Thursday, May 24, 2018
Who Stopped Hiring?
In 2011, 155 entry-level law professors were hired. In 2018, 76 entry-level law professors were hired. Who stopped hiring?
The answer is perhaps not surprising: lower-ranked law schools. In the top 30 (very loosely defined to include many more than 30 law schools), hiring remained steady. In the lower-ranked law schools, hiring dropped off significantly.
The key jumps to look at are 2012 to 2013, and then again 2013 to 2014.
Here's another way to look at it: in 2011, schools in the top 30 and above represented 23% of the law schools overall, and did 30% of the hiring. In 2018, those same schools did 45% of the hiring. (And some years it was even starker: in 2016, those schools did 53% of the hiring.)
My list of law schools with ranking categories (which I drew loosely from the US News rankings this year, keeping in mind that the US news rankings are very stable over time) is available here. I'm sure one can quibble around the edges that a particular school should be higher or lower ranked, but moving a school or two shouldn't change the overall result above.
Interesting, if not surprising (or bad). Not to look a gift graph in the mouth, it might also be interesting (though harder to collect info) to take faculty sizes into account. It might be, for example, that lower ranked schools had previously been hiring at above-replacement rates and just leveled off, or it might be that (if higher-ranked schools had bigger faculties, on average, and need to hire more even at similar rates) we should expect the relative proportion of new hires to grow.
Posted by: Ed | May 30, 2018 7:48:01 AM