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Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Clearinghouse for Questions, 2014-2015

In this comment thread to this post, you can ask questions about the law teaching market, and prawfs or others can weigh in.

Both questions and answers can be anonymous, but I will delete pure nastiness, irrelevance, and misinformation. If you see something that you know to be wrong, please feel free to let me know via email, slawsky*at*law*dot*uci*dot*edu.

We have a different thread in which candidates or prawfs can report callbacks, offers, and acceptances. That thread should be used only for information relevant to hiring, not for questions or comments on the process. This is the thread for questions.

You may want to take a look at the many questions and answers in the threads from 2012-2013 and 2013-2014

Here is a link to the last page of comments.

First posted 8/28/14.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on August 28, 2014 at 09:00 AM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


The free cookies at the AALS reception desk are yummy.

Bottles of diet pepsi can cost $3, $2.50, or $2.00, depending on whether you buy them from the store, or the 4th floor versus the 10th floor vending machine.

That's all I've learned so far.

Posted by: anonymouse | Oct 16, 2014 6:39:41 PM

Okay, next phase. Once you receive an offer, how long do you usually have to make your decision? A day, a week, more?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 16, 2014 6:25:42 PM

It seems late in the game for questions, so I wanted to throw in my $0.02 worth on the Eve of the Conference: it's pretty damn cool that we're all here, this year especially. It takes a particular breed of person, Devil-may-care, adventurous, etc., to make the leap this time around. I want to look back on a life of chances taken. This is one.

Posted by: anon | Oct 16, 2014 2:16:42 PM

I only have 3 interviews. At least I won't have to worry about being late...

Posted by: anon | Oct 16, 2014 12:50:27 PM

anon 10/15 5:31: Superstar is a very nice, genuine person who's socially capable and comes across as smart and humble. But the other person (who had very impressive paper credentials) has the rare ability to light up the room. Neither got offers last year.

Posted by: anon | Oct 16, 2014 7:22:49 AM

Having done this more than once, I did get callback calls at the conference, including one on the Friday night during the reception, and some on the Saturday. I also got calls on the Sunday after the conference, and the week after the conference. I also got a call in late November once, as I was coming back from what I thought was my last callback.

Some resulted in offers, many didn't, but as people have said here, you just need one.

Posted by: anonandoff | Oct 15, 2014 6:06:59 PM

anon at 4:35: " despite one having a very engaging personality and excellent credentials and the other having superstar credentials"

I love the implications for superstar's personality.

Posted by: anon | Oct 15, 2014 5:31:47 PM

Regarding the dinner question, I got invited to a couple cocktail things during the conference, usually after my interview (and I think when the committee was split). No callbacks from either, but I'm still in contact with the folks I met there today. It may be hard to fathom given the great uncertainty out there, but view this is not just interviews but also a chance to meet your future peers. I regularly communicate with many people who interviewed me at AALS, including from those places where I didn't get a callback. In other words, remember to relax and be yourself, because it is a long haul.

Posted by: Michael Risch | Oct 15, 2014 5:12:36 PM

I know people ranging from upper single digit interviews to 25 (mine are in the upper teens). But there's a real risk of reading in too much in situations like this. Last year I knew someone who had just a handful of AALS interviews and a single callback and got an offer from that callback, which was among the best of the bunch. I also knew two people who did close to a half dozen callbacks each and - despite one having a very engaging personality and excellent credentials and the other having superstar credentials - both came home empty handed.

Try to embrace or at least internalize the arbitrary nature of the process. Do not despair if you don't have many interviews. In the end, it really does just take one.

Posted by: anon | Oct 15, 2014 4:35:56 PM

Don't sweat it if you are not invited to dinner by a committee - a lot of committee members choose not to do dinner with the candidates, so that everyone can take a break and chill out for the evening. Do not despair if you do not get an invitation.

