April 2012 Vol. 110 No. 6 THE REVIEW

Becoming a Legal Scholar

Samuel W. Buell

What does it take to become a law professor? With the publication of Brannon Denning, Marcia McCormick, and Jeffrey Lipshaw's Becoming a Law Professor: A Candidate's Guide, we can now say — as academics do — that there is a literature on this question. Previously, much of the advice on this topic consisted of postings to blogs and other websites, which comprise probably the most detailed set of writings law professors have created in that medium.

The arrival of a monograph pulls this body of advice together, organizes it, adds substantially to it, and supplies a handy tool for the kit of any aspiring professorial candidate. The guide's authors have performed a service for which the hundreds of teaching aspirants who enter the Association of American Law Schools ("AALS") pool each season will owe them gratitude. Written in the style of a backpacker's guide — with the voice of intrepid reporters whose blisters have turned to calluses — Becoming a Law Professor hits the key points one needs to know to pass through the land of hiring in the legal academy without falling victim to common injuries, fatigue, hazards, and mistakes that are easily avoidable with proper preparation and local knowledge.

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