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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Spring Self-Reported Entry Level Hiring Report 2017

Following is a data summary of the Spring Self-Reported Entry Level Hiring Report for 2017. To remain consistent with past years, while the spreadsheet contains all hiring information received, the data analysis includes only tenure-track hires at U.S. law schools. (The data analysis also includes one hire requested not to be included in the spreadsheet.)

Here is the full spreadsheet:

The data includes 62 tenure-track hires at U.S. law schools, at 42 different law schools.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: How does 62 reported hires compare to past years?

A: Fewer than any year previously reported.

Reported Hires.20170601

The ratio of hires to first-round FAR forms also fell:

Hires per FAR.20170601
  Hires per FAR Chart.20170601

Q: You say the hires were at 42 different schools. How does that compare to previous years?

A: Also lower.

Schools Hiring.20170601

Hires per school per year may also be of interest:

Hires per School.20170601

Q: How many reported hires got their JD from School X?

JD From.20170601

NYU 9; Harvard 9; Yale 9; Northwestern 4; Columbia 3; Michigan 3.

Schools in the “other” category with two JD/LLBs who reported hires: Berkeley; Georgetown; Hebrew; Penn; Stanford; Virginia.

Schools in the “other” category with one JD/LLB who reported hires: Duke; Cardozo; Catholic (Portugal); Emory; Fordham; Genoa; ITAM; Seoul National; Texas; Vanderbilt; University of Washington.

This information comes with two related caveats.

First, the spreadsheet reports the number of hires who received a JD from a particular school who accepted a tenure-track job, but not the number of JDs on the market who received a tenure-track job offer.

Second, the spreadsheet reports the count of JDs from a particular school, but not the rate at which JDs received (or accepted) offers. A smaller school with a high placement rate thus might not appear on the chart, whereas a larger program with a low placement rate might appear. This caveat means that smaller schools may be undervalued if one relies only on this data, while larger schools might be overvalued. 

Q: How many reported hires had a fellowship, degree, or clerkship?

51 (about 82%) had a fellowship; 32 (about 52%) had a clerkship; 42 (about 68%) had a higher degree. Only one reported hire didn’t have either an advanced degree or a fellowship.

Nonproportional Venn diagram:

Venn Diagram.20170601

Q: A lot of fellowships!

A: Yes.

Fellowship Rate.20170601


 Q: From what law schools  did people get these fellowships?

I count here any law school at which a person reports having a fellowship. So one person could account for two schools’ being listed here. For example, if a single individual had a fellowship at Columbia followed by a fellowship at NYU, that would be reflected below as +1 to Columbia and +1 to NYU.

Fellowship School.20170601

Harvard 10; NYU 9; Georgetown 6; Penn 5; Columbia 4; Other 30.

This information comes with the same two caveats as the JD numbers.

First, the spreadsheet reports the number of hires who received a fellowship from a particular school who accepted a tenure-track job, but not the number of fellows who received a tenure-track job offer. This caveat likely applies to all or nearly all fellowship programs. Presumably, someone choosing between fellowships cares more about how many people received tenure-track job offers than about how many people accepted those offers.

Second, the spreadsheet reports the count of fellows, but not the rate at which fellows received (or accepted) offers. A smaller program with a high placement rate thus might not appear on the chart, whereas a larger program with a low placement rate might appear. This caveat means that smaller programs may be undervalued if one relies only on this data, while larger programs might be overvalued.

Q: Tell me more about these advanced degrees. 

Okay, but first a caveat: Although some people had more than one advanced degree, the following looks only at what seemed to me to be the "highest" degree someone earned. For example, someone with a Ph.D. and an LL.M. would be counted only as a Ph.D. for purposes of this question. (This tracks the "Other Degree (1)" column.)

That said, looking only at what seemed to be the most advanced degree, and including expected degrees, the 42 "highest" advanced degrees broke down like this:

Highest Degree.20170601

Ph.D., SJD, JSD, D.Phil. 26; Masters 8; LL.M. 7; MBA 1.

Topics ranged all over the map. For the 26 Ph.D.s and expected Ph.Ds, 4 had degrees in Economics; 2 in sociology; and the other Ph.D./D.Phil. topics, each of which had only hire, were American History; American Studies; Comparative Law; Criminology; Finance and Economics; History; History of American Civilization; JSP; Law; Law and Economics; Near Eastern Languages and Civilization; Neuroscience; Philosophy; Political Science; Rhetoric; Social Anthropology and Law & Society.

