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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


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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