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Friday, August 28, 2020

Law School Hiring Spreadsheet and Clearinghouse for Questions, 2020-2021

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, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020. 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 28, 2020 at 04:32 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink


And I would love to know about Penn! Have they made callback decisions?

Posted by: anon3 | Sep 28, 2020 8:08:57 PM

And I would love to know about Penn! Have they made callback decisions?

Posted by: anon3 | Sep 28, 2020 8:08:54 PM

Same question, does anyone know if Iowa has made callback decisions?

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 28, 2020 6:17:23 PM

Does anyone know if UC Irvine has made callback decisions yet?

Posted by: anon | Sep 28, 2020 4:16:51 PM

Gtown ding - was your ding before or after your screening interview? I would also like to know.

Posted by: anon0 | Sep 25, 2020 10:46:59 AM

unless constrained by offers the applicant tells them from other schools, no school has the incentive to go quickly. since tenure is easy to get most schools won't want to make a potentially a life long hire without meeting someone, and if that is possible in the spring they would maybe wait until then. They don't need you to teach until next August so there its no reason and all the more incentive to just wait to see if "normal" visits can happen in the spring.

Why would any school rush given there are tons of applicants, no deadline and the potential a line could be pulled if the pandemic worsens? Indeed, it will be interesting if any school even has callbacks let alone offers till spring. Top schools already did it in the spring and many still have hiring freezes.

Posted by: anon | Sep 24, 2020 9:48:53 PM

When will screening interviews be done? (As in, when can we figure we probably aren’t on the initial list for screening interviews?) In the past, there was that conference deadline most schools would try to meet. But now...

Posted by: Late | Sep 24, 2020 1:33:22 PM

This is just a weird year. I’ve had screening interviews but no callbacks yet either. One school I interviewed with mentioned they were thinking of pushing callbacks to spring semester, with the idea that in-person visits might be possible then. Other schools have said they will “likely” be able to hire, but they haven’t gotten approval to start the process yet.

Posted by: candidate | Sep 24, 2020 1:30:48 PM

Hey all - I'm currently on my school's hiring committee and want to send a message of encouragement not to stress out too much just yet. Keep in mind that with AALS in DC in the past, we were able to knock out most of our screening interviews over the course of 2-3 days. At my school, we now have to spread that out in chunks of hours over the course of several weeks to accommodate people's teaching and family schedules. So it's going to take us much longer to make callback decisions. Keep the hope alive!

Posted by: anon | Sep 24, 2020 12:19:25 PM

I had a few screeners a couple of weeks back, but still no callbacks. It doesn't seem like a good sign, but maybe they are just interviewing people slowly over time. At least, that's what I'm trying to tell myself.

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 24, 2020 10:53:57 AM

I guess all you guys getting multiple screeners are either not adding to the spreadsheet or are all competing for the same few jobs that are on there...

Posted by: anon0 | Sep 24, 2020 9:56:03 AM

I’ve had one screening, another Friday, and another in October. No callbacks yet, but I’m not surprised. This is still very early for the normal cycle. Despite early screenings, I don’t think we should expect earlier callbacks. There are many variables that are static and still control the timing - for example, midterms. They don’t have time for us on campus until late October or November..

Posted by: VAP Ending | Sep 23, 2020 5:45:10 PM

Same here, I've had just 2 screenings so far, and no callbacks.

Posted by: SmoothCriminalAtty | Sep 21, 2020 10:35:01 AM

I've had some screeners but no callbacks yet.

Posted by: no callbacks | Sep 19, 2020 8:11:37 PM

Are people getting callbacks yet or is it still too early? Does anyone have a sense for when callbacks might happen this cycle?

Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2020 1:47:00 PM

Re: rejections...it depends. I've gone through this twice before, and I've been rejected fairly quickly by some (i.e. within days/weeks of the screening interview) and never heard back from others. So...sorry, but there's no firm answer to be had.

The timeline used to be that the AALS conference would be in October, and you would get contacted re callback interviews within a couple weeks after that (which would then be scheduled, typically, in November). So sometimes if places are sure they're not going to give you a callback, they'll let you know ASAP. Other places might not let you know because maybe you're a backup callback if someone rejects their callback offer or doesn't work out for some reason. Others just might not be organized/respectful enough to bother with an email saying you're rejected. I had one that ended up contacting me sometime in the spring to say something along the lines of, we're maybe/kinda/probably not hiring after all, so don't hold your breath. Um...thanks for the info!?

To add to the unknowns, this is a bizarre year with no Oct conference. (Not that I'm complaining--I love not having to pay for air, hotel, etc!). I've had one screening interview thus far, but I don't know (and it seemed presumptuous to ask) what their timetable is for callback interviews. It may just depend on the school. It's a super frustrating process, so hang in there!

