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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Law School Hiring Spreadsheet and Clearinghouse for Questions, 2019-2020

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, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019. 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.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on August 15, 2019 at 09:00 AM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


[Content Omitted]

Not appropriate.

SBL Comment: Agreed; I have deleted that comment. I am generally averse to deleting comments but given the circumstances I will step in to remove comments that are problematic.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 27, 2020 11:05:49 AM

Many schools have already instituted hiring freezes for the foreseeable future including some of the Ivies with some effective immediately. There is a growing list online of schools that have already announced hiring freezes; it already had at least 50 schools as of today and it's only been a week. I am sure more will follow.

It is my impression though not completely sure that when they say hiring freezes it applies to new lines for next year 2021-2022 which are approved in the summer, and possibly for searches still underway where an offer has not yet been extended (not applicable to entry level probably though could affect laterals or fellowships), and to a lesser extent to verbal offers not officially accepted which could be withdrawn, though sometimes the later are still honored.

Some schools might fight to keep any lines they currently have for fear they won't be able to get any lines approved in the near future. Any professors they currently have will be needed. Hopefully all law professors stay healthy but if fall semester proceeds as normal, there may be some professors who have to go into isolation, are sick, or have family members sick, and someone will have to help fill in. It is also possible classes need to be more spread out to allow for social distancing. You can't do social distancing in most classrooms.

Even if the outbreak is smaller next year, no one knows what will happen come winter, and until there is a vaccine or medicine, there will be some law professors who have an interruption of teaching responsibilities either by illness, quarantine or family illness. Some older or immunocompromiised professors or those whose spouse or family are in that situation may not want to teach in person in the fall semester and if available could take sabbatical or leaves of absence or schools could institute policies to protect faculty members at particular medical risk to allow for this. And no one knows what the 1L class situation will be for next year either.

Jobs on the market next year would be a pleasant surprise, but probably will be very tight unless things start changing this summer. More likely any hiring freezes would be lifted only after the uncertainty is over. It's not only uncertainty about the pandemic but uncertainty about how legal education and the legal profession changes after this (will lawyers work more online now that they got used to it? will more schools move to some online-only programs?)

Posted by: anon | Mar 27, 2020 2:16:22 AM

There is more uncertainty than anything else, but I'm inclined to think that next year is probably going to be rough--for everyone, everywhere. The meat market will probably have to morph and shrink.

But while I think the disruption will be severe, I also think it will be relatively brief. Pandemics don't last forever and social distancing is not feasible forever. Law school enrollments were up and will bounce back, especially as the recession lingers and the economy recovers. But I just don't see this being the kind of major structural disaster we saw in 2008.

But coming back to the uncertainty--no one knows what's going to happen tomorrow let alone in six months. I'd suggest trying not to worry about what you can't control. And at least for those without small children running amok in your house 24/7, use the quarantine to write a really stellar job talk paper.

Posted by: Another (More Optimistic) Junior Prof | Mar 26, 2020 8:59:28 AM

Any student who is already admitted and defers starting will begin in 2021, which is when new faculty hired this coming fall will also begin. It seems like a school that is intelligently planning for that would not also want to defer hiring.

The recession did hit law schools but it had a delayed effect on hiring, not until years beyond 2008 was it really an issue, perhaps because enrollments only dropped off when the effect on the normally stable legal industry was more clear. It's possible law schools react ahead of time and hire less now, though.

Posted by: anon3 | Mar 24, 2020 5:45:50 PM

"Or, more immediately, if you've just been admitted to BU Law and things are sufficiently rough in the fall that BU Law is online for the fall semester, do you decide not to enroll? And if you don't enroll, what do you do? If I'm a prospective matriculant with a law school offer in hand right now, I can't imagine wanting to give that up to test whatever sort of job market that's going to exist this year -- I'm going to law school and rooting for a relatively quick (1-2 years) bounce back."

That's assuming the students are coming from college or are unemployed. While some students may be laid out, many with steady employment or at least steady employment for the time being may not want to rock the boat. It has been a trend the past 20 years for students to have 1-5 years of work experience so many of the students are not coming right from college. On other hand pulled Wall Street job offers could result in more going to school.

