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Monday, January 31, 2011

A Clearinghouse for Questions

N.B. This thread will get bumped to the front every 10 days or so.

The first  second batch of FAR forms were distributed a while ago and so we can officially say that the new year's hiring market has begun. We'll have two posts to get things started. This one, the first one, will be a place where wannabes can ask questions anonymously (assuming they are not especially offensive or otherwise improper), and prawfs or others can weigh in, also anonymously if they choose, but note that while I won't actively moderate this discussion forum, I will feel free to delete any cases of misinformation or anything else I find outside the bounds.

The second post will be a place where candidates or prawfs can report the issuance of a first round or callback or offer or acceptance, much like we did last year. I am hoping some gentle soul will emerge (as Justin Levitt and Marc DeGirolami did in years past) to organize the information. If you're volunteering, please let me know and I'll put you in touch with the incomparable Sarah Lawsky, who tech'd us out for it last year. Please keep in mind that the second thread should be used only for information relevant to hiring, not for questions. This thread should be used for questions.

To start us off, I just rec'd a query from a friend on the market asking these two questions. 


1. Does it really cost nearly $400/night to stay at the conference hotel, or is there an AALS rate that will be released that I should wait for?

 --short answer: I don't know. Anyone else?

2. Is it normal that at this point (with packets going out at the end of the week) that I don't know who the hiring chair is at many schools still?

--in the past, usually Harvard or Yale or Chicago people (Bigelow/Climenkos or their overseers) compile this information. Sometimes we have had a good soul share this public good of information. When I was on the market, I think I just called the Dean's office of the schools to find out who the APCOM chair was. Seems like a perfectly legitimate question to me, but you can also and always address the packets to Dear Faculty Appointments Committee if need be. With some luck, someone will forward me a copy of the collated information and once I receive it, I'll be happy to share it imminently. Good luck! 





Posted by Administrators on January 31, 2011 at 10:11 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


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When I look at that 2010 hiring spreadsheet, am I correct in concluding that there were very few jobs for faculty; that the available positions were for the core curriculum coursework?

Posted by: Thomason | Mar 9, 2011 5:03:51 PM

For those getting ready to teach for the first time, I highly recommend McKay Cunningham's article "Freshman Professor: the First Year; the First Semester; the First Day," available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1666939

Posted by: Perennial Appt Cmte Member | Feb 8, 2011 6:24:54 PM

has anyone heard anything from Fordham since they sent out those notices in early January?

Posted by: seeker | Feb 8, 2011 1:21:47 PM

Prof. Caron at TaxProf has an excellent list of VAP/Fellowship programs at . . . http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2010/08/fellowships-for-aspiring.html

Posted by: Diablo de Azul | Feb 7, 2011 8:23:38 AM

Anon 1:56:
Check out the thread on VAPs and Fellowships posted here on January 10. Good luck!

Posted by: anon | Feb 6, 2011 5:10:47 PM

anon 12:45:

I also meant to congratulate you. It must be very gratifying to be on your way to starting the position that you have spent so much time pursuing.

Posted by: Anon 1:56 | Feb 6, 2011 1:28:01 PM

anon 12:45:

Thank you for your excellent advice. I will follow it and reach out to my law school.

Any advice on finding a VAP? Do most schools offer them, or is it just a select few?


Posted by: Anon 1:56 | Feb 6, 2011 11:04:09 AM

Anon 1:56, my creds are relatively similar to yours with minor variations, and I was successful in my first run through the meat market. I am elated to be getting ready start my new position as a tenure-track professor at a T2 school next year. However, I started planning my exit from practice almost three years ago. At this point, you need to be in touch with your top-3 school’s academic placement committee – “seller” schools that place a substantial number of alumni in academia generally have a group of faculty who guide alumni through the process. Send an email to the chair of that committee and set a time for a phone call to get the ball rolling. The committee may help you map a multi-year plan of action – my school’s committee saved me from going out too early, convinced me to seek a fellowship, and coached me through all stages of the hiring process. You also need to contact your academic mentors (i.e., former professors) for guidance ASAP. Your school may also have a workshop or seminar for alumni thinking about the teaching market, and if it does, you should take advantage of it.

