The Teaching/Research Tradeoff in Law: Data from the Right Tail

49 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2014  

Tom Ginsburg

University of Chicago Law School

Thomas J. Miles

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: February 11, 2014

Abstract

There is a long scholarly debate on the tradeoff between research and teaching in various fields, but relatively little study of the phenomenon in law. This analysis examines the relationship between the two core academic activities at one particular school, the University of Chicago Law School, which is considered one of the most productive in legal academia. We use standard measures of scholarly productivity and teaching performance. For research, we measure the total number of publications for each professor for each year, while for teaching, we look at the average teaching rating. Net of other factors, we find that, under some specifications, research and teaching are positively correlated. In particular, we find that students’ perceptions of teaching quality rises, but at a decreasing rate, with the total amount of scholarship. We also find that certain personal characteristics correlate with productivity. The recent debate on the mission of American law schools has hinged on the assumption that a tradeoff exists between teaching and research, and this article’s analysis, although limited in various ways, casts some doubt on that assumption.

Suggested Citation

Ginsburg, Tom and Miles, Thomas J., The Teaching/Research Tradeoff in Law: Data from the Right Tail (February 11, 2014). University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 674. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2394114

Tom Ginsburg (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Thomas J. Miles

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
324
Rank
74,640
Abstract Views
1,614