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 Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks

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Victor D. Lopez
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Location : New York

PostSubject: Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks   Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:45 am

If users of this forum know my writing at all, it is usually the indie fiction, poetry and intellectual property book that accompany my tag line in this forum and that I often blog about in my various blogs as well. However, for better or worse, these are but the tip of the iceberg of where I live as an author. It is my scholarly articles and textbooks on law-related subjects to which I devote nearly all my time. This summer, I agreed with my current publisher, Textbook Media Publishing, to write an expanded third edition of one of my current textbooks, Business Law and the Legal Environment of Business, that will be published early next year. This past weekend I presented a paper at the North East Academy of Legal Studies in Business annual meeting that surveys usury law in the 50 states and calls for Congressional action to correct a problem of its own making that allows interest rates upwards of 1,000 percent to be legally charged in every state (despite state usury statutes in 46 states that make it unlawful) by payday lenders and others who legally charge higher rates of interest using the same business model as criminal loan sharks.

Most of my scholarly articles in the past have been published in peer-reviewed journals whose circulation is limited to law libraries (and in some cases to those with WestLaw or Lexis accounts). Fortunately, at least some of those scholarly journals are now available online to the public as well as researchers without charge and without a subscription. I'll provide links to where some of these can be found and downloaded for anyone curious about law or legal scholarship generally. I'll also provide links to my current textbooks that offer a generous free preview of numerous chapters.

If you wonder why I seldom post here and why most of my blogs tend to be fairly cryptic, this is the reason. For our fellow authors here who sometimes (rightfully) fret about the unprofitable nature of our craft, keep this in mind. For three of the articles here I had to pay a submission fee of $50 for the privilege of having the article considered for publication and going through a triple-blind review process. And 80 percent of those paying the fee had their work rejected (with half of their fee returned) after it was reviewed. Even with referees and editors that work for scholarly journals free of charge, as we always do, it is expensive to produce quality journals and authors are sometimes asked to help defray that cost so that members of the academic organizations that run them don't have to subsidize them. Even when submitting to law reviews that are sustained by the law schools that house them, authors need to pay fees to the independent services that most law reviews and many journals require as a vehicle for submissions. Our law schools and business schools subsidize the cost--we are either reimbursed for such costs or the school pays them directly. But I still think most people would find it an interesting and little known fact. 

If we are lucky, our articles are cited by others and we keep careful track of those citations as they impact our value as researchers and authors to both our discipline and to the universities we serve. Only one of my articles dealing with bankruptcy law has been significantly cited in the past five years by four researchers, by a federal bankruptcy court in New York and last year by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most are not widely read, let alone cited. And this is true for most of what academics produce regardless of their discipline.

At any rate, here are some links to some articles that you can read free of charge. Notice the other subjects by some of my peers in each of these as well for they make for some very interesting reading and are also available at the links below.

1. Illegal Immigration: Economic, Social and Ethical Implications Victor D. Lopez

2. Leading the World in the Wrong Direction: Is It Time for the United States to Adopt the World Standard "Loser Pays" Rule in Civil Litigation? Victor D. Lopez

3. Unauthorized Practice of Law in the U.S.: A Survey and Brief of the Law Victor D. Lopez

4. An opinion piece on principled leadership, Principled leadership: Finding Common Ground Among
Divergent Philosophies
, was published by the Botswana law Journal in December 2010 and is available as a PDF file here.

5. Business Law and the Legal Environment of Business, 2nd edition (3rd edition forthcoming)

6. Business Law: An Introduction, 2nd edition

My current textbooks, by the way, are among the least expensive available in their respective subject areas and the most expensive version (print plus electronic version) is about a third of the price of the original first editions. Keeping the cost of textbooks down has been a goal of mine since the early 1990s. I published an article on state and federal legislative efforts at curbing the high price of textbooks, “Legislating Relief for the High Cost of College Textbooks: a Brief Analysis of the Current Law and its Implication for Students, Faculty and the Publishing Industry” Journal of Legal Studies in Business, Vol. 15 (2009)). Alas, it is not available free of charge online and neither are my other articles at this time.[url=http://nealsb.info/PDFs/vol22/22-3Illegal Immigration.doc][/url]
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Abe F. March
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Age : 78
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks   Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:53 am

Impressive is but a small expression for the work you have done.  That brain of yours must be working overtime.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks   Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:16 pm

Thanks for confirming that writing 50 Shades of Gray and high school vampires with no personality makes millionaires and writing scholarly works that require intelligence, research and specific writing format and skill require submission fees.  The world is upside down my friend.

I always advise friends' college age children to seek a career with a shingle they can hang out as entrepreneurs at a well-deserved hourly rate of pay.  If they wish to serve their fellow man, that's fine.  At least get the shingle first and then teach or provide social work.  Then it's a choice, not a low-paid sentence.  Or, it's part of the total lifetime career picture.

I always figured with my M.Ed. I'd teach in a community college.  They turned all the Florida community colleges into state four-year colleges and require doctorates with 18 semester hours in field.  My M.Ed. is Administration/Supervision with 38 additional graduate hours in Vocational Education, not a specific discipline.  I'm unemployable.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks   Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:03 pm

Thanks Abe.You are very kind.