FWIW, you need a longer, full-length, fresh article, though it’s debatable as to whether it needs to be published before the hiring conference as opposed to just polished and in publishable form (the argument being that an unpublished paper is better to present at job talks as it the creates the atmosphere of workshopping a paper). This is a conversation to have with your mentors, once you have the paper written. You also may need a fellowship or VAP to demonstrate you are a scholar and not a law firm refugee. (I needed one, and I had fewer years of practice than you do now, but it was still deemed “too much” practice for me to go on the market without a fellowship or VAP). I was told that 3-5 years of practice is acceptable, and any more than that is “too much.” A year or two as a fellow/VAP cleanses the taint of “too much” practice, as long as you write something substantial during that time. Anyway, it worked for me this year, and I feel extraordinarily lucky that it did. Good luck!

Posted by: anon | Feb 6, 2011 12:45:00 AM

I am considering a move toward the academic market in the next year or two. Top three law school grad, cum laude, editor of secondary journal, with appellate clerkship. I have been practicing for about 10 years at a big firm, and will have a couple recent shorter articles in secondary law journals, as well as my note, published by the time I am on the market (as well as many bar, legal newspaper, etc. articles, which I understand are useless for academic purposes). Do I need to publish a longer piece before I go on the market?

Also, I may have some geographic limitations. Am I better off writing individually to the schools in the areas that I could consider?

Any insights are appreciated.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 4, 2011 1:56:18 PM

Also, for anyone considering going on the market next year or within a couple of years, I would HIGHLY recommend the Aspiring Law Professor Conference at Arizona State. It is excellent and very helpful.

Posted by: Diablo de Azul | Feb 3, 2011 11:02:48 AM

Thanks gentlemen and/or ladies! I'd to bend your ear more about a few esoteric issues. But I don't want to clutter up this thread. Email at [email protected] if you're willing to answer a few questions (and no worries if not).

Posted by: Potentially Aspiring Prawf | Feb 3, 2011 12:32:26 AM

Potentially aspiring prof, I concur with what has been written above. Given your outline, it doesn't seem unrealistic, but you need to work at it, and besides which it depends on the details. Partly it depends on what your "specialized" area of practice is. For example, if the field is trusts and estates, then your a golden, since nobody wants to teach T&E and there is massive demand. But understand that your bar publications count for zero, your years in practice generally hurt you, and so your basic selling point is that you came out of a top-6 school (I'm thinking that means NYU), are willing to teach an under-served subject (hopefully), and have one published piece that is well-regarded and well-placed (again, hopefully). If you can line up some of the big name people in your field who liked your piece as recommenders or get another good piece during a VAP, I'd say there is a good shot.

Posted by: jrprof | Feb 2, 2011 5:15:27 PM

It's all about publications (how many and where placed) and where you got your J.D. (the higher ranked the school, the better). That's it.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 2, 2011 3:01:51 PM

Potentially Aspiring Prawf-

I don't think many on here would say you are deluding yourself. But you have to be realistic. I went on the market this year with similar bona fides. Top 10%, Coif from a T20 school, non-LR journal (with note), no clerkship (although I too could likely have gotten one - somewhere), 7 years at a regional firm doing specialized (non IP) lit and then 3 years at a name brand national firm doing the same thing. Many "practice" articles/papers (bar journals, CLEs, etc.). Went on the market with one academic article accepted (but not in its final placement). One could say that I went on the market too early from a publication standpoint (which was certainly one of my concerns), but given my time in practice, I felt I was in a bit of a Catch-22 (by the time I thought about a VAP position, those various ships had sailed). So I took a shot.

Had 4 meat market interviews [1 T2, 2 T3, 1 T4], 2 call backs, and based on discussions with both of the schools where I had call backs am very hopeful that offers from both will be forthcoming fairly soon -- [KNOCKING ON LOTS and LOTS OF WOOD as nothing is a done deal and I have no offers on the table].

