Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Friday, August 08, 2008
Academic Free Agency and Sports Free Agency

Apropos of the most recent example of college coaches signing long-term contracts that are not really long-term and the broader question of movement of players and coaches and comparisons to academics, comes Clayton Gillette's Law Faculty as Free Agents. According to the abstract:

The phenomenon of law professors changing jobs from one law school faculty to another - faculty free agency - has increased in recent years and appears to be part of a general phenomenon of increased mobility across academia. In this paper, I consider the consequences of free agency in law school markets. It is likely that law professors have benefited financially from free agency. Whether it has benefited law schools generally, or advanced the quality of legal education is another matter. The paper raises some issues that at least give reason for pause about free agency. The consequences of free agency have been similarly questioned in other industries, most notably professional sports. But studies suggest that the adverse effects that some predicted when free agency was officially instituted there have not materialized. Thus, in the absence of similar studies about academic free agents, one might claim that my concerns are overstated. But those studies are often most interesting because they focus on characteristics of professional sports that have little or no analogue in faculty markets. The market for professional sports differs from the academic market in ways that I suggest have significant effects on free agency. Academic free agency may have different, and more negative, impact in academia. To the extent that is true, law schools face a classic prisoners' dilemma in adjusting. Even if it would benefit legal education generally to constrain free agency, it is contrary to the interests of any law school to constrain itself unless competitors do the same. I conclude, therefore, with some practical ideas about how to address the negative effects of free agency.


Looking forward to reading this one. The thing that caught my eye was the concern over "quality" in terms of legal education. I'd like to read about that--refreshing, you know. Wonder if quality refers to the impact on students or something else (like how many Ivy League byproducts one hires). Thanks for this post.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 8/08/2008 8:42 AM  

Love sports? Love Money too? You can make money making sports bets at! No credit card needed! Free sign up and most of all, you can cash out and get a REAL check while playing with fake money!! This is the real deal folks! No Gimmick nothing fake - all bets and all money!

Anonymous Anonymous -- 8/11/2008 7:13 AM  

Post a Comment