Adding More Sharks to the Shark Tank: Strategies for Allowing More Attorneys to Access Academia in Business Schools

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Becoming a law professor in a law school has become a difficult endeavor. For most candidates, the roughly 50% reduction in open positions over the past decade is discouraging. In addition, nearly all successful candidates have completed another competitive credential in addition to their J.D. degree, like a federal clerkship, an advanced degree, or a faculty fellowship at a law school. The degree of difficulty attached to becoming a law professor is likely to drive away many stellar candidates, even those candidates that dislike legal practice and are actively seeking an alternative.<br><br>However, there is another home for some of these aspiring scholars that is often unexplored: becoming faculty within a business school. It turns out that two facts make this a viable solution. First, some business schools have difficulty recruiting faculty that are research-active and hold a terminal degree, like a PhD. Second, the accrediting body of top business schools considers the J.D. degree to be a “terminal degree” for purposes of becoming faculty within a business school. This allows J.D. holders to help business schools meet a crucial accreditation requirement that compels the business school to have a minimum percentage of faculty in each discipline that hold terminal degrees and are research active. Thus, J.D. holders can provide business schools with another pool from which to recruit highly qualified faculty.<br><br>This article explores how business schools can take advantage of these accreditation criteria and better integrate J.D. holders as faculty within business disciplines like entrepreneurship, management, and finance. This article also explores the benefits of such an arrangement to various stakeholders like aspiring professors, business schools, business students, and the universe of legal scholarship. Lastly, this article shares specific ways in which business schools can work to train J.D. holding faculty, and ultimately, assimilate them within traditional business disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHoward Law Journal
Issue number1
StateAccepted/In press - 1800


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