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Monday, July 23, 2012

A Clearinghouse for Questions, 2012-2013

The 2012-2013 law school hiring market is soon beginning. 

In this post, you can ask questions about the law teaching market (anonymously if you wish, assuming the questions are not especially offensive or otherwise improper), and prawfs or others can weigh in, also anonymously if they choose, but within the bounds of decency. I will keep an eye on things and delete misinformation and ban the IP addresses of those acting out of bounds. If you're a reader and you see something suspicious, please feel free to let me know via email.

We will have a distinct but related post in which candidates or prawfs can report on callbacks, offers, and acceptances. That thread should be used only for information relevant to hiring, not for questions or comments on the process. This is the thread for questions.

So...questions? But before you ask your questions, take a look at the 500 questions and comments that came up on last year's thread.

Update: Here is a link to the last page of comments.

Posted by Dan Markel on July 23, 2012 at 08:44 AM in Blogging, Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink

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Comments

Thanks to those who answered questions on Paul's post before it got derailed. A couple of carry-over questions:
1. When is best to send target packets?
2. What makes a job talk stand out for you?
Perhaps more importantly, for those who have successfully been through the process before and those who were or are now on hiring committees, what's the thing you'd tell candidates that they probably don't already know? I'm sure we have lots of pointed questions, but I'm relatively confident there are things I haven't thought of yet. Thanks so much.

Posted by: FARout | Jul 23, 2012 12:26:14 PM

Many have commented that a jobtalk should never be "read." Is the warning directed toward those who would literally read off of a piece of paper, or those who would write out the talk and then commit it to memory rather than using an outline or slide deck and speaking less formally?

Posted by: meatmarketeer | Jul 23, 2012 1:09:14 PM

1. This part I can't answer.
2. A good, clear, well-explained point. I know that sounds too easy, but you would be shocked at the number of job talks I have attended where I left wondering what point, if any, existed. Start with your thesis, tell me why it matters, outline how you are going to prove it, and then do that. Save some time at the end for questions. Oh, and skip the stupid stuff where you tell me about yourself or how you became interested in the topic. We already know the former, and we don't care about the latter.

Posted by: Wayfarer | Jul 23, 2012 1:13:23 PM

FARout,

1. Late August and no later than first week of September. That's not to say you can't send packages later, but that window of time is optimal.
2. The best job talks make an original point; show the candidates' comprehension of the leading works, current trends, and extant doctrines of the chosen field; and are smooth in their delivery.


Meatmarketeer,

Most, but certainly not all, law faculty members frown on reading job talks. But it is the norm for people to periodically look down at outlines.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jul 23, 2012 1:51:18 PM

Do you recommend creating a website to post a CV, articles, etc.? If so, is there a particular format or template you'd recommend? Also, I suppose password protecting it makes sense, but any other tips?

Posted by: Website? | Jul 23, 2012 2:00:47 PM

Website? - you should post published articles on SSRN.

Posted by: anon | Jul 23, 2012 2:02:45 PM

Anon, I hear you re: articles, but some things I don't want to post to SSRN (e.g. a transcript, teaching evals, etc.), but I'd like to make available.

Posted by: Website? | Jul 23, 2012 2:12:54 PM

FYI for other candidates out there... there is NO FEE for attending the aspiring law professors conference at ASU in September. You just have to get yourself there.

Thanks for the responses to my questions!!!

Posted by: FARout | Jul 23, 2012 2:45:37 PM

AALS fee: $450. Typical number of applicants: 1,000. Quite a profit for AALS.

Posted by: skeptic | Jul 23, 2012 2:47:44 PM

(1) Can someone discuss the target packages a bit more - what to include, email/hardcopy, goals to keep in mind when putting packages together, etc.?

(2) The FAR form says that unpublished papers will not be made available to committee members - does that mean the text will not be available or that they will not see that the paper exists/is listed? Also, if I have SSRN private postings of close-to-submission working papers and/or papers being submitted in this cycle, would it be appropriate to provide the direct link under the 'comments' section at the end of the FAR form? Since they are not yet published, I'd like to get them out there in front of appointments committees, but hesitate to put them publicly on SSRN. If I'm preparing at target package, would it be a good idea to attach a copy of the papers there as well?

