We’ve heard about Sullivan & Cromwell’s bonsai trees and Choate, Hall & Stewart’s ipods as “conversion” techniques in recruiting summer associates. If there were a law faculty recruitment equivalent, what would it be? My own FeministLawProf version might be a form of the ubiquitous coupon book that is popular among the Ladies’ Home Journal set around Mother’s Day (I’m not knocking the swag or the mag; my mother gets both every May). My academic coupon book might contain ones like these:
My Special Gift to You: I will read a draft of your first (and second and third) article and give you plenty of comments.
My Special Gift to You: Once your article is published, I will read it. I’ll try to cite it, if I can, or at least mention it to others.
My Special Gift to You: I will share my teaching notes with you.
My Special Gift to You: I will read over the first (and second and third) exam you write for a law school audience and give you feedback.
My Special Gift to You: At the next conference we attend together, I will introduce you to a few colleagues from other schools who teach and/or write in your field.
My Special Gift to You: If I see a Call for Papers or article that may interest you, I will pass it along.
My Special Gift to You: If you are doing something that is attracting the wrong kind of attention from faculty members or students, I will tell you (kindly and privately).
My Special Gift to You: If you need advice about something sensitive, our conversation will be confidential.
My Special Gift to You: When you have good professional news to share, we’ll have a drink (or coffee or lunch) to celebrate.
Okay, the coupons are cheesy, but they are more useful than a bonsai tree and they won’t break like an iPod. I know I would have liked to have some of these coupons to redeem. And in many ways, I did and do. They are just not written on paper.