Law Firms for Law Professors

Are there biglaw firms that have a reputation as more “academic,” or having a high percentage of “alumni” going into law teaching? Based on this factor, and wanting to stay in Boston, I took an opportunity here (poor Eliot was sacrificed to the branding campaign gods, although Hoag seemed the more natural candidate…). Bright lights of that era were Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Jessica Silbey, Joel Ngugi, Bill McGeveran, fellow guest-blogger Tim Zick, who I was scratching my head trying to figure out how I knew, thus he served as inspiration for this post, and, oh, yeah, Doug Kysar. (Dina Wreede always did do excellent work). What is the current word on which law firms send the most “alums” into academia?

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14 Responses

  1. Jason W. says:

    Gibson Dunn seems to have the reputation as being a waystation for those on their way into the academy, I think, but I couldn’t give any facts on this.

  2. Deven says:

    Hmm. Boston. Home to Harvard. Few big firms of note in town. The folks you name are mainly connected to the town by school or clerkship. Result, seems like the firm has a professor angle. Reality, could be coincidence. Move away from the smaller legal market to New York, Chicago, L.A., and D.C. and one has more firms for people to go to. Just a guess but one of the big S.F. firms probably has a similar record to Foley because again small market, great schools in the area, and well it is convenient, if not common, to find that recent graduates want to stay in the city.

  3. Hillel Levin says:

    Cleary Gottlieb has a reputation for producing law professors.

  4. David Zaring says:

    I wouldn’t even know where to begin with Wilmer, esp the Wilmer before it was WilmerHale. Bignami, Picker, Charnovitz, Bierschbach, Morrison are five that quickly come to mind, but there are lotsa others.

  5. Paul Caron says:

    Three Tax Profs are alumni of Boston’s Sullivan & Worcester: Karen Burke, Paul Caron and Grayson McCouch

  6. Miriam Cherry says:

    Wanted to comment on Deven’s point … I don’t think it’s coincidence; HLS students who were interested in teaching were choosing firms based on so-called “academic reputation.”

  7. Anon says:

    Jenner & Block’s DC Office has a good reputation for producing law profs. Some examples:

    Heather Gerken (Yale/Harvard)

    Jenny Martinez (Stanford)

    Jim Greiner (Harvard)

    Mitchell Berman (Texas)

    Kevin Stack (Vanderbelt)

    Eric Berger (Nebraska)

    David Fagundes (Southwestern)

    Aaron Bruhl (Houston)

  8. David Johnson was a one-man prof-producing shop at Wilmer: in addition to himself, his former colleagues Susan Crawford and David Post are both in the academy.

  9. Anon says:

    Covington & Burling has a strong reputation for producing future academics as well.

  10. Jon Weinberg says:

    My old law firm Shea & Gardner (since absorbed into Goodwin Procter) was pretty small — about 70 lawyers at its height — but it had an “academic” reputation. A quick Google search reveals at least twenty alumni in law teaching, including Jose Alvarez, Stephen Carter, Phil Frickey, and Bill Eskridge.

  11. Simon Stern says:

    Jon, I second your mention of the old S&G firm, in DC. When I joined, in fact, on the first page of the firm’s web presence was a list of schools where former members were now teaching — listing over a dozen. Covington’s DC office has also seen many go into law teaching.

  12. A.J. Sutter says:

    Just curious: what is the typical (or maybe let’s say median) time people spend at these firms before they go into teaching? And when Simon Stern mentions “former members” was that literally, as in partners?

  13. anon says:

    Kellogg Huber in DC has had a bunch too, especially for its small size:

    Shelanski at Boalt

    Barkow at NYU

    Molot at Georgetown

    Penalver at Cornell

    Markel at FSU

  14. anon says:

    Kellogg Huber in DC has had a bunch too, especially for its small size:

    Shelanski at Boalt

    Barkow at NYU

    Molot at Georgetown

    Penalver at Cornell

    Markel at FSU

    Hessick at ASU