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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Law School Hiring Spreadsheet and Clearinghouse for Questions, 2018-2019

In a radical departure from past practice, this year the Hiring Spreadsheet post and the Clearinghouse for Questions post will live together in one post (quel scandale! cats and dogs! etc.). This very post, to be specific. (Last year, there were zero comments on the Hiring Thread post, because everyone just put the information in the spreadsheet. So I figured, let's combine them in one action-packed post! Spreadsheet and comments! Woohoo!)

I. The Spreadsheet

In the spreadsheet, you can enter information regarding whether you have received

(a) a first round interview at a school (including the subject areas the school mentioned, if any, as being of particular interest, and whether the interview offer was accepted);

(b)  a callback from a law school and/or accepted it; or

(c) an offer from a law school and/or accepted it; feel free to also leave details about the offer, including teaching load, research leave, etc. A school listed as "offer accepted" may have made more than one offer and may still have some slots open.

Law professors may also choose to provide information that is relevant to the entry-level market.  

Anyone can edit the spreadsheet; I will not be editing it or otherwise monitoring it. It is available here:

II. The Comment Thread

In this comment thread to this post, you can ask questions about the law teaching market, and professors or others can weigh in.

Both questions and answers can be anonymous, but I will delete pure nastiness, irrelevance, and misinformation. If you see something that you know to be wrong, please feel free to let me know via email, sarah*dot*lawsky*at*law*dot*northwestern*dot*edu.

You may want to take a look at the many questions and answers in the threads from 2014-20152015-20162016-2017. and 2017-2018. In general, there's quite a cache of materials relevant to the law job market under the archive categories Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market and Entry Level Hiring Report.

Update: Comments have been changed to appear in order of newest to oldest. So the most recent comments are on the first page.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on August 23, 2018 at 09:00 AM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


First Timer, in addition to your publication/lateral musings, I think you should also consider your teaching skills. My opinion is that a less-prestigious school will probably give you the best chance to become the best teacher (because you have to teach to vastly different skill levels and you have to teach basic logical reasoning instead of just the substantive law). Developing those skills should be really attractive to any law school. If I had a lateral applicant from ANY SCHOOL with teaching awards, it would pique my interests.

Posted by: ACommitteeMember | Sep 21, 2018 5:50:55 AM

I have 14, including 1 VAP Interview. I do have a PhD.

Posted by: anon | Sep 21, 2018 1:25:16 AM

"Business" typically includes things like business organizations, securities regulation, and mergers and acquisitions. It typically is NOT commercial law (e.g., secured transactions, bankruptcy), first year contracts, and international business transactions.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 20, 2018 10:46:08 PM

Is it the consensus that most of the T14 have called and for whatever reason no one is listing most of them? Or are most of them still outstanding? There are alot of schools =most of T14+ Notre Dame, UT, Wash U, Cornell, a bunch. On occasion, I am the only one listing a school so maybe people just aren't listing anymore or they don't want to list the top schools. The AALS is a little more than 3 weeks away - I would have to think they would have to be pretty much done by mid-next week.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2018 10:18:31 PM

I'm at nine. No PhD or VAP. Not crim or business.

btw - what exactly is "business?" that could be so many different legal fields that do not have much overlap.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2018 10:11:51 PM

What schools made calls this week? Any intel on Berkeley (non crim), UCI, WashU or Oregon?

What would be the number interviews by week's end that shows someone is competitive, assuming they aren't crim or business?

Posted by: anon_amom | Sep 20, 2018 9:58:03 PM

I have 11, not business law or crim, range of schools.from top to not ranked.

I expect business and crim law people - the very top ones - are in the 20s.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2018 9:46:19 PM

It might just be because fewer people than normal are filling out the spreadsheet but it seems like there are less interviews alll around this year....are people up to 20-30 interviews yet?

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2018 9:30:02 PM

It might just be because fewer people than normal are filling out the spreadsheet but it seems like there are less interviews alll around this year....are people up to 20-30 interviews yet?

