« 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 could see no response from an AALS interview. But a callback? After you go to dinner and everything? No excuse for that. It happened to me in a school that deadlocked and hired no one. Maybe they kept on delaying because they thought the deadlock would be broken, but still. Takes 1 minute to copy a nice rejection email out of the many all of us receive and send it to the 2 rejected candidates.

So hiring committees: By February please at least send the rejected candidates an email. You never know where people may end up so they could be on the hiring end of a school you want to go to someday.

Posted by: anon | Nov 20, 2017 2:15:18 AM

Yeah never sending any sort of response to somebody who did a callback is bush league. I would bet what often happens in these cases is that people who are still considered possible hires after their call back but don't get an offer right away end up getting forgotten later in the process. But there's no excuse for not *eventually* contacting them. I mean how many callbacks can any school do in one season? It's not very many people.

The excuse that people are "busy" is lame. How long does it take to write a short but polite email? OK these are academics so maybe an hour but still.

Posted by: T-30ish prof | Nov 19, 2017 11:02:54 PM

I'm not sure how I feel about never calling someone back who you did an AALS interview with, but I did callbacks with 5 schools. 1 hired me, 2 send me very nice rejection emails, and 2 I never, ever heard from, which seems ridiculous. I found out they hired someone else via Facebook (I knew the person who they hired).

Posted by: AnonProf | Nov 19, 2017 6:58:41 PM

Idk. I never heard back on a position that I interviewed for 5-7 years ago. Never even got an acknowledgment of my thank you email. Two years later I joined the faculty at another (is it petty to insert "higher-ranked" here?) law school in the same state. I regularly run into the chair of the committee I interviewed with. That person has never acknowledged never letting me know that I hadn't been hired and, yeah, I think a little less of that person for it. If you can't bring yourself to tell a candidate you barely know that you aren't extending an offer, how do you give students constructive criticism, etc.? You can't be so socially awkward that you can't bring yourself to deliver bad news. Courtesy is still a thing and interviewing in person for a position in a relatively small professional sector is not like pitching a client.

Posted by: idk | Nov 18, 2017 4:39:17 PM

No, I am not a hiring committee member or chair trying to justify. I'm just a grown up. If I didn't hear, I assumed I wasn't moving forward. How difficult is that? And the real world does, actually, work like that. You can go pitch a client and never hear back, for instance.

Posted by: nana | Nov 16, 2017 7:18:45 PM

Has anyone heard from New Mexico (non-AALS screening interview or callback)?

Posted by: anonSW | Nov 16, 2017 3:36:18 PM

Has anyone heard from Idaho?

Posted by: anon | Nov 16, 2017 5:25:57 AM

No news from the schools I met at the AALS conference, but I have been invited for an on-campus interview in December from a school that I did not meet there. I think that the school has advertised positions on the AALS placement bulletin, but I am not sure if they attended the AALS conference.

At any rate, I wish everyone here good luck. This is my last AALS - I might be getting too old for this ^_^ Whatever happens, life goes on.

Posted by: anon | Nov 15, 2017 7:45:05 PM

Also waiting to hear from Drexel. Anyone heard back?

Posted by: Anon101 | Nov 15, 2017 2:38:56 PM

I heard that Georgia extended an offer, and that it was accepted before AALS. Don't know if it was an internal candidate or not.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 15, 2017 10:11:54 AM

Anything new on Drexel?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 15, 2017 9:55:24 AM

I heard through the grapevine that Georgia has a very strong internal candidate.

Posted by: anon | Nov 15, 2017 8:36:40 AM

Anyone heard anything new from Georgia?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 14, 2017 8:17:29 PM

Thank you notes are perfectly normal. What goes in it depends on many factors, such as, whether you are particularly interested in that school, have a better answer to a question you were asked, published something in the meantime, etc. I don't believe committees are going to obsess on a thank you email, but it could definitely help in expressing your interest.

Posted by: Anon101 | Nov 14, 2017 4:21:05 PM

I think last year I just sent a note to my faculty host, but mentioned the people that I met with so that he (the host) could forward it around to people if he thought it appropriate. I agree that I don't think it matters too much either way, but you can't ever go wrong with a short thank you to whoever put together your schedule or ushered you around.

