« Grading the Slave-Owning Framers (and Yourself) on a Historical Curve: The Moral Case Against/For George Washington -- and Everyone Else | Main | Judge Posner retires »

Friday, September 01, 2017

A Clearinghouse for Questions, 2017-2018

In this comment thread to this post, you can ask questions about the law teaching market, and professors 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, sarah*dot*lawsky*at*law*dot*northwestern*dot*edu.

After the AALS hiring conference, there will be a different thread in which candidates or professors 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 2014-20152015-2016, and 2016-2017.

Update, January 2, 2018: I am unable to add a link to the last page of comments. Typepad has killed the trick for adding "last page" links. Here is the last page of comments as of January 2, 2018; this will not remain the last page of comments, but at least you will be able to click through fewer pages.

Another approach: here is a link to the last page of comments as of January 2, 2018: 


Substitute a higher number for the "19" and you will be taken to a later page of comments. If you guess too high, you will be taken to the first page of comments.

Originally posted September 1, 2017. 

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on September 1, 2017 at 12:31 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


I had a pre-pre-interview with a hiring chair. She just wanted to know if I have questions. They are hiring specifically for my extremely narrow specialty.

Posted by: anon | Sep 21, 2017 5:03:31 AM

I have never heard of or encoutered a pre-screening conversation for a pre-screening interview. Is that a "thing" for the elite schools? Or for the other end of the spectrum? For the elite candidates? Or for the people schools aren't sure they even want to interview? I am very curious.

Posted by: anon | Sep 21, 2017 12:13:45 AM

Very good anon, very good. We're fortunate Charles Xavier is not on any of the committees. Nor Jean, nor Wolvie, for that matter. Though Gambit aka ol' Gumbo would be fun.

For those who are stressing hard, secure a solid "normal" job in the meantime (we have plenty of time until November), and trust me, the anxiety will be at least halved.

Posted by: nona | Sep 21, 2017 12:04:09 AM

@ Proflette:

'Professor X; Professor Logan; Dr. Summers; Jean...'

*Dark Phoenix blows up candidate*

Posted by: Anon | Sep 20, 2017 10:35:39 PM

re honorifics: just don't be like the candidate who addressed each of my male colleagues on the hiring committee as "professor X" and me (the only female committee member) by first name. everyone noticed. it was not a good look.

Posted by: proflette | Sep 20, 2017 10:07:37 PM

Anyone here had a conversation pre-screening interview & willing to share what was and wasn't discussed? chair at one school asked to talk after requesting materials and chair at another school asked to talk after requesting AALS intvw. Both made sure I understood it would be 15 minutes max and wasn't an interview.

Posted by: pre-pre-discussion | Sep 20, 2017 9:42:27 PM

futureHLSprof - quit while you're ahead

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2017 7:30:57 PM

You get to call people by their first name when you have attained their rank. Edward Imwinkelried is Professor Imwinkelried until you are a professor. Erwin Chemerinsky is Dean Chemerinsky until you become dean. Elena Kagan is Justice Kagan until you are a Justice of the United States.

It's different for me, of course, because I am destined to be HLS Prof, Dean, and then Justice of the United States. So they are Ed, Erwin, and 'Lena to me.

Posted by: futureHLSprof | Sep 20, 2017 7:03:26 PM

So long as you cancel about a week before the conference i think it's ok. Schools either would appreciate the break in their schedule or if they want they will schedule someone else. It's unfair to other candidates and to the committees to fool around and waste good interview slots on places you have no intention of going to. People talk about number of interviews signifying momentum and maybe that's true but once it is a week or two before the conference, very rarely do people get interviews out of the blue without someone pushing for them. Many of us know we would have no intention nor would our spousal situation allow us to move to Nebraska and there may be candidates who are not getting interviews for whatever reason who may be willing to go.

