Diversity and Inclusion in Law School and Higher Education

Professional Training, Diversity in Legal Education, and Cost Control: Selection, Training and Peer Review for Adjunct Professors

Marcia R. Gelpe, Mitchell Hamline School of Law


The thesis of this article is that adjunct faculty make a unique and valuable contribution to legal education, that law is best taught by a combination of full-time and adjunct faculty members, and that serious consideration should be given to the issues of how best to divide teaching between full-time faculty and adjuncts. In addition, if adjunct faculty are to be viewed as a positive part of the teaching endeavor, it is essential to consider the ways to maximize their contribution. This article recommends a serious change in the way law schools think about and relate to adjunct faculty. Part II of this article discusses the challenges of education for the practice of law, diversification, and cost control and describes how adjuncts can help law schools respond to each of these challenges. It also discusses other advantages presented by using adjunct faculty. Part III analyzes the proper allocation of roles between full-time and adjunct faculty and the need for the full-time faculty to assist and supervise adjunct faculty members. Part IV sets out a scheme for full-time faculty assistance and supervision of adjunct faculty, addressing specifically how adjuncts should be hired, how they should be trained, and how peer review should function for adjunct faculty.