Monday, January 31, 2011
A Clearinghouse for Questions
N.B. This thread will get bumped to the front every 10 days or so.
The first second batch of FAR forms were distributed a while ago and so we can officially say that the new year's hiring market has begun. We'll have two posts to get things started. This one, the first one, will be a place where wannabes can ask questions anonymously (assuming they are not especially offensive or otherwise improper), and prawfs or others can weigh in, also anonymously if they choose, but note that while I won't actively moderate this discussion forum, I will feel free to delete any cases of misinformation or anything else I find outside the bounds.
The second post will be a place where candidates or prawfs can report the issuance of a first round or callback or offer or acceptance, much like we did last year. I am hoping some gentle soul will emerge (as Justin Levitt and Marc DeGirolami did in years past) to organize the information. If you're volunteering, please let me know and I'll put you in touch with the incomparable Sarah Lawsky, who tech'd us out for it last year. Please keep in mind that the second thread should be used only for information relevant to hiring, not for questions. This thread should be used for questions.
To start us off, I just rec'd a query from a friend on the market asking these two questions.
1. Does it really cost nearly $400/night to stay at the conference hotel, or is there an AALS rate that will be released that I should wait for?
--short answer: I don't know. Anyone else?
2. Is it normal that at this point (with packets going out at the end of the week) that I don't know who the hiring chair is at many schools still?
--in the past, usually Harvard or Yale or Chicago people (Bigelow/Climenkos or their overseers) compile this information. Sometimes we have had a good soul share this public good of information. When I was on the market, I think I just called the Dean's office of the schools to find out who the APCOM chair was. Seems like a perfectly legitimate question to me, but you can also and always address the packets to Dear Faculty Appointments Committee if need be. With some luck, someone will forward me a copy of the collated information and once I receive it, I'll be happy to share it imminently. Good luck!
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Anyone have the numbers for the first FAR distribution? Last year's was 637, I think.
Posted by: anon | Aug 18, 2010 11:15:41 AM
... Or write to the Dean. Applications addressed to the Dean will also be forwarded to the Chair of Appointments. Joan Shaughnessy PS Don't send applications to every member of the Appointments Committee, they all get forwarded to the Chair, much to her annoyance :-)
Posted by: Joan Shaughnessy | Aug 18, 2010 11:16:26 AM
I think it was 662 for the first batch.
Posted by: Dan Markel | Aug 18, 2010 11:41:22 AM
When do schools start calling?
Posted by: Anon | Aug 18, 2010 11:50:21 AM
I have submitted by FAR forms and have also prepared a few targeted packets for schools in which I am particularly interested. I am also considering applying for some fellowships and VAPs. A few of those are offered at some of the very schools I am targeting for tenure-track positions.
What message does sending a VAP/fellowship application convey to these schools? I am worried it will undercut my effort to get an AALS interview for a tenure-track position. Does it matter? Should I not send a VAP/fellowship application until after I know I am not getting an AALS interview with the school?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts and advice!
Posted by: Prawf candidate | Aug 18, 2010 12:01:18 PM
I am unclear as to why the identities of the appointments committee matter at this point. For example, if an applicant is interested in a particular school, isn't the submission of the FAR form sufficient to indicate that interest? Or, is it the case that if a student is overwhelmingly interested in a particular school that he or she should write separately to the appointments committee to indicate they want very much to be considered by that school?
Just for clarification, I realize that knowing the appointments committee is helpful later on -- if one is to be interviewed by that committee (e.g., so the candidate can research the committee members and assess whether there may be any common links between the candidate and any of the members). I suppose my question is when, at this application stage, the FAR form is not sufficient and writing to the appointments committee separately would be considered advisable or even necessary.
Thanks, and best of luck to everyone on the market.
Posted by: anonanontillthebreakofdawn | Aug 18, 2010 12:04:25 PM
First calls will probably start in the next few days!
Posted by: anon | Aug 18, 2010 12:19:32 PM
The Marriott does have an AALS rate that is less than $400; I forget exactly what it is, but it was a little more reasonable. Just ask. In a combination of naive optimism and unjustified worry, I've already booked a room for that weekend (they have a generous cancellation policy; I think it was something like no charge for a cancellation by 6:00 p.m. same day).
Good luck to everyone, and thanks to Prawfsblawg for providing a forum for my constant obsessing and distractions from my day job.
Posted by: Ever Hopeful | Aug 18, 2010 12:26:38 PM
Whether it is necessary or advisable to send letters to schools is a matter of some disagreement. Here is a previous Prawfs post on the topic:
Posted by: carissa | Aug 18, 2010 1:18:19 PM
I assumed we'd want to know who's on the hiring committees so that our backers would know who to call.
Posted by: Anon | Aug 18, 2010 1:48:16 PM
anonanontillthebreakofdawn: Sending a packet to a law school you are interested signals to the appointments committee that you are interested in them and would likely accept a call-back, so it can help you land interviews. You typically include a cover letter, CV, research agenda, and reprints of recent articles (or a link to your most recent article on SSRN).
Many hiring committees have not met yet, so it may be a few weeks before the calls began. I got many calls when I was on the market, but I don't remember them starting before September.
