comparing 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(a)(i) and 18 U.S.C. 3121(b)(1): Did Congress Use Slightly Different Language By Accident, Or Did They Realize the Language Was A Little Different But Not Change It Because It Didn't Matter?

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Oct 12, 2005 1:43:52 AM

Two topics deserving serious scholarly attention:

Problems in Post-Apocalyptic Choice of Law: "Two Man Enter, One Man Leave" or "Break the Deal and Face the Wheel"?

Dog-Bite Law: First Principles

Posted by: Tomas Gomez | Oct 12, 2005 7:15:17 AM

My plan for the job-talk paper was to write on the applicability of Title VII and other relevant state and federal laws to the failure to hire [people like me] candidates for law faculty positions. I intended to follow this up with my tenure paper, on Title VII and other laws' applicability to the failure to grant tenure to [people like me]. Unfortunately, I got side-tracked and delivered a First Amendment paper. But I recommend these subjects to anyone who wishes to use them. I note parenthetically that my idea was not all that haywire; it seems to me that a good deal of ink has been spilled by legal writing faculty in the law reviews in the last few years on possible legal grounds for suit for a law school's failure to grant equal treatment to...legal writing faculty.

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Oct 12, 2005 4:10:20 PM

Post a comment