I also think a lot of the law experience ie social. If I get admitted to BU or whatever and it is online that means at least 1/6 of my law school experience will be online. It was ok to do this year when there is an established community already. But new 1Ls won't know anyone. Even law schools that do an online only format sometimes have a small in person component at the school to build community where they go to the school for. week to meet the other people in person. If I had a steady job, I wouldn't want to spend $70K for online courses as well as move to that place. I would just wait and try to defer or apply next year, especially it not going to first choice school.

Posted by: anon | Mar 22, 2020 3:40:18 PM

What I meant by the fact that the meat market won't be the same as we know it is it certainly can't go back this year to 6-10 people crowded in a hotel room with everyone shaking hands all day. You can't do social distancing in that environment. A few sick people could easily lead to infections spreading to law schools all over the country. This conference is 6 months away- they have to plan now (or at least by June) whether it will be a physical conference or not.

It is precisely because of the uncertainty that we can't expect business as usual 6 months from now, at least as far as conferences and travel.

If there is a physical conference, teams may be smaller and the hand shaking will stop - at a minimum. Many universities will impose budget restrictions on travel (which are often university wide and are already in place at many schools for spring term travel). Schools may not want to fly 5-15 professors around the country for something that really isn't essential in the middle of the semester, especially if grade schools are closed in certain areas and professors have more family responsibilities or have to transition their classes to online. Schools in more rural areas will see that flight schedules are different and it is a lot more hassle to get to DC. I doubt any conference for next year expects academic attendance at normal levels and the AALS more so than other conferences is one that can be done online -especially in a pandemic.

Many schools have slowly shifted to doing skype interviews and now they know how to use Zoom too. Law professors will be more comfortable with the technology now that they all used it personally for 6 weeks and many may realize the cost and health savings that go along with doing online Skype interviews - especially when it is just a screening interview.

The pandemic may only speed up what has been an accelerating trend the past few years and what was probably inevitable in the long run. Much academic hiring in other disciplines does not have screening interviews at all or does 15-20 interviews by Skype, with no centralized conference, so it is not essential to do for hiring.

Given that many schools will not know what their hiring situation will look like, many schools may not be in a position a few months from now to know what is going to happen for the following academic year. For many schools, it may make sense to hold off hiring until the spring or just do Skype interviews. Academic lines are often approved in the summer and it will still probably be uncertain this summer.

Law schools may end up being ok, because often in downturns people go back to school. But many 1L students if they have a choice may want to defer a year if it turns out classes will be online in the fall. If many students end up deferring, perhaps hiring could actually increase if they anticipate big 1L classes for 2021-2022 since 1L classes must be taught by full time faculty. On other hand, some law schools have turned to increasing S.J.D. programs as a source of revenue so that will decrease. Law schools are probably in a better position than many other parts of the university to weather this since they rely less on international student revenue, but that does not mean that central administration will be approving hiring lines different for law schools versus other parts of the university that will see decreased enrollments.

AALS can easily be done online in light of events going on, and once things like that start there may be less need for a physical AALS screening conference in the future. I really don't think the actual AALS conference can be the same after this, at least for awhile, unless it justifies more why a physical conference continuers to be a necessary, useful, and worthwhile expenditure - and for this year in particular, a safe one, for all involved.

Posted by: anon | Mar 22, 2020 3:23:58 PM

"2019 was the end of the meat market as we know it."

apocalyptic prediction in a time of great uncertainty don't help anyone. no one can predict the current events will do to the economy, in general, and to law teaching hiring, in particular.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 22, 2020 1:35:30 PM

appreciate all the kind words. school is ranked in the 50-60s (us news). I had not yet formally accepted, but I had indicated I would to several members of the faculty.

Posted by: aziyade | Mar 22, 2020 11:19:01 AM

A more optimistic take: law schools have historically been pretty solid in recessions. When prospective students face a dearth of other jobs, law school looks relatively more desirable as an opportunity. The 2008 recession was an exception to this, in part because it was largely driven by a disruption of the financial industries that support much of elite legal hiring. The question is whether the 2008 recession represents the new normal, or a somewhat unique circumstance.

