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.
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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
Has anyone actually compared the number of listings in the first placement bulletin to the number in years past? Just curious whether the sheer number of slots is going to be down significantly (per Leiter's prediction) or fairly consistent with that of prior years.
Posted by: meatmarketeer | Aug 15, 2012 11:38:50 PM
Sources tell me about 20 fewer schools are listed in this year's first bulletin than in last year's, not counting multiple postings from the same school. I'm not sure that means the slots are actually down, or whether schools are posting in the bulletin later or avoiding it altogether.
beenthere - thanks
Posted by: FARout | Aug 16, 2012 12:07:09 AM
Interesting, thank you. Hooray for Prawfsblawg croudsourcing our obsessiveness. (Boo for the decline... let's hope it's your second explanation. I have seen a couple of schools post openings on Prawfs/Faculty Lounge but not in the Bulletin.)
Posted by: meatmarketeer | Aug 16, 2012 12:17:36 AM
Err, crowdsourcing. Or maybe I meant cloudsourcing.
Posted by: meatmarketeer | Aug 16, 2012 12:18:30 AM
With all due respect to been there, my experience has been totally different. I received several interview requests in August last year.
Posted by: anon | Aug 16, 2012 2:16:28 AM
How/when do hiring committees download the FARs and cvs? I ask because I understand that we can continue to upload updated cv's, but I'm wondering whether committees will download whatever version is there this morning and so miss any updated versions...
Posted by: anon | Aug 16, 2012 8:13:35 AM
So... does anyone know the number of FAR forms in today's distribution?
Posted by: anon | Aug 16, 2012 9:17:48 AM
If they do them alphabetically (as I suspect), probably about 600-650 unless there are a ton of people with names in the last part of the alphabet. My number was about 20 less than last year, which means that there are probably about that many fewer submissions, plus or minus a handful.
Posted by: Guessing | Aug 16, 2012 10:20:37 AM
anon, what makes you think you can still upload a new CV? i.e. what would you select on the menu? my understanding is you can only change your contact info at this point.
Posted by: twizzlers | Aug 16, 2012 10:32:59 AM
Twizzlers: you can also upload a new CV. See the bold, all caps statement under point 3 here: http://aals.org/frs/far.php.
Posted by: pleepleus | Aug 16, 2012 10:40:39 AM
@twizzlers: All the tabs are "dead" now except Personal and Upload Resume. If you go to the latter, you can delete an existing cv and upload a new one.
Posted by: anon | Aug 16, 2012 10:41:55 AM
Weird, I can't get to those tabs at all (maybe a mac issue). But I think I'm fine with the CV that's there. Thanks for the info anyway.
Posted by: twizzlers | Aug 16, 2012 10:55:17 AM
Last year there were 592 FAR forms in the first submission. My ID number is nearly identical to last year's so I'm going to guess approximately 600 candidates. (I suspect my last name is later in the alphabet that guessing's.) That's still 70 or so fewer than in the 2010 first distribution, but if it's true that there are fewer slots this year than last year, we're in for a really tough hiring cycle.
Confirmation of the real number from committee members?
And now we wait...
Posted by: FARout | Aug 16, 2012 11:07:29 AM
There are 588 FAR forms in the first distribution.
Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Aug 16, 2012 11:27:23 AM
This has the makings of a fun contest! Now that I know the 592 figure from last year, I'm going to officially guess 581.
Incidentally, going through the first bulletin, I count 76 AALS member school listings. Does anyone have a copy of last year's first bulletin (it's apparently not available on the AALS site, at least not without specially ordering it)? If the rumors that it had about 20 more postings are true, that would imply about 20% fewer spots this year -- which is actually less bad than I was anticipating. As a point of comparison, my spouse's field is in the midst of a big TT hiring slowdown, and there are now about a third(!) as many TT postings as there were at the recent hiring peak (2007 and 2008). Not a third less -- a third as many.
(And yes, I recognize that the number of postings in the first bulletin is a bad metric because some schools are waiting to post, and each posting corresponds to a different number of open spots. But it's all that we have at the moment!)
Posted by: Guessing | Aug 16, 2012 11:38:36 AM
anon is probably a stronger candidate than I was if he/she got calls in August. My point is that you should not start freaking out if you don't receive calls in August. It takes a while for a committee to go through 588 FAR forms, plus all the direct applications they get. There were will be plenty of interview calls made in September.