My brain may be working overtime, but it often gets stuck in endless loops and goes nowhere really, really fast. Smile

D.K.,

It is unfortunate that too many community colleges have abandoned their original missions as largely job-training institutions and tried to become either mere conduits to four-year degrees or worse. The types of jobs that community colleges used to train workers to acquire still exist--more than even in some cases: office support jobs, entry-level positions in a wide swath of businesses, and most importantly technical skills that pay very, very well like plumbing, HVAC techs, auto mechanics, welders, carpenters, builders, etc. But those types of jobs are not sexy and cost a lot to train for in equipment, supplies, etc. I'm writing a novel that is in part en expose of the for-profit "technical training" degree mills, but will also show how little difference there is today in what proprietary, for-profit bottom-of-the-barrel worthless degree mills do and what too many "traditional" community colleges and even some graduate institutions do. The lines have blurred and the hyped marketing is very, very similar. But that's a story for another day. (Too much to write, too little time.)

You might consider exploring community college or even proprietary university teaching positions online. Even baccalaureate level institutions often require terminal degrees these days, but adjuncts with relevant work experience and a masters degree can still do just fine at most community colleges. If teaching online does not appeal to you, maybe you can find a position in a border state if that is not unreasonable at your location. You might be able to teach a one-day-a-week three our class that gets your foot in the door and can lead to other positions. Florida is unusual as four-year community colleges are almost a contradiction in terms. And there is no good reason for a community college to require a doctorate. None.  I was the Dean of the Business division at SUNY Broome for four years and only a couple of my faculty had doctorates. And I was proud to say then and still say now that as far as teaching ability was concerned, I'd put my faculty against any faculty anywhere. Before that, I was a tenured full professor at a baccalaureate institution where only one other colleague had a doctorate in my department. Community colleges and baccalaureate level institutions are teaching institutions. Their accreditation does not require even all full time faculty to have doctorates. (At least one has to for any baccalaureate institution per department in New York. None is required for a community college where masters degrees are the norm.) Terminal degrees are important in institutions with graduate programs and especially those accredited by the best accrediting bodies such as AACSB in the business school realm. Faculty have to be not only excellent teachers, but must publish in appropriate approved venues and maintain abreast of their fields while contributing in a significant way to advancing knowledge in their fields. Tenure and promotion standards require it as do accrediting bodies, including the regional accrediting agencies. Community colleges emphasize teaching ability above everything else with service next in importance and a relaxed (and sometimes practically non-existent) requirement for publication. Community colleges have a different mission--not inferior, not lesser, just DIFFERENT. Any community college that would not consider you to teach in a related field to your masters degree is simply pretentious in my view. There is no rational reason you can't teach in a baccalaureate institution at least as an adjunct unless Florida has moved into the Twilight Zone which I doubt as I am rather fond of the state and of Floridians.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks   Fri May 01, 2015 11:13 am

Thanks for the encouragement.  I believed as you, but the competition is stiff and the "18 semester hours" requirement in a specific area leaves me out often.  I do keep applying, but time goes by...
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks   Fri May 01, 2015 10:16 pm

Don't give up hope, DK.  Your talents are needed.  Getting recognized is not easy, yet not hopeless.
Being in the right place at the right time affects much of what we do.  Having your resume on file with headhunters is just another method of keeping your availability active.  I'm following another person who is struggling to find a decent job and who has excellent credentials.  Age is a factor with this person.  Things are looking up for this person who has done much networking.  Persistence in all cases is the prime ingredient.  It is tiring and discouraging.  Believing in yourself, knowing that you have much to offer cannot be overstated.  Self confidence is transmitted in various forms. 
You will succeed!
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks   Sat May 02, 2015 9:40 am

Thanks again for the encouragement.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: Articles on law, ethics and law-related textbooks   Sat May 02, 2015 4:18 pm

What Abe said.

If you don't already, make sure that you visit The Chronicle of Higher Education online site often (http://www.chronicle.com). The Chroncle is pricey by subscription, but the online "jobs" section is free for anyone to access and search. (https://chroniclevitae.com/job_search/new?cid=chenav) Most community colleges do not advertise in The chronicle--its too expensive and they don't need/want a national audience, but some do. Community colleges often list positions in the local paper. Most colleges also list positions available online--it is worth visiting the sites that most interest you from time to time. Also, for adjunct positions some chairs don't advertise at all as they use their contacts when the need arises. For that reason, it is not a bad idea to contact departments directly if you want part time work--doing so for full-time positions, though, is a waste of time as nearly all colleges go through formal search procedures for those positions.

Unfortunately, teaching (and administrative) positions is higher ed are very competitive everywhere even for adjunct positions as many professionals hope that these may lead to full time jobs (they seldom do, by the way, in most cases). Also, there are a lot of highly qualified people who like you want to teach for a lot of different reasons that often have nothing to do with money. As Abe said, don't give up. And don't get discouraged by rejection-it is something most people, even very qualified people, face in this particular field. It's not too different from trying to promote indie books. Keep that in mind and the process becomes more manageable, though not necessarily any more fun.
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