So things can work out, even when -- based on this board and others -- one feels that "deluding oneself" is actually a kind description.

BUT -- and this is pretty key -- you have to be willing to go wherever a job is, which may be tough with your wife's TT position. Limiting yourself geographically can be fatal. The schools where I had meat market interviews were not in areas I had ever thought about living and had I put "will not go to ____ or _____" or "will only go to ______ or _______", I would have been totally SOL.

Also, the deadlines for many VAP/Fellowships for 2011-12 have passed at this point and the competition for those spots is fierce even at "a lower tier school." So, that is far from a certainty (plus they pay next to nothing typically).

With your level of practice experience and lack of Circuit-level Clerkship, you will likely not get even a look from T1 schools and, unless your article is really outstanding, from most T2 schools. So, a solid T3 where the faculty has practice experience and a solid scholarly output (see the Roger Williams Law analysis on that) is really your best case scenario. If that is not acceptable (at least to start) and only a T1 or T2 school will do, then you may need to re-evaluate.

As I was told repeatedly, the more GOOD academic (not practice) publications you have the better positioned you will be. So, if you can get a VAP, publish more and teach you may be better off -- but a T-T job is certainly possible during the next cycle (although securing a job in legal academia is never "likely" except for a select few).

Posted by: Diablo de Azul | Feb 2, 2011 1:16:23 PM

Johnny, the easiest thing to do is just bookmark this page. Otherwise, go to the bottom of the first page of the thread, click the link to get to the second page of comments, go up to the url and replace the number 2 with something much higher (like "25"), then hit enter, and you will find yourself at the last page of comments.

A "clearinghouse for questions, part 2" thread would be much appreciated, oh powers that be.

Posted by: anon | Feb 2, 2011 12:30:33 PM

Is there any way I can skip to the end of this interminably long thread rather than scroll through it every time?

Posted by: Johnny | Feb 2, 2011 12:17:18 PM

OK, I'm trying to break into the academic market, and I'm wondering if I'm deluding myself that I have a chance. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts. My bona fides:

- Graduated from a top 6 school (not HSY) about ten years ago. Probably right at the top 25% (based on honors designation). Editor on non-LR journal and published a student comment there.

- No clerkship. I'm sure I could have gotten a less prestigious district court clerkship (and maybe even a bottom-feeder COA one), but family and geographic limitations prevented me from applying for the ones that would have me.

- Did specialized (not IP) litigation for 5 years at a top 15 firm. Published several practice pieces while there.

- Moved to a medium-sized city about 4 years ago for family reasons (spouse is a humanities academic who got a surprise TT job offer). Worked at the state AG's office since -- only place to get interesting work in the area. I've done a number of reasonably high profile (i.e., written up in the major dailies) cases since. Whoopi and Joy even talked about one of my cases on the View!

- When I decided to try to go the academic route, I started to write. My first piece is out to outside readers. I'm getting positive comments -- a couple of heavily-cited people in the field say it's interesting and good, and I'm supposed to let them know where it's placed. I'm also about 8000 words into a piece that is interesting but narrow -- I doubt I'll have it ready for spring submission, but it should be in pretty good shape by early summer (like that means anything, alas).

My plan is to try to get a VAP position at a lower tier school for the fall, and then take the spring/summer to write. I figure that if I have my current piece published in a decent journal with two more placed, I'd have a chance at AALS next fall. But I'm more than willing to have someone disabuse me of that notion.

Posted by: Potentially Aspiring Prawf | Feb 2, 2011 1:58:54 AM

27 meat market interviews--top 10 all the way through fourth tier
7 callbacks--second through fourth tier
2 offers--one third tier and one fourth tier
I feel like my soul has been run through a paper shredder.
And in theory I am one of the lucky ones.
I'd say it's a terrible year.

Posted by: anon | Feb 1, 2011 11:38:47 PM

Thanks for that perspective, anon at 6:16:14. As someone who never had a serious chance at top 25-50 schools (let alone top 25 schools), I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on what's happening at Tier 3 and 4 schools at this point? It's February, and I'm still offer-less; I assume the game is pretty much over, but I'd love to hear otherwise.

