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Thursday, January 31, 2013

VAPs and Fellowships: Open Thread, 2012-2013

[Originally published 11/26/12; final bump, 1/31/13.]

As requested, here is this year's open thread in which comments can be shared regarding news of interviews for or appointments to VAPs or similar fellowships (for example, the Climenko and Bigelow).  (Here is last year's thread.) 

[If someone wants to aggregate this information, email me, slawsky *at* law *dot* uci *dot* edu, and I will set you up with an embedded spreadsheet.]

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on January 31, 2013 at 06:14 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


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Anon, I've seen nothing about the new normal that's been written. Several people at my school, for example, may never embrace that such a thing exists.

Posted by: VAP | May 20, 2013 7:45:53 PM

Tier 2 VAP, I did just get a rejection letter from UCLA. Anon, my application and the letter just referred to The Clinical Teaching Fellowship.

Posted by: Adjunct | May 17, 2013 9:27:23 PM

I'm sure you've all seen the many guides on getting a job in law teaching that are available on law school websites, professors' blogs, and elsewhere. But most of these rehash the same information, aren't granular enough, or (most importantly) were written too long ago to help aspiring profs understand the "new normal" in legal academia. What are the most recent, most helpful guides - especially geared toward VAPs - on landing a tenure-track job at a law school?

Posted by: Anon | May 17, 2013 12:05:46 PM

Which UCLA fellowship? I thought there were several.

Posted by: anon | May 16, 2013 11:59:28 PM

Adjunct, I recently followed up with UCLA and got my rejection, which they promised me had been sent out months ago. Apparently ours both got lost.

Posted by: Tier 2 VAP | May 16, 2013 6:52:54 PM

Wake Forest sent me a rejection e-mail quickly. I'll take it, considering I never heard from UCLA, despite a follow-up.

Posted by: Adjunct | May 16, 2013 5:30:50 PM

Have folks applied to Wake Forest and, if so, did you get confirmation about your materials having been received?

Posted by: anon | May 13, 2013 1:08:22 PM

Only 1 of my three interviews was for a "stopvap." The other two are for renewable, non-TT jobs. Each of the three is very different. As for rankings, only is the same rankings-wise. Neither of the other two is better ranked than my current institution.

Interviews have all been very variable. The stopvap interview was a telephone interview and that's it. One was a telephone interview followed by a full-day on campus with a faculty presentation, etc. The other was a questionnaire followed by a half-day on campus interview where I was asked to prepare and teach a lesson to a class.

Posted by: Tier 2 VAP | May 13, 2013 8:17:03 AM

@Vapple: I'm not Tier 2 VAP, but I am in the middle of my second VAP. I pretty much rolled into this job, which isn't an established program. The school is far behind the school of my first VAP in terms of ranking, but the two jobs are incomparable. My first VAP was one of the well-known ones and really more of a fellowship: light teaching loads and lots of "grooming" for the market. At my current VAP I am treated more like a regular faculty member and teach the same number of doctrinal courses a TT professor would teach. For me, regardless of whether this will lead to a TT position, it is valuable experience that complements my first VAP.

The interviews for my second VAP took a full day and were more like a callback for a TT job. The faculty members didn't seem suspicious of my failure to have landed a TT job; they all seemed to realize that very strong candidates sometimes strike out and viewed this as an opportunity.

Keep in mind that I interviewed for this position more than a year ago, so I am not sure how relevant my experiences are for candidates who are looking at a second VAP now.

Good luck everyone!

Posted by: VAP4ever | May 13, 2013 12:27:03 AM

@Tier 2 Vap: This is for your second (stopgap) VAP - "stopvap," I guess? If so, how do the schools where you're interviewing compare to your current host institution, rankings-wise? And how have the interviews differed from your first round of VAP interviews, since everyone knows that a lot of VAPs are treading water right now?