Thanks!

Posted by: lookingforward | Jul 23, 2012 3:32:20 PM

Would love to hear thoughts on lookingforward's question #2.

Also, for those who have successfully been through the process before and hiring committee members past/present, what's the one or two thing(s) you'd tell candidates that we might not already know?

Thanks.

Posted by: FARout | Jul 23, 2012 3:43:00 PM

lookingforward, I believe if you list an unpublished paper in the formal slot for publications, no one will be able to see it, which is why we are advised to list unpublished papers in the comment box instead.

Posted by: meatmarketeer | Jul 23, 2012 3:48:05 PM

FARout, I'll try answer your big question, and I think you are quite wise to look for what you don't know. At the same time, here is the first big tip: if your need to refer to an anonymous internet blog about any part of the process, that might be a sign that you are not ready for the market. You should be getting this info from your recommenders and faculty mentors. That leads to my first point.

1. Your recommenders are important. Far more important than you think they are, if the focus of the questions on this thread is an indication. Put it this way, I do not know anyone who got any extra interviews because they sent a targeted package. I know that I personally received multiple interviews because my recommenders were proactive in calling people up.

2. What makes a good job talk/interview/resume/targeted package is different for every school--or at least different for different types of schools. You need to figure out what segment of the market you are aiming at. This should be obvious; but for some reason people keep asking as if there were one identifiable "right" way to job talk or interview. There are many identifiable wrong ways to job talk; but there is no single identifiable right way.

3. Call people by their first names, no matter how famous they are. You probably heard this before, but I know that I for one outright refused to believe that those egotistical professors would be willing to shed their "professor" title. I also figured that, at worst, erring on the side of politeness could not hurt. It hurts. A lot.

4. For better or worse, "polish" matters. More than it should. A candidate who walks and talks like a professor gets a significant boost. That means calling people by their first names. That means not deferring even to a senior professor in your field--you are going to be his colleague, not his student. That means not having stage fright. You don't want to overdo the confidence and come off like an arrogant jerk. Nor am I saying that you should exude false bravado or stubbornly stick to your guns at all costs. The point is only that you must not come off as someone who is not ready for the major leagues.

Posted by: anonprof | Jul 23, 2012 8:06:28 PM

The advice I would give candidates on the market is that you will receive a lot of advice, and a lot of it will be bad advice. The best advice I received on the market was to not worry too much about what other people told me to do, and to be myself rather than getting psyched out.

So take all these anecdotes and absolutes with grains of salt - the only constants are that everyone's experience is different, there is lots of serendipity in the process, and much of it is out of your control.

Posted by: anon | Jul 23, 2012 8:40:02 PM

anonprof/anon - thanks. I am getting lots of great advice from my references, colleagues, and mentors. I figured asking the same questions here couldn't hurt. Much of what folks say here is consistent with advice I've received from the folks in my corner.

Posted by: FARout | Jul 24, 2012 11:30:01 AM

The FAR form has a drop-down menu for law teaching positions. Should current VAPs select "Assistant Professor" or "Visiting Law Faculty"? Also, any reason to list the address/email for the school where we teach rather than home address/permanent personal email?

TYVM.

Posted by: missy elliott | Jul 24, 2012 11:47:36 AM

missy - I've selected "Visiting Law Faculty" and listed my school email/address/phone because I want all of the communications to go through my office, but I know of other candidates who list their home information. Personally, I want to have the email address with a school.edu domain but in the end, it probably doesn't matter.

Posted by: VAPapp | Jul 24, 2012 1:40:48 PM

Stray piece of advice: everyone says to stay in the official hotel, but I found it quite nice last year to stay off-site.
1. No constant exposure to stressed people.
2. No simmering resentment that you're paying $300 or so a night for a profoundly overpriced hotel room in addition to the AALS blood money.
3. No risk of awkward encounters.
4. There are still plenty of places to relax between interviews, from various hospitality suites to neighborhood cafes. (If you really have a sense of adventure you can trek, or grab a cab, to tryst for long breaks.)
5. Taxis in DC are plentiful, efficient, and cheap, the amount you save in hotel costs will more than cover it.

