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Becoming a Law Professor, Part 2

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While many begin law school with the goal of becoming a law professor, for others, the path to a career in academia is not always a straight line. For Mike Madison, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, an interest in teaching came years after he graduated from law school.

"I never gave teaching a thought until I was seven or eight years into practice," said Mr. Madison. "Even then, it wasn't teaching that interested me. It was writing."

Mr. Madison said the things he enjoyed most about law practice were writing research memos and writing long briefs, two things lawyers tend to dislike. As he got more senior in practice, he did a lot less writing and was instead supervising other lawyers and working directly with clients. He said he pursued a teaching career to devote his professional time to doing what he enjoyed most.

"It was a long road to getting a tenure-stream position. I left my law firm in early 1996, made the commitment to find a permanent academic job shortly after that, and spent three-and-a-half years in fellowships and visiting appointments before securing a tenure-stream job beginning in the fall of 2000," said Mr. Madison.

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The University of Arizona College of Law James E. Roger Law Center

    


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