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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Law School Hiring Spreadsheet and Clearinghouse for Questions, 2021-2022

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, 2019-2020, 2020-2021. 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, 2021 at 03:15 PM in Getting a Job on the Law Teaching Market | Permalink



We do have second and third (and in some instances, fourth) options. However, the longer one candidate holds the offer, the more we risk those second and third choices accepting offers elsewhere, thus leaving us with a failed search when the candidate holding the offer finally lets us know they aren’t accepting.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Nov 25, 2021 5:59:48 PM

@explodingoffers I think you’re totally justified in thinking that 2-3 weeks is a short turnaround, especially since you (as most candidates) have never been to the location of the school before. In my opinion, any offer is stressful while the process is still ongoing (unless it’s your dream location, which if we’re all honest for once, most profs aren’t in their dream location). Current profs, most candidates are sacrificing important interests and needs by moving to your law school. Will they ultimately decide the career is worth the loss the job entails? Probably, but there’s literally no need for you to be offended that it’s a real life decision and stressful for candidates. It’s not about you. It’s about the candidate.

As for failed searches, I don’t know how that happens other than law schools think they’re so entitled as to not need to agree on second or third options. If you don’t realize, there’re plenty of great candidates on the entry level market who have been waiting years to be given a shot. I don’t see see how schools don’t have second or third options if failed searches are such a big worry.

Posted by: anon | Nov 25, 2021 11:32:50 AM

Thanks for the feedback. As a candidate, 2-3 weeks still does feel like a lot of pressure, especially over the holidays and when screening interviews were done virtually (so it's likely the candidate hasn't physically been to the area yet). But I also understand that schools face their own pressures as well. I do think a more centralized system would be helpful for families (or at least for me, personally) so travel and childcare could perhaps be arranged all at a single time, rather than individual visits scheduled at various timeframes and all the organizational chaos and stress that might cause that for some candidates. Again though, I really do appreciate the feedback and insight!

Posted by: explodingoffers | Nov 24, 2021 2:46:09 PM

candidate, adding to the mix: please return to centralization or adopt a centralized norm even without AALS. agree with everything anon noted.
these are life-altering decisions and the different time lines create a lot of stress and put more pressure on the lateral market if people accept bad fits because of expiring offers. elite schools can also help by moving earlier.

Posted by: entropy | Nov 24, 2021 2:18:20 PM

I would also add you don't need the AALS conference to have it be orderly. Fields like history, political science and economics operate with informal norms about hiring even though each school moves independently. Offers are often given in a narrow window and candidates have some choice.

Lack of AALS conference also puts more burden on candidates. Over the years, the process is more burdensome on each candidate. Ten years ago you just filled out the AALS form and that's it. Now, increasingly most schools have their own process on inter folio, internal processes, etc. which results in the candidate filling out dozens of forms with exactly the same information. It doesn't strike me that benefits anyone to require so much paperwork, when the probability of a job is so low. This was something happening even pre-pandemic with schools each wanting their own forms.

Posted by: anon | Nov 24, 2021 2:06:54 PM

Interesting in that all my years following this board I can never recall so much discussion on "exploding offers." I wonder if we will all go back to a centralized process. In years past, offers from many schools were given late November/early December with decisions shortly thereafter. Those in the running at the top schools often went later in the process, though not always. With offers now being given as early as September or early October it makes it very hard on candidates making life-altering decisions for themselves and families.

I like the old system better. It benefits candidates, and is fair to most schools. This new system benefits lower ranked schools who may be able to attract top talent. However, if people aren't happy with they are going they will just go on lateral market in a few years and they will have to do another search. I don't see how this new system benefits anyone - in the long term at least. It mimics in some ways the law review market which I don't think anyone thinks is ideal.

Posted by: anon | Nov 24, 2021 2:02:52 PM

I can’t comprehend how 3 weeks is called an “exploding” offer. Are we now using that word to describe any offer that expires?

If you need a longer time period to schedule a trip, then explain that. It’s hard to imagine that offending someone. If you have an offer from a school and are delaying responding to keep playing the field, a school may be less generous about giving extensions. That tells the school it’s a clear second (or lower) choice. It’s perfectly reasonable for a school to want to offer a second choice candidate rather than risk having a no hire.