Posted by: SmoothCriminalAtty | Sep 16, 2020 4:31:20 PM

I went through this last year. Schools are really hit or miss about sending rejections after screeners, although more did than don't. If things work similarly to the way they did last year--and they probably won't--you can expect some relatively quick rejections, some rejections well into the process, some rejections in the spring when schools have filled the position, and some rejections that you'll have to infer from never hearing from the school. I followed up eventually with most of the schools with which I interviewed and didn't hear from, and some told me at that point that they'd filled the position or that it wasn't happening, and others never responded.

Posted by: former candidate | Sep 16, 2020 4:16:22 PM

I would also be interesting in knowing whether or not schools send rejections after a screening interview or just never respond. If it's the latter, at what point should we assume we won't be invited for a callback? A couple weeks after the screener? Longer?

Posted by: anon | Sep 16, 2020 3:22:16 PM

Surprised Georgetown is interviewing so early. They weren't in the bulletin either.

Posted by: georgetown | Sep 16, 2020 11:52:55 AM

Do committees typically send rejection emails after screeners? Or if they request more materials, like a teaching essay or whatever (which usually means you spent a day writing the document they asked for)?

I get the sense that it's usually a no, but feel that given all the concerns about the hiring process and its fairness, rejection emails should be the norm if they've given you a screener.

Posted by: onthemarket | Sep 16, 2020 11:47:09 AM

I'm a current candidate, and I haven't contributed to the spreadsheet because I am interviewing for a specific subject role, for which there are only a few dozen candidates total. It doesn't feel like I can be anonymous. This is always a factor, but more so in a year with fewer candidates and fewer openings.

Posted by: candidate | Sep 16, 2020 11:44:25 AM

I think the lack of interviews is due to the fact that a lot of schools are probably waiting it out. There is no hard deadline this year, so why rush, especially when hiring committee members are already overburdened with the beginning of the semester? Combined with the fact that many schools have hiring freezes, it is probably the best course of action for schools to wait it out. It may be that a lot of schools won't even do this until the spring semester to see how the pandemic plays out.

By this time in years past, interviews for purposes of the AALS conference were already set.

Many people don't list their subject matter because they think it will make them non-anonymous, especially in this environment where schools may be interviewing less people. Also, I suspect schools will interview in stages - there is no need to put out a list of 30 people if there is no conference; they may only do one group of Zoom meetings at a time so that makes it all the more apparent who the person is. I don't think schools even care if you post on here but some people are paranoid like that. Schools also interview for many different subject matters so sometimes you can't even get any info from people posting.

Schools that are hiring in a specific subject list it in the AALS. Top schools generally never say what they are hiring for and they are more likely to interview many people from different fields. Alot of schools also scope out the best candidates no matter their field.

Posted by: anon | Sep 14, 2020 6:08:48 PM

When people are putting "no specific subject" on the spreadsheet...I get that maybe the school didn't call you up and say, "we're looking for somebody to teach torts, civ pro, and one elective of your choice"--but come on now, obviously they're not interested in you to teach ALL COURSES they offer. So, like, what's your AOS? Why would the school be interviewing you? The rest of us might want to know that Dartmouth Law School is interviewing people who specialize in early-medieval maritime treaties.

Also...what's with the lack of screening interviews thus far? I would have thought there would be more due to the decentralized model this year, so committees could just start setting up Zoom meetings ASAP. But maybe it's making things slower because there's no October deadline? Or maybe it's just me and some other person posting and nobody else is paying attention to this thread?

Posted by: facepalm | Sep 14, 2020 4:55:38 PM

@ Fellowship question: I don't think it is categorically "bad" to do a fellowship at your JD institution, especially when that institution is HLS, but there are at least two reasons to think it's "better" to do a fellowship elsewhere. Judging from your phrasing I expect you've already thought of these, but in case it's helpful for someone else:

First, you get support, resources, and references from an entirely different institution. If you went to HLS and stayed at HLS for a fellowship, Harvard might be incrementally more supportive of you when you go on the market than if you were just an alum—but by how much? Generally speaking, elite schools support their alum candidates pretty well because they already have a stake in your success.

Second, if you already have established networks and faculty supporters at your JD institution (which you *would* have if you were a viable fellowship candidate at any similarly elite school) you're more likely to stick with those comfortable people during your fellowship. I'm not saying *no* new relationships would be formed, or *no* existing relationships would be strengthened, but in general it's less likely to happen. If you go to a new school, you will be (and will feel) obliged to make new connections.

Posted by: So&So | Sep 3, 2020 11:19:52 AM

Since this is a clearinghouse for questions...

When it comes to fellowships, is there the same idea as with the PhD process, that it is worse to do a fellowship at the school you got your JD from? I went to Harvard for law school, and am just wondering if, hiring wise, it would be better to do a fellowship at Chicago/NYU/Stanford for that reason

Posted by: Fellowship question | Sep 3, 2020 9:12:33 AM

This is going to be a strange cycle, with screening interviews all over the place in terms of timing. Good luck to all.

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 3, 2020 12:24:23 AM

Does anyone know what Georgetown is hiring in?

Posted by: anon | Sep 2, 2020 1:25:03 PM

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