Friday, July 22, 2016
Following on Joan's excellent post about networking letters, I wanted to share a few words about thank you letters.
- Level 1 — Email saying thanks for the time and insight.
- Level 2 — Level 1 + this is how your insight impacted my life.
- Level 3 — Handwritten thank you note.
- Level 4 — Level 3 + a small gift.
This seems right, and Kyle's entire post is well worth reading at the link above.
A mere thank you e-mail usually isn't worth much, but it is better than nothing (unless the thank you is typo-riddled, and then it might be worse than nothing). The e-mail is worth more if the author recounts meaningful specifics from your conversation or picks up on a way that he/she might be of assistance.
The handwritten note has made a comeback after interviews, but I don't think it has had the same resurgence after networking/advice meetings. This is a shame because generally the interviewer is just doing his or her job, while the person who is honoring your networking/advice request is usually the one bestowing a true gift. Due to the relative rarity, I think handwritten notes are even more appreciated after a networking/advice meeting than after an interview. For handwritten notes, I think it is worth investing in personalized stationery and trying to remember to send the notes right away so that the delay is not elongated.
As to small gifts, those obviously would not be appropriate after an interview, but might be a really nice touch after a networking/advice meeting. If any readers have good thoughts on appropriate small gifts, please share in the comments or over email. I have always had a hard time thinking of these kinds of gifts. Wine seems like a common choice, but it could be risky unless you know the person drinks alcohol.
Finally, this recent article in the Harvard Business Review entitled Stop Making Gratitude All About You struck a chord. The author suggests praising the recipient rather than just describing how the recipient benefited you or made you felt. Of course, praise should be sincere and can be overdone, but I think the author is onto something.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
David Zaring, who is a professor at Wharton, has the details over at the Conglomerate.
Wharton is open to JD-only, PHD-only, or JD/PHD candidates for this position.
Applications can be submitted here and the application deadline is November 1, 2016.
Monday, July 18, 2016
As an adjunct to my posts (here and here) on law placement cover letters, I commend to you this blog post on networking letters, correspondence that seeks to establish a career or job-related connection--maybe even a longer-term relationship--rather than apply for a specific position. Truth be told, in some form or another, four of the five tips in the post also apply to job-seeking cover letters. The outlier? Tip #2: "Don't ask for an interview or a job."
My take on the relevance of the other four tips for job placement cover letters is as follows:
- Respect your reader's time. Always a good idea when you are asking for anything. Do not demand. Ask graciously. But also be careful not to fall over yourself in being respectful. It's just not attractive. It's usually sufficient to use a pair of sentences like these after making an "ask" to show your respect: "I know that you have a busy schedule. Accordingly, if this request is unduly burdensome, please just let me know."
- Sell your strengths. This is important and seems obvious. But folks still miss this prompt! Why would someone want to meet with a person they don't know well or at all unless the person was interesting to them in some respect? As readers may recall, I recommend using the PAR method in sharing professional and personal strengths--using a short, pointed narrative, rather than merely describing knowledge, experience, or skills with adjectives and adverbs.
- Consider the timing of your letter. I just had a request from a student on this very issue--when to get back in touch with folks he had positive connections with last year who asked him to "stay in touch" about his permanent job search. These questions (as to timing) are highly contextual and can be tough to navigate. I recommend consulting with multiple people to get their views about particularly sticky timing questions. For example, with respect to my student, the timing of/participation of the firms in on-campus interviews plays a role. So, I recommended that he also consult with folks in our Career Services office.
- Stick to it. The advice the blog post author (Miriam Salpeter) gives here is dead-on right. Key sentence: "You don't want to stalk the person, but it's okay to touch base a few times before you consider the door closed." Again, I advise using advisors from various "walks" to help determine what crosses the line. It's very important to those consultations that the letter writer keep accurate and complete records of contacts with the proposed letter recipient and others in the same workplace that can be shared with the consultants so that they can best advise.
