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Friday, May 02, 2014

Spring Self-Reported Entry Level Hiring Report 2014

Following is a data summary of the Spring Self-Reported Entry Level Hiring Report for 2014. To remain consistent with past years, while the spreadsheet contains all hiring information received, the data analysis includes only tenure-track hires at U.S. law schools.

Here is the spreadsheet:

73 people were reported hired, at [between 50 and 52] different law schools. 

[As of May 1, 2014, two people, one Yale JD and one Harvard JD, are not listed on the spreadsheet but are included in the data. These two people will certainly have jobs this year—the only question is where. Thus I am able to incorporate their information into the analysis below. I will add them to the spreadsheet when they decide where they will be working.]

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Q: 73 self-reported tenure-track hires? What the…?

A: Yes, even worse than last year. (I omit 2010 in this and all subsequent cross-year comparisons because insufficient data was collected that year.)


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

JD School.20140501
Yale 20; Harvard 11; Columbia 8; NYU 6; Chicago 4; Michigan 4; Stanford 3; Berkeley 3; Other 14.

Schools in the "other" category with two JD/LLBs who reported hires: Northwestern; UCLA.

Schools in the "other" category with one JD/LLB who reported hires: Cornell, Duke, Florida State, ITAM (Mexico), North Dakota, Thomas Jefferson, Tulane, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Virginia, no JD.

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

61 (about 84%) had a fellowship; 37 (51%) had an advanced degree; 44 (about 60%) had a clerkship.

Venn diagram:

Venn Diagram.20140501

Q: That seems like a lot of fellowships. How does it compare to previous years?

A: It's a lot of fellowships.


Q: Tell me more about these advanced degrees. 

Although some 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.)

That said, the 37 "highest" advanced degrees broke down like this:


D.Phil or Ph.D. 18; D.Phil. (Law), SJD, or JSD 1; LL.M. 4; Masters 13. 

Topics ranged all over the map. For the 19 Ph.D.s, for example: 


Q: How long ago did these reported hires get their initial law degrees?

Zero to Four Years (Graduated 2010-2014) 16; Five to Nine Years (Graduated 2005-2009) 37;  Ten to 19 Years (Graduated 1995-2004) 17; Twenty or More Years (Graduated before 1995) 2; Blank 1. The year-by-year break-out is on the spreadsheet ("JD/LLB Year" tab).


Q: Could you break the reported hires out by men/women?

Men 36 (about 49%); Women 37 (about 51%). (Let's say this is right within +/-2 people.) 


Q: There were 31% fewer reported hires in 2014 than 2013 (a drop of 33 reported hires, from 106 to 73). How do you account for that drop?

There are a bunch of different ways to think about this. Here I compare the percentage change of various categories to the overall percentage change (click for larger version):


Notwithstanding the 31% drop in hires compared to 2013, certain raw numbers stayed roughly the same or increased, including PhDs and Yale JDs.

There was a disproportionate drop in hires of people who had fellowships only. While fellowships continue to be extremely common among hires (84% of hires have fellowships), a fellowship was, even more so than in the past, no guarantee of a job. 

Comparing 2014 to 2012, the last pre-contraction year (again, click to enlarge):


Notice the stability in the number of PhDs and Yale JDs, and also the contraction in clerkship-only, degree-only, and fellowship-only hires between 2012 and 2014. 

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!

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 (hiring 1995-2011), the Katz et al. article (all law professors as of 2008), the George and Yoon article (entry level, 2007-2008 hiring year), and the Tsesis Report (entry level, 2012-2013 hiring year). This is just a report about self-reported entry level hires as of the spring before the school year starts. 

Originally posted 5/2/14; edited 5/4/14, 5/6/14 to add two additional hires and reclassify one person already included in data.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on May 2, 2014 at 02:57 PM in Entry Level Hiring Report, Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


Here's another AALS fail: this year, it seems that everyone who was in the FAR is getting the MULTIPLE announcements of the annual Workshop for New Law School Teachers. Unlike in past years, these announcements are going to candidates who didn't get a job. Thanks for rubbing salt in the wound, AALS.

Posted by: Another AALS Fail | May 7, 2014 3:18:59 PM

"The larger point is what kind of reasoned conclusions (versus speculation) can we draw from that fact?"