Posted by: Vapple | May 12, 2013 5:17:44 PM

I've had three decision-round interviews in the last 10days and continue to see additional opportunities pop up. Of course, rejections letters continue to trickle in with the new postings. Over at the faculty lounge, Wake Forest just posted about needing a Civ Pro VAP and Ave Maria said that they are looking for someone in commercial law (oddly, though my acknowledgement letter from them said they'd review after classes had begun...).

But if you haven't already broaden your search, I'd suggest that you start soon.

Posted by: Tier 2 VAP | May 11, 2013 3:56:49 PM

So I guess that's it, then?

Posted by: Vapple | May 11, 2013 12:22:17 PM

Snail mail ding from Temple's Freedman Fellowship.

Posted by: candidate | Apr 23, 2013 2:49:34 AM

Dinged by UCLA's Milken fellowship.

Also, I agree with Vapple. You are much better off than VAPs who want to go back to practice.

Posted by: VAP | Apr 21, 2013 7:07:13 AM

Are you just finishing up your LL.M. now? (And if you finished it last year, what have you been doing in the meantime?) Unless you went back for an LL.M. in Legal Philosophy, or something equally inapplicable to practice, I would think it would be a reasonably easy sell to tell prospective employers you wanted to acquire greater expertise in X area. And even if you did go for an LL.M. in something esoteric, but at a much more prestigious institution than your J.D. school, you should be able to make an argument for wanting to burnish your credentials in order to gain more traction in the job market.

Posted by: Vapple | Apr 20, 2013 6:35:55 PM

Given the results of the VAP-Trap survey, I am ambivalent about my failure to secure a VAP position for the coming year (or two). On the one hand, I feel a bit like I dodged a bullet. On the other, I have already left practice to secure an LL.M. so I am sort of in the same boat as VAPS left out in the cold in terms of returning to practice. What exactly do I tell prospective employers? I applied to every single VAP and fellowship I could find - on TaxProf, those listed here or on The Faculty Lounge, the ones on higheredjobs, and probably several other sources that escape me now. I applied to about 30 programs but failed to secure so much as an interview. Anyone else in this boat? Do you plan on just doing the AALS hiring conference this fall?

Posted by: VAP-to-be | Apr 20, 2013 5:31:24 PM

UCLA legal skills ding, Savannah ding for both legal writing and TT, Charlotte told me that they are holding off hiring until enrollment numbers are firmer, BU ding suggesting that we weren't a good match in terms of course offerings.

Lots of movement recently from international law schools, business schools and legal writing/clinical positions at US law schools. I'm growing more optimistic again.

Posted by: VAP | Apr 16, 2013 10:44:04 AM

A friend at Columbia reports that they've just completed hiring for the associates and academic fellow programs.

Posted by: nylawyer | Apr 12, 2013 5:44:34 PM

The results of the VAP survey are now up at TFL:

Anyone gotten an interview from Duquesne for either position (LRW or health)?

Posted by: anon | Apr 11, 2013 2:02:17 PM

E-mail rejection from Bigelow.

Posted by: Vapple | Apr 9, 2013 4:00:58 PM

rejection from Temple

Posted by: anon | Apr 8, 2013 6:51:29 PM

got rejection email from northwestern.

Posted by: resignedvap | Apr 4, 2013 3:39:41 PM

For the health law position at Duquesne, the hiring chair selected the top 15 candidates from the applicant pool (which, apparently, was quite large). Those candidates received email this morning from the chair, so if you didn't get an email, you are not part of the top 15. Of those 15, the full committee will select 3-5 candidates for flyback interviews. The selection will happen next week, with the interviews to follow later in April. Once those interviews conclude, either the job will be filled or the committee will bring in the next batch of 3-5 candidates, and so the cycle will continue until they hire someone or exhaust the pool of candidates they like.

I don't know the scoop on the LRW position, but maybe someone else can provide info.

Good luck, folks.

Posted by: FYI re Duquesne | Apr 4, 2013 12:41:09 PM

My phone interviews have been just like my in person interviews. Idiosyncratic.