Posted by: beenthere | Aug 16, 2012 12:43:55 PM
I wasn't a particularly strong candidate. Many of those August calls were from schools I sent packages to (I mailed my packages on August 5) and most were from T3/4 schools. However, I definitely agree that it is not time to worry yet. The bulk of my calls came in September.
Posted by: anon | Aug 16, 2012 12:48:24 PM
I think candidates receive very few call backs in August for the simple reason that most committees are probably not up and running. After constituting themselves, they'll need to meet, figure out whether to choose by best candidate or by area of specialization, ask the dean precisely how many slots are allocated and whether that number is likely to change, read published pieces, talk in hall ways to colleagues who are not on the committee to take the pulse of the law school, narrow or expand their lists of candidates, and vote on whom to invite. Few schools can do that until early September.
But of course not all law schools work alike. There are some, where the hiring chairs set all the callbacks and the rest of the committee only gets to work after the conference invitations have been set. Those are likely the schools that can call candidates back sooner.
Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 16, 2012 3:34:06 PM
At my Tier 2, we put a lot of energy into moving as quickly as possible. Last year, I made calls the first few days of August and got the sense that we were in about the 80th percentile in terms of speed. So everybody is right--there are a non-trivial number of schools that call in August but most calls come in the first two or three weeks of September.
Posted by: Hiring Chair | Aug 16, 2012 3:58:31 PM
Thanks to all for the timing perspectives.
Posted by: FARout | Aug 16, 2012 4:14:02 PM
I received most calls in September last year. This year I've had one school reach out a month ago through a personal recommendation.
Also, I think plenty of religiously-affiliated schools are not terribly strict and would be welcoming to persons of other faiths. My perception is that it is the exception to be unwelcoming.
Posted by: on the market (again) | Aug 16, 2012 5:19:21 PM
Big typo in my post above--Last year I made calls in the first days of September
Posted by: Hiring Chair | Aug 16, 2012 6:28:33 PM
I know this has been discussed a little but I wanted to get a firmer sense of how you tell if a school isn't hiring this year. If it hasn't posted in the bulletin, on the Faculty Lounge blog, or on the hiring chairs thread on this blog, is it safe to say it is not hiring? Or is it still worth sending information to that school if I am particularly interested in it?
Posted by: Hopeful | Aug 17, 2012 10:13:40 AM
Some law schools, by university policy, place their recruitment ads on higheredjobs.com, academic keys or the Chronicle of Higher Education, so you should check these sites as well. A few schools will have ads in the August 29 bulletin that weren't in the first bulletin. If you haven't seen an ad in any of these places (or prawfsblawg or the faculty lounge) by Sept 1, I think it is fair to say that they are not interested in receiving direct applications. That does not necessarily mean that they are not hiring. There are some schools that don't have particular curricular needs that they are trying to fill, but will still review the FAR and do some interviews. You should also check the school's HR/employment page. On occasion, there will be a hiring announcement there. If you are determined to send an application to a school that hasn't announced any openings, I would e-mail it to the associate dean of faculty and request that s/he forward it to the chair of the appointments committee.
Posted by: beenthere | Aug 17, 2012 11:16:57 AM
This is somewhat off-topic, but is anyone else out there finding it challenging to stay focused on current projects after revising your research agenda? I keep straying off into research on upcoming projects. Proof, I suppose, that I'm excited about all of my upcoming work, but a challenge in the moment nonetheless...
Good luck to all as we sit and wait.
Posted by: FARout | Aug 17, 2012 2:19:36 PM
FARout: we are soulmates.
Posted by: juniorminted | Aug 17, 2012 2:59:37 PM
does this make anyone else suuuuper depressed and self-hating?
Posted by: meatmarketeer | Aug 17, 2012 3:48:58 PM
I did not mean to depress anyone, and am sorry to have done so. Just trying, as I am able, to help out some folks who are good people, as others helped me out when I was going through the process. I remember how trying the experience is, and meant well!
Good luck to you and the other people on this year. Hang in there.
Posted by: Marc DeGirolami | Aug 17, 2012 3:58:45 PM
juniorminted: I hope we figure out a way to meet some day.
meatmarketeer: Not really. My references should all be saying the same things about me, and specifically to schools in which I'm interested. I think/hope that will carry at least as much weight as a blog post, if not more.
Posted by: FARout | Aug 17, 2012 4:01:20 PM
I'm in meatmarketeer's boat. Both because of the apparent superiority of the competition, and because it seems like every mention of this year's job market includes the warning that it's going to be reeeeeeaaaaalllly tight.
