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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Innocent Questions for AALS Interviews

Hello everyone -- good to be back for a guest stint, and thanks to Dan for inviting and the rest for tolerating. I'm going to mostly be posting about issues in legal education, but since everyone loves a good navel-gaze and people on the market are thirsty for anything related to hiring, let's start with a perennial favorite this time of year: what questions to ask interviewers at AALS or callback interviews? 

Here's one that I haven't seen so much, and is a moderately innocent, reasonable question to ask in a job interview, but also might tell you something about a school and its faculty. "At [Your School] what percentage of the job are the different pillars of research, teaching, and service?"  Now the reality is that the percentages vary widely for most depending on whether it's summer, when research is often close to 100%, or during the semester. But assume we're talking a full year, averaged across the year, and assume we're talking after year one when you may be spending more time on class preps than you will later on.

I'm not sure what I'd answer to this question (speaking just for myself, not my school): put a gun to my head, maybe research 55%, teaching 35%, service 10%. What would you say in response, and is this a good question to ask?

Posted by Jason Solomon on September 2, 2009 at 08:59 AM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


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I know publishing in law review articles is a big deal in legal academia. is publishing books seen in a lesser light?

Posted by: anon | Sep 2, 2009 8:18:07 PM

I'm with Jeff on this.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Sep 2, 2009 3:07:16 PM

Plus, the answer is going to change after, say, your third year (when you should have had at least two reps of every course in your package, so less prep time is needed) and after tenure (when your service time probably will go up).

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Sep 2, 2009 12:46:46 PM

I'm not sure that is a question capable of a meaningful answer (and hence may sound like it was invented solely for the purpose of having a question to ask.)

May I suggest (if it hasn't come up): "how does travel expense for conferences, workshops, etc. work - a budget, pre-approval? And has the general financial climate impacted how the school deals with it?"

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Sep 2, 2009 9:45:40 AM

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