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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Don't sweat the transcripts. If they're asking for them, it means they're already interested in you. If there are problems, you can hope that they'll ask you about them. By the point they're looking at transcripts, you probably have a couple of folks on the committee that are advocating for you, and will probably want to ask why you got a C in Basket Weaving Law. If you try to bring them up affirmatively, you'll look defensive and draw attention to them.
Posted by: NEARin | Oct 5, 2012 4:10:13 PM
What about the comment re going to the Marriott on Saturday? All my interviews are also on Friday, so I don't feel a need to go to the hotel on Saturday (as I live in the area and won't be staying there), but then it occurred to me that there's the "message center" -- and I have no idea how that works. Do people ever get interview requests via the message center? It seems kind of like a silly idea in this day of email and cell phones, but all the same I'd hate to miss a last-minute request from someplace I might be interested in. Any thoughts from others would be appreciated.
Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2012 7:12:41 PM
I thought the message center stopped getting use years ago, but perhaps someone will correct me?
Posted by: Anonanon | Oct 5, 2012 7:17:41 PM
I must concur that for the past 20-30 years, and especially in the last decade, women and persons of color have had a distinct advantage in the law school faculty hiring process. One need only look at every single ad in the AALS Jobs Bulletin to see that every single law school in the country is particularly encouraging women, minorities and those who would contribute to the school's diversity to apply. While many law faculties continue to have a majority of white males on the faculty, if you look closely at the faculty bios you will see that most of the white males were hired in the 60s, 70s and early 80s when there were relatively few well-qualified women and minority lawyers due to past discriminatory admission practices. If you look at the assistant professor and associate professor ranks, you will find, nearly across the board, that women and minority candidates make up a significant portion of recent hires, quite often well over half. I have seen first-hand at multiple law schools where I have taught that diversity is often valued above all else in the hiring process, particularly if a school feels it is under scrutiny from the ABA or AALS for not having a diverse enough faculty. What this means in practice is that schools will consider "diversity" candidates with slightly less impressive credentials than their white male counterparts. This does not mean that it is easy for women or minority candidates to get hired. It is still incredibly competitive to land any law faculty position. But a women or minority candidate, especially a women of color, with similar credentials to a white male, will invariably have more interviews.
Posted by: beenthere | Oct 5, 2012 7:37:28 PM
Practical advice: I have never been asked for a transcript in nearly 40 interviews in four different hiring seasons. I have been asked to provide a transcript after being offered the position to verify that I have the credentials that are on my CV.
Bring some CVs, preferably two-sided. (lighter is better, and there are invariably environmentalists who will appreciate you saving paper) Some interviewers, amazingly enough, will only have your FAR form in front of them and will never have looked at your CV. You might also run into someone at a reception or in the lobby or one of the lounges who asks for one.
Similarly, bring business cards. No scent required. You don't need to give them to the committee in the interview room - they know how to reach you. But you will meet other candidates that you will want to network with. You are coming into the profession at the same time and some of the people you meet at AALS FRC will become long-term friends. And you might meet some interesting people at the reception.
If you are an entry-level candidate you should bring copies of your "research agenda" preferably one page, or if two pages, then double-sided. If you don't know what one of these is supposed to look like, you need to do some quick research.
Committees are already carrying a ton of paper and don't really want to lug more back in their carry-ons, so I would not volunteer to give them copies of your articles upfront. However, it doesn't hurt to have a few of your articles in your briefcase or portfolio (does not matter which). If an article that you wrote comes up during your interview and a professor (especially one who writes or teaches in the same area) expresses interest in your article, you can offer him/her a copy. It is also is a very good idea to re-read your articles prior to the conference. Don't assume that the committees will only have read your most recent piece. Often each committee member will have read something different by you and they will ask about things you wrote several years ago. I learned this the hard way.
Have fun and good luck!
Posted by: beenthere | Oct 5, 2012 7:49:53 PM
The AALS website has some statistics on hiring based on gender and race: http://www.aals.org/resources_statistical.php. But there isn't much there now. The site used to have much more information, so I'm sure it's available through AALS, but it's been taken down from the website. As I remember seeing it about five years ago, the statistics indicate that female and minority candidates were consistently hired at a higher percentage than their relative numbers in the FAR distributions. White women had a better chance than white men, black men had a better chance than white women, etc. The gaps were not however huge. What this adds up to is that some classes of candidates need better qualifications than other classes to get a job. I should reiterate someone else's comment: It is difficulty for anyone, irrespective of race and sex, to get a faculty position, but for some people there is the added difficulty because of affirmative action preferences that many law schools demonstrate.
Posted by: AnonProf | Oct 6, 2012 12:11:09 AM
Ok, here's my take on diversity and the hiring process. Mind you, this is based on a lot of speculation and some anecdotal evidence having followed people going through the process for a few years and having been involved in hiring VAP / fellowship candidates.
Being a candidate who adds to the diversity of a law school seems to open some doors, at least initially. Based on very limited data, my impression is that "minority" candidates who have impressive but not superstar credentials tend to get many more initial interviews than candidates who don't add to diversity. I think diversity may also be a factor if a faculty ends up with two or three candidates who are met with more or less the same enthusiasm based on other factors. And yes, a gay African American woman who made law review at a top 14 school, has done an appellate clerkship, is eager to teach tax law or hard core corporate law courses, has two solid publications in such a field and presents herself well is probably golden. Then again, I think a straight white man with those credentials is only slightly less golden.
