« Silence is Golden, Justice Breyer | Main | Two Common Misconceptions about Bushrod Washington »

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

Comments

Poor U. Penn, Northwestern, Chicago, etc. Just unable to find new professors after the handful of qualified people have been snapped up by Harvard, Yale, and Columbia.

Posted by: Anon2 | Jan 18, 2022 3:19:13 PM

"If, however, you are looking for people who will likely excel as teachers and scholars, then there are only a handful of people."

Thanks for that. I needed a good laugh.

(You don't actually believe that peers and candidates can possibly believe that anymore, if ever some did, do you? Do you ever spam r/Professors?)

Posted by: A non | Jan 18, 2022 6:41:29 AM

Whether the market is oversaturated with qualified applicants depends on how you define "qualified" -- if it's merely people who will publish decent papers and be fine in the classroom; then yes, it's oversaturated. If, however, you are looking for people who will likely excel as teachers and scholars, then there are only a handful of people. I suspect most schools define "qualified" using the latter definition, meaning that all those schools are simultaneously going after that small group of folks.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 17, 2022 4:20:10 PM

Wow. Hearing about these numbers of failed hires just reinforces the falsity of the narrative that the market is oversaturated with qualified candidates. Combined with the reports of folks with multiple offers, we can reliably infer that schools do go after the same 20-40 candidates and refuse to take anyone they perceive to be lower, even if they have teaching needs, leaving many candidates having to struggle to survive another year while waiting for their opportunity. In the words of the economists: how socially inefficient.

Posted by: anon | Jan 17, 2022 2:55:23 PM

Do failed entry-level searches generally lead to lateral searches? Seems like that's the case for our faculty at least. It would be a shame to lose the line.

Posted by: x | Jan 16, 2022 6:43:15 PM

We were going to hire two but everyone we voted acceptable turned us down (we're a T75). We're now done for the year.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 16, 2022 2:55:26 PM

@RandomProf - would you have hired 3-4 tenure-track professors if folks hadn't turned you down? Failed searches obviously contribute to the disparity between positions advertised and hires made, but my sense was that the bigger difference is that those lines never really existed to begin with or stopped existing along the way. If failed searches are significantly more common this year, that would speak to a real, if likely temporary, shift in the market.

Posted by: a non | Jan 16, 2022 2:51:50 PM

@anon -- Thank you for the clarification. I am a school that posted having 3-4 lines to fill, and we'd be lucky if we end up hiring one person from the entry level market (because so far those individuals we made offers to have turned us down). So, I really think you shouldn't build any assumptions on the basis of the fall listings but only make statements based on the spring report -- those numbers are controlling because those numbers reflect actual hired and note potential hires.

Posted by: RandomProf | Jan 16, 2022 11:07:26 AM

I took 1L Con Law from a VAP 10 yrs ago. I don’t think there are ABA rules requiring 1L classes be taught by full time faculty

Posted by: Anon | Jan 14, 2022 1:46:04 PM

Area gym reports a ton of sign-ups in January, proclaims this the “year of fitness.”

I’ll wait for the hiring report. Including re: business law and health law. Everybody feels like other people’s fields are less competitive.

Posted by: Not proven | Jan 13, 2022 8:11:15 PM

Visitors can definitely teach 1L courses. I know this because I just wrapped up a 1-semester visit in which I taught torts (along with an upper-level seminar).

Posted by: Anon | Jan 13, 2022 7:28:50 PM

I am basing it as being unusual in that this is the first year I recall where so many schools were interviewing for multiple spots. The top schools send out a list to their alumni of schools looking. Stanford, Yale, Harvard, maybe Chicago? have al list they compile for their alums of hiring chairs, fields looking at, etc. I have received that list for years. Usually schools were looking to fill 1 or 2 spots. This year, there were multiple schools putting down 3 or 4 or even 5 spots on the list. Now whether that ends up happening I don't know. I just know that this seemed like the first year in awhile where so many schools were looking for many spots, at least in their initial hiring sheet sent out to alumni of top schools. I recall one top 14 school listing they were looking for 4 or 5 people. I don't recall ever seeing that before on the August list. Maybe some 2-3, but not many (and not many top schools) saying 4-5.

