Friday, February 10, 2017

visiting position at Washburn

The Washburn University School of Law invites applications for the position of Visiting Associate Professor of Law (VAP) in its Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing (LARW) program. Washburn’s LARW program is staffed by four tenured or tenure-track professors specializing in legal writing pedagogy. The program is often ranked among the best legal writing programs in the nation by U.S. World and News Report.

This position is for a full-time nine-month visiting faculty member to teach first-year courses in our legal writing program during the 2017-2018 academic year, beginning in August 2017. The VAP will be expected to teach at least one section of LARW each semester in addition to one additional course each semester. Those additional courses may be in the upper-level curriculum and could include at least one upper-level writing course. However, the content of the additional courses would be decided based on the curricular needs of the institution and the VAP’s experience and interests.

Washburn University was founded in 1865 on the then-revolutionary premise of open access to and diversity in education. Washburn Law School is committed to continuing and expanding upon this legacy. Diversity among faculty, staff, and students is essential to fulfilling the mission and vision of the law school, and the school uses every means available to support robust diversity within the law school community. Applicants whose background and experiences might enhance the diversity of the law school are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Washburn campus is located in the heart of Topeka, Kansas, blocks from the state capitol. Recently, the Topeka and Shawnee County Library was named the 2016 Library of the Year, the highest honor for libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Topeka has previously been named a Top Ten City in Kiplinger’s magazine. Topeka features affordable housing and beautiful, historic neighborhoods filled with well-maintained parks. It is also the home of the Brown v. Board of Education historical site.

Qualified candidates will have a JD degree from an ABA-accredited law school, outstanding academic credentials, and a strong law school and practice record demonstrating an outstanding level of accomplishment in legal research and writing. Prior experience teaching legal research and writing is preferred, but not required.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. (All faculty appointments are contingent upon funding.) Washburn University School of Law is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status. Interested candidates should send a resume, a list of at least three references, and a cover letter. Contact: Professor Janet Thompson Jackson, Chair, Faculty Recruitment Committee, Washburn University School of Law, 1700 College Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, 66621. E-mail:

  1. The position advertised:

     __   a.   is a tenure-track appointment

__   b.   may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

     __  c.   may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.

     _X_   d.  has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.

     __   e.  is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

     __   f.   is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

Additional information about job security or terms of employment, any applicable

term limits, and whether the position complies with ABA Standard 405(c):

The position is a one-year podium fill visitor.


  1. The professor hired:

     _X_   a.   will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

     __   b.   will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

Additional information about the extent of the professor’s voting rights:


  1. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; a base salary does not include conference travel or other professional development funds.)

___ over $120,000

___ $110,000 - $119,999

__ $100,000 - $109,999

XX_ $90,000 - $99,999

Additional information about base salary or other compensation:

Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications


  1. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be:

     __   a.   30 or fewer

     __   b.   31 - 35

     _X_   c.   36 - 40

Additional information about teaching load, including required or permitted

teaching outside of the legal research and writing program:

The visitor would be expected to teach a section of LARW I in the Fall semester and a section of LARW II in the Spring semester.  Depending on curricular needs, the visitor’s experience, and the visitor’s interests, the remaining two classes could include upper-level casebook classes or upper-level writing courses.


hat tip:  Joseph Mastrosimone, Washburn

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Only slightly related, but I'm currently a practicing attorney, working in the Appeals Bureau of a major metropolitan prosecutor's office. I'd like to transition into teaching at either the university or law school level (legal writing, crimpro, evidence, or related subjects). How many years of practice is recommended before applying for a tenure-track position?

Posted by: jaykaywhy | Feb 26, 2017 5:06:10 PM

You can always apply -- it's like buying a lottery ticket, but not as expensive. You never know when you're what a school is looking for! The mixture of your education, overall experience, and teaching interest is what matters.

Posted by: Mark Wojcik | Mar 2, 2017 9:48:08 AM

While Mark's advice isn't wrong, Prawfs has worked this issue hard and much data can be found there. Loosely, traditional tenure tracked centered on 3-5 years, with 2 to 3 publications and likely a clerkship. These days PhDs and VAPs are trending strong. Most recently, offers for entry were fewer than in recent years, and there have been more 'clinical' positions offered.
Still, who knows what makes the market move, extending the lottery metaphor, if you don't apply you certainly won't get lucky.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 13, 2017 12:05:26 AM

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