Legal Scholarship Blueprint

Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 50, No. 3, September 2000

19 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2004


A quintessential Scalia dissent recently chastised the majority for spawning the perception that the U.S. Supreme Court is a "nine-headed Caesar, giving thumbs-up or thumbs-down to whatever outcome, case by case, suits or of-fends its collective fancy." I offer this article, and direct it particularly to junior faculty, to minimize the evolution of any similar perception about the scholarship portion of the tenure process. No source comprehensively addresses the broad range of career-defining scholarship issues affecting survival (tenure) and notoriety (posttenure), and the important housekeeping decisions that will affect your career. Anecdotal advice is thus a rather precious commodity. Its broader dissemination to pretenured faculty will promote a better understanding of the expectations, ethics, and etherealness of tenure scholarship. This article neither encourages nor discourages scholarship. Nor does it add much to the existing literature about the "why" of scholarship, what constitutes "good" scholarship, and whether scholarship makes you a "better" teacher. It does acknowledge the following reality: there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint. There are pervasive variables, however, which one should not ignore. Rookies might otherwise happen upon sensitive, quality-of-life issues after the point of no return. Like a construction project without a blueprint, the pursuit of tenure without a scholarship plan invites failure. By posing strategic questions, I hope to arm some modern gladiators in their quest for a scholarly thumbs-up in the tenure colosseum.

Suggested Citation

Slomanson, William R., Legal Scholarship Blueprint. Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 50, No. 3, September 2000, Available at SSRN:

William R. Slomanson (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

701 B Street
Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

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