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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


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

Heard of an offer means heard of a candidate receiving an offer.

Posted by: Offers | Dec 14, 2019 2:26:19 PM

For places on the spreadsheet where "heard of an offer" has now been entered for two of the same position for each school, is this because there is one offer and it could have been either of the callbacks or because two offers in that position have been rumored? Also, does "heard of an offer" mean the offer has been conveyed to a candidate?

Posted by: anony | Dec 13, 2019 8:42:22 PM

AnonProf - maybe you could do us all a favor and enter them on the spreadsheet then.

Posted by: anon3 | Dec 12, 2019 11:20:19 PM

There are multiple offers at multiple schools (several of which have been accepted) that haven't been reported on here.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 12, 2019 10:03:47 PM

A lot of schools on the spreadsheet still haven't recorded offers. Can we take this to mean there are still many upcoming votes? Most people at this stage aren't posting here? Many searches failed?

Posted by: anony | Dec 12, 2019 9:37:59 PM


If your work engages with the work of scholars whom you haven't met, I would certainly reach out. Maybe don't attach the draft to your first e-mail, but offer to attach it should the professor agree to read it. I think there's nothing wrong with cold e-mailing scholars in your field. The worst that could happen is that you'll get ignored, but most scholars in my field were more than happy to help when I reach out. I guess that may differ from field to field.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 12, 2019 6:09:41 PM

I'm posting in this thread because I don't know where else to ask these questions and get a response. Here goes:

I have finished drafting my first article, and am wondering how I ask professors to review the draft.

I have a number who have already kindly offered. Is it rude to say something like "I plan to submit February 1 for the spring submission cycle" to indicate a timeframe? Should I indicate what I would like them to focus on/what some weaknesses are I hope to strengthen?

Likewise, I was hoping to get input from some scholars in the area whose work I engage with. Is it taboo to just cold email them up and say here's a draft I'd love your thoughts?

I know these seem like basic questions, but I appreciate the anonymity here and am not sure whom to ask about this stuff.

Thank you!

Posted by: Clerk | Dec 12, 2019 2:49:35 PM

I think that's risky approach as it signals that the item you were working on in year 1 is still not completed in year 2. Better to publish your job talk and start on something new. I know this isn't what anyone is wanting to hear, but it's the smarter approach given that many schools will be looking at your productivity.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 12, 2019 2:10:26 PM

No one will remember. I interviewed at same schools multiple years with some overlapping committee members and they don’t know they even interviewed me before so I doubt they know the papers. Different schools certainly would have no idea

Posted by: Anon | Dec 12, 2019 1:54:54 PM

PaperPurgatory - try to place it. If it places well, publish and write something new.

Posted by: anon | Dec 12, 2019 11:56:48 AM

I don't see why it would hurt to use the same paper. No one will remember except the schools at which you had callbacks. And those probably won't call you back again anyways.

Posted by: papers | Dec 12, 2019 11:54:08 AM

Does anyone have a sense of whether it is okay to use the same job talk paper next year if you were unsuccessful this year on the market and have not yet submitted the paper for publication? I had around 10 interviews and three callbacks this year, but I am pretty sure at this point I've come up empty handed. It is depressing to imagine doing it all again next year, particularly given the possibility of the same result. But I will probably do it. If I cannot use the same paper, though, I need to start working on a new paper. The one I used this year was a complete draft, but I had not yet submitted it to journals. I will likely submit it in January/February of 2020.

Posted by: PaperPurgatory | Dec 12, 2019 11:15:49 AM

If you had a callback over a month ago and haven't heard back, reach out to the hiring chair. Based on the advice in this chain, I emailed the hiring chair of a school I had been waiting to hear back from after my October callback. I was holding out hope (and admit I had wasted a few days looking at houses around the school online because my references thought from their discussions with the school that I seemed like a top choice). I'm glad I contacted them. They said they meant to tell me that I was no longer being considered, but it must have slipped through the cracks. That was the only school I had left, so now I can prepare next steps like fellowships or otherwise. So, I'd urge you to reach out if you think that something similar might have happened.

Posted by: Call | Dec 12, 2019 8:58:49 AM

if you have an offer, by all means email places you haven't heard from before you accept. it would just confirm you are no longer under consideration. Maybe 1 out of 10 people then have a school pick up interest but for most people this is just something to give you oiece of mind before you accept.

but if you don't have an offer, the answer is obvious; you are under no time frame and you just look anxious at this point and someone who has no clue how this process works if you email the hiring chair. Some schools go back to pile in spring; they will email then if interested.

If you don't hear the answer is no. if you didn't get a callback the answer is no. if you did a callback and didn't hear, yeah that's super rude and makes me think poorly of the school but it's happened to me a few times that I never. heard back - but the answer is still no. They won't forget to email a potential future colleague if you got an offer

also don't take it so seriously. this process is very random and lots of factors come into play. it really has nothing to do with you.


Posted by: anon | Dec 11, 2019 10:29:46 PM

Could anything good come of emailing a chair who hasn't yet transmitted an offer? If they voted for you they would have called by now. They either haven't voted, or prefer someone(s) else.

That said, I legitimately wonder if it might tip the balance on an impending vote by showing more interest in the school?

Posted by: anon3 | Dec 11, 2019 4:00:44 PM

Just don't do what one person did -- posted on Twitter that he/she refused to be ghosted and would follow up until the school was forced to respond. It caught the eye of several people in a very negative way. It was subsequently deleted, but by then many had already seen and shared it. I know this process is ridiculously frustrating, but be careful in trying to force the issue. That said, I think a short (very polite) email the hiring chair is entirely appropriate.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 11, 2019 3:52:46 PM

Ghosted: Just shoot the chair a short and polite email asking for an update. No one would be offended by an email like that.