The coming recession is going to hurt everyone (as the 2008 recession did), but the coming recession's primary effects will likely be felt in the service rather than the financial sector. Moreover, this is likely to hit doctors and nurses extraordinarily hard; people may not lose their jobs, but a LOT of medical professional are going to get very sick (and generally be pretty demoralized). The question is: if you're a sophomore or junior at BU now, how do these things impact the sorts of careers you're considering? If you're on the fence about med school, law school, or something else, which do you choose?

Or, more immediately, if you've just been admitted to BU Law and things are sufficiently rough in the fall that BU Law is online for the fall semester, do you decide not to enroll? And if you don't enroll, what do you do? If I'm a prospective matriculant with a law school offer in hand right now, I can't imagine wanting to give that up to test whatever sort of job market that's going to exist this year -- I'm going to law school and rooting for a relatively quick (1-2 years) bounce back.

Posted by: Another Junior Prof | Mar 22, 2020 11:14:12 AM

One person's prediction: Yes, I expect faculty hiring is about to implode for years to come. If folks smarter than I am are estimating that the economy is about to shrink by 15-30%, I can't see why those pressures wouldn't be felt--disproportionately so--at law schools. It's true that enrollment tends to go up when the economy is weak, but the realities of faculty hiring mean that those potential increases will not be felt during the fall of 2020, when schools would hire for 2021. New faculty lines tend to be authorized over the spring/summer. That process will likely be disrupted. Schools may not be reopening for in-person classes in the fall; we don't know for sure yet. If they don't, they will face an unprecedented enrollment crisis. Many private universities—perhaps more than you would think—don't have a financial buffer big enough to confront this kind of anomalous situation. Standalone private law schools will be in an even more precarious situation if they can't enroll in-person classes in the fall. In the longer term, this shift might prompt more schools to try to move to an online model. But that's not something any school will be able to roll out for Fall 2020 or even 2021. Some law schools will close. Many, many others just won't hire for a while.

On the public university front, I expect states are going to try to cut higher ed budgets in light of their spending on COVID-19. This means that even if faculty retire or leave, budget pressures might mean that those TT lines are never restored. And boomers are going to cling to their faculty positions even longer than they might have now that their retirement funds have shrunk dramatically.

Sorry to be all gloom-and-doom. Even for those of us already in TT positions, this is a terrifying time to think about the (already grim) future of law schools and of universities.

Posted by: Junior Prof | Mar 22, 2020 10:33:26 AM

Anyone currently on faculty have thoughts on how this is likely to affect the market going forward? I had plans to go on the market in fall 2021, to start teaching in 2022. Obviously no one here has a crystal ball, but I'm now worried this will implode hiring for some years to come.

Posted by: Nervous | Mar 22, 2020 10:12:23 AM

Also, I am so sorry to hear of that.I hope something works out. Many schools won't be hiring at all next year and they certainly cannot do the meat market the way it was . It will all have to be video at least in initial round if any schools are even hiring. 2019 was the end of the meat market as we know it.

I can't help but think about the number of hands I shook during the meat market. .. . and the law professor teams too...

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2020 10:39:50 PM

I noticed the original poster said "about to accept" so it was not clear if there was an oral acceptance already or if the person signed the contract and then the signed contract was rescinded. Was the offer given recently or before all this happened weeks ago?

Any word on any school that backed out who signed contracts/agreements back in December/January?

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2020 10:34:07 PM

or, if you don't want to say what school (understandable!), it would still be helpful for folks on this board to know what tier.

so sorry this happened to you, aziyade.

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2020 4:22:51 PM

Omg. I’m so sorry. Are you able to say what school?

Posted by: PAO | Mar 21, 2020 2:32:59 PM

thx for your sympathy. entry level. it's going to be impossible to find a job next year.

Posted by: aziyade | Mar 21, 2020 12:28:58 PM

That's awful. I'm so sorry. I'm worried that's going to hit a lot of us soon. Was it for an entry-level position or lateral?

Posted by: anxious | Mar 21, 2020 12:10:14 PM

thx. yes, the recession. the school anticipates lower enrollment.

Posted by: aziyade | Mar 21, 2020 11:55:20 AM

@aziyade, that's awful. so sorry. did they give you a reason?

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2020 11:42:10 AM

The offer I was about to accept was rescinded yesterday. Back to square one.

Posted by: aziyade | Mar 21, 2020 11:03:11 AM

I'd also be interested in hearing the answer to anxious's question. Feeling a little anxious myself!

