Whether a Fellow or a Visitor Be

The new hires news is pouring in, and already there’s been some comment on the fact that a large number of the successful applicants came from fellowships or from visits at other schools, as opposed to from practice. When I looked around for a so-you-want-to-be-a-professor gig, I applied to two schools. Each of these places were massive, lumbering beasts of the law school firmament. It now appears that visiting and fellowship opportunities cover the map, and that successful applicants can come from a wide range of institutional settings.

So which should you choose – a fellowship at a big law school, or a visiting gig somewhere else?

If you’re going into teaching for the money – and no man but a blockhead ever wrote but for money – your choice is clear. You want the visit. Possibly for US News reporting reasons, or maybe for budgetary bureaucratic reasons far above my pay grade, my spy network suggests that visitors frequently to get a salary not dissimilar than that that of new tenure track hires. If you’re thinking about a fellowship or a short-term writing job, you’ll be lucky to get more than 60 grand, and you’ll probably make much less.

Of course, if you’re entering teaching for the money, I’d encourage you to compare the salaries of first year associates at New York law firms with those of tenured professors at the University of Virginia.

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