Posted by: VAP | Mar 28, 2013 3:44:23 PM

VAP: I have the same concern. But I haven't had an in-person VAP interview.

So my question has more to do with what I should expect in a 30-minute interview. I'm assuming it is the obvious things: publications, research agenda, teaching interests. But curious about what others have experienced.

And thanks, 23kd.

Posted by: VAPplicant | Mar 28, 2013 11:37:58 AM

In what ways do you expect it to be different than a non-phone interview? I don't like them because I feel like I hit it off with individuals, make good eye contact, etc. that gets lost on the phone.

Posted by: VAP | Mar 28, 2013 11:26:25 AM

Know your research agenda backwards and forwards and be prepare to defend it. Other than that, there might be some questions about what you want to teach, how you want to teach (method) etc.

Posted by: 23kd | Mar 27, 2013 5:38:54 PM

Haha. Amazing advice, VAP. Are most VAP phoners like the AALS interviews? What types of questions should I anticipate and what types of questions should I ask?

Posted by: VAPplicant | Mar 27, 2013 5:21:10 PM

Be prepared to ask at least one question.

Posted by: VAP | Mar 27, 2013 4:22:47 PM

First-time phone interview: What to expect?

Posted by: VAPplicant | Mar 27, 2013 12:18:27 PM

BROOKLYN LAW SCHOOL is seeking applicants for two full-time, one-year Visiting Writing Instructor positions for the 2013-14 academic year. Instructors teach the Fundamentals of Law Practice course to first year students in the fall and spring semesters. The course emphasizes experiential learning, and the small class size enables faculty to give students individual attention. In addition to providing a strong foundation in legal writing, analysis and research, the course simulates various aspects of the lawyer’s practice. Students are introduced to the professional and ethical responsibilities of a lawyer, to the lawyer-client relationship, to peer editing, and to transactional negotiation.

Prerequisites: A strong academic record, excellent writing skills, and a minimum of three years of legal experience after graduation.

Interested candidates should email a resume, brief writing sample, and brief cover letter to:

Professor Marilyn Walter
Brooklyn Law School
[email protected]

Posted by: anon | Mar 26, 2013 3:19:08 PM

Forgot why I'd come; U Kentucky ding came via snail mail. They said they'd hired someone already. U. Illinois sent me an email a few days ago along the same lines.

Posted by: VAP | Mar 26, 2013 12:53:00 PM

Robin - I had understood that some VAPs had not found jobs after 2 years at Brooklyn, and were not invited to remain at Brooklyn. Sorry to report incorrect rumors. You would surely know better than I.

Posted by: VAP | Mar 26, 2013 12:47:03 PM

To clarify something about Brooklyn: we invited each of our current VAPs to stay for an additional year. There was no decision to "retain some (but not other) VAPs."

Posted by: Robin Effron | Mar 26, 2013 12:32:22 PM

Hofstra and St. John's are not keeping anyone on. Brooklyn is keeping some. Not clear about the motivation for Brooklyn to retain some (but not other) VAPs.

Posted by: VAP | Mar 26, 2013 8:28:35 AM

@current vap, Thanks for the response. Do we collectively know of any significant number of schools that are keeping their unplaced VAPs on longer than expected out of a sense of obligation?

Posted by: A. Non | Mar 25, 2013 5:36:58 PM

@A. Non, at some schools VAPs teach doctrinal courses, and are extraneous in years when the school has reduced the class size substantially. In addition, if a school had several VAPs and they did poorly on the job market, it may be disinclined to hire 3 more or may feel obligated to keep unsuccessful VAPs for an additional year, meaning no new VAP hiring.

Posted by: current vap | Mar 24, 2013 9:15:24 PM

I can understand schools reducing their tenure-track hires this year, in light of the uncertain future of law schools and the commitment on the part of schools that TT offers have traditionally entailed. But why the seemingly dramatic reduction in VAP hires as well? VAPs are a relatively low-cost, low-commitment option for schools, SOMEONE still has to teach legal research and writing to 1Ls, and mild declines in enrollments wouldn't seem to support a decision to go from, say, three VAPs to one, or one to none (unless it's purely a question of money.)