Prawf candidate: I don't think applying for both a VAP and a tenure-track position will hurt you. Sometimes a school that doesn't hire you will make you a VAP offer (or invite you to apply for a fellowship). It is unlikely that the same professors who are on the hiring committee are even involved with the VAP hiring--so they may have no idea that you are applying to both. And if they do know, I doubt they care.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 18, 2010 1:55:37 PM
I wanted to say thanks for this forum for candidates to vent their fears, frustrations, triumphs, and what-not.
I've read arguments the information here gives no one a real competitive advantage. I've read it actually serves as a place to gloat.
Maybe, but I don't care.
One thing this forum does provide is a chance to vent some of the stress associated in this process. For that alone, a thousand thanks.
Posted by: anon | Aug 18, 2010 2:13:02 PM
Let the second phase of stress begin!
If you call the Marriot you can get the AALS rate, which is $209 a night.
Another question about application materials. I was planning on just sending a cover letter with my resume to about 15-20 schools either where I have contacts or where I'm particularly interested in teaching or who I think might not otherwise consider me - the usual reasons. I wasn't planning on sending a research agenda at this point but instead describing my job talk paper and a future paper in my cover letter. Is that enough?
Posted by: anon | Aug 18, 2010 2:54:17 PM
Do most people stay until Sunday or leave Saturday night?
Posted by: anon | Aug 18, 2010 2:59:25 PM
Don't forget the Omni as a more than viable alternative!
You'll love getting away
from the fray
at the close of each day.
And, you can unwind undisturbed and in splendid isolation with that third martini at the dark bar -- all without fear that you'll stumble into anyone either irritating or important as you grope your way back to your room.
For more on the ineffable charms of the Omni:
Posted by: Marc DeGirolami | Aug 18, 2010 3:25:27 PM
anon (2:54): Your packet would be more useful if it contained a published article or a link to a completed article. If you don't have anything published (or a full draft of an article), you might be better off waiting another year before going on the market. It will be hard to get interviews.
anon (2:59:25 PM): Many of us funding our own way to the meat market left Saturday night. Some of my friends who were coming out of VAPs and had a travel budget left Sunday. A few schools will have receptions on Saturday night, but I didn't feel like I missed out on anything leaving Sat. night. I would, however, get there early on Thursday. You will want time to walk around the Wardman and find your interview rooms. If you have lots of interviews, you will need to figure out where the closest stairways are so you can run to your next one on time. The elevators are too slow when you have back-to-back interviews.
[anons, I encourage you to adopt more creative anon names]
I actually recommend staying in the Wardman, because if you have gaps between interviews (even 30 minutes), you can return to your room and catch your breath. There are candidate lounges, but I'm told that they are stress-filled places (I avoided them). To save money, I split a room with a friend who was also on the market, which worked out really well.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 18, 2010 4:10:44 PM
The Hilton Washington is also very close to the Wardman (walk-able if you like the fresh air or a very quick cab ride). I stayed there both years that I did the conference. I found it wonderful to get away from the Wardman and not see other nervous candidates in the hallways.
Also, the candidate lounges are not that scary. There's free food and caffeine to give you a boost. If nothing else, take the food and caffeine and go off on your own.
Posted by: Newprof | Aug 18, 2010 5:30:50 PM
The best advice I got when I was on the market last year (on this site, btw) was to stay at the Omni instead of the Marriott - it was great to have a place to relax and recharge between interviews and in the evenings that wasn't wall-to-wall AALS candidates and law professors. The rate on the Omni was even slightly less than at the Marriott, if I recall correctly.
Posted by: new prof | Aug 18, 2010 8:16:50 PM
And for those who are budget conscious -- pretty much anyone who is not a VAP and thus has to self-fund -- there are also various budget options. I stayed at a nice bed-and-breakfast across the street from the Wardman.
Posted by: TJ | Aug 18, 2010 9:09:35 PM
Many thanks for the very helpful responses to my earlier question.
With respect to VAPs, do schools generally decide whether or not to interview an applicant for a VAP based on the FAR form, or is there a completely separate application process for a VAP? I understand that there may be separate faculty committees for tenure-track or VAP positions, but my question concerns whether the FAR activates both committees or if something additional needs to be done on the applicant's part to indicate interest in a VAP.
Posted by: anonanontillthebreakofdawn | Aug 18, 2010 9:50:54 PM
Does anyone know the name of the hiring chair at Ohio State?
Posted by: buckeye | Aug 18, 2010 10:10:06 PM
Buckeye: Martha Chamallas is chairing the committee this year.
Posted by: anon-o-licious | Aug 19, 2010 8:53:26 AM
anonanontillthebreakofdawn: All I can give you is a single data point, but here it is: I got my VAP by applying directly, not through the FAR process.
Posted by: anon-o-licious | Aug 19, 2010 9:05:40 AM
While I have heard that some schools will offer VAP positions to candidates they interview through the process initiated by the FAR, most schools have separate VAP programs with separate application timetables (and requirements). This is a good summary from last year - not sure if someone has/will do a more updated version for this year:
In addition, there are sometimes schools that will hire VAPs in late spring to fill holes (coverage VAPs). These are more ad hoc but, again, I think often filled through separate application (not always through candidates they didn't hire in the tenure-track round).
