Modeled on graduate-level programs in the arts and sciences, Furman Academic Scholarships are awarded to a select group of students who show particular promise and interest in becoming legal academics.
Each scholar is assigned one or more faculty mentors, chosen in consultation with the scholar on the basis of shared intellectual interests. With the advice and guidance of their mentors, scholars construct a program specially suited to their interests.
The first year of the program is devoted mainly to learning the basics of law, but also includes a series of lunches and seminars on legal scholarship and teaching that will continue in the second and third years.
In the upper two years, Furman Scholars are expected to produce a student note and a second, major piece of original scholarship. They will be given an opportunity to present this work to the other scholars, as well as selected faculty.
During all three years, scholars are invited to attend faculty colloquia, workshops, conferences and other intellectual events at the Law School or in the University. Furman Scholars participate in a weekly seminar throughout their law school careers, designed to ensure both that they learn how to do the writing that is expected of academic market candidates, and that they do that writing.
The capstone of the Furman Program is close academic mentoring. Each Furman Scholar is paired with at least one faculty mentor, and upon graduation it is fair to say that all scholars have at least three faculty members who are in their corner. In addition to intellectual training, the Law School provides intensive career guidance and support. This includes not only assistance on the teaching market, but also for interim positions like clerkships and government posts that many candidates may seek in preparation for a career in teaching.
Many scholars return to the Law School as Furman Fellows prior to entering the teaching market.