Posted by: Bump | Mar 16, 2020 5:13:03 PM

Is there any risk that schools may revoke accepted offers, given the environment? I've accepted an offer, given notice at my current school, and am preparing to move across the country in a few months. Anxious about counting on the new position come July.

Posted by: anxious | Mar 15, 2020 1:46:39 PM

I don't know if it would appear presumptuous to bring it up before the FAR interview. If you go to FAR and they see you in person they will have an idea you might need accommodation or might at least think to ask you since it will be obvious. But probably 90% of FAR interviews tend to be busts - you never hear back or if you do you hear back months later. They interview 30 people at many schools and who knows how many laterals. It's very unlikely to get a callback at any one school. I saw a pregnant women at FAR (maybe 6-7 months, maybe more) and saw she got a great job.

Any school that wants you should be willing to wait till January if possible. I think what would happen is they might be willing to do teleinteviews with the dean and big decision makers online. Then they will have a sense if they are are interested or not or whether they totally love the other 2 candidates they bring to campus. If they are, I think they will want you to come to campus but may be willing to delay that until January or February. Also, like many candidates, many are kept on back burner and they revisit pool in January or February. Regardless of pregnancy maybe some schools would consider you then if they don't hire anyone and go back t pool in January (I got an interview in February one year when others did not work out).

The market is extremely hard and extremely subject matter specific. If your field is specific and it's a good year for that field go for it; the most that can happen is you don't get anything and wait a year. Regardless it probably doesn't hurt anyone to just go for it because schools know that many people are on the market for multiple years.

Posted by: anon | Mar 11, 2020 3:57:28 PM

Thanks for the thoughts on this so far. I'm mostly wondering if anyone has ever heard of teleinterviews for job talks or if anyone who was on a committee could share how they would react to that request.

My initial instinct is to give the committee a head's up as they schedule FRC interviews that if invited for a callback I will need accommodations if they do callbacks in x window. I figure it's the right thing to do so I give the committee the extra time to plan for something like that instead of springing it on them after being offered a callback.

There has to be a way to accommodate this beyond telling the person not to go on the market--pregnancy is a common enough occurrence. Most people don't know that airlines usually won't let you fly in the last four weeks of pregnancy, either. So if you have a complicated delivery or c-section (which often has 3-6 week travel restriction), you could be out of luck on traveling by plane for 10 weeks or more.

Posted by: Pregnancy and Callbacks | Mar 11, 2020 3:24:59 PM

I think you'd be better off interviewing in person at the FRC and then honestly addressing the need for a post-birth teleinterview. Like many candidates, you might strike out at the FRC for reasons totally unrelated to your pregnancy, in which case the travel restrictions won't be relevant. If a school does want to call you back, that fact alone might put them in a better mindset to accommodate your needs. And if a school is really not going to pursue your candidacy because you're pregnant, maybe that's not a school where you want to land. I also think it is preferable not to start out what might be a long employment relationship by hiding your pregnancy. All that said, if you go this route, I'd recommend not raising the travel restriction issue until you get an invitation for a call-back.

I hate to say this part, but there are real, non-prejudiced reasons why a remote callback might not work well. It's typically a whole day + a dinner of social interaction, and I think that'd be hard to replicate without your being there in person. For a school, it's a big decision to hire someone (most everyone in law gets tenure, so the high hurdle is the initial hiring decision). I could see faculty being reticent to hire someone they haven't met yet when the person might end up being a colleague for decades.

I was not pregnant on the job market, but I know of women who were and got hired. But none of them were subject to travel restrictions as far as I know. The job market is really stressful in the best of circumstances, so if you can delay a year, that might not be the worst thing. On the other hand, if you're in a fellowship, etc., I get that the option might not be on the table. If you're in that boat, maybe the school you're at would be open to the possibility of an extension? I've heard of people getting them without such obvious good reason. You might consider at least exploring the possibility.

Posted by: Anon mom-prof | Mar 10, 2020 8:55:38 AM

Pregnancy: based on the prejudices that can still haunt women and especially pregnant women on the job market, I would consider coming up with some other reason why you might prefer / need to do a Skype interview instead of going in person to AALS. That would help you avoid both the need to go and the potential discrimination which unfortunately still needs to be accounted for.

