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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Law School Hiring, 2016-2017, Thread One

Those on the market are invited to leave comments on this thread regarding whether they have received:

(a) a first round interview at a school (including the subject areas the school mentioned, if any, as being of particular interest, and whether the interview offer was accepted);

(b)  a callback from a law school and/or accepted it; or

(c) an offer from a law school and/or accepted it; feel free to also leave details about the offer, including teaching load, research leave, etc. A school listed as "offer accepted" may have made more than one offer and may still have some slots open.

Law professors may also choose to provide information that is relevant to the entry-level market.  

Four miscellaneous things:

1. If you don't want your contact information displayed, enter [email protected] or something like that as an email address.

2. There is a  separate thread, "A Clearinghouse for Questions," for general questions or comments about the teaching market. Please do not use the thread below for general questions or comments. (Such comments will be deleted, not out of hostility or in a judgy way, just to keep this thread focused.)

3. There's quite a cache of materials relevant to the law job market under the archive categories Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market and Entry Level Hiring Report.

4. Finally, in each of the previous years, someone who is on the market has volunteered to aggregate the information on a spreadsheet. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me directly at sarah *dot* lawsky *at* law *dot* northwestern *dot* edu, and I will get you set up.

Update: No aggregator this year; instead, anyone can edit the spreadsheet. It is available here:

 Here is a link to the last page of comments.

Update: You can also add your information via this Google form, which was created by someone on the market this year.

Originally posted August 25, 2016; updated September 1, 2016, to add spreadsheet, and September 16, 2016, to add the link to the Google form.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on August 25, 2016 at 09:00 AM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


I would always send thank you notes if you interview at the FAR, and I would do it immediately. Here's why: Hiring Anon is correct that typically it doesn't matter, but sometimes it's really close between two people and that little extra expression of interest can break the tie. You just never know, so why take the chance. It certainly can't hurt.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 16, 2016 8:56:20 PM

Thank you notes make a nice impression and, to some limited extent, convey interest. That said, we wouldn't call a person back because of a note. Nor would we decide not to call someone back because the person didn't send a note. Only a handful of the candidates we interviewed sent notes. I wouldn't lose sleep over it at this stage.

Posted by: Hiring Anon | Oct 16, 2016 7:22:13 PM

Thanks for that info.

Do thank you notes matter at this stage of the process? I'm just so tired from the conference, and I need a day to actually pay attention to my family instead of writing thank you notes. Do they really make a difference?

Posted by: anon | Oct 16, 2016 4:21:58 PM

Yes, they have. We have not extended our callback invitations yet, but two folks we interviewed have written us thank you notes, volunteering that they have already received callback invitations from other institutions.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 16, 2016 2:53:02 PM

Have callback offers started yet?

Posted by: anon | Oct 16, 2016 12:43:01 PM

Just wanted to submit an anonymous thank you note to all those who put the conference together!

Posted by: Anon | Oct 15, 2016 7:03:02 PM

Just for the record, it appears that about 90 law schools were present at the conference. How does that compare to previous years, does any one know?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 15, 2016 3:36:26 PM

Were folks invited to private receptions with interviewing law schools last night?

Posted by: anon | Oct 15, 2016 12:57:47 AM

Anon and on: It's a very good signal. Schools may not want to commit to a callback without having met all the candidates, but it definitely shows interest. Good luck!

Posted by: Hiring Anon | Oct 14, 2016 8:02:08 PM

Being at conference today, how strong a signal is it when the committee asks about your potential travel in November w/o per se offering an official invitation to the on-campus interview?

And how soon post-conference do most committees issue those invitations, generally speaking?

Posted by: Anon and on | Oct 14, 2016 2:31:14 PM

Thanks for your kind answer AnonHiringChair. I have done my one (and only) AALS interview this morning, and I am leaving today. If you are at Marriott, I would like to stop by and say thank you for all your kind advice, but I suppose it is not appropriate to break anonymity. So let me say thank you here. I have one other skype interview and a suggestion from the dean of a leading law school that I will be considered for their visitorship for the next year, so wish me a luck! I saw my former student yesterday also attending the AALS for a teaching job. I was glad to see him after all this time, but I felt a bit weird, too. (He also did.) I hope that this will be my last time being here as a candidate. Thanks, again.

Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2016 10:37:40 AM

Although not my area, I believe that "commercial law" would include sales.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 13, 2016 9:41:50 PM

Data point, for the record: it looks like ~ 90 schools are included this year on the list of schools attending AALS.

Posted by: anon | Oct 13, 2016 8:42:57 PM

AnonHiringChair - sorry for the repeated question, but would "commercial law" include sales (UCC Article 2)?

