VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 1 CATEGORY: Employment POSTED ON: 10/13/2012
Article On University Of Texas Emerging Scholars Program Part Of Law School Trend, In Response To The Changing Landscape Of Legal Academia, The University Of Texas At Austin School Of Law School Launched Its Emerging Scholars Program Two Years Ago, Giving Recent Law School Graduates And Practicing Lawyers.
SKILL SHARPENER 1. 800. 973.1177 University of Texas’ Emerging Scholars Program part of law school trend [by Erica Winter] In response to the changing landscape of legal academia, the University of Texas at Austin School of Law School launched its Emerging Scholars Program two years ago, giving recent law school graduates and practicing lawyers a way to get their feet wet—and a way to become more competitive—in the legal teaching job market. Texas’ Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) put candidates out on the market before are more like those for hiring professors in is a two-year fellowship paying $60,000 per they have had a chance to do any writing. So other academic disciplines. Gradually, more year, in which the fellow teaches a half load they do not benefit the candidate’s pursuit of and more academics in history, English, of courses at the law school and works on scholarly publication. economics, and other areas of study started his or her scholarship and pursues publica- to get J.D.’s while they were pursuing their tion. ESP is similar to other visiting assistant Aside from temporary positions in teaching Ph.D.’s. These academics would go on the job professorships at other law schools, with one legal writing, Texas’ ESP may be the only market, and some would pursue law teaching key difference: Texas’ program is twice the two-year temporary professorship out there jobs. With the writing and publishing clout length of most others. right now, says Berman. The program has behind them, these Ph.D.’s had a leg up on started off with one fellow, who is now in his J.D.’s, who did not have the same kind of Having a two-year (instead of a one-year) second semester. The ESP will start with hir- paper trail. program “is critical for us,” says program ing two fellows per year and possibly expand chair and Professor Mitchell Berman. “We as the program continues. A 10-member Seeking more information and academic want people to be immersed here for a committee reviews applications, including work backing up their new professors, law while,” says Berman. With a primary goal of a candidate’s work so far, and references. schools started to look for scholarship when allowing the fellows to build up their scholar- Texas recently made offers to two more fel- they vetted teaching candidates, says Ber- ship, having a two-year program is central lows to start in the fall. Both Texas alumni man. Traditional applicants—those just out to that goal because of the way in which law and graduates of other schools are encour- of law school or coming out of years of law professors are hired. aged to apply, says Berman. practice—found themselves at a disadvan- tage to those with publications to back them Like a casting call for a large Broadway mu- Recent growth in visiting assistant profes- up. sical, new law professors are hired through sor and similar positions stems from a a centralized mass-hiring process that starts fundamental change in legal academia, says Plus, at law schools, as opposed to other every August, explains Berman. Interested Berman. It is “well nigh impossible” to get areas of study at colleges and universities, candidates submit materials to the American a tenure-track teaching job at a law school Berman says, tenure track leads to tenure in Association of Law Schools. A first cut is without having published written scholar- a more direct way. Tenure is more of a sure made, and then candidates flock to Wash- ship, says Berman; but it did not used to be thing for law professors than for those teach- ington, DC, in late October or November for this way. ing in other fields, who might get a tenure- interviews. Then there are “fly-backs,” or track job, but find themselves denied tenure second interviews, and hiring decisions are A generation ago, getting hired as a law pro- nonetheless. At a law school, says Berman, made. fessor was a matter of academic background getting a tenure-track job is very close to and success adhering to a pretty basic just getting tenure itself, so job offers on that If a recent J.D. finds a position as a visiting formula. Attend a top law school (Harvard, tenure track are becoming harder to get at assistant professor, but it is a one-year gig, Yale); have an excellent academic record, the outset. then he/she is spending her first semester including law review; clerk for a judge for a on the job scrambling to get his/her teaching year after receiving the law degree, prefer- All this leads to the visiting assistant profes- legs under him/her and applying for perma- ably for the Supreme Court, but another sor trend. The school gets a teacher to whom nent jobs at the same time, notes Berman. appellate court would do; apply to teach; and it does not have to offer any permanent And even though part of the point of a visiting get the job. Law teachers were hired based guarantees up front, and the teacher gets assistant professorship is to develop written on “evidence of smarts,” says Berman. paid to teach, but also to produce scholarship materials expressing the person’s advanced and pursue publication that could lead to a legal scholarship, the one-year positions Now, standards for hiring law professors tenure-track job down the line. PAGE 1
Pages to are hidden for
"University of Texas' Emerging Scholars Program part of law school trend"Please download to view full document