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


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many thanks AnonProf and others who responded to the question about submitting a research agenda with the FAR form

Posted by: ericblair | Aug 3, 2012 3:07:05 PM

Does an e-journal count as a "major published writing" on the FAR form? I'm thinking not but wanted to verify...

Posted by: anon | Aug 4, 2012 2:58:55 PM

What's the over/under on the number of FAR forms in this year's first distribution and number of schools with listings in the hiring bulletin?

Posted by: marisa tomei | Aug 5, 2012 10:54:19 AM

anon (8/4 @ 2:58pm) - If your e-journal is, say, PENNumbra or YLJ Online or a similar journal, then I'd say it counts.

Good luck to us all!

Posted by: FARout | Aug 6, 2012 1:56:56 PM

In the publications section on the FAR form, I am not sure what to put in the citation/web address line for forthcoming publications. SSRN links are too long to fit in the box, and I'd like the journal name to be on the form -- but it seems odd to give information that does not make the paper available when the prompt specifically includes web addresses. (My CV has SSRN links -- is that enough?)

Posted by: anon | Aug 6, 2012 4:33:45 PM

FARout, thanks for the response on e-journals.

Posted by: anon | Aug 7, 2012 9:35:22 AM

"In the publications section on the FAR form, I am not sure what to put in the citation/web address line for forthcoming publications"

My understanding (from when I was on the market) is that you can't put forthcoming publications in that section of the FAR form, only published ones. You put your forthcoming publications and their SSRN links in the comment box.

Note: if that's wrong and it does permit accepted but not in print publications, you could always list it by putting "volume number Blah L. J. XX." The Committee could then always ask you for a copy or cross-reference your CV.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 7, 2012 11:11:35 AM

Thanks 4thyearprawf, good point. The heading is "Major Published Writings," but then the checkbox is labeled "Accepted for Publication," which I took to include accepted but not yet published. I will ask around further to see whether my reading was in error, thanks again.

Posted by: anon | Aug 7, 2012 12:10:25 PM

anon@12:10, FWIW, my reading is the same as yours, and consistent with what my mentors have advised. If the piece has been published or accepted for publication, it's appropriate for inclusion in that section of the FAR.

Posted by: pleepleus | Aug 7, 2012 2:24:37 PM

I want to contradict what "4thyearprawf" wrote above. I put a forthcoming piece in that section when I was on the market. No problems whatsoever.

Posted by: anonprof | Aug 7, 2012 3:46:43 PM

anonprof & pleepleus: Thank you for the correction. I'm not trying to mislead people--I'm four years out so I am likely misremembering. Given what anon is saying about "accepted for publication," being next to the box, perhaps one could do both--list the article in the box with the anticipated citation, then list it again in the comment box with the SSRN citation?

I will perhaps be more useful when people have questions about the call-back process, given how many job talks and hiring meetings I've been involved with :P.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 8, 2012 9:10:40 AM

I'm surprised at how quiet this board is, given the date. Anybody out there?

Posted by: FARFromHeaven | Aug 8, 2012 3:19:55 PM

Personally, I've submitted my materials and am taking a breather. I suspect it's quiet because it's really too late to ask questions about submission materials if you're submitting today and too early to ask questions about the interview process (mostly because we are all focused on getting the materials in). I suspect things will pick up later this week after the bulletin comes out and next week for sure once AALS issues the first release.

Posted by: FARout | Aug 8, 2012 4:14:50 PM

Ok, I'll shoot out a question on this otherwise quiet day (and in anticipation of tomorrow's bulletin). How closely to expressed interests do schools tend to hire? If a school announces that they're interested in hiring people in areas X, Y, and Z, do they tend to stick to those areas, or is there always the implied "but we are interested in good candidates in all areas" as well? Or conversely, do committees ever announce interests in areas that they are not really serious about hiring in? I assume the answer is "varies by school," but any insight appreciated.

Posted by: Hat in the Ring | Aug 8, 2012 4:45:18 PM

Info worth considering about SLU... Annette Clark just resigned the deanship after only a year and slammed the university administration in the process.


