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Workload and Responsibilities-SL

Adopted by the Faculty Council
September 29, 1994

In order to fulfill the mission of the School of Law, each tenured and tenure-track faculty member is expected to be engaged in instruction of law students, and to be engaged in scholarship and service that are consistent with the Law School's mission. The workload of each Law School faculty member shall be compatible with the workload policies of the University of Baltimore and the University System of Maryland, which are hereby incorporated.

I. Instruction

It is expected that each Law School tenured and tenure-track faculty member will spend between 40-55% of his/her time on instruction activities. Such activities include classroom teaching, preparation, grading, office hours, student counseling, supervision of moot court teams and law journals, and general research related to the subject matter of the courses taught. In general, a faculty member's standard teaching load will be four courses per academic year, although factors such as class size and credit hours per course may alter this. Instructional credit will also be given for supervision of advanced legal research papers. Faculty teaching full-time in a clinic in a semester will be considered to be teaching two courses. Faculty teaching full-time in the Legal Skills Program in a semester also will be considered to be teaching two courses.

II. Scholarship

It is expected that each Law School tenured and tenure-track faculty member will spend between 20-35% of his/her time engaged in scholarly activities intended to lead to the publication of a law review article or its equivalent that would satisfy the scholarship standard established in the Law School's promotion and tenure policies. In general, each faculty member's scholarship obligation will be to publish one substantial law review article or its equivalent every two to three years. Factors such as higher than standard teaching or service loads will alter this expectation, as will projects of greater length and complexity. Faculty members whose workload allocation for scholarship exceeds the normal range are expected to exceed the normal productivity.

III. Service

It is expected that each Law School faculty member will spend between 20-30% of his/her time engaged in service to the law school, the university, and the public community that is consistent with the Law School's mission as defined by the school's promotion and tenure policies. In general, a faculty member's normal law school and university service load will be service on two or three law school or university committees. Tenured faculty members in addition must serve on the Promotion and Tenure Committee. Factors such as the agenda of a particular committee or service as committee chair may alter what is considered the normal service load.

IV. Exceptions to Standard Workload Expectations

All tenured and tenure-track faculty at the Law School are expected to be involved in instruction, scholarship and service as defined by the Law School's promotion and tenure policies. Recognizing that some faculty will assume new or additional responsibilities in any one of these areas, exceptions to the standard workload may be made. The dean is responsible for making appropriate adjustments to individual faculty workloads and for assuring that the objectives of the Faculty Workload Policy are met. Exceptions to the standard workload may be made based on the following considerations.

  1. Instruction. Exceptions from the standard instructional load may be based upon a number of factors, including but not limited to class size; development of new courses; modality of instruction; and complexity of subject matter.
  2. Law School Administration. Assumption of responsibility for the functions of associate dean for academic affairs will require reduction of expectations for outside service, scholarship and instruction. Adjustments in scholarship and/or instruction expectations also normally will be made for the Director of Clinical Programs and the Director of the Graduate Tax Program, and may be made for faculty members who assume other unusually heavy administrative responsibilities. The magnitude of such reductions shall be dependent on the scope of administrative responsibilities.
  3. Sponsored Research. Assignment of additional time for research can be supported by either Law School or external funds. In those instances where the research is supported by externally funded grants and contracts, the accompanying reduction of expectations for service or instruction should mirror the replacement of departmental salary support by externally-funded salary support.
  4. Service. Assignment of additional time in areas of service and consequent reduction of expectations for scholarship or instruction should be directly related to the duration and the extensiveness of the commitment. For example, individual faculty members may be released from the standard expectation in the areas of scholarship or instruction in order to make major professional service contributions.
  5. Sabbaticals. A faculty member on sabbatical will have his/her overall faculty workload adjusted in consultation with the dean.
  6. Other, including illness. A faculty member may receive a reduced instructional workload in order to accommodate other individual needs, such as illness or temporary disability.

* * *

The distribution of each tenured and tenure-track faculty member's workload will be made on an annual basis by the dean after consultation with each faculty member. Although the guidelines outlined above will apply in the majority of cases, it is recognized that there will be circumstances in which the distribution of responsibilities for a faculty member will differ from the norm in order to fulfill the needs of the Law School or the individual faculty member.

V. Commentary

(Adopted 9/94)

Workload standards developed by the University System of Maryland [USM] and the University of Baltimore are intended to apply to professors teaching at the undergraduate level. Although the Law School's Faculty Workload Policy is compatible with both the USM and the University of Baltimore workload policies, there are some differences between the Law School policy and the other two. Those differences are based upon both the accreditation standards of the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools and upon differences in duties performed by a law school professor and a faculty member teaching undergraduate or master's level courses.

