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Monday, October 29, 2018

VAPs and Fellowships: Open Thread, 2018-2019

On this thread, comments can be shared regarding news of appointments to VAPs or similar fellowships (for example, the Climenko and Bigelow).  Here is last year's thread.

You may also add information to the spreadsheet.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on October 29, 2018 at 09:00 AM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


has anyone heard form HLS (Climenko), Columbia (AIL), or Chicago (Bigelow)?

Posted by: anon | Nov 13, 2018 10:54:11 AM

can anyone provide any more insight into how far along committees are in the VAP process? I.e. any more phone calls coming, or are we past that?

Posted by: anon | Nov 10, 2018 11:25:43 AM

Is it typical for programs to make decisions on a rolling basis or should we expect there to be no decisions until they've seen all candidates (likely sometime in the new year)?

Posted by: Anon92 | Nov 9, 2018 10:09:39 AM

someone else posted that the other programs have begun scheduling interviews. Looking back at previous years, it seems that most interviews take place mid-Oct - early Dec. I would guess if you applied earlier and have not been called, then most likely you won't get a call. But that is conjecture.

Posted by: anon | Nov 6, 2018 3:27:22 PM

The thread reflects that NYU has begun scheduling interviews... has anyone heard about interviews from any of the other fellowships yet?

Posted by: anon | Nov 6, 2018 2:31:24 PM

Yes, that makes sense. Thanks for the reply

Posted by: Anon | Nov 1, 2018 2:28:02 PM

Feb is not late. Most vaps don't hire until then. Fellowships may be hiring now but not VAP. They often do not know hiring needs till spring anyway once laterals announce news and such.

Posted by: anon | Nov 1, 2018 1:07:13 PM

Any idea why BU’s VAP hires so late? Website says February, which seems way out of time with the others

Posted by: Anon | Nov 1, 2018 11:36:29 AM

Wake Forest University School of Law is seeking Visiting Assistant Professor ("VAP") applicants interested in teaching Criminal Law, Torts, Evidence, and Copyright.


Posted by: anonymous | Oct 31, 2018 6:58:19 PM

That is true about NYC. In fact their placement rate is probably better than Columbia. I never get this if this is deliberate or not but they do tend to hire a lot of people with significant practice experience who because of their personal preferences and family are somewhat limited geographically. I know of 4 recent fellows who had this situation and they ended up going back to law. They also have a bunch who continue legal writing teaching. If one is limited geographically it makes it extremely hard to get a job and I often do not think people realize how hard the market is before doing these fellows and then finding out later that it is like impossible to find a job in NYC of D.C.

By time to write, I meant all those things the below stated. It is not an insignificant benefit but is it worth moving to a new place and giving up thousands of salary? Depends on if you already have time to write and most importantly have law school connections. One can always go to conferences if you are willing to pay and sometimes costs is nothing if live in same city. In terms of actual tangible results the most important is the writing. All the other things the person below mentions are attainable without a fellowship if you have money and are pushy. Most law schools often have practice talks and such so it is not exclusive to fellows.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 31, 2018 3:37:30 PM

What about the non-LRW and non-teaching fellowships (like Academic Fellows at Columbia). Are those still out there?

Posted by: anony | Oct 31, 2018 3:18:09 PM

I think the short answer to the dilemma is: if you get an offer from a school where you'd be happy, take it.

But since you're only in the callback stage, why not also apply for fellowships as a backup plan? A fellowship may not help you land at a school that is higher-ranked than the ones you're interviewing with now but it will give you time to write and an opportunity to teach and participate in the academic life of an excellent school. Plus if you're getting callbacks now, so long as you keep publishing the risks are lower for you than for many other fellowship applicants.

Posted by: newishprof | Oct 31, 2018 2:56:27 PM

As someone who did one of the non-Bigelow "usual suspects" fellowships and is in a TT position, 2 thoughts. These are not specifically directed at AnonyMouse's question re: the NYU fellowship (the point about moving to NYC to live on a fellow salary for that particular fellowship is particularly worth considering).

(1) it's absolutely true that Bigelow placement rates are in a league by themselves, that this impacts the kind of candidates they're able to draw, and that this in turn impacts their placement rates. Prestige, like money, snowballs.

(2) it's not true that the other fellowships only give you time to write.

There's wide variation among the fellowship programs at different schools, within the fellowship programs at any given school, and even within a single fellowship program dependent on both you and the faculty you click with.

I happened to benefit in a lot of ways that did not just amount to time to write (although there was a lot of that, too): money and opportunities to attend conferences in order to build up a name in my subfield; feedback on article projects (prioritizing, editing, placement, even "titling") and AALS materials (which was every bit as useful as the article help itself); chances to see job talks and lectures in action before I constructed my own; acculturation (which I think is often derided--and perhaps rightly so, but that doesn't make it any less valuable).

Posted by: Anon | Oct 31, 2018 2:11:34 PM

My understanding is that NYU doesn't place worse than some of the others (excepting Bigelow, Climenko) when you look at just those fellows who actually go on the market. A lot of NYU hires come with practice experience and some go back to practice and never try to find a tenure track post.

Posted by: Anon83 | Oct 31, 2018 1:37:02 PM

In addition, I would also add whether NYU would require moving. I don't think it would be worth it to move to NYU and try to live in NYC on that salary and then turn down a TT job at a T100. It is likely you would end up a better job if you did the lateral market and published more.