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2018 9:30:01 PM

Here's how to answer the question, "should I accept an interview with School X?" Easy! Just ask yourself, "this time next year would I prefer being a law professor at School X to not being a law professor at all?" If the answer is yes, take the interview; otherwise, say no.

I think, for the most part, you should say yes to any school that asks you to interview. However, if it is a school you suspect might not be around in a few years, then I might consider taking a fellowship or a VAP and trying again.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 20, 2018 9:27:19 PM

People reported new interviews today, even T5 interviews, but these are not showing up on the spreadsheet. Although we can guess that T5 means Columbia or Chicago, it would be nice to see it posted there. Would be helpful to know the other T14 schools that have recently made calls too.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2018 9:07:29 PM

Fair enough first timer, and I apologize for the snark in my response. But the questions I asked are real ones, and I think many of us face them (including, yes, myself a few years ago). The more helpful response I should have given is that if you're uncertain, there's nothing wrong with going to the screening interviews or even callbacks. And it's always good to keep an open mind. If at any time you realize you would never go to a particular school, it's in everybody's interest that you bow out.

Again, good luck to you and everybody going through the process.

Posted by: hmmm | Sep 20, 2018 8:29:42 PM

I am a candidate similar to the one below and I have interviews at a broad range of schools. On one hand it shows how hard the market is if the non ranked schools are going after people with top schools. On other hand I wonder if those schools are not realistic hence leading to many people not getting interviews. I tend to think market is so competitive to taking them plus I wonder if it gets you a rep at an elitist if you decline. I think it’s a valid question to ask whether people could move up from non ranked schools because it will affect calculus of people getting interviews

Posted by: Anon | Sep 20, 2018 8:16:24 PM

@hmmm Your response is rather melodramatic. Nowhere did I suggest that my "main concern" was having a fancy letterhead. Nor did I suggest that I'm not concerned about bar passage rates for particular schools. Nor did I imply that I would simply take what I could get and then "do everything to claw [my] way out." (Having faced a similar scenario, perhaps you're projecting?)

Rather, I simply asked if teaching at an unranked school makes your career more difficult in other respects, particularly with regard to moving to a different school, which is a fairly common practice in legal academia. The mere fact that I've expressed this concern does not indicate that I harbor any of the attitudes you described.

At any rate, if others have helpful advice, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Posted by: first timer | Sep 20, 2018 7:30:44 PM

First timer, we all make decisions, but I personally have declined interviews with schools where I wouldn't want to stay for more than a few years for similar reasons (of course I wouldn't put it in those terms). You express concerns about prestige and your ability to move up. How will you feel looking your students in the eyes every day? Do you think their tuition money is well spent? What's the bar passage rate, and if it's low, are you going to help improve it? Or is your plan to take what YOU can get out of this school, do the absolute minimum required to succeed on YOUR terms, and do everything to claw your way out?

To be clear, there are great reasons to teach at lower-ranked schools, and it's perfectly fine to start somewhere with hopes of moving up. Also, you might be surprised by which schools you end up really liking. But if your main concern continues to be how a not-so-fancy letterhead will affect your article placement and ability to lateral, I'd think very hard about accepting these interviews and even harder about flying out for callbacks.

Good luck!

Posted by: hmmm | Sep 20, 2018 7:01:39 PM

Take every interview that you get, provided that you'd live in that area. You may have gotten an interview with that T50 school, but so did 30 other people. There is absolutely no guarantee that any of them will invite you for a callback, much less hire you. I know great candidates who had 15-20 AALS interviews and ended up with 1 or 0 callbacks.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2018 6:32:22 PM

This is may be jumping the gun a bit, but it's somewhat relevant for deciding on interviews: any thoughts on taking a job with unranked (which is to say, obviously, very low prestige) schools?

I've been fortunate to receive AALS requests from t5, t20, and t50 schools and then a few from some unranked schools. I will most likely take the interviews with the unranked schools, since I'm highly risk averse and would be reasonably happy teaching anywhere, especially since law professors seem to move around (and up) quite a bit.