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Jul 24, 2012 6:57:46 PM

Say I have a couple of published pieces and a jobtalk that's a work in progress. I have heard I will get asked at the faculty recruitment conference, "what else are you working on right now?" Is it really not good enough to focus on one project at a time, even if that might mean you are a prolific scholar who publishes 2-3 things per year-- they should not be tackled sequentially but juggled simultaneously? It is acceptable to say, I'm enjoying working on my jobtalk project, and can tell you about the project I hope to work on next, but I haven't begun to delve into it yet?

Posted by: twizzlers | Jul 24, 2012 11:52:56 PM

twizzlers, it depends on what you mean by "working on." It is perfectly fine to be actually typing only on one article at a time. But people will expect that you have some ideas about your next project that are more concrete and developed than simply the title.

A related point, however. If you are still working on your job talk piece, then it is probably not ready to be a job talk piece.

Posted by: anonprof | Jul 25, 2012 3:38:45 AM

I tend to disagree with the last line of anonprof's (at 3:38) advice. It is July. If you are still working on your job talk piece, that's fine -- assuming that you can have a strong draft of it ready in a month or so. Some schools will request it before they decide whether to schedule an AALS interview with you, others will schedule an interview, but request that you send it in advance of the conference, and others still will wait until after the conference to see if they want to call you back. For that reason, you need it to be ready for that first set of schools. I would say, then, mid-August or so is about right -- and that's just for a first draft. You can keep working to improve it well after that. And, as many people can attest, the job talks, themselves, are like workshops that help you revise your ideas. So, if you're still working on your job talk, I'd say that's fine. But you need to be prepared to send a draft of it to schools in about a month.

Posted by: another anonprof | Jul 25, 2012 7:14:42 AM

My fault for the ambiguity. I had meant that if you are still working on your job talk by the time of the meatmarket (when the question of "what are you working on" will be put to you), _then_ it is a problem.

Posted by: anonprof | Jul 25, 2012 9:18:30 AM

Prof. Gowder is right - don't stay at the conference hotel. I stayed across the street at the Omni several years back, and it was not only cheaper, it was (for all the reasons he lists) a welcome escape from the Marriott.

Posted by: anon | Jul 25, 2012 10:25:54 AM

I checked last week, and the Omni was totally booked for the Thursday-Friday nights of the conference (I didn't check surrounding dates). There's some other conference going on there. That might suggest that rooms will free up once that conference's room block is released, but I wouldn't bank on it. On the plus side, you could probably reserve at the Marriott and cancel if something in the Omni opens up--as I recall, there's no penalty for cancelling up till the day of check-in.

Posted by: stevie | Jul 25, 2012 11:10:53 AM

FYI - I tried to book a room at the Omni a couple of weeks ago and was told they had no availability.

Posted by: FARout | Jul 25, 2012 11:18:21 AM

I preferred to stay at the conference hotel. I had a lot of back-to-back interviews with only a few short breaks. It was nice to be able to head to my room during those breaks and catch my breath.

To keep costs down, I roomed with a laid-back friend (who was also on the market) who helped keep me calm. The stupid thing I did to save money was flying into Baltimore, which I do not recommend given how much time it took to get a train to D.C.