It may be because of the pandemic; hiring was low last year. It may be that schools really needed to do more to increase diversity so they wanted to hire more. It could be that the pandemic spurred more retirements. It could be that law school admissions were up(I believe last year was unusually hire in terms of admits) and the "trump effect" has spurred more law school admissions and more need for law professors.

But just get a hold of the list sent around to alumni in August and compare this years list to the list sent around for the past decade. It just has more multiple positions spots. And yes, we will have to see in March if that translated to the entry level hiring but from what I have seen it seems like many applicants (some of whom were on the market for years) having multiple offers. This year seemed like a historically good year, perhaps because of "extra hiring" due to lack of hiring at some schools last year as well as just having more spots. Historically AALS numbers are also down. It wasn't that long ago- maybe 5 years - when there were 600 people in the AALS, now it is down in the 300s. That's a significant drop. It could be the candidates who don't have a shot stopped applying and that the competitive candidates stayed the same. But combined with the fact that there is less competition plus you have more spots makes it a better year to get a job.

Re: admin, look at the entry hiring list for the past decade. There are not a whole lot of admin law spots. Also look at the August lists - hardly anyone lists they are looking in "admin." Just a few a year even end up getting hired in admin, and some may have marketed themselves as immigration or corporate. Schools hire for teaching in the 1L curriculum; they don't hire admin exclusively; most admin law are do civ pro or property or contracts. Look at the people who are actually hired for admin law. They are a disproportionately strong group as well- very con law like in focus in terms of scholarship.

Schools already have a very strong admin law group. They often don't need to hire admin specifically; if they got admin law fine but they don't tend to look for it. They look for the 1L classes since they like to have full time faculty teaching those courses. By ABA rules they can't have adjuncts for those and I don't even know if visitors (not adjuncts, but visitors) can do 1L classes or whether schools even like doing that- it seems like they like having their own people do the 1L year. They can also get visitors to do upper level service classes so not as much of a need to have to hire someone.

It helps to be business law or health law on the entry level market the last few years. And some years are better than others for criminal law or other fields. There were some years when there were under 5 hires for fields you would think would be popular like IP or admin.

Posted by: anon | Jan 13, 2022 7:11:40 PM

To what extent is the lateral market still active this year? I thought schools had to get acceptances back (except in unusual circumstances) by mid-March, so presumably any schools that are planning to make any moves would have to do so soon.

Posted by: lateral market? | Jan 12, 2022 11:44:20 PM

@springround: yes, i'm on a hiring committee that is looking back at the pile now & planning to call a couple more people for screening interviews. we got a very late start and had hoped to conduct all our callbacks in january, but by the end of the year several of our top candidates had other offers & couldn't wait.

Posted by: juniormint | Jan 12, 2022 10:12:22 PM

@Anon - I’m curious about the suggestion that “admin” is a particularly hard area to break into. I’ve certainly heard that about con law, but is there a reason it would be harder to get a job teaching admin than, say, civil procedure or antitrust? It’s a black letter course that most schools offer. If anything, it seems a more broadly marketable specialty than related fields like environmental law or labor law. Curious for your thoughts.

Posted by: Anon Applicant | Jan 11, 2022 2:50:26 PM

@Anon -- Twice now you've made the claim that this has been an unusual year with a lot of hires and many schools hiring more than one professor. Where are you getting your information from? I think that until we see this year's report its far from clear that this was some exceptional year -- and given the stories I'm hearing, at least, it seems on par with previous years. Also mind you that having a few schools hire two, three, or four faculty in a single year is consistent with prior reporting too. There is always a handful of schools who do that. So I'd just be curious to understand where are you getting your data from.

