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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Meat Market cancelled, alternative hiring conversations

AALS canceled the Faculty Recruitment Conference out of concerns for COVID, although it will serve as information clearinghouse for candidates, including running the Faculty Appointments Registry, for schools that will run a hiring process remotely. (Brian Leiter wrote about changes making the FAR form more candidate-friendly).

Latisha Nixon-Jones, a VAP at Oregon, is starting a listserv for VAPs/Fellows to share information about the upcoming hiring season. Candidates interested in joining the listserv can complete this survey by June 30.

We will have our usual assortment of hiring-related posts and perhaps we can rerun some of our greatest hits. Although query how well advice about doing a good job talk translates to doing a good job talk via Zoom.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on June 25, 2020 at 09:18 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink


If you read the OP, we are not sponsoring or controlling the listserv; we simply referenced it as another resource. You can reach out to Prof. Nixon-Jones, whose web site is linked.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Jun 26, 2020 4:57:07 PM

is the listserv limited to visitors? Why can't it be for anyone on market? Anyone who finds this board is serious about going on the market so it won't get many random people going on it.

fees for aals used to be like $500, then went down to $290 last year. I think the fee is meant to discourage random lawyers from signing up who are dissatisfied with law jobs and thinking teaching sounds good and that since they went to HYS it should be no problem getting a job at the local law school. How wrong they are!

The market is brutal during regular times. I would suggest anyone go into it thinking it's probable you won't get a job and have a backup plan. That in fact is the same advice I would give to anyone even pre-pandemic. Many candidates don't realize how much it is guided by teaching needs at most schools; and how many candidates have top degrees, top pubs, top everything and still have difficulty. There are a lot of extremely qualified candidates and it is best to think of it as a multiyear process. That makes it exclusionary for those who can't do that but especially now that is the best way to do it if you really want a law job.

This board has been a useful resource for years so if the list does happen to be exclusionary limited to VAPs I don't see how that matters too much or really what a list would really add. Unless they advertise VAP jobs which may be useful most schools aren't gong to hiring anyway and if they do not until sprinig. And most useful info leaks out here anyway.

Almost every school has a hiring freeze from central administration. They have to fill out paperwork months in advance to get a new line approved. Hardly any schools will be doing that next year; indeed, I would be surprised if any are. The best to hope for for most candidates is to see if schools hire VAPs in the spring or if the virus disappears to fill any position they got approved for this year but did not fill to hire next spring (that is some schools might have had a line approved 2020-21 but stopped early because of the virus; next spring, some may be allowed to go back and fill those lines, though most schools will wait till 2021-2022).

Schools that have VAP jobs should make that open to the public anyway even in normal times. Another option would be become good in online teaching; some schools may have need to add more sections if the virus continues. Right now they can't do that because ABA requires all 1L be faculty; if the virus continues they could possibly change that to allow non tenure track to teach 1L classes which may be the only way to expand the faculty quickly by using VAPs. It's hard teaching a 100 person class online and there are not enough resources to make them smaller 1L sections unless they changed the rule.

Posted by: anon | Jun 26, 2020 4:48:45 PM

Great, so those of us who haven't gotten a VAP this year get even doubly screwed by being shut out of the AALS meat-market AND the "fancy VAP club listserv." Thanks a lot guys.

Posted by: angry | Jun 26, 2020 2:01:51 PM

How many schools will even be hiring? Our faculty hiring has been all but frozen. I feel for this year’s candidates.

Posted by: sad | Jun 25, 2020 11:37:41 PM

Are they cancelling it merely to protect everyone,
or because there will be so few schools interviewing?

Posted by: anon2 | Jun 25, 2020 7:17:51 PM

Some of the changes to the FAR are welcome - i.e. the lack of ranking of subject areas, although this was not as bad as the two tiers of preferred courses. Would like to be able to pick more than five areas, though, since in my experience schools want to discuss as many courses as you're able to teach as possible, but the limited list leads to fewer schools considering you because you can only list so many.

One thing that is not so welcome is the high fee. In a year when there is no live conference, is this really necessary?

Finally, maybe Prawfsblawg can consider running tips on Zoom interviews on the law market if anyone thinks they have tips to offer. In my experience they have gone quite differently compared with those at the conference itself (usually not as well.)

Posted by: anon1 | Jun 25, 2020 3:24:59 PM

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