What’s New in Law Teaching
Three years ago, our profile about law teaching, Law Teaching and Training: Law School and Way Beyond, Vol. 10 in our 18-volume 21st Century Legal Career Series (available from Amazon.com and NALP, https://www.nalp.org/productDetail/?productID=241), noted that the world was hungry to learn about U.S. law and our legal system and that this eagerness for knowledge was creating opportunities for lawyers both domestically and abroad. We also emphasized that it was not only attorneys who wanted this information, but also non-lawyers. In the intervening years, this “movement” has expanded, both in terms of the interested learner demographic and the educational institutions around the world offering such courses in English.
Our publication pointed out that law teaching means much more than teaching in a law school. The expansion of legal instruction parallels the intrusion of law into every aspect of society, a push that, if anything, has accelerated since our book came out.
The biggest contributor to that expansion is the tremendous proliferation of legal and quasi-law course, certificate and degree offerings for non-attorneys by law schools and universities. They go under many names, including Master of Law Studies, Master of Studies in Law, Master of Legal Studies and Master of Jurisprudence, to name just a few. They typically require one year of study and are designed to give non-lawyers a better understanding of the law and legal issues. Today, there are more than 200 such programs offered in the U.S.
While existing law faculty teach some of these courses, the demand for new law teachers is substantial.
Law teaching and training opportunities are available today in numerous different milieus in addition to the traditional law school faculty setting, including:
- Non-mainstream positions in law schools.
- 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities.
- Aforementioned law school programs for non-attorneys.
- Paralegal programs.
- Teaching law (in English) abroad.
- Corporate training programs.
- Law firm training—internal and external.
- Continuing legal education programs.
- Government training programs.
- Other selected teaching and training programs.
Moreover, the hiring thresholds for many of these venues are open to a much larger attorney pool than the traditional law faculty setting.
- Higher Ed Jobs https://higheredjobs.com
- The Faculty Lounge https://thefacultylounge.org/law_school_hiring/
- Association of American Law Schools https://www.aals.org/services/recruitment/
- London Times Higher Education Supplement https://www.timeshighereducation.com/unijobs/en-us/listings/law/