Monday, March 17, 2008

The SSRN Law Academic Career Enhancement Journal: A Proposal

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw

As noted earlier, Paul Secunda has a new piece posted on SSRN (see below - he's in 9th place right now, but moving quickly up the charts), a light-hearted look at the lateral market for law professor, and how to succeed therein.  David Zaring and Gordon Smith over at Conglomerate noted the "success" some of these pieces have in terms of SSRN downloads, and I was curious how much navel-gazing and career-directed stuff actually shows up on SSRN.  In a move that demonstrates much of my problem as an empiricist, I went to the SSRN "Top Papers" listing, clicked on the "All-Time" ranking, and proceeded to Brooks make my way through page after page, noting where I thought candidates appeared.  Unfortunately, at about page 18 (having looked at 1,800 titles), I got bored.

So my top ten "career-enhancement" paper ranking (as measured by SSRN all-time downloads) comes with the following caveats:  (a) I arbitrarily decided what fit in the category; (b) I stopped my more rigorous method at papers with about 1,300 downloads; (c) I included papers I recalled seeing before below the 1,300 level, and (d) I included one paper by Mark West at Michigan not because it fell within the career-enhancing category, but I thought it was whimsical.  The far and away leader is Thom Brooks (pictured above left) of the Newcastle Law School.  Here goes:

1.   Thom Brooks (Newcastle), The Post-Graduate's Guide to Getting Published (2003)

2.   Thom Brooks (Newcastle), Publishing Advice for Graduate Students (2008)

3.   Mark  West (Michigan), Legal Determinants of World Cup Success (2002)

4.   Erik Jensen (Case Western Reserve), Law School Attire:  A Call for a Uniform Uniform Code (2007)

5.   Jeffrey Lipshaw (Suffolk), Memo to Lawyers:  How Not to "Retire and Teach" (2007)

6.   Sara K. Stadler (Emory), The Bulls and Bears of Law Teaching (2006)

7.   Brannon P. Denning (Cumberland) and Miriam A. Cherry (McGeorge), The Five Stages of Law Review Submission (2005)

8.   Franklin G. Snyder (Texas Wesleyan), Late Night Thoughts on Blogging While Reading Duncan Kennedy's 'Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy' in an Arkansas Motel Room (2006)

9.   Paul M. Secunda (Mississippi-Marquette), Tales of a Law School Lateral Nothing (2008)

If I have left you out in my haste (or boredom), let me know.

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