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Monday, January 10, 2011

Open Thread Re: VAPs and Fellowships

I've received a couple emails asking about the creation of an open thread in which comments can be shared regarding news of appointments to VAPs or similar fellowships like Climenko and Bigelow. So here it is. Have at it. 

Posted by Administrators on January 10, 2011 at 08:32 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market, Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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The Emerging Scholars Program at Texas is not taking any fellows.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 11, 2011 10:13:49 AM

ASU has *not* cancelled its program. To the contrary, we've added two more VAPs --- one in Indian Law and one in Health Law --- bringing our total number of VAPs to three.

We are accepting applications on the general position and the Indian Law position thru February 15th (The Health Law VAP has been filled).

More information on our application process can be found here:

Carissa Byrne Hessick
Associate Professor
Director, Visiting Assistant Professor Program
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Arizona State University

Posted by: carissa | Jan 11, 2011 2:18:38 PM

Carissa, thanks for unraveling the disinformation campaign. I've taken appropriate self-help measures against the first commenter.

Posted by: Dan | Jan 11, 2011 2:59:28 PM

The University of Illinois has hired at least one person for their Illinois Academic Fellows program.

Posted by: anon | Jan 11, 2011 5:39:39 PM

No one mentions Temple's program much, but given the number of alums in the academy, they seem to have a pretty good track record for placement. I don't think they have started their process yet, so it's probably not too late to apply.

Posted by: prawf | Jan 11, 2011 8:34:53 PM

Applications for Academic Fellowships at Harvard Law School's Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Bioethics, and Biotechnology, http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/petrie-flom/ closed in the fall of 2010. We will re-open applications for the next round of fellows in Fall of 2011. Having been a fellow myself (and with placements of other fellows at Harvard, Berkeley, UCLA, BU, etc) I can attest that it is really a wonderful fellowship for those in the field.

Posted by: I. Glenn Cohen | Jan 12, 2011 2:44:34 PM

Temple's program really only works if you want to teach legal writing.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 12, 2011 3:29:59 PM

AnonProf @3:29 - I'm not why you say that. I've been looking into it, and it looks like there are many Temple fellows teaching doctrinal subjects at a variety of schools - Ann Bartow at South Carolina, Rachel Arnow Richman at Denver, a recent grad at Arkansas, as well as folks at Widener, Texas Wesleyan, Memphis and other places. It doesn't look like any of them are teaching legal writing. Not the top tier, certainly, but it certainly looks like respectable placements, especially for those of us who didn't go to an elite law school. I've been thinking of applying because it looks promising. Am I making a mistake?

Posted by: prawfwannabe | Jan 12, 2011 4:00:00 PM

Can anyone provide information about when these programs generally start to interview? I realize that fellowships and VAPs may operate on different timetables, and that there may even be intraprogram variation. I'm just concerned with general timeframes.

Posted by: anon | Jan 13, 2011 7:58:07 PM

Washington University will be looking to hire in its VAP programme this semester. Applications should be sent to me.

Posted by: Neil Richards | Jan 17, 2011 4:10:53 PM

Does anyone know whether the Bigelow is 1 year or 2?

Posted by: anon | Jan 21, 2011 1:23:36 AM

In almost all cases, the Bigelow is a two year position.

Posted by: Former Chicago Student | Jan 21, 2011 8:34:49 AM

Professor Richards: Do you have any particular subject area(s) you're hoping the VAP(s) will cover?

Anyone: I'm assuming the application process for the Bigelow is effectively over, but I would love to be corrected, if anyone thinks differently.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Posted by: anon | Jan 21, 2011 2:04:39 PM

Penn State is accepting applications for its Shughart Scholars (VAP) program: http://law.psu.edu/faculty/shughart_scholars/apply_to_be_a_shughart_scholar.

Posted by: anon | Jan 28, 2011 4:00:18 PM

Does anyone have information on timing?

Posted by: anon | Feb 2, 2011 3:32:29 PM

anon at 3:32, when I was on the VAP market, I had interviews as early as November and as late as June. There are so many different schools with VAP programs, which employ VAPs in so many different ways (e.g. as part of a yearly, structured program versus as a last-second fill-in for a departure) that you really can't be certain of timing.

Posted by: zapvap | Feb 2, 2011 5:36:06 PM

Does it ever work to write to a school of interest and just ask them if they have a visiting position available? I am thinking Tier two and lower. I understand that some schools have some flexibility in creating these positions.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 6, 2011 11:03:00 PM

Anon 11:03, check out the Human Resources section on university websites to see if there are openings for podium-filler VAP spots. These are usually posted in the Spring, after faculties learn that they need coverage in a specific subject after they are done with their general hiring. This is how I secured a VAP position several years ago before going on the TT market.

