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Friday, May 06, 2011

A Tip for Lateral Movement

If you are law professor who is interested in being considered as a lateral hire, you should keep your information updated on your school's website.  In addition, you should have a link to your full CV there.  You'd be surprised how many people don't do this. I'm trying to identify potential lateral candidates right now, and I can tell you that those candidates without CVs online are probably at a disadvantage. 

Posted by Lyrissa Lidsky on May 6, 2011 at 10:12 AM | Permalink


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Expressions of interest through formal applications count as a positive, because they signal that you aren't wasting your time pursuing a candidate.

Posted by: Lyrissa | May 11, 2011 11:07:39 AM

I don't think asking is harmful, but you don't need to go through the process of submitting a formal application to find out whether a school is looking for someone like you. You can send an email to the chair of the hiring committee and ask. Attach a CV. Hiring chairs differ. Some will write back with a candid reply; some will send a form email; some will ignore you completely. Most schools will not view an expression of interest on your part as a reason to be less enthusiastic about considering you; some may consider it a plus.

Posted by: Jessica Litman | May 9, 2011 9:43:46 AM


If you're looking for info on the lateral market, a good place to start is Paul Secunda's piece "Tales of Law Professor Lateral Nothing" (available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1105933).

Posted by: Michael Helfand | May 6, 2011 2:51:59 PM

While keeping an updated CV on your website is a pretty obvious way to facilitate an invitation to apply/interview for a lateral position, there is much about the lateral market that remains mysterious to me (as someone who would be interested in looking at options). One issue that comes up is whether a would-be lateral candidate should formally apply to positions that are advertised, say, in the AALS bulletin. I understand that most lateral action is initiated through informal contacts (the "phone calls" that some of my colleagues occasionally receive), but I am wondering what the readers here think of the value (or anti-value) of formal applications. Does formally applying to an advertised lateral position (without first receiving an informal "feeler" requesting an application) "look bad"? Are lateral positions the kinds of positions that you are not supposed to ask for? Or, is asking, even if rarely successful, not really harmful? Are there other ways to more subtly signal that one is interested in potentially moving without actually submitting an application (and without having a good friend on relevant faculties)?

Posted by: anon | May 6, 2011 1:02:45 PM

In other words, this post is an indirect way to say, UF is hiring laterals, please contact Lyrissa if you're interested, and send a CV while you're at it...

Posted by: Dan Markel | May 6, 2011 1:00:09 PM

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