One thing that gives me pause, however: below a certain threshold, does it become far more difficult to publish, move laterally, move up, etc?

Posted by: first timer | Sep 20, 2018 5:47:18 PM

Skype anon, Expect the same questions as you would at AALS about your scholarship, research agenda, teaching interests, etc. The big difference is that they tend to be more awkward because you can't hear people too well or see their body language. What's the subject matter? I've hears some schools may try to make early moves this cycle.

Posted by: anon_amom | Sep 20, 2018 1:51:05 PM

For people doing Skype initial interviews rather than at AALS, what should we expect?

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 20, 2018 9:24:26 AM

It was also just a Jewish holiday. The holiday schedule being two weeks in a row is unusual and could influence different timing this year. I think the rest will call between now and Monday

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2018 9:18:43 AM

Don’t lose hope. Schools are still calling. As of the weekend, I had four interviews. In the pas three days, I received interviews from five more schools.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 20, 2018 4:26:29 AM

Sorry my question was unclear! I meant—what are some things to make sure not to do during or before interviews? Hiring committee members pet-peeves (I didn’t mean should we bring up pet peeves during the interview hahaha). Apologies.

Posted by: Another anon | Sep 19, 2018 2:04:18 PM

Well, that seems to me a weird conversation topic for an interview, but to each their own :)

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2018 1:57:46 PM

Would any one on the hiring side be willing to share pet-peeves during AALS interviews?

Posted by: Another anon | Sep 18, 2018 7:54:29 PM

Thank you, Professor Erickson. That is really useful information.

Posted by: Mr. Eugenides | Sep 18, 2018 7:09:22 PM

Richmond's hiring chair here. We have not started making calls, although we will likely do so this week. We read a lot of papers, etc. before making our interview decisions, and the whole process takes a fair amount of time. But we are finishing up our review, and we are excited to meet some great candidates!

Posted by: Jessica Erickson | Sep 18, 2018 11:41:06 AM

For most, but not all, but most law schools curricular needs are what is driving their hiring process. If they need a new hire to teach contracts, they would prefer someone who WANTS to teach contracts and has some background or interests in the field rather than someone who suggests in whatever way that they will teach contracts if that's what the law school intends to make them do. As someone else has pointed out, it is typical for some hires to teach in a field they were hired for and then get out of it as fast as they can and then you end up having to fill the same curricular need again. Thus, law faculties would rather believe the person they are hiring for that curricular need has strong interests in and a desire to teach in that field long term because they think, for example, that contracts is awesome (I've been teach contracts for almost 20 years now because contracts is, in fact, awesome).

Posted by: anonprof | Sep 18, 2018 11:08:42 AM

I think it would look incredibly presumptuous to hand out business cards. First,most people who are fellows or phd may not have them. also for what purpose? They have your email and phone. Why hand out business cards? It would not be the norm.

the only way you may hand out business cards is if you meet someone at a reception and you want an interview with that school. Even then it looks a little weird to give a business card. no one picks up more interviews at aals so there would likely be no point.

Posted by: anon | Sep 18, 2018 10:23:33 AM

for the love of god, don't hand out business cards, and stop listening to advice from anyone who tells you that.

Posted by: anon hiring chair | Sep 18, 2018 9:43:10 AM

PhD --

Sorry, I should have been more clear. It's important to express an interest & ability in teaching core classes AS WELL AS in teaching interesting/unique classes. At least in the cognate disciplines I'm familiar with, that's also the case: "I can teach Intro to Political Theory" AND "Special Seminar on The Miracle That Is Adam Smith." Obviously this may not be true across all disciplines. I only suggested that it is true in many social science and humanities disciplines with which I'm familiar and that consequently it is not a unique flaw in the law hiring process.

