Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Legal Education

Publication Date

Spring 1998


Almost ten years ago at the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference Marina Angel gave a heartening talk to those of us seeking law teaching jobs. She opened the floor for questions, and one aspiring law teacher dared to ask aloud what we were all wondering: "How many of us will actually getjobs in law teaching?" We waited for the number, the percentage, the cutoff. Instead, cryptically, Angel replied, "For many of you, that will depend on how flexible you're willing to be. Some people are limited to a particular area, but many of us are very happy in places we never dreamed we'd be." I looked around at the other wannabes and wondered whether they wanted to teach badly enough to move anywhere.

I was lucky to have choices. But each was several hours away by jet from family, friends, my husband's job, or any of the five American cities I considered "major." Law teaching, however, was closer to a calling than I had ever hoped to get. Strangely, absurdly, I felt this was what I was born to do. I had learned in private practice that when a client's heart's desire was at stake, it could sometimes be secured simply by asking the other lawyer what it would take. I asked my husband what it would take for him to leave his well-paid executive position and his two-and-a-half-hour commute.