As another interview season is on the horizon (although interviewing never seems to stop these days, does it?), some of this advice may come in handy for folks soon. I also recommend in this regard, btw, Haskell Murray's great post on resumes and interviews. I cite to it in my initial cover letter post, but I want to note its value again here.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
I am stealing Haskell's thunder on this one (at his suggestion) to promote this position at Marist College. Little known facts (other than for folks, like Haskell, who know my family well): my daughter is a Marist Red Fox (that's the school's mascot) having graduated from there with a degree in Media Studies. It's a lovely small liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, NY. And its new President is David N. Yellen, the former Dean and Professor of Law (criminal law expert) at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Here are key points from the position announcement (linked to from the first sentence below):
Duties and Responsibilities:
This tenure track position will involve teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses (including online courses) and maintaining a high level of professional activity through research and service in the candidate’s area of emphasis
Candidates must have a commitment to excellence in teaching and research and should have a JD degree and previous experience teaching legal related and business law courses in a School of Management and/or Business. Professional experience as a practitioner is also desirable.
Required Applicant Documents:
Resume, Cover Letter, References
Position Open Date:
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Today, the following business law professor position at Pepperdine University's Seaver College was brought to my attention. Further information is available here and below.
Assistant Professor of Business Law
The business administration division of Pepperdine University seeks a candidate with a terminal degree in law for a tenure-track position in business law. Candidates are expected to complete all requirements for the JD before the date of appointment, which is August 1, 2017. A documented research interest in law is required and teaching experience is preferred. The expected courses taught would be undergraduate classes in business law and international business. The flexibility to teach occasionally in another field is preferred.
The business program at Seaver College, is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). USA Today ranked Seaver's business program as the 7th best undergraduate business program in the country. We have approximately 775 undergraduate students in the Business Administration Division. Despite the large number of majors, our classes are small (rarely more than 25 students) and our faculty is collegial and collaborative. The division offers Bachelor of Science degree programs in accounting, business administration, and international business, and a contract major in finance. Degree programs are offered on a full-time, residential basis at the campus in Malibu, California. Seaver College has an enrollment of approximately 3,200 students. Please visit our website for more information.
Pepperdine University was established in 1937 by Mr. George Pepperdine, a Christian businessman, who stressed the desirability of a complete education built on a Christian value system. The institution is committed to the ideals of the founder. Successful candidates also must demonstrate an active commitment to Pepperdine's Christian mission and tradition. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, Pepperdine University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute through their teaching, research and service to the diversity and excellence of the University and our surrounding community.
Applicants should apply at apply.interfolio.com/35896. A background check will be required as a condition of employment.
For more information, please contact the chair of the search committee:
Keith Whitney (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Chair, Recruiting Committee
Business Administration Division
Seaver College, Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Hello, everyone - I'm passing this along in case any of our readers have an interest, or know anyone who might have an interest. And if anyone needs convincing as to why they should spend a semester or a year in New Orleans, email me privately and allow me to extol the city's virtues.
Tulane Law School is currently accepting applications for a visiting tax professor for either the Fall of 2016 or for the entire 2016-2017 Academic Year. Visitors would be expected to teach basic Income Tax and other tax related courses. Applicants at any career stage are encouraged. To apply, please submit a CV along with a statement of interest and any supporting documentation. Applications and questions may be directed to Vice Dean Ronald J. Scalise Jr. at email@example.com. Tulane University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. All eligible candidates are invited to apply.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Some readers may be interested in the position listed below. Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business has a strong faculty and is a recognized leader in the sustainability area.
Managing Director, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business
(Professor of the Practice or Academic Professional)
The Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia seeks applications or nominations for an academic appointment as the Managing Director, Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business (ACSB). The Center is part of the Scheller College of Business, which was ranked #1 in the US and #8 globally in the 2015 Corporate Knights Better World MBA Rankings. The College is a dynamic environment with a commitment to sustainability embedded in its strategic plan and faculty members across many disciplines who have sustainable business interests. The Managing Director will have the opportunity to shape and steer the growth of the Center’s activities and impact, as the Center recently received a long-term gift doubling its operational budget from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. The Managing Director will also have the opportunity to partner with the Georgia Tech Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain (CSLS), an institute-wide undergraduate education initiative that is developing learning and co-curricular opportunities designed to help our students combine their academic and career interests with their desire to create sustainable communities.