Schools end up knowing which candidates aren't really mobile. It reflects poorly after the fact for lateral opportunities to interview when you have no chance of going.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2017 6:24:02 PM

The interviews are 30 minutes, but it would be insane to schedule them back to back because of the amount of time it takes to get through the hotel. So if someome is just there for two days, that's about 15 interviews total.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2017 6:02:48 PM

*is next week

Posted by: Anon | Sep 20, 2017 5:58:22 PM

Is already full is totally full of it. Smh.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 20, 2017 5:57:01 PM

Some of you have no idea what you're talking about and others are clearly lying. First of all, there was no FAR distribution today. It was the second deadline and the distribution was next week. Furthermore, interviews are 30 minutes long, so anyone who says their schedule

Posted by: Anon | Sep 20, 2017 5:56:41 PM

For gosh sakes, do not call anyone anything other than professor until asked to do otherwise (and most will very quickly ask that you call them by their first name). You can't go wrong with that level of formality, but you can easily cause offense by attempting to be too familiar too soon. In other words, err on the side of caution.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 20, 2017 5:03:40 PM

My two cents: Use first names when addressing faculty. You are applying to be their professional colleague. They need to imagine you as their co-worker (and hopefully friend) for years to come. Almost every candidate I've dealt with used first names. I honestly can't remember candidates using honorific titles (Dr., Prof, etc.) except with the Dean.

Posted by: anonprof | Sep 20, 2017 4:52:44 PM

I concur with first time caller.

But I'll also say that its fine to decline interviews with schools that you are really not interested in, as long as you do so respectfully and with sufficient time before the conference to allow those schools to fill their interview slots with other candidates. They'd rather not spend the interview time with someone who wouldn't accept an offer anyway, I imagine. Actually, I would respond the same way to someone asking about cancelling already accepted AALS interviews - respectfully and while there is still time for the school to fill your vacated time slot.

Posted by: yup | Sep 20, 2017 4:25:45 PM

@firsttimer We'll tell you the answer as soon as you update the spreadsheet with all of your many screeners.

Posted by: first time caller | Sep 20, 2017 4:17:50 PM

What is the protocol for declining a FAR-based interview offer? Is it frowned upon? I've gotten a good number of AALS interviews already, and it sounds like some schools wait to call until after reviewing the second set of FARs that were released today. My Friday and Saturday schedules are filling up (leaving the half hour between interviews), and it doesn't seem like many schools are interviewing on Thursday -- or at least they aren't offering those slots to me. I don't want to completely fill up my schedule, and then be unable to interview with the school of my dreams when they call in a few weeks. I know, wishful thinking.

Posted by: firsttimer | Sep 20, 2017 4:13:29 PM

How formal a school is really depends on the shop. But the norm is that during on campus interviews, the D.C. market interviews, and in email exchanges candidates usually refer to committee members by their first names. But as I wrote earlier, in correspondences I'd go with first name if the sender uses that or Prof. otherwise.

Maybe some other faculty member will chime in to let me know whether my anecdotal claim is correct.

Posted by: AnonProf1 | Sep 20, 2017 3:24:55 PM

anon 12:30 - I meant, even if a hiring chair signs off with his/her first name, I would maintain "Prof. __" except in the case of a pre-existing first name-basis relationship.

I have done practice job talks in front of faculty, never used first names, and was never admonished for this. Even during faculty workshops, I have noticed professors reference each other by "Prof. __" as a sign of respect before they become acquainted.

Of course, if particular faculty requests that you reference by first name, that changes things. :)

Posted by: nona | Sep 20, 2017 1:18:25 PM

fyi I added what I noticed of the interviews mentioned on this thread to the spreadsheet. for a few, dates of receiving interview invites from schools weren't mentioned

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2017 1:00:38 PM

If a person signs with a first name, use that, if with both names, use the "Prof. X" salutation.

Posted by: AnonProf1 | Sep 20, 2017 12:43:29 PM

First time on the job market. I've heard from four hiring chairs, and three of them have signed the email with only their first name. I don't see why I can't respond to them using the first name.

Posted by: anonyymmmoouussee | Sep 20, 2017 12:34:33 PM

"Would never address a hiring chair by first name unless you're already on first name terms"- trying to see how a candidate knows that the hiring chair has switched to first name terms - if the hiring chair addresses you by first name or signs off with only his/her first name?

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2017 12:30:46 PM

Would never address a hiring chair by first name unless you're already on first name terms.

