Junior Faculty Forum Group Photo

Richmond Law Hosts Junior Faculty Forum

May 24, 2023
Rising legal scholars from across the country meet at Richmond Law to present their scholarship.

Dozens of legal scholars met this week at the University of Richmond School of Law for the school’s annual Junior Faculty Forum. The workshop, offered each year at the start of the summer, brings together junior law professors from across the country to present their scholarship in an informal, collegial atmosphere.

“Conferences like this are important because they provide a welcoming and constructive environment where junior faculty can hear from peers and receive supportive feedback at any stage of a project,” said Allison Tait, associate dean for faculty development at Richmond Law.

“There are not many other opportunities like this and it fills a real need for law faculty who are in the early part of their career,” she said.

With eight assistant and associate law professors on its faculty, Richmond Law is uniquely positioned to host a conference for this particular audience.

“We’re fortunate to have a large cohort of junior faculty who can rely on each other and find the support they need as they work toward tenure,” said Wendy Perdue, dean. “This conference is our way of expanding that support system to our colleagues at other institutions.”

Forum participants agreed.

“This whole process has been so helpful,” said Chan Tov McNamara, visiting professor of law at Cornell University, who attended the forum for the first time this year. “Preparing for my presentation helped me really think through the critical points of my piece, and the feedback I’ve received will help make it even stronger.”

“I find conferences like Richmond's Junior Faculty Forum particularly helpful because they provide valuable input and insights that help me understand how my article might be received,” said Danielle Wingfield, associate professor of law at Richmond Law. “This helps me identify areas that need clarification or further development, and going forward, I will reflect on this feedback and incorporate constructive suggestions into my work in line with my goals for the piece.

“Engaging with such brilliant scholars at JFF provides me with an opportunity to improve the quality, impact, and effectiveness of my work,” she continued.

In addition to Wingfield, Richmond Law junior faculty Rebecca Crootof, Marissa Jackson Sow, Riley Keenan, Da Lin, Luke Norris, Danny Schaffa, and Danielle Stokes moderated panels as well as presented their own research.

Attendees represented 24 law schools nationwide, including Cardozo, Chicago-Kent, Cornell, Drexel, Duke, George Washington, Hofstra, Michigan State, North Carolina Central, Northeastern, Santa Clara, Southern Methodist, Touro, Tulane, University of Alabama, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, Villanova, Washington & Lee, William and Mary, and Yale.

“We love the energy of the group each year and to watch participants find new friends, make new connections, and get to know a cohort of people who can then serve as resources as they work towards tenure,” Tait said.