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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


Hey Low Rank: once you get out there, you realize that there are amazing people at low ranked schools, and duds at high ranked ones. Also, you establish yourself in your field, and you go to conferences and workshops with people from a variety of schools. I'm regularly on panels with people from T3 and T146 (is that a thing?) and it doesn't matter, because we are now far enough into our careers that we are all established, and publishing well, and respected. Many of us stay at our lower ranked institutions because they are in great locations and we are happy. It also gives you a chance to be a standout on the faculty, which results in other benefits (stipends, recognition, etc.)

Posted by: prof | Sep 22, 2019 10:24:07 PM

I don't have as clear a sense of how European journals are perceived, but I do think that Oxford J. of Leg. Stud. is considered about as good a journal as any for legal philosophy and jurisprudence. For other methodologies, specifically anything social science-related, it's not well respected. Same thing for the other UK journals, although they're generally not as well known as OJLS, justly or not. Among speciality journals, the European Journal of International Law is very well regarded, perhaps only slightly less so than the AJIL, and the International Journal of Constitutional Law is fairly popular as well. Beyond that, I'd be cautious of publishing in European journals if the target market is the US.

Co-authored articles can carry substantial weight if the hiring committee can reliably measure how large the candidate's contribution actually was (e.g., through a letter by the co-author, stating that the candidate did most of the work). If, on the other hand, it's an empirical project with seven co-authors, and there's no way to tell who did what, then it's certainly better than nothing, but perhaps not by too much...

Posted by: Anonhiringchair | Sep 22, 2019 7:34:17 PM

Also, I've heard exactly nothing about Boston College from anyone, other than the one entry on the sheet.

Posted by: FellowAnon | Sep 22, 2019 6:48:12 PM

For peer-reviewed v. law review journals, it does indeed depend on the relative reputation and ranking of those journals. That said, many committees may be familiar with only the highest of peer-reviewed, not all peer-reviewed. So it may be a bit of a risk.

As for co-authored papers, if they are with someone who is relatively well-known, it may be a signal of quality or reputation, but I would caution against anyone who is publishing mostly with others (except where doing heavy multi-disciplinary work that truly offers a different take on a topic), as the school is hiring you, not your writing team.

Posted by: FellowAnon | Sep 22, 2019 6:47:05 PM

Can anyone speak to how much weight committees put on co-authored papers in which the applicant is first author? Are they discounted, or treated similarly to solo-authored papers?

Posted by: CrimAnon | Sep 22, 2019 3:19:46 PM

Has anyone heard from BC recently? I know they are listed above, but it appears they were still reviewing.

Posted by: BC | Sep 22, 2019 3:02:01 PM

What about top European peer-reviewed law journals? Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Modern Law Review, Cambridge Law Journal?

Posted by: anon | Sep 22, 2019 1:37:18 PM

Re: peer reviewed journals. I can’t really speak to hiring practices at other places, but most top schools look favorably on peer review, as compared to student edited journals, as they are far more reliable indicators of quality. This is especially true for a few top peer reviewed journals: the Journal of Legal Studies and Journal of Legal Analysis come to mind, as do top journals in other fields (top 5 Econ journals, top 3 or 4 poli sci journals, top 5-6 philosophy, top 2 sociology). A placement there is worth at least as much as a top student-edited journal placement, and usually significantly more. Speciality journals like AJIL, AJCL, LSI, LSR, and so on are a bit more difficult to evaluate due to the greater unevenness in article quality, but at least publishing there will still be superior to publishing in top secondary student edited journals like, say in international or comparative law, the UVA J. Jnt’l L. or Harvard J.I.L., and comparable to a top-30-ish student edited general interest law review. The speciality law and Econ journals do even better: a placement in the Journal or Law and Economics, for example, is as eye catching for us as is, say, a NYU Law Review placement. In the end, we read every job market paper ourselves without reference to its placement because we don’t trust any journal as a quality control proxy (except for maybe the tip top peer review journals listed above), but even at the initial screening phase, for top schools, there’s no danger in going the peer review route. YMMV with other parts of the market.