Bigelow especially matters for teaching market but the other fellowships not so much - they just give you time to write but if you have that already, it's unlikely to yield much benefit since at those schools the faculty are not as invested as Bigelow in getting people placed.

Posted by: anon | Oct 31, 2018 1:23:10 PM

I would also add only about half the T20 even hire. They often go to lateral market. You would be better off taking any tt job just for the resources alone. It would not be a good decision to turn down a tt offer from a T100 for a fellow, which may or may not lead to a better job. Many of the fellows don't even place or it takes them year to place. And unlike Bigelow,NYU does not give a whole lot of support - you have to be proactive to get people to read your work. The faculty is alot more detached. Plus it's a lot more work than any of the other fellows and often attracts d different type- they often hire someone with practice experience. The course is also 2 semesters rather than 1 and meets more regularly. It's alot of work teaching wise none of which will benefit you in a direct way )other than teaching experience) down the line.

I would recommend looking at the placement records- Climenko, Bigelow have them on because they are good; some of the others do not because they know they aren't that great. Look at the entry level hiring spreadsheets the last few years to get a sense of placement.

Posted by: anon | Oct 31, 2018 1:20:50 PM

AnonyMouse - just to echo what others have said - I don’t see any real gain in delaying your TT hire for another 2-3 years by spending it at NYU as a fellow (or anywhere else for that matter). I think if you have offers from T100 schools you’d be better served by spending 2-4 years as a TT prof there, gaining experience and publishing along the way, and then trying to lateral into T25. Also, who’s to say T25 will be hiring any given year? Just my two cents

Posted by: Anon32 | Oct 31, 2018 10:46:13 AM

I have done meat market a few time since so success one time does not mean you won't get it next time. You cam get t100 next year and if you have more articles the second year get t20 interviews. It all depends on the scholarship so I do not quite understand the comment below saying you are limited. Maybe you did not write much and show your potential yet

Posted by: Anon | Oct 31, 2018 10:04:18 AM

Look at where past fellows ended up, maybe in the past 5 years NYU has had maybe 1 in top 20? Some of the fellows ended up with nothing though I think for many it is due to geographic constraints. It is very hard to get in the top 14 without a phd, Supreme Court clerkship or diversity. Look at entry hiring list. I don't think there is less than a handful tha do not have a phd in very top schools.

A fellowship Is not key to success - writing is. Also NYC of all programs is the most work so in terms of ultimate goal all that teaching does not serve you unless you use time to develop relationships and write.

Three are no keys to success here. The only fellow that always places is bigeloe and they do not even all get t20. NYC placement record is more in the t30-t75 range.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 31, 2018 10:01:27 AM


If you are not generating callbacks at T25 now, what makes you think a fellowship will allow you to do so? My sense is that the returns for you might be limited.

Posted by: anon | Oct 31, 2018 9:41:52 AM

Reporting my question from the Law School hiring thread here since this may be the more appropriate thread:

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 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 31, 2018 1:29:03 AM

Is there a list of "usual suspect" fellowships?

Based on past threads, I'm aware of Climenko, Bigelow, Associates in Law, NYU AAP, Sharswood, Yale PhD, Thomas Gray. Are there any others?

Posted by: Anon87 | Oct 30, 2018 9:10:06 PM

a non, that was the single most helpful post I can find on these threads. Thank you

Posted by: Anon | Oct 30, 2018 6:33:14 PM

Here's my rough timeline from last year. I hope this helps!

*I applied to most of the usual-suspect fellowships/VAPs in or around September;
*I heard about my first initial interview (most of these programs have a phone interview followed by a call-back) in October;
*I had several first-round interviews in October-November-December;
*I had several call-back interviews in November-December-January;
*I received offers in December-January-February. At least one well-respected fellowship/VAP makes offers without any interview.

My sense is that the process last year mostly resolved by February/March.

Posted by: a non | Oct 30, 2018 4:01:43 PM

@abl who has started interviewing?

Posted by: anon | Oct 30, 2018 3:22:04 PM

It would be really helpful, and would make a lot of sense, if these programs did what others around the world do. Post an open date, close date, shortlist date, and hire date, along with salary info. Just a thought

Posted by: Anon | Oct 30, 2018 1:37:10 PM

Anon -- I'm not following: why is it a problem (let alone a "truly depressing" problem) that some fellows are failed TT AALS candidates?

Posted by: aaa | Oct 29, 2018 9:36:54 PM

Thanks for this information. It is truly depressing, but not surprising that candidates going on the AALS also apply for fellowships as a back up. It does make me wonder why such fellowships exist, if these candidates are also those who are getting offers.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 29, 2018 7:55:09 PM

At least a number of the top programs definitely hire on a rolling basis. Keep in mind that these programs do not always know for how many slots they are hiring until the tenure track market has fully run its course (there may be a Climenko, for example, who gets her TT offer in February or March -- thereby opening an additional spot after several Climenko offers have already been made). If you are interested in the top programs -- Bigelow, Associate in Law, Climenko, etc -- it's definitely in your best interest to not be late with your application. And, FWIW, I do think that some initial interviews have begun.

Posted by: abl | Oct 29, 2018 5:28:18 PM

Does anyone know if most programs do their hiring all at once, or in stages? Some program accept applications on a rolling basis. That being the case, do they wait to hire everyone, or begin interviewing as soon as now?

Posted by: anon | Oct 29, 2018 5:00:43 PM

And so it begins! Best of luck to everyone

Posted by: Anon32 | Oct 29, 2018 2:39:23 PM

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