Good luck for everyone going to the AALS!

Posted by: anon | Oct 12, 2016 4:22:56 PM

Yes, the panel is at 3:30.

Posted by: anon | Oct 11, 2016 5:17:32 PM

Is there an updated FRC schedule? My understanding is that there is a panel at 3:30 on Thursday for all applicants, but I can't find information on the AALS website. Anyone have any insight?

Posted by: anon22 | Oct 11, 2016 8:12:54 AM

Just a quick decipher of room codes at this year's AALS, from someone who happens to be local. Each room number has the following format: XY##. The X and Y mean the following, respectively: X = room number, Y = tower number (0-1= Center Tower; 2 = Park Tower; 3 = Wardman Tower).

So, for example, 3205 (a random number) would refer to the third floor of the Park Tower section of the hotel. Just in case someone can't do a walk through ahead of time.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 9, 2016 10:08:05 PM

When we look to hire people, we usually have one or two key courses in mind that we want them to teach, but then allow them to select the other classes they want to teach (assuming they aren't already covered). It makes sense for FAR purposes to select the first year course that is most closely aligned with your specific interest, the upper level course that is most closely aligned with your specific interest, and other classes that match up with your practice experience or scholarly interests. I really think it's best to be honest here and not try to "game" this. If your specialty is environmental law, I agree you'd probably have Property and Environmental Law as your key courses, and then whatever else fits with your experience or interests (that could be admin, oceans, water and natural resources, or energy law and oil & gas, or land use, local government, and real estate). If a school is interested in you, they can always ask you to teach something slightly different.

Posted by: formerhiringchair | Oct 9, 2016 1:25:23 PM

I think the "packages" can be as varied as the school's needs and the candidate's interests and experience. That said, for someone in "environmental law," it seems to me that the most likely companion courses are property law and administrative law, and depending on the school's location (e.g., Texas, Alaska, etc.), it could be "natural resources" or "oil and gas" law.

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 8, 2016 10:04:57 AM

REQUEST - Could we ask a hiring chair or someone with the appropriate knowledge to help list out what classes go together as packages?

I know when I thought of my specialty, envt'l law, i did not quite see the courses I would have expected in the pull down menu for the FAR form, which left me guessing quite a bit. Would have helped to have had a little guidance there. Like for me, ocean law goes with envtl law, but I wonder if some folks see that as Intl Public Law?

This is apparently a big albeit 'hidden' deal that is very important on getting one's FAR form queued up right. Like, what clusters with business law, tort law, envtl law, family law etc? I think this 'coding' is quite important and frankly, I don't understand while this is not dealt with more overtly by all parties.

I'll open a new sheet in the Google sheets to help...

Posted by: AnonAgain... | Oct 8, 2016 7:09:51 AM

That makes sense. Thanks. One more question - does "commercial law," from hiring perspectives, include UCC Article 2 (sales)?

Posted by: anon | Oct 7, 2016 8:45:15 PM

Yes, "contracts" is part of business law -- nobody said otherwise. But typically when a school hires for "business law," they are looking for someone who can add more depth than simply teaching first-year contracts. And, in my experience, an IBT person is more likely to be sought in searches focusing on "international law" than they are in "business law."

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 7, 2016 4:35:55 PM

This view of business law is baffling. "contracts, UCC Article 2, and IBT" seems reasonably 'business law' to me. Does everyone see it that narrow? -- Former corporate in-house lawyer, now prof.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 7, 2016 4:04:47 PM

BDG: can you share how many spots Georgetown has available? Thanks for the information!

Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2016 1:39:28 PM

That explains - I am teaching contracts, UCC Article 2, and IBT, and I have recieved no response from schools seeking "business law" candidates. "Commercial law" includes UCC Article 2 (sales), right? Thanks again.

Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2016 10:28:52 AM

Since we don't appear on the spreadsheet, and someone asked, I will mention Georgetown has so far scheduled about a dozen meat-market interviews and roughly an equal number of screening interviews at our campus for locals.

Posted by: BDG | Oct 6, 2016 10:28:08 AM

Contracts, kinda. It's typically the first year course we anticipate business folks would teach. Better fits are securities regulation, m&a, and bus. orgs. What it does not typically include is commercial law (bankruptcy, secured transactions, etc.) and international business transactions.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 6, 2016 9:25:59 AM

Business law seems "hot" this year. Could anyone elaborate exactly what subjects fall in that category (or at least what law schools consider)? For example I taught contracts and UCC Article 2. Are these subjects considered "business law"?

Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2016 9:14:37 AM

hotel prices always drop closer in. the hotel is huge so not surprising that it is not booked. Plus I would not be surprised if alot of schools are only sending half committees if they are more focused on the lateral market.

Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2016 6:58:34 PM

Any one else noticing the space available at the hotel? Prices have been dropping. Guess not many folks planning to stay there?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 5, 2016 6:06:28 PM

I'm the lateral with two requests and one interview. I heard through word of mouth that one school was hiring and sent in my application materials. That's the one I didn't get an interview with. The other school contacted me to solicit my materials. I then received an invitation to interview via Skype.

To my knowledge, most laterals do not interview at AALS. There are two reasons I can think of, and probably more. First, your faculty will definitely find out. Maybe you're going on the market with their knowledge (e.g., you want to move across the country to be closer to your ailing relative), so it's not a problem. But if you want to keep it a secret that you're interviewing, you definitely don't go to AALS or enter the FAR registry, since your hiring committee may well see your FAR form, and/or see you in DC. (As an aside, I think it's very difficult to keep your faculty from finding out anyway, since professors talk to friends at other schools. It's much better to hear it directly from you.)

Second, AALS is primarily for entry-level jobs. I've been told-- though can't say whether it's definitely true--that if you go through AALS, you're signaling that you're open to taking a position that gives you little to no credit for prior teaching. The more years you serve at a school before you lateral, the more that might matter to you.

As far as I can tell, the lateral market is much more about whom you know, and the most opportunities come when a school has heard about you and seeks you out. To that end, go to conferences, make connections, and bide your time.

I hope that helps!

Posted by: LatAnon | Oct 4, 2016 12:37:56 PM

Thank you to everyone adding data to the new sheet! Thank you!

May I encourage others to also post their data on number of letters sent, number of interview invites received, etc. This is looking like real data, especially if we can collect data across the season.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 4, 2016 2:19:52 AM

Here's one data point. I'm a lateral who reported one of the interviews on the first sheet (but not the one with 2 requests and 1 interview). I did not send out any materials. The school reached out in August to ask if I was interested. It then asked for representative research and teaching evals, and scheduled a callback a few weeks later. The callback will take place later in October, before entry-level callbacks.

Posted by: one lateral | Oct 3, 2016 10:15:18 PM

to the lateral anon that posted today who sent out 2 requests and got 1 interview: Are you showing up at aals? do laterals show up at aals? do they do so informally (that is, they did not pay the fee and were not in the book) or formally (pay fee and in book). I would think most laterals would be under the radar if they do not want current schools to know. But do laterals come to DC or are they interviewed over Skype? WOuldn't they run the chance of running into committee from their own school? any insight into lateral hiring would be great.

Posted by: anon | Oct 3, 2016 9:44:36 PM

*I don't think that getting more controlling by "locking it down" is the answer. Geez. (Ironically, I accidentally deleted part of my sentence.)

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 3, 2016 2:53:16 PM

It's possible that the person (NOT me) has changed his/her mind about wanting to report his/her interviews in a public forum. So what? It's not an accurate reflection of interviews anyway! I don't think that getting more controlling by "locking it down". Geez.

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 3, 2016 2:51:59 PM

It appears that entries have been deleted on the spreadsheet. Last week, there were 79 rows. As of now, there are only 76 rows. Columbia has been removed, and there may be other schools deleted as well. Does anyone have the data from last week to reconstruct what was lost? The sheet may have to be locked down if more entries disappear.

Posted by: anon | Oct 3, 2016 9:33:43 AM

Probably so - then I have made a good decision to send my current article (near completion) to student-edited law reviews, although it is not likely that I will benefit from it in this AALS process.

Posted by: anon0930 | Oct 2, 2016 10:43:14 PM

You're probably right, but we tend to be more impressed by scholarship published in student-edited journals as that's what we're most familiar with. This may indeed be why you haven't received more interviews.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 2, 2016 9:38:56 PM

I also hope that scholarship published in peer-reviewed law journals would be valued as much as longer articles published in student law reviews. Despite the shorter length, top peer-reviewed journals are extremely selective in the articles that they publish. I published my articles in U.S. law reviews (published by an Ivy league law school and other top 14 law schools), but I stopped because I was disappointed in the level of comments and inquiries from the student reviewers. I did not think it was a good use of my time. When I needed to write longer, I published books with top academic publishers. I have heard that many on the appointments committee would dismiss scholarship unless it is published in law reviews at reputable U.S. law schools. I think it is a mistake - after all law reviews are reviewed by students who are not really experts in the field, and law is the only academic discipline that publishes scholarship through student review. I am not saying scholarship published in law reviews are not meaningful or all this should change, but dismissing scholarship published in highly selective peer-reviewed journals does not make sense at all.