More information follows after the break.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University seeks to hire a resident academic fellow to begin in September or October 2016 for a 12-month or one-academic-year term, with the possibility of renewal for a second year. The fellow will pursue his or her own independent research, as well as work closely with Stanford Law School faculty on a range of projects related to corporate governance, securities regulation, vehicles for public and private investment, and financial market reform. The ideal candidate has excellent academic credentials and experience in relevant fields of practice. The position is particularly well suited to a practicing attorney, with either a litigation or transactional background, seeking a transition to academia, or a post-doctoral economics or finance student with interests in corporate governance. More information can be found at https://stanfordcareers.stanford.edu/job-search?jobId=70496.
Monday, March 28, 2016
There's been a lot of bad press lately about contract lawyers. Between legal actions for overtime pay and articles in bar publications and elsewhere, it's easy to conclude that all of these warriors in the legal workforce are overworked and underpaid in this post-financial-crisis world.
Yet, I just had a corporate general counsel in my Advanced Business Associations class last week who regularly uses contract counsel and, based on his description, those he works with seem to be a relatively contented lot. He has gone ahead and hired a few of them (although he notes that some prefer independent contractor status for its flexibility). So, I wonder whether many of us make the same mistake with the press on contract lawyers that we do with the press on law schools: generalizing a description and drawing conclusions from limited, nonscientific data (i.e., one-sided or narrowly drawn press reports). For one thing, most of what I read focuses on contract lawyers performing e-discovery reviews or rote due diligence. I know that there are more varied assignments out there (even if those two areas represent most of the territory).
I do know former students who, for a variety of reasons, have worked as contract lawyers after graduation or during a career interruption. In most cases, this has been intended as and has been in fact a temporary position. But (although I do not stay in touch with everyone after graduation) I am sure that some have ended up staying in contract lawyering longer than they had planned . . . or wanted. Still, I have not heard about any abusive behavior or unusually long hours. I have heard complaints about the routine and unstimulating nature of much of the work.
What information do you have about contract lawyers? Are they a uniformly mistreated lot because employers--especially maybe Big Law and other large firms--take advantage of them and view them only as low-cost, low-quality providers of legal services? How often do those who use contract lawyer services hire the lawyers in as employees? How many contract lawyers continue in that role for more than two years? Let me know what you know.
Friday, February 19, 2016
I am posting this at the request of our Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Alex Long:
The University of Tennessee invites applications for a possible visiting professor for the fall or spring semester in 2016-17. The position would involve teaching Business Associations and one other business-related course (including, perhaps, Contracts I or II). If interested, please submit a CV and cover letter via email to Alex Long, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Professor of Law, The University of Tennessee College of Law at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prior teaching experience (law school or broader university teaching) is strongly preferred. The closing date for applications is Monday, February 29, 2016.
I also am happy to respond to questions about this opening.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
My home state in West Virginia is struggling. The economy is struggling because two of the state's main industries -- coal and natural gas -- are facing falling production (coal) and low prices (gas). Severance taxes for the state account for approximately 13% of the budget, and both are down dramatically. Tax revenues for the state were down $9.8 million in January from the prior year and came up $11.5 million short of estimates. For the year-to-date, the state collected $2.29 billion, which is $169.5 million below estimates. Oddly enough, state sales and income taxes for January both exceeded estimates, but not enough to offset other stagnation in the state.
The state has long been known as a coal state, and that industry has dominated the legal and political landscape. West Virginia has been criticized for having a legal system that is "anti-business," with the United States Chamber of Commerce finding stating that West Virginia is the 50th ranked state in terms of the fairness of its litigation. (See PDF here.) CNBC (with input from the National Association of Manufacturers) also ranked West Virginia last in terms of business competitiveness, so the starting point is not good.