Posted by: NewVAP | Aug 19, 2010 9:48:41 AM
anonanontillthebreakofdawn: Different schools approach the process differently. I got my VAP by applying separately. It was the same hiring committee, just on a different time line, after tenure track hiring was complete. This was true of several of the VAPs I applied for. OTOH, when I was on the market last year, I had an invite to apply for a VAP based on my FAR form. Most schools with official programs will have the instructions to apply on their websites or the AALS advert.
About the Wardman - I stayed there and was quite happy to be able to run to my room when I forgot something or between meetings. I don't hang out in bars so it didn't bother me that hiring committee members were all down there. Plus, in street clothes just running to the snack area, no one really cares.
Posted by: imaprofnow | Aug 19, 2010 10:00:52 AM
Our hiring committee is currently going through the FAR forms; we won't meet with the faculty until some time next week, and will be making calls thereafter (so, realistically, early September).
Posted by: anonprof | Aug 19, 2010 4:17:18 PM
I received one email from a school saying something to the effect "Your application looks great and fits our needs well. We'll give you a close look when our committee meets." For those with past experiences, do these emails usually translate to invitations, or is this something that a school would send to 80 or 90 candidates (and select 30)? Thank you.
Posted by: tubalard | Aug 19, 2010 11:11:57 PM
Does anyone know the general trend of policies for full-time faculty with respect to holding additional teaching gigs? Can a tenure-track professor at school X adjunct for school Y? Perhaps this is not a concern for many candidates, but as new profs don't make a substantial salary and many of us have significant student loan debt, extra side jobs are often essential to survive and having nothing to do with our desire to remain permanently at a school. Do these second (or third or fourth) jobs have to be eliminated when accepting a tenure-track position? Thanks for your advice.
Posted by: HardWorker | Aug 20, 2010 10:48:21 AM
It strikes me that lots of us candidates waste a great deal of mental energy on elements of this process that, in the end, don't matter a great deal. That said, it's difficult from this end to discern what matters from what doesn't.
Along those lines, can anyone on the faculty side tell me: when you receive a packet, does a research statement add much value beyond the CV and a piece of writing? Or would the latter two pieces tell you what you need to know? Many thanks.
Posted by: SendingPackets | Aug 20, 2010 11:01:50 AM
Hardworker: No, there is no trend of entry-level professors holding additional teaching gigs and your school likely would not let you. Any time you spend teaching additional classes will take away from your ability to write, and thus, get tenure. Your first year will be busy enough without adding extra jobs.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 20, 2010 11:44:32 AM
Does having an article published as the "lead" article in a law review issue give the placement any more weight with committees -- especially at a highly ranked law review [per W&L's metrics] from a lower ranked school [per UNWR]?
Posted by: Hire Me! (please) | Aug 20, 2010 12:06:47 PM
To follow up on hardworker's question, do schools have any programs to help applicants with large student debt burdens find extra income, affordable local housing, etc.? Or is it simply too much of a buyers market? Even without help, are there feasible ways for new faculty to supplement their income with activities that have some value on their CV?
Posted by: Debt Burdened | Aug 20, 2010 12:54:01 PM
Hire Me! (please): I don't think "lead article" means much of anything to anyone. Your claim that it's a "highly ranked law review ... from a lower ranked school" suggests that you're talking about a specialty journal, yes? (The W&L rankings tend to be not too far off from the UNWR rankings for the main law reviews.) In general, I think most candidates are better off going with a main law review over a specialty journal. The two caveats: (1) some fields (tax and international law seem to fit this bill, but I'm not in either area, so I could be wrong) really do place almost all their scholarship in specialty journals, so if you're in one of those fields, you should do so, as well; and (2) if you're looking at a huge differential -- e.g., a Harvard secondary journal vs. the Touro Law Review -- you probably should go with the specialty journal. But, again, "lead article" means zero, in my experience.
Debt Burdened and hardworker: I would point out that law faculty salaries are actually quite generous. At the top law schools, starting salaries rival salaries for (admittedly, first-year) associates at big firms. But you really, really need to focus on getting your scholarship up and running, teaching (the first time you teach a course is a LOT of work), and participating in the intellectual life of your school. It will not look good if you are out chasing freelancing jobs. In later years, consulting opportunities may find you, but at the beginning, you'll just need to live within your salary.
Posted by: 3rd Year Prof | Aug 20, 2010 3:23:12 PM
It is actually a general law review -- a barely 3d tier school (per UNWR) with near first tier general law review per (per W&L's metrics). One of the few substantial "over performers" in W&L's rankings as comparted to UNWR's rankings. Thanks for the response about "lead" articles that seemed like a fairly squirrelly distinction to me.