Posted by: anon0930 | Oct 2, 2016 5:09:52 PM

Thanks for your post. Those in my field, including myself and other colleagues in U.S., regularly publish in peer-reviewed academic journals, rather than student-run law reviews, which do not accept anything longer than 10,000 - 15,000 words. The articles published in top peer-reviewed journals are hardly descriptive but highly analytical. I thought that the articles published in student-run law reviews have too much in terms of background and introduction of theories which researchers in the field already know. (It is probably necessary for student reviewers though.) Having said that, I think your point is valid for the fact that most of those who review my credentials are not in my field. Some of the top scholars in U.S. have advocated me to their schools for some time but no clear response yet...I have been advised to try AALS as well, and I hope something will come out of it! Thanks, again.

Posted by: anon0930 | Oct 2, 2016 4:53:23 PM

@anon0930 - Your comment about having published 40+ articles made me wonder if you're writing in a way that U.S. law schools are likely to respond to. I've noticed that legal scholars working at non-U.S. schools sometimes favor publishing numerous short pieces in non-U.S. journals; sometimes these pieces veer awfully close to what American profs might dismiss as doctrinally "descriptive" scholarship. Because it takes most people a few months to conceptualize and execute a "normative" article of flagship law review length (25,000 to 30,000 words), it's unusual to see U.S. legal scholars with the number of publications you mentioned, except among those quite far along in their careers (at which point reputation and connections seem to be the main avenues for making a lateral move.)

Posted by: kpl2871 | Oct 2, 2016 12:53:05 PM

At my school, we Skype interview laterals before the "meat market" and then decide callbacks (from the pool of laterals + entry level interviewees) at the close of the FRC. Our preference is junior laterals, but we're open to entry-levels. That's just my school though.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 2, 2016 10:28:50 AM

Did anyone else got an initial email from Deakin (Australia)? I got an email asking for a possible AALS interview if I am interested but then, when I showed interest, there is no follow up email, no reply, ... so we haven't actually scheduled anything. Should I assume they changed their mind? Is this normal?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 2, 2016 10:25:29 AM

+1 to the lateral question. What is the timeline for considering laterals?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 2, 2016 9:20:11 AM

Lets collect a little more data. I set up a new data sheet in the current Google spreadsheet.

You can add how many total calls to first round interviews you received, and there after how many invites to campus interviews and how many job offers received. I think its useful to have an anonymous ID so that you can update your data as the season progresses.

If we can do this, we can actually address the oft repeated question of the "numbers game" in the meat market. If other data could be safely anonymously collected, please feel free to enhance the chart.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 2, 2016 5:16:01 AM

I also thinks it depends on how many years ago you did AALS. If it was more than 4-5 years ago, dynamics completely have changed. A large portion of people who get jobs now either have to go on the market a few times or have to delay their optimal time they are going on the market. 5 years ago this was not necessarily the case. So if you are talking more than 5 years ago, it would not be surprising that you had more AALS interviews

Posted by: anon | Oct 1, 2016 3:16:36 AM

Focus on the lateral question: do schools delay contacting a potential lateral until after the meat market, or, do they process all their candidates at once?

Follow up: Is there time in this season for a lateral to respond to calls that have November or December submission deadlines; that is, do they really consider all the applications received, or just those received earlier?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2016 2:20:24 AM

Thanks for the posts. I did not go to law school in Asia, was not a fellow, and did not have a lot of contacts when I got a job through AALS years ago. But I still had several interview offers then with much less publications. If AALS does not work out, should I try a visiting faculty roster in spring? (I taught at U.S. law schools for several years on a full time basis.) I currently have a visiting affiliation with a leading U.S. university, although it is not a law school. I hope "age" does not matter there - not that I am that old anyway. Thanks again for helpful suggesitons!

Posted by: anon0930 | Sep 30, 2016 10:06:22 PM

I don't see anyone where I said that the only reason fellows get interviews is because they have advocates. I said one of the reasons. I think it is an important reason though because on balance between two applicants with the same credentials someone who has more people advocating for them and more connection to law will more likely get the interview. There are probably 80-100 extremely qualified applicants in the far so these little things can often make the difference

If the above poster has little connection to the American legal academy after a few years teaching they will have a hard time. It may also be perceived that they are a less qualified candidate if they took a foreign law school. I don't know how foreign schools are ranked but I got a call from sobs random university in Asia and I think if I were to take a job like that and then try the American market it could be perceived as not positive. If the person was from u of Toronto or a top English school I do not think it would be an issue

