Alumni Short

Milena Sterio
Cornell Law School Class of 2002

Associate Dean and Professor of Law
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law


My path to a career in law teaching:

I graduated from the J.D./maitrise en droit program in 2002.  While a student at Cornell Law  School, I developed close relationships with two professors, Bob Hillman and David Wippman. I  worked for both of them as a research assistant, and they got to know me pretty well throughout my  time in Ithaca. These two professors have been my mentors ever since, and have advised me  throughout the law teaching job search process.  I obtained a master's degree in Private  International Law from the University of Paris I in 2003. From 2003 to 2006, I was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York City.  While  at Cleary Gottlieb, I solidified my plans to go on the job market for law teaching. Toward that  end, I published three law review articles, and I also taught as an adjunct at Cornell Law School,  where I created a War Crimes seminar.  This experience helped me tremendously once I began  interviewing for law teaching jobs. I started my teaching career at the Cleveland‐Marshall College  of Law in 2006, where I have taught ever since. I teach International Law and an International War  Crimes seminar, as well as Commercial Law and ADR. I have continued to publish law review articles,  and am currently working on a book. I have tremendously enjoyed my career as a law professor.

Advice for Cornell students and alumni interested in exploring a career law teaching:

For law students interested in pursuing careers in law teaching, I would offer the following  advice. First, get to know your law professors well, as they are the ones who can help you secure  job interviews, and who can provide excellent references. It is relatively easy to get to know your  professors ‐ take smaller classes and seminars, go meet with them during their office hours, or  apply to work as their research or teaching assistant. Second, if you are already a member of one  of the law school journals, try to get your note published. Third, if you haven't published your  note, then try to publish a law review article post graduation. You can do so while working at your  regular job ‐ it's not easy because you won't have a lot of time, but it is possible. Fourth, after  you graduate from law school, apply for adjunct positions in your city, at local law schools.  You  can teach a class and work your regular job, as most law schools will accommodate your schedule and  let you teach your class either first thing in the morning or late in the evening.  Develop an  expertise, an interest, and then persuade a law school that you can teach a class in that very  interesting area of the law. Fifth, once you decide that you will go to the national job fair for  law professors, spend a lot of time preparing your resume and fine‐tuning your research interests.  You will be questioned a great amount by potential interviewers about your research interests, and  it is important to appear knowledgeable and enthusiastic about these.  Good luck!