Posted by: Hire Me! (please) | Aug 20, 2010 4:31:34 PM
(1) I have an in-progress article that was mentioned on a well known legal scholarship blog. The blog post expressed neither approval nor disagreement with my piece; it was only a heads-up to readers that the article is on SSRN. Is this something I should perhaps note in my CV? That the blog author went out of his way to say "hey, here's something that might interest my readers"? Or will mentioning it on my CV look a bit silly, like I'm reaching a bit much to gloss things up?
(2) Can I reasonably ease my anxiety that those who have already received calls are those with the superstar resumes, based on the premise that schools feel the need to call them fast because the schools are afraid those candidates’ interview slots will fill up fast?
Posted by: Anotheranon | Aug 20, 2010 5:13:56 PM
Debt Burdened: I encountered one school that was willing to contribute to a downpayment on a home, in exchange for a % of proceeds when I sold the home. They no longer have this program, but I'm guessing other schools in expensive housing markets do.
That being said, it is premature to worry about this. Law school profs make much more than their liberal arts counterparts (my offers at 2nd tier schools were for $120K-$140K including summer stipend, with the higher amount being offered at private schools in cities with higher cost of living and lower amount at a state school in cheap city). But to reiterate, do not seek out other means of income in your pre-tenure years. You need that time to publish or you won't get tenure. Some schools tolerate consulting more than others, but again, it detracts from publishing.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 20, 2010 5:15:12 PM
(1) I think that would look silly; leave it off your CV.
(2) Some are superstars, some might be getting quick offers to interview because they live in the same city as the law school and that school feels confident that candidate would seriously consider an offer. Some 4th tier schools also move very quickly, because they want to reach the candidates before their schedules fill up [note, however, you can always cancel interviews prior to the meat market if something better comes along and your schedule is full].
It is too early to worry, most schools won't call until September because their committees haven't met yet to review the FAR forms. One of the schools that I ultimately got an offer from didn't call until 2 weeks before the meat market.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 20, 2010 5:21:28 PM
1) Seeing your work for the first time on the Legal Theory Blog or another blog is very exciting stuff. Congrats on publishing. However, this isn't the type of thing that should go on an academic CV.
2) Most hiring committees haven't met at this point, or perhaps have met only to cut the field down to 100 or so candidates (to be further cut at a subsequent meeting). It's absurdly and ridiculously early to be worried about not having gotten a call on August 20.
Posted by: response to anotheranon | Aug 20, 2010 6:35:44 PM
Excellent, thanks for the responses.
Posted by: Anotheranon | Aug 20, 2010 11:09:19 PM
This is such a dumb question I'm even embarrassed to ask it anonymously, but...the interviews happen in hotel suites? Please tell me the interviewee typically gets to sit in some kind of hard chair. I'm not a large person - please tell me I don't have to try to project an air of confidence and professionalism whilst being swallowed up by a couch or an upholstered arm chair.
Thank you in advance for not making fun of me.
Posted by: Anxious | Aug 21, 2010 12:03:18 AM
It depends on the interview room/hotel suite. Be ready for a variety of rooms. The majority of interviews were in suites with a table and a hard chair. But there were a number of rooms that had soft sofas and couches--AND NO TABLE.
One interview blew me away, because it had a beautiful view of DC in autumn, a hallway, a sitting area, and then there was a glass door room that I walked into--and there was a full spread of items to eat (which the school offered). This was definitely not the typical interview.
I mention this to say--be ready for a variety of seating scenarios--from the standard hard seat, to plush armchair, to comfie sofa. Understand that the layout of the room, can totally affect the mood and atmosphere of the interview.
I liked it (the change in atmospheres) because it always gave me something to talk about when walking into the more extravagant rooms--which now I think about it, often belonged to the more highly ranked schools (though not always).
Have fun with it.
Posted by: Lola Falana | Aug 21, 2010 3:28:10 AM
Thank you so much, Lola! That's all good to know. (Also, "Cardinal Fang, bring out...THE COMFY CHAIR!")
Posted by: Anxious | Aug 21, 2010 12:27:33 PM
On the crazy interview room front, I had one interview in a room with a grand piano. We were waiting for some of the interviewers to return, and one prof jokingly asked if I could play. I ended up playing the piano while we waited for the others to return.
I do remember several interviews that involved couches, and it did make it difficult to sit up strait and answer questions. But the vast majority of the interviews I did involved a round table with regular chairs.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 21, 2010 2:44:18 PM
Do committees ever meet and call people on the weekend?
Posted by: Weekend Warrior | Aug 21, 2010 5:10:37 PM
Weekend Warrior -- I think it's still considered slightly impolite to e-mail or call someone on a business-related matter (like a job interview) on a weekend, so I would put your phone and blackberry down on Saturdays and Sundays. At my law school, the committee wouldn't meet unless there were some strange circumstances (e.g., committee needs to meet ASAP but a couple of members are away the coming M-F). Even then, like I said, you shouldn't expect your Saturday afternoon BBQ to be interrupted by a phone call.
There will be plenty of time to stress and obsess on the weekdays. Spend your weekends with your family, friends, or (more likely) catching up on the work you neglected to do while preparing for the meat market. Good luck.