My random piece of advice is that there is such a thing as going on the market too early. When I was originally supposed to go on the market, my job talk paper was still in very rough shape. I ended up delaying a year, and have no doubt that I ended up at a much better school because of it. Don't be afraid to go into a second visiting position if you feel like the extra year will put you in a stronger place, especially if you are on the low side of publications.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Jul 25, 2012 12:21:37 PM

Here's an observation and some advice that relate to a commenter's point made on a recently-closed thread on this site. The commenter argued schools were disinclined to hire him/her because he/she had not gone to a T14 law school, notwithstanding a HYS PhD and some publications. My observation is that, based on the last couple years' hiring, schools are increasingly willing to hire folks without a T14 JD. As one example, a position I interviewed for went to someone with a JD from a lower T2 school and a T25 PhD. My advice is that, if you are getting interviews, your qualifications probably aren't a problem. If you end up with a few interviews and no callbacks, this may not be a negative reflection on you - schools have esoteric reasons for calling back A vs B and most people only have something like a 1:3 to a 1:5 callback:interview ratio. However, if you have lots of interviews and no callbacks, be open to the possibility the problem lies outside your CV. Consider meeting with a career counselor in your law school or someone else who you trust to give frank advice to try to pinpoint why the on-paper sell worked, but the in-person sell did not. Good luck!

Posted by: anonnewprof | Jul 25, 2012 1:50:55 PM

I second anonnewprof's comment above. The posts he/she describes seemed really out of sync with what I personally experienced on the market. I do not have a T14 JD, and had no trouble landing interviews, call-backs and several offers. Granted, I do think subject matter can be an issue -- i.e., maybe there are still some areas of law teaching where prestige matters to a greater extent. But on the whole, I don't think prestige is quite so important as that one poster would make it appear.

Posted by: anonanothernewprof | Jul 25, 2012 3:48:12 PM

Based on the info from the entry-level hiring reports over the last eight or so years (which is, of course, deeply flawed and incomplete), I agree that a T14 degree is not a de facto requirement for being hired as a law professor. See, e.g.:

http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2011/05/entry-level-hiring-jd-schools.html

"Each year, Harvard and Yale together are the source of the initial JD of between 25% and 35% of the hires listed on the entry level hiring report; the group of NYU, Michigan, Chicago, Columbia, Stanford, Berkeley, and Virginia (I selected these schools because these were the schools that had provided at least five hires in more than one year) provide the JDs for 30% to 40%; and all other schools represent 35% to 40%. All this seems pretty stable across the last seven years."

Posted by: Sarah L. | Jul 25, 2012 6:07:01 PM

I agree that the market has evolved such that graduates of schools below the top fifteen or so schools have much more of a chance. But we shouldn't sugarcoat things either because the reality is that although can secure jobs, the odds are still stacked against them. Looking at last year's reported data (which I recognize is incomplete but the best we have), nearly 35% of graduates from the sixteen listed schools on the hiring report secured jobs. This can be contrasted with the less than 7% of graduates from other non-listed schools who secured jobs based on the total number of FAR form submissions.

These differences in ratios do not account for where these candidates "placed," which I imagine suffers from even greater biases. So everyone from non top schools should be realistic about the potential headwinds they face on the market and do whatever is necessary to compete on a more equal basis with those graduates from the top schools (publish, obtain fellowships, PhDs, LLMs, etc.).

Posted by: FWIW | Jul 25, 2012 6:45:32 PM

I think that you should be ready to send a draft of your paper to committees in about a month. But, to be clear, a draft of your paper refers to the fact that it is an, as-of-yet, unpublished paper. It should be as polished as you can make it and something that you would be comfortable sending out to law reviews for publication. In other words, have it read by colleagues, friends, etc. and incorporate those edits first.

Posted by: on the market (again) | Jul 25, 2012 10:35:33 PM

ideal length for a research agenda?

Posted by: marisa tomei | Jul 26, 2012 5:57:56 PM

marisa: 2-3 pages (or so I've been told)

Posted by: FARout | Jul 26, 2012 6:59:04 PM

(Trying to decide what to do this year.)

1.) When selecting teaching interests, where should you strike the balance between "in demand" subjects and subjects that your research reflects an interest in? In other words, would it look disingenious for someone who has published multiple articles on (say) con law to put property and commercial law and contracts in the top line?

2.) How important is a third article for a candidate? The first two were in the 25-50 range and the 50-75 range, if it matters.

3.) Relatedly, how does the VAP/non-VAP status of a candidate affect consideration of her work? In other words, would a VAP who produced (say) the above two articles be evaluated differently than a practitioner?

Thanks!