Q: How long ago did these reported hires get their initial law degrees?

Year of JD.20170601

Zero to Four Years (Graduated 2012-2016) 13; Five to Nine Years (Graduated 2007-2011) 28;  Ten to 19 Years (Graduated 1997-2006) 20; Twenty or More Years (Graduated before 1996) 0.

Q: How do the "time since initial degree" numbers compare to previous years?

A: They are very similar.

Years Since Grad Chart.20170601

 

Q: Could you break the reported hires out by men/women?

Gender.20170601

Men 30 (about 48%); women 32 (about 52%). (Let’s say this is right within +/-2 people.)

Based on a quick count of a number of years of spreadsheets that I happen to have, gender hiring over time follows. (I’ve left out the data labels because I am even less sure than usual of the exactness of the numbers, but they’re roughly right as reflections of self-reported hiring each spring—first Solum’s reports, then mine. And as always, 2010 is left out due to missing data for that year.) 

Percent Male.20170601

Q: More slicing! More dicing! Different slicing! Different dicing!

Sure--you can do it yourself, or ask questions in the comments and I'll see what I can do, or we'll work it out as a group.

Q: This is all wrong! I know for a fact that more people from School Y were hired!

Yes, this spreadsheet is certainly missing some information. Repeat: this spreadsheet is incomplete. It represents only those entry-level hires that were reported to me, either through the comments on this blog or via email. It is without question incomplete. 

If you want to know about real entry level hiring, I commend to you Brian Leiter's report (hiring 1995-2011), the Katz et al. article (all law professors as of 2008), the George and Yoon article (entry level, 2007-2008 hiring year), and the Tsesis Report (entry level, 2012-2013 hiring year). This is just a report about self-reported entry level hires as of the spring before the school year starts. 

Q: Is this available in an easy-to-print format?

A: Why, as it happens, yes!

Originally posted 6/1/2017.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on June 1, 2017 at 01:06 PM in Entry Level Hiring Report | Permalink

Comments

Thanks, as always, Sarah for putting this together. You can see a list of the total number of grads from each school on the market this past year here: http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2016/09/alumni-by-school-on-law-teaching-market-201617.html

Posted by: Brian | Jun 1, 2017 1:44:15 PM

Very helpful -- thanks for organizing all of this information!

Posted by: Jessica Erickson | Jun 1, 2017 2:31:27 PM

Thank you, Sarah -- this is so very helpful!

Posted by: Michael Higdon | Jun 1, 2017 2:39:09 PM

Thank you, Sarah!

Looking at the trend line, and even given the small sample size, I think the question is not why the further drop in 2017, but why the uptick in 2016 (though I am interested in both of course).

Posted by: anon | Jun 1, 2017 2:44:41 PM

Thanks so much for this, Sarah! I doubt you have time, but I'd be curious to see subject matter statistics: In which areas did people get hired? Specifically, I would be interested in the ratio of hires to candidates in each major area. (I don't know if mining applicant data would be a FAR TOS violation.) It could be useful information for people thinking about going on the market in future years.

Posted by: Yesteryear | Jun 1, 2017 2:55:58 PM

Sarah, thanks for this and all the hard work it represents. This goes beyond your particular enterprise, but it would be interesting to see if the dramatic declines you evidence in reported hires would -- if added to the installed base of tenured and tenure-track faculty, which even with retirements and lagged non-hiring, presumably mediate the drop -- match directionally estimates of future demand like first-year enrollments and first-time LSAT test-taking.

Posted by: Ed Swaine | Jun 1, 2017 3:04:40 PM

Thank you Sarah - this is absolutely incredible. Just out of curiousity - you keep referencing back to JDs, but I wonder how many of the 62 are non Americans who completed their first legl degree outside the United States, and how these numbers compared to previous years. Do you have the data for that? Thanks again - this is superb!

Posted by: Asaf | Jun 1, 2017 3:31:56 PM

So helpful. Thank you, Sarah.

2017: the year of the criminalist! I count 12 TT hires in crim law or crim pro, just under 20% of all TT hires.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 1, 2017 3:42:37 PM

Asaf: Regarding foreign initial degrees, here's what I'm seeing, based on a quick count:
2017: 6 people (9.7% of 62 hires) got their initial law degree outside of the United States;
2016: four people (4.8% of 83 hires)
2015: one person (1.4% of 70 hires)
2014: two people (2.7% of 73 hires)
2013: four people (3.7% of 106 hires)
2012: nine people (6.3% of 143 hires)
2011: eleven people (7.1% of 155 hires)

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jun 1, 2017 3:48:08 PM

Yesteryear: I too would be interested in ratio of hires to candidates for any number of things, definitely including subject matter. Unfortunately, using any data from the FAR forms for anything but hiring is indeed a violation of AALS's terms of service.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jun 1, 2017 3:50:16 PM

Alas. Thanks for the response, Sarah!