Posted by: response to Weekend Warrior | Aug 22, 2010 3:57:22 AM
I was on the market last year and I did receive calls on weekends and evenings. One in particular came during a dinner party and I had been drinking more than my share of wine. In my experience, there was little pattern. Calls came at all sorts of odd times, including one at 9:30 am on a Sunday. So just try to live your life, focus on your work and your writing, and maybe screen your calls if you are hosting a boozy dinner party!
Posted by: anon | Aug 22, 2010 10:26:01 AM
Does anyone know who's chairing the hiring committee at Rutgers - Newark?
Posted by: anonymouse | Aug 22, 2010 2:13:56 PM
Would a newly hired prof. be able to devote time to pursue further education (Ll.M./SJD)? Maybe in her/his 2nd, 3rd, 4th year? How do law schools view such requests or plans?
Related to this: Does it make sense to mention (in the cover letter, interview etc.) the proximity of the law school one is applying to the place one would potentially be interested in getting an Ll.M./SJD? For instance, if I'm writing to Northeastern/Suffolk/BU, does it make sense to mention the possibility of getting an SJD from Harvard in the future as a reason for applying to Northeastern/Suffolk/BU?
Posted by: mitya | Aug 22, 2010 2:58:24 PM
Mitya: It is far more common to have your classes out of the way when you begin as a professor, and then use your dissertation to meet part of your tenure requirement. It would be difficult to take classes alongside being a new professor, again, because you won't have much free time.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 22, 2010 3:35:58 PM
Mitya: Why exactly would you want to pursue an SJD as a tenure-track professor? Surely, whatever research you would do for your thesis, you could simply do as a faculty member.
Some faculty do finish (or sometimes even start) PhD's while on faculty, but that seems rather different. The primary virtue of the PhD for them, I would think, is that it immerses them in the methods of a different field. But an SJD or LLM would keep you within the realm of law school methodologies, so I just don't see what value it would add for someone already on faculty.
Posted by: 3rd Year Prof | Aug 22, 2010 3:40:14 PM
Pursuing an LL.M. or SJD as a tenure track law professor would be full blown craziness. It is a monumental understatement to say that being a law prof on the tenure track is most certainly a full time job. Being a full time graduate student simultaneously would be impossible at best and at worst would lead to a serious crashing and burning on the road to tenure (assuming any rational law school would permit such simultaneous endeavors -- I can't image one that would).
Many law profs have finished Ph.D.s or SJDs while a full time tenure track professor but they generally are ABD when they start the law prof gig.
Posted by: anonprof | Aug 22, 2010 5:30:31 PM
There is no "up side" whatsoever to getting an LLM or SJD when one has a tenure-track law school professorship already in hand. I think most faculty would consider it kind of weird. Now a PhD on the other hand is a different matter.
Posted by: someonewithanLLM | Aug 22, 2010 10:36:06 PM
Does anybody know anything about the demand for JD&PhD(econ) candidates?
I've been talking with a few of my prof's and their guess is that the demand for these people are decreasing in school rank. That is to say, higher ranked schools care more about the candidate's PhD. Does this sound right?
Also, what are hiring committees' views about non-law review publications? What would committee members think of a person who had 10 publications in good law and economics journals but none in law reviews?
Posted by: L&Eguy | Aug 23, 2010 12:57:46 AM
I'm wondering how many interviewing teams each school sends. My understanding is that there are 30 interview slots. But 30 seems like an awfully small number, especially for schools looking to hire 4-6 entry levels. Do many schools double up and run interviews in two rooms simultaneously, so as to meet 60 candidates? Doing so would prevent everyone on the committee from meeting all the candidates, though.
Posted by: howmanycandidates | Aug 23, 2010 6:01:30 AM
Howmanycandidates: it definitely depends on the school. For example, last year I interviewed with one school that had 10 people on the committee, but did not split up (yes, it was intimidating); one school that had 12 committee members split into two groups of 6 meeting people every 1/2 hour; and a third school with 6 committee members split into groups of 3 and meeting people every hour (so they had downtime between interviews). The other schools were all standard one team of 4-5 faculty, meeting candidates every 1/2 hour (to my knowledge).
Posted by: new prof | Aug 23, 2010 8:17:04 AM
I am someone who finished a JSD after accepting a tenure track position. I only had to complete my dissertation by the time I began my position, and I was well on my way. I managed to do this by the end of my first year, though it was a heavy (though very enjoyable) year.
Whether this makes sense for you will depend on the nature of your dissertation and the kind of person you are. I actually elected to do a single, monstrously large unified work for my dissertation (akin to the single approach of most Ph.D.s, I believe), a large chunk of which was complete by the time I began my job. Many SJD/JSD programs offer the '3 related articles' approach, and I think this is generally doable as well (though again, the more you have completed by the time you begin your job, the better).
As for the 'why do it?' question, this is highly personal. For what it's worth, I tend to disagree with some of the comments responding to you, and to believe that pursuing the JSD can have great value for one's development as a scholar independent of its (widely disputed and often contested) utility as a job-getting credential. I've discussed my reasons before, on this blog. The value for scholarship is particularly powerful, again in my view, if you think that you have something very large that you want to say (something along the lines of a monograph) but need a few good years of reading and talking to top scholars to flesh our your ideas. You need to have completed that stage of your studies before taking the new job as a law professor; otherwise you will short change yourself.
