Academic Careers Program

For Current JD Students

Two students in class speaking with one another

JD students have time to work towards becoming a strong law teaching candidate. Keep in mind what matters in academic hiring are writing, references, and your record.

What should you focus on now?

  • Register with ACP. You will be included in our database and receive notifications about events, deadlines and job openings. 
  • Write and publish a note, and possibly a second academic article to be published during or soon after law school. (More resources on academic writing).
  • Get to know future faculty recommenders through class, office hours, TA positions, directed research, etc. Serving as an RA also gives you an insider’s view on the process of scholarship. 
  • Take as many classes and colloquia in your field as possible and participate in class. Seminars and paper-writing courses make it easier for professors to assess your writing skills and academic potential. If you are interested in clinical teaching, you must take a clinic while in law school. 
  • Read scholarship in your field of interest, including articles written by faculty members you hope to get to know. Attend colloquia, symposia, and conferences to gain an understanding of the types of issues that are interesting to academics. Join a faculty-led reading group.
  • Focus on getting good grades. A strong academic record in law school can be important to academic hiring—and can help you land a clerkship or job after law school, both of which can help you with a future career in academia.. 
  • Consider joining a journal and/or applying for a clerkship. Being a member–or even better, an editor–of an NYU journal is a credential valued by hiring committees. Clerking is also a credential valued by hiring committees and can give you ideas for future scholarship. 
  • Finally, don’t worry! There are many paths to academia, and you don’t need to have top grades or make the Law Review to be successful on the market.