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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Entry Level Hiring: Deadline/Reminder, Information, Question

Deadline and Reminder: I will post the final entry-level hiring summary on May 16. No information received after May 15 will appear in the summary or the spreadsheet. Please post information about entry level hires in the comments to the initial post, or email me directly at slawsky *at* law *dot* uci *dot* edu. 

Information: If you want to know more about the schools entry level hires come from (i.e., where entry level hires obtained their JDs), Leiter has a nice report here. An 2009 Journal of Legal Education article by Daniel Martin Katz et al. takes a look at the same topic using social network analysis. 

Question: What is this report for?

For law professors, maybe it just satisfies curiosity: who's getting hired? For many people who were on the market this year, I would imagine it's a bit more than that, emotionally. 

For people considering going on the market, the summary and spreadsheet are more problematic, for many reasons. Just to name one: the summary appears to provide information about what a good candidate looks like, but we don't see the people who weren't hired, and without that, we're not getting much information about what folks should do to get an entry-level job. For example, if the chart shows that three people who had fellowships at Law School X were hired as entry-level professors and you're deciding whether to take a fellowship at Law School X, it matters a lot how many of those fellows were on the market: three? Or 50?

But maybe this report provides more than just a way to satisfy curiosity, or put closure on a difficult process, or get deeply problematic and misleading information about how to be a good job candidate--maybe it is potentially useful in some other way. I don't know, to be honest, and would love to hear folks' thoughts, in part just because I'm curious, and in part because knowing another use for this project could help me slice the data for the final report. 

And remember: May 15! Comment on the initial post, or email me, slawsky *at* law *dot* uci *dot* edu.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on May 5, 2011 at 09:57 AM in Entry Level Hiring Report | Permalink

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Has anybody attempted contacting the head of the recruiting committees at schools that we have no information for? It seems like it would be pretty easy to do for the handful of schools that remain question marks and I don't see any reason why a school would refuse to answer a request for information...

Posted by: anon | May 5, 2011 11:53:35 AM

Unfortunately, there are actually a huge number of schools we don't have information on. There are 199 law schools that confer a JD degree and are either accredited or provisionally accredited. We have information on only 95 schools (89 schools with reported hires, and 6 schools that have reported that they will do no entry level hiring this year). So there are more than 100 schools about which we have no information. If others want to break that up into manageable groups and do the outreach in subsets, that would be great, but it's beyond what I can do as an individual.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 5, 2011 12:01:36 PM

Also, to be clear, we're not doing so badly compared to prior years. In 2007, for example, Solum's entry-level hiring report had information, including "no hires," on only about 112 schools, and about 167 individuals reported hired. We're at 95 schools and 137 individuals reported hired.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 5, 2011 12:11:47 PM

Here's a fun project I don't have time for:

collect statistics on publications by entry level hires- whether they published, where.

My guess is that focusing on school attendance and clerkships is outdated, that nearly all of even entry level hires have taught or published, and the majority have done both.

Posted by: Michael Lewyn | May 6, 2011 10:59:51 AM

I completely agree that publishing matters, and I would guess that as between successful and unsuccessful candidates, we would see more publishing among the former group. (Of course, I don't have data on the latter group, so this is just speculation.)

Because I don't know what the report is for, I feel a little silly claiming that something is or isn't relevant--relevant *to what*? Nonetheless, I'm going to say that I don't think a focus on school attendance and clerkships is outdated. I suspect that where a candidate attends school, and whether and where the candidate clerked, affects whether and where that person gets an entry level job. There are other factors, too, I'm sure--publications are one--but I don't think we can rule out the importance of JD school, clerkships, or fellowships (especially if the only purpose of this report is to satisfy people's curiosity!).

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 6, 2011 12:12:10 PM

Michael's point is a good one to think about for next year: we could ask folks to list how many pubs they had as they were applying (or at the time they got hired).

Posted by: Dan Markel | May 6, 2011 1:03:31 PM

For the last 3 or 4 years, I have tracked the entry-level hires with great interest - and I have always spent time googling each candidate to find out his/her publications. So I heartily second the idea of some type of standardized listing for a candidate's publications. That said, I think the suggestion of just listing how many publications would not be much better than the current system. At the risk of starting another rankings war, is there any way candidates could just note publications of a certain swath or note them by a particular swath. For example, a candidate might have 2 top 50 flagship publications and 1 top 5 specialty publication (using US News) or 3 top 75 publications (consolidating both flagship and specialty via Washington & Lee's citation rankings). The fact that someone has 8 publications is less meaningful if they are counting bar publications, book reviews, media publications, or mediocre journals (e.g., low tier flagship law reviews). Is there any way to standardize what is provided in the way of publications so that it gives everyone a better sense of a candidate's competitiveness?

Posted by: Anon VAP | May 8, 2011 4:23:36 PM

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