Law Professors Going Home
I assume that many of us are following the list of lateral faculty moves over at The Faculty Lounge and are eagerly anticipating Larry Solum’s list of entry-level hires. The laterals list includes Mark Janis’s move from Iowa to Indiana. Now I don’t know Professor Janis or his work, but I’m always interested in finding new scholarship to explore. In reviewing Professor Janis’s bio, I noticed something: He graduated from Indiana Law, the place to which he is now returning. Professor Janis is not alone – for example, several years ago my friend Bob Lawless returned to Illinois, from which he holds his JD. And these are just a couple of potentially numerous examples.
Which got me thinking: Do all law professors secretly yearn to return to the schools from which they graduated? There are reasons to think many do. First, while there are surely exceptions, those of us who became professors probably really enjoyed our law school experiences (if not we’d be far away from the hallowed halls). Second, we likely held those professors who taught us in the highest regard, and the chance to become their colleague has an allure that an unfamiliar school might not be able to match. Third, we may have family in the geographic area or just generally prefer it (after all, we chose to go there in the first place). And finally, our home school may have been especially supportive when we were trying to enter academia and since.
Perhaps this inquiry is largely theoretical since most law professors graduated from the very top schools where few wind up. But just for fun, if you graduated from Stanford would you pick it over Harvard if you had the choice? Do you secretly yearn to return home to the school that started this whole experience for you? Due to the sensitive nature of the inquiry, my guess is that the “anon”s will dominate any comments. But I thought it would be fun to ask…