Law students and recent graduates are asked the same question: “What type of law do you want to practice? or some variation like: “What do you want to do with your law degree? For some aspiring lawyers, the idea of pursuing a career as legal scholars is their dream. They don't want to practice, but they want to teach, inspire and publish. For others, discovering that dream may not happen for years after they've had a satisfying career. Being surrounded by passionate college and graduate students who are ready to conquer the world can be very encouraging.
If you're thinking about a career as a teacher or legal scholar, you'll need to do your research and make sure that teaching students about law and publishing articles and books is for you. Get into a good law school and study hard. If you haven't yet entered law school, this is your first step. While there are always exceptions, you'll find that most law professors went to good law school and got the best grades, which allowed them to qualify for an internship or scholarship in their school's main law journal.
Talk to professors in your area of interest and see if you can be a research assistant. Attend seminar classes where you write an article instead of taking a final exam. This can help you discover your research interests. Present your work as part of a peer review process, a law review symposium, or other conference that allows student presenters.
Think about what area of law interests you and what you want to research. While your scholarship will evolve over time, you are expected to publish based on the topics and interested individuals you identified during the interview process. It's difficult to work full time and find time to write articles, but it's highly recommended. Practice before starting a teaching job.
Would you like someone who has practiced to teach you or someone who hasn't? Your future students will appreciate your ability to draw on their own experiences when explaining the material to the class. If you're planning to teach in skills classes, prior hands-on experience is especially important. Clinical professors are also expected to write and publish. Consider earning an advanced degree after J, D.
Prepare to be a law scholar. While they are not required to get a job as a law teacher, some professors have the LLM. And others have obtained a master's degree and a doctorate. Look for a program that adds value to your existing credentials and experiences.
Program offered at Stetson University School of Law, where you will have the opportunity to pursue academic writing as part of the degree requirements. In the case of LL M,. Programs often require full-time enrollment and take many more years. Talk to teachers and do a self-assessment.
Ask your teachers how practice is different from teaching. Talk to them about the pros and cons of being a tenure-track teacher or tenure-track teacher? Grading exams during the December holiday season can be a disadvantage, but summers off to be with family would be an advantage. Eventually, you'll be ready to apply to be a law professor. It's not as easy as applying for a job through Monster or Indeed.
While some future teachers try to enter full-time teaching as adjuncts, there are rare exceptions who find that this is a path to full-time employment. Hiring for entry-level teaching positions is generally done as part of an annual teacher hiring event sponsored by the Association of Law Schools of the United States. Its site contains information and requirements for candidates who want to be part of what teachers jokingly call “The Meat Market”. There are also some schools that advertise through the Clinical Legal Education Association.
To fulfill this dream, you may have to spend a couple of years in a school as a visiting teacher before moving to your permanent home. In addition, consider seeking faculty positions at colleges and universities. Your degrees and scholarships may qualify you to teach at the university or graduate level, as well as in law school. Law schools across the country have reduced their enrollment.
Getting a teaching position at a law school has become more competitive. Set yourself apart from the competition with strong credentials and a strong track record of publishing quality work. Programs can be a good first step in entering this competitive and rewarding field. If you're having trouble identifying topics to write about, you can start by thinking about the topics in your law school article, the problems you've encountered in practice, the legal issues you've always been curious about, or a problem or inconsistency in the law that you think is important to understand.