Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Monday, August 6, 2012

So, you want to become an adjunct law professor

To Teach or Not to Teach is an interesting August 1, 2012 article from the ABA Journal about becoming an adjunct law professor. It implies that the market for adjuncts is becoming even more competitive. The article also accurately describes the terrible pay that adjuncts make and that most adjuncts do not teach for the money. They teach for intangible benefits. As one of the commentators notes at the end of the article, some schools undoubtably abuse adjuncts. They use them instead of FT faculty, instead of being, an adjunct to the faculty.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

August 6, 2012 in Adjunct Information in General, Appointment Information, Adjunct | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Help Wanted-Adjunct Law Professor To Teach First Amendment Class

Abraham Lincoln Law School in LA is looking for an adjunct law professor to teach a class on the First Amendment starting this October. A copy of the job announcement with instructions on how to apply is available by clicking Download Professor Advertisement - First Amendment 7-2012

If you live in the LA area and want to get your feet wet as an adjunct law professor, you may want to check this out.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 31, 2012 in Appointment Information, Adjunct | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Incompetent Form Of Legal Education Today

What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering, a Nov. 19, 2011 NY Times article, is a must read. It highlights just how incompetent most legal education is today. It highlights the fact that law schools teach little practical skills and factual scholarship is often only read by other faculty.

As I noted in a comment to the article, the fundamental reason for this is that law schools are only, and I mean only, in hiring faculty with stellar academic backgrounds. Nevermind that they may never have practiced law or represented a client. What is more imporant is that they got a law review article published in Yale.

Readers who are not familar with this might be stunned to know that law professors are "legal scholars"-not highly skilled lawyers. Many may not even be a a member of the bar. As the article points out, law schools frown on lawyers with experience.

Additionally, in most schools the most important and practical classes (legal writing and legal research) are taught by non-tenure track professors who are also the lowest paid.

Don't believe me. Check out the background of any FT non-clinical faculty member highered at any ABA approved law school in the last 10 years. If you can get a hold of their CV, you will see that some even list summer associate experience on it because their legal experience is so light.

This is indeed a said state of affairs. 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


November 20, 2011 in Appointment Information, Adjunct, Appointment Information, Full Time, Film, Law Schools | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fordham B School Looking For Adjuncts

Here is the text from an email I received:

We are looking to expand our course offerings and are looking for those who live in the New York area who would be interested in teaching undergraduate and possibly MBA classes in environmental law and international business law. The latter course would emphasize the CISG and international trade issues. The former would focus on the Clean Air Act, Superfund and important EPA regulations. The classes woudl be offered next summer or fall.
If there is any interest, please respond to my school e-mail:

Mark Conrad 
Associate Professor, Law and Ethics
Schools of Business 
Fordham University 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

October 10, 2011 in Appointment Information, Adjunct | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Important Law Review Article On the Current State of The Legal Academy And The Lack of Emphasis on Training Lawyers

Preaching What They Don't Practice: Why Law Faculties' Preoccupation with Impractical Scholarship and Devaluation of Practical Competencies Obstruct Reform in the Legal Academy is an interesting law review article by Adjunct Professor Brent Newton (Georgetown Law School). This appears to be a must read for anyone interested in the legal academy. The abstract provides:

In response to decades of complaints that American law schools have failed to prepare students to practice law, several prominent and respected authorities on legal education, including the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, recently have proposed significant curricular and pedagogical changes in order to bring American legal education into the twenty-first century. It will not be possible to implement such proposed curricular and pedagogical reforms if law schools continue their trend of primarily hiring and promoting tenure-track faculty members whose primary mission is to produce theoretical, increasingly interdisciplinary scholarship for law reviews rather than prepare students to practice law. Such impractical scholars, because they have little or no experience in the legal profession and further because they have been hired primarily to write law review articles rather than primarily to teach, lack the skill set necessary to teach students how to become competent, ethical practitioners. The recent economic recession, which did not spare the legal profession, has made the complaints about American law schools’ failure to prepare law students to enter the legal profession even more compelling; law firms no longer can afford to hire entry-level attorneys who lack the basic skills required to practice law effectively. This essay proposes significant changes in both faculty composition and law reviews aimed at enabling law schools to achieve the worthy goals of reformists such as the Carnegie Foundation.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 11, 2010 in Adjunct Information in General, Appointment Information, Adjunct, Appointment Information, Full Time, Law Review Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Does Being An Adjunct Help You Get A FT Law Professor Job

In a word. NO. An excellent article discussing this issue published by AALS is available here. I know this does not make sense, but it is what it is.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

March 24, 2010 in Appointment Information, Adjunct, Appointment Information, Full Time | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 19, 2009

So You Want To Be An Adjunct

The Chronicle of Higher Education ran a Special Report entitled "The State of Adjunct Professoriate". While directed at college adjuncts, much of it could be directed at law schools as well. Basically, adjuncts routinely are paid terribly and do not do it for the money. Rather, they adjunct out of a love for teaching. Some of the articles in this series include:

You're an Adjunct? Why?