Posted by: Anonhiringchair | Sep 22, 2019 9:58:30 AM

Actual question:

Can entry level candidates publish in peer reviewed law journals (Law & Society Review or Law & Social Inquiry or Journal of Legal Studies or Constitutional Commentary, for example) without disadvantaging themselves? What, for example, would a Law & Social Inquiry article be worth as compared to a student edited law review.

For interdisciplinary entry level candidates - how would publications in their other discipline be regarded (that are law related)?

I ask, of course, because I find student edited law reviews hugely frustrating and would prefer trying peer reviewed law journals but as an entry level scholar don't want to disadvantage myself.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by: PeerReviewQuestion | Sep 21, 2019 9:41:30 PM

The big issue with below T100 (and even some Top 100) is the likelihood that the school will close before you get out. Prospective law students are figuring out (same as b school students) that a law degree from a school that will probably not get you a decent law job is not worth paying for. Many schools will close in the next decade. Especially if you are thinking of leaving gainful employment for one of these posts, have a Plan B in mind in the event you haven’t lateraled to a better school. Also, look at the financial condition of the state if a state school and the endowment per student if a private school.

Posted by: Scrooge | Sep 21, 2019 7:26:17 PM

w/r/t the school ranking discussions, if you haven't already, it's worth looking at the cv's of folks at the top. you'll see some who started in the T15 and moved up, but you'll all see plenty of folks who started in the t100 or lower. I went to a T3 and a very well-known professor once joked in class about being on the hiring market and not knowing whether they'd end up at a for-profit law school. Perhaps this was a bit of an exaggeration, but it's telling.

Posted by: anon | Sep 21, 2019 4:59:15 PM

One below T146 school once said to me "They have a buyers' market." They do - All the schools even the ones below T146 know they can go after the best candidates. I have had interviews at T14 schools and also have many in the below 146. They all know this is a buyer's market for them because many of the better schools aren't serious about hiring or rather hire on the lateral market. The low ranked schools are going after the best candidates on the market in many cases, many of the candidates have interviews or at least got info requests from the very top schools.

I imagine it can create a weird dynamic on the faculty. I wonder if any of the recent hires can comment on that. I look at the resumes at the schools and it's very clear that the recent hires have much stronger pubs than older hires.

For lataral market is it necessary to go in stages? Like it you end up in T146, would any T30 school look at you? Or would you have to go to T100 first? I know of one case of someone going from a T100 to a T14 but wonder how it works on the lateral market. Could a candidate who slipped through cracks that is wind up at below T146 jump directly to T14?

Posted by: anon | Sep 21, 2019 1:16:46 PM

I am the one with 24. Many of mine are at below 100. I think everyone who has more than 15 has some (like you said maybe a third) in the below 100 range. I highly doubt there are many candidates with 10 just in the tier 1. Quality does not necessarily trump quantity for one reason. If you had all tier 1 interviews they have a very good alternative on the lateral market. Many of the t14 never actually hire at aals :since why should they when they can get a proven quantities on the lateral market? It could very well be case if you had 8 tier 1 and only took them you end up with no job

Schools below 100 actually hire here because there is no lateral market for them. (Unless in super
Location). Everyone knows how messed up this is so no one looks down upon people; and you have Supreme Court clerks ending up in unranked schools (2 I believe). If you honestly would not go to school for family reasons or would do market again drop them. But look at resumes of recent hires (recent ones not old ones) and you will see they often have PhD, fellow, etc The market is that competitive that you have people from major fellows going to schools in t146 and below, Truly see the landscape before deleting those schools. Especially ones in good locations. Remember too: all the tier 1 are interviewing 20-30 equality qualified people. It’s not like those are a given. Something as reasonable as subject matter fit and as arbitrary as famous advisor called up could mean you don’t get called and someone else does

Get a sense of how likely you want to go through this again before deleting. There are lots of people on here who would kill for those interview; they may only have 1 or 2 and some may want them since maybe their family lives there. If you would not go there cancel. But don’t cancel just out of embarrassment - they will sense that anyway and won’t call. They are looking for a fit too and sometimes they don’t pick the best candidate on paper so do
Not act like it’s a given

Posted by: Anon | Sep 21, 2019 12:53:29 PM

The fact that you are embarrassed and would view that as a reason not to accept a job offer says more about you than the school.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 21, 2019 12:51:17 PM

Does anyone feel like they are accepting interviews at schools where they would be embarrassed to go? At least a third of my interviews are at schools that are in the 150+ range in the rankings. I think that most of the people with 10 or more interviews are taking interviews at schools where they might not go if given an offer. I haven't decided how I feel yet, so I don't want to turn them down now, but I really would not be excited to go there.