Posted by: FARout | Aug 8, 2012 6:07:27 PM

I'm in a similar situation with anonymous July27@ 8:32. Could some please answer that question? Thank you.

Posted by: reader | Aug 9, 2012 6:54:59 AM

Hat in the Ring - I think it varies by school, but it's somewhat apparent through language used in the Placement Bulletin. Parse carefully and I think you can get a sense of who will actually consider areas beyond those listed.

Posted by: FARout | Aug 9, 2012 1:34:34 PM

not exactly on topic here, but since this may be an issue for others posting here, I figured I'd see if anyone has a view on this. I'm submitting my job talk piece to law reviews and guessing/hoping the fall window is open now. Anyone have any insights on this? Is it too early to be sending an article to law reviews now?


Posted by: ericblair | Aug 9, 2012 1:51:55 PM

Anyone know why we can still update the FAR form today, even though the 8/8 deadline has passed? I'm getting worried that I did not properly submit the form.

Posted by: borntoprof | Aug 9, 2012 4:30:46 PM

born to prof--I think you're allowed to make changes and resubmit your form until forms are sent out to schools on 8/16, even though your form has been "submitted". Did you get an email from AALS today giving you access to the 1st placement bulletin? If so, that would, I believe, confirm that your FAR form was properly submitted.

Posted by: ericblair | Aug 9, 2012 4:47:06 PM

"Is it too early to be sending an article to law reviews now?"

No, it is not too early. I've submitted as early as August 1 and have had good (top 50) placements. Some journals such as Cornell get started later, but will hold on to your article until the appropriate time.

You might want to make strategic decisions about whether to submit only to a certain range of schools (say, top 100), and have the article be unpublished if doesn't place higher. Different people give different advice on this one. Another tough call: whether to submit to all the specialty journals or just the top one(s) in your field.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 9, 2012 4:58:44 PM

thanks 4th year prawf

Posted by: ericblair | Aug 9, 2012 9:22:23 PM

What are people's impressions of the first bulletin that came out today? Any surprises about schools, number of positions advertised, areas of expertise sought... other?

Posted by: FARFromHeaven | Aug 9, 2012 11:15:21 PM

I like your questions more and I would really like to hear the answers to your questions, because they are the REAL questions!

Posted by: Questionnaire Template | Aug 10, 2012 4:23:21 AM

A few responses to questions, from someone who went through the process last year.

- Including a research agenda?
I think this is pretty much a de facto requirement now. I think maybe one or two schools I interviewed with did not ask for it before AALS. By the time you hit your job talk/callback phase, everyone will ask for it. More to the point, if you don't include a research agenda, you're basically handicapping yourself. A research agenda is your opportunity to convince faculty that you've got a fertile mind, a plan for your career, and that you won't simply come in and have writer's block for 3-5 years. And everyone else is going to be including one.

- Mention top 10 SSRN status?
Yes. Maybe cover letter is the place to put it. But you're trying to break through the noise of 1000 other applicants, so anything you can do to distinguish yourself is helpful. SSRN status is obviously a proxy for how influential your piece is, so if there are other measures (such as references, citations, or press coverage) that are less manipulable (in the ways that 4th year prawf describes), I would use those.

- Questions about teaching?
I think it depends on the school. Higher ranked schools ask about teaching far less, as they're more concerned about your potential as a scholar and your intellectual chops. Lower ranked schools care more about teaching and less about scholarship. That all being said, I would definitely be prepared to answer these questions (not in a huge amount of detail, since AALS consists of such short interviews), since even the top schools may ask you questions along these lines, just to see how your thought process works.

- "When you're invited to give a jobtalk, how far in advance of it will your jobtalk paper be distributed to the faculty?"
I would rephrase this as: 1) when do you need to submit your job talk paper (assuming you are making revisions); and 2) will the faculty have read it and how closely?
1) I found that job talk papers were (much like research agendas) more and more of a de facto requirement, particularly among higher ranked schools, at the pre-AALS stage. If you get invited back for an actual job talk, you can send a revised version, and I think about 10 days before the actual job talk is probably an average cutoff date. Of course, if you're doing even reasonably well in AALS, you probably won't have time to make revisions to your job talk paper, since you'll be spending all your time preparing your actual job talk, traveling, and interviewing (in addition to whatever responsibilities you have in your actual life).
2) Some faculty will have read your paper. Many more will have just skimmed it. Some will clearly not have read your paper (maybe not even the abstract), and will be flipping through it during your job talk. For purposes of your actual job talk, I would expect everything from really really stupid questions to somewhat incisive ones.