In sum, being a "minority" candidate probably gets you a lot more screening interviews and will likely be a "plus" factor in the process. But there's also still a lot of prejudice and some downplaying of your achievements because people will assume, rightly or wrongly, that your diversity status has helped you in the past (and don't make any assumptions about a "non-minority" candidate even though lots of them, for example, find clerkships through networks that many "minority" candidates have access to). Combined with the factor that quite a few faculty members relate better to someone who looks and talks like them, this offsets a lot of the advantages that a "minority" candidate may have at the screening stage. Once hired, "minority" candidates also face distinct barriers on the road to tenure, but that's another topic.
All this is to say, there is a lot more complexity to the process than one might think at this stage of the game. Also, the market isn't particularly racially diverse, which suggests to me that "minority" candidates still face a lot of obstacles getting to the start line. Every white, male, straight superstar candidate I know has had his pick of several top law school. The same is definitely not true for "minority" candidates who are very strong, but not superstars.
Lastly, I think these days being a woman is at most a tie-breaker, except perhaps if your area is corporate, finance, or tax.
For what it's worth, this is coming from a candidate who is non-traditional but would not add to diversity in the way in which the term is commonly used.
Posted by: nosourgrapes | Oct 6, 2012 12:43:44 AM
Let me just add a little to my comments from last night, as I thought of them after heading off to bed.
If you take a look at the statistics on the AALS website (the URL is in my previous post), you'll notice that the numbers of minority and female candidates are significantly smaller than the number of male, white candidates. This obviously means that schools who want to diversify (and there are many) have numerically fewer choices.
If you were to remove all the names and any other potential gender and minority indicators from resumes, the top candidates would all be roughly as good, with some real standouts, irrespective of race and gender. The simple difficulty is that there are significantly fewer minority and female candidates, which means that law schools wishing to diversify begin vying for the smaller number of such candidates. As a result I think (based on purely anecdotal evidence because I'm unaware of any scientific study on this) that good female and minority candidates tend to get more screening and fly-back interviews. Smaller number of choices also means that some less qualified people get more interviews and offers than they would have otherwise received.
Now that I'm done saying what I think the process looks like, let me add a comment. From my perspective this results in a dysfunctional but necessary system. It's dysfunctional because often the better candidates get beaten out by weaker candidates. It's necessary because it's absolutely essential to diversify law schools. It seems absurd to me to have a law school in which about half the students are female, many are minority and to have an almost entirely white male faculty. Therefore, in my voting pattern for candidates I am deeply committed diversity. Some might say I'm doing the right thing because of the importance of affirmative action in creating a law school faculty that roughly reflects the demographic of law students. Or others might say (and I bet some women and minority candidates might say this as well) that law students would prefer the most qualified professors.
Posted by: AnonProf | Oct 6, 2012 7:02:25 AM
@nosourgrapes, your last line touches on a key point. Having a diverse faculty is a good thing, but it's not really diversity that most employers are after; it's "Diversity." Few would disagree that there are many types of diversity that provide candidates with unique perspectives and an ability to relate to others who are similarly diverse, but most of these don't count as Diversity for hiring purposes.
Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2012 10:23:31 AM
This just sounds like a lot of sour grapes to me. The fact is that there are few, if any, *really* objective criteria in this process, and it's really just a combination of a lot of plus factors, whether that's journal placement, connections through the good-old-boy or political network, etc. So to place the spotlight unfairly on minorities just smacks of racism/sexism to me.
Posted by: anonymous | Oct 6, 2012 5:31:49 PM
Let's move on, people... there's nothing to be gained by continuing this conversation, especially with the conference less than a week away. Let's agree to let it go.
BTW - weather is supposed to be beautiful for our job interview speed-dating weekend. With any luck, we'll get outside to enjoy some of it.
Safe travels and good luck.
Posted by: FARout | Oct 6, 2012 6:07:19 PM
To anonymous at 5:31:49: Believe it or not, there really are no sour grapes on my end. I think schools SHOULD take diversity into account, and I am fine with not being included in the ways in which schools define diversity.
What I was getting at is that both sides seem to be overstating their case. I think it's simply untrue that diversity considerations play no role at all, at least at the screening stage. I also think it's easy to underestimate the advantages enjoyed by candidates who are of the same gender, race, sexual orientation etc as most of those doing the hiring and recommending-- and that applies not only to the academic job market, but also to earlier steps in one's career. I didn't mean to put the spotlight on anyone and this will be my last post on the subject, at least in this thread.
Posted by: nosourgrapes | Oct 6, 2012 6:56:27 PM
@FARout: point taken, and I wouldn't have put up my last post if I had seen yours.
Best of luck everybody!
Posted by: nosourgrapes | Oct 6, 2012 7:17:28 PM
FARout, thanks for adding some bright perspective to this conversation. Like other discussions on this thread, it's loaded with anxieties, but sadly reaches into disturbing and unfounded racial undertones which will only defeat folks in their interviews. As FARout said, it's going to be great weather and we all have good interviews, no need for negative or irrational logic. Thanks, FARout!
