Elitism In Law Faculty Hiring

LLBInsideHigherEd are reporting about a study of law school faculty hiring practices that will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Empirical Studies.

"The authors studied hiring practices for the 2007-8 academic year. The pattern of hiring appears that schools from all tiers would rather hire graduates from first tier institutions as faculty than lower ranked schools. In fact, the articles states 'nearly half of the new professors hired by accredited last schools in 2008 graduated from only three law schools, those of Harvard, Stanford and Yale Universities.'"

Wow! That's a lot of professors from only three schools. It reminds me of the representation of law schools by SCOTUS justices.

"The implication InsideHigherEd draws is that these hiring practices belie a movement to teach practical skills in a changing curriculum when new faculty members are drawn from programs that emphasize theory."

That's a good point. Although if the new faculty members graduated from schools that emphasize theory and then went on to legal careers for the hands-on training, it's not really much of a problem. It is a little jarring that this level of elitism still persists given that we have over 200 ABA accredited law schools in this country and nearly half of new hires only come from the three schools.

Here's to more diversity in the legal academe!

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