Posted by: anon | Dec 11, 2019 3:45:26 PM

If you want to know whether a school has already made offers and whether you are still being considered, is it rude to ask your references to find out on your behalf? Or just wait it out?

Posted by: Ghosted | Dec 11, 2019 3:36:26 PM

TT Visit: I would also strongly consider the specific culture at your school. I'm an untenured junior at a T100 school. When a much higher ranked school reached out to ask about my interest in a semester visit, my dean and associate deans were supportive, but also open with me that accepting a visit pre-tenure would likely result in a handful of very senior faculty members voting against me during the tenure process because the visit would signal to them that I wasn't invested in my home school. At a law school with a relatively small voting faculty, those votes matter. Ultimately, the school went in another direction with the visit.

Posted by: anon junior | Dec 11, 2019 10:45:30 AM

TT Visit asked: "When is too soon [to visit]? Is there a delicate way to gauge at a new school when they would be okay with you visiting? How does one negotiate the time away from the school? I imagine there is some possibility of colleague resentment for whoever has to take over your courses? Have you found any good resources on this or - like you said - it is just opaque and there really isn’t anywhere to look for information on this?"

I think it depends on the school, and perhaps more importantly, on the attitude of your Dean and Associate Dean. The Associate Dean has to arrange to cover your classes when you visit, and (generally) the Dean has to be on board with the visit generally. At least in my experience, the norm I have seen for junior-ish faculty is to be very nice and encouraging about it. If it's a look-see, you're visiting because some higher-ranked school thinks you're good, so it reflects well on your home school that you're there. They may also have to fight to retain you, so they have an incentive for you to feel happy about your home school. But it can vary based on the quirky personalities of the Dean and Associate Dean. In my experience, when you have the offer to visit, you can speak to the Dean about it; say you're interested in doing it; and gauge the Dean's reaction. I haven't heard of colleague resentment, as course coverage issues arise often; profs will be on sabbatical, for example, and everyone has to cover for others at times. But that's just my experience.

FWIW, I have a half-written draft article on the lateral appointments process that someday I'll finish and post online. There's a ton of writing on the entry-level process but hardly any on lateral appointments. I'd like to change that, at least if I can get the time to finish the article.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Dec 11, 2019 2:26:49 AM

Fidgety writes: "How long does it take to get paperwork from a school that does a recent hire? Obviously, things have slowed down because of finals and other end of semester rush. Plus, the school that I accepted an offer with doesn’t have to worry about hiring any more. Should I just cool my jets and not worry about them changing their minds? When should I expect to get more than email confirmation of the offer/acceptance?"

Fidgety, if you're saying that you accepted an offer at a school, first, congrats. Second, if we're talking about a TT offer, schools that I'm familiar with make offers through formal letters with terms of the offer, which are then negotiated, and then finalized with signatures both from you and the Dean. That then goes up to through the university bureaucracy for formal approval, even though all of that is pretty much just a formality. So accepting an offer in that setting would mean signing a formal letter of employment with the terms of the employment, not just an e-mail acceptance. At least that's my experience; my apologies if I'm misunderstanding the question.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Dec 11, 2019 2:13:43 AM

I have no idea if a place I'm waiting on has voted. Should I assume I'm done because most have? If only "some" are left it doesn't sound good.

Posted by: anon3 | Dec 10, 2019 7:38:39 PM

Not true! Several schools are still yet to meet.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 10, 2019 3:50:04 PM

AnonProf -

What's the timeline of "by now?" Do you mean that one should expect to hear back the same day as the vote, by the end of the week in which the vote is held, by the end of the fall hiring season (say, mid-December)... or something else?

Posted by: anon4 | Dec 10, 2019 2:57:07 PM

If you haven't heard anything by now, you probably aren't going to hear anything (other than perhaps an eventual rejection letter). If you had a callback and the faculty has voted, you likewise should have heard back by now if you're the first choice. Even the second choice would likely have received some signal (as faculties know that they could easily lose their #1 pick and silence could cause them to also lose their #2 person). I know that someone will immediately respond with something along the lines of "not true! When I was hired, I didn't hear anything until spring!" But, generally speaking, no news at this point is bad news. And, yes, this process sucks.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 10, 2019 2:33:13 PM

One path towards getting a law prof job that doesn't get as much attention here as the more "traditional" routes (Ph.D., "top" law school, little practice, placements in schmancy journals, VAPs, etc.) may be specializing in a subject that is not taught at every school but is rather a regional focus. Think maritime law in Louisiana or Indian law in New Mexico or pipeline law in the rural east or something associated with the banking industry in Charlotte. This lack of discussion (or me missing it!) may be because people that go that route often sort of fall into teaching as opposed to making it a mission. Or maybe because it's not as sexy to teach oil law in the Dakotas or something. In any event, developing a subspecialty that could blossom into this sort of backdoor entry to the academy might be worth considering.

Posted by: Seafloor ooze | Dec 10, 2019 1:55:36 PM

The waiting is killing me too. When should I assume I've been ghosted by a callback school?

Posted by: anon3 | Dec 10, 2019 1:49:09 PM

How long does it take to get paperwork from a school that does a recent hire? Obviously, things have slowed down because of finals and other end of semester rush. Plus, the school that I accepted an offer with doesn’t have to worry about hiring any more. Should I just cool my jets and not worry about them changing their minds? When should I expect to get more than email confirmation of the offer/acceptance?

Posted by: Fidgety | Dec 9, 2019 10:21:11 PM

Is the Cardozo offer on the sheet an entry-level or a lateral offer?

Posted by: Cardozo | Dec 9, 2019 5:28:48 PM

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