I'm not even in law school yet, so I'm thinking way ahead here, but I'm curious. Suppose I want to teach constitutional law. Will it matter if most of the work I've done in private practice is transactional? Conversely, if I want to research and write about corporate governance, but my experience is mostly in litigation, will anyone care?

My understanding is that securing a job teaching law depends mostly on published work. It seems like practice area shouldn't have much bearing on whether or not a law review will want to publish a budding legal scholar's article, but I'm not sure.

1 Answer 1


Go to Yale or get a PhD. Either way, this shouldn't be the goal or anyone entering law school. It's too specific to be a sensible goal.

Practice area matters greatly. Because in the end it's all about connections, more so than in any many other academic programs. You simply will not get a job as a law professor without having something to sell besides being smart, unless you go to Yale.

  • "Something to sell" would include published scholarship, yes?
    – Davis
    Sep 3, 2016 at 11:31
  • Not really. Anyone can publish. I probably have 8 things I could prepare for publication within the week. Getting published is cool, but it's not overly impressive. Getting published in a top journal is mildly impressive, but extremely unlikely unless you have a reputation--how do you get a reputation? Publishing in lessor journals doesn't cut it usually---you need some other angle-- being from Yale is oddly sort of an angle, so is having a real PhD or having a great reputation as an attorney. I'm very happy to chat with you about this further. I'm not trying to be overly negative. . .
    – COMisHARD
    Sep 3, 2016 at 11:39
  • How do you know these things? Do you have published work?
    – Davis
    Sep 3, 2016 at 11:41
  • Some, but I'm not a professor, nor trying to be one! I know these things because I explored that option, have several friends that are going hat route, and so on...
    – COMisHARD
    Sep 3, 2016 at 11:45

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