Re: timing of callbacks, Leiter has said a lot about this in the past. Generally, the first round of callbacks will be made in the first week or so after the conference. But, depending on how things go with the first round of candidates, schools may make additional callbacks. It is not unusual for people to get a callback in January.

Posted by: Junior Prof | Oct 15, 2014 3:55:02 PM

No, by email during the conference, I think. Maybe before, not sure.

Posted by: # 2 | Oct 15, 2014 12:33:16 PM

Sorry to dwell on this dinner thing but how did it work: during your interview, the committee asked if you'd like to have dinner?

Posted by: anon | Oct 15, 2014 12:28:03 PM

I didn't get my callback invitation until Tuesday or Wednesday after the conference-- and it was by email. That school made me an offer and I'm happily teaching there now. So don't assume that all hope is lost if your phone isn't ringing on Saturday or Sunday. Different schools have different processes.

Posted by: Another Jr. Prof | Oct 15, 2014 11:40:29 AM

Similar - dinner invitation during conference, callback from that school extended by phone a few days after conference, also another callback by phone on Sunday after conference.

Posted by: also newly minted | Oct 15, 2014 9:53:15 AM

"there are almost 73 positions this year as opposed to almost 122 last year. That's a decline of 40%."

Anon1014: what positions are you referring to? I have not seen 73 total faculty lines. I haven't seen anything even close to that, but we seem to be working with very incomplete info.

Posted by: A-Anon | Oct 15, 2014 7:32:07 AM

8 interviews here (including one pre-AALS).

Posted by: anecdata | Oct 15, 2014 2:48:45 AM

newlyminted: do you mean that school X asked you whether you'd join them for dinner Saturday night after offering you a callback? (did you end up there?)

Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2014 7:49:19 PM

Anecdata from last year strongly suggests that getting a lot of interviews in a market where some schools will ultimately end up not hiring isn't that meaningful. At the same time, it really only takes one interview and one offer! So I think just about any number of interviews can be viewed as a glass half full or empty.

To the extent candidates are still considering skipping the conference, that decision is highly personal (as has been said before on this thread), since only you know how costly (broadly speaking) it will be to attend and the odds of success in this idiosyncratic market are hard to get a reasonable handle on. Beware generalizations.

Posted by: how's that for a generalization? | Oct 14, 2014 7:21:06 PM

anon | Oct 14, 2014 12:03:31 PM

I had my first callback during the conference and had dinner with folks on Saturday night after I had a callback offer.

Posted by: newlyminted | Oct 14, 2014 6:04:05 PM

I have seven also. (And am Spartacus).

Posted by: Antsy | Oct 14, 2014 5:47:18 PM

I have 7 interviews. I know someone with 10 and someone with 1. I know these random data points are not especially useful, but there they are.

Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2014 5:03:15 PM

The median number of interviews would require many data points so I don't think we can reasonably generate that at this point. But here are some patterns, thoughts:

I have 5 interviews that range across the spectrum: top 5; top 25; top 50; top 125; and accredited but un-ranked.

I think there are going to be some last minute interviews as people with a couple of interviews would decide not to attend the conference. If you're in this unfortunate position, may I recommend on behalf of those of us attending to cancel your interviews sooner rather than later, which would help your professional reputation as well as give potential interviews to those attending.

Comparing with last year's hiring thread, there are almost 73 positions this year as opposed to almost 122 last year. That's a decline of 40%.

Posted by: anon1014 | Oct 14, 2014 4:35:44 PM

12:03 anon, see Brian Leiter's post on "How Long After "Meat Market" Before Candidates Hear from Schools?"

Posted by: CBR | Oct 14, 2014 1:09:18 PM

When can we expect to hear from the hiring committees after the conference? For some reason I can't find the hiring thread from last year (just the questions thread).

Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2014 12:03:31 PM

A plausible theory.

Unrelated, I'm curious about the median number of interviews this year. I have the sense that it is much lower than last year, having heard of numerous fellows at top schools with low single-digit numbers.