As others have pointed out, the lie/convention (depending on your priors) isn't regarding your ability to teach Intro to Political Theory -- you need to be able and willing to teach it. But as you point out, there is a lie/convention regarding your *desire* to teach Intro to Political Theory. I think part of the confusion comes from the fact that in disciplinary cover letters (again, per my experience) you simply say all the things you can/will/would like to teach but in law you rank order them using a numbered list. No matter what verbs or adverbs you use in a cover letter, it's less cut and dry than being a candidate whose #1 teaching "preference" box doesn't contain a subject that School X is looking for. Whether or not this creates more problems than non-law academic hiring methods is certainly up for debate but honestly that debate is probably not worth your time.

It remains absolutely true that there's a lot of inside baseball (a term I did not even know until I started preparing for the law market!) governing your outcomes on the law market. And it's also true that it is both extremely frustrating and hurtful to realize how much these seemingly small bits of information can--when they accumulate, as anon3 points out--damage the prospects of a committed and talented aspiring faculty who's put years into the training process. I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

Posted by: So&So | Sep 17, 2018 6:45:57 PM

In the 2015-16 cycle, several T14 schools made callbacks on 9/29, 16 days before the first day of the FRC on 10/15. For 2018, that date would correspond to 9/25, which is 16 days before the FRC and also the last Tuesday of September, as in 2015.

Posted by: numerological | Sep 17, 2018 6:34:33 PM

PhD --

I don't think these sorts of failures are, in isolation, disqualifying. There are people hired every year who don't list a big 1L course first or second on their list of preferences, for example. (In fact, there are a number of people hired every year for whom not listing a big 1L course isn't even a negative: authenticity is important in this process, and candidates who are clearly trying to be someone they are not typically do poorly.)

What is disqualifying is when a number of these sorts of 'cultural' blunders compound--especially when they compound in such a way as to create a troublesome narrative. A candidate whose first five preferred courses are all highly specialized seminars *who also* notes a preference for NYC/SF/LA (e.g., highly desirable but seemingly unrelated cities) *who also* writes an overly self-important cover letter ...etc... begins to look entitled. Some such candidates are simply clueless as to the norms in this field. Many, though, are actually entitled. A big part of the hiring process is picking a colleague who we want to work with for years to come, and I don't think it's unreasonable to do some screening based on these sorts of intuitions.

Every field has norms. I don't think the norms in legal academia are particularly strange, nor are they--especially those that count--particularly opaque. If anything, in my experience, legal academics are far more willing to tolerate violations of norms than most others who do competitive legal hiring (big law firms, federal judges, federal prosecutors, etc).

Posted by: anon3 | Sep 17, 2018 4:26:40 PM

If you are hired on the tenure track, typically you will eventually end up teaching whatever it is you want to teach, regardless of whether you were hired to teach that subject. Schools are just super permissive in letting folks have their way. Hiring committees know this and, thus, are looking not at whether you are willing to teach a course they need covered but appear passionate about teaching that course. A passion for the course offers greater assurances that, a few years down the road, they won't be having to look for someone else to teach a course that you were supposed to teach. Thus, when your practice background and/or scholarship don't match up with what you say you'd like to teach, they tend to pass you by.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 17, 2018 4:15:28 PM

PhD, of course a candidate who indicates that she is interested in teaching an in-demand course is going to be more desirable to schools than one who doesn't. That is hardly esoteric insight.

Posted by: AnonZ | Sep 17, 2018 4:14:40 PM

AnonP: of course. A good candidate should be ABLE to teach these, no doubt. But that's not what is asked, they ask for preferences and the question is only: should the fact that a candidate didnt specify a core subject as his *top* priority mean he should be automatically disqualified.

Posted by: Phd | Sep 17, 2018 3:27:29 PM

Phd, listing Crim or Business as your first choices isn't lying. You DO actually have to be able and willing to teach the courses you list on your FAR, and no one has to give you a job just because you're an expert in a very narrow and specific field. Schools need people to teach core curriculum courses as well, so this is the way this market works, and no one is forcing you to participate.

Posted by: AnonP | Sep 17, 2018 2:38:43 PM

To So&So: I respectfully disagree, for three reasons.

