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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Entry Level Hiring 2011: Preliminary Summary

More information is available on the spreadsheet, but here’s where things stand as of April 20, 2011, first thing in the morning. (This is a preliminary report only. We are continuing to gather information. Please post new information in the comments to the original post, or email me directly, slawsky /at/ law /dot/ uci /dot/ edu.)

We have reports of 121 people having been hired, at 79 different law schools.

Five schools have reported doing no entry level hiring this year. 

Answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: How many people who got their JD from School X were hired on this year’s entry-level market?

  JD Hiring Diagram

Harvard 17; Yale 14; NYU 10; Columbia 9; Michigan 9; Stanford 7; Berkeley 5; Chicago 4; Hastings 3; Notre Dame 3; Penn 3.

Schools in the “other” category with two JDs who were hired: Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Howard, U British Columbia, U Virginia.

Schools in the “other” category with one JD who was hired:  Barry, Cardozo, Florida, George Washington, Hebrew U, Lewis & Clark, LSU, Maine, None [no initial JD], Northwestern, Suffolk, Tel Aviv, Texas, U Arkansas, U Conn, U Melbourne, U San Diego, U Tennessee, U Toronto, UCLA, University of Ljubljana, USC, Washington & Lee, Washington University, Wisconsin.

Update: bar graph of the above information for all you pie chart haters:

JD Schools Bar

Q: How many people who got an entry level hiring job had a fellowship, degree, or clerkship?

87 had a fellowship; 57 had an advanced degree; 76 had a clerkship. Here’s how that broke down:

Hiring Venn

Q: How long ago did these entry-level hires get their initial law degrees?

Years Since Degree
No Initial Law Degree 1; Zero to Four (Graduated 2007-2011) 17; Five to Nine (Graduated 2002-2006) 64; Ten or more (Graduated before 2002) 39. [Update: see below for bar graph, with additional category broken out.]

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

Excellent! Please tell me, and I will add it to the spreadsheet. This is only a preliminary report; there are certainly people on the market this year whose information has not made it to this spreadsheet, and the information we have may be incomplete.We can report this information only if people send it to us. Comments on the blog are fine, or email me directly, slawsky /at/ law /dot/ uci /dot/ edu, if you would prefer not to comment on the blog. 

Q: How about Interesting Question Z?

"Interesting question Z"? What is that supposed to mean? Be more specific! The spreadsheet has lots more information—you can download it here and slice and dice this information however you want. If you find something interesting, post it in the comments, or let me know so I can post it to the blog. Or post your specific question in the blog comments, as either I or another reader will probably be willing to put together summaries of this information in a variety of ways. 

Update: Proportionate Venn for MB et al., courtesy of an anonymous poster and this website.

Proportionate Venn
Male/Female, for Anonymous | Apr 20, 2011 5:06:16 PM [let's say this is right within +/-2 people]:

Gender Pie

Updated Update: for ML, years since grad further broken out [now in two different graphical forms!]:

Years Since Grad 20 and More

Years Since Hiring Bar


Posted by Administrators on April 20, 2011 at 09:45 AM in Entry Level Hiring Report | Permalink


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I also strongly object to Dan's choice of a font and particularly to his disheartening failure to align text to the right margins in his post. I invite everyone to express their passionate opinions about it in these comments.

Posted by: hahaha | Apr 24, 2011 11:55:30 PM

Sarah - I think you know how the debate goes. But here's a nice page that summarizes what my position would be: http://www.gilliganondata.com/index.php/2009/12/02/how-succinctly-can-i-explain-why-pie-charts-are-evil/

Attacking pie charts is a whack-a-mole game. Every time you kill one, another one pops up. People just love pie.

Posted by: dave hoffman | Apr 24, 2011 8:25:53 PM

Sarah, this is very helpful. Thank you. Wondering whether it would be worthwhile to collect one other category of information -- namely significant high-level work experience in the field for which one is selected to teach. This may be difficult to capture, however, from anecdotal experience I believe that it is important. For example, those who are "under" credentialed in terms of fellowships or doctorates may have "only" been hired due to such positions.

I believe some schools consider working as an Assistant US Attorney, for example, to be an important factor in selecting a criminal law professor. Or similarly, a role in a federal agency or as a high level corporate counsel may play a role in hiring decisions.

Also, significant (or any) non-tenure system teaching experience might be relevant to hiring decisions.

Posted by: anon | Apr 24, 2011 8:37:55 AM

Dave, I love your comment, so much so that I have now changed the post to present much of the information two ways. Anyone who doesn't care about the pie chart debate should stop reading here.

That said, I will tell you the two reasons I think pie charts are defensible here.