- Will schools hire outside their stated needs?
There are basically two types of hires: need hires and "All-Star" hires. If you're the latter (and you should be able to figure that out quickly, if you don't already know, just based on the response rate you get), it depends on the school's budget. Top 15 or so schools really don't have teaching preferences per se, so much as they're just looking to hire what they perceive as the best talent. After that, it really just depends on the dean, the faculty, and their budget situation. To maximize your chances of getting hired, it's probably best to list at least one first-year or high enrollment class, just so you check off more boxes.

Good luck everyone.

Posted by: 1st year prof | Aug 10, 2012 5:40:57 AM

FARfromheaven -- I was surprised to see so much wills/trusts/estates in the bulletin. I was also somewhat surprised to see a fair number of T4 schools looking for "any" subject area, rather than targeting specific curricular needs; maybe they're not sure yet what the top priorities will be. Other than that, the material looked a lot like what I expected, with a significant number of the schools looking for first year course coverage, business courses, and tax, and a smattering of other stuff.

Posted by: FARout | Aug 10, 2012 11:38:06 AM

A somewhat related topic: has anyone had any play yet in the August submission cycle?

Posted by: anonanother | Aug 10, 2012 12:34:38 PM

What exactly does business and commercial law mean in the bulletin listings? Classes like Corporations? UCC courses? securities reg? contracts? bankruptcy?

Also, re an earlier question about amending the FAR, I think the answer is no. I think that you cannot amend at this point. You can, however, pay an additional $450 and submit a second one... At least, that's my understanding.

Posted by: on the market (again) | Aug 10, 2012 12:46:25 PM

I was having the same question about the FAR, because even as of this morning, it was still showing that I could update the whole thing. I'd just hoped the fact that I received the Bulletin yesterday meant that I was properly registered. I just logged in to double check, and now the only option is to update my contact info. So, I guess there was just a lag in the lockdown. on the market (again) is right that the only way to update the FAR aside from your contact info and CV is to pay the fee again for a subsequent distribution.

Posted by: pleepleus | Aug 10, 2012 12:59:53 PM

yes, pleepleus, I believe that's correct--sorry I wasn't precise--my understanding is that you can update contact info on your FAR form after 8/8 (I assume only until materials are released to law schools next week). It sounds like you have confirmed this by visiting AALS's site and logging in.

Posted by: ericblair | Aug 10, 2012 2:25:20 PM

1.) Per my conversation with AALS on Wednesday about computer problems, enough people were having problems getting into the system that they were going to hold the first distribution submission window open a day or so longer.

2.) I also was a bit suprised to see so much T/E/wills. Question: When a school advertises for a relatively esoteric subject like that, are they usually looking for a "trusts and estates" scholar, or looking for someone with sufficient expertise/interest to teach a class, even if they write on a different field?

Posted by: Pessimistic | Aug 10, 2012 3:41:22 PM

On the T&E point, my sense is that lots of schools are always looking for T&E people because: (1) it is a class that is very important in practice for many folks; (2) unlike, say, real estate transactions (which is another "advanced property" course that is similarly important in practice), T&E was in recent memory a big area of scholarship; and (3) with some outstanding exceptions I could name, very few profs do or aspire to do cutting-edge scholarship in the field anymore. So a lot of schools perceive T&E as a hole, particularly as an earlier generation of scholars retires, and one they would prefer not to fill with an adjunct.

In response to Pessimistic's question, all else equal I think you're certainly better off if you're a T&E scholar (the "all else" importantly including the intellectual interest and fertility of your scholarship) but some schools may be satisfied with, say, a tax or property person who shows a real interest in teaching in the area. Talk is cheap in a job interview, though, so if you don't write in the area lots of faculties may suspect that you're just expressing an interest to get the job and will move out of the course as soon as you can.