Posted by: anon | Oct 7, 2012 5:52:27 AM
I read a number of the comments regarding "getting a tan" and how well minority candidates do on the law teaching markets. Anyone who thinks that being black or Latino on the AALS job market is somehow a plus factor is DELUDING themselves.
First, simply look at law teaching faculties. The numbers of minority law professors on faculties is ridiculously low.
Secondly, no one denies the following fact: Being a minority will get you a shitload of interviews at the AALS. And that's about it. Law schools will pull in minority candidates at this first stage in order to fulfill their "mission of diversity" aka "we considered x number of minority candidates". But the truth is many of these candidates don't make it to the next stage and get call backs.
For all of those white males out there who want to trade places with my minority candidate status--I'd swap with you in a minute. Because you are ignoring the subtle, and (at times) overt, racism that candidates face. Think about this---if faculty members are making comments like "get a tan" or there are white male candidates who think that blacks and Latinos have a better chance---guess what? So do white male faculty members. They bring this into their assessments of candidates. This is rarely, if ever, a favorable thing.
Stop complaining about your white privilege. At least you know that none of your AALS interviews are simply time wasting attempts to avoid an EEOC discrimination suit.
Posted by: Ana Espinosa | Oct 7, 2012 11:29:47 AM
Ok, I'm switching tracks here to talk about something else: dress code. To all the ladies out there (especially the ones who have attended FRC before), am I correct that suits are optional on Thursday? Would a conservative dress and jacket work? Also, for interviewing, I assume that suits must fall within the color range between black - navy/black? Are lighter grey suits a no-no?
I also want to wish everyone on this thread my sincere best wishes for the upcoming week. I have been an avid reader of this thread from the beginning and it has, generally, been a source of reassurance and comfort in an otherwise hectic time. I wish you safe travels and a successful conference, and I look forward to meeting many of you at Thursday's reception. I'll be the one not wearing a suit ;)
Posted by: Wishing you well | Oct 7, 2012 4:46:50 PM
I don't think you have to wear a suit Thursday, but it doesn't hurt. And I see no reason why you couldn't wear a grey suit.
Posted by: Newbie Prof | Oct 7, 2012 7:37:36 PM
Good luck to everyone next week!
Re clothing: I think a light suit would be just fine. Think about how many people the interviewers will see in a single day. Standing out a little by having a different colored suit doesn't hurt.
I think a dress/jacket combo for Thursday would work well. Assuming the dress is a business-attire dress, the dress/jacket combo can also work for a call-back dinner or the interview itself if the jacket is matched.
Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Oct 7, 2012 9:47:04 PM
anon @ 5:52:27 AM -- thanks for the shout-out.
Wishing you well -- thanks for the shiny new topic! I won't be there for the Thursday reception, but hope that those of you who do attend enjoy it. FWIW, one of my suits is a lighter grey. I really don't think they care about the color of the suit, unless it's fuchsia.
Posted by: FARout | Oct 7, 2012 10:57:53 PM
Great suggestions re clothing.
Ana Espinosa, thanks for shedding some much needed perspective on race and law school hiring.
Posted by: anon | Oct 8, 2012 3:28:54 AM
Has anyone interviewing with Michigan received a confirmation of the room number? I have not received anything since scheduling the interview, and I am wondering if I was somehow missed, or if they have just not yet sent out the information. Thanks.
Posted by: Anon | Oct 8, 2012 12:43:52 PM
Anon, I'm not interviewing with Mich, but I went through my list of schools on Friday and for those that hadn't yet sent me a room number, I emailed to ask. I understand the room #s will also be posted at the hotel so we can double check.
Posted by: juniorminted | Oct 8, 2012 12:48:39 PM
In your registration packet, it will list the interview rooms of all the schools. There will also be a sign on the door identifying the school.
Posted by: beenthere | Oct 8, 2012 1:23:39 PM
"Been there" is completely off the mark when considering opportunities for minority female candidates. I have a colleague with excellent credentials who applied as a lateral, and she received no calls. Schools include that verbage in ads because they have to. Actual hiring practices do not reflect their claimed interest in diversity.
Posted by: gingersnap | Oct 8, 2012 2:51:36 PM
Just read comments from "Ana Espinosa." Very well said. The legal academy has no real interest in diversity. I'll believe it when I see it.
Posted by: gingersnap | Oct 8, 2012 2:54:01 PM
Are folks bringing laptops? It's not exactly light, I'd have to deal with it at airport security, and I have a smart phone for email/web access, so I'm thinking I don't need it, but I'm wondering if I haven't thought of some reason that I'd desperately need/want it.
Posted by: FARout | Oct 8, 2012 4:31:30 PM
FARout - I brought my laptop, but only because I was still suffering from private-practice induced smartphone PTSD. If you have email on your smartphone, you are fine.
Posted by: Newbie Prof | Oct 8, 2012 7:18:22 PM
Hey team, let's all get flu shots this week so we don't spread something all around the FRC! You're welcome.