Posted by: Tierthreewannabe | Feb 1, 2011 7:16:08 PM

@Flop - My impression having talked to a totally non-random, limited set of folks on both candidate and hiring side of the process -- i.e. take it for the limited value it's worth. Some set of top-25 schools are still having job talks. Those schools won't move til that process is concluded. Some top 25-50 schools have extended offers, often to candidates in the running for top-25 schools. So those candidates sit on offers waiting to find out which of the high ranked, very-late-moving schools might pan out. The schools that have extended offers don't want to wait forever, out of fear of losing out on their also-very-qualified second set of candidates. So there's an elaborate dance between committees and candidates playing out now, involving so much strategizing it makes my head hurt. In short, it seems too soon to tell. I'd welcome insights from either set of perspectives (hiring or candidates) on whether this gaming is as universal as it seems. Makes me think law schools should go more toward a medical matching system. This is painful to watch...

Posted by: anon | Feb 1, 2011 6:16:14 PM

So, what's the consensus opinion about this year: bad year, very bad year, or terrible year for hiring?

Posted by: flop | Feb 1, 2011 12:24:40 PM

If they wanted an article, they could pull it off of Westlaw. They want a legal document that reveals how well you analyze facts using the law. After all, that's what you're going to be teaching the students to do.

Posted by: LawProf | Feb 1, 2011 8:57:13 AM


Why not provide both? I don't think it'd be a negative if your cover letter mentions your article (to highlight your scholarly interests) and also said that you were enclosing a legal memo to provide a practical sample. If either one is crappy, that might present independent problems, but it sounds like providing a couple samples might be helpful in your scenario.

My concern with your providing only a legal brief is that, if a school does a job talk for its LRW hires, it will look rather strange if a brief (as opposed to an article) is circulated.

If you are worried about drowning the hiring committee in paper and are truly committed to supplying only the legal memo, make sure to include an SSRN link to your article in your cover letter.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: anon | Jan 31, 2011 11:00:47 PM

When applying for a legal writing position and a legal writing sample is requested, what is one looking for? I have a published law review article, but I personally believe that brief or other sort of product would better demonstrate my abilities to teach the day-to-day research, analysis and writing that students are most likely going to encounter in their future careers. Any thoughts?

Posted by: anonanwriting | Jan 31, 2011 2:53:48 PM

I've been asked, instead of giving a job talk, to teach a sample class (to students and some faculty). I love the job talk - it's fun, I like kicking ideas around, and I know my stuff. But the notion of teaching a class, out of context and without any familiarity with the students in the room, puts knots in my stomach. It's not helping matters that I don't have any teaching experience.

I get why the school does this - they value teaching, and want to see if I'm good with students, comfortable in the classroom, etc. Fair enough.

Any tips, suggestions, warnings?

Posted by: Anon | Jan 25, 2011 2:17:05 PM

As many of us recognize, the last 2 years have been especially tough years to be on the law teaching market, particularly for people in speciality areas that some schools view as "luxury" hires. While things aren't entirely over this year, a number of candidates are now either out of the game entirely or are looking at offers that for whatever reason aren't entirely desirable.

Particularly to Profs that monitor this board: what's the general view on candidates who go on the market for a third time? Does each year stand on its own, with annual changes in hiring committees, or at some point is a candidate "marked" officially or unofficially as unhirable? And, does anyone have any sense about whether the market next year will be better, worse or the same as this year, or is it simply too soon to tell?

Posted by: Anon | Jan 24, 2011 8:32:48 AM

7:51:28 -- those who don't serve on the appointments committee still get a vote where it counts. The appointments committee is an agent for the remainder of the faculty, and they won't bring in any lateral candidates that the faculty is sure to shoot down.

