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Law Profs Chronicle Tenure Search

"She Said, He Said." No, it is not a 1950s off-Broadway romp or a 1970s tell-all. It is an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education written by a husband-and-wife duo of visiting assistant law professors at an anonymous Midwest university as they set out in search of tenure-track employment. Their firsthand account, On the Market, uses the "she said, he said" format as both tell how they got to where they are and where they hope to go from there. A postscript suggests that this will be the first in a series "chronicling their search this academic year for tenure-track positions."

The two are pseudonymously identified as Kelly and D.B. Fisher (not to be confused with D.B. Cooper). We start with Kelly, who tells us confessionally:

"My husband, D.B., got me into law school. Then he got me a one-year stint as a visiting assistant professor of law. He has worked his magic so artistically that both times it seemed almost accidental, but I am certain he knows what he's doing."

D.B. seems less certain of his prestidigitational prowess:

"I am the practical one, most of the time, at least in my mind. To others, namely Kelly, I am the naysayer, the pessimist. That makes it all the more odd that I would want to pursue an academic career, which is one of the most competitive areas around. Despite the odds against me, I guess I just know what I want to do, and with whom."

No matter what comes of their search, D.B. adds, "the pursuit should be fun." But for at least one reader, hearing about the Fisher's pursuit was "like fingernails on a chalkboard." Ann Bartow writes at Feminist Law Professors that she is all for law professors pairing up romantically. In fact, she says, "some of my favorite people in legal education are part of 'two law prof' couples." But Kelly's ode to her husband's influence on her career is too much for Bartow:

"Will he teach her classes, and write her scholarship for her as well? Ugh, as if the female components of heterosexual faculty couples didn’t have enough to overcome already."

To learn the answer to Bartow's question, we'll have to await the next installment of "She Said, He Said."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 20, 2006 at 06:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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