Posted by: little orphan annie | Oct 9, 2012 10:00:32 AM
AALS should provide us with bottles of hand sanitizer.
Anyone know the room number for Hofstra?
Posted by: FARout | Oct 9, 2012 1:43:55 PM
Any thoughts on the National Law Journal article entitled "Cattle Call for Law Professors" that came out yesterday?
Posted by: anon | Oct 9, 2012 5:02:34 PM
Receptions: I have received such contradictory advice on this so wondering what you all think. If you are invited, do you have to go? I mean does it look bad if you are a candidate and don't go to that reception's school? What are the purposes of these receptions anyway? To sell the school to candidates? to other schools? To give hiring committee people the opportunity to see candidates in an informal setting? I'm utterly confused.
Posted by: nibblesnotbites | Oct 10, 2012 9:03:19 AM
Some people seem to feel like less is more. The fewer chances you have to put your foot in your mouth the better. Maybe these people have 5 publications, a supreme court clerkship and were EIC of the law review at Yale? They figure that they are golden so long as they don't screw up.
I don't feel this way. I want every chance I can to show that I'll be a great colleague. I'm pleasant and personable and I want committee members to think that they would like to have me sitting in the office next to theirs. I will drink one drink and laugh at their jokes. I'll talk to them about their hobbies and find commonalities between us. I'll express excitement to find out why their city is the best place in the world to live.
And then I'll go out with my friends who live in DC and lament that I just spent 60 minute schmoozing with people who really want that Yalie.
Posted by: on the market (again) | Oct 10, 2012 10:05:20 AM
Another reception question: Do the schools that you're interviewing with on Saturday usually invite you for a Friday event? And if so, isn't it kind of weird to meet/socialize with people before you formally interview with them?
And otm(a) -- I'll probably go if invited, but it's not a no-brainer for me. I'm just not so great in that sort of schmoozing environment. Plus I am terrified of being in a room full of candidates who are all far more qualified than me. (That's that main reason why I'm avoiding the Wardman on Thursday.)
Posted by: Pessimistic | Oct 10, 2012 10:32:05 AM
@Pessimistic: that's exactly how I feel! As an introvert, meeting new people in the interviews I have on Friday (not too many to begin with) is already a lot to handle. I am planning to go for a small amount of time if I can muster the energy, but I'll be relieved if no invitations are extended.
I have no clue how important these receptions are, but my sense is it may be a plus factor if you really hit it off with one or more committee members (and in most cases, your presence or absence won't really register -- the committee members will be even more exhausted than most of us are).
Posted by: meatball | Oct 10, 2012 12:07:01 PM
Receptions - I was emphatically advised not to go to the general, open receptions. The theory was this: If you've already impressed the committee, you might mess that up. If you haven't already impressed the committee, they won't change their minds. So if you don't want to go, don't go.
Posted by: Newbie law prof | Oct 10, 2012 12:10:58 PM
To be clear, I am not going to go to any general, open receptions.
I am going to go to the receptions hosted by schools that I am interviewing with. I've been invited and my rule is to show up to things to which I am specifically invited. And I will BE EXCITED.
Posted by: on the market (again) | Oct 10, 2012 12:53:43 PM
The school-specific receptions are very important. I attended one the night before my interview and was given information by a committee member that helped me shape how I presented my preferences and interests which it turn helped me get the callback and land the job. Don't even debate it, if you are invited by a school to a reception, you should go.
Posted by: newfirstyrprof | Oct 10, 2012 3:50:23 PM
Is there anyone who sent materials in response to a committee's request for more info, but did not lead to an interview at the end? I have one such case and wonder if I did something wrong.
Posted by: LastQ | Oct 10, 2012 8:49:45 PM
LastQ: Yes, that happened to me, for two schools. I have a feeling they sent requests for more information to a large number of people, and only picked a relatively small proportion of that group to be interviewed.
Posted by: nonymous | Oct 10, 2012 9:46:59 PM
I think if you are comfortable socializing with strangers and feel like you would make a good impression at such a reception, you should go. If you really dislike such events and feel awkward, you should not go, as you will not be likely to score any points. Schools understand that there are competing events and that not all invited candidates can make it to the party. I don't believe they are keeping score on who shows up.
Posted by: beenthere | Oct 10, 2012 10:40:45 PM
@LastQ: For what it's worth coming from another candidate, I think there are many reasons for these decisions. The quality of written work could be a factor, but a committee may also narrow down a list of candidates based on evolving ideas about curricular needs, areas in which a school wants to invest, etc.
At this point, I'd say don't worry about it and focus on the interviews you did get. Good luck!
Posted by: meatball | Oct 10, 2012 11:15:23 PM
Good luck to you all! I'll see you in DC, even though I won't know who you are!
Posted by: on the market (again) | Oct 11, 2012 7:24:46 AM
Stressed out? Take a short walk to the zoo and watch the otters play (they're on the "Asia Trail"). Serenity guaranteed. Good luck everyone.
Posted by: Bacon | Oct 11, 2012 11:41:01 AM
Two observations from the conference: (1) People walking around with name tags looking stressed = faculty candidates. People walking around with name tags looking happy = scientists. (2) I've seen a lot of guys with name tags severely askew. Hint: the clip on the back rotates, so you can clip your name tag to your lapel and then adjust until it is readable.