Posted by: RandomProf | Jan 11, 2022 5:09:26 AM

As far as conferences, sometimes they are listed on faculty lounge website; also follow people in your field on twitter. We have AALS every year but if not affiliated with a law school it is super expensive though they might give you a fee waiver. There are conferences every year (and some specific to juniors) in health law, crimfest, IP law, civ pro, admin law, empirical conferences for law (like CELS or ALEA) and others you can find by googling or following people in the field or emailing them. I don't think it would be worthwhile to spend a ton of your own money to go to conferences but if they are online and it's free it could be useful to sign up to present your work. It can also be a great way to get to make connections. Joining the law twitter universe may also be good.

I guess I would also reiterate that this year was highly unusual in the number of opportunities. I have been following this for close to 15 years and this year seemed the best by far in terms of the number of jobs as well as many schools hiring multiple people. I doubt this will be the norm for the future, as we would go back to historic patterns the last 10 years where about 70 people get hired every year. I cannot emphasize enough about the connections - I think they are more important to the writing in some respects - so that would be the main thing to foster over the years.

I also don't think some people necessarily take you seriously if you are just an "aspiring" prof. When I was simply "aspiring," I often would send papers out and never heard back; now that I am an actually a professor, I get more comments back. So many people end up fading out that I think for some people (not all, I got great comments from many key scholars), but I do think that many don't bother responding to those who aren't already in the academy. So I would not take it personally and just try to share your work widely.

Many people fade out because they are not realistic about what the job market is like. It's not special to have a top 20 or top 30 placement or even top 10 placement- many if not most top candidates do- and multiple ones at that. It can be very hard not to be a fellow even if you are better published because the fellows have institutional backings for people to advocate for them. It's also simply not realistic to be geographically inflexible or to just say you want a job in a big city in the DC to Boston corridor. Most fade out because when it comes down to it they really aren't that geographically flexible - it can be hard to move to a random city in middle America with no family or friends around- it's no fault to say you might just not want to do that, and that closeness to family or friends is more important than a job.

And part of it is luck. Many schools beyond the top ones are hiring for specific fields. You could be the best con law person in the world but if they are looking in criminal, it's unlikely you would get an interview. Schools sometimes change what they are looking for but you would be well advised to try to figure out at least one possibly 2 1L courses you can credibly teach as well as a big 2L/3L one. Most schools already have great election law/campaign finance people so it's a bit of niche and something that may be more seminar-focused. So. you have to make your scholarly personalty broader than that.

Posted by: anon | Jan 10, 2022 12:14:53 AM

Thanks Professor Kerr for the advice. I'm very glad I found this page, because I was under the impression that I shouldn't be applying to VAPs/fellowships for a while. I'm actually a bit pleased to know that I should be applying sooner rather than later.

And I appreciate you being a "downer", Anon. Nothing wrong with that. I like getting reality checks about the job market because it motivates me to work harder and improve my strategy. As far as conferences go, how does one find them and register for them? Are they topic-specific or does each law school just host one annually or something along those lines? I tried doing some research into this a while back but couldn't get much clarity.

Posted by: AspiringLawProfessor | Jan 9, 2022 2:57:36 PM

To Aspiring: Not to be a downer here, but one thing to keep in mind is that connections to the legal community really matter, so if you start doing clerkships, etc. it is going to take more affirmative effort to keep up with those in legal academy for potential recommendations. One can do it, it is just that you need to make more of a conscious effort to establish those connections, potentially go to conferences (especially now they are often online you can do that while working or clerking), and keeping up your connections.

Also, the job market this year was unlike any in the past several years with the number of people hired. I would encourage you to compare this years'. market with past posts and entry level hiring reports. Most schools don't hire 3 or 4 people in a year on the entry level like some did this year. In years past it was more common to just hire 1 person.

The job market is also incredibly hard. Even people with top pubs, and publications end up having to do it multiple times so it might not be a bad idea to selectively apply over the next few years and not put all your eggs in one basket and just apply in year 5. Year 5 could be a year where your field is not in demand or where there is a recession and hardly any schools are hiring.