Posted by: Up in the air | Jul 27, 2012 2:21:11 AM

1. You need some plausible story of how your subject choices correspond to your research interests, and how you would have actual expertise to teach in the area. If your con law articles are about, say, how using eminent domain to take over underwater mortgages does or does not violate the takings clause and the contracts clause, then by all means put down property and contracts as teaching interests. But if you are plainly someone who doesn't know anything about property and contracts beyond what he learned in 1L, then putting it down is both going to hurt you in the sense of making you look opportunistic, and also because no school which is looking to hire in those areas would look at you on the merits.

2. It varies. See my prior comment.

3. Also kind of varies, but I would say that there is usually some kind of credit given to a practitioner who can pump out articles on the side while holding down another full time job. Probably not enough to offset all the downsides of that route, in terms of not having faculty mentors and not being in the know about the whole process. But if you are talking a ceteris parabis comparison, then yes, there is a difference.

Posted by: anonprof | Jul 27, 2012 5:34:52 AM

I echo anonprof. If your articles were student comments/notes (or papers you began as a student and published later), then give them another read now with the benefit of hindsight. The subject matters and titles can sometimes just reflect a typical student's perception of subject matter silos, and it's possible you can now spin the articles as something squarely in the field you want to teach. Obviously, it can't be too much of a stretch.

Posted by: anonanothernewprof | Jul 27, 2012 8:27:09 AM

If you plan to write in con law, then yes, con law should be one of your top listed classes. But there is nothing wrong with having an unrelated first-year class in the top line, this is quite common. Indeed, it isn't uncommon to see a FAR form that states the person is willing to teach any first-year class.

Also, if your writing agenda is moving in a different direction (say, more commercial law than con law), then you can plausibly claim that teaching in those areas will support your scholarship.

Note that it can sometimes be difficult to convince someone that you want to teach something outside your research area. I wanted to teach a UCC class, but could not convince any school of it because I don't research in that area.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Jul 27, 2012 11:49:18 AM

I'm confused by this statement above: "My observation is that, based on the last couple years' hiring, schools are increasingly willing to hire folks without a T14 JD. As one example, a position I interviewed for went to someone with a JD from a lower T2 school and a T25 PhD."

What does it mean to have "a T25 PhD"? Does that mean simply that a person got a PhD from a university with a T25 JD program? That is not a very reliable signal of a PhD program's prestige. To take one example, Johns Hopkins University is generally a more competitive and prestigious university than, say, Georgetown, UVA, and GW, yet all three of the latter schools are T25 JD schools, whereas Hopkins obviously is not, since it doesn't even have a law school.

How can anyone talk about T25 PhDs from the law school perspective? Are law school profs really that familiar with the highly nuanced rankings of various PhD programs??

Posted by: borntoprof | Jul 27, 2012 3:34:08 PM

Thanks for all the info -- I saw one question about the ideal length for a research agenda (answer was 2-3 pages), and have a related question: is the research agenda something that should be part of the FAR form (i.e. part of the CV)? I've gotten conflicting advice on this--some saying this should go on the FAR form, others saying this only annoys readers of the forms by increasing the amount of material they have to read thru.

Thanks for any advice/input

Posted by: ericblair | Jul 27, 2012 3:52:59 PM

@borntoprof, good point. I was shorthanding - the PhD was from a school with a T25-ish JD program. My point was really that the PhD wasn't from a top program, and thus to provide a counter-example to the previous commenter's statement that he/she hadn't been hired because his/her non-T14 JD + HYS PhD "wasn't good enough".

Posted by: anonnewprof | Jul 27, 2012 6:39:21 PM

Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed answers to this thread so far!

On the subject of getting PhDs:

I understand that the convention is for international lawyers to get American SJDs/JSDs at the top law schools, and for American JDs from non-top-6 institutions to “launder” their credentials with a Harvard or Yale LLM, or to seek a PhD in a cognate field.

If an American JD with respectable but not stellar qualifications (low t14 with good grades) got a PhD/Dphil in law from Cambridge or Oxford, would this be regarded as a PhD and thus a helpful qualification, as an SJD equivalent and therefore a qualification that doesn’t add much to an American JD, or would it have a ‘laundering’ effect?