Posted by: anon3 | Mar 9, 2020 6:40:21 PM

I was planning to go on the AALS market in the upcoming cycle, but I might be pregnant and due shortly after the AALS FRC. I'm not worried about interviewing while pregnant, but I will be under medical travel restrictions after birth (due to past issues) that will prevent me from flying for job talks at the normal time in the fall.

Has anyone ever dealt with birth and callbacks before? I am pretty sure the answer can't be, "Don't go on the job market this year." Will schools accommodate with videoconference job talks in a situation like this? Has anyone ever heard of this happening before?

Posted by: Pregnancy and Callbacks | Mar 9, 2020 5:32:12 PM

Update re: laterals - someone has pointed me to the Leiter list; thank you.

Posted by: anon3 | Feb 20, 2020 3:10:47 PM

Does anyone know if there's someplace to go to get insights on who was hired and where in the lateral market similar to the entry level report here?

Also, I know publishing job talk papers has come up here before, and opinions are somewhat mixed. But assuming one went for publication, would it be a bad idea to submit in the spring (Feb-Mar cycle) as opposed to the fall (Aug) if one had a better chance of publishing in the spring?

Posted by: anon3 | Feb 20, 2020 3:05:32 PM

Thanks for the advice. It sounds like it would be best to simply hold it. Further revisions certainly wouldn't hurt, and there are some upcoming opportunities to receive feedback, at my new institution but also elsewhere.

Posted by: anon | Jan 15, 2020 3:27:34 PM

At my school, negotiating to make sure something is included in your tenure file (or holding it for the same purpose) would be seen as mildly inappropriate, and a sign that you were not planning to be a productive junior scholar. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but if you have somebody you trust on the faculty you might want to ask about institutional norms.

Holding a piece for a different reason -- because you were hoping to get more feedback on it from your new colleagues and make it stronger -- would be looked on favorably.

Posted by: Hiring Prof | Jan 15, 2020 11:56:29 AM

At my school, our policies state that articles counted towards tenure must be accepted for publication after your start date. Schools differ on this so I'd definitely ask.

Posted by: anon | Jan 15, 2020 10:42:48 AM

At my school, scholarship counts towards your tenure file so long as it's published after you start your TT position. Assuming you get it placed in February-March, it probably won't be published until after Fall 2020. See what your school's policy is on this, and in any case, you can negotiate it.

Posted by: AnonTT | Jan 15, 2020 1:11:02 AM

Hold it or negotiate it in writing. I’d hold it.

Posted by: Anon Prof | Jan 14, 2020 5:18:33 PM

Very happy to have accepted an offer! One question that's arisen: I've got an article basically ready to submit now. But would it be wise to hold off and wait to submit until next fall or spring, so as to count towards my tenure file? Timeliness of the issues discussed in the article is not really an issue. Thanks!

Posted by: anon | Jan 14, 2020 5:17:11 PM

some schools go back to Aals list if February if they had a declined offer. this is more common at schools below T100 who overreached or midtier schools who overreached by people getting T14 jobs. Many top schools don't do their hiring until spring semester though in recent years that might be changing.

Right now is lateral hiring season. Between now and March 1 the lateral season is in full bloom so many of the mid tier schools who struck out on entry level will turn to the lateral market. So that leaves mostly post T100 and unranked schools that could still be in game for entry level. I believe Aba has a rule that 1L classes can't be taught by adjuncts and with law schools doing better now some schools could be scrambling to get people if offers were refused.

Posted by: anon | Jan 9, 2020 10:02:17 AM

Re jobs abroad: UK uses jobs.ac.uk.

Posted by: anon | Jan 9, 2020 5:36:01 AM

Re jobs abroad: UK uses jobs.ac.uk.

Posted by: anon | Jan 9, 2020 5:36:00 AM

Jobs in other countries / continents often hire in spring so that is not correct.

Posted by: anon3 | Jan 8, 2020 8:24:59 PM

I would imagine most hiring is now done for the year.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 7, 2020 9:41:00 PM

I'm just now hearing about the SEALS conference. How does that compare to AALS for faculty recruitment? Does anyone have experience with it? When is the SEALS Conference for the next cycle?