Conlaw/Admin are hard fields to be in. Over the last year years, it helped to be a corporations scholar or health law since that is what many schools look for on the entry level. It's hard to get hired as con law/admin law without alot of connections and advocates (it's hard regardless but I think especially in that field). Again, I would encourage you to check out the entry level hiring lists historically and notice the patterns for. yourself and look at the bios of people hired in specific fields.

Posted by: anon | Jan 8, 2022 2:44:30 PM

@AspiringLawProfessor, it's a hard to offer helpful advice because your questions partly involve a balance of competing considerations, and we don't know all the considerations. But it sounds like your current job is a really great opportunity to explore novel legal questions that would lead naturally to interesting articles. If so, you could try to write an article a year in the area of your practice, and then apply to VAPs and clerkships in 2 years or so with a few articles under your belt and see what shakes out. I personally think clerking is a great thing to do, as you gain so much experience in a period of time; I think it marginally helps a job candidate, too, especially so if it's a more prestigious court/judge. But at least from what you've told us, it sounds like your current job is a great situation, and you're finding time to write on the side. If you've just graduated from law school, it sounds like sticking with that at least for a bit only helps you. (But see caveat above about it being hard to offer useful advice on this sort of thing.)

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Jan 7, 2022 3:23:56 AM

Thank you TTHire and AnotherOpinion!

The reason why I haven't applied to VAPs at the moment is because I just graduated in April 2021, so I haven't even had a year to practice. I notice that most VAPs want 2 or 3 years of practice in applicants; do you think it's still worth applying for the hell of it? Also, if the issue is that my lack of a PhD would give off signals that I can't write academic pieces, wouldn't having a publication in a law review help counter those thoughts?

Another reason I haven't been quick to move on is because I've landed a pretty sweet gig at one of the few nonprofits that focuses on campaign finance issues (I won't say which one for identification purposes, but there's really only a few out there), and not only do I get to focus on litigation here, but there's also a lot of academic thinking about these issues (my boss says we're half a legal nonprofit, half a think tank) and a lot of public-facing publications, which, while I know won't qualify as academic publications for law teaching hiring purposes, has really helped me learn about the contemporary issues in the field and think critically about them. So, I'm in a rare position where my immediate post-law school position is actually bolstering my ability to think like an academic in my field of interest.

I see what you mean about publishing too early, AnotherOpinion. I will say that I was an articles editor on my school's law review, which at least gave me some insight into what 2Ls look for when reviewing submissions, lol. But obviously having insight into what actual academics are looking for is much more important. And I'm actually fortunate enough that I don't really have much geographic constraint; it's not like I'm earning a big law salary, plus my spouse is looking for a permanently remote job because they understand how critical it'll be for us to move around a bit given my goals.

One last reason why I've envisioned a 5-year timeline is because I'm also interested in clerking. I know it's not necessary or even helpful for getting an entry-level position today, but I'm just interested in it on a personal level. Would delaying things for a year to do one be detrimental to my chances on the law teaching market, though? I've gotten mixed messages from young law professors; some really encourage me to do one and others tell me it's a waste of time.

Sorry, that was a lot.

Posted by: AspiringLawProfessor | Jan 6, 2022 8:11:10 PM

I agree with TTHire that "your biggest weakness is just not being in the academy already," but let's be real - not everyone can go straight from law school into academia without spending a few years in practice to pay off student debt. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact some practice experience will serve you well on the market.

Whether to publish now or later is a complicated question and if you have good mentors, it's worth asking them for advice. On the one hand, having one or more publications by the time you apply for VAPs will help you get the VAP and will also show the market that you're productive as a writer. But on the other hand, once you're in a VAP you will have a much better sense of what good writing looks like; how writing is evaluated by people already in the academy. Back when I did a fellowship, I had colleagues who came in with one or two decent publications, who lamented that they should have waited before publishing them, because they could have made them better, and placed them better, after a year or so as a fellow.

