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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Law School Hiring Spreadsheet and Clearinghouse for Questions, 2018-2019

In a radical departure from past practice, this year the Hiring Spreadsheet post and the Clearinghouse for Questions post will live together in one post (quel scandale! cats and dogs! etc.). This very post, to be specific. (Last year, there were zero comments on the Hiring Thread post, because everyone just put the information in the spreadsheet. So I figured, let's combine them in one action-packed post! Spreadsheet and comments! Woohoo!)

I. The Spreadsheet

In the spreadsheet, you can enter information regarding whether you 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.  

Anyone can edit the spreadsheet; I will not be editing it or otherwise monitoring it. It is available here:

II. The Comment Thread

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.

You may want to take a look at the many questions and answers in the threads from 2014-20152015-20162016-2017. and 2017-2018. In general, 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.

Update: Comments have been changed to appear in order of newest to oldest. So the most recent comments are on the first page.

Update, 1/15/19: Some people have requested a "soft open" for the placement information. If you would like information to be added to the spreadsheet, please send me the information or post it in the comments below, and I will add it to the spreadsheet (which I will post once I have a few entries). You cannot add the information yourself. I will publicize this spreadsheet in early March, as I usually do. 

The relevant information to send is, as always,

Basic Information: Name, Hiring School, JD Institution, JD Year of Graduation

Other Degrees: Type of Degree, Degree Granting Institution, Degree Subject

Fellowship, VAP, or Visiting Professorship: Institution and Type (e.g., VAP, name of fellowship, etc.)

Clerkship: Court (e.g., 9th Circuit, Texas Supreme Court, etc.)

Areas of Specialty (up to four) (if you are a clinical or LRW hire, please list this as your first Area of Specialty)

Type of Position: Tenure Track or Non-Tenure Track (if you are clinical or LRW and also tenure-track, please indicate this)

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on August 23, 2018 at 09:00 AM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


[SBL Edit: I will publish "soft open" spreadsheet link when I have a few entries.]

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jan 15, 2019 5:16:07 PM

If people want to post information in these comments about where they have accepted jobs, I will incorporate that into a spreadsheet. Alternately, people can email me. Either way, please include the following information:

Basic Information: Name, Hiring School, JD Institution, JD Year of Graduation

Other Degrees: Type of Degree, Degree Granting Institution, Degree Subject

Fellowship, VAP, or Visiting Professorship: Institution and Type (e.g., VAP, name of fellowship, etc.)

Clerkship: Court (e.g., 9th Circuit, Texas Supreme Court, etc.)

Areas of Specialty (up to four) (if you are a clinical or LRW hire, please list this as your first Area of Specialty)

Type of Position: Tenure Track or Non-Tenure Track (if you are clinical or LRW and also tenure-track, please indicate this)

This is the "soft open" to which I referred; I will do the usual post at the beginning of March.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jan 11, 2019 3:58:33 PM

The more time/opportunity that people have to post, the better the response rate, so I’d suggest getting something up now. Or people can post here. It would also be good for those of us who are wondering whether we still have a chance (since most schools keep you in the dark even when they are done!).

Posted by: Anon | Jan 11, 2019 2:54:56 PM

I know of multiple people who have accepted offers, and I'm on the verge of accepting one, but I'm fine with waiting until March to see and share the data.

Posted by: anoncandidate | Jan 9, 2019 7:18:50 PM

Greetings! Instead of having a spreadsheet that people can edit, I make the entries on the placements spreadsheet, because I will use it later to do some counting of categories, etc., and so words, names of schools, etc. need to be standardized.

My current plan is to start collecting information regarding placements on Monday, March 4. I don't want to start pushing for entries now, because the vast majority of placements haven't happened yet, and I get a very limited number of shots at people's attention. (For example, other blogs will post only one or at most two links to the call for information, and I need those links to happen when most people are ready to provide the information.)

However, I would be curious to hear people's views about a "soft open." That is, I could post a spreadsheet now, but not post the call for info, etc.; if anyone wants to send me information I can put it in the spreadsheet now, and I can post a link to it in these comments. It might not serve much purpose, or maybe people would like it.... thoughts?

