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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Opportunity for Junior Property Profs

The clock is running out on a unique and valuable opportunity for junior property professors  -- participation in the American Bar Association Real Property Trust, and Estate Law Fellows Program.  The application deadline is June 17, 2011.  (Sorry for the late notice.)

I was an ABA-RPTE Fellow about five years ago, and it was one of the most valuable professional experiences I've had.  It is literally the fast-track to leadership in the section, which can be valuable to junior Property Profs for a number of reasons.

1.  If you never practiced in real estate prior to joining the academy (or practiced briefly), the twice-annual ABA-RPTE leadership meetings (paid for by the ABA during the Fellowship!) are an incredible opportunity to meet senior practitioners and gain ideas, tips, and forms. (Note:  after the two-year fellowship is completed, you should, if you met expectations, etc., be appointed to a leadership post in the section.  I am a vice-chair of a substantive committee.)

2.  If you did practice real estate prior to joining the academy, the ABA-RPTE leadership meetings are a great way to stay on top of changing conditions in real estate practice, and to incorporate those new lessons learned into the classroom.

3.  ABA-RPTE section leadership includes several noted property profs.  So if you go to the leadership meetings, you get to hang out with and get to know experienced and generous property profs.  (Who will read and comment on your articles if you ask nicely!)

4.  You get great, random opportunities.  At the fall leadership meeting last fall, I happened to attend the breakfast meeting of the Uniform Laws Committee.  I walked out of the meeting with an assignment to do some research on a particular topic, which is the focus of an article that I'm writing this summer and a report that I'm presenting to the Joint Editorial Board at NCCUSL later this year. 

5.  You get opportunities to present your research.  At the recent Spring Symposium in Washington, D.C. (which doubles as the spring leadership meeting), I co-presented a CLE on "Rethinking Real Estate Remedies in Troubling Times."  This was an adaptation of an article that I published in the Nebraska Law Review last summer on the uniqueness doctrine, tweaked for an audience of transactional real estate attorneys.  I presented with a current litigator and we had 65 people in the audience, literally standing room only for 90 minutes.  Not only was that presentation good PR for my scholarship, but it was a well-received CLE that actually said something useful and practical.  In a few months, we are going to offer the same program as an eCLE, which will be advertised broadly throughout the ABA. 

So, education, networking, opportunities to share your scholarship.  What else do you need?

The application materials can be found here.  Please feel free to e-mail me directly if you have any questions about the program!

Tanya Marsh

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