Posted by: Sam Bagenstos | Aug 10, 2012 5:16:03 PM

"What exactly does business and commercial law mean in the bulletin listings?"

This will vary by school. My general impression is "commercial law" refers to Sales and Secured Transactions (at my school, bankruptcy is considered a category in and of itself). "Business" usually means corporations/business organization but may also include securities.

This uncertainty can sometimes cause confusion in hiring. One year the faculty at my school wanted to hire a business person, and we ended up with a bunch of commercial law candidates instead, due to confusion by the hiring committee.

"When a school advertises for a relatively esoteric subject like that, are they usually looking for a "trusts and estates" scholar, or looking for someone with sufficient expertise/interest to teach a class, even if they write on a different field?"

This also varies. Some schools want professors with different research expertise so there is a good mix on the faculty. Other schools just want someone who will cover a particular class. Keep in mind that it can be hard to convince a school that you genuinely want to teach class X when you research in Subject Y. I still can't convince anyone that I would like to teach bankruptcy.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 11, 2012 11:57:39 AM

Are there any particular issues candidates should be aware of with respect to religiously-affiliated schools? I guess I'm particularly interested in whether any current professors have any insight into what working at such institutions is like. I was raised Jewish, and am now an athiest, and while I certainly support what I would consider small-c christian values (social justice and love thy neighbor and all that), I'm not really on board with some of the positions espoused by some religious institutions (on, say, gay rights or birth control). Given that I'm not a superstar candidate who can afford to be picky, this raises a couple questions for me: (1) How much does religion play a role in the life of the law school at various religiously-affliated schools? Do they tolerate/welcome viewpoint diversity on issues potentially informed by religious belief? In both research and teaching? (2) On a practical level, if I'm offered a position at such a school, do I need to worry about what medical benefits may or may not be available to me and my family based on the affiliated religious institution's views on the propriety of certain medications or procedures? (3) Is working for a religious school affiliated with a church that does not support marriage equality morally equivalent to working for Chick-fil-A or the Boy Scouts? If one supports the Chick-fil-A boycott and would not allow one's children to join the Boy Scouts, is it hypocritical to accept an offer at such a school? Perhaps all these things vary by school, and, in any event are not worth worrying about before landing an offer. Nevertheless, given the number of religously-affiliated schools (and the fact that some of them are geographically attractive to me), this seems as good as anything to spend my worry time on.

Posted by: Just Curious | Aug 12, 2012 1:26:29 PM

Just Curious,

I am an atheist and can tell you about my experiences. The very religious schools (Campbell, Pepperdine, Notre Dame) all have "mission statements." Campbell and Pepperdine will e-mail you these statements and require you to agree with them before considering you. A prof at Pepperdine informed me that their faculty will not hire someone from a non-monotheistic faith. These same schools will generally require a letter from a pastor or the like (note: Notre Dame doesn't). As a practical matter, unless you are a good liar, your chance of getting a position at one of these schools is low. Even if you were to get a position, their tenure standards allow them to deny you tenure on the basis of your religious beliefs. So you would have to be thoroughly in the closet.

I remember doing an interview with Notre Dame when they asked what I thought about their mission statement. I told them that I wasn't religious, but discussed how I would incorporate discussions of ethics in my area of expertise. I could see from the expression on their faces that I wouldn't be getting a call-back.

Contrast these schools with liberal Catholic schools such as Georgetown, San Diego, and Villanova. These places do tolerate a variety of views. I don't think that working for institutions like these would be like working for Chick-fil-a or the like, because these are the schools that have resisted the Catholic Church's call for affiliated schools to strictly follow teachings (unlike Notre Dame, which used to be more welcoming). Yes, they may not provide birth control in their insurance plans. But as someone who has boycotted Chick-fil-a for many years, I wouldn't hesitate to work at one of these places because they wouldn't require me to hide who I am.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 12, 2012 1:54:11 PM

4thyearprawf -

Thanks for the response (I guess cruising the law blawgs is what we athiests do on Sundays). Do you happen to know if there's a single source where one can find out where various Catholic schools fall on the Georgetown-Notre Dame spectrum, or is it just a matter of reviewing each school's literature etc.? I confess to complete ignorance on the relationship between the Catholic Church and Catholic schools.