Posted by: A-Anon | Oct 14, 2014 10:56:55 AM

Another possible explanation for the silence is that so many candidates on the market this year are part of established VAP/fellowship programs, and so have colleagues who they can ask questions.

(Which maybe makes this thread even more important, in that it can undo some of the disadvantages of those trying to come straight from practice who may not have the resources to move around to pursue a VAP.)

Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2014 10:48:40 AM

"Hiring committees: I'm curious as to whether you see fewer candidates participating in the FRC this year."

Yes--there was one hundred fewer applicants than last year in the first distribution, with the second and third distributions not making up for the lost numbers. We've had several people contact us who are not going through FAR to let us know they were interested specifically in our school (people with geographic restrictions or family in the area). It seems like fewer people are risking leaving their firm job for a VAP/fellowship, given the uncertainty in the academic market.

"Do schools only ask candidates they are considering seriously for additional materials, or is it the sort thing they seek from a large number of candidates?"

Generally, they ask only a small number of candidates for additional information.

Posted by: NewlyTenured | Oct 13, 2014 10:51:00 PM

Yes. Is nothing going on? People afraid to post?

Posted by: Ott | Oct 13, 2014 9:50:26 PM

This thread is so sadly quiet this year.

Posted by: A-Anon | Oct 13, 2014 8:15:41 PM

Those looking for hotels might also try to get the Omni Shoreham on Priceline. It is a very nice hotel about a five minute walk from the Marriott and ran about $150 a night pretax a few weeks ago. It wasn't listed by name (it's in that category of deals where you are quoted a price but don't know the hotel) but by process of elimination it seemed like the one, and indeed it was. Salient features to look for include 4-5 stars, in Woodley/National Zoo, and a pool (outdoors, sadly)).

Posted by: anon | Oct 11, 2014 9:32:40 AM

Hiring committees: I'm curious as to whether you see fewer candidates participating in the FRC this year.

Posted by: anon | Oct 10, 2014 11:15:31 PM

The nightly rate at the Marriott Wardman Park is down to $189 during the conference. It was previously higher, so you may want to consider rebooking if you booked at a higher rate. Save yourself (or your institution) some money.

Posted by: New, lower rates! | Oct 10, 2014 2:51:58 PM

I heard Tulane received a large gift, will change its expected hiring.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 8, 2014 11:40:54 PM

This is torture and I'm bloody sick of it. That is all.

Posted by: anon..and on and on... | Oct 8, 2014 12:20:19 AM

My school is still making calls. We had an unexpected change in circumstances that required us to add a subject area to our wish list. A late call doesn't mean you're necessarily B-team after other interviews were canceled. In our case, it means the landscape has changed in terms of our needs.

Posted by: JuniorCommitteeMember | Oct 7, 2014 6:28:43 PM

Basically done? Yes. Totally done? No. Folks may even get calls to schedule interviews during the conference itself. But, of course, if you are called at the last minute as a "substitute" interviewee that pretty much means you are dead last on the school's list of interviewees and your odds at a callback at that school are slim.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 7, 2014 3:03:43 PM

So we're basically done, yes?

Posted by: anon | Oct 7, 2014 2:53:29 PM

To those in the know,

Do schools only ask candidates they are considering seriously for additional materials, or is it the sort thing they seek from a large number of candidates?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 6, 2014 5:23:10 PM

I received a request for more materials from Yale a few days ago, which suggests that they are still looking at candidates.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 6, 2014 12:10:30 PM

Yale made some calls in the last week or so.

Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2014 8:26:45 AM

or Yale? They asked for my materials a while back but silence since then...

Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2014 7:28:25 AM

Has anybody heard of calls from U. Texas?

Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2014 6:08:15 PM

I am aware of UNC making several calls a few weeks back. They are likely done.

Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2014 6:07:23 PM

Has anyone heard from UNC Chapel Hill? They were in the bulletin but no calls have been reported.

Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2014 3:59:56 PM

NYU made calls a couple weeks back (the information reported that they are not hiring this year is inaccurate). Stanford has made calls in the last week or so.

Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2014 3:38:38 PM

I can only speak for my school (T2), but we are focusing primarily on entry-level at the moment, then will hopefully look at laterals. Not ideal in my mind (I think we should do both at the same time), but that is the situation we are in.

Posted by: NewlyTenured | Oct 5, 2014 1:01:10 PM

GWU had made at least some calls. The Harvard chart says NYU isn't hiring at all, though not sure if that's accurate. Stanford anyone? I can't imagine they haven't made calls yet but we still don't have one reported...

Posted by: Antsy | Oct 5, 2014 12:21:36 PM

Anyone have any info on George Washington or NYU?

Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2014 9:34:59 AM

My sense is that there is no uniform approach to lateral hiring. That is, different schools handle lateral applicants in different ways. Some seem to hold off on considering laterals until after the bulk of the entry level hiring process has played out, while others do things concurrently. If anyone has any insights on how particular schools handle lateral hiring, please post that info!

Posted by: Junior Prof | Oct 4, 2014 8:31:11 PM

Ditto on JR Prof's question, anyone know how schools are handling lateral applicants this year?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 4, 2014 8:17:48 PM

I've gotten two new interviews in the past 48 hours from schools that were listed as making calls weeks ago -- I'm guessing it's because people have cancelled, but I'll take it! it's not over!

Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2014 4:43:30 PM

Maybe we should chat about how best to position ourselves to get law prof jobs once they exist again...

Posted by: Robert | Oct 4, 2014 3:59:46 PM

This thread is depressingly quite.

Posted by: Bob | Oct 4, 2014 3:20:54 PM

Curious about the lateral interviews as well. My sense is that schools conference call or Skype with non-AALS attendees before or after the meat market and then give the lateral candidates callbacks in the same time period as the entry-levels. I have heard, however, that sometimes schools wait until after the entry-level process is done to look at laterals. Would be interested in what others have to say on this issue.

Posted by: JRProf | Oct 2, 2014 6:30:43 AM

There is a non-small number of schools on the "Hiring Committees" list that have not appeared on the "Law School Hiring" thread. Wonder if anyone might clarify if those schools are simply proceeding cautiously or if their candidates are just extra discreet?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 2, 2014 3:10:39 AM

Is the Thurs evening thing thing substantially the same every year--in other words, if we've already listened to the podcast, is there any reason to attend other than repetition? Are committees present or just the applicants?

Posted by: anon | Oct 1, 2014 4:12:17 PM

My school hasn't completed its AALS calls yet. Also, regarding being late after back-to-back interviews, whatever you do, just make sure you aren't frazzled when you arrive at the 2nd interview. Better to take an extra 1-2 minutes to compose yourself and catch your breath than to walk in panting because they will start right in on the questions when you sit down - regardless of your state.

Posted by: Glad It's Over | Oct 1, 2014 3:06:00 PM

Does anyone know whether hiring committees are (1) scheduling all of their preliminary lateral interviews pre-AALS, or (2) waiting until after AALS to see what the entry-level pool looks like first, or (3) scheduling them both times with no discernible rhyme or reason? I'm asking specifically regarding lateral candidates who aren't going through AALS.

Posted by: Laterally speaking | Oct 1, 2014 11:10:31 AM

This question has been asked before, but I'll ask again: Anyone have insight into what schools are looking to hire a public international law professor?

Posted by: anon | Oct 1, 2014 11:05:45 AM

Again on back to back interviews - is it expected/not expected that the candidate email in advance to say "I've got an interview right before yours, I'll try to be on time but it's possible I'll be a little late"? I mean, is that an okay email to send? Or is it better to get forgiveness than permission?

Posted by: anonymouse | Oct 1, 2014 5:48:04 AM

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