If assistants sign off via first name and address you by first name, I would do the same. Otherwise, nope. No harm using last names nonetheless.

Posted by: nona | Sep 20, 2017 12:10:36 PM

when does it make sense for a candidate to address a hiring chair by first name. There seem to be several options: maybe never in official cover letters? maybe in writing only if the prof has already called the candidate by first name (instead of as Mr. or Ms.)? maybe always in person? by phone? does this depend on region? [I've seen this question discussed a good amount for JD students, but not often for candidates on the market besides that I was given advice to never "professor" anyone during a job talk presentation.]

same question, but for a candidate addressing a non-prof assistant?

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2017 12:05:39 PM

I'm not sure that anyone assumes that a request for a paper or a job talk paper or a representative paper means any candidacy is far along. Right now, it is a committee asking usually to decide if they want to give a candidate a 20-min interview or not. That's not advanced as far as candidacy goes. But it is also a serious obstacle to overcome to have a chance with a school. No screening interview with a school means no campus visit which means no offer.

Im guessing that, at this stage, many will only give a polished version of their job talk paper in response to this in an attempt to put their best foot forward - it's often the only best example of your work or your research agenda. Even at this early stage, why would some of us send in a student note that we think isn't as good or representative as our job talk when we know others are sending in polished job talk papers? For fellowships, it might make sense to submit a note if you have no other writing, but, when all entry-level candidates are expected to have a job talk paper nowadays, why should some candidates submit a paper that isn't as good or as suited for the market instead of their job talk paper? (Granted, it's a different matter if a school specifically requests additional writing listed on your CV that isn't your job talk, but I think that tends to happen later in the process.)

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2017 8:39:13 AM

Ah. You also received the UCLA request!!

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 10:36:16 PM

I kinda hear what you all are saying OK and EA , but these kind of requests seem to suggest that "job talk paper" requests are for the paper you are anticipating presenting at a job talk:

"Our process is just getting started, but the committee would love to read your job talk paper if it is available."

"In order to expedite the committee’s review, it would also help if you would email your job talk paper directly to me in reply to this email. If for some reason you are not ready to share your job talk paper at this time, please let us know that as well."

They aren't asking for "papers." The request seems pretty specific.

Posted by: annonn | Sep 19, 2017 10:25:02 PM

My experience was consistent with Orin's hunch. At the early stage, someone on a Committee asks for your paper or papers, you send in whatever best represents your research agenda, and then the Committee splits up the candidates and their work by subject area (the private law person on the Committee reads all the contracts-related papers; the con law person reads all the con law papers; etc.). The Committee selects its initial interviewees based on those reads. Thinking about these as strictly "job talk paper requests" might lead one to think the process with respect to their candidacy is further along with the requesting Committee than it probably is.

Posted by: Enrique Armijo | Sep 19, 2017 5:08:01 PM

Anyone heard from Oregon?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 19, 2017 3:53:44 PM

Alot of schools don't post on the FAR, in fact I would say most of the T14 don't post in the FAR.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 2:06:56 PM

Request for Materials from Top14 for a position which was not posted on the Register...

Posted by: Anon | Sep 19, 2017 1:15:10 PM

There are also Jewish holidays this week and next so that could delay calls.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 1:04:05 PM

I think it's still very early in the process. Remember, schools only got the list of candidates on September 7. This is all done by committee, and at many places, it can be challenging to get a committee to act quickly. Also, in past years, many schools have opted to wait until the second set of FAR forms is released, in case there are any stragglers who they would want to consider. I was surprised to get called last week, which was still Week 1. Anyone on the list already is very much on the ball. But I expect that by next week (Week 3), more schools will have started to make calls.

Posted by: Yaz | Sep 19, 2017 12:57:16 PM

Anyone else get a request for materials from Wash U? Haven't seen them mentioned here yet, I don't think.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 12:53:12 PM

is it really the case that so few schools have scheduled interviews? Sheet does not have many schools on it. These schools scheduled 30 interviews so there's no reason people should be paranoid about updating it. Plus I doubt any hiring person even bothers to look at this board (no time) nor would they care.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 12:52:28 PM

There will be no doxxing, outing, etc. on these threads. I will delete anything like that immediately and ban the IP address from which the doxxing, outing, etc. occurred. Please refrain from any further speculation or commenting along the lines of "I know who this person is" and the like.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Sep 19, 2017 12:51:52 PM

anonasian, as I said, I do not agree with your approach. But if anyone doxes you, I will back you to the hilt.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 12:40:26 PM

Thanks for making my point

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 10:08:01 AM
Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 11:32:37 AM

being unfarily nasty against Asian men when they demand more representation.