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jan 9, 2019 4:41:06 PM

anoncandidate -- Sarah usually posts the call for information in early March. She collects the information via comment and email and posts a running spreadsheet.

Posted by: Yesteryear | Jan 9, 2019 4:31:11 PM

Is there a place (spreadsheet) where we can post info about ourselves and where we've accepted offers? It will be interesting to see where people have landed.
And, what are people's impressions of the job market this year? Was it a good one?

Posted by: anoncandidate | Jan 9, 2019 1:04:05 PM

To Dec. 21 Anon - WVU had a failed search; faculty could not agree on any of the candidates so no offers went out.

Posted by: anontoanon | Jan 7, 2019 6:17:17 PM

"This has to be one of the most bizarre and maddening things I have ever participated in." Ha! If you think this is bad, wait until you get on a law faculty!

Posted by: Todd | Dec 31, 2018 2:17:13 PM

This has to be one of the most bizarre and maddening things I have ever participated in. Whose idea was it to create an extremely centralized and coordinated application/interview/flyout process followed by the Darwinian anarchy of exploding offers?

Posted by: anon | Dec 31, 2018 1:00:13 PM

Any info on Oregon?

Posted by: anonPacNW | Dec 22, 2018 10:20:45 AM

Same question for West Virginia. Anyone have any info on WVU?

Posted by: anon | Dec 21, 2018 10:34:34 AM

Anyone know anything about UNC?

Posted by: anon | Dec 20, 2018 2:47:55 PM

Dayton made a couple of offers. I don’t think they were accepted.

Posted by: anon_2000 | Dec 20, 2018 1:43:05 PM

Anyone hear anything about Dayton?

Posted by: anon | Dec 19, 2018 12:25:59 PM

A request for hiring committees: if a job candidate took the time to visit your campus, you really should keep the candidate informed about status (either a ding, or we need more time, etc.). I have an offer from School A. I had a callback at School B two months ago, and radio silence since then. Before accepting with School A, I emailed the hiring chair of School B, and he didn't respond. I sent another email this week, and got an out-of-office vacation message. So I just accepted with School A. I'm sure School B picked someone else, but it's a pretty rude way to deal with the situation.

Posted by: anon | Dec 19, 2018 7:07:23 AM

Our dean also calls. Often it is the same day, but often not. For example, if the committee met in the late afternoon and the candidate was in a time zone a couple of hours ahead, the call would come in the morning.

Posted by: anonprof | Dec 17, 2018 2:00:24 PM

Our dean calls and does not always do so immediately.

Posted by: ACommitteeMember | Dec 15, 2018 10:17:54 PM

We always call the successful candidate the day of the vote.

Posted by: HiringChair | Dec 15, 2018 8:53:08 PM

Yet another sweeping, judgmental answer from the peanut gallery. All schools are different. Yes, some may require further approval, but others schools could simply vote along acceptable/not-acceptable and leave the choice up to the dean, which may come after further deliberation. Or the dean may want to make all calls and might not be able to call the same day. etc. Tons of reasons why a call might not come immediately afterwards. Rather than instill further angst on candidates, faculty should be more careful with their comments.

Posted by: AnonLatProf | Dec 15, 2018 6:51:05 PM

It would be very unusual (and incompetent) for an offer not to be made to a candidate on the same day it's voted out by the faculty, assuming the law school doesn't have to get further approval from central to actually make an offer.

Posted by: Committee Member | Dec 15, 2018 4:33:34 PM

If faculty were meeting today to vote, when would they make an offer?

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 14, 2018 7:36:46 PM

I heard the Lewis & Clark position was filled.

Posted by: anon | Dec 12, 2018 3:29:17 PM


Posted by: BumpAnon | Dec 11, 2018 10:59:27 AM

The following schools have made clinic offers: Boston College, Tennessee, New Mexico. The offer at Tennessee has been accepted.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 8, 2018 1:09:51 PM

FWIW- I know of a bunch of schools that had their meeting yesterday so I would expect more offers will come in this weekend or next week ...

Posted by: AnonLatProf | Dec 8, 2018 6:43:27 AM

I know UMass made at least one offer on Tuesday the 4th.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 7, 2018 8:14:53 PM

Any idea when the UMass offer went out? Thank you.