Posted by: A. Non | Mar 24, 2013 7:23:36 PM

ASU is scheduling interviews.

Posted by: Anonandon | Mar 22, 2013 1:52:01 PM

Any word from temple?

Posted by: Anon123 | Mar 22, 2013 9:17:23 AM

Cal Western says they're not hiring a VAP

Posted by: VAP | Mar 21, 2013 10:22:29 PM

Georgetown O'Neill Health Law Fellowships and GW Freedman Clinical Fellowships have started reaching out for interviews

Posted by: anon | Mar 20, 2013 9:34:13 PM

@ another VAP out in the cold, what happened to the survey?

Posted by: anon | Mar 18, 2013 5:53:13 PM

Illinois said they'd hired. So if you haven't gotten an offer, you're probably not going to.

Posted by: Matt | Mar 18, 2013 4:20:56 PM

Ding from cornell, but no mail from illinois.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 18, 2013 2:43:12 PM

same email from Illinois

Posted by: VAP wannabe | Mar 18, 2013 12:42:10 PM

to anon - yes, the Illinois rejection was by email. it said the position has already been filled.

Posted by: anon2 | Mar 18, 2013 10:50:10 AM

Cornell has emailed candidates about interviews.

Posted by: Big Red | Mar 18, 2013 10:15:10 AM

was the illinois rejection by email?

Posted by: anon | Mar 17, 2013 9:14:09 PM

Rejection from Illinois

Posted by: Anon2 | Mar 15, 2013 2:52:38 PM

Do we already know this for sure? What about academic fellowships such as Illinois and temple?

Posted by: Crashmulder | Mar 13, 2013 5:44:37 PM

Based on what information, VAP wannabe?

Posted by: VAPplicant | Mar 13, 2013 1:07:02 PM

Plenty of schools appear to have decided not to hire VAPs, visitors, and other not TT faculty. Does not bode well for next year!

Posted by: VAP wannabe | Mar 13, 2013 10:35:48 AM

ding from NYU

Posted by: Anon | Mar 6, 2013 11:03:22 PM

lawerying ding from NYU

Posted by: VAP wannabe | Mar 6, 2013 10:11:11 PM

Sorry to confuse people. I meant to say I got confirmation a year ago when I applied to the VAP program but didn't get a final rejection, and I accepted a different VAP job. This year I interviewed with them at AALS for a TT position and I got more closure. I'm not on the VAP market this year, just trying to be helpful.

Posted by: vapstar! | Mar 6, 2013 7:27:23 PM

In response to vapstar's post on March 5 re: Brooklyn, I just sent my materials to Brooklyn recently and received a very cordial confirmation email informing me that Brooklyn will be considering applicants for the VAP program in the next few weeks. Hence, I don't think they have come to any decisions yet, and you shouldn't assume that the school's silence is a unacknowledged rejection. Have faith. If they interviewed you at AALS, they must really like you, so I'm sure there is hope for you yet.

Posted by: anon | Mar 6, 2013 6:40:36 PM

i wonder if people skipped it because they don't have closure yet (i.e. had callbacks at places that haven't rejected them, are next in line for an offer, etc.).

Posted by: vapstar! | Mar 6, 2013 1:28:15 PM

I received 18 responses to the survey. I'll send the tabulated results to Eric Muller (at TFL) as soon as possible. The link will stay open indefinitely (see below), so if you still want to fill it out, by all means, please do. I'm confident this isn't a true representation of all of us in the VAP trap, but it will do for now. Interestingly enough, a couple of people skipped the question about whether you got any offers. I'm not sure why you'd skip that one (especially that one), but that's what happened.


Posted by: another VAP out in the cold | Mar 6, 2013 1:24:10 PM

And just received a form email rejection from NYU's lawyering program.

Posted by: candidate | Mar 6, 2013 12:19:45 PM

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