Posted by: Marc DeGirolami | Aug 23, 2010 8:48:45 AM
Just curious: What do people think about listing citations to our prior work on a cv? I recently got cited by an appellate court, and have been cited a few times by academics, but I worry that it would look gratuitous to mention that on a resume. Thoughts?
Posted by: anon-o-licious | Aug 23, 2010 11:10:19 AM
Anon-o-licious, if you can find a way to communicate it in a few words, without making it sound like you mistakenly think a handful of cites are a Very Big Deal, then I would go ahead and add it to your CV.
So, I am just waiting, in vain, for my phone to ring, and it is reminding me unpleasantly of high school. Assuming, arguendo, that I ultimately do get some interviews, is it still the consensus that we should dress like we are interviewing with a Biglaw firm? Because, until I read that here (in last year's thread, perhaps?), my instinct was to wear a suit, but to be a little more relaxed and casual in my choice of blouse and jewelry. Nothing crazy, but maybe a little more color and personality than what I'd wear to interview with, say, Skadden.
Posted by: anony-mouse | Aug 23, 2010 6:08:27 PM
I know it is early, but I'm getting the sense that this year's market might be tight - the hiring chairs thread seems slow and some schools seem to only be looking for laterals. Anyone have a sense if the economy is maybe hitting law teaching as hard or harder this year? Are many schools still on hiring freezes? Maybe it is just that my areas seem quiet, I don't know. Maybe the job bulletin will shed some light.
Posted by: anon | Aug 23, 2010 8:32:22 PM
I have no authority on this whatsoever, but my instinct is to not list such things on a CV. I have never thought to list my citations, but please someone correct me if this is done. My feeling is that if the article is strong enough that some of the major academics or courts or Congressional testimonies are citing it, then that will come through on its own once a hiring committee reads it (assuming they read the articles, which may not always be the case up front!)
Posted by: anon | Aug 23, 2010 8:36:49 PM
I think people should relax. It's early. I didn't get a single telephone call until the month of September, and I had over 20 interviews at the FRC. Please relax. Brian Leiter was a bit off in his saying that this board is completely worthless, but he was on to something in the sense that some people on here become a bit overly anxious. I speak from experience because last year, I was one of the overly anxious.
I think this board offers good information for the meat market---but don't overly obsess. Learn the mechanics of this process so that you aren't clueless. But don't try to overly game the system. Trust me, being overly obsessive is feckless on the law teaching market. Though its to be expected due to the high degree of navel gazing in this discipline.
Posted by: Lola Falana | Aug 23, 2010 10:02:58 PM
Well, it looks like an even split on the cv question. Thanks to you both for your thoughts; I guess I will leave it off for now out of an abundance of caution.
Anony-mouse: Do not worry, you are not alone. I had gotten good feedback from people at my VAP institution before going on the market, but the phone is silent and I'm going nuts. I know rationally it doesn't mean very much yet, but it is hard not to feel like the silence is the first sign that this is all going wrong. My thinking is that we would be crazy if this didn't make us feel crazy; most of us have no idea where we will live in a year, and little control over the process that will send us there.
As to the dress code: Don't trust me too much, as I am new at this, but my instinct was similar to yours: You need to look professional but I sense that the latitude is a bit greater. If there is any faux pas, it would probably be dressing too well and hence signalling that you are the sort of unserious person who cares about their appearance.
Posted by: anon-o-licious | Aug 24, 2010 1:42:06 AM
For L&E guy: In general, in the modern market, a Ph.D. in a related discipline is a helpful qualification at almost any law school. Some faculties may find economics more or less appealing, but I don't think it is right to say that there is more demand at top schools. The only caveat is that schools with more resources can more easily hire one or more people unprepared to teach law courses -- but at FSU, which some might (wrongly, of course...) describe as not a top school, we made several offers to those kinds of candidates.
Based on what I've seen, a candidate with 10 good peer-reviewed articles will be a top-tier candidate. But there will be some strategy in choosing a job-talk paper that is accessible for an audience with a diverse set of backgrounds. Talk to advisors, friends, friends of friends (or, failing all else, me) to get a sense of the strategies other folks have pursued.
Posted by: BDG | Aug 24, 2010 1:32:29 PM
Anony-mouse: I wore big law type suits, but ones with interesting skirts instead of standard straight cut, and colorful shirts/matching jewelry. I got compliments or comments during almost every interview (typically from the other women). They all said they were bored of everyone in blue and black suits.
Posted by: anonprof | Aug 24, 2010 6:23:16 PM
Do the "Non-AALS Member Law Schools" included in the job bulletin receive the FAR form distributions? Any thoughts generally on such schools? Is there some fundamental difference between member and non-member schools? Is being on the faculty at a non-member school a similar experience to being at a member school?
Posted by: Wondering | Aug 25, 2010 9:39:02 PM
As a friendly reminder, I've gathered up much of the internet advice about the market on my wiki: http://www.casesofinterest.com/tiki/Law+Teaching+Advice+Links
Please report errors or requested additions, or just register and fix them yourselves - it is a wiki, after all.