Posted by: annon-ma | Dec 7, 2018 8:12:00 PM

There is lots of prognosticating about low quality signals on this board. But if a school has not called your references and they are about to deliberate, then that's a pretty reliable negative signal.

Posted by: anon hiring chair | Nov 29, 2018 11:17:56 AM

I wouldn't try to read anything into reference calls or not. It's not worth your time prognosticating over low-quality signals.

Posted by: Junior Prof | Nov 29, 2018 11:15:12 AM

Two things:

1) If people aren't calling your references, that's a bad sign.

2) We have made offers and every candidate in our pool has received other offers from other schools -- so there's lots of offers being made.

Posted by: CommMember | Nov 29, 2018 11:04:08 AM

I realize that a reference check doesn't necessarily mean that an offer is forthcoming, but I'm wondering whether a school not contacting my references is a bad sign. Do most schools tend to contact references between the callback and offer phases?

Posted by: Normative Johnson | Nov 28, 2018 7:08:09 PM

Just a note on the lack of spreadsheet updates: not my news to report, but I am hearing from colleagues that more and more offers are being made.

Posted by: anon | Nov 28, 2018 12:03:33 PM

From the Wikipedia page, it looks like the schools with the top endowments per student that also have a law school are (in order) Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Notre Dame, Richmond, W&L, Northwestern, Duke, Penn, and Wash U.

Posted by: anon | Nov 27, 2018 9:18:57 AM

Brian Leiter has a whole post devoted to what to ask: https://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2018/11/what-do-you-need-to-find-out-now-that-youve-gotten-a-tenuretrack-offer.html

Posted by: LawProf | Nov 25, 2018 6:09:45 PM

Kill that period at the blog's hyperlink and the link will work.,

Posted by: J.B. Heaton | Nov 25, 2018 3:59:28 PM

I think the suggestion to look at local legal employment is a great one by "prof".

I would also look at the university's endowment per student, which gives a look at the depth of resources beyond operating budgets. You can find it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colleges_and_universities_in_the_United_States_by_endowment. Make sure to look for the "by student" chart, otherwise you could get the wrong picture. For example, Northwestern had the 7th largest endowment by total amount in 2015 but the 23rd largest per student, while Washington and Lee had the 67th largest endowment by total amount in 2015 but the 21st largest per student.

Posted by: J.B. Heaton | Nov 25, 2018 3:57:50 PM

Ask about the school’s support from the main university and the relationship with the provost/president. Dig into the school’s longterm employment numbers. Is the school the primary employer of lawyers in a particular region? Or are there other schools that will always out perform that school?

You may also look up their 990 forms from recent years online. Also, how did the school respond to the last recession? Did their numbers drop significantly? I think it is fair game to ask a school how they responded to the decline in applicants in previous years. Their answer may give you valuable information. I’ve worked at schools that have responded differently to these kinds of events. One school had a policy of maintaining numbers and reducing class size. The other school maintained class size and reduced numbers. These policies were reflective of their overall philosophy and support (or lack thereof) from the main university.

Posted by: prof | Nov 24, 2018 11:17:59 AM

I'd like to get back to a question asked earlier - once we have an offer, what specific questions should we be asking to get an idea of the school's financial health? I have two offers from two very different schools - both in the T40-60ish range. I'd be fine in either location, and I liked the faculty at both schools. For me, the deciding factor really is going to be the school's ability to survive the inevitable recession. But I have no idea what I need to be asking to get an idea of this.

Posted by: anon | Nov 24, 2018 9:47:25 AM

FWIW - I was hoping to get info on specific schools— not general observations (which, as Committee Member suggests, is not really probative). Of course, all schools are different, but what (usually) makes this blog (somewhat) useful is when people post info on what a particular school has done (i.e., made ofers, updated certain candidates, stated that they are done, etc.). I did this in the past by naming the specific school and indicating that it had informed me of a pending vote or a failed search, etc. As others have stated, schools (including mine - I’ve been on the committee) don’t care whether they are mentioned on this blog (to the extent that they would even find out). Plus they know that candidates talk amongst themselves (especially those in a fellowship) so they don’t attribute it back to a specific candidate. This is why it was nice that someone posted before on the spreadsheet that a bunch of callbacks had been made (date unknown) since it sounded like a compilation from a group of candidates with no attribution possible. Happy holidays!

