For anyone considering a career jump from legal practitioner to law professor, I highly recommend Jeffrey Lipshaw’s piece entitled “Memo to Lawyers: How Not to “Retire and Teach.” Abstract:
Many long-time practitioners muse about what it might be like to retire and teach, not realizing there is no more galvanizing phrase to their counterparts who have long toiled in the academy, nor one less likely to enhance the prospects of the unfortunate seasoned applicant who utters the phrase. I intend this essay not for law professors (though it may either amuse or irritate them), but for those in the practice who aspire, after all these years, to return to the academy. With a good deal of humility acquired along the way, I offer some realistic advice to job seekers, concluding that wistful phrase is precisely the opposite of the true sine qua non of success: demonstrating the capability of, and commitment to, being a productive scholar
While I enjoyed the article, I found it humorous that Professor Lipshaw considers employee benefits to be “mundane”:
It seems like the vast majority of young law professors want to talk and write about the burning constitutional, political, and rights issues of the day. It’s an advantage to want to teach and write in a niche that may be considered more mundane (somebody has to think about employee benefits, for example). But merely writing in the niche is not enough; you need to have something scholarly to say about it.