When To Turn Down a Tenured Law Professorship Job Offer

obama.jpgThere’s a very interesting NY Times article about Barack Obama’s time teaching law at University of Chicago Law School. From the article:

Soon after [losing in the primary for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives], the faculty saw an opening and made him its best offer yet: Tenure upon hiring. A handsome salary, more than the $60,000 he was making in the State Senate or the $60,000 he earned teaching part time. A job for Michelle Obama directing the legal clinic.

Your political career is dead, Daniel Fischel, then the dean, said he told Mr. Obama, gently. Mr. Obama turned the offer down. Two years later, he decided to run for the Senate. He canceled his course load and has not taught since.

Another interesting fact:

Mr. Obama arrived at the law school in 1991 thanks to Michael W. McConnell, a conservative scholar who is now a federal appellate judge. As president of The Harvard Law Review, Mr. Obama had impressed Mr. McConnell with editing suggestions on an article; on little more than that, the law school gave him a fellowship, which amounted to an office and a computer, which he used to write his memoir, “Dreams From My Father.”

The article also has posted some of Obama’s class materials.

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1 Response

  1. Stuart Buck says:

    Tenure upon hiring.

    That can’t be true, can it? See http://volokh.com/posts/1217534721.shtml