Posted by: AnonLatProf | Nov 24, 2018 8:38:35 AM

I realize people are nervous but some of these questions illustrate an apparent lack of common sense and/or social intelligence. Different schools feature different voting procedures, timelines for hiring, criteria for making offers, and so on. Indeed these things can vary significantly at the same school over time. And given that you're talking about 200 different institutions that function under no formal mandate to conduct hiring in a particular way (outside of general employment law restrictions), a significant degree of variation in hiring practices and procedures across institutions would be predictable even if you knew nothing in particular about law school hiring.

Posted by: Committee Member | Nov 24, 2018 8:11:18 AM

Anonlatprof- I also am on the job market and have heard from schools the same thing as the poster below - they all said they will start making offers the first week in December. Some (including me) still have callbacks next week at non-T14 schools, so it probably makes sense that the schools will not make offers until they have hosted all of their callbacks.

Posted by: anon | Nov 23, 2018 4:25:22 PM

Has anyone heard about any action/offers - especially on the lateral front? Also, have any schools been updating candidates? Any info appreciated!

Posted by: AnonLatProf | Nov 23, 2018 2:28:44 PM

Anonymous | Nov 21, 2018 8:00:20 AM -- I understand the urge to read tea leaves (really.) but it's not going to yield much and you'd be better off spending your energy elsewhere. There are enough small variations in procedure (to say nothing of variations in institutional culture and needs) that no one here can tell you exactly what letter or eval requests mean at School X, especially when we don't know which school *is* School X. I had some (what I thought were) horrible CBs combined with awkward follow up conversations with hiring chairs about the likelihood I'd accept an offer and I still somehow got offers... whereas at some places where I thought the visit was a slam dunk, I came up with nothing. And my advisors, at least based on what they've shared with me about their end of the process, couldn't have predicted which schools would fall into which categories. For instance, yes eval requests are pro forma at some (most?) places, and they might signal that a school has decided it wants you above all others and is simply doing due diligence before making the offer, but they might be because the person writing the report on you is unusually keen on you and is hoping you have excellent evals in order to add one more element to their "pitch"... or it might be something altogether different.

If you're done with CBs I'd suggest doing 2 things, in whichever order of importance or feasibility applies to you. First, try to catch up with some parts of your life that have been put on hold because of the market -- teaching duties (grading assignments, developing exams etc) or personal obligations (spending time with spouse/kids/four-legged friends, making holiday travel plans) or scholarship (reading those 1-2 articles that might help you start imagining the next project). Second, if you don't already have an offer you'd be willing to accept, I'd begin developing a contingency plan for next year. VAP/fellowship? Clerking? Return to practice? -- whatever it is, it will be better and therefore easier to accept if you're not scrambling to put it together in a moment of extreme vulnerability.

Posted by: So&So | Nov 21, 2018 11:59:57 AM

I had four callbacks, all in the T30-75 range, and they all indicated that their votes and offers won't start until the first week of December. So it isn't surprising to see few offers or rejections listed on the spreadsheet.

Posted by: anon | Nov 21, 2018 11:52:29 AM

What is the faculty vote process? How many candidates do they vote on? Everyone who did a call back or a select group? I know they have contacted my references and recently requested my teaching evaluations. Trying to figure out my odds.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 21, 2018 8:00:20 AM

help!, what the the rank-ish of the schools you have an offer from and the one in December? Trying to scope out where schools are in the process.

Posted by: Anon_J_Doe | Nov 19, 2018 6:17:09 PM

Confirm that the terms at the offering school are acceptable, and then cancel (candidates should not be expected to give away all bargaining advantage immediately, scarcity of positions notwithstanding).

Posted by: juniorprof | Nov 19, 2018 11:44:28 AM

Yes, cancel. It is in everyone's interest

Posted by: Anon | Nov 19, 2018 10:54:47 AM

I just received an offer from a school that is at the top of my list. I have a callback in early December with a school that I'm not as enthusiastic about, mainly for geographic reasons. Do I cancel that callback? I don't want to waste their time.

