The After Tenure study, jointly funded by the American Bar Foundation and the Law School Admission Council, is the first in-depth examination of the professional lives of post-tenure law professors in the United States. It combines a national survey of post-tenure law professors in the U.S. (undertaken in 2005-2006) with a set of follow-up interviews (conducted with a subset of the survey respondents in 2007-2008). A total of 1,174 professors completed the survey; along with 48 who answered substantial parts of the survey, their responses provide the basis of this Project Report, which contains descriptive statistics from our first quantitative analyses. Future reports and articles will provide further quantitative and qualitative results.
Initial findings show that tenured professors are generally satisfied with their work situations (i.e., relationships with colleagues, overall work conditions), but that scholars of color and white women are significantly more likely to be unhappy. For example, the latter are significantly more likely to think that the tenure process is unfair and difficult. Women of color are the least satisfied of all demographic groups. Both quantitative and qualitative results reported elsewhere point to cohort-related differences in the racial and gender breakdowns on satisfaction.
Additional findings included in the attached report give a detailed picture of the post-tenure law professoriate in terms of geography, age, parents’ educational levels, religion, school status, and many other factors. For example, a high proportion of law professors’ parents have pursued post-graduate education, even though a substantial minority of law professors come from less privileged backgrounds. The majority of the nation’s law professors teach in private schools, and over 35% teach in the top 50-ranked law schools (out of 187 then-accredited law schools). Despite some disparities in satisfaction and amount of collegial interaction, a high percentage of tenured law professors from all demographic backgrounds reported feeling loyalty to the law schools at which they taught.
Please see the following links to access supplemental materials, including tables, graphs, and the methods section from “Is It Fair? Law Professors’ Perceptions of Tenure.”