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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.

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


Are offers made on a rolling basis? At one point (e.g. mid-November, beginning of December) would you estimate that 50% of all offers have been made?

Posted by: anon | Nov 4, 2018 10:07:07 PM

Five callbacks from eight AALS interviews, so I feel lucky. Just had my first callback on Wed. and it went fine but no offer yet. My other four callbacks are in the next two weeks. Will feel relieved when it is over.

Posted by: anon | Nov 3, 2018 11:58:51 AM

AnonyMouse | Oct 30, 2018 11:54:13 PM

Bird in the hand is worth two in the bushes. If you get an offer at a T100, I would go with that. Plenty of fellows struggle or even strike out on the market -- it's not a guarantee of a T25 offer. As others have said, fellowships help you get a first look in places you might not have otherwise at most. Your characteristics are what closes the deal.

Posted by: anonjunior | Nov 3, 2018 9:13:57 AM

Well, now that all the calls are over, how did people do and how does everyone feel about this process?

Posted by: anon | Nov 3, 2018 8:47:43 AM

Any suggestions out there for those of us preparing job talks for callback interviews who do not have any published or ready-to-publish papers? I am being asked for a job talk paper, which seems to be code for "summarize your existing research". I already prepared a research agenda, should simply expand that into a job talk paper?

Posted by: PaperLess | Nov 2, 2018 10:52:20 PM

anoncandidate, if you click on "the public" in the job posting, you will see the exceptions for non-citizens. I think you do need citizenship to be hired. Sorry to disappoint.

Posted by: anon | Oct 31, 2018 3:00:16 AM

Any opinions out there on the NYU Lawyering program as a type of holding-pattern/fellowship opportunity for those making the move into academia? I have been invited to interview with the NYU and, while I am also lucky to have call-backs at a few T100 schools, I am wondering if something like the NYU program is the key to gaining access to entry-level positions in the T25 schools.

Posted by: AnonyMouse | Oct 30, 2018 11:54:13 PM

I'm a candidate on the market this year. I had a handful of interviews, and I've also been on the market in the past with a handful of interviews. One of my recent interviews was particularly unpleasant--probably the worst I've ever had. It was clear right away that a faculty member strongly disliked my most recent article, and I spent most of the interview fielding overtly hostile questions about the piece. I understand and welcome intellectually rigorous and critical conversations, but this was borderline bullying. It threw me for the rest of the day and for the rest of my interviews. It's unclear to me why a hiring committee member would be so aggressive during an initial interview. The process is emotionally and mentally exhausting, and it seems unnecessary to make the experience even worse. I guess my point, aside from venting, is just to ask future hiring committees to be empathetic and kind.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 30, 2018 4:24:37 PM

Has anyone heard back from any of the business schools that are hiring? I know GA had screening interviews.

Posted by: asdfsadfjsdflll | Oct 30, 2018 12:53:14 PM

Tim, I'm a JD/PhD candidate and interested in the Federal Judicial Center position, but I'm not a U.S. citizen. Do you know if U.S. citizenship is required? The posting says it is required, subject to some exceptions, but I can't find those exceptions anywhere.. Thanks!

Posted by: anoncandidate | Oct 30, 2018 12:51:00 PM

One last reminder: tomorrow is the deadline to apply for the Federal Judicial Center job. https://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2018/10/federal-judicial-center-job-posting.html

Those of you who have J.D./Ph.D. have no reason not to apply while you wait for callbacks or offers.

Good luck!

Posted by: Timothy Lau | Oct 30, 2018 11:29:48 AM

At my school we don't make offers til everyone comes through. So December/January.

Posted by: Junior Prof | Oct 30, 2018 12:04:07 AM

Do you know if they had short deadlines to respond (two weeks-ish)?

Posted by: anon | Oct 29, 2018 11:02:04 PM

I know of at least two offers made to two different candidates. I don't believe they have either accepted or rejected yet.

Posted by: AnonT | Oct 29, 2018 6:26:35 PM

Has anyone heard of offers going out? I had heard rumors before AALS that many schools would do exploding offers so just curious if that seems to be starting...

Posted by: Anonnn | Oct 28, 2018 11:59:02 PM

If the school where you are interviewing is a significant step up from your current school, then it probably isn't going to hurt you with your current school if they find out. In my experience, that sort of thing shows that you are in demand. If, on the other hand, you're at a T25 school and interviewing at an unaccredited law school because it's in a better location, then that might hurt you a bit.

Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2018 10:58:39 PM

Interesting. I agree that faculties shouldn't "blab" and it's unprofessional, but it 1) happens all the time and 2) probably isn't a "fireable offense" (under tenure policies).

Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2018 10:31:26 PM

Why did s/he turn down the lateral offer?