Posted by: Low Rank? | Sep 21, 2019 11:37:30 AM

One shouldn't put quantity over quality. 20 interviews from T3 schools is arguably not as impressive as 10 from T1.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 21, 2019 9:39:33 AM

I am in a strong field and would probably be considered an applicant with more than the median number of top publications. I am also a diverse applicant. I am at 24. I suspect very highest have 25-30.

Posted by: anon | Sep 20, 2019 11:07:56 PM

Anyone know how many total FAR applicants there were across all distributions? I saw the number for the first one but just curious about the total number of competitors, er, I mean, applicants. :)

(And I’m at 9 interviews, 3 of which I got in the past 10 days or so...feeling lucky to have that many given the apparent low number of criminal-law slots this year.)

Posted by: Anonymous_Criminal | Sep 20, 2019 10:47:26 PM

Curious Cat,

It's hard to know and depends on a) your area of expertise and b) postings for your area of expertise.

I am in a bit of a niche, so I would expect fewer than broad areas like Con Law. I'd think 10-15 would be strong for a niche, 15-20 would be strong for a broader area. Those with more than 20 would likely be the strongest (paper) candidates overall, usually with very strong graduation credentials and post-grad clerkships, high-profile fellowships, and at least a couple T-20 article placements. There is a lot that goes into actually selecting someone, though, and although strong candidates might have more interviews, there is no guarantee for anyone that they will find a job, though of course with more interviews, likely one would assume the probability of getting a job might be higher.

I'd wonder what others have to say, but that's at least my approximation.

Posted by: FellowAnon | Sep 20, 2019 9:15:57 PM

Any word about Duke?

Posted by: Dutchess | Sep 20, 2019 11:51:27 AM

How many interviews should a strong candidate have/would stronger candidates have?

Posted by: Curious Cat | Sep 20, 2019 11:36:11 AM

Entry-level or lateral job talks?

Posted by: Rutgers | Sep 20, 2019 11:20:28 AM

Anyone heard from them?

Posted by: American | Sep 20, 2019 10:56:21 AM

I have heard of job talks happening at Rutgers.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 20, 2019 10:52:41 AM

Any word on Rutgers?

Posted by: Rutgers | Sep 20, 2019 10:06:32 AM

Florida state and Drexel are not hiring

Posted by: Anon | Sep 19, 2019 2:16:58 PM

Does anyone know what subjects Villanova is interviewing for?

Posted by: Villanova | Sep 19, 2019 10:18:00 AM

Got calls this week from schools that have been on the list for a few weeks. Cancellations will start to happen and slots will open up. So I imagine there will be activity up until the conference. Don't lose hope.

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2019 10:03:56 AM

If you have schools that are already considering you via the FAR, it might be worthwhile to follow-up with a direct e-mail, but at least my read is that it is unlikely for a school to newly consider you from the big pile at this point in time. For example, if you are on the bubble, and you have a special connection, they may offer a spot. It all depends on the school and their process.

But, if no one has said the search is closed for a school, hypothetically anything is possible.

Posted by: FellowAnon | Sep 18, 2019 11:20:57 PM

My W&L is an entry level.

Posted by: anon | Sep 18, 2019 9:50:09 PM

Anyone have new intel or interview from American or Northwestern? I’m also curious if there’s been any new BC action.

Are all the W&L interviews for entry level?

Posted by: Waiting | Sep 18, 2019 9:41:23 PM

Pre-conference screener approaching fast. Please, anyone, how best to prepare?

Posted by: blargh | Sep 18, 2019 9:00:32 PM

The high probability seems to be that most top schools that ask for materials never get back to you in general, so I wouldn't get my hopes up for one of those regardless of how the scheduling transpires.

If you need consolation - it might help with your consideration as a lateral in the future?