Posted by: Pessimistic | Aug 17, 2012 4:08:07 PM
It's hard to tell the neurotic not to be neurotic, but we really need to not be neurotic about this. The market for law faculty positions is competitive, in some respects bizarre, and difficult to predict. For me at least, it will be difficult to remain positive if I worry about everything there is to worry about. Instead I am going to focus on what I have to offer as a teacher and scholar, and let the chips fall where they may.
Question: I agree that it makes sense to refer to faculty members by their first names during job talks, but for my targeted letters, which were relatively formal, I used "Dear Professor so-and-so." Does that come off as similarly naive to the candidate who uses "Professor" in the job talk?
Posted by: Aspiring | Aug 17, 2012 4:29:09 PM
Just Curious, Nutmegger:
I'd echo the advice to look carefully at each school individually and not to rely on religious affiliation as a proxy filter. I'd add an extra word of advice, to look into both the law school's culture and the university's policies. I can speak about SLU.
St. Louis University is Catholic (Jesuit) affiliated, but the law faculty are very open. Very open. I myself am not Catholic; religious belief or lack thereof was never a topic of discussion during my interviewing process. Highly esteemed faculty at SLU include Jewish, atheist, Protestant, Catholic, agnostic, not-religious, who-knows, and religious-but-none-of-the-above. Diversity and appreciation for it are among the SLU law faculty's strengths.
That said, at SLU and many other places, some institutional policies reflect the university affiliation and are not determined at the level of the law school (for example, partner benefits). Bottom line, at any school you're considering: if a particular type of benefit or policy is important to you, be sure to look into that specifically.
Posted by: goodluck! | Aug 17, 2012 5:15:17 PM
I am not going on the market this year - but I am curious about the placement bulletin and, in particular, how many jobs are advertised in each field? I am particularly wondering about family law, legal theory/jurisprudence, and criminal law.
Posted by: Anon | Aug 18, 2012 5:04:58 AM
I successfully went on the market last year. Since people are debating the issue of interviews in August, I went back and looked - and 8 of the twenty-something interview requests I received came in August. So I think it's right to say that August is likely to produce a minority, but also possibly nontrivial amount, of overall interviews received.
Posted by: newprof & lovin it | Aug 18, 2012 7:56:32 AM
I also find Marc's posting depressing. I know I have the support of some friendly folks/mentors in my field, but I don't know that they are beating the bushes in a similar manner on my behalf. How does one even go about making this happen? Or is it just the superstars who get the Marc DeGirolami's of the world to do so without being asked?
Posted by: on the market (again) | Aug 18, 2012 11:22:38 AM
On the market again, you shouldn't feel depressed. One little measly blog post from a nobody like me isn't going to do all that much for anybody.
But, for whatever it's worth, for everybody looking, I do recommend not being shy with your recommenders and/or law professor friends about the need to make calls, send emails, post missives, and generally create a little noise out there on your behalf to and among their friends and contacts. Some are naturally inclined this way, some less so, but all are busy folks thinking about lots of other things, and it's helpful to (graciously but regularly) press them for this kind of support (and sometimes candidates can feel reticent about this). Personal touches like this aren't sure to get you anything concrete, but they can be helpful.
Posted by: Marc DeGirolami | Aug 18, 2012 12:09:25 PM
Some people have asked whether they should assume a school is not hiring because it hasn't posted yet on Prawfs/in the Bulletin/on Faculty Lounge. Absolutely not! My school is hiring several new profs this year, but the hiring goals haven't been decided yet and probably won't for another week or two. School hasn't started yet at most schools, so give it a few weeks.
Also, there will always be some schools that hire new profs that originally only had a vague plan to do so and never bothered to post anything. It never hurts to send a letter of interest to a school that you are interested in, even if they haven't posted job openings.
Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 18, 2012 5:22:36 PM
I agree with 4th year...about 1/3 of the calls I got last year were from schools that weren't in the bulletin.
Posted by: anon | Aug 18, 2012 5:42:10 PM
I have a friend who last year contacted all hiring committees by e-mail w/attachments instead of by sending a packet in the mail, and I noticed a few schools articulating a preference for this. My friend also had several published articles and sent them all, but I only have one. Any opinions?
Posted by: oldfashionanon | Aug 18, 2012 7:01:20 PM
Definitely e-mail is better than mail. Much easier to distribute to other members of the committee, saves paper and time, committee members can read anywhere w/o lugging paper around. If you have an SSRN page or other place where your article can easily be accessed online, I would send links to the articles, rather than the articles themselves, unless you only have one, in which case you might as well send it.