First, it is not intuitive (nor the case in all disciplines) that expressing interest in teaching undergrad courses only is the right or even the strategic thing to do. This is (apparently) only so because, for some reason, in law there is low demand to teach these courses. The advice I was given in my PhD is the opposite - to show the universities how I am *different*, i.e. what can I give them that others can't.

Second, even if the choice of teaching /geographical preferences could be a good proxy to the underlying variable (=ability to be a law prof), it seems that candidates just tell committees what the want to hear, and those who don't are completely excluded, such that it cannot be a good proxy at all.
The problem is that lying isn't costly and at some point, everyone will understand the game and say "crim" or "business" as the first choice, and then the question about preferences will become redundant.

I'll end with a silly example: the situation is similar to a restaurant whose goal is to feed those who are most hungry, but decides to sort people by asking "what do you feel like eating today?" and then those who say "Bread" are let inside and eat Bread and Pizza while those who say "Pizza" are assumed to be not hungry at all and get nothing (because had they really been hungry they would somehow know that they should lie and say "Bread").

Posted by: Phd | Sep 17, 2018 1:41:04 PM

Anon | Sep 17, 2018 12:43:06 PM --

1. Most people wear black, dark grey, or navy. The perpetual reminder is that you don't want people to remember you for what you wore.
2. I brought business cards. No one asked for them. I wouldn't bother having them made. But if you already have them, why not stash a few in your bag?
3. I had printed CVs even though there were no updates. No one asked for them. But I imagine this is a more likely request than a business card. Plus it felt like part of the uniform and since "wearing" what I considered to be the uniform made me feel better, I went with it. Confidence matters. For the same reason, I did not carry a messenger bag -- I doubt it really matters if you do assuming the bag is appropriate, but it would have made me feel, and therefore be, more awkward.
4. I think I waited 2-3 minutes after I was *sure* the previous candidate's time had ended (so realistically, 3-4 minutes) then knocked. Invariably, someone opened the door, apologized, said they'd be right with me, and ... they were.

Posted by: So&So | Sep 17, 2018 1:06:58 PM

Fast forward to the interview process, for candidates that may not have the institutional support of a VAP/HYLS -- what are some tidbits/advice etc. these institutions are providing candidates for interviews?
If anyone would be so kind as to offer some insight to help even the playing field... it would be much appreciated. :-) Here are some sample questions:
1. I take it black suits are the norm?
2. Bring business cards?
3. Is it a good idea to have updated copies of printed material?
4. Do you knock or just wait outside the room politely until you get called in?

P.S. The thank you note norm is a norm in all of academic hiring, not just law. So...for PhD's...if you have taken advantage of workshops on how to prepare yourself for the academy ...you should know that is appropriate.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 17, 2018 12:43:06 PM

I’ve been waiting to hear from UMass, too. I haven’t heard anything.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 17, 2018 10:57:46 AM

Has Oregon, UMass, or Wyoming (for entry) made calls? Do we expect more calls this week. And, if so, from what schools?

Posted by: TooManyAnons | Sep 17, 2018 10:48:33 AM

As someone who recently went through the market (with a PhD), strategy in listing teaching preferences/abilities is not unique to law even if the format of the FAR is unique. In many social science & humanities disciplines, which are the ones I'm familiar with, candidates are taught to express an interest and ability in teaching core undergraduate classes (whether this is Macro Econ or Intro to Political Theory) in addition to the courses that, for lack of a better way of putting it, they're most competent at and most interested in teaching. It is definitely hard to learn how to translate this "requirement" into the law setting and law candidates from VAPs/fellowships get that information in buckets while those who lack such grooming do not. But that doesn't mean the requirement itself is bad or unfair on the part of hiring committees and it also doesn't mean it's unique to law.

