Teaching Tomorrow's Professors

Educating The Next Generation of Law Faculty

By James Vescovi and Susan Wampler

With a longstanding graduate program and a new initiative to assist J.D. students interested in teaching law, Columbia Law School not only ranks among the nation's top producers of law school faculty, but it also graduates leaders in legal education who are influencing teaching methodology throughout the United States and around the world.

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Six Who Chose Academia

by Kate Forristall, Contributing Editor

While law schools today receive record numbers of applicants, lawyers themselves sometimes express little satisfaction with their career choice.  Not so with these six Columbia Law School graduates, who have joined the ranks of academia.  To the person, they display the sort of enthusiasm for their work more frequently found in skateboarding aficionados.  These faculty members work not in dry and musty corridors, but in a world of thriving ideas, collegial associations, and an almost entrepreneurial freedom to pursue their passions and interests.       
          None had academic aspirations when he or she applied to law school.  All acknowledge the role professors at Columbia played in their decision to teach and concur that without such encouragement they would not have entered the field.  Some Columbia professors served in formal supervisory arrangements.  A few were proactive cheerleaders for their profession.  Many were role models after the fact--images recalled when, after a few years in practice, the question "What do I do next?" had to be answered.
          Their reasons for teaching are as varied as their expertise.  Columbia ranks third among the nation's law schools in producing graduates who eventually go into teaching.  Six of the more than 300 are profiled here.

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Cardozo in the Wings

by Katherine Towler, Contributing Editor

New York, still reeling from the attacks of September 11, is relying on the administration of Mayor Mike Bloomberg to help the city get back on its feet. Michael Cardozo, corporation counsel, is one man Mayor Bloomberg turns to when asking, "What's the right thing to do?"

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A Bumper Crop of New Professors

In recent years, Columbia Law School has stepped up its efforts to encourage and nurture students who want to pursue teaching careers. In this section, we highlight alumni/ae who have begun teaching this year. In a second article, we describe the Law School's teaching program and how some of these professors got their highly sought after jobs. Finally, we introduce you to two new faculty members recently hired by the Law School. Back to top

Legacy of a Great Professor

Law school professors with Columbia J.D.s have often taken inspiration form their teachers, among them Willis L.M. Reese. The Law School's current prize for teaching is named after Prof. Reese. Back to top