Law School Discussion

Lunch with Professors

Lunch with Professors
« on: October 21, 2008, 09:05:39 AM »
I know that at some law schools, there's a tradition of professors going to lunch with groups of students.  I think they have brown bag lunches at Michigan, and go out to lunch at Penn.  Any insight as to the benefits of this?  We don't have that tradition at my school, but I'd really like to get to know my professors. 

Any benefits you can think of would be a help as I pitch the idea to my professors.


  • ****
  • 2343
    • View Profile
Re: Lunch with Professors
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 09:53:58 AM »
We don't do brown bags in particular here for that type of thing... the typical scenario is simply that about 3 students get together and ask a prof out to lunch.  And you set a date to go to some restaurant walking distance from campus.  I did this with two of my 1L profs, plus another for dinner and another for Starbucks.  This semester I plan to go to lunch with one of my profs next week.

I've actually never been to lunch with the prof who ended up being the one I do research for and who I included on my reference list during OCI.  But there's one prof who I and a couple friends of mine have a standing date with for every semester we're in law school, and she's great in terms of being very interested in the issues that female students and female lawyers have... a great person you can really talk to about just about anything.  We even ended up telling her about LSD after one of my friends made some comment about how something had changed over the course of time she had known me (which we understood to mean about a year and a half, since we were LSD regulars, but confused my prof bc it was only a few weeks into our first semester).

Anyway, I'd get together with a couple of your friends to ask... it might make it a more comfortable scenario for you and your prof.  You could always say you're interested in X thing that he/she has done in his/her past.  Or explain that it is a tradition at some other schools and that you'd like to start it at yours.  Or you could go through your Student Affairs office if you want to try to make it a bigger movement.

Re: Lunch with Professors
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2008, 12:20:38 PM »
Going with a group of friends is a good idea, especially if you've all got class with the professor.  One other route is to contact professors in a particular field through whatever student society you're in.  Our Social Justice Program arranges "faculty teas" with professors who don't typically teach 1Ls but do provide upper-level or clinical education in a particular area of the law.  The advantage of this route is you can utilize student budgets and don't end up paying out of pocket.

Generally speaking, professors like the opportunity to talk with students outside of class... we had a very candid conversation last spring with our Crim professor about tenure tracks,, and whether they would leave if their closest friend and fellow professor at the law school accepted a position at HLS this year (we hope she doesn't, but we also hope the visiting professor turns HLS down and stays in Nashville to continue directing our Regulatory Lw Program.)

Oh... and check w/ Legal Aid Society or other groups that organize fundraisers. Vanderbilt has an auction every year that includes dinners, poker nights, and karaoke trips with certain members of the faculty.  You'll be surprised how much some 3Ls looking at biglaw salaries will pay to have a night on the town with their favorite professor from 1L year.

Re: Lunch with Professors
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 07:05:16 AM »
Going out for beers with cool professors is great.