Posted by: Just Curious | Aug 12, 2012 3:28:09 PM

When sending targeted packages to hiring committees, is it necessary to include a copy of your FAR form? I was planning just to send CV, research agenda, and publications...since they already have (or will very soon have) my FAR form in hand.

Posted by: anon | Aug 12, 2012 8:51:51 PM

Just Curious: You really have to go school by school. The religiously affiliated schools that I know of from experience that are atheist-friendly are San Diego (call back), Santa Clara (call back), Cardozo (call back, see below), Villanova (preliminary), and Loyola Los Angeles (preliminary). Georgetown is reputed to be atheist-friendly notwithstanding their health insurance policy. Jesuit schools tend to be atheist-friendly, those schools include: http://academics.holycross.edu/prelaw/choose/jesuit.

A school that looks like it has a religious affiliation but doesn't view itself that way is Cardozo. They stated in my interview that they are not a religious law school notwithstanding the affiliation with YU, the fact that the building is closed on Saturdays, and they only serve Kosher food. They had no problem with atheists.

The ones I directly know are atheist-hostile are Pepperdine, Campbell, and Notre Dame. The ones I don't directly know but are well known for not being atheist-friendly are Brigham Young (they don't generally go to the meat market), Regent, and Ave Maria. See also http://thebelieversguidetolegalissues.blogspot.com/2009/10/future-lawyers-christian-law-school.html.

You are right that you generally don't need to worry about this too much before the meat market. You can read up on the school before the meat market (look for mission statements and tenure guidelines) then ask the religious schools pointed questions if you are concerned. Whatever you do, don't hide who you are unless you believe you can pull that off until tenure. I couldn't do that.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 12, 2012 9:49:04 PM

I've seen the reference to monotheistic candidates a couple of times, but I imagine some of the schools that are Christian-affiliated may not see Jewish faculty members as serving the goals of the Christian university any better than would atheist ones. Any thoughts on which of the religious-affiliated schools would react positively or negatively to a Jewish candidate?

Posted by: nutmegger | Aug 13, 2012 2:40:00 AM

Per anon from 8:51:51 on August 12, a few follow-up questions:

1.) If sending a hard copy, do you really include publications? Even a couple of articles will make the packet 100+ pages. (Obviously, email is a different story.)

2.) I assume you send copies of placed-but-not-out-yet pieces, right?

Posted by: Pessimistic | Aug 13, 2012 6:53:52 AM

Thanks again 4thyearprawf.

Posted by: Just Curious | Aug 13, 2012 9:32:44 AM

Mississippi College SChool of Law sends a questionnaire post-AALS and pre-call back asking about the role of God in your day-to-day life, what church you currently attend, etc. I did not get a call back.

Anecdotally, I've heard that religion is not a deal-breaker at Pepperdine. And Brigham Young lists a religious preference in its appointments bulletin.

Posted by: on the market (again) | Aug 13, 2012 10:16:54 AM

Another follow-up on packages to law schools: what about sending to schools who have not -- yet -- placed listings in the AALS bulletin but which I would be very interested in? Wait and see when the next one comes out? Or preemptively send something generically addressed to the appointments committee?

Posted by: anon | Aug 13, 2012 12:03:01 PM

On the issue of religion... I am Jewish. Though I am not Orthodox, I do observe the Jewish sabbath and I don't work on Saturdays. I've been told to make that clear at the call-back phase if I visit schools that hold classes on Saturdays. Maybe I should wait until I have an offer in hand to make that clear???

My understanding is that Jesuit schools (Loyola Chicago, Seattle, etc.) are pretty accepting of everyone. I believe the same is true about Cardozo. I suspect my chances at Catholic schools will be slim-to-none. (It's rather obvious from my CV that I am Jewish and a feminist.) I won't even bother sending target packets to Notre Dame etc. because I think it's a waste of everyone's time.