It is true that I have barely heard of the InfiLaw schools before (never heard of Phoenix, only know the names Charlotte and Florida Coastal), but that doesn't make the situation better. First, to get a lateral offer people have to hear about you. If you are at an InfiLaw school, then either people never hear about you (no lateral offer), or they hear about you and are prejudiced because of your school (no lateral offer, either). Second, faculty are going to do their homework before they invite a lateral candidate for a job talk, so someone will figure out what law school you are at before you get that lateral offer, and if it is a problem the problem will eventually come up. Under no conceivable scenario can the low visibility of your school be a good thing.

Posted by: jrprof | Jan 8, 2011 11:23:11 PM

I'm a faculty member who has served on appointments before. The thing to keep in mind is that most schools, when hiring laterals, are looking for impact hires -- those they feel will enhance the school's reputation for attracting top quality faculty. Thus, all the "law porn" we get early in the school years where schools announce the new lateral hires who have joined the faculty. Those schools want to be able to show that these new hires came from "good" schools -- thus, the goal is being able to say something like "we got Professor X from Well-Respected Law School!" Saying, "we got Professor Y from InfiLaw School" just doesn't have the same ring to it. I'm not saying I feel this way or this is the case at every school (or even my school), but many faculty do feel this way.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 7, 2011 9:48:19 AM

I'd like to hear more thoughts about the InfiLaw schools. It doesn't seem to me that many people have heard about them ... in which case I would think there isn't that much bias as those two people suggested (who didn't even indicate whether they were profs or on committees reviewing lateral candidates).

Posted by: anon | Jan 7, 2011 7:51:28 AM

How worried should one be accepting a position at a public university in a state with severe budget issues (California, Illinois, NY)? Is there a chance the law school could fire pre-tenure folks for budget reasons? Or can one assume if the school is hiring they are somehow confident in their ability to weather economic crisis?

Posted by: anon | Jan 3, 2011 8:02:21 AM

Anyone know whether apps to the Bigelow Fellowship program are still being accepted?

Posted by: anon | Jan 2, 2011 2:58:01 PM

Although I hate to say it, I tend to agree with Anon @ 3:11. Basically, ask yourself two things: 1) Would you be content staying at that school the rest of your career and 2) do you think that school is likely to stay open for the rest of your career.

If the answer to either is "no" -- hold out for another school, or spend a year in a fellowship/VAP so that you can write more and then go back on the market next year. It is REALLY hard to make a lateral move from such a school.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 31, 2010 8:46:14 AM

I wouldn't got to one of the InfiLaw schools. You will not be very well respected in the academy by teaching at such a school and, as a result, lateral movements are nearly impossible. You should also pay attention to the quality of the students such schools attract.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 30, 2010 3:11:41 PM

I am interested in thoughts on the InfiLaw schools -- Florida Coastal, Phoenix and Charlotte. I have an offer from one of these but am still trying to figure out how comfortable I am with the tuition driven, for-profit model.

Also, I have seen various disparaging remarks from professors about these schools. Is there any lateral movement from InfiLaw schools to more traditional schools?

[I read the discussion of T4 schools earlier in the thread, but I am specifically concerned about the InfiLaw schools, which are unique amongsts the other T4s]


Posted by: Jimbo | Dec 30, 2010 2:43:54 PM

To Anon Dec 22 3:18, I am still in this process, but have received several offers. From my limited experience, it seems it is expected that one will use an offer to leverage others. It is a bit like expedited review for article placement. Contact the hiring chairs from the schools you have not heard from. Politely update them about your offer, let them know you are still interested in their school, and let them know if you are facing any deadlines. They will be glad to hear from you and decide what they will do as far as your candidacy. Good luck, and congratulations on your offer.

Posted by: Candydate | Dec 26, 2010 4:58:15 PM

A question for those who have been through this process: Can one leverage an offer to have better chances with other schools? If so, how is it done? I would of course like to use an offer to encourage other schools to call me back or give me an offer, but, maybe more importantly, I would like to encourage them to act faster. Can that be done? If I have a scheduled interview in a few weeks, can I (politely) ask a school to come to a decision shortly after the interview because I have an offer from another school?