Posted by: anonynouse | Oct 28, 2018 5:17:51 PM

How did your friend’s school learn that he was interviewing?

Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2018 5:15:11 PM

Junior Prof -- Had a friend who interviewed at another school, got a lateral offer, and turned it down to stay a the original school. Was treated poorly after that for even deigning to do an interview somewhere else. It really depends on the culture of your school. YMMV.

Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2018 5:07:05 PM

At my state school, the hiring committee cannot call the current employer without applicant approval. All participants in the hiring process are reminded of confidentiality policies. It would be a fireable offense for a faculty member to go blabbing about the candidate to someone outside the school. It might be that we are a state school and face a number of HR rules that you don’t see as much elsewhere.

Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2018 3:18:36 PM

Junior prof - of course there is a chance that someone would tell someone else who would tell someone else who would tell someone in your school. Law professors are gossipy. That said, even if your school finds out, it shouldn't hurt your standing. If your school likes you, they will want you to stay. If not, then you already were in trouble anyway. Lateral interviews/job talks are not extraordinary events; they happen quite often.

Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2018 11:59:46 AM

To Junior Prof: even if the school where you applied *said* they'd keep it confidential, and you can trust the hiring committee, if you go give a talk you're now in front of 30 people on the faculty. While they *should* respect your request for confidentiality, people do talk, and with that that many people, it's hard to keep a secret. Also, bear in mind that some schools will want to talk to your dean/associate dean after you have a callback but before extending an offer. What I think I'm saying is that you might want to think about strategy/plans for what happens if someone does talk.

Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2018 11:45:46 AM

Has anyone heard of anyone with a Penn callback?

Posted by: Nona | Oct 28, 2018 11:27:50 AM

I’m a junior lateral candidate. I like my current law school but there was an opening in my field at a good school in a better location. I applied and have a job talk next month. Should I expect the hiring committee will understand that they should not let people at my current school know that I am interviewing? That would make life difficult for me, especially if I didn’t get the job. I gave them references who are not currently at my school and did not receive a further request.

Posted by: anon | Oct 28, 2018 7:28:58 AM

Even so, if I had to wait another year to try again, I'd sure try to use that year to my advantage by doing things to improve my CV.

Posted by: anonprof | Oct 27, 2018 6:05:06 PM

anonprof, because a candidate's success on the market is not only about credentials/CV, it very often contingent upon factors outside of a candidate's control - such as: other candidates on the market, what areas schools are hiring in, the composition of hiring committees, and more... going back to the market with the same CV, as long as that CV shows a qualified candidate, is actually not unheard of.

Posted by: AnonP | Oct 27, 2018 5:19:29 PM

Why would someone go back to the FAR with the same CV? I'd hope you'd try and improve upon it if you weren't successful the first time.

Posted by: anonprof | Oct 27, 2018 3:36:36 PM

Just curious about the BC (kind) ding that was posted. Did others get one? What did it say? Thanks.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 27, 2018 11:56:40 AM

chiming in on the discussion about whether following up in the face of silence can only hurt & never help. when i was on the market, there was a (low t50) school i was excited about & never heard from so i followed up. they indicated they were focusing callbacks on primary & secondary areas of need, whereas my specialty was more of (reading between the lines) a "fun to have," but that if those callbacks either didn't go well or led to offers that got declined, they would love to have me out. i followed up again a after some time had passed & they did invite me out & it was my absolute favorite callback. of course i have no idea if following up had any effect--maybe the same chain of events would have happened-- but i got the impression reminding them of my interest kind of piqued theirs. ymmv.

Posted by: jrtt | Oct 27, 2018 9:49:57 AM

At our school the committee decides what candidates to bring to campus, but the full faculty gives the up or down vote on each candidate. Then the “yeses” are ranked by the full faculty and offers made in that order.

Posted by: ACommitteeMember | Oct 26, 2018 7:42:22 PM

The normal procedure is for the appointments committee to make a recommendation. If the three hypothetical candidates are brought in to fill a single position, the recommendation will usually be to hire one of the candidates, obviously, but it may also include a recommendation to vote a backup offer to another, or even conceivably two ranked backup offers. (A backup offer becomes a live offer if the first offer is declined).

Posted by: Committee Member | Oct 26, 2018 5:18:56 PM

If a committee invites three candidates back, what happens after they’re done? Does the committee rank them? Do faculties vote on all three? Is there a ranked voting system?

Posted by: anon_2 | Oct 26, 2018 12:45:29 PM

Employed -- I was on the market while in BigLaw (but at a somewhat unusual firm). I generally didn't feel the need to explain absences, but one of my callbacks took place during a hectic time at work. So for that one, I confided in the supervising partner and one or two associates on my case. All were supportive and made sure I could focus completely on my callback, which led to the job I'm in now!