Try to accuse African Americans, Hispanics, and women of being speculative when they demand more represenation without "empirical studies." Of course you would not dare, so do not try this to Asian men either. From what you are saying, you have not certinaly figured anything out.

Posted by: anonasian | Sep 19, 2017 12:31:28 PM

anon @ 10:08:01, I don't agree with anonasian's battle to fight for Asian male faculty hiring in this way, in this thread. But if you think what he is doing is based on "speculation" and that he is engaging in "oppression olympics," here are some numbers for you:


anon @ 11:32:37 (are you the same person as 10:08:01?), no doxing. The same for everyone. No doxing.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 12:21:51 PM

Thanks for the responses about requests for "job talk papers." My guess is that the appointments committees are just trying to read as much of your work as they can and may be using "job talk paper" as a short-hand for "drafts that are polished enough that we can read them as representative of your published work." Of course you're being judged by what you submit: It's a highly competitive interview process, so you're being judged on everything you do, say, or write.

Oh, and the appointments chair at GW this year is Catherine Ross.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Sep 19, 2017 12:11:42 PM

Anyone knows Floridas? I have all the other Florida schools but Florida is missing.

Posted by: anon22 | Sep 19, 2017 12:03:31 PM

Anonomon, my sense is that there was a first wave of requests and now things are quiet again for the moment. My guess is that another wave will occur at the end of this week or next week.

[email protected]:56:50, my sources tell me that Villanova's chair is Teri Ravenell, George Mason is Joshua Wright, and GW is Catherine Ross. I can't swear on the accuracy of all of these, but my sources are fairly solid.

Posted by: FriendlyFellow | Sep 19, 2017 11:46:47 AM

holy crap, I've figured out who anonasian is. Not what you'd expect, folks.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 11:32:37 AM

If people are getting calls/e-mails, could they update the spreadsheet accordingly? Personally, I have one interview and I wonder if things are about to heat up (or if things are already hot and I'm just left out in the cold).

Posted by: Anonomon | Sep 19, 2017 11:12:10 AM

anyone know who the hiring chair at GW is? They are not on the list sent out by my law school so maybe they are not hiring?

Likewise, anyone know hiring chairs for George Mason? Villanova? Are those places even hiring? They are not on FAR nor on the list I got from the law school.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 10:56:50 AM

gosh, i don't think anyone suggested asian men shouldn't benefit from affirmative action. if you want to see why they are underrepresented, do an empirical study to find out. otherwise, leave your speculation about whether committees are considering them or not to your diary because it's largely baseless speculation. by the way, this is the first anon who told the troll to leave "afro american" with his whining about other issues.

if you want to get real, the only true affirmative action in law faculty hiring is through strong personal networks, seeming like other schools want you (which is whole other story), and dripping with prestige. if you think that being any type of minority matters more than any of the above, you're fooling yourself. focus on revising your job talk paper and talking to your old professors. stop wasting time pontificating about the oppression olympics and who deserves affirmative action more. hiring committees only like to say that they care about diversity. at the end, it all comes down to the above factors

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 10:08:01 AM

anon @ 11:14: looks like mine mostly came the first two weeks in september for an oct. 12-13 meat market. the most standard version was a phone call (or email) inviting to interview and then a follow-up email confirming timeslot, often also requesting jobtalk draft/any other updated docs i wanted to send along.

Posted by: proflette | Sep 19, 2017 9:55:24 AM

queserasera...you seem like a very competitive candidate. Thanks for sharing your views.

I feel that you will be successful this year - yeah I was once on the hiring committee, too. When you become a law faculty and sits on the appointments committee, I hope you remember what I say today and would consider looking out for other underrepresented minorities outside the protected minority groups.