I too am struggling with the problem someone (Just Curious?) mentioned above about joining the faculty at a school that excludes birth control and other similar health care provisions from its insurance plan. I suppose if I get only one offer, then I don't have a choice, but I do think it matters not only to me and my family, but also to my future students. It makes a political statement, whether we like it or not. Of course, the strength of the statement varies (e.g., Georgetown versus Pepperdine) but it's a statement nonetheless.

Posted by: FARout | Aug 13, 2012 12:17:15 PM

I had a callback at Mississippi College of Law which was rescinded when I asked, given my apostasy, how I should fill out their questionnaire. This was despite the fact that I was upfront about my lack of belief at the AALS interview.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 13, 2012 12:50:47 PM

Nutmegger: Notre Dame does have at least one Jewish professor on the faculty (or did as of a few years ago). But I have no idea if that was somehow an obstacle to his being hired. The Pepperdine professor I spoke with made it seem like their primary preference was someone who was Church of Christ, then general protestant, then Christian, then Jewish or Muslim (Pepperdine profs--feel free to correct me if this isn't accurate).

I think all of the more liberal religious schools I mentioned would be very positive about a Jewish professor.

Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 13, 2012 1:47:54 PM

Excuse my ignorance but given what seems like official policies of religious discrimination (especially that posted by the Anon of 12:50:47 Aug 13) how is this remotely legal under Title VII? I can't imagine that religion is seriously a BFOQ for teaching law (except maybe to Canon lawyers but it would be doubtful even then). Is it naive to think that someone should file a complaint with the EEOC and/or sue the next time this arises?

Posted by: Anon? | Aug 13, 2012 2:58:29 PM


Title VII contains two relevant provisions here. The first is Section 702(a), codified at 42 USC 2000e-1(a):

"This subchapter shall not apply * * * to a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its activities."

The second is Section 703(e)(2), codified at 42 USC 2000e-2(e)(2):

"[I]t shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning to hire and employ employees of a particular religion if such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is, in whole or in substantial part, owned, supported, controlled, or managed by a particular religion or by a particular religious corporation, association, or society, or if the curriculum of such school, college, university, or other educational institution or institution of learning is directed toward the propagation of a particular religion."

Posted by: Sam Bagenstos | Aug 13, 2012 3:16:11 PM

If the coyness isn't about liability, then maybe a better question is why religious schools with theological litmus tests aren't more up front about it from the beginning. That would save everyone a lot of time and awkwardness.

Posted by: anon | Aug 13, 2012 3:25:23 PM

As an atheist Jew who has taught at a Catholic law school with a father who was a non-observant Jew who was a Dean of a Jesuit law school, and as someone who has gone through AALS on both sides several times, here is my take on religion. There are probably dozens of law schools with some religious affiliation. (Concordia, a Lutheran school opening in Boise, is the newest.) Most don't care at all about the religion of the faculty member. This is especially true of most Jesuit schools. The schools that do care will ask, will probably mention it in their recruitment ad, and/or will send out a separate form of some kind asking you about your religion and/or how your beliefs are compatible with the school's mission. I urge you to look carefully at the school's mission statement and see if their mission is compatible with your beliefs. For example, at the Catholic school I taught at, the primary mission was social justice/earth justice, and there were several Jews on the faculty. The mission statement may speak of the school being open to all faith traditions (including non-believers), of community and inclusiveness, or it may speak very specifically of "Christian values" or "biblical...." You might also look at the list of student organizations at the school - some Catholic schools have a Jewish student club, or a Muslim student organization of some kind, a good indicator of religious diversity. Also, look at the faculty profiles and take a look at the bios and scholarship. Chances are you will see some likely Jews and likely liberals. This is less true at schools that are affiliated with evangelical Christian churches and a couple very conservative Catholic schools.

Law schools expect quite reasonably that you will do a little background research on the school before interviewing with them. If you get an invitation to interview at AALS, by all means accept the interview, then quickly do some research on the school to determine if you would feel comfortable working there. If not, then call the school back and tell them that you regretfully won't be able to do the interview after all. You don't have to give them a reason.