Posted by: beenthere | Aug 19, 2012 1:03:59 PM
I signed up for FAR and got the bulletin once it became available. What % of the interviewing schools at AALS does the bulletin represent? Put differently, are only schools listed in the bulletin doing interviews?
Also, the applicant packets were distributed 8/16...in the spirit of angsty-analness that seems to pervade the applicant pool (me included...or me, especially), is there any blog/site that tracks which schools have started extending interview invites?
Posted by: phenom-anon | Aug 19, 2012 6:05:22 PM
Yes, such a site exists, and you have found it!
Yes, some schools not included in that first bulletin definitely will be interviewing at the AALS recruitment conference.
Posted by: Anonanon | Aug 19, 2012 7:23:03 PM
The vast majority of schools will be at AALS regardless of whether they advertise.
Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2012 9:30:04 PM
No one has gotten any calls/emails/invitations to interview yet? Looks like last year they started up around august 17-20.
Posted by: meatmarketeer | Aug 20, 2012 12:56:30 PM
Nothing here, but I'm not surprised. I think most committees aren't meeting to finalize first round picks until today or tomorrow at the earliest. Last year, I think the first distribution went earlier than August 16 (by maybe a week or so) so we probably have to adjust expectations accordingly.
Posted by: FARout | Aug 20, 2012 1:23:44 PM
Previously there have been threads in which people could post, among other things, updates on when schools called to schedule AALS interviews (see Law School Hiring, 2011-2012, Thread One). Will there be a similar thread this year?
Posted by: FARFromOver | Aug 20, 2012 6:51:34 PM
Can someone confirm when the first FAR distribution occurred last year?
Posted by: Anoni | Aug 21, 2012 2:58:53 PM
It looks like last year's first submission deadline was August 2: http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2011/08/far-deadline-for-1st-distribution-is-tomorrow-tuesday-august-2.html. That would have meant a first distribution around August 9.
Posted by: hopeful | Aug 21, 2012 3:44:09 PM
Received the Pepperdine request for info. Will be putting the Jud- in Judeo-Christian values.
Posted by: peppermint patty | Aug 21, 2012 3:51:24 PM
Good luck PP. I've always thought that when people say "Judeo-Christian" what they really mean is "Christian," but maybe I'm wrong. May I ask how they contacted you?
Posted by: Aspiring | Aug 21, 2012 4:00:23 PM
Email. (And they actually do just say Christian, so I guess I'll be endeavoring to put the Jud- in... Christian. Hehe.)
Posted by: peppermint patty | Aug 21, 2012 4:03:52 PM
Wow, well even stronger wishes of good luck, then!
Posted by: Aspiring | Aug 21, 2012 4:07:40 PM
Have other people being receiving requests for additional info? And, for those on this thread who have gone through the process before, are such requests indicative of serious consideration by the school, etc? Thanks.
Posted by: Anon-non | Aug 21, 2012 4:40:43 PM
What's the deal with American saying on the hiring committee thread that they haven't formally identified their specific hiring needs when they had an ad in the AALS bulletin identifying needs? Are the needs expressed in the bulletin (for American or otherwise) generally not to be relied upon?
Posted by: anon | Aug 21, 2012 4:52:13 PM
At least one committee has begun their work. I just received my first rejection e-mail from U San Diego.
Posted by: lateralwannabe | Aug 21, 2012 4:52:43 PM
wannabe, I have heard a couple of stories to the effect that the ad doesn't always reflect what the committee believes to be the needs by the time they get to the meat market, maybe because the first bulletin goes out before the school year begins and faculty/committee members may not have reached consensus re: needs.
Posted by: meatmarketeer | Aug 21, 2012 4:58:36 PM
Re USD: I'm assuming that the comment above from lateralwannabe concerns the lateral market. Have any entry-level candidates heard from USD? Thanks.
Posted by: FARout | Aug 21, 2012 5:39:43 PM
Yes, I'm a criminal law lateral.
Posted by: lateralwannabe | Aug 21, 2012 6:05:43 PM
Last year I only received two requests for additional information. One resulted in an interview and one was post-interview to inquire about the role of faith in my everyday life.
Posted by: on the market (again) | Aug 21, 2012 7:59:06 PM
So, when am I supposed to have my star recommenders call my top pick school? If I'm pretty sure I'll get a first round interview, do I wait until after meat market?