Posted by: AnotherOpinion | Jan 6, 2022 6:04:17 PM

@AspiringLawProfessor

Here's a VAP that might be up your alley that was just posted today. Take the leap.

https://www.thefacultylounge.org/2022/01/cardozo-hiring-announcement-vapdirector-of-the-heyman-center-on-corporate-governance.html

Posted by: TTHire | Jan 6, 2022 5:39:22 PM

@AspiringLawProfessor

Look, don't wait to apply for VAPs and Fellowships until you have a bunch published. You have to realize that you are competing with PhD candidates who have powerful and connected law faculty as not only references, but as people who actually know the people who decide who gets the VAP/Fellowship. Furthermore, PhD candidates get these positions on "potential" to be a "rockstar" which largely comes from their academic references and much less from their established publication records. Most VAPs/Fellows have one or two strong-ish papers on the entry-level market and maybe their dissertation they plan to turn into a book.

BUT, there is a very special window of opportunity to get hired. If you don't land a TT job when the dissertation is under contract (as opposed to published), the book may not help unless it's a hit. That's because the longer you wait and the more established your publication record (and it's reception by the academy), the more you become a "known quantity" as a scholar. And the reality of it is that most academics are not contemporary rockstars. Whether you are a rockstar is largely luck (i.e. pick the right topic and have the right ideas and get your stuff read by the right people). But hiring committees are generally wanting to get a rockstar, not an average scholar (even though, by rule, the majority on hiring committees are themselves average or below average scholars!) on entry-level hiring.

You are overthinking it and talking yourself out of applying for positions that you are perfectly qualified for. Let the reviewers make that decision. Honestly, your biggest weakness is just not being in the academy already. In times past, law schools hired from practice near 100%. Now, law schools hire much more from within the academy itself (i.e. PhDs, JSDs). (FWIW, I just had a conversation with faculty member at fancy law school about VAP hiring where they indicated a strong preference to PhDs for the VAP because they had skepticism re those without PhDs capability to produce scholarship.)

Furthermore, you need to be honest with yourself whether your family commitments prevent you from moving. The advantage of taking a VAP at 27 while a PhD candidate is you likely never made a lot of money (as a grad student) and you likely don't have a family you have to uproot and financially support on a meager salary in an expensive urban area, just to uproot them again in 1, 2, or 3, years for another VAP/Fellowship or entry-level TT position. If you are geographically constrained, your best bet is to just write and apply only to those geographic schools you can be at every year. It might take 5 or 10 years, or it may never materialize. Geographic constraints have killed many an academic career.

And as for publishing, just submit. I've seen so much horrific writing that's "Forthcoming" in a law review that there's no reason not to submit.

Posted by: TTHire | Jan 6, 2022 5:32:56 PM

Thank you all so much for your helpful responses! I have to screenshot these so I can reference them in the future.

If I may ask another question: What would be a good amount of publications to aim for over the next, say, five years? Basically before I hopefully apply to academic fellowships/VAPs (I don't have and don't plan to pursue a PhD). I currently only have my note and two forum pieces, and I'm like 70% of the way through my first attempt at an article. I have many other ideas for articles/essays and am extremely eager to publish, but other life factors like work and family obviously restrict the time I can dedicate to writing.

And a related question (though maybe off-topic for this page, in which case I'm sorry), if I were hypothetically able to complete my first article by February 1, would it make sense to submit it to law reviews/journals then, and solicit feedback from academics in my field of interest afterwards if I secure a publication offer? Or hold off on submitting until after getting that feedback, and then submit in August? I've only had one professor look at this piece thus far, though he is prominent in the field and his feedback has been positive overall.

Posted by: AspiringLawProfessor | Jan 6, 2022 3:42:34 PM

Any schools plan to go back to the pool and start fresh after offer declines, or can we expect that screeners are fully done and that there may just be a few callbacks left out there?

Posted by: SpringRound | Jan 4, 2022 7:42:17 PM

Copy that?

