Sunday, January 19, 2020
The Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, invites applications for three full-time faculty positions in its legal writing program beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year. The successful candidates will join a vibrant faculty in a flourishing law school and teach in the required first-year legal research and writing course, currently titled Lawyering: Advice and Persuasion. For more information about the Lawyering program, please visit their website at https://mitchellhamline.edu/lawyering/.
These positions are full time and include (1) security of position, (2) voting rights, and (3) compensation equity with doctrinal and clinical faculty. Faculty members who teach legal writing will be fully included in the life of the institution and will be encouraged to take on leadership roles consistent with their talents and areas of interest. Depending on the candidate’s interests and the law school’s needs and capacity, the successful candidate will be offered either an appointment on the tenure track or a position eligible for presumptively renewable long-term contracts consistent with ABA standard 405(c).
The school states that its goals are ambitious. First, we hope to build a first-class, nationally recognized legal writing program committed to innovative teaching, useful scholarship, and highly engaged community service—building on the strengths of the existing program and its steadfast respect for the practice of law. Second, we plan to remain a leader among U.S. law schools in blended legal education (an approach that combines online and on-campus instruction in each course) and experiential learning. Mitchell Hamline pioneered blended legal education among accredited law schools, and our legal writing program will embrace the latest learning technologies and principles of instructional design—including team-based and distance learning—to help students from diverse backgrounds all over the country (and, in some cases, around the world) to prepare for successful and influential legal careers. For more information about MHSL’s blended enrollment options, please visit our website at https://mitchellhamline.edu/academics/j-d-enrollment-options/blended-learning-at-mitchell-hamline/.
The Mitchell Hamline program is currently in transition from a highly centralized model in which skilled practitioners served as adjunct faculty and took responsibility for most of the instruction to one that relies on autonomous, full-time faculty to serve as students’ primary source of training in legal writing. Experienced adjunct faculty will continue to play an important role, but one that is supportive of full-time faculty teaching. Professors will teach one section of about 50 students in the residential program or one section of about 70-90 in the blended program. Professors will eventually implement the course’s learning goals through teaching materials of their choice, though they anticipate at the outset needing a high degree of coordination as they launch their new curriculum.
Given the relatively large number of students in each section, professors will receive a high degree of support in curricular design, problem development, and student feedback and assessment by collaborating with an experienced team that includes the Director of Legal Writing, law librarians, writing specialists in a top-notch Academic Excellence program, educational technology professionals, and a group of seasoned adjunct professors assigned to each section.
Over the course of their careers, professors should expect to teach legal research and writing in both the law school’s residential and blended learning enrollment options. In addition to their regular skills-related teaching, faculty members who teach legal writing will have opportunities to teach doctrinal courses in their areas of expertise, either as part of their regular teaching package or as an overload for additional compensation.
Applicants for these positions must have a J.D. degree with a strong academic record; excellent research, analysis, and writing skills; current bar membership in at least one jurisdiction; and at least three years of law practice experience post-J.D. The school is open to entry-level candidates but strongly prefer applicants who have experience teaching legal writing and managing a team. They also prefer candidates who have served as a judicial law clerk in a state, federal, or tribal court or who have written for publication. Finally, they prefer candidates with substantive knowledge in one or more areas of law or legal practice, an interest in producing scholarship, and a record of community engagement and service.
Mitchell Hamline School of Law is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek candidates who can contribute to the diversity of the campus community, as well as candidates who wish to work in a collaborative atmosphere with faculty and staff.
The law school is in an historic area of Saint Paul, Minnesota, along the longest avenue of Victorian homes in the United States and adjacent to Rondo, a resilient historic black neighborhood that boasts a yearly Jazz festival and a cutting-edge professional African American theater (Penumbra). Just a few miles away, Minneapolis is home to the Walker Art Center, the Guthrie Theater, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and one of the nation’s liveliest performing arts scenes; it was ranked the fifth most “creatively vital” city in the country, after D.C., New York, L.A., and Boston.
Saint Paul itself has an active theater and restaurant scene, a well-regarded opera, and one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are top cities for biking, cross-country skiing, active lifestyles, low cost of living, non-profit organizations, and exceptionally high levels of volunteer engagement. For all these reasons, the Twin Cities have been recognized consistently as being among the best places in the nation to start a career.
Interested candidates should submit the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org: (1) a letter of interest; (2) a resume or CV; (3) a 1-2 page statement of teaching philosophy and practice; (4) a 5-15 page writing sample demonstrating legal analysis; (5) a 1-2 page diversity statement addressing your past efforts and future plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through your teaching, service, and scholarship; and (6) a list of 3-5 references. While they will continue to consider applications until the positions are filled, candidates should submit their application materials before January 31, 2020, for priority consideration. Please contact Prof. Tom Cobb, Director of Legal Writing, with any questions at email@example.com.
The anticipated salary range indicated starts at $80,000 and goes above $120,000. The number of students to be taught each semester is estimated at 46 to more than 60, depending on whether the professor teaches in the blended or residential learning program.