Dawn of the Discipline-Based Law Faculty

65 Journal of Legal Education 506 (2016)

UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 15-33

45 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2015 Last revised: 27 May 2016

See all articles by Lynn M. LoPucki

Lynn M. LoPucki

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Abstract

This Article reports on an empirical study of the prevalence of Ph.D.s on law faculties, the rate at which J.D.-Ph.D.s are being hired by those faculties, the impact of that hiring on faculties’ legal experience levels, and the likely resulting future composition of law faculties. Approximately 29% of the tenure-track faculties of the top twenty-six law schools currently hold Ph.D.s, and 67% of those schools’ entry level hires in 2014 and 2015 are J.D.-Ph.D.s. Recent hiring has separated into two tracks. On the growing J.D.-Ph.D. track, both legal experience and preparation time is declining. On the fading J.D.-only track, legal experience and preparation time are increasing. Preparation time for a law teaching job is now slightly lower on the J.D.-Ph.D. track. If current hiring trends continue, a majority of the members of top twenty-six law faculties will hold Ph.D.s by 2028, and a large majority of them will have no experience in law practice. Although Ph.D.-hiring is strongly correlated with school rank, this transformation to discipline-based law faculties will not be confined to the top schools. Already, 11% of tenure-track faculty hires in the bottom quartile of law schools have Ph.D.s. When this transformation is complete, the disciplines will effectively control the scholarly agendas of American law schools.

Keywords: empiricism, Ph.D.s, J.D.-Ph.D.s, law schools, legal education, disciplines, interdisciplinary, preparation time, practice, clerkships, law school rankings

Suggested Citation

LoPucki, Lynn M., Dawn of the Discipline-Based Law Faculty. 65 Journal of Legal Education 506 (2016), UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 15-33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2663614

Lynn M. LoPucki (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
420
Abstract Views
2,949
rank
103,373
PlumX Metrics