Posted by: SEALS? | Jan 7, 2020 6:25:50 PM

...and does anyone have recommendations for places to look for legal academic jobs abroad that aren't in the AALS system (I'm aware of HigherEdJobs / Times Higher Education / Chronicle Vitae but seems like there are more out there specifically in law that don't make it to these sites.)

Posted by: struck out | Jan 5, 2020 7:31:41 PM

When does the market pick up again in the Spring?

Posted by: spring | Jan 5, 2020 5:18:16 PM

anon3 - I struck out on the hiring market last year, reapplied this year with a revised version of the same paper, and ended up with two offers. In fact, one of the offers came from a school that had given me a first-round interview last year, and they never asked about (or even noticed) the fact that I was using the same paper. So it can be done.

Three caveats: (1) I submitted the revised paper for publication during the August cycle and got a decent placement (~T50 flagship), which I think helped demonstrate my credibility as a scholar, (2) I had a pretty decent publication record already (two prior major published pieces and a few shorter articles in mainstream press), and (3) I made significant revisions to the paper in order to incorporate some late-breaking legal developments that helped make my subject seem especially timely and relevant.

I think (3) was the most important factor in my success this year.

Posted by: anon4 | Dec 27, 2019 1:45:28 PM


It would be an unusual committee that met before the start of the new semester, as most faculties are dispersed during the winter break.

Posted by: AnotherAnonProf | Dec 26, 2019 11:26:19 PM

When do committees usually start meeting again? Right after Jan. 1 or after the new semester has gotten underway?

Posted by: Waitlist | Dec 26, 2019 10:14:04 AM


One way to traverse this problem is to start your job talk by describing (very briefly) how this paper fits into your publication record/research arc. It contextualizes the piece and also alerts the faculty if you have published in the area before and have already addressed (most faculty will not have read other work if they have even read the paper). This worked very well for me, and I received a lot of positive feedback (as well as multiple offers). Just food for thought.

I highly recommend as others have said that the manuscript is different. If the project is broad enough, you can easily write a different paper that fits your cohesive research whole.

Good luck!

Posted by: Anoncandidate | Dec 22, 2019 7:06:07 PM

You are completely right that most committees and faculties place disproportionate weight on the job talk paper. They also want to see a steady stream of productivity. If you can’t do both, there is no perfect rule about how to handle it. But if you are going to reuse your old job talk paper you might still be better served writing a new paper and adding it to your cv rather than spending a year doing revisions.

Posted by: Hiring Prof | Dec 21, 2019 9:34:09 AM

I think my inquiry was misunderstood. The earlier paper was representative of longer term empirical interdisciplinary research which was incorporated into it, not my agenda - which of course any new paper would relate to.

Of course one can write a major piece of legal scholarship in a year. But sometimes empirical work (like a study) takes longer, by definition. So you can write a new paper, but it might not be as representative of the most interesting and unique work someone with your specialty/assets can do (which involves that empirical interdisciplinary piece.)

Furthermore, I find that during these interviews there's often less concern with my overall agenda than with the one paper individually. Sometimes there's a resistance to talking about the agenda, even, because interviewers are eager for an intellectual jousting match about the one paper's argument - which is fine, but leaves one at risk of not having advertised one's agenda. Sometimes that can be dealt with by answering a question by relating it to one's broader agenda, but that's not something you can anticipate ahead of time. So it seems best to have a paper with a hook within it that forces discussion of one's longer-term research in order for that not to be lost as an asset a given candidate has.

Posted by: anon3 | Dec 20, 2019 10:29:14 PM

Most committees are going to expect you to be able to write a new paper in a year that is inclusive and representative of your long-term research agenda. If you can't do that now, they will wonder whether you can do it once you are a new professor. And if you can't write a major paper every year when you are a new professor, they're going to wonder whether you deserve tenure.

Posted by: Hiring Prof | Dec 20, 2019 9:23:57 PM

On the question that was posted here awhile back about reusing your job talk paper: what about one that is a revision (perhaps a substantial one) of the previous paper you used? One thing I'm struggling with is that while it would hardly be impossible to write a new paper for next year, the previous one was more inclusive / representative of long-term research than something I could turn around in a year, and so I think it represents my scholarship better / still makes me a more interesting candidate than a rapidly turned around new article. (While the previous paper did not get me a job, I think this had to do more with failing to be noticed at FAR stage, when no one saw my paper anyway - the responses I received at AALS were very positive.)