Now, the West Virginia legislature is considering the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which many (including me) see as about legalizing specific forms of discrimination, and not promoting or supporting religion. And some religious groups agree. As the Catholic Committee of Appalachia’s West Virginia Chapter explains:
We appreciate the background of 1993 federal act with the same name, and the history leading up to it, with its pertinence to protecting Native American sacred lands and religious practices from governmental infringement. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that RFRA would only be applicable to federal actions, we can recognize, also, the value of an argument for versions of a law to be passed at the local level. However, the primary motivation behind West Virginia’s bill #4012, and others like it, seems not to be the protection of legitimate religious exercises, but securing the ability of religious groups to discriminate against marginalized populations on the basis of religious convictions.
Just as important for purposes of this post, many West Virginia businesses oppose the bill. Local Embassy Suites and Marriott hotels representatives spoke out against the bill, and the Charleston (WV) Regional Chamber of Commerce and Generation West Virginia, along with several city mayors, have opposed the bill, as well. They have good reason. When the state of Indiana passed a similar bill, Indianapolis promptly lost as many as twelve conventions and estimates around $60 million. Ouch. As one mayor said, West Virginia legislators need to "Get out of the way."
Morgantown, home to my institution, was the state’s second city to pass an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in February 2014. West Virginia University’s faculty senate also unanimously yesterday approved a resolution condemning the bill. And there was a chance to make clear the intent of the bill was not intended to be used as a way to discriminate against someone based sexual orientation through a proposed amendment making that clear. Unfortunately, the amendment was deemed “not germane.”
Beyond coal, natural gas, chemicals, and timber, tourism is one of our state's main industries. It's also a great one. From whitewater rafting to skiing to hiking, the state is a great place for outdoor activities. Craft breweries and a few great local restaurants are helping make the state a destination. Unfortunately, the debate about this bill, especially in the wake of the backlash in Indiana, is hurting the state's ability to make build up it's tourism industry by making many people feel unwelcome.
It's really too bad as a local restaurant, Atomic Grill, made international news for how they responded to comments about their waitresses and has been lauded for their response to other intolerance in their restaurant.
I don't like this bill because, to me, it's either a tautology or an attempt to discriminate through legislation. But beyond that, it's stupid, terrible way to promote business in the state. We spend enough time trying to get people to come visit -- and when people do, they almost always like it. It really is a great place in so many ways. At a time when the entire state is looking at 4% budget cuts across the board -- when we need to be building bridges to broader audiences -- the state's legislature is screwing around with bills that have zero economic upside and reinforce stereotypes about the people of our state.
Being pro-business means being pro-consumer, which really means being pro-people. This bill is none of those. We need to do better, and it's disappointing our time and our money are being wasted like this.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
From the Faculty Lounge: "Villanova University - Charles Widger School of Law seeks an outstanding lawyer/educator/scholar to teach business law and entrepreneurship courses, broadly defined, and to serve as the Faculty Director for The John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship." More information available here.
At this point in the year, I imagine that some, if not many, of the positions on the list may be filled.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Western Illinois University is advertising a tenure track legal studies professor opening.
Applications can be completed here. Application screening begins on February 1, 2016.
Details available under the break.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
I have updated my legal studies professor (mostly in business schools) and law professor (in business areas) job lists.
Positions at Western Illinois University and Regent University School of Law are recent additions.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
A number of months back, the Business Law Prof Blog hosted a series of five posts by Marcos Antonio Mendoza (here, here, here, here, and here) that were quite popular. He wrote about (among other things) the need to educate students for the evolving roles in which they may serve as corporate counsel. His recent article on corporate counsel.com offers much food for thought along those lines and serves as a good reminder, as we head into a new semester, of what our students may need long-term in the workplace. In both this article and his earlier BLPB posts, Marcos is reacting to an academic research paper, "Finding the Right Corporate Legal Strategy" (available to subscribers or for purchase), published last year in the MIT Sloan Management Review by Professor Robert C. Bird of the University of Connecticut School of Business and Professor David Orozco from the Florida State University College of Business.