Posted by: LawProf | Nov 23, 2021 10:58:32 PM

You should view the exploding offer as a negotiation tactic. The school is trying to use their leverage and your risk aversion to get you to settle. But you have leverage too - they have already voted you an offer, and they don't want a failed search. The line might not be there next year, and they might not have backup candidates (or they might like you much better than the backup candidates).

Figure out how to ask for more time (perhaps you need to make a campus visit with a significant other, for example), and try to get your preferred schools to move more quickly. Whether you should reveal information about other schools' processes or not will depend on the ruthlessness of the dean you're negotiating with. I have heard of deans who deliberately move offer deadlines sooner if they know another school will vote on a specific date.

And 2-3 weeks is not remotely reasonable. Exploding offers are unreasonable, period. There is no need to feel reservations about negotiating aggressively with schools that use such tactics.

Posted by: neithercandidatenorhiringchair | Nov 23, 2021 7:48:57 PM

I'm on the candidate side of things, but my impression during this process is that many schools expect negotiations over offer windows. They understand that not all schools are moving on the same timeline and that this is a big decision not just for the candidate, but also for the candidate's family. I've heard of several examples of schools being willing to extend offer windows--but often with conditions attached, such as withdrawing everywhere else, except School X or Y.

One thing that would significantly help all of this is if the higher-ranked schools would move earlier in the fall. My sense is that many of them are content to wait and see how candidates do elsewhere. That probably saves them some work, but it can put many candidates in a tough spot.

Posted by: AnonCandidate | Nov 23, 2021 12:25:57 PM

I hardly think 2-3 weeks qualifies as an "exploding offer." I think that's extremely generous. You can always ask, but I would be very put off by that (again, if you'd already been given that much time).

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Nov 23, 2021 11:19:08 AM

When schools give exploding offers (e.g, 2-3 weeks), is it customary to ask for extensions or will that rub the school the wrong way? I don't want to start off at my potential future employer on the wrong foot, but at the same time, it's hard to arrange visits in such a short period when you have kid(s) at home who you don't want to travel with during a pandemic, and when your partner needs to talk with their employer(s) too. Thoughts on this?

Posted by: explodingoffers | Nov 23, 2021 10:29:48 AM

My question, in keeping with the spirit of things being discussed on this blog, to all who travel here is this:
“How Discretionary Is Certiorari”, when it comes to Religious Liberty?

How many of you who travel here, desire to render onto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God, what belongs to God, and thus will uphold our inherent Right to Religious Liberty?

Two points that must be considered when upholding Religious Liberty:

"[T]he Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state; and that in fulfilling the task committed to her by God of teaching, ruling, and guiding to eternal bliss those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, she cannot be subject to any external power."
This is, to put it mildly, a striking proposal”, and not because we are hypothetically speaking.

And the second point:

“Lincoln had two ideas of liberty in mind. The first, true liberty, is man’s freedom to choose in accord with the moral law. Lincoln contrasted this true liberty with its corruption, “license”—of a most peculiar sort. In his day the license that some called liberty had come to mean the right “for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor.”

No doubt, we are living in a time of great deception, as revealed by the fact that there exists a counterfeit church that claims to belong to The Kingdom Of Christ, while denying The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, and thus the fact that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, (See The Treaty Of Paris, that ended The Revolutionary War In the Name Of The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity) Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, not Caesar, King John, or John Locke, thus, when it comes to Love, to Life, and to Marriage, The Church cannot be “subject to any external power”, forcing those members to render onto Caesar what has always and will always belong to God.

I suppose whether a particular Law School would grant Certiorari for Religious Liberty purposes depends upon whether or not that particular Law School believes that God Is The Author Of The Moral Code. What say you?
Do you choose the Law Schools you apply to accordingly, and if not, why not?

Posted by: N.D. | Nov 23, 2021 10:21:17 AM

Heard of offers at Nebraska, Iowa, Georgia State, Pittsburgh, IU-Bloomington, Seton Hall, Wayne State, and Syracuse.

Posted by: FacultyTalks | Nov 22, 2021 7:53:09 PM

is BU doing any entry level hiring?

Posted by: BU? | Nov 19, 2021 11:54:07 AM

for the berkeley screeners, subjects?

Posted by: berkeley areas | Nov 18, 2021 3:38:42 PM

Berkeley has sent out both rejections and screener invites.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 18, 2021 3:07:10 PM

We communicate offers by phone, and I think most all schools do the same.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Nov 18, 2021 10:20:50 AM

How do schools communicate offers? I need to know if I should be staring disappointedly at my email inbox or at my phone.