Posted by: Anon junior | Nov 14, 2017 1:28:48 PM

To add my $0.02, thank you notes will never be a definitive factor in receiving or not receiving an offer. Do what you think is right, as Anon above says.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 14, 2017 12:14:51 PM

I've heard such mixed advice about this! Send one just to the chair and it looks like you are not that interested in the school. Send meaningful thank yous to the people you actually connected with, and you risk wading into one of the inevitable faculty schisms that you know nothing about. Send generic notes to everyone you met with, and you end up looking bland. There's no good solution, except perhaps to be yourself, do what comes naturally to you, and hope that there's a school that wants to hire the real you.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 14, 2017 11:45:05 AM

What is the wisdom about sending thank you after a callback? Who do you send it to? Everyone? Just the chair?

Posted by: anon | Nov 14, 2017 8:11:20 AM

Does anyone know if CUNY has extended callbacks?

Posted by: anon | Nov 13, 2017 8:32:47 PM

I would be very interested in the question above also. Anyone can report and offer being made and/or accepted.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 13, 2017 4:49:00 PM

Has anyone accepted an offer? Are there any schools that are done hiring (or interviewing)?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 13, 2017 4:16:21 PM

business-related courses, I believe (e.g. Contracts, business law)

Posted by: anon | Nov 13, 2017 3:42:37 PM

Can someone tell me what the two Arkansas schools are hiring for?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 13, 2017 3:03:10 PM

Both Arkansas-Fayetteville and Arkansas-Little Rock have made callbacks.

Posted by: anonwithsomeintel | Nov 13, 2017 12:07:55 PM

What about Arkansas-Little Rock? Delay there too (for dean search) or callbacks have been made?

Posted by: anon | Nov 13, 2017 9:59:37 AM

It's been added to the spreadsheet, but just wondering if anyone has heard anything at all from Arkansas-Fayetteville? (I know they are in a dean search, but not sure how much that would delay things.) Thanks.

Posted by: anon | Nov 13, 2017 7:42:34 AM

It is a reality that we are facing, Anon. Many folks complain about the affirmative action without really knowing what minorities are going through. Prejudice and racism is pretty real. My race does not seem to benefit from the affirmative action, but I am all for it, and I hope as many blacks, Hispanics, and women will get an opportunity even if I don't get it this time.

Posted by: anonminority | Nov 12, 2017 9:31:25 PM

Sorry, anonminority, I just don't believe that.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 12, 2017 8:50:11 PM

Well...I feel there is a bias against particular ethnic groups, and it is not just about academic credentials. I have a degree from a top school and have a number of publications. At interviews, I have had questions like "how can you possibly publish this much?" "Do you have a life outside academics?"

The questions did not sound just friendly compliments for my achievements. It sounded more like we are not going to hire you, but you were too good to pass and we needed to check you out. I met other candidates of my own race, and they told me the same thing.

I have heard that my race does not count for diversity (so no incentive to hire). Schools may hire one or two of my race, but never more, and they prefer females. Guess I should check the faculty composition before I accept an interview from now on.

Posted by: anonminority | Nov 12, 2017 5:46:59 PM

anon @ 11:16:23: yes, we reached back into the pool 3 years ago once we had a clearer sense of our needs later in the process. we did full-committee 30-minute phone screens, then a set of callbacks. one of those people is now my colleague.

Posted by: writey spice | Nov 12, 2017 5:31:00 PM

Yeah, an unannounced acceptable percentage is an unannounced quota. Someone just needs to get their hands on the recent reports and correspondence from a bunch of schools to figure out the percentage. Can you FOIA the ABA?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 12, 2017 4:13:52 PM

The bias isn't for or against a particular racial or ethnic group. The bias comes down to academic credentials. If you don't have a J.D. from Harvard or Yale, and you don't have a PhD or a top fellowship, it's going to be very hard to get even an interview. It really is a buyer's market, and the hiring committees largely remain focused on traditional indicators of prestige.

Posted by: anonprof | Nov 12, 2017 4:11:03 PM

T-30ish, you should look at how lower ranked schools behave. Also, when reviews occur, certain percentages must be acceptable, while others must yield report backs...that is a quota. I do agree accreditation is never yanked.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 12, 2017 4:04:04 PM

The ABA and AALS don't mandate hiring quotas. That is simply false. In addition, neither organization ever yanks accreditation once it's been granted, even for offenses far more egregious than non-diverse hiring outcomes.

People should be pursuing backup plans at this point because it's still a ridiculous buyer's market -- there are far more superbly qualified candidates than there are jobs, and that's likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: T-30ish prof | Nov 12, 2017 3:43:35 PM

Are Asian males also included in this quota? I have heard that Asian males are excluded. (Please answer if you are certain.)

