LLM to teach


mac26mac

PREMISE: I am a graduate of top 100 (toward the bottom of that list), and while I had good grades (cum laude), my JD alone is not enough to teach.

As I embarked into my legal career about a year ago, I knew that perhaps I'd like to teach in the future. My thoughts have been solidified and, in a year or two, I'd like to embark on teaching.

I am now beginning research on LLM programs that will allow me to pursue a career in teaching.

Which of the programs out there are the best for teaching? Do any of the appropriate schools have any teaching-focused LLMS?

Thanks, all.

PREMISE: I am a graduate of top 100 (toward the bottom of that list), and while I had good grades (cum laude), my JD alone is not enough to teach.

As I embarked into my legal career about a year ago, I knew that perhaps I'd like to teach in the future. My thoughts have been solidified and, in a year or two, I'd like to embark on teaching.

I am now beginning research on LLM programs that will allow me to pursue a career in teaching.

Which of the programs out there are the best for teaching? Do any of the appropriate schools have any teaching-focused LLMS?

Thanks, all.
quote
runnergirl

mac - I am in a very similar boat - graduated top of my class from not top-25 JD. I am also getting my LLM to teach. I have a tax background though and want to teach tax law, so I'm probably in a slightly different position as I'll be getting my LLM in tax. I applied to NYU, Florida and Georgetown. It seems like almost all tax professors have an LLM from one of those places. However, if you are looking to teach something other than tax, there are a couple different options. I have read that the Ivy League schools are the place to go to get your LLM. Harvard, Yale, and Columbia all have research-focused LLMs, designed to produce teachers, and would all be great places to apply. Those schools obviously produce the most teachers and would be good places to research for a year and make good contacts. However, another option would be to think about picking a specific subject area and getting your LLM in that (e.g., IP, securities law, health law) at whatever school is the best. The best thing about the LLM for teaching is that it will give you a year to publish an article and get to work on a 2nd one, with guidance from professors at a top-rate university. As I'm sure you know, publishing is the top requirement for getting a professorship. If you know the area where you would like to focus your scholarship, search and see if there are any schools with an LLM in that target area and apply to the top 3 or 4 programs in that area. If you are unsure of your scholarship area, then go to an Ivy, and publish while you are there. Having a defined specialization and having a record of publication in that area is what will set you apart when you go on the teaching market. For more advice, in case you haven't already, check out PrawfsBlog - there's a whole section on getting a job on the teaching market. Hope this helps!

mac - I am in a very similar boat - graduated top of my class from not top-25 JD. I am also getting my LLM to teach. I have a tax background though and want to teach tax law, so I'm probably in a slightly different position as I'll be getting my LLM in tax. I applied to NYU, Florida and Georgetown. It seems like almost all tax professors have an LLM from one of those places. However, if you are looking to teach something other than tax, there are a couple different options. I have read that the Ivy League schools are the place to go to get your LLM. Harvard, Yale, and Columbia all have research-focused LLMs, designed to produce teachers, and would all be great places to apply. Those schools obviously produce the most teachers and would be good places to research for a year and make good contacts. However, another option would be to think about picking a specific subject area and getting your LLM in that (e.g., IP, securities law, health law) at whatever school is the best. The best thing about the LLM for teaching is that it will give you a year to publish an article and get to work on a 2nd one, with guidance from professors at a top-rate university. As I'm sure you know, publishing is the top requirement for getting a professorship. If you know the area where you would like to focus your scholarship, search and see if there are any schools with an LLM in that target area and apply to the top 3 or 4 programs in that area. If you are unsure of your scholarship area, then go to an Ivy, and publish while you are there. Having a defined specialization and having a record of publication in that area is what will set you apart when you go on the teaching market. For more advice, in case you haven't already, check out PrawfsBlog - there's a whole section on getting a job on the teaching market. Hope this helps!
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gatorglow

I agree with runnergirl. It really depends on the area of law you want to teach. I would look at the top LL.M. programs in each respective field of law. And I could not agree more about the publishing component. The LL.M. is a very valuable tool in getting contacts into law school academia. And it would be even more important if you have been out of law school many years and do not have as strong connections with your past professors.