Posted by: anon | Feb 7, 2011 1:18:28 PM

Anyone know if Columbia has started interviewing yet? Their materials say: "Finalists will be invited for interviews in early spring." Nice and vague...

Also, re Georgetown - "The selection committee plans to make offers to candidates in February 2011." Does anyone know if that means they make offers without interviews?


Posted by: seeker | Feb 8, 2011 9:01:46 AM

To piggy-back on the question of interview timing, does anyone know of schools that start interviewing before the closing date for a fellowship is up? Or do most schools wait until the application deadline has passed before interviewing candidates?

Posted by: Eager | Feb 10, 2011 3:28:46 PM

i've been through both the fellowship process and the entry level process recently. the fellowship was at an elite school. i've also worked closely with the hiring committee for that fellowship. for those fellowships/vaps, the hiring process is increasingly approximating the process for tenure track positions. the calendar is shifted back a couple months, but schools move faster to grab more desirable candidates - just the way it works with entry level hiring. there are not strict parameters for when interviews "start" and when hiring is "done." there are a number of interviews before the deadline for applications, and even some second round interviews.

Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2011 3:49:39 PM

Question: I and others would like some clarification from more experienced folks here, as this question has been suggested but not directly addressed. Nowadays, does being a fellow in a legal research and writing program signal to future hiring committees that you are not "doctrinal material"? So many of the programs involve teaching legal research and writing that it seems hard to believe this is the case, but some clarification would be nice.

Posted by: Anotheranon | Feb 12, 2011 11:49:23 AM

See below for some thoughts on the issue:


Posted by: anon | Feb 12, 2011 7:54:17 PM

It would be fantastic if people could post whether they have been contacted for a VAP interview or whether a school has indicated that it might be hiring. Thanks.

Posted by: anon | Feb 16, 2011 2:47:06 PM

Columbia has begun contacting people about interviews for its Associates-in-Law program.

Posted by: seeker | Feb 17, 2011 7:33:01 AM

Cornell is rejecting people via email.

Posted by: anon | Feb 18, 2011 9:04:36 AM

Anyone have a good sense of the difference between Columbia's Associates in Law program and its Academic Fellows program? I applied for the former but only just learned about the latter and it looks like the deadline has passed. I know in the past the Associates program was really well-respected. Is that still the case or is the Fellows program now more desirable? I note that the fellows get paid a lot more...

Posted by: anon | Feb 21, 2011 8:49:31 PM

My understanding was that the Academic Fellows program was reserved for SCOTUS clerks (and similar types of people)

Posted by: anon | Feb 23, 2011 9:38:52 AM

There was a question about this earlier and I just saw a notice on pslaw.net seeking applications for the Bigelow fellowship. I assumed, since they have been accepting applications since September that had filled those positions. Does anyone know what the situation is?

Posted by: anon | Feb 23, 2011 2:22:17 PM

Has anyone heard from GW about the Friedman Fellowship?

Posted by: anon2 | Feb 24, 2011 9:49:25 AM

Rejection from Georgetown via email.

Posted by: anon | Mar 1, 2011 6:32:25 PM

Has anybody been contacted for an interview ???

Posted by: anon | Mar 2, 2011 12:11:26 PM

Anon @ 6:32 p.m., 1 March -- If you don't mind saying, which fellowship program at G'town?

Posted by: Currican6 | Mar 3, 2011 9:58:04 PM

Law Research Fellowship. Apparently some of the rejected applicants are being considered for a Law Research and Writing VAP, which seems to be a new position this year.

Posted by: anon | Mar 4, 2011 12:26:36 PM

I've gotten some interest from a few top-50 schools regarding informal VAPs.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 5, 2011 8:04:53 AM

What field/area are in you? Just curious...

Posted by: ano | Mar 7, 2011 7:16:36 PM

Admin and civ pro.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 8, 2011 5:59:37 AM

If you don't take an offer, please pass along the info !...!

Posted by: anonanon | Mar 8, 2011 3:26:46 PM

Has anyone heard whether schools mentioned above such as ASU, Temple, and WU have interviewed or contacted candidates?

Posted by: Status? | Mar 10, 2011 8:07:45 AM

Bigelow is interviewing

Posted by: anon | Mar 16, 2011 5:41:57 PM

Has anyone who interviewed at Columbia heard anything yet? Also, has anyone heard anything from Georgetown's Legal Research and Writing VAP?

Posted by: anon | Mar 17, 2011 9:13:24 AM

Heard on Monday that the G'town Center on Nat'l Security & the Law fellowship had been offered and accepted. Have not heard anything about the Legal Research & Writing VAP at G'town.