Posted by: Bacon | Oct 12, 2012 11:07:09 AM
By what time on Friday do schools reach out to candidates for dinner invites on Friday? If I haven't heard by now - 4 pm- should I assume I will not be dining out tonight?
Posted by: Anoni | Oct 12, 2012 3:57:08 PM
IDK Bacon, no one looks that stressed to me-- every time I make eye contact with someone and smile they smile back big! I think we're all all right.
Posted by: juniorminted | Oct 12, 2012 5:30:33 PM
Good luck to everyone on the market this year. My best advice at this point is to decamp to U street for Ben's and Cakelove promptly after the interviews are over. Grease and sugar will de-stress much more painlessly than drinking.
Posted by: Paul Gowder | Oct 12, 2012 7:29:54 PM
Good point juniorminted--some stress, but a lot of smiles! I like the positive energy that people are sharing with each other. I have been trying to smile at everyone. Good karma.
Posted by: Bacon | Oct 13, 2012 8:35:21 AM
I've been trying to tell everyone before me and after me "good luck." And I mean it!
I also left a tip for the hotel maid service for the first time in my life for karma reasons. (Though I'm going to start doing that routinely from now on.)
Posted by: Pessimistic | Oct 13, 2012 12:39:17 PM
I would love some advice on how to handle callbacks. The general advice that I have been given is that you should not accept a callback if you are not sure you want the position. I have two callbacks. One that I know I don't want and the other that I probably don't want but I want to find out more information. My concern is that I don't want burn bridges with school 2 if I end up not taking the position. Not sure what to do.
Posted by: Newbie | Oct 13, 2012 8:56:07 PM
Wow that is fast for callbacks. Would you mind sharing the schools?
Posted by: Anon | Oct 13, 2012 9:06:55 PM
Of course different profs will react differently. But not accepting a callback will probably not "burn bridges". Schools understand that candidates turn down the callback invitations for a variety of reasons. Even when we joke about being "snubbed", we understand why a candidate wanted a "better" or different school or a better or different geography.
As a general proposition, schools would prefer to not spend time and money on candidates who are not really interested in them. And generally they prefer honesty - ask your questions of the chair or someone you made a connection with in DC, and if you still aren't interested, let someone else who is fill that callback slot. Whether you state your exact reasons or couch your declining of the invitation is up to you, of course, but all involved in this process are, or should be, big boys and girls.
Posted by: hiring committee person | Oct 13, 2012 9:15:17 PM
Just so everyone remains calm, while it is true that a few schools can act this quickly to make callbacks, other teams - even acting efficiently - might need to meet back at their schools. And of course some schools, for a variety of internal reasons - including HR processes - might take even longer.
So folks reading this thread should not overreact if they don't get an instant callback or even a callback early in the coming week.
Posted by: hiring committee person | Oct 13, 2012 9:28:56 PM
Anon should at least name his/her area and/or say the ranking range into which the schools fall.
Posted by: anon | Oct 13, 2012 10:14:52 PM
As someone who is on an appointments committee that has extended callbacks (we did so today), PLEASE don't accept if you think you don't want to be at our school and, if you want more information first, please ask prior to accepting the callback. Neither act would burn a bridge--everyone would appreciate your honesty.
Posted by: AnonLawProf | Oct 13, 2012 10:25:50 PM
It is extremely frustrating when a candidate accepts a call back, everyone spends a lot of time on the candidate (things like airport pick-up/drop-off, reading the paper, attending the job talk, attending breakfast or dinner), only to realize that the candidate actually has no desire to live in our city or be at our school.
Even if you accept a callback, and then realize a few days before it is scheduled that you don't want to go to that school (maybe because you just got an offer somewhere else), cancel it to avoid wasting the school's time.
Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Oct 14, 2012 10:59:45 AM
Isn't there usually a second thread where people post schools that have made callback offers? Law School Hiring: Thread Two? Seems like it is time for the powers that be to create it?
No callbacks yet but not panicking :)
Posted by: nibblesnotbites | Oct 14, 2012 12:25:34 PM
Nibbles you are doing better than me. I'm starting to panic with no callbacks yet, even though cognitively I know that's ridiculous.
Posted by: FARout | Oct 14, 2012 12:54:18 PM
Tennessee has made some callbacks.
Posted by: Newbie2 | Oct 14, 2012 1:09:23 PM
Take me to another place, take me to another land/ Make me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan!
Posted by: arrested development | Oct 14, 2012 1:13:28 PM
FARout - the panicking is on hold until tomorrow at the earliest :) or until someone posts that schools I interviewed with have started making callbacks. Thank goodness Tennessee is not one of those schools.
I know that both Brooklyn and Stetson have made at least one call-back offer each.
Posted by: nibblesnotbites | Oct 14, 2012 1:21:49 PM
@nibblesnotbites, (general) source of info on Brooklyn/Stetson callbacks?
Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2012 1:46:24 PM
I have received two callbacks in the 25-50 range.
Posted by: Anon | Oct 14, 2012 3:15:07 PM
I have received two callbacks in the 50-70 range.