For someone already in such a program doing interdisciplinary work, would it be a good idea to try to transfer to a cognate faculty within their university for the purposes of AALS recruitment?..or would it not matter what department the PhD was actually from as long as you could explain your reasons for doing it, how it contributes to your scholarship, and that you do have an interdisciplinary research agenda?

Would love to hear opinions on this not-hugely-common situation, like, what your first reaction would be if you got a FAR form like that. Thanks!

Posted by: anonymous | Jul 27, 2012 8:32:17 PM


Are there special concerns or issues that arise for candidates who do work on controversial subjects that people feel strongly about, that is likely to be provocative and heterodox? A lot of the work that I want to do (err most of it) could I think tread on emotionally sensitive topics even when done with the utmost respect and care. I am worried that this might be a liability on the job market and would appreciate advice on this. I mean, should I just avoid those topics until I get a job, or is it okay if buried with other less controversial work, or should I embrace it advocate for my ideas rigorously without regard to how popular or intuitive they would be as long as they're well articulated and coherent?

Posted by: anon | Jul 27, 2012 8:47:12 PM

anon @ 8:47, professors who are members of the federalist society tend to have excellent advice on that topic. you might try reaching out to some directly even if that isn't your particular flavor of controversial affiliation.

Posted by: marisa tomei | Jul 27, 2012 10:12:38 PM

anon @ 8:47, a friendly addition to the comment above. Opinions about the degree to which viewpoint discrimination occurs in hiring tend to the extremes, and you can pretty much predict what a person's opinion is based on where they sit. If you ask Federalist society types, they'll say it is rampant. If you ask Brian Leiter, he'll say it is a non-problem. The truth, as usual, is probably somewhere in between.

Posted by: anonprof | Jul 28, 2012 10:29:31 AM

anon @ 8:47, if it is a matter of controversy that would keep you from being hired at a particular institution, it will also probably weigh on your tenure application - in other words, I think the best course is to find a place you fit doing what it is you are driven to do. Who wants to feel like they are cloaking their research for 5-6 years? That said, I think most faculties have a variety of political and other worldviews and are more apt to judge the scholarship by its merits as scholarship rather than its underlying worldview

Posted by: anonprof | Jul 30, 2012 10:54:28 AM

I have a couple of questions about the C.V. candidates are asked to upload to the FAR database. The AALS website accepts multiple types of files; are they later "standardized" in some way, to ensure that hiring committees can read them, regardless of file format? Or are the uploaded files simply stored "as is" for user downloads? If it's the latter, should one upload a .pdf -- where hyperlinks to publications posted online are less likely to work -- or a .doc / .docx file, which a reviewer will only be able to view if s/he has the right version of Microsoft Word? Thanks very much!

Posted by: meatforthemarket | Jul 30, 2012 3:19:37 PM

Thoughts on listing SSRN top-10 downloads on the CV in the publications section? Thanks.

meatforthemarket - I'm uploading everything as PDFs.

Posted by: FARout | Jul 31, 2012 1:23:33 PM

When you're invited to give a jobtalk, how far in advance of it will your jobtalk paper be distributed to the faculty?

Posted by: pennoyer neff | Jul 31, 2012 7:54:27 PM

Can anyone comment on the above question about whether to include the scholarly agenda with the FAR form? It is not clear to me, if not, when to send this to schools. Thanks!

Posted by: Anon | Aug 1, 2012 12:26:18 AM

Any thoughts on how in-depth we should be able to discuss our knowledge of and interest in the various courses that we list on FAR form? Should we be able to describe the anticipated structure of all three courses we list on line 1, perhaps including even textbook preferences? And how does line 2 compare in terms of brevity of substance? Thanks in advance for any and all insights!

Posted by: FARFromOver | Aug 2, 2012 4:23:36 AM

Any suggestions on how to find members of hiring committees who haven't been listed on the spreadsheet on this blog? There are schools to which I'd like to send targeted packages that are not (yet) on the spreadsheet.

Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2012 9:38:57 AM

FARFromOver, You may be asked questions about your interest in teaching a course you listed if it isn't obvious from your cv why you want to teach it, but at the screening interview stage I think it is pretty unlikely you would be asked about your anticipated course structure or textbooks.

Posted by: anonnewprof | Aug 2, 2012 11:33:40 AM

To add a different perspective to annonnewprof's comment, I actually did get asked about how I would teach certain courses. It wasn't at the textbook level of granularity, but more about general ideas--what would you do that's new/innovative/brings in practical skills? That sort of thing. So it's possible.

Posted by: Newbie prof | Aug 2, 2012 5:38:27 PM

I was asked about textbooks last year.

Posted by: on the market (again) | Aug 2, 2012 9:32:24 PM

I was asked about textbooks last year.

Posted by: on the market (again) | Aug 2, 2012 9:32:27 PM

"When you're invited to give a jobtalk, how far in advance of it will your jobtalk paper be distributed to the faculty?"

This varies sharply by school and can even depend on who on the committee is in charge of distributing the paper. At my school, we typically get the paper a week in advance, but sometimes the person in charge fails to circulate it until the day of. Even if it is circulated in advance, a large chunk of my faculty fails to read the paper. They will print it out, flip through it, and maybe skim bits of it, but only a few will read it in detail.

Consequently, it is a good idea to spend 5 minutes introducing your paper before you launch into the heart of your argument. But don't make the mistake of never telling us what is your original contribution to the literature. Introduce it, then quickly get to your main point.

Keep in mind that at some schools, people will ask questions at any time, whereas at other schools, you will get 20 minutes or so before the faculty jumps in. It never hurts to ask the person guiding you through the callback what the school's norm is on the job talk.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 2, 2012 11:58:49 PM

Can anyone comment on the above question about whether to include the scholarly agenda with the FAR form?

Typically, the schools that are interested (based on FAR form) will ask you for it. I don't know if anyone else actually included it on the form; I certainly didn't last year. (I suppose you could append it to the uploaded cv, or put a very brief note in the comments field -- doubt that would hurt.)

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Aug 3, 2012 9:04:13 AM

Does anyone have an opinion about whether I should include a link to my SSRN or BEpress website on my CV?

Posted by: anon | Aug 3, 2012 10:02:24 AM

"Does anyone have an opinion about whether I should include a link to my SSRN or BEpress website on my CV?"

It certainly wouldn't hurt to have an SSRN link on your CV. Lots of academics do that. If you have an unpublished article that you want considered in the hiring process, you can also provide a link to it in the comment box of the FAR form.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 3, 2012 10:16:02 AM

Response to: Including a scholarly agenda with the FAR?

When I was on the market about five years ago, I did not include a scholarly agenda. And my sense from speaking with several friends who were on the market at that time and a couple of years before me was that no one included a scholarly agenda with their FAR form. It just seemed like a waste of time, and I was so incredibly busy. I included that scholarly trajectory in a one or two page letter that I sent to targeted schools, and that worked out just fine. But, when I served on our appointments committee last year, I found that almost all (and I mean 90%+) of the high quality FAR applications included a scholarly agenda of three to six pages in length. So, to now submit the FAR form without one would seem like a risky move that would put the candidate at a significant disadvantage.

Response to: Include an SSRN link?

By all means. Include anything in your CV that shows your potential as a scholar, teacher, and colleague.

Response to: Indicate top 10 status on SSRN?
I'm unorthodox in this, so don't follow this advice without carefully reflecting on it and asking others for their opinions: I think SSRN is too easily manipulated for those numbers to mean anything. And here's a funny story. I posted something on SSRN a few years back. I had 18 downloads pretty quickly. The subject and category were so obscure that I got an e-mail informing me that in that narrow category I was top 10. Absolutely meaningless! Worth no more than a laugh. For all I know an individual's SSRN numbers might be high because his or her family or entire first year class of students are downloading it.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 3, 2012 11:39:08 AM

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