Posted by: Currican6 | Mar 17, 2011 10:56:18 PM

Is Georgetown doing interviews for the Legal Research and Writing VAP?

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2011 10:26:42 AM

So far, personally, rejections abound. Illinois filled its slots a while back. Still waiting to hear from BU, California Western, ASU, Brooklyn, UConn, Wake Forest, Northwestern, Penn State, and Chicago Kent. I did not apply for anything at G'town. Would be very thankful to hear some advice on how to find availabilities (health law and civ pro). Thanks in advance. Also, thanks for this thread.

Posted by: anonimation | Mar 21, 2011 3:00:22 PM

Anyone hear from Penn yet?

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2011 4:13:23 PM

I'm pretty sure Chicago Kent has already filled its slots.

Posted by: anon | Mar 22, 2011 8:44:42 AM

Anonimation-- what rejections did you receive (or have you've heard about) besides Ill. ? FWIW - I'm waiting to hear from many of the same schools that you listed and was rejected by Cornell.

Posted by: anono | Mar 23, 2011 6:23:35 PM

Today I add ASU to my rejection list. Other rejections include Columbia, Harvard, NYU, and Seattle.
Waiting is better with company. Good luck to everyone, and I hope we'll be hearing good news sooner rather than later.

Posted by: anonimation | Mar 23, 2011 8:38:40 PM

Any more news on the Shughart at Penn State or the Bigelow at Chicago? Also, does anyone have insight as to whether, in general, committees send out rejections to unsuccessful candidates all at once, after their offers have been accepted -- or do they let their B and C groups know at different times, depending on the status of their search and how the process is going with their A group candidates? Thanks for your help!

Posted by: MarchingOn | Mar 24, 2011 9:52:21 AM

I too was just rejected by ASU, so it appears that they are done hiring or just made a(nother) round of cuts... Was anyone rejected a while back?

Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2011 11:02:12 AM

@ MarchingOn. It's my impression/experience that there is an initial cut of rejections that they are certain about and then a second cut later, which they do only when they have offered positions, which have been accepted.

I'm still waiting to hear from Brooklyn, Chicago (although given that someone posted earlier that they are interviewing am assuming I won't hear anything good), Penn, and Northwestern.

Also, did anyone else get that rejection email from Georgetown's Law Research Fellowship that said they were being considered for the LRW VAP? It said that the committee would be meeting in a few weeks and that was more than 3 weeks ago now.

Posted by: anonymouse | Mar 24, 2011 12:07:17 PM


My sense is that April 1 is the operative date. Maybe Georgetown will me before then?

Posted by: anon1 | Mar 24, 2011 12:18:11 PM

MarchingOn -- My impression is that at least some schools reject the bulk of candidates earlier, saving the finalists for later. This happened to me with at least one fellowship application process. A friend of mine who applied for the same fellowship received a rejection email nearly a month before mine came. This may be the case with others as well, but I don't have any confirmation.

Nothing from Penn State on my end, but they're not alone. I'm waiting on about a dozen open applications.

Anyone know how best to find openings left from the TT hiring cycle? I hear that's over now, meaning that at least in theory schools should know what teaching needs they still have for the upcoming year. Thanks.

Posted by: anonimation | Mar 24, 2011 1:01:41 PM

The Bigelow is finished hiring.

Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2011 8:48:03 PM

Columbia is officially done too.

Posted by: anonymouse | Mar 25, 2011 1:11:46 PM

I have an interview with ASU on monday, so they apparently aren't done yet. Other rejections: Cornell (had an interview), Illinois (interview), Duke (interview), and Fordham. Haven't heard from Columbia, Penn State, BU, or Northwestern. Good luck to all....this process is horrible.

Posted by: squanzo | Mar 25, 2011 5:53:29 PM

This process is horrible. Good luck to you, squanzo.

Posted by: anon | Mar 26, 2011 9:53:03 AM

What's the consensus on updating application materials if an article has been accepted for publication? Does your answer change if the expedite process is still ongoing, i.e., you know it will be published but you're not yet sure where? Thanks.

Posted by: anonimation | Mar 26, 2011 6:30:04 PM

squanzo- what's your speciality? did the schools say what courses they'd want you to teach? good luck. thanks.

Posted by: anono | Mar 28, 2011 9:28:26 AM

FYI - Brooklyn is done and Wake Forest isn't hiring. Also, Northwestern will *not* be interviewing and will instead make decisions based on application materials (and, I can only assume, references to the extent they are contacted).

Are other folks still waiting to hear from a good number of schools? I have 10 open VAP applications and I'm wondering if I'm still in the running (at least in theory) or if I should really start looking elsewhere. Thanks.

Posted by: anonimation | Mar 28, 2011 12:12:10 PM

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