When I was younger (and hence more confident), I thought a bit of unfairness is a fact of life everywhere, and one should just try hard, without asking for favorable consideration from anyone. I now see that it is not enough, and that more efforts should be made at social level.

The hostility shown to my appeal on this site is evidence enough. I don't think no one would have made an issue if I had said that appointments committees should continue to look out for African Americans, Hispanics, and women. I said "Asian men", and suddenly I was wrong and attacked by others; that is, even if Asian men are clearly most underrepresented on most law school faculties.

I think affirmative action is a correct and just social policy. If it is correct for African Americans, Hispanics, and women, it is also correct for Asian men. That is all I am saying. The unsavory things that North Korea and even China do sometimes are irrelevant to this issue, and I hope that appointments committees would look out for Asian men, if they do not see a fair number of Asian men sitting on their own faculties.

Best wishes, queserasera, for your job search. I hope you would become a part of this effort when you become a law faculty.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 9:53:52 AM

Is GW making calls?

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 9:22:28 AM

My requests have just been for "your job talk paper.". No discussion of whether I could later revise later. I operate under the assumption that they will judge me based on this version.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2017 7:27:36 AM

Orin: the requests have been for job market paper or draft that I want to share. The two have somewhat converged. While I assume that I would be able to send in a new version shortly before I give a job talk, many of us seem to know/think that, if requested in advance, the decisions to give us screening interviews or to request us to come back to give a job talk will be based on whatever version we share now. The committee member/s who read the paper now will likely not re-read a new version and/or their opinions probably won't change, so it can seem that getting a screening interview, getting asked to do a job talk, and the votes/opinions of those committee members all turn on the paper we send in now. And it makes sense to plan for it to still be a buyers' market.

If people have multiple papers that would work as job talks or that are polished, perhaps these considerations fall away. Although I'm very happy generally to discuss and send out works in progress, with such judgment and high stakes, it feels like I should only send job talk-worthy drafts out while on the market. I am happy to have my account corrected by others on the market or by profs who don't think that this is how committees decide.

Posted by: anonhp | Sep 19, 2017 6:38:19 AM

Proflette- thanks, that's an ocean of sanity in the panic.

One other question, if you're feeling generous: how soon did your interviews come in?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 18, 2017 11:14:52 PM

Just to clarify something: When candidates are saying that they were asked for their job market paper, does that mean they were asked for any drafts they were ready to share or does that mean that they were specifically asked only for the paper they would present as a job talk? When I was on GW's appointments committee, we often asked for drafts so we could read as much as we could of a candidate's written work. But I don't recall anyone asking specifically for a job market paper until months later when a person was invited for a call-back and they were asked if they would circulate the paper they were planning to present. Has that practice changed, or are we assuming that a request for drafts is a request for a job market paper?

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Sep 18, 2017 11:09:40 PM

Anyone heard from the University of Arizona?

Posted by: anon | Sep 18, 2017 11:02:34 PM

Yes, you will only hear back if you get an interview. I think they probably ask alot of people for the paper so while it is a positive sign it's not something to get too excited about.

Posted by: anon | Sep 18, 2017 9:56:35 PM

just to answer a couple of questions posed above based on my experience (2012):
-i got one t20 interview without a jobtalk request; the request for the jobtalk paper came later, closer to the conference. i am not a URM.
-i got a request for materials from a different t20 & responded asking for a few more days because i was away and then heading into the jewish holidays. they said no, send asap. this is in response to folks who thought waiting a week to send was ok. i assume the committee was on a schedule and the admin assistant who emailed me didn't have flexibility. they also called my references, but did not invite me to interview.
-all other interviews were with schools outside the top 50 and few of those solicited a jobtalk paper before calling to book an interview. i wound up with 15 interviews.

Posted by: proflette | Sep 18, 2017 9:45:14 PM

Yes, anon directly above, you will only hear back if you get an interview.

Posted by: Secondtimearound | Sep 18, 2017 8:18:23 PM

Also new to this. I have been asked by a few T14 schools for my job talk paper. Should I assume that I will only hear back from them if I get an interview?

Posted by: anon | Sep 18, 2017 7:26:15 PM

Post a comment