Thursday, December 05, 2013
Interested in Developing As a Legal Scholar? (A note from Prof Chris Lund)
At the January 2014 AALS meeting in New York, the Section on New Law Professors is set to host a panel entitled, “Developing as a Legal Scholar: Thoughts for New Law Professors.” We’ve put together an impressive group of scholars—Jennifer Arlen (NYU), Sarah Cleveland (Columbia), Doug Laycock (Virginia), and Angela Onwuachi-Willig(Iowa)—who will join together for a roundtable discussion of how they became so awesome. They will focus on matters of vital importance to our membership (i.e., new law professors). Topics will include how they weigh the various components of their jobs, how they balance work and family commitments, how they evaluate scholarship both within and outside their fields, and how they decide on which scholarly projects to pursue.
If you’re interested—and why wouldn’t you be interested?—please come. The panel is Saturday, January 4th, 2014, running from 4:00 PM to 5:45 PM. Put it on your calendar.
But here’s something else. The Section wants input from Prawfsblawg readers! You all probably have questions about growing as a legal scholar that you’d like the panelists to answer. Put them in the comments section to this post. During the discussion and during the Q&A, I’ll find ways of slipping in your questions (only the good ones, of course, but I have a broad notion of “good”).
(Chair, Section on New Law Professors)
Here, btw, is the full panel description:
Saturday, January 4th, 2014
4:00 - 5:45 PM
 AALS SECTION ON NEW LAW PROFESSORS
Developing as a Legal Scholar: Thoughts for New Law Professors
Moderator: Christopher C. Lund, Wayne State University Law School
Speakers: Jennifer H. Arlen, New York University School of Law
Sarah H. Cleveland, Columbia University School of Law
Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia School of Law
Angela Onwuachi-Willig, University of Iowa Law School
This panel brings together a number of prominent academics for a roundtable discussion of how they developed into legal scholars. With an eye toward aiding law professors new to the academy, the panelists will discuss things like how they weigh the various components of their jobs, how they balance work and family commitments, how they evaluate scholarship both within and outside their fields, and how they decide on scholarly projects to pursue.
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Question: Is it wise to write what you think you *need* to write for hiring/tenure (by obeying the conventions of legal academia), or do enough law professors respond positively to outside-the-box scholarship to make that a viable option?
Posted by: anon | Dec 5, 2013 11:38:07 AM
How to develop relationships or seek out persons who can review your work for tenure?
Posted by: anon | Dec 5, 2013 11:44:28 AM
I find that new law professors usually have variations on these questions:
1) How do I get the senior people in the field to know of or engage with my work?
2) How do I know what is a worthwhile or important topic to write about?
3) What is the best way to place an article in a "top" journal?
Posted by: Orin Kerr | Dec 5, 2013 3:03:25 PM
FWIW, I gave a talk last year at AALS on Tips and Techniques for Emerging Scholars. Sadly, I don't have a written presentation of it but I wonder if there's a video out there of it. At some point I may try to write up a version for J Legal Educ or something.
one of the great entries in this genre is the transcript of the Kim Ferzan interview of Sanger, Robinson and Ayres:
Posted by: Dan Markel | Dec 5, 2013 4:39:11 PM
Thanks, everybody, these are all good. (Just wanted you to know I was talking all of this down.)
Posted by: Chris Lund | Dec 6, 2013 10:26:58 AM
It seems the the MOST valued legal scholarship is that directed at influencing other academics. But I have been more interested in (and focused on) informing and persuading lawyers, lawmakers, and healthcare professionals. To that end, I write in many different forums, including law journals, medical journals, bioethics journals, book chapters, amicus briefs, and blogs.
This is fulfilling. But it seems to come at a price in terms of my membership in the US legal academy. Is my assessment right?
Posted by: Thaddeus Mason Pope | Dec 19, 2013 6:31:17 PM