Posted by: anonymouse | Nov 18, 2021 10:10:54 AM

I've heard many schools will vote on making offers in early December, for whatever it's worth, so perhaps not surprising that it's quiet right now.

Posted by: anoncandidate | Nov 18, 2021 12:12:10 AM

is it as quiet as it seems from this site?

Posted by: anon | Nov 17, 2021 4:05:29 PM

Also no news from Berkeley since that email

Posted by: Anony | Nov 13, 2021 7:03:05 AM

I've heard of offers at Nebraska, Tennessee, Kansas and Pitt.

Posted by: AnonProf | Nov 12, 2021 11:38:35 AM

also no news. secondhand rumors of berkeley movement.

Posted by: silence | Nov 12, 2021 9:16:32 AM

No news here!

Posted by: Anon2 | Nov 12, 2021 9:12:14 AM

Any Berkeley survivors here? Any news from our beloved ghoster?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 12, 2021 5:44:39 AM

Just to add to the discussion on time from callback to offer. We started callbacks in early October and finishing them next week. The Appointments Committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow and then again next week to finalize the list of candidates we plan to bring to the floor for a full faculty vote, which we are hoping to also conduct next week. Our dean will then be making calls with offers within a day of that vote. So all in all at our school (a T30) we're hoping to extend multiple offers (likely 2 or 3) within the next two weeks. We also reserved a second faculty vote for second week of December in case we need to extend more offers.

Hope this timeline gives one insight into the process of one school for all you on the market. But remember this is super idiosyncratic and what my school does says nothing about what other schools' timelines might be. Which makes the entire process feel opaque and therefore frustrating. I'm sorry and can also say that I feel the pain and that we've all been there. But I don't think thats reaffirming in any way to those currently on the battle lines.

Posted by: ApptComMember | Nov 11, 2021 8:43:20 AM

Interesting, thank you.

Posted by: BU | Nov 10, 2021 7:03:55 PM

@BU I heard at the end of the summer that USC wasn't doing entry-level hiring this year. But I do not know firsthand.

Posted by: limited info | Nov 10, 2021 2:25:24 PM

Thanks BU. That's useful to know!

Posted by: I know it's cold there but... | Nov 10, 2021 12:33:37 PM

Second-hand info, but I know someone who had a screener with BU about a week ago.

Does anyone know what’s up with Hastings and USC?

Posted by: BU | Nov 10, 2021 12:12:18 PM

Still no word from BU? anyone know anything, are they not hiring?

Posted by: I know it's cold there but... | Nov 10, 2021 12:08:25 PM

Ideally it would only take a couple of weeks, but it's possible for the process to take longer. At my school at least, we consider offers for all positions at the same time, so if we're hiring for multiple lines, the time between the first callback and the last callback can stretch past a month. We try to avoid scheduling some callbacks in the fall semester and others in the spring, but that's always a possibility -- meaning that we wouldn't vote on candidates we saw in November until January at the earliest. Faculty realize how stressful the process is for candidates, so we do our best to avoid that.

Posted by: CurrentProf | Nov 10, 2021 6:23:00 AM

Any sense of how long schools take from callbacks to make an offer? I know schools differ, but my thought is that it takes a few weeks for the committee to decide and get the faculty to vote. Is that about right?

Posted by: anon32 | Nov 9, 2021 2:32:57 PM

We have certainly interviewed people multiple years in a row in screening interviews. Sometimes one committee member will like you and want to invite you back another year when there's a better curricular fit. Sometimes the committee forgets about the prior year (or, if they turned over, they never knew about the prior year). I think it's neither a good sign nor a bad sign.

I also want to second the tip to withdraw from schools once you know you would not accept an offer. This process is smoother if both schools and candidates reject each other in a timely fashion once it becomes clear that's the inevitable outcome. If you withdraw from consideration at a second-choice school, someone else in the pool might get pulled up for a callback. It's good for everyone to be proactive. Before you respond by telling me schools need to be better, I know. I try to be as upfront as possible with candidates and send timely updates.

Posted by: Anon Hiring Chair | Nov 8, 2021 2:35:57 PM

I interviewed with the same committee members over multiple cycles and some did not remember me. this happened at more than one school. it's not about a publishing record solely. It's about subject matter they are looking for, politics, whether someone is calling up for you, etc.