I agree with runnergirl. It really depends on the area of law you want to teach. I would look at the top LL.M. programs in each respective field of law. And I could not agree more about the publishing component. The LL.M. is a very valuable tool in getting contacts into law school academia. And it would be even more important if you have been out of law school many years and do not have as strong connections with your past professors.
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Engineer

I did the Harvard LLM a couple of years ago with the same goal in mind, and it has worked out fairly well for me. However, keep the following two things in mind: 1) The LLM alone will probably not be enough to catapult you to a tenure-track teaching job; you'll likely need to do a VAP as well; and 2) The most important thing you can do to make a teaching career more likely is to publish, publish, publish in law reviews. A strong publication record is the great equalizer, even more so than an elite LLM. Start working on that now.

I did the Harvard LLM a couple of years ago with the same goal in mind, and it has worked out fairly well for me. However, keep the following two things in mind: 1) The LLM alone will probably not be enough to catapult you to a tenure-track teaching job; you'll likely need to do a VAP as well; and 2) The most important thing you can do to make a teaching career more likely is to publish, publish, publish in law reviews. A strong publication record is the great equalizer, even more so than an elite LLM. Start working on that now.
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mac26mac

Thanks, everyone. Luckily, I have quite a bit of insight regarding publishing (my father teaches evidence).

Mostly, I am curious as to the process and any specific insights you all had. Thank you kindly for your responses so far.

Thanks, everyone. Luckily, I have quite a bit of insight regarding publishing (my father teaches evidence).

Mostly, I am curious as to the process and any specific insights you all had. Thank you kindly for your responses so far.
quote
LLMRoadMap

The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) has published a useful guide for those interested in entering the law teaching market in the U.S. The title of the document is "Resource Guide for Breaking into Law Teaching: New EnglandThe Pipeline to the Legal AcademyCo-sponsored by Northeastern University School of Law", and it is dated 17 June 2011. The web address is: http://www.saltlaw.org/userfiles/file/Final%20BreakingIntoLawTeaching_ResourceGuide061311.pdf.

Included in the SALT resources is my new book, "LL.M. Roadmap: An International Student's Guide to U.S. Law School Programs" (www.LLMRoadMap.com), which discusses different reasons to choose a particular LL.M. program, among those reasons being to help prepare to enter the teaching market.

One thing I can think of that you might do, that you have probably already done, is check law professor bios on law school websites looking for professors who hold LL.M. degrees, and then contact some of those professors and ask their advice about, for example, how their LL.M. helped prepare them to enter the law teaching market, what the nature was of the publications they had during and post-LL.M. that helped them earn the teaching position, etc.

It may sound like looking for a needle in a haystack to try to figure out which professors hold LL.M. degrees. But, there are several places where you can find lists of professors at U.S. law schools, in condensed form. One place is the Directory of Law Teachers published by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Every law professor at each AALS-member law school is sent a copy of this Directory. You can probably find a hard copy of the Directory in virtually every law school library in the U.S. Directory entries include professors names, law degrees earned at which schools, other educational background, teaching and research areas, prior work experience, major publications, etc. Its a very handy source.

Good luck!

LLMRoadMap
(www.LLMRoadMap.com) (Twitter @LLMRoadMap)

The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) has published a useful guide for those interested in entering the law teaching market in the U.S. The title of the document is "Resource Guide for Breaking into Law Teaching: New England—The Pipeline to the Legal Academy—Co-sponsored by Northeastern University School of Law", and it is dated 17 June 2011. The web address is: http://www.saltlaw.org/userfiles/file/Final%20BreakingIntoLawTeaching_ResourceGuide061311.pdf.

Included in the SALT resources is my new book, "LL.M. Roadmap: An International Student's Guide to U.S. Law School Programs" (www.LLMRoadMap.com), which discusses different reasons to choose a particular LL.M. program, among those reasons being to help prepare to enter the teaching market.

One thing I can think of that you might do, that you have probably already done, is check law professor bios on law school websites looking for professors who hold LL.M. degrees, and then contact some of those professors and ask their advice about, for example, how their LL.M. helped prepare them to enter the law teaching market, what the nature was of the publications they had during and post-LL.M. that helped them earn the teaching position, etc.

It may sound like looking for a needle in a haystack – to try to figure out which professors hold LL.M. degrees. But, there are several places where you can find lists of professors at U.S. law schools, in condensed form. One place is the Directory of Law Teachers published by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Every law professor at each AALS-member law school is sent a copy of this Directory. You can probably find a hard copy of the Directory in virtually every law school library in the U.S. Directory entries include professors’ names, law degrees earned at which schools, other educational background, teaching and research areas, prior work experience, major publications, etc. It’s a very handy source.

Good luck!

LLMRoadMap
(www.LLMRoadMap.com) (Twitter @LLMRoadMap)
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