Posted by: So&So | Sep 17, 2018 10:36:27 AM

Anyone heard from UMass Dartmouth or Western New England? Thanks in advance

Posted by: anon32 | Sep 17, 2018 8:53:08 AM

To PhD and others: it’s not about listing a 1L course you’ll never teach. It’s actually about teaching. Since most candidates (myself inclyded) came from elite institutions with huge faculties, I don’t think candidates always realize how small faculties are. And how strapped for teaching resources. I met a PhD over the summer who basically said they could not teach outside their specialty. That’s just not how the many, many lower-tiered/small schools work.

But I don’t see this at all about playing the game. I think it’s really about schools hiring people who will teach basic courses for years to come.

Posted by: ACommitteeMember | Sep 17, 2018 7:35:08 AM

I agree with you Phd person. And I think alot of the phd people on this board who don't have alot of interviews are not versed in the game regarding geographic restrictions (really try not to put down any any; if 1% chance you would go to that place keep it in and if you put down make sure that they are not arbitrary or unreasonable), class list (make at least your 1st or 2nd choice a big 1L class; if you can fit into business law or criminal law all the better plus big 2L classes), thank you notes (still not clear on this one, send to everyone?), don't do anything at all that anyone could perceive as "entitled", show interest but don't be too eager, since that shows desperation and/or entitlement, and of course ones that I thought were obvious but maybe not like having a complete job talk paper, not have typos, and formation of the CV (look at how the fellows do it and copy their format if not sure).

I learned alot of these norms from this board last year but now we have them all in one place for people for next year. any others? And I think if one did not pick up these norms from reading this board and past years one probably isn't too ready for the market.

Posted by: anon | Sep 17, 2018 5:06:06 AM

Candidate with Ph.d here. I personally had no idea I should "play a game" and be strategic about what I write (I didn't list geographical restrictions, but was honest about my teaching/research interests). Accusing me of "I should have known better" is absurd. What is the purpose of this mechanism if it doesn't elicit truth telling? if everyone puts a 1L course as first pick although they have no intention of teaching it, the form becomes uninformative. In other words - if the purpose was to find out who is well-verse in the "game", then sure that works. But if the purpose is to find a good law professor, then it's, for a lack of a better word, stupid.

Posted by: Phd | Sep 17, 2018 4:52:05 AM

To be clear, when someone says they will only accept a position in a certain state or even in a handful of contiguous states, I totally get that. What I'm referring to (and it happens more than you think) is when someone lists seemingly random restrictions that seem more borne of personal preference. For instance, I've seen people say things like "anywhere but Arizona, Delaware and North Dakota" Huh? Or "I won't accept a job in California" Um, why not California but apparently any state right next to it? I've even seen "Anywhere but Alaska" Well . . . Alaska doesn't have a law school. Some people lists certain cities they're willing to work in, making me wonder why they didn't just identify the law schools in those cities and apply directly. Just weird stuff like that. The other one that isn't quite as weird but still turns me off is when the candidate lists all the Southern states as places they will not go (and I'm not at a Southern school) -- I get the South has a bad reputation, but to assume that every law school in every city there will expose you to those "ills" just makes you look, not only ignorant, but not that serious about being a law professor.

And how anyone can read "geographic restrictions" to mean "geographic preferences" is beyond me. Honestly, the safest thing to do is to list no restrictions and then if you get contacted by a school you wouldn't want to go to, just turn down the interview.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 16, 2018 9:28:06 PM

these bias on the part of committees are what drives inefficiency to this process. No one who knows anything about the market is going to list geographic restrictions because as one can see today, several hiring chairs seem to make assumptions that people don't want to be law professors if they have "unreasonable" geographic restrictions, despite the fact that many of these people left lucrative firm jobs, gave up hundreds of thousands of dollars to do a phd or fellowship, and are paying $500 to be part of the aals.

this results in people not being honest either on the FAR form or later in the process about where they would actually go. I know several people who really had geographic restrictions and then wasted everyone's time doing callbacks, only to decline offers and waste that spot going to other candidates who could move. If one's spouse has a high powered job in a major city, sorry, it takes alot for them to move to Tallahassee. That person may very well be a great law professor and really want to be one, but if that person was honest on their FAR they are going to be assumed to be entitled and then get no interviews even in areas where that person could actually move. I also think people less well versed in this process answer that question as "preference" rather than actual hard restriction as they don't interpret that question right.

