Friday, March 21, 2008

Secunda on Law School Lateraling

Secunda_2 Paul last week posted on SSRN his essay Tales of a Law Professor Lateral Nothing.  His essay  fills a huge void in the literature, and it says something about both the demand in the academy for information about lateraling, and the quality of Paul's essay, that after only a week the essay has 500+ downloads and counting.  Here's the abstract:

This Essay seeks to uncover the mysterious world of the law professor lateral hiring market, which has become increasingly important in the last number of years as law schools seek to build their reputations in this U.S. News & World Report world through the hiring of prominent faculty members.

Although the advice and guidance given in this Essay are sometimes written with tongue firmly in cheek, I do attempt to accomplish two important objectives here. First, there has been scarcely anything written about the lateral hiring market for law professors, as opposed to the cottage industry that has been devoted to the entry-level law professor hiring market. This Essay methodically takes the lateral-to-be professor through every step of the lateral process from the first-person perspective of one who has been on the market for three years and successfully lateraled this past year.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, I want to contribute to the process of bringing back to legal academic writing the form of the first-person narrative. Like my colleague, David Case, I believe that, the narrative voice is an important, and perhaps underutilized, tool in deconstructing the arbitrary processes of the legal academic hiring market. See David Case, The Pedagogical Don Quixote de la Mississippi, 33 U. Mem. L. Rev. 529, 530 n.2 (2003).

Paul's essay is both informative and an entertaining read.  Paul's humor, often at his own expense, significantly enhances his description of the process.  Way to go, Paul!!!


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