If you fear consequences, you may want to make up a half-truth, for example saying you were invited to present a paper out of town. Of course it may be harder to explain your priorities if you have several callbacks.

Posted by: newishprof | Oct 26, 2018 12:32:10 PM

Friend had 26 interviews, 8 callbacks

Posted by: anon | Oct 26, 2018 11:33:44 AM

Realizing practices differ, but suggested 4:1 callback/offer ratio makes me wonder: how many out-of-the-gate callbacks do schools give for each position? E.g., three interviews for one position, say, so that faculty vote on the favorite of three, with 1-2 (potentially) waiting in the wings while the victor decides? Or one callback/vote/offer, with additional callbacks made only after vote-fail or offer-decline?

Also, fwiw, market really can change year-to-year. Last time, 5 AALS interviews, no callbacks. This time, same CV, 5 AALS interviews at different schools, two callbacks. Many but not all of the "meritorious credentials." You just never know.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 26, 2018 9:13:18 AM

I have 16 to 1 too. I think the conventional wisdom is that for every 4 callbacks you do you get 1 offer. though every year there will be someone with 1 get an offer and someone with 6 gets none.

Posted by: anon | Oct 26, 2018 7:25:01 AM

For me this year- 3 callbacks for 8 AALS interviews. I am in a niche that does not have as many openings as other fields, but there are very few of us on the market.

Posted by: anon | Oct 26, 2018 6:59:35 AM

Regarding the callbacks to interview ratio a precious poster was asking about I had 16:1. One callback for 16 interviews so...the 4:1 ratio really must depend....but on what...I have no clue...

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 10:28:10 PM

Employed - the vast majority of the callbacks went to candidates who are in VAP/fellowship/PhD programs, so it's not an issue for them.

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 10:26:37 PM

IAGree: focus on the callbacks you have, not on the ones you didn't get. Your not getting interviews at your favored schools doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you or that you bombed your screening interviews. It simply means that those committees didn't rank you among the top 3 or so. This may have been for any variety of reasons, including (I'm going to throw it out there) that a few candidates may have been even more impressive than you are.

This is not a race, and if you'd be happy to land at any of the schools where you have callbacks, you're in a very good spot! Now don't second-guess yourself and do everything you can to impress the faculty at those schools.

Posted by: newishprof | Oct 25, 2018 8:35:43 PM

To those of you working full-time, how are you explaining callback absences to your employers?

Posted by: Employed | Oct 25, 2018 8:24:09 PM

Connections matter quite a bit, and some of the top schools' fellowship programs reward service to students with strong recs and networking. That said, you could simply look at what the top law reviews are publishing to know how much merit drives career outcomes. What industry doesn't have a good bit of rot? Take it easy. If you're applying for a tenure track job at a U.S. law school, your're doing fine and will land on your feet.

Posted by: prof129 | Oct 25, 2018 7:44:10 PM

I also wonder if all my time in NYC made committees in other regions doubt I would accept an offer there. Almost all my callbacks are in the NE. Does that seem like it might have mattered or do schools assume you'll come regardless in this market? Maybe I should have been more proactive in pushing against that assumption somehow...

Posted by: IAgree | Oct 25, 2018 5:56:19 PM

I think it's important that folks don't get the impression that "top" fellowships all work the same way. The poster who spoke of how much legwork faculty invested in his fellowship put in on his/her behalf is likely a Bigelow. Other "top" fellowships, whether LRW or not, do not tend to come with as much faculty cheerleading as the Bigelow, and perhaps one or two others, like the Academic Fellows program at CLS. Chicago sees the Bigelow as one of its crown jewel programs and is invested in maintaining its placement record; other schools see their "top" fellowships as just a nice opportunity for smart people with high potential to do some writing/teaching. Profs will work with students who ask, but I have never heard of screeners as "favors."

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 5:54:13 PM

Many of the top schools have no intention in hiring in the entry level market. Sure they may do a few calllbacks but often only half end up hiring. So don’t think it has anything to do with you. They operate on a different timeline anyway so with six callbacks you would likely be taking a big risk because most schools will not hold open offer till March anyway. When the top schools do offers

Posted by: Anon22 | Oct 25, 2018 5:28:21 PM

It’s great the fellow got callbacks and it would be great if there are enough to go around. But if what that person says is true- that some were done as favors- that comes at a cost too because there are other applicants who are not felllows who do not have faculty calling them. At that rate how has aals changed the process from the old boys network of years ago?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 25, 2018 5:21:13 PM

I think people are assuming lack of callbacks to some "fault" on their part. Often it is nothing of the sort- schools make callbacks for various reasons, whether it be diversity, subject matter fit, favors, politics, schools thinking your are overqualified for them, schools thinking you are under qualified, etc. Oftentimes its nothing the candidate "did" but things that are out of your control entirely.