A more transparent process based on the fact that people actually have lives beyond this process would be nice though I am not holding out hope. The glut in the market has taken away the fact that there is actually a huge human part of this job search that affects not only the candidate but their families as well. And this is in the peak years for many people to be starting and raising families too.

And constant travel?? Really? Some people may travel if their family lives somewhere else but that is few and far between. When I was in practice I sometimes did 6 or 7 cross country trips a month. Travel in this job is nothing.

Posted by: anon | Sep 16, 2018 7:56:54 PM

“constant travel” might be a bit of a stretch.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 16, 2018 7:24:44 PM

I work at a highly desirable school in one of those areas where your spouse can find work. And we would love to hear from people who specifically want us, but we would be turned off to learn that you wouldn't work in, say, Tallahassee. We want people who really want to do this for a living. This job is awesome, but involves a lot of personal sacrifices (the constant travel, the stress of moving several times during a career between clerkship, practice, fellowship and moving up the ladder) and we want people who have a burning desire to do this and are willing to suffer for it. We have too many people on my faculty who basically took this job to work less and because we're in a great area, and the last thing we want is more of them.

Posted by: Junior Prof | Sep 16, 2018 7:11:51 PM

This isn’t about “personal preferences,” it’s about where you would absolutely not accept a job. And if your restrictions appear arbitrary and\or unreasonable, don’t be surprised if you aren’t invited for many interviews.

Posted by: Hiringprawf | Sep 16, 2018 5:15:41 PM

I don't get how being honest about personal preferences somehow translates into the person not being seriously interested in a teaching job or "entitled" to a job. They may not be realistic in how hard the teaching market is but I don't see how it means they aren't interested in getting a job. It turns out that the people who are being honest get penalized because assumptions are being made about them based on very little information or their personal requests are judged "arbitrary" based on knowing nothing about the person's personal circumstances.

Many people don't like living in a rural area, and if they are married, it makes it extremely difficult to find comparable challenging work in WY for example if one's partner is an investment banker. That may be hard to explain in a FAR form or is it anyone's business what one's spouse does. Or it may be that the person is a same sex or mixed race family and they do not feel that particular areas of the country would be welcoming for them. Or a family may be a particular religion and it may be that certain areas of the country have no places of worship for them. I had a friend who was a rare religion and he discovered that in certain states there were only like 100 people practicing that religion; maybe WY was one of them. All of these are hard to explain in a FAR form and I think in fact illegal to consider in the hiring process.

These assumptions also I think disproportionately hurt women, many of whom have husbands with careers that they don't want to leave. I can't tell you the number of extremely inspiring women who ended doing this process precisely because of being geographically limited. It's ok to want to be near a major city for one's spouse to be able to continue their career, to not want to be 1000 miles away from family and friends or to not want to physically live away from their husband or wife especially if you have small children. For committees to assume you are "entitled" when voicing preferences is really odd.

It's disheartening that committees that fulfill a person's geographic constraints actually dismiss them for being honest with the committee or for a single committee member to judge that such a request is "arbitrary" knowing nothing of the person's personal circumstances. People who list geographic preferences may be unrealistic about the teaching market and how hard it is to get a job but I definitely don't think it follows that they don't have an interest any more than someone who doesn't list. It may show they are naive but i don't see how it shows they are "entitled" or not interested in teaching. They are just being more honest than they should be.

It's interesting to hear how some committee members think because I think those of us will learn now that all these assumptions are being made and that so many things one does come off to others as "entitled." I don't think these assumptions would be made in other lines of work.

