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Is There a Correlation Between Law Professor Publication Counts, Law Review Citation Counts, and Teaching Evaluations? An Empirical Study

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Abstract:

This empirical study attempts to answer an age-old debate in legal academia: whether scholarly productivity helps or hurts teaching. The study is of an unprecedented size and scope. It covers every tenured or tenure-track faculty member at 19 U.S. law schools, a total of 623 professors. The study gathers four years of teaching evaluation data (calendar years 2000–2003) and tests for associations between the teaching data and five different measures of research productivity/scholarly influence. The results are counterintuitive: there is either no correlation or a slight positive correlation between teaching effectiveness and any of the five measures of research productivity. Given the breadth of the study, this finding is quite robust. These findings should help inform debates about teaching and scholarship among law school and other faculties and likely require some soul-searching about the interaction between the two most important functions of U.S. law schools.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-1461.2008.00135.x

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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