Research, Writing and Teaching

The work of a law professor combines research, writing, and teaching. For those in clinical teaching it adds the rewards of direct client services. This creates a beguiling mix for many people, and many YLS graduates. In fact, YLS graduates represent a meaningful percentage of all law faculty. This means that YLS alumni are law professors in every conceivable subject at schools of every type in every area of the globe. In our surveys of our alumni, law professors consistently proclaim a high degree of satisfaction in their work. Yet law teaching is not for everyone. Take a look at CDO’s Entering the Law Teaching Market Guide for a more in-depth exploration of this sort of career path, as well as to assess whether it seems to be a good fit for you.

Many applicants in the teaching market are aiming for tenure-track positions in classrooms or clinics, where they hope to progress from assistant professor, to associate professor, and finally to full professor. However, there are different types of teaching positions in law schools that vary on permanence, salary, voting status, and other issues.

Several law teaching candidates also consider academic fellowships as a unique opportunity to spend one or two years in an academic position with a law school. The types of academic fellowships vary including research and writing only, teaching/visiting assistant professor positions, teaching legal research and writing, clinical teaching fellowships and specialized teaching fellowships.

Additional Resources

Alumni interested in law teaching should also visit the website for YLS’s Law Teaching Program for additional information about resources offered by YLS to alumni who are interested in going on the law teaching market.

Law Teaching Program

Entering the Law Teaching Market

YLS Fellowships

Association of American Law Schools

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Legal Scholarship Network