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 16, 2018 3:22:37 PM

We have passed on candidates who list geographic restrictions even when those restrictions don't exclude us if the restrictions seem too arbitrary (i.e., "no southern states" or "any state other than WY") just because it paints a picture of entitlement and/or not being serious about getting a teaching job.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 16, 2018 2:40:15 PM

I am surprised so many people make those mistakes. I have always been informed NEVER limit yourself geographically (even though let's face it many of us have clear preferences and many like me would have a hard time moving because of spousal issues or it would cause a big discussion to happen if it came to that point) and to put 1L classes and big 2L and 3L classes on the FAR as some of the top choices.

I think anyone reading these boards would be able to pick up on that so that's not even something elite people would know. I totally believe it happens, I am just surprised that despite all the info out there so many people make those mistakes.

Posted by: anon | Sep 16, 2018 2:33:49 PM

what makes a cover letter egomaniacal? And by resumes do you mean people do not have the basics, like research publications at forefront, conference presentations, etc?

It would surprise me if any serious candidate on the market would not know how the CVs are done; if you look at the CVs of the fellow candidates you get the picture. I think for the phd people who have made their way on this board that they would be experienced enough in this process to at least know what is required of the CV. I realize there are some candidates who don't even realize you need a research agenda but if you found this board, I would at least think that the CV and lack of a complete paper is not their issue.

How many candidates in the FAR are like that described by the person below - with not a complete paper or sound research agenda or a CV that noway resembles what is required? 25%?

Posted by: anon | Sep 16, 2018 1:34:47 PM

Go read The Professor is In for more entry level application TT tough love and advice. You can't list "Bird Law" as 1 for your FAR and narrow your locations to NYC and Boston expect to get interviews. A shocking number of otherwise qualified applicants make these mistakes.

Posted by: seniorjunior | Sep 16, 2018 1:29:07 PM

Typos aren't what make materials problematic. It's amateurish, desperate and/or egomaniacial cover letters, CVs that are formatted like resumes, and not having a job talk paper that is completed that makes materials. It's having FRC interest areas that are too broad or narrow.

Posted by: seniorjunior | Sep 16, 2018 1:25:08 PM

I have six callbacks, and all but one of them are only at AALS on Friday. One of the hiring chairs told me that they decided it was a waste of time to interview so many people over two days. I'm not sure if this shortened interview schedule is a trend, or if I just happened to get the handful of schools that are doing it that way. But it might explain why people seem to not have many interviews lined up.

Posted by: Anon Candidate | Sep 16, 2018 1:00:05 PM

No, I was referring to law firm interviews. Judge interview,s yes I could see that - that's one person and it is such a personalized job. But for law firm interviews I don't think people send thank you notes.. Maybe to the on campus person but I don't think people would send it to everyone at the law firm they interviewed with. And I don't think they would think it would cost them getting the job.

And outside law, I don't think people for normal jobs like McDonalds send thank you notes to everyone they interview with nor would they ever think that failure to send a thank you note would be indicative of not getting a job.

My point is not that it isn't a good thing to do. It's just that it is downright ridiculous to weed out some candidates who don't do it when it's part of people's job to interview candidates.. Especially because I genuinely think alot of candidates not socialized in the norms may not realize it and not mean anything by it.

It seems like people make judgments based on very little info (like thinking someone is entitled because they question why there would be a norm for thank you notes to every single person they interview with or thinking someone is a poor candidate because they did not send a thank you note). I don't think alot of people from the outside realize that's how it is in law and maybe that's why some don't have many interviews. It seems like any single thing people do - even unintentionally- could turn someone on the committee off, so you pretty much have to be on guard constantly for being "immaculate" in everything you do, even if you may not be aware of what norms you are violating.

I think the phd people on this board who don't have interviews must be violating some norms. It seems like alot of what separates them from others is that both have elite credentials (which are necessary in this market) but they are violating some of the norms and they don't realize it. Whether that's the best way to find law professors is something beyond my pay grade!

Posted by: anon | Sep 16, 2018 12:37:38 PM

We typically interview laterals (via Skype) before D.C. so that when D.C. is over, we can make call-back decisions for everything.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 16, 2018 12:28:55 PM

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