Posted by: Anon | Dec 22, 2010 3:18:12 AM

After an offer is accepted, what are the usual next steps to expect from the candidate/new hire side?

Posted by: anon | Dec 16, 2010 5:19:01 PM

"i had a friend who went to a AALS interview from a school a few years ago and did not get a timely rejection and so i hate them forever" is whining intolerably, and insufferably. at least where i'm from.

Posted by: anon | Dec 16, 2010 1:48:38 PM

"Of course there are some bad actors, but schools often don't KNOW for sure that they are going to reject a candidate well into the spring semester."

If a school interviews 30 at AALS, they know, just from those screening interviews, that they're not going to keep all of them on the table. At least half should be rejected within a week. And the remainder should be sent a courtesy note telling them that the committee is in the midst of the process, it could take time, etc.

I completely understand that schools need to keep their options open for late openings or rejected offers. But the thought that they can keep radio silence for every AALS candidate for months on end is not whining intolerably.

Posted by: anon | Dec 16, 2010 12:16:31 PM

I am a candidate on the teaching market this year, and I have not heard back from many schools, and I have to say, the incessant whining about the lack of rejection letters is intolerable.

Of course there are some bad actors, but schools often don't KNOW for sure that they are going to reject a candidate well into the spring semester. Lines open up because people retire and move, or because schools get more money. Moreover, a callback is expensive, and many schools don't want to call back their secondary choices until their initial choices have been rejected. Could they be nicer about that part of the process? Sure. But I am positive that you would prefer the 2 percent chance of the late-spring callback over the early, polite rejection.

Posted by: anon | Dec 16, 2010 11:26:36 AM

I sent separate emails with follow-up/additional information to 4 schools that I interviewed with and NONE of them even acknowledged the email (such as "thanks for the information"). Shame on them.

Posted by: anon | Dec 16, 2010 10:24:00 AM

A majority of the schools I interviewed with from AALS haven't sent me rejections yet. It's a joke. I get that they might want a small pool of fall-back candidates, but I'm not on all their fall-back lists. And a courtesy e-mail of the process would be appreciated, of course.

Posted by: anon | Dec 16, 2010 9:43:21 AM

anon non-rookie prof:
Thanks so much for the links, exactly the kind of thing I needed to see to help me start thinking about prepping courses, etc. Much appreciated!

Posted by: anon | Dec 16, 2010 9:07:16 AM

Yes - call the schools out. I still haven't received rejections from schools I interviewed with at AALS. So rude.

Posted by: seeker | Dec 16, 2010 8:55:54 AM

Is it too passive-aggressive, once one has accepted an offer, to e-mail the chairs of hiring committees from whom there's been absolutely silence and needle them?

Posted by: anon | Dec 16, 2010 8:13:34 AM

It's interesting -- the school that was my number 1 choice (due to a combination of factors relating to the school itself and also my desire to be in that city), which is also the school where I accepted an offer, has a faculty comprised entirely of saints. All through the process, they were amazing, and handled every communication and interaction with me as if they were granting a dying wish. The e-mails from them, even back at the beginning of AALS, were amazing -- imagine e-mails that are written so incredibly that they can actually brighten your entire week!
In contrast, the schools that didn't give me an offer ranged from just so-so (most of them), to incredibly horrible (another school located in that same city where I wanted/needed to be). Most of the schools that were located in other cities, where I didn't want to land, were just modestly horrible. But that one school in the city where I wanted to be -- the rejection was handled horribly. They sent an e-mail, only it was more than an e-mail -- it was a dagger straight through my heart. Once I looked back at our earlier correspondence, though, after receiving that rejection, I discovered that indeed all of the correspondence from that school was in fact laced with arsenic.
Obviously, I'm being sarcastic, but my point is that I think most of us remember with more fondness the schools that gave us offers or where we simply didn't care as much about the outcome. In contrast, when schools that we really want reject us, it's hard. We look for anything to latch on to that reduces the sting of not getting the job.
Short of a school calling me names in this process, I'm not sure I would ever use anything from my AALS experience to bash a school's reputation. It's too colored/tainted, and in any case, I emerged unscathed and employed from this process, so would prefer to put the less joyful aspects behind me for good.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 16, 2010 4:51:09 AM

I agree with those who believe that bad actors should be called out. Last year, when I was on the market, a couple schools behaved in egregious fashion. I think that the only way to discourage this behavior is to call the schools out for their actions.