Posted by: Michael Risch | Aug 26, 2010 7:10:35 AM
Is there any opinion on printing out a forthcoming article and sending it with your packet versus including a link to your SSRN page?
Posted by: anon | Aug 26, 2010 8:08:07 AM
non-AALS schools get the FAR distribution
non-aals schools as a group probably emphasize scholarship less (though there are exceptions and almost every school requires publication) and probably emphasize teaching more(especially teaching directly related to preparing practicing lawyers). Again there are exceptions - some AALS schools have begun to move away from the traditional model of teaching.
Also, some non-AALS schools are not in AALS solely because they are new - Drexel and Elon, for example.
Posted by: anon hirer | Aug 26, 2010 9:09:09 AM
I'm a little baffled on scheduling--do some schools interview on Thursday as well, or are all interviews on Friday and Saturday?
Posted by: anon VAP | Aug 26, 2010 11:46:34 PM
Interviews are on Friday and Saturday. There's a rare chance that a school might invite you to dinner Thursday night - but there are no interviews Thursday.
Posted by: flop | Aug 27, 2010 1:25:02 PM
anonVAP: Although I have heard of some odd cases of Thursday interviews, all the interviews are generally scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 27, 2010 1:26:02 PM
The AALS asks schools to not interview on Thursday. But if a school is making multiple hires and has lots of people to process, it is not unheard of for Thursday afternoon interviews to be scheduled. I know of at least two schools last year (both highly reputable) that had some interviews going on Thursday.
Posted by: anon hirer | Aug 27, 2010 1:53:50 PM
Wondering when "most" schools begin contacting candidates to schedule interviews at the AALS conference. I received one call so far and had heard from a friend that the vast majority of committees meet and beginning calling in September.
And, a related question -- how early is too early to fly home on Saturday? In other words, are there important events after 5 p.m.
Posted by: AlwaysAnon | Aug 27, 2010 4:10:22 PM
When schools ask you to send a draft job talk "as soon as it is in distributable form" first of all how polished does it need to be? Can some of the secondary arguments still be in outline form? Second, when is it expected that you send the job talk in response to that instruction? By the conference? Within a week? I have no sense of what "as soon as it is in distributable form" is supposed to mean. I had hoped to be done by now, but a couple 300 billable hour months in a row put a damper on that plan. Thanks in advance.
Posted by: roughjobtalk | Aug 27, 2010 11:21:48 PM
AlwaysAnon: I got almost most of my interview offers in mid-September, with interviews coming in as late as the week before AALS.
Roughjobtalk: I assume your school is not asking for a draft of your job talk, but your job talk paper. I would say an appropriate draft is a level of completeness that you would see on SSRN--a full draft of your paper that might be missing footnotes or not have all the final arguments fully fleshed out. That being said, many people give job talks on papers that have already been accepted to be published and are very polished. Schools will likely want to see your paper no later then a few weeks before the conference so that someone on the appointments committee has time to look it over.
I should note that I have heard of some people giving job talks without distributing the paper. All the first and second tier schools I interviewed with required a paper, so I don't know if this is more common in third and fourth tier schools or if things have just changed.
If your paper is still in poor shape as you approach the meat market and you don't have other publications, you might want to consider whether you would benefit by waiting a year to go on the market, so you can finish it up and possibly get it accepted somewhere. I waited an extra year because my job talk paper was in poor shape, and I believe that it made a huge difference.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Aug 28, 2010 12:21:48 PM
Can anyone tell me what kinds of questions are likely to be asked at an AALS interview?
Posted by: anon | Aug 28, 2010 6:41:00 PM
To anon 8/28 at 6:41: Here is some information about likely interview questions. There are many other such articles, too:
To AlwaysAnon: Sometimes schools schedule interviews as late as 5 p.m. or even 5:30 on Saturday, so it would be a pity to schedule yourself too tightly.
Posted by: Former Appointments Chair | Aug 29, 2010 12:47:30 AM
No calls here - is it still too early to be worried? Seems like quite a few people have heard something.
Posted by: anon | Aug 29, 2010 10:12:26 AM
anon at 10:12:26, I think it is definitely too early to be worried on any serious level. See above for 2dyearprof's view that most calls come in mid-September. Gnawing doubts are surely inevitable, but take comfort in the fact that the vast majority of schools have not made any calls yet, based on the other thread.
I can't believe I actually miss the clerkship search process, but I do. For all it's many problems, at least it moved quickly.
Posted by: anon-o-licious | Aug 29, 2010 12:51:43 PM
I just discovered a typo in the cover letter I sent to about 20 schools. Disaster?
Posted by: A. Nunn-Amos | Aug 30, 2010 7:51:38 AM
A. Nunn: It will inevitably hurt you at some schools (assuming they even notice it!), but I found a typo in a letter I sent to several schools last year and still received calls from a few of them.
Posted by: Anon | Aug 30, 2010 10:17:04 AM
So from the AALS Bulletin, the posts to the chair thread and aggressive rounding it appears that maybe ~100 schools are in the market this year.