Posted by: FARkedout | Aug 21, 2012 8:19:10 PM
Same question as FARkedout. I have heard conflicting advice on this point -- whether it's helpful to have recommenders call to help you get a first round interview at your top choice schools versus saving their "firepower" for after the meat market.
Posted by: anon | Aug 22, 2012 8:27:34 AM
anon (8:27) - I suspect the reason you are getting conflicting advice is that there is no right answer. Everyone has a different view and no two markets are ever alike anyway.
I suppose that in an ideal world, your recommenders would be active throughout the process. They could call their friends on at Top School and say, you should check out Anon, she's the best. Then after the screening interview, they check it again and ask, How'd it go? She's the best, right? I'm sure you'll have her back for another interview. Then after the call-back, they'd call again.
Are mine going to do this for me? Who knows? But I'm going to ask them to and hope I can get them invested in getting me a job.
Posted by: on the market (again) | Aug 22, 2012 9:35:14 AM
Response to: When do recommenders call?
Over the years, I've spoken to a variety of people about this. on the market (again) is correct that answers are inconsistent but there is a bit of consensus. Most references seem to only contact committees after the call back has been scheduled following the AALS hiring conference. In exceptional circumstances calls are made prior to that. The reason for this regimen appears to be that many recommenders believe that if they contact hiring committees too early, their correspondences will be lost in the shuffle of papers, so they wait until the pool is narrowed to 3 or 5 people a slot before making calls or writing e-mails.
Word of general advice: It is natural for you to worry, but try not to by staying busy and working on personal and professional goals. The process is full of pressures, the best you can do is keep your mind focused on things that are of interest to be happy through it all.
Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 22, 2012 10:17:43 AM
This is a bit speculative, but I also think it depends on what your FAR form looks like. For me, my sense is that the greatest barriers to entry for my application exist at the beginning of the process--my FAR form may get overlooked by schools I am interested in. If I can get into the interview room D.C. and fully present myself, I feel like I will get a fair shake. So in this case, I think it makes sense for me to have my references make calls earlier as opposed to later in the process.
Posted by: Aspiring | Aug 22, 2012 11:22:19 AM
Posted by: FARout | Aug 22, 2012 1:27:11 PM
Here's the Hiring Thread that one of the comments above was asking about: http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2012/08/law-school-hiring-2012-2013-thread-one.html
Posted by: Anon | Aug 22, 2012 2:14:55 PM
I appreciate AnonProf's 10:17 advice--a watched pot never boils, so best to focus on something else. There is going to be a lot of waiting throughout this whole process!
Posted by: Aspiring | Aug 22, 2012 2:15:24 PM
Do some schools only go to AALS on Saturday? It seems every school (not that my sample n is high) wants to schedule on Saturday. Is there a reason for this? Is it a problem to suggest a different day? Thanks.
Posted by: Anon | Aug 24, 2012 10:21:35 AM
Same question, but for Thursday. The AALS brochure suggested that schools avoid Thursdays, so does that mean that the day is out altogether?
Posted by: Anon | Aug 24, 2012 11:22:43 AM
anons - You can ask for any day you want, but the school may not have open time slots on the day you request. (I'd find that hard to believe at this point since it's so darn early in the process.) Would you please post the schools that have contacted you to the other thread, along with your subject area(s)? The rest of the peanut gallery would appreciate it. Thanks, and congrats on the interviews!
Posted by: FARout | Aug 24, 2012 11:32:23 AM
juniorminted - email me at embraceinnerartist [at] gmail
Posted by: FARout | Aug 24, 2012 11:48:53 AM
Anon, the interviews are generally scheduled for all day Friday and then some schools do all day Saturday too, and some only part of Saturday. I don't think they are supposed to schedule interviews for Thursday. So the window is roughly 9-6 Friday and perhaps a little shorter on Saturday. You may want to schedule them at hourly intervals as they come in (e.g. at 9:00 and at 10:00) so you can catch your breath in between. Then if you end up getting a ton of interviews, you can fill in those gaps if needed.
Posted by: anonprof | Aug 24, 2012 3:38:39 PM
I was on the market last year, and had some very good recommendations. Here's what I would suggest, if your references are willing to do this:
-Pre-AALS: call folks they know on hiring committees of schools you are interested in. email the chairs of other target schools. this is a somewhat intensive task, so obviously don't ask them to contact 100 schools, but I think it's reasonable to target 20 or so schools you're interested in.