Posted by: Anon | Sep 30, 2016 9:43:44 PM

I think fellowships are a great credential but between a doctorate candidate not in a fellowship program with less connection to law (an arguably stronger credential having the Ph.D.) and the fellowship I think the fellowship has some advantage because you have more connections to law and schools have a vested interest in being more active in trying to get you jobs. Someone who does not have a lot of connection to the American legal academy will have a tougher time. I don't think anyone can really contest that a lot of times personal connections can help in a tiebreaker. Also if this person has not been coming to legal conferences over the years questions may be raised as to why no one in legal academy knows them

fellows are also better prepared in that they moot job talks, etc. many of the fellowship programs had a horrible record 2 years ago of placing candidates so I think they worked to turn that around

Posted by: Anon | Sep 30, 2016 9:35:42 PM

@Anon0930: I am also a candidate, so I am not speaking from a place of authority or experience, but I wonder whether ageism might be a factor. I have heard rumors that it can be hard to get attention on the entry level market when you're over a certain age. There might or might not be legitimate reasons for this- I'm just throwing it out there as an idea.

I will also say, as someone who is currently in a fellowship program, that I think it's going a bit far to suggest that all the interviews we get are because of phone calls and backroom dealings. I think mostly it's just that fellowships are (rightly or wrongly) an appealing credential on the FAR form.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 30, 2016 7:35:56 PM

Do you have alot of connections with law schools? If you have little personal connections or if you don't have ALOT of people advocating on your behalf it is hard to get interviews. One reason people in the fellows programs do so well is because they have so many better advocating for them. And schools that have fellows program have a vested interest in getting their people placed. So when you are competing against that it makes it very hard for a person without those connections to get many interviews.

You are also may be considered a lateral, but many schools are interviewing laterals and if you are at the conference anyway, there is no reason to separate you out. Maybe a specific school might want to hold off on laterals now for budgetary reasons or whatever but I would best many interview laterals at the conference. I don't think they want to force laterals to be at the conference because people from that person's school are there and people don't want to meet each other in the elevators or whatever.

You may also have the problem of being overqualified for the lower ranked schools. They probably do not think you would come there so lower ranked schools pass on you.

Posted by: anon | Sep 30, 2016 7:11:37 PM

I am an "experienced" scholar with 40+ articles and several years of teching experience at law schools. My research is primarily in a field that could be considered specific, but I have taught a wide range of courses, including a first year course.

I have been in a foreign country for some time, and I am now trying to come back to a law school in U.S. on a permanent basis. (I am a U.S. citizen.)

I am surprised by the small number of AALS interview offers I got - just one - and only one request from materials from a top 20 law school and nothing else.

When I first applied through AALS years ago and got a job offer, with a fraction of credentials that I have now, I received several interview offers, but now only one. I know that the market has gotten tougher, but this is surprising.

Could anyone, hopefully someone on an appointments committee, shed a light on my situation? Interestingly one T14 school has advised that I am considered "lateral" and will be reviewed after the AALS is done. Could this be the case with other schools? Are experienced scholars not normaly interviewed at the AALS conference?

Many thanks!

Posted by: anon0930 | Sep 30, 2016 6:30:11 PM

The first time it was from FAR without sending in my materials, then I sent in my materials . Not sure why I got it twice.

I think the consensus on here is that many people got it just from being in FAR, but there were some people in FAR who did not get it.

Posted by: anon | Sep 30, 2016 2:22:54 PM

Anon - Did you send in materials directly or have they taken info from the FAR database?

Posted by: anon001001 | Sep 30, 2016 1:12:47 PM

This is second time I got the bu form even though I filled it out before. No interviews so do not think it means anything.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 30, 2016 1:01:34 PM

EEO form request - BU

Posted by: anon001001 | Sep 30, 2016 12:59:08 PM

Even if your field is very specific, why would you market yourself so narrowly that you'd only get 1-2 interviews?

Surely, there is at least one large or 1L course that relates to some area of everyone's expertise. I appreciate that certain subjects are hot. Nonetheless, I hope people know that people are only hurting themselves if they put Animal Law as their number one subject, when they could easily put Civil Procedure or Torts, or something else that's tangentially related and leave Animal Law a little further down.

Posted by: anon | Sep 30, 2016 11:42:30 AM

I would also add about the 1 or 2 interviews the point made by the person above me - if your field is super specific then you may not have many interviews. And if could be that despite 1 interview in a busy field you are the perfect candidate. But balance the chances against the costs. Also most schools will do Skype so it is not like you will lose the opportunity to interview. I think most schools fairly evaluate candidates, though it may signal that few schools want to hire you.

Posted by: anon | Sep 29, 2016 5:21:10 PM

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