November 3, 2009
Role Modeling for Future Academics
For many of us, there are a tiny fraction of our own students who will go into our particular field, law teaching. That said, these students are usually easy to identify by their third year, in large part because they have developed an academic record which would support that ambition. Some of the more academically distinguished schools, particularly the University of Chicago, seem to nuture those with an interest in teaching in a very intentional way, and with good results.
I suspect that part of the job of preparing these students to explore teaching is to open up our lives to them more than we sometimes do-- that is, let them see the lifestyle and intellectual life that law teaching allows. For most of us, it was the experience of watching our own professors that inspired us in this direction. Now that we are on the other side, we have a duty to recognize the effect of that role-modeling, and promote our own vocation to the extent we are proud of it.
-- Mark Osler