I dunno. The initial commenter was describing a phenomenon she experienced personally and wondering how widespread it is. As a personal frame of reference, I was on the other end of it -- I supported my wife through most of her PhD and lowly-paid pre-tenure years in the humanities. A healthy chunk of her female colleagues (maybe a quarter) and especially her grad school cohort (maybe two-thirds) were similarly situated.

I'm a bit curious why you're so offended by that. Haven't women been supporting their pre-academic and pre-tenure husbands for decades? I guess the big difference is that those women were providing free housecleaning and childcare (and frequently, lowly-paid blue or pink collar work) in order to maintain a run-of-the-mill middle class lifestyle, whereas the doctor or lawyer or programmer husbands are providing well-paid professional labor to maintain an upper or upper-upper middle class lifestyle, but that seems to be more of a product of gender-dictated career opportunities than anything else. (Also, perhaps, essentialist gender role preferences, but this is so fraught with controversy that it's best not to delve into it.)

Posted by: My $0.02 | May 6, 2014 10:43:38 PM

Right. Not surprising. The larger point is what kind of reasoned conclusions (versus speculation) can we draw from that fact? Especially with respect to the 71 or so TT hires made last year?

Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | May 6, 2014 11:42:55 AM

"I am sure men are still the breadwinners in heterosexual couples much of the time"

Indeed, 76% of the time according to the latest Pew survey.

Posted by: My $0.02 | May 5, 2014 11:02:35 PM


Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | May 5, 2014 7:10:10 PM

@junior - I reflexively bristle at the idea that women are presumptively not the bread-winners in their families, which I believe is a necessary assumption underlying you fellowship theory (but correct me if I'm wrong). I am sure men are still the breadwinners in heterosexual couples much of the time, but this has never been true for me, and so I find the generalization quite off-putting. The suggestion seems to be that women are getting ahead in academia because they are being supported by their husbands (again, I could me misunderstanding the premise), and having never benefitted from such an arrangement, I find myself taking offense.

At any rate, with so few TT hires, it is probably impossible to speculate as to universal gender trends and probably more useful to unearth the stories of each individual, if we really want to understand what factors are important in the TT hiring process. It appears that neither women nor men are being massively excluded, which is a good thing and a definite improvement over the bad old days when having a wife was a prerequisite to succeeding in law school and obtaining an academic position.

Outside of the objective factors that Sarah has diligently tallied, I am guessing that personality, well-placed cheerleaders, quality of existing scholarship, and the robustness of one's research agenda are likely important, intangible factors for many schools in making their hiring decisions.

Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | May 5, 2014 7:04:33 PM

@ David and Susannah, there's another way to look at the trend toward a de facto fellowship expectation, which is that married women may have more freedom to take a massive paycut for a year or two or three (assuming biglaw to fellowship, as much as a 75% paycut) than do married men. That was the case in my household anyway, so at least in some cases the fellowship requirement actually levels the playing field, especially if the aspiring professor either has a partner who is a mobile or is able to land a fellowship in or near the city in which they already live (easier to do in e.g. NY, Boston, SF, Chicago).

Posted by: junior | May 5, 2014 4:09:27 PM

@David - I think that's right. Probably the vast majority of women in the country carry more of a household and childcare burden (if they have kids) per historical patterns. But I guess part of what I'm saying is that an aspiring academic is likely a different breed of woman. If there is a trend toward women being more mobile for their careers, the aspiring academic is likely at the forefront of that trend.

Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | May 4, 2014 8:21:54 PM

Susannah, surely you're right, but the question is not whether the women who pursue academia are as focused etc as the men, but whether breakdown of those who choose to pursue academia to begin with would affected by the demands of pursuing that career. Of course, it could be that but for the uneven way that these demands break down by sex, women would be a clear majority of new professors. But again, my interest is in the fact that I think it's become harder for everyone to become a professor, but the new difficulties "on average" are greater for women, yet that hasn't deterred a greater % of women from pursuing the career--which may mean that more women are willing to make the choices you describe than in the past.

Posted by: David Bernstein | May 4, 2014 3:43:00 PM

Random, sounds like you're spoiling for an argument where there isn't any. No one said anything about women "overperforming." What I said is the % of women has been increasing (factual statement) even though the credentials one needs to be a professor have been evolving in a way that would seemingly make things more difficult for women (another factual statement, which you seem to think is a mere stereotype, without any basis I can discent). Understanding this as a claim that women are "overperforming" is your gloss on the facts, not mine.