If you got the aals interview it's very unlikely to "bomb" the interview - the interviews are so short- how could one possibly "bomb" it if you simply answer the questions asked?

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 4:41:27 PM

I have six callbacks, which is in the right ballpark for the ratio you propose. Concern is that my lineup is skewed toward the middle/bottom of my AALS list. Not sure how I fell short in the better schools. Maybe they weren't truly considering me in the first place? Or maybe faculty made me sound amazing and I couldn't deliver. I am happy with several of the schools on my callback list but now also wonder if I will seem less desirable to them if they figure out how many schools chose not to give me a callback. Or if whatever flaws the better schools noticed at AALS will become apparent to the remainder during callbacks.

Posted by: IAgree | Oct 25, 2018 4:18:49 PM

In response to anon @12:32:48 PM: Alabama has made all of its callbacks.

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 4:15:07 PM

IAgree, what was your callback to interview ratio? 1:4ish is common wisdom for making it into the initial callback group. I’m at 3/12.

Posted by: anon_ | Oct 25, 2018 3:59:33 PM

As someone in a top fellowship, I agree the way fellowship connections work in this process is a major problem. I have been shocked by how much legwork the faculty invested in my fellowship have done on my behalf. I'm fairly certain some of my AALS interviews were favors to faculty, which may have been counterproductive because I couldn't focus my attention on ones where I had a real shot. (Of course they did this because of the games people discuss on this blog -- about needing to seem desirable, which itself is a problem.) In some ways this situation actually increases the pressure because I will have wasted so much of their time if I don't get a result they are happy with. It also makes me doubt my own abilities because it's unclear to what extent anything about my own merit is mattering. At this stage I am wondering if a relatively low callback rate is the result of the AALS interviews not being real or because I couldn't deliver or what? I don't mean to complain really, as obviously this is better than not having faculty doing this for me. I just agree that the overall system is a problem.

Posted by: IAgree | Oct 25, 2018 3:39:47 PM

I think something is wrong with spreadsheet. the callback column is not there.

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 2:22:14 PM

It's not just limited to T5. There are alot of us on here (and I have many friends who moved on, mostly very smart women who have children who cannot keep on doing this) who have the top law school, top journals, top fellowship or phd and still don't get jobs. Even more so than elitism is the connection thing which was I thought the whole AALS process was designed to get around. I almost feel like the fellowship process made it worse. I was looking at one of these boards from 2005 or 2006 (many of that years entry level hires are now hiring chairs!) and they did not have to jump through this many hoops.

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 2:20:07 PM

There's a lot more to it than pubs and credentials. Yes, there are some unfair aspects of it as well (i.e., pedigree, who you know, etc.), but there are other things that legitimately influence one's success. First and foremost, what area are you in? If it's business or health, then you're gonna get a lot of traction with publications and decent background in that area; if it's something like "law and sexuality," "national security law," "agricultural law" or something else that law schools have less need for, then you're pretty much going to have to walk on water, and even then you're unlikely to get more than a few interviews. Also, is your background in the area you say you want to teach in? Anybody can list "business" or "health," but if your resume (including your publications) doesn't indicate a passion for/dedication to that area, then you're likely to be passed by. So it's not simple as how many pubs you have.

Posted by: AnonProf | Oct 25, 2018 2:10:52 PM

I cannot believe the few posters who have commented here over the hiring season with the pubs, grades, and for all intents and purposes, meritorious credentials who have little luck this time around because they don't have T5/VAPs/Fellowships/PhDs/Profs in their corner. That tells me this whole system is based largely on social capital and perceptions of reputation and elitism. I'm aware that there aren't enough spots for the quantity of people who deserve them and so sometimes, arbitrary measures cast the deciding vote, but come on. Based on everything in this thread, this system doesn't even try not to be a process of snobbery and elitism and the replication of class hierarchy.

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 2:01:42 PM

Anyone heard from Alabama or San Diego?

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 12:32:48 PM

Anyone heard from Alabama or San Diego?

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 12:32:48 PM

Anyone heard from Alabama or San Diego?

Posted by: anon | Oct 25, 2018 12:32:48 PM

I have colleagues who were on the market twice. We're also giving job talks to people like that this year. In general, appointments committees neither know or really care. I also know people on the market three or four times who got interviews from T14s in this cycle (although I don't know about job talks yet).

I don't say these things to give you false hope; it's very challenging. But don't be afraid to try again if this is what you really want.

Posted by: Junior Prof | Oct 25, 2018 11:42:52 AM

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