Posted by: Good Samaritan | Oct 14, 2012 4:44:41 PM
one so far in the 50-75. approximately when are people scheduling them for-- closer to a couple weeks out or a couple months?
Posted by: little orphan annie | Oct 14, 2012 5:23:32 PM
Folks, would you please post the schools on the other thread?
Posted by: FARout | Oct 14, 2012 5:47:22 PM
What FARout said. You are not the only candidate the school called back, so an anonymous post of a school name should not reveal your identity. Anyway, callbacks are not state secrets; you aren't going to be tried for treason for disclosing them here. Posting callbacks within a wide ranking range may well turn out to involve lots of redundancy and only serves to upset, not inform, others. Congratulations on your success, but if you're not willing to name the school and/or your substantive area (on the other thread), the rest of us would be better off without the deluge of this "information."
Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2012 6:25:49 PM
Agree with anon. What is the point of saying school in X range? That gives us no information. FWIW, my information comes from people who received those callbacks telling me (or someone else that I know). So not firsthand but definitely reliable.
Posted by: nibblesnotbites | Oct 14, 2012 7:37:26 PM
I'm told that NYLS has made callback offers. Not to me, however. :(
Posted by: on the market (again) | Oct 14, 2012 8:53:54 PM
I guess my question is why someone would take an interview from a school they weren't interested in in the first place, taking an interview slot from someone who would have really welcomed it. Anyway, you definitely shouldn't take a callback from a school you aren't interested in, but if you would consider the school if you don't hear from your first choice schools and would like a few days to think about it while you wait to hear from those other schools, I think it is not unreasonable to ask for a couple of days to decide.
Posted by: beenthere | Oct 14, 2012 8:56:01 PM
I have now posted Thread Two. If you would like to share specific information regarding a school that has made callbacks, please post the information there so that the aggregator will see it. Here is the link:
Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Oct 14, 2012 9:03:44 PM
Congrats to all on making it through the weekend!
On a somewhat unrelated note, I thought I'd share that my flight home was packed full of WWII veterans and their personal assistants who were visiting the various memorials in DC. It was quite an experience to see history literally sitting next to me on the plane, particularly after the experience we'd just had.
On a more related note, my understanding is that although some schools have made callbacks, many schools are still debriefing from the weekend and making choices. Also, the schools that have made calls haven't necessarily made all of their calls. So, I'm trying to remain calm (and distracted), but of course that's typically easier said than done.
Good luck as we progress through the next phase, folks.
Posted by: FARout | Oct 15, 2012 2:46:53 PM
Also remember that past is not always prologue. Last year, the school that I work at now called me back on Sunday. This year, they haven't made calls yet (and probably won't for a while).
Posted by: Newbie law prof | Oct 15, 2012 4:10:20 PM
Timing. Is there any particular strategy to scheduling callbacks? On the one hand, I want to schedule it a little later because I want to work on my job talk paper between now and then. But on the other hand, do you risk a school really liking a candidate it saw first and making an offer before it even sees you (or making up its mind even if it is courteous enough to wait)?
Posted by: anonymouse | Oct 16, 2012 8:59:38 AM
In my experience, you should go sooner rather than latter. If you come in early and do a good job, you'll be the one they judge all future candidates by. If you wait, you'll be judged against an earlier candidate who they've already established in their mind as the standard to beat. In my years teaching, most of the offers go to folks who interviewed early (except in those cases where the early folks ended up doing a poor job during their callback). Also, the longer you wait, the longer you delay the ability of the faculty to hold a vote on job offers. This could lead to some resentment as they want to get it DONE!
Posted by: AnonLawProf | Oct 16, 2012 9:54:07 AM
Does anyone have a sense of how many callbacks a school offers per available slot? I imagine 3-5 - does that sound right?
Posted by: anon | Oct 16, 2012 12:54:54 PM
I think 3-5 is about right, in my limited experience. But if a school has multiple openings, I think they would be at the low end of that range or even fewer. For example, if a school has two openings, I think they might just callback a total of 4-6, including some “best athlete” candidates who might be able to fill either of the two slots. As to timing, I think it is best to go early, but not first. If you go first, you do have an opportunity to set the bar, but the memory of you may fade by voting time. Also, most job talks I have seen are pretty unimpressive, so it might actually be a good thing to follow a few folks.
Posted by: Sophomore | Oct 16, 2012 2:04:57 PM
anon: It depends, but that range sounds right for most situations.
Posted by: Newbie law prof | Oct 16, 2012 2:08:08 PM
Anyone know anything about Kansas, West Virginia, or Suffolk callbacks?
Or perhaps the areas in which Temple and Hofstra have made their calls thus far?
Posted by: FARout | Oct 16, 2012 2:14:11 PM
When you take a call back depends on whether the school is making rolling offers. Many (most?) schools will make offers as they go along. In that regard, it's better to get in early, before the school has offers out to multiple people.
A few schools will just have one giant hiring meeting, and won't make offers before that. In that case, it is safe to delay a bit so that you can give your job talk at schools you are less interested in and refine it based on the questions and comments you receive.
Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Oct 16, 2012 3:39:42 PM
Regarding callback timing, the only things I would add are (a) it is okay to ask the school when they (the committee or faculty) are meeting to make a decision so you know their time-line and (b) you will likely improve with practice, so if you have several callbacks, putting your top choice 2nd or 3rd (if you can) is perhaps better than having that school 1st.
Posted by: NewProf | Oct 16, 2012 5:04:07 PM
You know what would be nice? If committees responded to your thank you notes with some indication of their process and timeline...
Posted by: anon | Oct 17, 2012 2:43:04 PM
+1000 "You know what would be nice? If committees responded to your thank you notes with some indication of their process and timeline..."
Also: You know what would be minimally decent? If committees responded to your thank you notes AT ALL.
Posted by: anon | Oct 17, 2012 2:53:28 PM
About half of the recipients responded to my thank you notes. But if they interview 35 or so people, replying to each is pretty time-consuming, so I wouldn't take it personally. I think etiquette is not to reply to a TYN-- the TYN is the reply to something else, so thanking someone for thanking you is overkill.
Posted by: juniorminted | Oct 17, 2012 3:08:07 PM
Fair enough, juniorminted. What I really meant to convey, having gone through this before, is frustration that rejection at all stages most often comes from silence. I've had job talks where I never heard back or only heard after asking months later (when they'd already hired someone else). So I agree with the initial comment that it would be nice at this stage to be told about a school's timeline, how many slots they have, whether funding is an issue, etc., but minimally decent behavior would be to at least inform people that they've been cut as soon as that decision has been made (I realize team B folks are often strung along in silence in case team A falls through; I don't see why schools can't be straightforward about a team B person's status, since silence in the wake of callback reports here already conveys B status or worse, only more rudely, but that's a different topic). I agree that saying thank you to a thank you isn't necessary, if that's the only information being conveyed by the school.
Posted by: anon | Oct 17, 2012 3:38:02 PM
Well right. Ideally the interview would close with the chair saying e.g. "we're meeting back on campus next week, plan to call people about callbacks the end of that week, see all candidates by __, and make offers by __. If you don't get either a callback or a rejection letter by __ then you're still a maybe."
Posted by: juniorminted | Oct 17, 2012 3:50:07 PM
Those of us on the hiring side really do need to be more transparent with the candidates. I vividly remember the frustration stemming from silence or very vague responses. I would much prefer a schools saying – “You are on our B team, but we don’t want to reject you quite yet. We will follow up with you on November 1.” – than just going radio silent. For those professors who have schools that go silent, how do you defend that practice? You are either just lazy (this is not hard, just bcc the people on your B team and send them all the same form e-mail with the details, and, importantly, the next date you will contact them) or you are worried about offending people, who have a slight chance of joining you as a colleague, by letting them know they are on the B-team. I understand the latter, but think it misguided. Candidates are going to know that they are on the B-team if they don’t get a call within the first week or two. If you land a first interview in private industry, you almost always get a swift response, yet if my experience is any indication, well over 50% of schools simply never respond to the candidates after the first interview. I was not a rock-star candidate, but I am in the legal academy now. So why do schools go radio silent? I am really curious. Also, I would like to hear from this year's candidates as well. Would you prefer a "B-team and timeline email" or silence (and the hope that you are an A-teamer and they are just slow making decisions)?
Posted by: Sophomore | Oct 17, 2012 4:10:15 PM
I am currently on the market and would be thrilled to get a "you're on the B-team" email. The bcc to a group makes sense, too. It would depersonalize the message a bit, which might makes some candidates feel better, while still providing helpful information. The silence is insidious. Also, most committee members seem to recognize (and/or remember) how awful the silence is--so maintaining it seems ruder than a B-team email would be.
Posted by: pleepleus | Oct 17, 2012 4:37:15 PM
The silence is deafening (and maddening and a few other -ings). I'd much prefer a B-team email or ding over silence.
Posted by: FARout | Oct 17, 2012 5:17:45 PM
As a candidate, I'd LOVE for committees to be more transparent. The silence is frustrating, and most of us can deal with knowing we weren't considered to be among the very best. (Guess what: maybe your school wouldn't be my top choice either... But we may have to settle for each other. And it will still be great.)
Also, there are milder ways to communicate the "B-team" message. Here's some suggested language: "We really enjoyed meeting with you. We have made initial call-back decisions, and unfortunately we cannot extend an invitation to you at this time. We may invite you at a later stage and, in any case, will contact you when our process is completed."
This could be followed by a request to keep the hiring committee informed of developments (the interest of another school would make you more attractive, after all) or by well wishes.
A hiring char should have a secretary available to forward a message like this to all the candidates who have met with the committee. That would certainly be nicer than trying to distill information from a list on this blog.
Ok, rant over, back to waiting. Good luck, folks!
Posted by: meatball | Oct 17, 2012 5:56:05 PM
Meatball - this is an excellent idea. It is still early but I think by the end of next week, all schools should have done one of three things - given a callback offer, sent a ding, or sent a nice - no callback at this time but process is ongoing so...
Posted by: nibblesnotbites | Oct 17, 2012 6:23:51 PM
Argh, I should read before posting. Chair, not char. And the message should, of course, go to those candidates who aren't invited for a callback, NOT to all of the candidates who met with the committee.