Posted by: David Bernstein | May 4, 2014 3:38:27 PM

Sounds like a case of the gender perception gap.

Greena Davis: “If there's 17 percent women, the men in the group think it's 50-50...And if there's 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.”"


If there were 33 women and 38 men, +/-2 people, there is no way that people would be searching for an explanation for why men were outperforming women despite male stereotypes that should render men less competitive.

Posted by: random | May 4, 2014 1:14:32 PM

1. Remember, the data analysis in this post isn't for tenure-track hires--there are two other requirements to be counted. Specifically, a person is included in the data analysis if three things are true: (1) Column S ("Type of Position") reads "Tenure-Track," (2) Column U ("Non-Law School") is blank, and (3) Column V ("Foreign Law School") is blank.

2. Both people not included on the spreadsheet are female.

3. As stated above, there is an error of margin on the female/male count--around +/- 2.

4. This spreadsheet and analysis does NOT represent all entry level hires.

All this is to say that I think the best way to think about the M/F count is to think of this year and last year as "about 50%" and leave it at that--anything more fine-grained is going to be problematic.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 4, 2014 11:51:56 AM

OK answering my own question (sort of) I count 39 tenure track women which is exactly 50% of the tenure track number. You mentioned that there are two people that aren't listed here though so that might throw it off a bit.

Posted by: Wondering | May 4, 2014 10:57:36 AM

The male/female ratio is only for tenure track jobs. All the data analysis in this post is only for tenure-track jobs at law schools in the United States.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 4, 2014 10:49:20 AM

I am encouraged by the male/female breakdown this year but I wonder if the ratio stays the same if we only consider tenure-track (typically nonclinical at tmost schools) jobs. It's been my anecdotal experience that women are ovetepresented in nonsense track jobs.

Posted by: Wondering | May 4, 2014 10:41:02 AM

@David - I think those generalizations might still hold true for some women, but anyone seeking a tenure-track law teaching job in this day and age is incredibly driven and strategic. They are not going to prioritize life goals over career goals. In my experience, many women in law teaching now have trailing spouses instead of being the trailing spouse, are comfortable delaying having kids or foregoing that option altogether, and may even choose to be single rather than navigate the difficulties of relocating a partner.

The point still holds true that you have to be utterly unattached to geography or community to pursue this career, but those who are sufficiently ambitious, male or female, will make the necessary sacrifices or else they will not even get into the game.

Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | May 4, 2014 10:24:49 AM

Interesting that the % of women hired continues to go up, even though it strikes me that the current iteration of the process is more daunting, on average, for women then for men. The addition of an almost-requirement of a fellowship on top of everything else means that the more geographically mobile are favored over the less geographically mobile. I may be mistaken but I think men, on average, are more likely to have spouses/significant others willing and able to follow them around the country to unstable jobs, and are less likely at around age 30-35 to have children.

Posted by: David Bernstein | May 4, 2014 9:18:03 AM

Wow, so South Carolina made *six* hires? Very impressive!

Posted by: Roger | May 3, 2014 4:53:41 PM

Thank you, Sarah, for collecting, slicing, and dicing this information. It's an invaluable resource.

Particularly for those who may be coming to this site to help them decide whether to leave what may be stable or remunerative practice jobs for a fellowship or VAP, it's important that this data be read in light of its limitations (which is no criticism of Sarah at all - it's an inherent issue with self-reporting outcomes). Perhaps the biggest limitation is that the denominators of the categories - fellowships, clerkships, advanced degrees, Yale JDs, etc. - are essentially unknown (Yale may have data on the last one, but as far I know it's not public).

So, for example, we see that 85% of those who got a teaching job had at least a fellowship (or VAP, but I'll just say "fellow"). But nobody knows how many fellows were on the market this year, so we can't figure out what a prospective fellow would really want to know, which is what percentage of fellows got jobs. We don't know how many fellowships there even are (many have been eliminated since the TaxProf list was last updated in 2012, but there are also a non-trivial number of podium VAPs that are not publicized). It might be that 25% of fellows got jobs this year, which would be helpful for a prospective fellow to know.

