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Making Our Work Work

21 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2008  

Jonathan Barry Forman

University of Oklahoma College of Law


Over the course of my career, I have received a lot of good advice that I want to share with my colleagues in the Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law. Specifically, I want to share my thoughts about how to disseminate our research outside the legal academy by: 1) testifying before Congress, state legislatures, and government agencies; 2) writing op-eds and magazine articles; and 3) speaking to the general public.

At the outset, however, I want to offer some general advice. First, perhaps, the best advice that I ever received was to make your research count at least three times. The second best advice I ever received was to always say yes to opportunities to write or speak, lest people stop asking. Along the same lines, the third best advice was to sow the seeds for future opportunities.

As a fourth bit of advice, I want to encourage you to promote yourself in almost every way that you can think of. Send at least 100 reprints of every law review article. Have current business cards, a one-page vita, a full vita, and a web page.

Fifth, keep track of what is hot on the national and state public policy agendas, and always work on at least one hot topic. Help legislators and their staffs draft legislation; help agencies formulate policies and regulations; and submit statements for the record of hearings. You may even get to testify or serve on an advisory committee.

Keywords: self-promotion, intellectual, testimony, op-ed, speech, public policy

JEL Classification: A00, A11, A12, J00, K00

Suggested Citation

Forman, Jonathan Barry, Making Our Work Work. Suffolk University Law Review, Vol. 42, 2008. Available at SSRN:

Jonathan Barry Forman (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma College of Law ( email )

300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405-325-4779 (Phone)
405-325-0389 (Fax)


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