Some turn over every year, some have some turn over and some have none. everyone knows this is a hard process- many people do this multiple times.

Posted by: anon | Nov 8, 2021 11:09:03 AM

What is considered exploding? So far I've heard about two schools giving 10-day deadlines. That seems very short for what can be a bit decision that may involve moving one's family across the country, etc. But I don't know if that is just standard.

Posted by: Exploding | Nov 8, 2021 10:31:01 AM

I've heard of at least one exploding offer so far. This is unfair to candidates and schools should avoid it. The candidate rejected the offer.

When I was on the market, some schools were thoughtful and kind about timing, and provided more time where necessary. You don't forget that.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 8, 2021 10:20:18 AM

Thanks AnonProf. Seems fair. How do people feel about candidates trying to leverage an offer for a callback?

Posted by: Anon | Nov 7, 2021 8:13:16 PM

A note to candidates (and I intend this as helpful, non-judgy advice) -- if you have an offer you know you'd prefer to another school that is considering you, please let that school know immediately. To make an offer to a candidate and immediately be rejected because of an offer the candidate was already holding can leave a bad impression.

Posted by: AnonProf | Nov 7, 2021 1:58:21 PM

American has made more than one offer, at least two of which have been accepted.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 7, 2021 8:57:33 AM

@Anon: Some schools definitely interview people in multiple cycles. I had another screener this year from a school that I interviewed with two years ago. In this case, I think the committee had fully turned over, so I'm not sure they were even aware they'd taken a look at me before. I suspect there are also cases where schools will more deliberately reconsider someone after they've built up a stronger publication record.

Posted by: Anonym | Nov 6, 2021 9:07:41 PM

@ anonnn My guess is that people with offers won't report because that will essentially dox the person if anyone from their school watches this thread. It would be nice if people who have accepted offers would update the spreadsheet so others know which schools are effectively done their hiring. At that stage, doxing is inevitable with time anyway.

Posted by: anonresponse | Nov 6, 2021 8:36:00 PM

Just curious--have people ever interviewed with a school than once, over multiple recruiting seasons? Asking because I didn't have a good publication record, but should start building it up over next couple of years (I am in process of getting a PhD, so will be publishing more over the next two years). Had a few nibbles this year, but doesn't look like it will happen for me this recruiting season.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 6, 2021 8:20:30 PM

Just wanted to bump this thread so it stays current in the sidebar. I hope that the spreadsheet is still being updated to have some sense of transparency in this process

Posted by: anonnn | Nov 6, 2021 1:50:08 PM

It does appear from the spreadsheet (and what I've heard through the grapevine) that at least a handful of top schools are doing entry-level campus visits this fall. But personally I'm mystified by the laid-back, slow moving strategy of some schools. There seems to be such a huge first mover advantage in academic hiring, in terms of seeing more candidates and having your pick of people. In other academic fields I'm familiar with, the reverse sequence usually occurs - the most competitive and highly ranked schools tend to move quickly, though that's not a hard and fast rule.

Posted by: anon | Nov 1, 2021 8:43:45 PM

@anon, BU issued a mass email too?

Posted by: Me | Nov 1, 2021 10:21:43 AM

Anyone heard back after screeners from UMKC or UMass? Seems like the response rate on posting callbacks is spotty

Posted by: anon32 | Nov 1, 2021 8:44:45 AM

I would also add that BU and Berkeley I believe have very broad subject areas and I recall that Berkeley had a specific list of like 7 or 8 subjects. If you aren't those subject areas, it is probably unlikely they would call. This is true at all schools; sometimes subjects change over the semester, but if a school has a very broad lists of the subjects they need and you nowhere fit on that list it probably lessens the chance they will call. That just gives you more information if you need to decide on an offer. I would not hold out hope on any school where you don't even fit the subject matter they are looking for. Schools are more likely to narrow rather than widen their subject list as well. And most schools outside the top 20 don't deviate too much from their hiring needs- they sometimes might hire extra if they can but their first priority is going to be the hiring need they listed in their announcement.

Posted by: anon | Oct 31, 2021 7:01:03 PM

Historically, many top schools did not do interviews or make offers until January or spring semester. I have no idea whether that is happening this year or not. But to some extent it has always been the case that people had to accept offers before hearing from other schools. The difference with there being no conference was that people knew already if they were out of the running at some schools because they knew by the time of the conference that they did not get an AALS screener interview.

