Advice on Becoming a Law Professor

Brad Areheart, ‘05, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law, shares his advice on becoming a law professor. From preparing to be a law professor while in school and after your graduate to how to become a VAP (Visiting Associate Professor), Brad gives UT Law students practical advice on how become a professor.

Excerpt: First thing to understand is (1) this is the best job in the world (seriously) and (2) that becoming a law professor is hyper-competitive. It doesn’t mean you can’t get there. But it does mean you won’t luck or “fall into” a job as a law professor. (Conversely, you can fall into a biglaw job – just make excellent grades and interview well.) The best way to describe the competitiveness of getting this job is to compare it to getting a job at a large law firm. Getting a tenure-track job anywhere (even at a lower-ranked school or one that is located in an undesirable city) is probably about 10x more difficult than getting a job at a large firm in a desirable city. All of this means you will have to be very conscientious and driven to make it.

With that cheery note, the place to start is in law school. It’s probably the least discussed in terms of logistics or advice – but in a way, the most important. Once you get out of law school, you will be slammed with taking the bar, hopefully starting a new job, and trying to do that new job well enough that you not only stay employed, but also are successful by some measure.

Full article on becoming a law professor is available on the UT Law Career Services Office website.