This is not to say that a vague blog comment, lacking factual specifics, is the way to do it. Instead, the person should post specific facts or communicate specific facts through word of mouth. In my case, since being hired by my current school, I've frequently told other professors specific things that certain schools did and have also discouraged prospective law students from attending the schools in question. I've also not hesitated to slam these schools when my students (for whatever reason) have asked about those schools.

I understand that appointment committees change from year to year, but still, the members of those committees generally remain on the faculty.

Law schools gossip frequently about candidates and yet those on the law school side rarely call law schools out for this. It's great that Prawfsblawg returns some of the power to the candidates. Again, this is not to say that vague blog comments are the proper way to go about things, but specific, damaging facts relating to specific schools, as long as they are accurate, should be posted freely.

Posted by: holdonasec | Dec 16, 2010 2:26:36 AM

A9:10: Exactly. And it was hearsay so the "prof" had no class when he/she named the friend's school. But as a general matter I agree that a school should really make a call (and make sure that the person received it). I received two post-callback rejections by email (one from the Dean and one by the hiring chair). I thought it was a bit insulting not to call. Nonetheless, I emailed back to send my thanks (in part so that they knew that I received their wimpy emails).

Posted by: anon6:04 | Dec 15, 2010 9:29:57 PM

Oh come on. I doubt the same people are even on the hiring committee. One cranky professor from a few years back doesn't make a school unprofessional in respect of its hiring process. Besides, for all we know communication attempts were made.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 15, 2010 9:10:54 PM

Personally, I think that schools who behave unprofessionally in the hiring process should be called out by name.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 15, 2010 8:20:52 PM

Dear Anon @ 6:04:28,

Although I agree that AnonProf's should not have mentioned the name of the offending school, his/her complaint is far from petty. If you had a callback, you should receive a rejection call -- not a letter, not an email, and certainly not silence. If you are on a roll down list, you should be told as much. Period.

Posted by: ms.anon.manners | Dec 15, 2010 7:59:26 PM

I continue to be astounded at the immaturity and pettiness of people's postings.

Posted by: anon | Dec 15, 2010 6:04:28 PM

A few years ago, a friend of mine had a callback interview at Florida Coastal -- they never even extended him the courtesy of contacting him to let him know that he did not get the job. As a result, it has left a VERY bad taste in my mouth as to that school. I hope that one 1) other schools are more considerate and 2) if any of you are waiting to hear back from Florida Coastal, they treat you better than they did my friend.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 15, 2010 3:51:18 PM

oops - Aspen teaching resources link didn't get posted:


Posted by: anon non-rookie prof | Dec 15, 2010 12:45:24 PM

Would also be VERY interested to hear established prawfs thoughts on the tenure-negotiation issue. Also, if anyone has thoughts regarding differences/negotiability of tenure in private versus public law schools.

Posted by: anon | Dec 15, 2010 12:22:25 PM

Here are the materials from last year's New Professor workshop:


Here are some teaching resources from the site for the law school teaching book from Aspen (you need to click the About the Book tab on left to actually request the free Aspen book):

Here is a working link to the Teaching Materials Exchange for new profs (the Aspen link does not work):


Posted by: anon non-rookie prof | Dec 15, 2010 12:18:03 PM

Do tenure requirements vary widely from school to school? Also, how tacky is it to negotiate for your article coming out this Spring be counted toward tenure? Is it common for people not to get tenure, or does that also vary school to school?

