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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spring Self-Reported Entry Level Hiring Report 2012: Data Summary

The charts and summaries below are accurate as of 5/6/2011 5/13/12 5/24/12. I will continue to add to the spreadsheet, but I will not update the charts or summaries. Seriously, I will not. 

Having been persuaded that all this is no more dangerous than sports, following is a data summary of the Spring Self-Reported Entry Level Hiring Report for 2012. 

Here is the full spreadsheet:

We have reports of 142 people being hired, at 96 different law schools. 

One school has been reported as doing no entry level hiring this year.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: How many reported hires got their JD from School X?

JD School.20120524
Harvard 21; Yale 18; NYU 15; Georgetown 11; Stanford 7; Columbia 6; Virginia 6; Berkeley 5; Chicago 5; Texas 3; Duke 3; Penn 3; Northwestern 3; Other 36.

Schools in the "other" category with two JD/LLBs who reported hires: Iowa; George Mason; Michigan; Tel Aviv; Washington; Wisconsin.

Schools in the "other" category with one JD/LLB who reported hires: Cornell; East China University; Florida; Hebrew University; Hofstra; Idaho; Indiana-Bloomington; Kentucky; LSU; Nat'l Law School of India; New Mexico; North Carolina; Northeastern; Notre Dame; Passau (Germany); Pittsburgh; Queen's University; Queensland; Sorbonne; Temple; Tennessee; UNLV; Vanderbilt; Whittier.

Q: How many reported hires had a fellowship, degree, or clerkship?

97 (about 68%) had a fellowship; 63 (about 45%) had an advanced degree; 81 (about 57%) had a clerkship.

Nonproportional Venn diagram:


Q: Tell me more about these advanced degrees. 

Okay, but first a caveat: Although 10 people had more than one advanced degree, the following looks only at what seemed to me to be the "highest" degree someone earned. For example, someone with a Ph.D. and an LL.M. would be counted only as a Ph.D. for purposes of this question. (This tracks the "Other Degree (1)" column, for the two people out there who are actually following along on the spreadsheet.)

That said, looking only at what seemed to be the most advanced degree (apologizing in advance for mischaracterizing the relative advancement of anyone's multiple degrees), and including "expected" degrees, the 62"highest" advanced degrees broke down like this:

LL.M. (or LL.M. expected) 12; Masters (or Masters expected) 27; D.Phil. (Law), SJD, or JSD (or SJD or JSD expected) 7; D.Phil or Ph.D. (or Ph.D. expected) 16; MD 1.

Advanced Degrees.20120524
Topics ranged all over the map. For the 16 Ph.D.s, for example:

PhD Subject.20120524
Q: How long ago did these reported hires get their initial law degrees?

Zero to Four Years (Graduated 2008-2012) 12; Five to Nine Years (Graduated 2003-2007) 86;  Ten to 19 Years (Graduated 1993-2002) 36; Twenty or More Years (Graduated before 1993) 7. The year-by-year break-out is on the spreadsheet ("Years Since Hire" tab).

Years Since Grad.20120524
Q: Could you break the reported hires out by men/women?

Women 64 (about 45%); Men 78 (about 55%). (Let's say this is right within +/-2 people.)

Male Female.20120524
Q: Did we learn anything interesting about reported speciality subject areas?

We definitely learned that the self-reported entry level hires this year had incredibly diverse specialities --in fact, the hires named 122 different fields of specialty! (I did this differently from the "what kind of degrees" question--here, if someone listed four fields of speciality, I included all four.) (We did not get information about the specialties of two people who were hired.)

As for which fields were most popular:

Popular Specialties.20120524
You can see the full list, sortable either by number of people who stated an interest or alphabetically by interest, here (on the tab labeled "Subject Summary").

Q: More slicing! More dicing! Different slicing! Different dicing!

Sure--you can do it yourself, or ask questions in the comments and I'll see what I can do, or we'll work it out as a group.

