Thursday, August 3, 2006

synergy for law profs?

Below is information and an abstract about an interesting new article available free via SSRN:

Is There a Correlation between Scholarly Productivity, Scholarly
Influence and Teaching Effectiveness in American Law Schools? An
Empirical Study


by BENJAMIN BARTON
University of Tennessee, Knoxville - College of Law
Email:  Barton@libra.law.utk.edu
Auth-Page:  http://ssrn.com/author=109703
Full Text:  http://ssrn.com/abstract=913421

ABSTRACT:
"This empirical study attempts to answer an age-old
debate in legal academia: whether scholarly productivity helps or
hurts teaching. The study is of an unprecedented size and scope.
It covers every tenured or tenure-track faculty member at 19
American law schools, a total of 623 professors. The study
gathers four years of teaching evaluation data (calendar years
2000-03) and creates an index for teaching effectiveness.

"This index was then correlated against five different measures of
research productivity. The first three measure each professor's
productivity for the years 2000-03. These productivity measures
include a raw count of publications and two weighted counts. The
scholarly productivity measure weights scholarly books and top-20
or peer reviewed law review articles above casebooks, treatises
or other publications. By comparison, the practice-oriented
productivity measure weights casebooks, treatises and
practitioner articles at the top of the scale. There are also two
measures of scholarly influence. One is a lifetime citation
count, and the other is a count of citations per year.

"These five measures of research productivity cover virtually any
definition of research productivity. Combined with four years of
teaching evaluation data the study provides a powerful measure of
both sides of the teaching versus scholarship debate.

"The study correlates each of these five different research
measures against the teaching evaluation index for all 623
professors, and each individual law school. The results are
counter-intuitive: there is no correlation between teaching
effectiveness and any of the five measures of research
productivity. Given the breadth of the study, this finding is
quite robust. The study should prove invaluable to anyone
interested in the priorities of American law schools, and anyone
interested in the interaction between scholarship and teaching in
higher education."

hat tip:  Professor Jan Levine, Temple University

(spl)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2006/08/synergy_for_law.html

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