Posted by: T14 | Sep 18, 2019 8:27:51 PM

I got an email from a school seeking to schedule today, and the school had 4 available slots. That suggests to me that schools are not done booking slots, which in turn suggests it would NOT be completely pointless to submit a direct app. But I am a clueless person reading tea leaves, so who knows.

I am still hoping for word from UCLA, which asked for materials, but I will note that Georgetown is reflected on the spreadsheet (not my input, and Georgetown didn't seek out materials from me).

To the hive: If, hypothetically, a few schools in T20 asked for your materials two weeks ago but are either not yet on the spreadsheet or reflected only once, can you keep hope alive, or is that goofy?

Posted by: stressed | Sep 18, 2019 8:24:13 PM

Is it too late to contact a school seeking an interview at this point?

Posted by: toolate? | Sep 18, 2019 7:29:41 PM

Anyone with intel from UCLA or Georgetown? Please/thanks!

Posted by: Still hopeful | Sep 18, 2019 1:20:08 PM

anon2, this is not entirely accurate. Even if the bulletin ads direct candidates to FAR, it is possible to reach out to chairs as a lateral. If the chair's name isn't listed, reach out to the school's dean. I have done so and now have an interview with such school.

Posted by: JLateral | Sep 18, 2019 10:27:32 AM

Emailing hiring chairs is fine if you know the hiring chair from the list aggregated here or can find out through informal networks, which isn't always possible. And getting in touch via the bulletin isn't always an option because some bulletin ads simply direct candidates to the FAR form or to HR systems that won't necessarily get the attention of the right people at the right time. With the process so focused on AALS and reputation/word of mouth/lobbying individual submissions can easily fall through the cracks.

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 17, 2019 11:28:56 PM

Many schools have websites and online portals. Can’t laterals do that? I saw on aals if u r at aals school you get the bulletin free. Why not just apply there?

The last year or two seems more open with schools advertising positions

Also if lateral why not just email hiring chairs?

Posted by: Anon22 | Sep 17, 2019 10:26:37 PM

anon, I don't have personal experience with this but both from what my research has indicated and what hiring committees have told me, the screening interview could either be 100% about the job talk paper or more well-rounded depending on the committee in question. I'm not quite sure why committees would be so interested in the job talk paper to the exclusion of all other questions, but some of them really are.

lateral, I appreciate that there are schools and committees that try to make the lateraling process as meritocratic as possible, but there are still issues here. First, the scholarship on the lateraling process that's been produced indicates there's still room for significant distortion in the process of "surveying the field" - certain people who happen to be better connected come up more. Second, there are inefficiencies involved in making the process entirely about scholarly merit. "Good" scholars are tempted to leave positions they might be fine in, while those desperate to leave (and who may be able to produce better scholarship elsewhere because they're not running to catch a plane every weekend) are left to pasture. Plus treating the process solely as a means to move up the hierarchy through merit denies the opportunity to move down in it if so one desires for location-related purposes. Both of these problems could be alleviated by moving not toward a centralized AALS system for laterals - which creates the problem of alerting a potential lateral's colleagues - but by using the humanities' system of simply allowing potential laterals to apply directly to openly advertised positions.

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 17, 2019 9:48:27 PM

Hi - with thanks to moderators who fixed the comment thread - was hoping to hear thoughts on how best to prepare for screening interviews. In 20-25 minutes, what does the audience want to see? I assume this will not be granular dissection of job talk paper, but I also assume there will be substance. Thank you all in advance for your collective wisdom.

Posted by: anon | Sep 17, 2019 8:57:03 PM

Test comment

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Sep 17, 2019 8:12:47 PM

Re: lateraling.

The lateral market could be improved but it is not clear that the FAR process is the best way to go. I've been on both sides of lateral appointments and lateraled twice in five years. In neither case did I receive the lateral offer because I befriended someone on the faculty. In both cases, the offers to give a job talk and/or visit came unsolicited, in a somewhat mysterious fashion. But it became clear through the process that the committee was very familiar with my work and certainly did not rely on placement proxies as some uninformed voices seem to suggest.

One the inside, every lateral search I've been on resulted in a survey of the field. We talked to our faculty in the field, asked people at other schools we respect, and googled most schools for plausible candidates. The search was deep and produced a list of possible candidates. Once we narrowed that down to three, we asked the top pick if they'd be interested in being considered. If the answer was no, we went to No. 2.

