As an adjunct professor of law, you teach at a university or law school. Associate professors are faculty members, but do not have a job, which means they do not have guaranteed full-time employment at all times. Your responsibilities include planning and teaching courses, and sometimes conducting research or publishing scientific articles. Many associate professors teach or teach part-time and have contracts valid for a semester or academic year before they are renewed. In addition to teaching law, your responsibilities may be to advise students and help them develop their skills and define their goals. But if a friend of mine asked me now if I would recommend going into teaching, I would say: For the sake of your legal career, your peace of mind, and perhaps your dignity and self-respect, stay away. You don`t just have to teach in a law school. Community colleges, also known as junior colleges, typically require appendices to teach various courses. Depending on your background, you may be able to teach something as simple as a law degree or an introduction to criminal law for non-lawyers.
If you have a master`s degree, you might even be able to bring them into an additional non-legal job. Over the years, many successful lawyers have asked me how they could get an additional teaching assignment – a part-time job that teaches a specialty course in a subject they know well, usually in a 2-hour weekly block. (Some examples of these categories, but not necessarily the ones I was asked about: business damage; Family law mediation; entertainment guilds; and of course many others.) To meet the requirements of the American Bar Association, the law school eventually switched to the full-time professor model for required courses. But associate professors continued to play an important role in fulfilling the mission of the School of Practical Legal Education by teaching electives in high school. Today, WMU-Cooley`s list of professors consists of 59 full-time professors and 150 assistants. If you are a practitioner, this is not a likely sequence of events. But what you can do is become an auxiliary – a permanent „visiting“ professor who teaches courses here and there (although more and more than here and there). Auxiliaries typically teach experiential courses (including legal skills and advocacy) or advanced courses in specialized areas such as intellectual property and health law.
Experiential courses are usually taught at the Law School in downtown Chicago. Courses can be taught at the law school or online, and in some cases, auxiliaries also develop online courses for additional remuneration. Auxiliaries are required to attend orientation and training sessions and to comply with academic and institutional guidelines. A learning management system is used in live and online lessons to publish curricula and other materials and communicate with students. I always told them, „Think of extra teaching first as a very expensive hobby.“ A typical class of 2 units can pay between $5,000 and about $10,000. In return, the teacher will likely have to teach about 2 hours a week; Let`s say an average of about an hour by transportation (remember when people should actually drive to and from college?); and probably about 4 to 6 hours of preparation for class (much more the first time, maybe a little less later, although there may be new developments each year that would require additional preparation), plus conversations with students after class and out of class and others. The teacher should also take the exam and then grade it, and in many classes he should write down students` documents (at law school, professors do their own grading instead of delegating to teaching assistants). This, of course, is partly due to the willingness of the university administration to give in to students` demands, including the demand for dismissal.
But it also stems from the fact that it`s all happening so publicly. We are not talking about a quiet separation of paths, a discreet conversation in which the dean says to an auxiliary, „We will not need you to teach the course next year.“ We talk about public criticism from students and public condemnations by administrators, which often leads to important media reports that appear regularly when the deputy`s name is googled. It is much less likely, I think, that powerful faculty members or administration will treat adjunct faculties with the same concern. If you live and work near where you earned your law degree, ask if your school has any auxiliary vacancies – or network. It`s a good part of alumni relationships and it lets current students know that, hey, graduates are getting jobs! You can probably get fired because you condemned the Chinese government in a blog post if you say „China“ five times and then say „Chinese“ to refer to the actions of the Chinese government (the theory is that you are sectarian against ethnic Chinese, even though the context is clear that you are referring to the government and not the ethnic group). To be precise, a full-time faculty member at the University of San Diego with nearly 30 years of teaching experience has been publicly convicted by his dean for this and is under official investigation within the law school. It seems highly likely that if it had been a supplement, he would have been fired quickly. But nowadays, I wouldn`t usually recommend additional instructions: any statement that is controversial enough, in class or outside, can lead to a storm of accusations of bigotry, a quick denunciation and dismissal by the dean, and a great risk to your day`s career. Of course, precisely because work pays so little, firing alone will not cost much (although it would undoubtedly leave a bitter taste). But reporting, I think, can be devastating both professionally and economically, especially since coverage will focus not only on the students` allegations, but also on the law school administration`s support for those allegations. Many associate professors don`t even earn a decent salary – let alone auxiliaries.
Being an add-on expands what you do, but it doesn`t replace it. (Most auxiliaries earn a few thousand dollars per course.) Also, do not assume that an addition will lead to a job leading to tenure. Schools do not hire in this way, and the professional tasks of auxiliaries are very different from those of tenure-track teachers. You could, of course, be fired if you accurately quote insults from readings when discussing a case. A full-time faculty member was fired for this, with the school reprimanding him not only for quoting (from a prominent precedent that quoted the word 19 times) – I`m sure all auxiliaries now know how uncertain it would be – but also from Snyder v. Phelps (the quasi-funeral picket case in which the court overturned an unlawful sentence based on signs that said, among other things, that God hates). For example, I highly doubt that the USC Business School lecturer (and fluent in Mandarin) who gave the Mandarin word „nei-ge“ as an example of a filler word (the analogue of „um“ and „he“) in a course on corporate communication expected controversy. But the students publicly denounced him, and the dean quickly publicly condemned him and removed him from teaching the course in the middle of the semester.
And the professor has received national and international media coverage – not all negative, of course, given the government`s poor performance in doing so, but also not the kind of things that are generally good for the career. At least this lecturer was probably earning a decent salary in exchange for this kind of risk (and could still keep his job, especially given the obvious setback of the faculty). .