Although you all should read Marcos's Corporate Counsel article (and his posts) for yourselves, I will offer a few quotes from the article and related law school instruction take-aways here. These largely repeat and reframe Marcos's own observations in his BLPB posts.
- "[T]he most successful companies determine which of five legal strategies is the most effective in their legal environment, and then deploy their legal resources to accomplish their goals." The five legal strategies are avoidance, compliance, prevention, value, and transformation. We would be doing our students a great service in identifying and explaining these five strategies and showing the students how legal doctrine, theory, and policy connect with the strategies.
- "One of the most effective ways for companies to promote . . . attorney education [about business issues] is through job rotations, in which counsel are temporarily assigned to managerial positions in the business units they support." Courses in the standard law school curriculum--and even new offerings focusing on business skills (e.g., reading and interpreting financial statements)--obviously do not (cannot) serve this function, although some clinic and simulation experiences offer students a limited exposure to business issues. We should consider designing field placements, internships, externships, etc. for business law students to give them some quality, sustained exposure to business issues.
- "[E]xecutives should create a cross-functional strategic team composed of lawyers and operational business managers who are guided by the chief legal strategist. The team’s responsibility is to hypothesize legal strategies that have a clear impact on a profit-loss statement." Can we model these strategic teams for our students? Can a consciously constructed curricular or co-curricular program with a business school (easier to accomplish for those of us in universities) offer a useful experience of this kind to our students?
Again, as we finalize course planning and syllabi for (and, in general, think about) the new semester, the types of educational experiences identified by Marcos in his earlier posts--including those highlighted here--are well worth bearing in mind.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Western Carolina University is looking to hire three business law faculty members: two tenure-track and one for a fixed term.
Descriptions of the positions are available under the break. Western Carolina University is one of the few universities in the country with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Law. In the spring of 2014, I presented at WCU. They have thoughtful professors, a beautiful campus, and engaged students.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
I recently received information about this social enterprise & nonprofit clinical teaching fellowship position at Georgetown University Law Center. My friend, Georgetown law professor Alicia Plerhoples, is the director of the clinic, and the fellowship sounds like an excellent opportunity.
Georgetown Law Graduate Clinical Teaching Fellowship
Description of the Clinic
The Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center offers pro bono corporate and transactional legal services to social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and select small businesses headquartered in Washington, D.C. and working locally or internationally. Through the Clinic, law students learn to translate theory into practice by engaging in the supervised practice of law for educational credit. The Clinic’s goals are consistent with Georgetown University's long tradition of public service. The Clinic’s goals are to:
- Teach law students the materials, expectations, strategies, and methods of transactional lawyering, as well as an appreciation for how transactional law can be used in the public interest.
- Represent social enterprises and nonprofit organizations in corporate and transactional legal matters.
- Facilitate the growth of social enterprise in the D.C. area.
The clinic’s local focus not only allows the Clinic to give back to the community it calls home, but also gives students an opportunity to explore and understand the challenges and strengths of the D.C. community beyond the Georgetown Law campus. As D.C. experiences increasing income inequality, it becomes increasingly important for the Clinic to provide legal assistance to organizations that serve and empower vulnerable D.C. communities. Students are taught how to become partners in enterprise for their clients with the understanding that innovative transactional lawyers understand both the legal and non-legal incentive structures that drive business organizations.
Description of Fellowship
The two-year fellowship is an ideal position for a transactional lawyer interested in developing teaching and supervisory abilities in a setting that emphasizes a dual commitment—clinical education of law students and transactional law employed in the public interest. The fellow will have several areas of responsibility, with an increasing role as the fellowship progresses. Over the course of the fellowship, the fellow will: (i) supervise students in representing nonprofit organizations and social enterprises on transactional, operational, and corporate governance matters, (ii) share responsibility for teaching seminar sessions, and (iii) share in the administrative and case handling responsibilities of the Clinic. Fellows also participate in a clinical pedagogy seminar and other activities designed to support an interest in clinical teaching and legal education. Successful completion of the fellowship results in the award of an L.L.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown University. The fellowship start date is August 1, 2016, and the fellowship is for two years, ending July 31, 2018.