If interested in lateraling, it helps to be visible: publish and present your work. Travel to conferences. Talk to people. Blog. This is not to say that sometimes people convince their faculties to hire their friends. But there is a lot more process that posters seem to imply.

Posted by: lateral | Sep 17, 2019 8:02:16 PM


the lateral issue in law is related to lack of tenure standards. in most fields, tenure is hard, so anyone who appears able to hurdle that bar is potentially desirable as a lateral.

and of course, lack of tenure standards is related to lack of peer review. when publication placements are only tangentially related to research quality, you cannot skim someone's CV to see if they are an unusually productive scholar with good tenure prospects.

without these filters, ability to cultivate fake friendships becomes the filter.

Posted by: charlies | Sep 17, 2019 8:38:59 AM

It would be great if legal academia could develop a lateraling practice that doesn't require trying to covertly and instrumentally befriend someone on a faculty near one's spouse in order to try and maintain one's relationship, or else suffer loneliness and possible divorce in whatever random place one winds up because of the vicissitudes of AALS in the year they happened to get lucky. It's surprising that this is actually something easier to do on the humanities job market.

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 16, 2019 6:09:43 PM

Much appreciated, Professor Kerr.

Posted by: anon | Sep 16, 2019 3:57:42 PM

You’re on a law faculty now and receiving a promotional mailing to boost their reputation...

Posted by: Drexel | Sep 16, 2019 1:14:20 PM

Anyone hear from UCLA?

Posted by: ucla? | Sep 16, 2019 1:07:09 PM

Ha - I just received a packet in the mail from Drexel w a Drexel magazine with no letter or other information and haven't received an invitation to interview with them. Has anyone been asked to interview there?

Posted by: confusing | Sep 16, 2019 1:06:37 PM


Posted by: Rutgers? | Sep 16, 2019 12:38:47 PM

Duke? UMichigan?

Posted by: nanon | Sep 16, 2019 12:23:07 PM

IsItOver, please scroll down. I'm trying to update as often as I have them. BU is still reviewing, MSU is still reviewing, U Kansas is still reviewing, American is coming out this week.

Posted by: FellowAnon | Sep 16, 2019 11:59:06 AM

FYI, University of Kansas is still reviewing FAR materials.

Posted by: FellowAnon | Sep 16, 2019 11:57:33 AM

Are there any more interviews out there? I still haven't seen any action from Northwestern or American. I also heard BU was still looking and BC is reviewing now.

Posted by: Is it over? | Sep 16, 2019 11:43:04 AM

anon re lateraling,

The norm is for lateral candidates to be considered outside the AALS. In most cases, the hiring school's appointments committee will reach out to the possible candidate, and in many cases ,the possible candidate will reach out to someone they know at the school and ask if there is interest there. But it's generally done discreetly between the school and the candidate, rather than publicly, because established professors don't generally want the world to know that they are open to being considered elsewhere.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Sep 16, 2019 4:21:19 AM

I just heard this weekend that Boston University is still looking for some candidates and has not yet closed their search.

Posted by: FellowAnon | Sep 15, 2019 10:19:19 PM

re: laterals, thanks for the info. I asked because the AALS placement bulletin includes two separate sections for laterals, so I'd assumed this (lateral hiring via the FAR form and AALS conference) was a common practice.

Posted by: anon | Sep 15, 2019 7:52:28 PM

Many laterals are solicited directly by the school, so the process takes place outside of AALS. It's more common for folks from schools that are closing, or seem like they are going to close soon, to lateral using the AALS / FAR process.

Posted by: laterals | Sep 15, 2019 9:48:19 AM

Do people do FAR forms to lateral now? I didn't know that was a thing.

Posted by: annie | Sep 15, 2019 8:28:00 AM

anon, from what I understand, it depends. You can be open with your school that you're lateraling for reasons like a need to be near your spouse, or you can be more secretive about it and I guess request Skype screeners only. But the centralized process does seem to make lateraling more awkward. I've heard people say they feel trapped where they first landed and can only get out after some other school notices them and grants them a successful visiting gig later in their careers.

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 15, 2019 2:44:24 AM

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