The Associates in Law Program
The Associates in Law Program offers post-graduate teaching fellowships for promising entry-level scholars who are preparing for legal academic careers.
While in residence, associates teach legal research and writing, write scholarly articles, attend moot job talks, critique one another’s work, attend faculty workshops, and otherwise prepare to go on the law teaching job market. The program has a long and successful track record of placing associates in tenure-track academic positions in law schools. (For a list of current associates, please visit the Current Associates in Law page.)
Teaching. The associates’ first responsibility is to teach Legal Research and Writing to small, fall-semester sections of first-year J.D. or LL.M. students. Under the supervision of Ilene Strauss, director of legal writing programs, associates develop written assignments, teach in the classroom, and engage students through one-on-one critiques. A commitment to excellence in teaching is an important criterion in selecting associates. Note that at Columbia Law School, associates’ teaching is concentrated in the fall semester; the spring semester is reserved exclusively for the associates’ own scholarly pursuits.
Community. The associates’ second responsibility is to one another, to help the community of fellows develop their scholarship and prepare for the job market. The associates and other fellows comprise a remarkable community of scholars within the Law School. Each week, this community meets at the Fellows' Workshop, a unique, supportive institution created and run by the associates. At the workshop, fellows present works-in-progress or practice job talks in a low-stakes and collegial setting.
Resources. The Law School offers abundant and varied support to associates: informal faculty mentoring; office space and a research budget; full access to faculty workshops, academic activities, libraries, and research facilities; and tuition exemption for those interested in pursuing graduate legal study. Associates also benefit from the Law School’s Careers in Law Teaching Program, which includes informational panels, advice and counseling throughout the academic job search, and a moot job talk in front of full-time faculty members.
Compensation and other requirements. In 2015–2016, associates will be appointed as Postdoctoral Research Scholars and part-time Lecturers in Law.* Absent special circumstances, associates serve for two years, beginning on July 1, 2015, and ending June 30, 2017. Compensation for 2015-16 will be $50,000 (annual rate) plus fringe benefits. Associates will be eligible for subsidized housing. In addition, associates who spend the bulk of the summer after their first year working on their research will receive $5,000 over the course of the second year.
* Associates who are in a degree program at Columbia will be appointed as part-time Preceptors, with the appointment starting August 1 and ending May 31, each year.
Application. Applicants to the Associates program should submit an online application and upload the following documents (in PDF format):
- Cover letter
- Research and teaching agenda
- Scholarly writing sample(s)
- Three letters of recommendation
- Law school transcript
Your research and teaching agenda should discuss in detail the academic projects you plan to undertake as an associate, as well as any relevant teaching experience. Please select up to three recommenders who can comment in particular on your scholarly potential, proposed research projects, and teaching experience. You may upload recommenders’ letters with your application (preferred method), or recommenders can email their letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to pursue graduate legal studies (LL.M. or J.S.D.) while serving as an Associate-in-Law, please note in your cover letter your intention to apply for admission to the program. All general program questions should be sent to email@example.com.
Deadline. The Law School hires four to six new associates each year. Applications may be submitted starting in mid-September and will be considered on a rolling basis.
Columbia University is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications by qualified women and minority candidates for these positions.