Posted by: anon | Dec 15, 2010 7:32:20 AM

[email protected]:42:39 -- 4 courses a year is the standard at poorer schools, whereas 3 courses tends to be the standard at richer schools. It used to be that schools didn't expect incoming people to publish in their first year. Now, given that pretty much everyone is coming off a fellowship or VAP, the expectation has begun to shift so that you should have an article every year, including your first. It is also a really good idea to get an article out quickly regardless of institutional pressures, because otherwise it is easy to procrastinate and lose the habit of consistently writing. I.e. "tenure is not until 5 years away, and I have classes to prep for and students to meet, and I haven't had any down time since the meat market, and my wife is pregnant and I should be spending more time with her, and . . ." The five year clock runs out more quickly than you realize.

Posted by: jrprof | Dec 14, 2010 7:21:47 PM

In response to anon | Dec 14, 2010 7:42:39 AM | -- the AALS New Law Teachers' Workshop next summer will address all of these anxieties, and then some. I'd strongly encourage you to attend it, and if you have an offer (which it sounds like you do), your school will pay for you to attend the workshop. It's a VERY good networking / ego boost as well. With respect to publishing in the first year, it'd be great if you had a manuscript for August 2011 submission. That way, it'll be picked up and you can spend the year editing that piece. It also looks very good when faculty ask you what you're working on ... you can say that you are editing a piece that is forthcoming in 2011-2012. If you won't have a manuscript ready to go by mid-August, don't worry. If you're hired, there is no pressing expectation that you start churning out articles from the get-go. Learning the ropes, your new library resources, meeting staff, preparing syllabi, lunches with colleagues, alumni events, meeting students, office hours, + of course, classes -- all of these will take a LOT of time in the first semester. So it's understood, I think, if you don't have an manuscript ready for November 2011 submission. By that first winter, you'll have a very good grasp of the job and time commitments, and you can start revisiting or polishing a piece with a view towards publication. The goal at all points is to have a "working paper" in your mind, and/or perhaps on SSRN, so that if anybody asks you in the faculty lounge, "so, what are you working on ..." you can shine as you did in the job talk process. From the fall of the second year onwards, I think it's basically hoped/expected that you'll be submitting/publishing one article a year for your tenure file.

Posted by: rookie prof | Dec 14, 2010 6:20:09 PM

Last year, there was talk about creating a separate thread for VAP information. For folks that had call-back interviews, and the faculty expressed interest, but someone else accepted an offer ahead of you (and you're lower on the roll-down list), I think it's generally well-received to ask for VAP opportunities after a rejection. A number of schools may have curricular needs that are unfilled (though I understand that usually happens towards late March/early April), and they may have flexibility of creating a VAP position. In other words, I think it's safe to express interest in the particular school, and to say that you're interested in a VAP, with a view towards applying for a tt position next year. It creates no obligation on the school's part, and if they liked you at the call-back stage, it may be an option. VAPs generally fall into two categories: (1) uber-competitive VAPs at top tier schools (i.e., Harvard, Duke, Cornell, etc.) for which info is available at a number of other sources [application deadlines for which are rapidly closing/closed]; (2) teaching VAPs, where you teach a regular 2+2 load at a lower ranked school (from 1st tier, all the way down the list).

At #1, the teaching load is generally 1+1, the pay varies greatly (from 30K to 100K+), and the goal is to allow you to publish, and to prepare you for a tenure-track position at ANOTHER school. #1 positions can be called VAPs, fellowships, or other names (so long as you're teaching students at the law school, the name does not matter, and you can legitimately spin it as a VAP for subsequent AALS interviews). At #2, the teaching load is generally 2+2 but may be 1+2, and there may be a chance to get on the TT at that school if you shine. #1 may be a 1 or 2 year position. #2 is usually a one year position, but can vary. In both cases, the faculty knows that you are on the market, and you participate in the meat market in the fall immediately after arriving, or if it's a 2-year VAP, in the fall of the second year. See, e.g., http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/faculty/Visiting-Assistant-Professorships.cfm ; http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/recruitment/VAP%20Placement%20%281-30-08%29.pdf ; http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/hltf/jobs/

Posted by: anon | Dec 14, 2010 6:09:07 PM

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