To Teach or Not to Teach: Adjunct Work Can Come with a Hefty Price
By Deborah L. Cohen
Aug 17, 2012, 04:00 pm CDT
Part-time teaching has always been a time-consuming and sometimes thankless pursuit. Even so, with a glut of attorneys competing for work in a down economy, more solos appear to be considering adjunct teaching jobs as a means to supplement their income and test an alternative career path.
“We’ve had an uptick,” says Michael Kaufman, associate dean for academic affairs at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, noting there has always been strong interest from alumni of the school. “In the last couple of years there’s been an increase, more from people who are not alums, who I think see adjunct teaching as an entrée to teaching generally.”
At Loyola, less than one-third of classes are taught by part-timers, whose average pay is about $1,000 per credit hour, or roughly $3,000 for a single course during a semester teaching practical skills such as advanced litigation and contracts. Kaufman stresses that adjunct work is rarely the path to a full-time faculty post.
Such statistics are no deterrent to David Crosson, a family law attorney in Philadelphia who hung out his shingle in 2010. Crosson has been trying for months to secure adjunct work at any of a number of law schools in his region, including Temple and Widener, to no avail. While he says he has always enjoyed helping others, his primary motivation is a bit of extra cash.
“The market is just saturated with attorneys who need more resources,” he says.
Click here to read the rest of "To Teach or Not to Teach" from the August issue of the ABA Journal.