Panel 9F: Balancing Scholarship, Teaching and Service to Succeed on the Tenure Track – A Workshop for Pretenure Colleagues and Faculty Aspirants

Document Type


Publication Date


Conference / Event Title

4th National People of Color (NPOC) Legal Scholarship Conference

Conference / Event Location

Washington, D.C.

Hosting Organization

American University, Washington College of Law


The oft-cited and imperfect metaphor for the professional duties of tenure-track and tenured professors is that of the “three-legged stool” – a leg for teaching, another for scholarship, and a third for service. This session explores how pretenure colleagues – and especially pretenure colleagues of color – can most effectively approach, and excel in, the challenge of balancing these three interrelated obligations, especially when also faced with the special burdens placed on underrepresented minorities in the legal academy. Topics will include: Promoting diversity and inclusion in the classroom. Bridging differences among students and between students and the professor. The distinct demands associated with large class, seminar, clinical, LRW, and other forms of teaching. The importance of seeking out mentors. How to set out and stick to a scholarly agenda. Scheduling time for research and writing. When and how to seek advice on draft scholarship. How to serve as a devoted and valuable servant to the institution and profession as a whole, while not allowing service obligations to encroach excessively into scholarship and teaching activities. How best to prioritize, self-motivate, and assess progress along the way. Finally, how might it better to eschew the three-legged stool metaphor – which incorrectly suggests that teaching, scholarship, and service are discrete obligations – and instead recognize that they can be pursued as interrelated endeavors, with each one catalyzing and informing the other two. Attendees will be able to ask questions of the panelists following their presentations.

This document is currently not available here.