In short, being a Yale JD who has a fellowship - and even a clerkship and advanced degree - does not only mean you aren't "guaranteed" to get hired. (Duh.) It must confer some advantage, sure. But given that we don't know how many others out there are like you, we can't really hazard a guess at the magnitude of the advantage. In the extreme case - Yale JD, MIT econ PhD, S. Ct. clerkship, Bigelow - the magnitude would appear great. But start dropping one or two of those variables and I think it's hard to say whether someone will get a job based on this information. We can say that not having a fellowship is a massive disadvantage, because only 15% of those hired got their jobs without it. But if you're weighing your career options, that doesn't really tell you whether to take a fellowship if you don't know what proportion of fellows are getting jobs.

In short, it would be wise to ask your prospective program about their outcomes, and to do as much research as you can on fellowships that offer a roughly comparable experience (not just eliteness of school, but mentors and support).

Posted by: For prospective fellows & VAPs | May 3, 2014 3:39:00 PM

I think it would be helpful to identify exactly what we are talking about in distinguishing "academic" from "non-academic" positions. Are we trying to identify differences in the hiring process, qualifications of candidates, or work performed once hired? There is a lot of movement in this area--legal writing positions were previously not filled through AALS; now many if not most are. Some schools require that their clinical hires have scholarly production equivalent to their podium hires; other schools do not.

Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | May 3, 2014 3:00:11 PM

Brian, so far as I can tell from the information provided to me, there were 64 tenure-track, academic, nonclinical hires in U.S. law schools reported to me.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 3, 2014 2:47:32 PM

One other question: is it possible to say how many of the 71 tenure-position in law schools were academic, as opposed to clinnical or legal writing, positions? That would be interesting to know, given that the markets for the three kinds of positions tend to operate quite differently. I guess I would be surprised if there were even 60 tenure-track academic lines filled by rookies this year, but maybe you know the answer.

Thanks again.

Posted by: Brian | May 3, 2014 1:18:52 PM

Thank you. And, yes, this is another triumph of AALS ineptitude.

Posted by: Brian | May 3, 2014 12:49:34 PM

Hi Brian, yes, your description is right--this post is only tenure-track jobs in the U.S., in law schools. However, in response to your comment, I have also added to another post graphs and listings of JD schools of (1) placements in all tenure-track positions in all law schools, not just U.S., and (2) placements in all tenure-track positions, not limited to law schools, and not limited to U.S:


And yes, in their attempt to prevent--what, exactly?--the AALS changed their database this year to make it even more unusable by everyone, including hiring committees. I find this, combined with their failure to update their Statistical Report since the 2008-2009 hiring year--well, let's just say "incredibly annoying."


Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 3, 2014 12:13:03 PM

Thanks, as always, for this information. May I ask a couple of questions?

First, the 71 figure counts only tenure-track jobs in U.S. law schools, is that right? So, e.g., it does not count a job at Penn's Wharton School, but it does count tenure-track clinical and legal writing positions? Do I have that right?

Second, and relatedly, the tally by school also only counts tenure-track jobs--academic, clinical, and legal writing--in law schools? Chicago placed 5 of its 7 candidates in tenure-track jobs, but one was at Wharton, so that's why you list only 4, above.

Unfortunately, as you probably know, AALS made it impossible to search the FAR this year to see how many candidates from each school were on the market.


Posted by: Brian | May 3, 2014 11:15:05 AM

Thanks for this information. I was on the market this year. I'm not a top candidate but I consider myself to have a pretty solid CV. I got nothing. I'm not sad or bitter (now, at least!) but I encourage future candidates who are doing well in their current endeavors to consider the risk to their careers of attempting to make a jump to academics but only to find, as I did, that the market isn't hiring.

Posted by: Anon | May 3, 2014 2:02:09 AM

Aside from being very qualified, Jed Stiglitz is a spousal hire.

Posted by: good good | May 2, 2014 8:07:04 PM

Hi Orin, your attempt to provoke me to count more things...has totally worked. See above.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | May 2, 2014 7:02:40 PM


Thank you for this tremendously helpful information. Your statistical analyses provide much needed clarity into the raw data. This information is extremely helpful to job candidates and law school recruiters assessing their chances at the market.


Posted by: Alexander Tsesis | May 2, 2014 5:31:54 PM

Really interesting. Thanks, Sarah, for all the work.

Is this the 1st time there have been more women than men in the entry-level hires? I wonder what the trend has been over time.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 2, 2014 4:23:48 PM

What do you suppose it's like to go from attending Yale to teaching at Barry?

Posted by: Linten | May 2, 2014 3:14:17 PM

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