Posted by: anonasian | Nov 12, 2017 3:38:16 PM

If you are not a racial minority or a woman, you ought to be pursuing plan B or C at this point. The ABA and AALS mandate certain quotas for recruitment and hiring, unless the law school wants to risk ABA accreditation or AALS membership. You can see this in the current ABA questionare and AALS site visit guidelines. I am not making a value judgment here. I just want people to understand their odds. Even a Russian political refugee from the 1980s with relatively little "white privilege" would be at a disadvantage, if they were not already viewed as a super star.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 12, 2017 1:55:07 PM

Any evidence schools ever reach back in and contact candidates who were not interviewed at aals?

Posted by: anon | Nov 12, 2017 11:16:23 AM

Callbacks at this point are possible, but they're definitely the exception and not the rule.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 12, 2017 8:39:32 AM

anonanon | Nov 11, 2017 10:17:54 PM,
Yes. I know people who received callbacks into January, after a long hiatus of silence over winter break. They received tenure track positions from those late-in-the-game institutions. But as someone said a few days ago on this platform and it's important to again emphasize and strongly advise; you should already be working on plans B and C, just in case.

Posted by: AnonProf1 | Nov 12, 2017 7:05:14 AM

Only been a week since FAR, so yes.

Posted by: I’mWithGrossed | Nov 12, 2017 3:09:15 AM

Should we expect any more callbacks at this point?

Posted by: anonanon | Nov 11, 2017 10:17:54 PM

Any word from Ohio State?

Posted by: AnonHopeful | Nov 11, 2017 7:24:57 PM

Any word from Cornell?

Posted by: anonotheranon | Nov 11, 2017 6:24:43 PM

Anyone heard from Pitt?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 11, 2017 5:31:53 PM

Alabama has made post-conference callbacks.

Posted by: anon | Nov 11, 2017 5:21:04 PM

Boston College and SMU have made callbacks. Anyone hear from Alabama post-conference?

Posted by: anonwithsomeintel | Nov 11, 2017 5:15:10 PM

Any LA schools? UCLA, USC?

Posted by: anon | Nov 11, 2017 3:43:43 PM

Anybody here from SMU?

Posted by: SMU | Nov 11, 2017 11:41:51 AM

Has Boston College made callbacks?

Posted by: AnonHopeful | Nov 11, 2017 11:38:59 AM

And no schools would be doing callbacks the last week in December. For most schools callbacks end the first week since faculty scatter. So the only remote potential problem could have been the second week, when most schools probably aren't even offering callbacks (as they would be finished) or else they would have squeezed you into the first week or in November. Depending on where you live, at some schools it is simply a one day affair if you need it to be.

Posted by: anon | Nov 11, 2017 10:54:13 AM

It was not a good idea to preemptively email schools and tell them of a work conflict. These schools are going to decide things on their schedule and most have to be done (or want to be done) by the first week in December. So for many schools they are scheduling flight outs now when there is no work problem for you in November so in most cases it probably would be a moot point or you could have raised it when they offered a callback with there being 3 more weeks left for you to do it. Best not to make it a problem for them until it actually is a problem - meaning you can't schedule a callback. At the very least you should have waited until after thanksgiving to let them know. Now, schools think you aren't really committed to legal academia, a perception you did not need to give them. It's an unfair assumption but with 20-25 mostly equally qualified candidates they will just go back to the group and pick one of them instead of you.

Posted by: anon | Nov 11, 2017 10:50:49 AM

Denver has made callbacks.

Posted by: anon | Nov 11, 2017 9:55:57 AM

How about Denver? Any news?

Posted by: anon | Nov 11, 2017 8:19:57 AM

How about Denver? Any news?

Posted by: anon | Nov 11, 2017 8:19:56 AM

Now that calls have been completed, I wonder if it wouldn't make sense to have a new thread to talk about callbacks.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 11, 2017 8:11:38 AM

Are you saying that you notified schools that asked you for a callback about your availability ... or that you notified all the schools that you had a screening interview? If the latter, I wouldn't expect to hear from anyone unless they are going to take further action.

Posted by: anon | Nov 11, 2017 8:01:40 AM

Sorry, man... makes it look like you enjoy your current work more.

Posted by: I’mWithGrossed | Nov 11, 2017 5:02:14 AM

I cannot travel for callbacks in December except the first and the last weeks due to my professional assignment. I informed the schools that I met for screening interviews but no response. One school does not even respond to my thank-you note. Are they just "too busy"?

Posted by: anon | Nov 10, 2017 7:30:37 PM

Does anyone know the subject for the Maryland call back?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 10, 2017 6:17:27 PM

Speaking of which, did anyone hear of a Vermont callback?

Posted by: anon | Nov 10, 2017 5:58:27 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.