I would think if you have not heard anything as far as a screening interview within the next week or so and/or you see screeners are being scheduled for others you are probably out of the running if you need to accept an offer. There is no harm in emailing the hiring chair to confirm that but the fall semester is quickly coming to an end; most callbacks will be finished by the first week in December since faculty then start scattering, If they aren't scheduled in the next 2 weeks, then schools may be waiting until the start of the spring semester, and I doubt many schools are going to hold offers open til then.

Especially if you had a virtual interview, you can probably delay by asking for an in person visit before accepting the offer. If you explain to other schools you want to visit schools in person before deciding, and that delays things by a few days or a week, I think it is only the courteous thing to do for a future colleague to let them visit schools in person.

Alot of schools ask for job market papers; sometimes those decisions are made individually by the committees; sometimes it is made by someone even lower level just to get all the job market papers of all the fellows or all the Ph.ds, or some other criteria. I never got an a callback or offer from the dozens of schools that asked for my paper. It is a good sign, but not really a reliable one depending on the school. And I personally would not bank on it if it meant giving up an offer. If I was waiting after a callback, most schools are pretty good at letting you know whether you will get an offer from them too, but if the only thing is they asked for your job market paper and you have not had a screener let alone a callback that would be a very weak sign so as to give up an actual offer.

Posted by: anon | Oct 31, 2021 6:53:18 PM

I wouldn't turn down an offer from a school you'd otherwise be happy to teach at because Berkeley indicated some (possibly minimal) interest in you, but has yet to even offer a screening interview.

Posted by: Anonym | Oct 31, 2021 1:25:23 PM

Does anyone know or have any theories about what BU or Berkeley are doing? With more and more offers coming out, it’s really hard for candidates to know what to do, particularly with tight windows.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 31, 2021 11:31:25 AM

Fair enough. This process is rough on us all.

Posted by: Puzzled | Oct 30, 2021 7:54:50 PM

You're right, sorry. It's been one of those days.

Posted by: CuriousProf | Oct 30, 2021 6:44:38 PM

What a strange thing to get annoyed about.

Posted by: Puzzled | Oct 30, 2021 6:41:55 PM

If folks could make clear when responding my inquiry versus the other one (who decided to use my exact same question format), I would appreciate it.


Posted by: CuriousProf | Oct 30, 2021 6:27:49 PM

For folks who have received lateral offers (this year or in the past), how much time do you customarily have to decide? My sense is it's longer than for entry-levels but I could be wrong. If you don't want to say exactly, feel free to select:

a. 2 weeks or shorter
b. More than 2 weeks, up to 1 month
c. More than 1 month

Posted by: Lateral offer timing? | Oct 30, 2021 4:44:17 PM

Not on the market this year, but most folks I know got 2-3 weeks last year to decide on offers. Worst time frame I personally received was 1 week, which is WAY TOO SHORT a time to decide on a job that would uproot your entire life and family. I didn’t take the job, partially because the 1-week deadline gave me a bad vibe for how the administration might treat me as a future faculty member.

Hiring committees: Do not do this. PLEASE give your candidates at LEAST 2 weeks to decide on an offer!

Posted by: More Time | Oct 30, 2021 4:18:20 PM

For those who have received offers, how long have schools given you. If you don't want to say exactly, feel free to select:

a. 1 week or shorter
b. 1-2 weeks
c. 2-3 weeks
d. More than 3 weeks

Posted by: CuriousProf | Oct 30, 2021 1:30:02 PM

At least where I am, I think it's pretty standard for faculty references to proactively email their letters of recommendation to a (reasonable) list of schools where a candidate might be a good fit. This is typically done after the FAR form is released and before first round interviews kick off. I don't think cold calling/lobbying is typical.

Posted by: anoncandidate | Oct 29, 2021 11:24:43 AM

What colleagues try to communicate here is that sometimes good candidates do not have the connections or hesitate to contact people to contact other people to get a job. As simple as that. These are not letters of recommendation; these are cold-calls and e-mails pushing for candidates. Do not conflate the two. If the committee would like to get a formal letter of recommendation, they can contact the people that candidates have listed or ask candidates to provide letters of recommendation. The difference between the two is that the latter is formal and accepted by all involved, whereas the former is viewed by many people as unethical, inefficient, and as colleague noted on this board as 'gross'.

Posted by: anon | Oct 29, 2021 3:07:38 AM

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