Posted by: anon3 | Dec 20, 2019 7:56:28 PM

Re: PaperPurgatory, to paraphrase advice about professional attire, "write for the job you want." Revise and submit in February and get started on a new job talk paper. If you can't produce one article per year when getting into the gig is on the line, some will (rightly) worry that you won't produce once you're on a faculty and (especially) once you get tenure. That is, the principal problem is having a gap in your publication record--people will notice that even if they don't recognize the paper. Also, schools also often have to look for several years in the same field before they find the right candidate, so the likelihood that someone on a hiring committee will realize it's the same paper is higher than folks on this thread are suggesting.

Posted by: anonprof | Dec 16, 2019 12:10:01 PM

for the person who mentioned commuting being an issue: do you have these events on weekends? in the summer? If you were able to commute and be flexible why would anyone care? And what do you mean by last minute, like same day faculty meetings?

at some schools I went to some faculty lived 3 hours away and if one drove they could just come back or whatever if something is important.

Posted by: anon | Dec 15, 2019 8:59:13 PM

I think people should put starting salary info in the comments. It's good for there to be transparency on that front, imho. (Happy to hear dissent, if I am missing something obvious.)

Posted by: AnonCand | Dec 15, 2019 6:38:26 PM

Even at my lower ranked school, I have had many lateral opportunities. It depends on you. Indeed, sometimes if you are at a lower ranked school and publishing well, making the rounds at conferences, etc., people view you as "under placed" and think you're more likely to want to lateral (which obviously is not always true). So you might get more offers to interview than you otherwise would. Also, at my school, commuting would definitely be viewed as a problem. This is probably true with smaller faculties. We often have last minute meetings, or evening events, and there's also an expectation of state or local community involvement. This would all be difficult if you weren't living in town.

Posted by: anonprof | Dec 15, 2019 2:01:47 PM

Do schools make calls on weekends?

Posted by: Anon | Dec 15, 2019 11:59:02 AM

I've been commuting for a few years. While I agree that lots of people don't care where you spend your nights and weekends, there are also lots of people who DO care. I wasn't able to keep my situation a secret and some of my colleagues have definitely held it against me.

I've heard some faculties (especially those near but not in big cities) are very anti-commuting, too. So not everyone who commutes is "out" about it.

There is a sense (among some) that people who commute won't be sufficiently involved in the school, though of course that's a stereotype; your level of involvement depends on you, not your living situation.

I've also heard concerns about commuting profs being sufficiently available to their students. But in this day and age there are lots of ways to be available that don't involve sitting in your office all day. Indeed, my students seem to prefer communicating electronically (I also hold regular office hours for those who prefer to visit in-person).

In any case, if you think you might (or definitely will) commute, I would strongly counsel you to not volunteer that information during the hiring process.

And if you don't have a compelling need to commute (e.g., spouse or kids somewhere else), I'd strongly encourage you to give the place where you work a chance. There are lots of great places to live and you might be surprised.

Posted by: Commuting prof | Dec 15, 2019 7:10:24 AM

At most schools nobody cares where you spend weekends and breaks. There are plenty of schools that don't care if you never come to the school on days when you don't have classes, or during the summer. This means some people don't come to work 300 days out of the year.

This is why legal education probably won't exist in anything like it's present form in another couple or three decades. It's incredibly inefficient.

Posted by: AnotherAnonProf | Dec 14, 2019 11:54:26 PM

do schools care if you won't necessarily live full time at the school? I know a lot of people n law who are in long distance relationships and they essentially commute to schools, spending weekends and breaks elsewhere. does anyone really care? is there any negative in doing this? how feasible is it to do this, assuming money is not an issue? I know the downsides like the travel and money but any thoughts on people who have done this would be great.

Posted by: anon | Dec 14, 2019 11:07:20 PM

Any thoughts on how to factor the prospect of eventually lateraling when choosing a school? Are lower ranked schools generally harder to lateral from, or does it mostly depend on an individual's publication record, schools' curricular needs, etc. (I know we shouldn't take an offer if the goal is to quickly lateral, but it feels silly not to think about it as an eventual possibility).

Posted by: Anon | Dec 14, 2019 5:05:36 PM

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