Deborah Maranville, Lisa Radtke Bliss, Carolyn Wilkes Kaas & Antoinette Sedillo López



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Legal education has expanded to incorporate practice-oriented topics and courses over the past several decades, and student academic support services have multiplied in response to changing student populations. As a consequence of these changes, law schools are overdue to address the issue of the status of the individuals they hire to fill the multiple and ever expanding needs and interests of students.

Should law schools hire new personnel as teachers, staff, or administrators? If hired as teachers, what titles and governance rights should they be given? Should they be eligible for tenure, presumptively renewable long-term contracts, or short-term contracts? What workloads are appropriate and what courses permitted?

Status and fairness issues for law teachers accompanied the rise of experiential programs, including clinical and legal research and writing programs. More recently, similar issues have arisen with academic support teachers, whose courses may be mandatory for certain students, and have intensified for externship teachers at many schools.

Best Practices for Legal Education identified as a “best practice to enhance the effectiveness of faculty in experiential courses” that “a school uses qualified faculty, provides professional development opportunities, and assigns reasonable workloads in its experiential education courses.”

Faculty status is a key dimension of enhancing the effectiveness of faculty, and this section provides an overview of the issues involved in debates over faculty status.

Title of Book

Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World



Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Carolina Academic Press


Durham, NC


clinical law faculty, faculty status


Legal Education

Faculty Status and Institutional Effectiveness

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