Posted by: Yesteryear | Jun 1, 2017 3:58:35 PM

I unpublished a recent comment regarding someone who had been hired by Miami; this person prefers to remain off the spreadsheet, but the person's information is incorporated into the data.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jun 1, 2017 8:49:03 PM

This is a great resource. I wish it had been available when I was on the market. One suggestion for next year is that it might be nice to have some indication of the practice experience of the new hires. There's a meme going around that JD/PhDs have no practice experience, which I'm sure is true in some cases. It wasn't true for me, however, and my guess is that the majority of JD/PhDs do have practice experience--although perhaps not as much as regular JDs. Curious what others think.

Posted by: Rob Anderson | Jun 2, 2017 12:25:04 PM

I think it might also be nice to collect information going forward about junior lateral hires. My sense is that to the extent entry-level hiring is down, junior lateral hiring is slightly up. I know that Leiter collects this information, but it might be nice to explicitly ask about it here as well.

Posted by: LawProf | Jun 2, 2017 1:07:51 PM

Sarah,
You do an incredibly invaluable service to the legal academic community.
Thank you,
Alex

Posted by: Alexander Tsesis | Jun 3, 2017 10:05:44 PM

Alright, we have had time to digest and contemplate this wonderfully undertaken report. Massive thanks to Sarah!

But having done so, what have we learned? Do we have evidence of a real substantial, institutional shift underway in legal education; or, does this remain a short-term dip? Is it simply fewer students ergo fewer teachers (the fewer law schools via smaller law schools argument), or, is the crisis forcing new teaching approaches, ones that require fewer teachers?

Am also intrigued by the dual rise in non-law PhDs and VAP/fellowships; which strongly suggests the need for a full PhD in Law, complete with teaching duties along the way. But will the US be ready to adopt that model?

Canada might have the model we're looking for...?

Posted by: Law_Anon | Jun 4, 2017 4:12:35 AM

I wonder about the numbers re time since initial degree. Maybe it's just messy noise but apart from 2011 maybe there is a slight up trend in the 10-19 and a slight down trend in the 5 to 9. (0 to 4 is messy but maybe that's where the PhDs and fellowships are mucking with things.)

Posted by: nana | Jun 4, 2017 8:59:59 AM

There appear to be 80 entries in the spreadsheet as of June 8. Does that mean that new data has been added, and the total hires for 2017 is 80 rather than 62? Or am I misinterpreting it? Thanks.

Posted by: Brian Smith | Jun 8, 2017 6:53:44 PM

No, the number is still 62. "While the spreadsheet contains all hiring information received, the data analysis includes only tenure-track hires at U.S. law schools." The spreadsheet thus includes, for example, non-tenure-track hires, and hires at non-U.S. law schools.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jun 8, 2017 6:56:51 PM

Here's a question for someone with too much time on his/her hands:

is hiring more concentrated in the top 100 schools than in earlier years?

My guess (based on (1) a quick look at the spreadsheet and (2) my predisposition): bottom 100 schools are more pessimistic so the only hiring they are doing is clinicians (to comply with the ABA's new clinic rules).

Posted by: Michael Lewyn | Jun 12, 2017 11:19:04 AM

Great information. Will the audience here help identify the entry-level compensation packages for top 30 law schools? Thank you.

Posted by: anon | Jun 21, 2017 6:53:38 PM

Michael, 6/12, I would guess that is right.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jun 22, 2017 1:48:39 AM

Law_Anon wrote: "Do we have evidence of a real substantial, institutional shift underway in legal education; or, does this remain a short-term dip? Is it simply fewer students ergo fewer teachers (the fewer law schools via smaller law schools argument), or, is the crisis forcing new teaching approaches, ones that require fewer teachers?"

A lot of schools are trying to shrink their faculty sizes by attrition, whether in response to having fewer students or just a need to shrink their budgets. That means, for now, less entry-level hiring. I don't think we can say it is associated with "new teaching approaches" or a "real substantial, institutional shift." It's just a way to help balance law school budgets right now, with any broader meaning to be determined.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jun 22, 2017 1:53:16 AM

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