Instruction:

The University of Baltimore School of Law Faculty Workload Policy states that a faculty member's normal teaching load will be four courses. This workload is in line with the average of ABA law schools with an enrollment of 700 to 1,099 students. The average workload at such ABA schools is eleven semester credit hours per year. In academic year 1992-93, the average teaching load for a University of Baltimore law faculty member was 12.2 semester credit hours per year.

Teaching of law school courses cannot be measured merely in numbers of credit hours because law school courses traditionally require substantial research and careful reading of periodic literature in order to remain current with the subject matter. Law school teaching requires a high level of sophistication. Law professors are required not only to convey substantive knowledge, but also, through an interactive teaching method, to develop the analytical skills of their students.

Although all law school courses involve the teaching and development of skills of synthesis and analysis, certain courses that emphasize skills training require smaller classes and more individual contact hours with students. For example, the litigation clinics and the Legal Analysis, Research and Writing course are examples of settings in which the student-teacher ratio must be quite low. It should also be noted that our clinical professors must devote time not only to the students learning in their clinic, but also to clients whom they and their students must serve. Other teaching activities that require intensive work with individual students include, among others, advising moot court teams and supervising independent research projects. Supervising a moot court team requires many hours critiquing briefs and teaching appellate advocacy skills at the law school and in other cities where the competitions are held. In the independent research program, students are required, under the supervision of a law professor, to produce a paper that is the equivalent of a law review comment, which approximates a master's thesis.

The University of Baltimore School of Law also has a strong commitment to its evening division. This commitment requires that each faculty member teach at least one course each year in the evening division. In order to teach a course in the evening, a professor must be available to students for office consultation until late in the evening as well as during the day.

Most law school examinations are three-hour essay examinations. These examinations must be designed to test analytical skills as well as substantive knowledge, and they require many hours to develop and grade. Law professors do not have student assistants to help them teach courses or grade examinations. Additionally, law students frequently review their entire examination with the law professor after the grades have been distributed. This places a high demand on the professor's time both during the day and evening hours after the end of the semester.

Scholarship:

Faculty members at the School of Law are expected to publish one substantial article or its equivalent every two or three years. These articles are substantial pieces of scholarship. They are more than descriptive of a particular subject matter. They are to be creative contributions to legal literature and, as such, require substantial independent research and normally are heavily documented with extensive footnotes. Law review articles also tend to be lengthy; on the average, an article in a law review is 30-35 printed pages. The purpose of such articles is to be useful in law schools and beyond the academy, in courts of law, legislatures, and other policy making bodies. Due to the ever changing nature of law, the research for such articles must be rigorous and is very time consuming. Indeed, research must continue right up to the date of publication.

Service:

Due to the relatively small size of the law faculty compared to most undergraduate university faculties, a large burden of administration falls on each law school faculty member. Many functions normally dealt with by the administration of an undergraduate university are dealt with by law faculties. For example, law faculty members play a substantial role in the admissions process. Law faculty members actually read applications and make decisions about which student applicants will be admitted to the law school. The appointments process for hiring new faculty is conducted by the law faculty. All hiring of new faculty must go through the Appointments Committee and ultimately be approved by the entire faculty.

Law School faculty members also undertake substantial administrative responsibilities in conjunction with such programs as the Graduate Tax Program and the Summer Abroad in Comparative Law Program at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Law faculty members took the lead in developing these programs and in the extensive process of obtaining accreditation approvals, and law faculty members continue to assume primary administrative responsibilities for the programs. Similarly, law faculty members now have a leading role in developing the proposal for the Center for the Study of International Law and Institutions, and in obtaining University and USM approval of the Center, and a law faculty member will serve as Director of the Center.

Being part of the University of Baltimore, there are also many university committee assignments which law school faculty must take, in addition to law school committee assignments. For example, law school faculty must sit on University of Baltimore committees such as the Provost Council, the Promotion and Tenure Appeals Committee, search committees for major university-wide positions, the Hoffberger Center Advisory Board, and other University committees.

Teaching in a professional school involves substantial career counseling of students. Moreover, employers often call law professors for recommendations on potential hirees. This faculty role in assisting law students obtain professional positions is even more important in the recent tight job market. In addition, alumni relations has recently become an increasingly important part of a law faculty member's role at the University of Baltimore.

Community and Public Service:

In Maryland there are slightly over 80 law faculty members (half of them at the University of Baltimore) who often are called upon for advice and assistance by members of the legal community, public and public service entities, and the community at large. They serve as reporters to and members of national, state and local law revision commissions; advisors concerning and drafters of national, state and local legislation; and legal advisors to all levels and branches of government and to public interest entities. Law faculty also serve on national, state and local bar association committees, on national and local committees devoted to legal education, and as speakers on continuing legal education programs and at conferences and workshops for law teachers. Law faculty also render many hours of pro bono legal service for indigent and under-represented individuals, and they speak to and give legal advice and analysis to community groups and the media.