Q: This is all wrong! I know for a fact that more people from School Y were hired! Plus, you account for only 98 different law schools, and there are over 200!

Yes, this spreadsheet is certainly missing some information. Repeat: this spreadsheet is incomplete. It represents only those entry-level hires that were reported to me, either through the comments on this blog or via email. It is without question incomplete. 

If you want to know about real entry level hiring, I commend to you Brian Leiter's report and the Katz et al. article. This is just a report about self-reported entry level hires as of the spring before the school year starts. 

Q: Why were there fewer reports this year?

We had only 142 reports this year, 13 fewer than last year. This might be because there were fewer entry-level hires this year, but my suspicion is that it's because we started the report too soon, before more entry-level hiring was done. Next year I'll start it later (early April) and see if that makes a difference. 

Q: What does it all mean?

Not much. But it's been fun!  

Updated 5/10/12, 7:43pm Pacific Time, to reflect that a person with a JD from Virginia had been miscounted.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on May 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM in Entry Level Hiring Report | Permalink


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Any thoughts on why Michigan had such a low number this year?

Posted by: Outlier? | Jul 2, 2012 3:15:40 PM

Am surprised that hiring only went down by 8 percent or so (from 155 to 142). I would have thought, in view of all the bad admissions news, that hiring would have cratered- maybe it'll take another year or two for the bad news to affect faculty hiring.

Posted by: Michael Lewyn | Jun 22, 2012 12:29:07 PM

Sad numbers for University of Michigan

Posted by: Boo Hoo Big Blue | May 24, 2012 3:33:16 PM

Also, U Washington and Washington are the same school, so Washington JDs (or U Washington) would have two new hires.

[SBL-Fixed, thanks--keep 'em coming!]

Posted by: Anon | May 13, 2012 11:07:47 PM

The other (associated) change is to take "UVA" out of the "Other" category in the first graph/listing of schools with one hire.

[SBL: Done--thanks!]

Posted by: LM | May 10, 2012 11:22:04 AM

LM, thank you so much. I have fixed this in the spreadsheet; the JD Schools graph and list above; and the Reported Hires graph and list (which brings Virginia's reported rate up to 75%!). I think these are the only places where the error was reflected. If anyone else sees similar errors, please let me know, and I will fix the lists and graphs accordingly.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 10, 2012 10:46:36 AM

I think Virginia is actually 6, not 5 - James Puckett is listed as "UVA" so he doesn't sort with the folks listed as "Virginia". Very interesting overall!

Posted by: LM | May 10, 2012 10:22:24 AM

This is super interesting. Thanks for putting this together, Sarah!

Posted by: Anon | May 8, 2012 10:29:06 AM

Sarah, I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say: thanks for your heroic efforts, as always!

Posted by: Dan Markel | May 7, 2012 8:37:29 AM

Thanks for the info, David. Yes, it's surprising that only 2 were on the market.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 6, 2012 11:32:35 PM

Orin: Only one econ Ph.D. got a job, but I believe that only 2 econ Ph.D.s were in the AALS distributions, and I know that there is one who got a job, but declined it. Given that econ Ph.D.s tend to do very well in law school hiring, I've been wondering why there were so few on the market this year.

Posted by: David Bernstein | May 6, 2012 9:17:11 PM

If you want to add a chart, you could compare the self-reported placement above with the number from each school on the market:


Posted by: Brian | May 6, 2012 5:32:05 PM

I think the fellowship numbers were virtually identical last year. The thing that seems to be creeping down is the number of clerkship-only (i.e., no VAP/fellowship or PhD) hires. Which bodes ill for me, alas.

Posted by: Joe (not that one) | May 6, 2012 5:10:49 PM

It's interesting that 69% had a fellowship. Is that percentage slowly (or quickly) creeping up over time? It's also interesting that there is only one econ Ph.D. in the group.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 6, 2012 5:00:10 PM

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