Applicants must have at least 3 years of post J.D. legal experience. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in a transactional area of practice such as nonprofit law and tax, corporate law, intellectual property, real estate, or finance. Applicants with a strong commitment to economic justice are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be admitted or willing to be admitted to the District of Columbia Bar.
To apply, send a resume, an official or unofficial law school transcript, and a detailed letter of interest by December 15, 2015. The letter should be no longer than two pages and address a) why you are interested in this fellowship; b) what you can contribute to the Clinic; c) your experience with transactional matters and/or corporate law; and d) anything else that you consider pertinent. Please address your application to Professor Alicia Plerhoples, Georgetown Law, 600 New Jersey Ave., NW, Suite 434, Washington, D.C. 20001, and email it to email@example.com. Emailed applications are preferred. More information about the clinic can be found at www.socialenterprise-gulaw.org.
Teaching fellows receive an annual stipend of approximately $53,500 (taxable), health and dental benefits, and all tuition and fees in the LL.M. program. As full-time students, teaching fellows qualify for deferment of their student loans. In addition, teaching fellows may be eligible for loan repayment assistance from their law schools.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
I recently received the following e-mail announcement. Accordingly, I have updated my list of law professor positions outside of law schools:
The Department of Management in the College of Business and Economics, Boise State University, invites applications for a tenure track faculty position in the area of Legal Studies in Business.
Management hosts the most majors in the College of Business and Economics, with over 1000 students currently majoring in General Business, Entrepreneurship Management, Human Resource Management, or International Business, and provides courses in four MBA programs. We are housed in the impressive Micron Business and Economics Building, which opened in the summer of 2012. The College of Business and Economics is AACSB-accredited.
Recognized as a university on the move, Boise State University is the largest university in Idaho, with enrollment of more than 22,000 students. The University is located in the heart of Idaho’s capital city, a growing metropolitan area that serves as the government, business, high-tech, economic, and cultural center of the state. Time Magazine ranked Boise #1 in 2014 for ‘getting it right’ with a thriving economy, a booming cultural scene, quality health care, and a growing university. Livability.com also ranked Boise first among the top 10 cities to raise a family in 2014 thanks to an abundant quality of life, a family-friendly culture, a vibrant downtown, and great outdoor recreation. To further enhance the superb quality of life Boise offers, the University has committed to sustaining the conditions necessary for faculty to enter and thrive in their academic careers, while meeting personal and family responsibilities.
Boise State University embraces and welcomes diversity in its faculty, student body, and staff. Accordingly, candidates who would add to the diversity and excellence of our academic community are encouraged to apply and to include in their cover letter information about how they can help us further these goals.
- J.D. degree with an excellent academic record from an ABA accredited law school.
- Potential for outstanding teaching and research.
- Willingness to be active in professional, university, and community service activities.
- MBA or other advanced business related degree.
- Demonstrated ability to engage in high quality teaching, including online teaching experience.
- Journal publications in refereed, peer-reviewed business journals, legal journals, or law reviews.
- Significant professional experience as a lawyer.
- Ability and experience teaching and doing research across disciplines (e.g. accounting, health care law, economics) is a plus.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
I recently learned, via e-mail, that Albany Law School has a number of open positions that may interest our readers. The positions, and links to the postings, are provided below:
- Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Information Systems
- Tenure-Track Position in Commercial Law
- Tenure-Track Position in Tax and Transactions Clinic
- Visiting or Contract Faculty Position-Business Transactions and Entrepreneurship
- Visiting or Contract Faculty Position-Patents/Technology Transfer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The University of Kentucky College of Law recently posted an announcement of their professor opening in the commercial and business law areas.
My updated list of law schools hiring in the business law area is here.
My updated list of non-law schools (mostly business schools) hiring law professors is here.