Now, over at the other thread we are approaching 30 schools who have called. Those schools look to be reasonably distributed by rank, etc.
If I have not heard a word from a single school at this point ... are we sure that there is no cause for concern?
Are there other things I should be doing to make that phone ring at least once? Damn't I need so hope ... something to cling to here ...
Posted by: thisishorrible | Aug 31, 2010 12:44:20 AM
thisishorrible, those schools haven't made all their calls, only their first calls, and those schools probably aren't a representative subset of the population of hiring schools (I think more than half of the schools listed over there are "top 100" schools, for example). Lots of committees haven't met yet. Some schools might be waiting for the next FAR distribution to start reviewing FAR forms. One of the schools listed over on the other thread doesn't even exist.
Posted by: anon | Aug 31, 2010 2:07:31 AM
This is horrible:
I felt increasingly worried so I went back and looked at last year's thread. It looked the same in August but then in September it exploded. I was on the market last year too and received my first call Sept. 1 and ended up with 9 interviews total. For what it is worth. Try to stay bust with other stuff, it is a long road ahead.
Posted by: anon | Aug 31, 2010 7:36:01 AM
thisishorrible (and other nervous aspiring prawfs), i can confirm that the hiring committee at my school (top 100 school) has not even met yet. we are certainly hiring this year, and i suspect we are not the only ones operating on this schedule.
Posted by: anonprawf | Aug 31, 2010 7:45:34 AM
anon | Aug 31, 2010 7:36:01 AM: I'd like to take away something from your response, as I'm on the market this year and am also getting a bit concerned. But, it seems a difference between this year and last is that, last year, the conference was almost two weeks later than it is this year, and thus the distributions are earlier this year. Seem calls should start earlier. I hope my reasoning is too simplistic (because, for example, regardless of when the conference is, faculty are generally too busy to meet and make calls in late August when classes are starting, etc.).
Posted by: Anotheranon | Aug 31, 2010 9:25:25 AM
I know the conference is earlier but distribution is the same, FAR forms were due Aug 4 last year too, and everything began right around Aug. 18 or so with tricklings every day. But even so, September was much different.
Posted by: anon | Aug 31, 2010 1:28:13 PM
I've never been so happy to be so wrong . . . .
Posted by: Anotheranon | Aug 31, 2010 2:27:52 PM
Does anyone know if Syracuse is hiring this year?
Posted by: flop | Aug 31, 2010 7:53:16 PM
Yes, I think they are, flop. Log into the AALS and check the latest bulletin. But keep in mind, if you apply, that I am their One True Candidate.
I am somehow feeling reasonably confident that I will find a match this year, even though I have get to get an interview.
Speaking of the latest jobs bulletin, do schools sometimes post that they expect to make a hire this year, even though they don't have any serious plans to?
Posted by: anon | Aug 31, 2010 8:21:05 PM
Anotheranon: It doesn't matter that the conference is two weeks early this year, because committees won't meet any earlier (it takes a while for everyone to get back for the start of term and then for committees to meet and review the FAR forms). So I don't think you should expect calls to be earlier, given that the faculty's schedule hasn't changed.
Posted by: 2dyearprof | Sep 1, 2010 9:57:33 AM
Anyone else getting annoyed with the gazillion campaign calls that make the phone ring with unfamiliar numbers during this (too quiet, in my case) wait????
Posted by: anon | Sep 1, 2010 6:56:11 PM
6:56:11 -- you should be letting all calls go to voicemail anyway, so the campaign calls should not matter
Posted by: jrprof | Sep 2, 2010 3:06:23 AM
Can you explain why one should let the calls go to voicemail. I agree, but I wonder about your reasoning.
Posted by: Lola Falana | Sep 2, 2010 4:07:34 AM
I never let calls go to voicemail. What's the point? Silly games. If I am here, I answer the phone. Is there a strategy to phone answering now?
Posted by: anon | Sep 2, 2010 7:52:09 AM
I thought the idea was to quickly read up on *random law school* before you talk to them on the phone. Also, it is nice to take a minute to get your game face on before talking to a hiring committee person; I don't know about other people, but I am not at my best when I'm surprised by a call.
Posted by: anon-o-licious | Sep 2, 2010 12:10:07 PM
Am I the only one you feels contantly nauceous about this whole process? I know I need to take a Xanax and chill out, but easier said than done.
Posted by: Atticus | Sep 2, 2010 1:33:54 PM
Atticus - I agree, this is totally horrible. Is it finally time to start worrying if you have not received any calls?
Posted by: anon | Sep 2, 2010 1:48:28 PM
Atticus, I have zero interviews so far, and I would love a Xanax.
And I have a question: can anyone give me some guidance on the timing of approaching local schools about possible VAPs? I have a top-20ish school and a top-100ish school sort of local to me. I'm hoping for something tenure-track, and I figure I have a decent chance this year, but I am by no means a superstar candidate (see above, re zero interviews).
Posted by: scout | Sep 2, 2010 1:50:06 PM
At least it is not just me. RING PHONE!!!! (And not be a client.)
Posted by: Atticus | Sep 2, 2010 2:09:16 PM
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