-Post-AALS and/or post-callback: I personally think that a good letter of recommendation is much more valuable than reaching out generically to everyone. If schools are interested in you, they will contact your references. That is a given. A LOR is a passive way of talking you up, and then your reference can really build you up some more when the school reaches out to her/him. But let's be honest: a great reference is only going to go so far in your candidacy, so you'll really only benefit from one if you're already on the school's radar.
Posted by: 1st year prawf | Aug 24, 2012 4:41:46 PM
Some schools that are interviewing for two positions will try to interview for one position on Friday and the other on Saturday. Thursday is devoted to workshops for new candidates put on by AALS. They offer some very useful sessions, explaining things like research agendas, what to expect in your interviews, how the callback process works, advice for jobtalks, advice for negotiating with Dean's etc. So that is why they say the conference is Thursday through Saturday, but the interviews are only Friday and Saturday, as most faculty interviewers will arrive Thursday evening.
One other piece of advice - don't make any firm dinner plans for Friday night with your friends in DC. Sometimes committees will invite someone they are really interested in out to dinner with some of the committee. I was invited out by Georgia State a few years back and then got a callback. (Didn't get the job, but had a nice dinner and made some nice connections.)
Posted by: beenthere | Aug 26, 2012 12:58:52 PM
More general advice: Consider arriving early on Thursday so you have time to look for your interview rooms. If you have back-to-back interviews, it is useful to identify where the closest stairwell is so you don't have to rely on the slow elevators. The stairwells are all over the place and not always marked--I found a useful one behind an unmarked door next to the Starbucks, for example. Buy a watch if you don't own one, so you can discretely look at it and politely excuse yourself at 25 or 55 after, leaving yourself with enough time to arrive at your next interview on time.
Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Aug 26, 2012 2:30:16 PM
In prior years some schools have even interviewed at the Omni, a block away from the Marriott. And the Marriott itself has multiple towers and very long corridors. It has an exceptionally confusing layout, although they have a lot of staff people milling about to direct you. It can easily take 5-7 minutes to get from one side of the hotel to the other, especially when waiting on elevators. Stairs are great for a floor or two, but I would say it is better to arrive a minute or two late, than arrive sweating profusely. THe hiring committees are familiar with how long it takes to get around and they often are running a few minutes late themselves, especially by late in the morning or afternoon. Definitely best to leave a half hour between interviews, but it will not be possible for the most sought after candidates, who often have in excess of 20 interviews.
Posted by: beenthere | Aug 26, 2012 11:26:22 PM
We've heard that a few people, who are the stars of the meat market, may schedule ~30 interviews. And we've heard that while the top few schools hire best athletes, most are looking to fill specific curricular slots. AND we've heard that when a school is looking for "a Corporations person" or "a Civ Pro person," they might bring in a candidate who lists that course on the FAR form, and then not hire him because he's not a Corporate Law person first and foremost--he writes on Family Law, not Corporate Law; she's really most interested in IP, and just volunteered to cover Civ Pro but will never write on it.
So how do we reconcile these three assumptions (or are some of them wrong)? If I list 11 courses but am really a [first slot] person, shouldn't I max out at e.g. 8 interviews with the 8 schools hiring in [first slot]?
Posted by: wondergirl | Aug 27, 2012 10:41:36 AM
Answering anon's question originally posted on the other thread (and trying to keep that one clear of Q&A):
"What's the general view on how schools make calls -- all at once, or do they quickly identify a few "definites" that they'd like to interview and then take more time to figure out their other slots? For example, if Temple has already made some calls to people with research/teaching interests similar to mine, is it safe to assume I'm out of consideration there?"
My impression is that schools will make many calls over the next several weeks and those of us who are lucky enough to be getting early calls are, well, just lucky. Or perhaps rock stars (see CorpReport's progress). I believe there are MANY more calls to be made from schools. It's still early in the process, though I expect it will pick up a bit this week and significantly more after Labor Day.
Posted by: FARout | Aug 27, 2012 11:57:16 AM
Thanks, FARout. That makes me feel much better! And will try to keep all questions over on this thread.
Posted by: anon | Aug 27, 2012 12:14:51 PM
Anon@12:14, I agree with FARout. I received my invitation to interview with my current school on September 20 last year. :-) From following this thread last year, I know it can get really stressful to see some candidates reporting tons of interviews. Just keep in mind that no one can accept more than one position...Good luck!
Posted by: anonprof | Aug 27, 2012 12:39:36 PM
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