Posted by: meatball | Oct 17, 2012 6:24:45 PM
Just to be clear, I've had one school who was very honest (and kind!) about their process and where I stood. I greatly appreciated it!
Posted by: Anon | Oct 17, 2012 7:35:18 PM
To give some perspective, many times the faculty isn't in agreement as to what the hiring priorities are. So the hiring committee may initially be told that the school will hire two profs, with the primary focus on, say, property and corporations profs, and a secondary focus on tax. The committee accordingly offers call-backs primarily to the property and corporations people. Then some senior prof will stand up at a faculty meeting and yell "where are all the tax candidates?" and the faculty will be up in arms about the need for more tax profs. So the committee will have to scramble to appease the new whim of the faculty and start offering call-backs to tax people. Then midway through the process, the Dean might decide there isn't enough money to hire two people and now the faculty has to choose one subject area. It is pure chaos.
We tenure-track/tenured professors can help by disseminating information as our schools figure out what their priorities are. If you know your school has called back candidates in a particular field, make up a new name and go post it in the other thread. Current candidates, pay it forward by returning to this board in future years and doing the same.
Posted by: 4thyearprawf | Oct 17, 2012 9:19:35 PM
To the other candidates, are you afraid of asking for the school's timeline? I find people to be very upfront in response to my asking.
In addition, if you wanted follow-up based on your thank you notes, you should have said so. If all you wrote was thank you and didn't ask about timeline, etc., then why do you expect a response?
But yes, I agree that I would like school's to affirmatively convey their timeline to me.
Posted by: on the market (again) | Oct 17, 2012 10:07:57 PM
Afraid just in the sense that asking a school that hasn't invited me for a callback to clarify its timeline in issuing callbacks and offers feels, to me, too aggressive at this stage.
Posted by: Manny Machado | Oct 17, 2012 10:19:40 PM
"In addition, if you wanted follow-up based on your thank you notes, you should have said so. If all you wrote was thank you and didn't ask about timeline, etc., then why do you expect a response?"
I'll actually respond to this. So in one of my "good" interviews, the interviewers -- who were all reeaaaallly nice -- mentioned that they were hiring in (my) field X, and that in addition to teaching, they'd love to have someone who has connections in that field, so they could start an intern/extern program. So after my interview, I sent out some feelers to people in my field X, saying that School Y was looking to start an intern program, and who should they talk to? I did this because they were all really nice, and even if they weren't interested in hiring me, I like to do nice things for people who are nice to me.
Then early in the week, I sent a thank you note. I said that in addition to "thanks for meeting with me" (and again, they were all really great people -- I can't stress this enough), you mentioned an interest in an intern/extern program, well, I sent out a few inquiries, and here's who you should talk to at Z government agencies.
Not saying that they should give me a job. Not even saying that they should give me a callback. I did what I did because they were really nice people. But if I get the "radio silence" rejection, I'm gonna be pissed. (And yes, I know that I've probably outed myself if they're reading this. Sorry!)
Posted by: Anon (sort of) | Oct 17, 2012 10:58:26 PM
Ana Espinosa (from the hiring thread), will you tell us more about this mythical "hold"? Did you inquire at those schools or did they actively reach out to tell you you're not in the first round of callbacks but not out of the running?
Posted by: gwen stefani | Oct 17, 2012 11:13:49 PM
When you've sent a thank you note that clearly conveys your continued interest in a school, it should be fairly obvious that you are eagerly awaiting some news of the status of your candidacy. And I can't imagine any rational person interested in a school preferring silence to information, even if that information is bad or ambiguous. So I'll turn the question around: Given that a school knows you want a callback and given that the ball is in its court, why would you coyly wait for a candidate to say "Gee, could you let me know whether you like me too, or if you don't know, when you might know"? (I *suppose* things might be a bit different if the candidate's email truly just said "thanks for meeting with me" without expressing continued interest in having a second date.)
Schools act even more badly, in my view, when a candidate has expressed continued interest and the school has issued callbacks (to others). Under these circumstances, to not respond in any way to that email strikes me as rude, and needlessly so. All hiring committees do or should know that this thread exists, plus plenty of VAPs, fellows, and alums share information about callbacks and offers. Plus, even absent reporting on this blog or elsewhere, as time goes by, it's less and less likely that a school hasn't issued any callbacks to others. Having spent time researching a school and the members of the committee in advance of AALS, not to mention spending a ridiculous amount of money on travel, hotel, AALS fees, suits, etc., we should hear that the school has moved on to the callback stage without us (at least for now) directly from the school, not from this blog, or through the grapevine or the painful passage of time. That's not rocket science, it's just basic social skills. I mean, do these people break up with people via post-it notes, too?
Many of us will eventually find our way into academia, and we will remember those schools that acted badly, as well as those who were classy dumpers. No, we're not saying you should necessarily hire us; just treat us like human beings instead of, well, meat.
Posted by: anon | Oct 17, 2012 11:19:50 PM
I did not make an inquiry. The schools emailed and said that I wasn't in the first round of callbacks, but was not out of the running.
Posted by: Ana Espinosa | Oct 17, 2012 11:24:04 PM
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