Finding a Faculty Mentor

Most materials on law faculty hiring, including these materials, repeatedly advise candidates to locate a faculty mentor and to seek advice from that mentor throughout the hiring process. Whether you are a law student considering a career in academia, a candidate seeking a visiting assistant professorship (VAP) or fellowship, or a practitioner seeking to enter the legal academy, you will benefit from insider advice about navigating the process. If you formed a close relationship with a law professor while in law school, you should consider reaching out to them for advice. Other resources to consider when trying to find a mentor include:

Start With Your Law School

Contact faculty from the law school you attended or are attending who are likely to remember you or in whose courses you performed well, and let them know about your interest in law teaching. You can ask them if they would be willing to talk to you about the teaching market and/or your research interests, or to recommend someone on the faculty who would be willing and able to do so.

An alternate strategy is to identify the faculty recruiting chair at your law school and let them know about your interest in law teaching. Ask them to help you locate advisors either from the faculty or someone else they know who has a reputation for mentoring candidates. Typically information about hiting chairs can be found beginning in late July at PrawfsBlawg: Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market (

Consider contacting the director of career placement services and asking them for referrals to recent alums who entered the teaching market. Seek out their assistance and guidance in navigating the process.

Institutional Resources

Conferences: If possible, attend conferences sponsored by law schools or scholarly associations and organizations such as Law & Society. The AALS website and the Legal Scholarship Blog list upcoming conferences and symposia. Network with the speakers and panelists who are presenting papers on topics that interest you. Tell them about your interest in law teaching, your background and qualifications, and ask for suggestions they might have on how to enter the legal academy.

Affinity Groups:

John Mercer Langston Writing Workshop: The mission of this group is to provide support to Black men law faculty and aspiring law faculty.  For more information contact Professor Harawa [email protected]

LatCrit/SALT Faculty Development Workshop (FDW)  is designed for critical, progressive, and social justice oriented pre-tenure professors, including clinicians and legal writing professors, as well as those who may be contemplating a career in law teaching.

Lutie Lytle Collective: The mission of this group is to provide support to Black women law faculty and aspiring law faculty.  There is typically a conference in mid-June.  There is also an email list.  To request access email [email protected] 

Workshop for AAPI and MENA Women in Legal Academy: The mission of this group is to support and mentor legal academics and aspiring academics of Asian descent or Middle Eastern and/or North African descent.  For more information contact [email protected]