Posted by: help! | Nov 19, 2018 10:10:47 AM

A vote of "acceptable" is essentially voting an offer to a candidate, although it's an offer that may not be made if another candidate for the same position has more support and is still available. In other words, a vote of acceptable means the faculty is willing to hire this person, either as a first choice or as a backup. So it's a big commitment. Not getting that far just means you didn't get an offer, either as a first choice or a backup. It doesn't mean anything beyond.

BTW lots of schools don't do things this way. They vote an offer, and if the candidate doesn't accept, they go back to the pool and consider whether they want to make another offer. This process of doing separate votes on acceptability and then ranking acceptable candidates seems like a fairly newish thing at a lot of places.

Posted by: Committee Member | Nov 18, 2018 11:19:34 PM

What standard do schools use when voting candidates as acceptable? Does a vote of unacceptable mean that the candidate was incompetent, or does it simply mean the faculty think they can do better?

Posted by: Acceptable | Nov 18, 2018 8:59:38 PM

Can someone with knowledge of offers (such as someone who is in a Fellowship program and knows others on the market) simply list offers that she/he has heard of....? Thanks.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 16, 2018 3:16:15 PM

anonhopeful - that’s not a bad sign. but some schools will check references of all callback candidates. this is particularly true at some state schools that have strict HR laws

Posted by: anon | Nov 15, 2018 10:06:48 PM

I did my callback at a school a few weeks ago. This week I learned they're checking my references. Is this a good sign or just something they do for every candidate?

Posted by: Anonhopeful | Nov 15, 2018 9:20:43 PM

To “anonprof”: Actually (my area), 34 companies have dropped from the SP500 the last 5 years because of market cap drops (decline). I don’t think anyone is expressing certainty, so I’m not sure what that refers to, but the point is that there are reasons to think law schools are in decline and that some number will close their doors, perhaps a large number, perhaps not. To your point, implying certainly that the school will be there in 15 years is probably unwise. True of any career, and true of that one.

Posted by: J.B. Heaton | Nov 14, 2018 9:53:27 PM

Take it easy. GE may be in distress. Over any five year cycle a few companies will drop out of the S&P 500. Law schools are businesses. They are mostly NFP, but that only means the profs operating them get to suck out the profits (usually as perks more than salaries, because it's hard to find a professional job that's as easy and pleasant as ours). Our industry should see failures and that's okay (anything else would be surprising). An attitude of certainty is both unhealthy and unrealistic, and not something we should model for students.

Posted by: anonprof | Nov 14, 2018 8:36:02 PM

Sorry, that's J.B. Heaton (not Heston).

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Nov 14, 2018 12:30:13 PM

Could Georgetown close? Of course! Will it? I surely don't know. But I agree that Heston is hitting closer to the mark than many might think.

As some readers of this blog will know (https://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2016/09/like-pulling-teeth-lessons-for-law-schools-from-the-1980s-dental-school-crisis.html), Georgetown used to have a dental school. Now, the economics and prestige effects of dental schools are very different from those of law schools, but I'd wager that some Gtown dental school faculty were unprepared when their school was shuttered.

IMO, if you're not interested in asking questions about a school's financial health, you're not paying enough attention.

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Nov 14, 2018 12:29:00 PM

I think J.B. Heston might be closer to the truth than many of us would want to admit. I teach at a strong but not T20 first tier school and, while the school isn't going broke any time soon, we have seen increasing financial strain. I can only imagine how much more difficult it is for schools that are significantly less of a draw to students.

Another thing that we don't often talk about that makes rankings matter is student quality. There are two reasons this might matter to you:

1. It's just a pleasure to teach really motivated and well-prepared students. And it's markedly harder to teach students that are seriously struggling to understand the material, or are cynical, bitter, etc., because of job prospects. Some people really feed on this: if you're one of those amazing teachers who loves to inspire struggling students and has a natural talent at it, then this might not be a concern for you. But many of us are not.

2. Below a certain point, I don't think it's altogether ethical to take students' money if they don't have a realistic chance of passing the bar and getting a job. When I was on the market, I outright turned down interviews at those schools that we can all name with terrible bar passage and employment rates. Who am I to entrap totally unprepared students with six figures of debt in a school that doesn't offer them adequate support to actually make a career?

Posted by: Another Lawprof Posting Anonymously | Nov 13, 2018 9:26:09 PM

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