Help Wanted: An Empirical Study of LRW Hiring
Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, 2020
36 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2020
Date Written: February 19, 2020
This article considers the hiring of legal research and writing—“LRW”—professors from an empirical perspective. It addresses two main questions: First, which qualities do law schools look for when hiring a LRW professor? Second, who is getting hired into the top-ranked legal writing programs? To answer these questions, I collected information—including law school attended, judicial clerkship experience, years of practice experience, years of teaching experience, and local versus non-local hire—on the 61 professors hired into the top-ranked legal writing programs from 2010 through 2017. I also studied the thirty-seven legal writing job openings posted to the Legal Writing Institute’s email listserv during the 2018-19 hiring cycle.
The article reviews those findings and uses them to identify best practices for law schools hiring a new LRW professor. I then highlight several law schools whose job listings reflect high standards and ample resources devoted to legal writing, as well as a few schools that appear to be falling short. Finally, I call on all law schools with full-time faculty teaching legal writing to adopt high standards and devote to legal writing the resources necessary to build an outstanding program.
Keywords: LRW, legal writing, empirical research
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