Adjuncts don't make much money, but for many, the time spent with students makes it all worthwhile. The Chronicle went to Chicago to give you a glance inside the minds of adjunct professors.

Frankly, with respect to lawyers who adjunct, some have a different motivation. Quite simply adjuncting looks good and some lawyers may use their position as a way to obtain clients.

As for me, I adjunct for several reasons. I like it. I get a chance to do good, make some pocket change and see what it is like to be real prof.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

October 19, 2009 in Adjunct Information in General, Appointment Information, Adjunct | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lawyer and Want To Be Adjunct Prof

Here is a new one. Simple Justice, a blog run by attorney Scott Greenfield  posted an advertisement of sorts where an attorney asks law schools to contact him for a job, presumably has an adjunct. He explains that he did not go to Harvard and does not publish law review articles for the sake of publishing. However, he purports to be a good lawyer who could teach students a thing or two. His posting is amusing, but its worth a read. As Mr. Greenfield writes:

Publishing seems to be the key for professors.  But I'm a working stiff.  No ivory tower office to ponder the imaginary Ministry of Magic, or to do empirical studies on what judges where under their robes.  Worse yet, I know too many judges, and know too well that they aren't thinking about how to promote some theoretical stance, unless then have at least 4 revolving law clerks to help them.  The rest are too busy just trying to make it through their day and decide the cases before them. 

So yes, I want to teach law students how to be lawyers.  I would be happy to publish too, but it would have to be about something that made a difference, rather than some law review article that no one save some other professors would bother to read.  While the scholars can enjoy a decent circle jerk, law schools could use a few people who want to teach kids to represent real people and produce work that may actually do some good for someone. 

Is there any law school out there that would actually want this?  I certainly won't help your rankings in U.S News and World Reports (or any other ranking that one can google), and it's unlikely that my presence will bring worldwide recognition to your school.  But your students will learn something.  Your students will be engaged in what I have to tell them.  Your students will finish the class better off then when they started.  You remember students, don't you?  And I didn't go to Harvard.  I'm just a lawyer.

If you're interested, let me know.  I'll be checking the mailbox.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 4, 2007 in Appointment Information, Adjunct | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Adjunct Legal Writing Position at Golden Gate Law School in San Francisco

Goldengatels Legal Writing Prof Blog has posted an announcement that Golden Gate Law School in San Francisco is looking for adjunct legal writing professors. The posting provides the following information about the position:

"Golden Gate University School of Law in downtown San Francisco is looking for adjuncts to teach the first-year Legal Writing and Research course.  Sections meet once a week on Fridays from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. or from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

"The fall course is two credits, and the spring course is one credit.  Both semesters focus on research and analysis in predictive memos.  Salary is $1,800 per credit.  Adjuncts may teach one or two sections.

"Applicants should have three years of practice experience and be good legal writers.  Teaching experience is a plus but not required.

"Please contact Debbie Mostaghel at 415-369-5337 or email as soon as possible.

"The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range:  adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000  (Salary is $1,800 per credit.  Adjuncts can teach one or more sections.)"

For those living in the area who want to break into adjunct law teaching, this is an opportunity to consider.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 30, 2007 in Appointment Information, Adjunct | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Getting a Job as an Adjunct Law Professor

Dan Markel and the folks at PrawsBlawg (the other law school blog network!) are running an interesting discussion on landing a job as an adjunct. I thought we could join in that discussion. While I have only been doing this for a few years, I think many of the commentators at PrawfsBlawg are missing something. My impression is schools are looking for very different things with Adjuncts. They are not looking for Larry Tribe so scholarship is not very important (it can't hurt however and is necessary for FT job). Rather, they are looking for the Johnnie Cochrans of the world. They want to enhance their faculty-many of which may never have practiced law-with well known expert lawyers. A secondary goal is probably a hope that Adjuncts will hire their graduates. The other reason Adjuncts are used are to fill slots that may be unexpectedly open or if there is a need in an area that no one on the FT faculty can fill.

In terms of getting a gig, like everything in life its who you know. I guess you can try the resume thing, but I question how many Adjunct got their job in that manner. Calling up the Associate Dean in the blind, well I guess you can try that, but I doubt you will be successful. The best way to land a job, in my view, is to get to know someone on the FT faculty. I realize that may be difficult, but no one said this was going to be easy.

This are my thoughts. What do you think?? Please post any comments.   

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Hat Tip

Hon. Craig Estlinbaum
130th Judicial District Court of Texas
Adjunct Professor of Law
South Texas College of Law


For those seeking college, as opposed to law school, adjunct positions a service call adjunctopia may be of help which operates as sort of an employment agency for adjuncts. I do not know any who has tried it.   


May 24, 2007 in Appointment Information, Adjunct | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)