First, I can't figure out what anyone needs to do with this data. Surely people who are going on the market already know that it's good to get a fellowship, clerkship, and/or advanced degree, and that most law professors come from a handful of JD schools. That is, unless people are comparing among years, this is pretty useless data, for satisfaction of curiosity only. I'm not interested in comparing among pies, and I'm not particularly concerned about combining any values (though I suppose that someone might be interested in combining Harvard and Yale, or something like that). So when people say pie charts are bad, the question has to be, "bad for what?" There's no "what" here at all, so far as I can tell, so I'm less worried about the pie charts.

The second point is the real reason I chose pie charts. You often hear about pie charts, "What does this add to a table? Wouldn't a table give us the same information?" But all this information is available in a table (on the spreadsheet), and I couldn't get anyone to look at it (as several comments on the data collection post demonstrated quite clearly). I fear bar graphs can be similarly off-putting. So what does a pie chart add here? It adds color, and pretty, and gets people to look.

So what do you think? Please let me know what your specific concerns are about pie charts in this context (I kind of love the pie chart debate).

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Apr 23, 2011 9:45:25 AM

three cheers for sarah and for venn diagrams

but i can't object strongly enough to the pie charts. major party foul!

Posted by: dave hoffman | Apr 23, 2011 12:09:39 AM

I would add a distinction between slightly older hires (graduated 1992-2002) and REALLY older hires (pre-1992).

Posted by: Michael Lewyn | Apr 22, 2011 2:19:05 PM

AnonProf: as 123anon suggested, Tucker Carrington moved to a tenure-track spot, which is why he's on the list. In general, I have deferred to others' reporting--even if someone appears to have been at the school for a while, I accept whatever was reported to me. (I too saw a few people who were reported that appeared to me to have been at the school for a while.) If someone has a specific correction, though, please let me know and I will make the change.

MarketSurvivor: Two very interesting questions. I have no idea how to get the rate of success information (I don't have access to FAR forms, and the information is also not reported on the AALS statistics page, http://www.aals.org/statistics/2009far/degrees.html), but I'd be very curious. Same with curricular areas.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Apr 21, 2011 1:29:54 PM

One thing I wonder -- and this is likely too difficult -- is the success rate for alums of various schools. So cross-referencing the AALS FAR forms with the successful candidates and seeing not only who placed the most but which schools had the best success rate. For example, Harvard had 100 alums on the entry level market and got 17 hired, that is great but a very low (17%) success rate. Whereas, Maine may have had only 1 alum on the market and he/she got a job - a very good (100%) success rate.

I also wonder if the listed curricular areas were also reflected on the candidates' forms -- to see if they were hired to fit a need, or hired and then made to fit a need.

Posted by: MarketSurvivor | Apr 21, 2011 12:44:29 PM

Maybe Carrington was not a tenure-track member of the faculty, and now is?

Posted by: 123anon | Apr 21, 2011 12:44:26 PM

What I don't understand is that some of these "new hires" are old news. For instance, Tucker Carrington joined Miss in 2007. I've seen others like that as well.

Posted by: AnonProf | Apr 21, 2011 10:54:23 AM


Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 21, 2011 10:32:37 AM

This data and the presentation are all awesome. Fascinating stuff. Thanks so much for doing it. And I have to confess, the original Venn is more attractive than the one I was envisioning!

Posted by: Matt Bodie | Apr 21, 2011 8:05:52 AM

I'm sorry, you're absolutely right!

Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!!

Posted by: rockstar | Apr 20, 2011 11:31:11 PM

C'mon folks, can we just have a big ol' huge round of applause for the incomparable Sarah Lawsky? Woot! The crowd goes wild (once the venn diagrams are revealed). And then they start cheering:
Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!!

Posted by: Dan Markel | Apr 20, 2011 11:05:44 PM

Thank you! While I think this is a clearer presentation of the data, it's still imperfect (note how the two sections that represent 19 units have different areas). But I don't think there is a better way that uses overlapping circles. (We could do it with irregular shapes, though :-).)

Posted by: rockstar | Apr 20, 2011 5:39:26 PM

Haha, anon | Apr 20, 2011 4:51:31 PM, you are a rockstar. See above.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Apr 20, 2011 5:12:29 PM

How about a gender breakdown?

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 20, 2011 5:06:16 PM

Thank you for this preliminary summary!

For any serious hiring data nerds out there, here is an easy tool that purports to make area-proportional Venn diagrams: http://bioinforx.com/free/bxarrays/venndiagram.php.

Posted by: anon | Apr 20, 2011 4:51:31 PM

To my knowledge, Venn diagrams are generally not proportional. They are meant simply to show overlaps among groups. See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venn_diagram.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Apr 20, 2011 4:13:26 PM

I love the Venn diagram, but it's a little misleading because it's not proportional. You might want to point that out. The "fellowship/clerkship" bulge, for example, is a lot bigger than the "degree/clerkship" overlap.

Posted by: Matt Bodie | Apr 20, 2011 3:14:58 PM

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