Posted by: atheistjew | Aug 14, 2012 9:44:14 AM

I have been through AALS 6 times (twice on hiring committee, four times as a candidate, yielding two job offers, one entry level and one lateral) On targeting schools that don't have an ad in the AALS bulletin yet: There are several other places to look to see if the school is advertising, including the chronicle of higher education, academic keys, higheredjobs.com, and the faculty lounge blog (law school hiring). If you don't see an ad or announcement at any of these sites, I would wait until the next bulletin to see if the school has placed an ad. Quite a few of the most prestigious schools do not advertise on purpose. They don't want to be deluged with applications. They know that everyone wants to work there, so there is no need for you to tell them. For the few entry level hires that they make, they will scour the FAR to find what they are looking for or use word of mouth. I would not bother sending a generic package if there hasn't been an announcement about an opening or who the chairs of the committee are.

Posted by: beenthere | Aug 14, 2012 9:54:18 AM

"Any thoughts on which of the religious-affiliated schools would react positively or negatively to a Jewish candidate?"

I only have experience dealing with a few of them, but I think Pepperdine and Loyola LA definitely would not react negatively. Pepperdine would want you to be an active member of a "community of faith." My understanding is that St. Mary's doesn't require its faculty to be Christian, but it is definitely a Catholic school with a Catholic/Marionist mission that it cares about.

Posted by: Anonanon | Aug 14, 2012 10:23:07 AM

Committee chairs/members: With the first FAR distribution just two days away, would you share with us when you expect to start making calls to offer interview invitations? My guess would be early to mid next week. Thanks.

Posted by: FARout | Aug 14, 2012 11:23:56 AM

Georgetown, Seton Hall, Fordham, Gonzaga, USF, Barry and Catholic are all Jew-friendly. Loyola LA and Chicago also.

Posted by: atheistjew | Aug 14, 2012 7:34:10 PM

I just noticed GW's listing in the placement bulletin-- it says they're hiring and then instructs candidates to apply through AALS. It doesn't list a hiring chair or contact info. Does that mean they do not want targeted apps?

Posted by: juniorminted | Aug 15, 2012 1:56:42 AM

Same question as juniorminted re George Mason. Definitely don't want to annoy anyone by sending a targeted package but also would like a way to express my strong interest in certain geographic areas.

Posted by: anon | Aug 15, 2012 9:02:24 AM

I think that sending a targeted package is harmless. If the committee isn't interested in reviewing unsolicited applications, it won't review yours, and won't remember you when it comes across your FAR form in the AALS distribution. If the committee is interested and has just failed to put an announcement in the placement bulletin (which can happen for lots of reasons), learning of your particular interest can't hurt and might, with some schools, help.

Posted by: Jessica Litman | Aug 15, 2012 9:44:12 AM

I had interviews with schools who didn't post anything in the bulletin the bulletin last year.

Posted by: anon | Aug 15, 2012 9:48:43 AM

Thanks for the feedback re targeted packages, very helpful.

Posted by: anon | Aug 15, 2012 11:22:25 AM

FARout - I would not expect interview invitations next week. I have been through this process several times on both sides (candidate and committee member) and have never received or made a call before the second week of September. The semester hasn't even started yet. Typically, the faculty appointments committee will get together in the first or second week of school and start reviewing the FAR. For example, they may break up the FAR into manageable chunks and assign A-F to one or two members of the committee, G-M to the next member, and so forth. Then they get together and review the favorites of each reviewer and try to reach consensus on first round picks and backups. Because the FRC has been moved up earlier this year, the committees may begin their review earlier, but they still have to get together and discuss the candidates that they like, and this is an extremely busy time of year with first year orientation, preparing for class, turning in syllabi, finishing up summer law review articles, etc.. I think the first or second week of September is a more realistic timeframe for committees to start calling, so don't start getting antsy yet. I'm sure that when schools start calling, your fellow candidates will post updates to this site so you will know.

Posted by: beenthere | Aug 15, 2012 9:30:12 PM

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