Posted by: N.D. | Jan 4, 2022 7:41:38 PM

Posted by: Nancy | Jan 4, 2022 7:35:36 PM

Posted by: Nancy | Jan 4, 2022 7:33:12 PM

I agree with most of RecentHire and IncomingProf's advice to AspiringLawProfessor, with the (partial) exception of the "do corporate" piece. By all means, if you have an interest in corporate law, I would advise ranking corporate subjects high on your FAR form and writing about them. But to the extent you are hoping experience with campaign finance will be seen as helpful for corporate law, I think that's badly mistaken—-at least among corporate profs (can't speak to the public law people). Both involve "finance," I suppose, but the regulatory and legal environments are so different. To me, administrative law is the more logical overlap, but it's not my area.

If you want to pitch yourself as an election law person who can cover corporate subjects, I think that's fine--not ideal, but fine--but in that case you will need to convince corporate people that you have a genuine interest, and ideally experience, in corporate law. Based on what you have described, that sounds to me like an uphill battle.

Some may see this as gatekeeping. I don't have a firm view, just trying to convey the likely reaction. In my experience, non-corporate profs regard corporate (and tax, bankruptcy, etc.) with a mix of disdain (not prestigious, not interesting, not socially important, doesn't even involve SCOTUS (usually)!) and envy ("easy" in relative terms to get a job). This overlooks one small detail—-namely, that corporate profs, as a group, do care about corporate scholarship and are aware that some may try to project an interest for strategic reasons.

Posted by: juniorcorporateprof | Jan 4, 2022 6:34:06 PM

I second RecentHire's advice. I think "election law" or "campaign finance" law would be totally fine areas of research, and your goal will be to show how you can teach some staple classes in addition to an election law class. I think a campaign finance/corporate law pairing would be great, since corporate/business law professors are often in (relative) demand. Your litigation experience will be a natural fit to teach civ pro, but a lot of lawyers on the academic market are litigators who can teach civ pro so perhaps you can use the next few years to figure out a good pitch for other classes that are are often in need of professors (e.g., property, tax, corporate/business). Don't spin your wheels too much trying to game out your research agenda to fit those subjects perfectly. But if you can think of a way to show interest in one of those staple courses (maybe it through work on pro bono projects, or some work experience you had before law school, etc.) that would be great.

Posted by: IncomingProf | Jan 4, 2022 3:40:58 PM

AspiringLawProfessor, I don't think it's a problem on the hiring market if your research is narrow. You just want to make sure that you're a plausible candidate for teaching some broader courses as well. Few schools will have a pressing need in election law, but plenty of schools will be interested in a candidate who can teach election law plus something with broader appeal.

You don't have to have written on civil procedure to teach civil procedure (though that's one way of showing a connection to the area). You are also a plausible candidate for teaching civil procedure if you've been a practicing litigator for a few years, and/or have clerked for a federal judge. Depending on the area, there may be additional ways to show that you have a background in an area even if it's not immediately obvious from your research or practice experience - prior jobs, advanced degrees, professional certifications, blog contributions, etc.

By the time you go on the market, you'll need a 'teaching package' that includes not only your area(s) of research (which can be quite narrow) but also some courses that you might be capable of teaching. You don't have to have published in all, or even most, of these areas, but you do want them to (mostly) cohere in some way. Depending on your interests and experience, as an election-law scholar you could probably choose to position yourself more broadly in Constitutional Law, or in legal history, or in admin law, or in civil rights, or civil procedure, or maybe in a variety of other areas. Or if it's really the campaign finance side that's your area of interest, you could broaden it up to financial regulation more generally, public accountability, legal ethics, what have you.

Posted by: RecentHire | Jan 3, 2022 2:17:19 PM

I think I failed to submit my comment properly, so I'll try again:

I'm a recent law school graduate who hopes to pursue a career in legal academia. I recognize that what I do over the next 5 to 10 years will largely impact my chances of obtaining an entry-level position, and so I'm happy to have discovered this page to ask some questions.

My big question for now is whether it makes sense for individuals who currently focus on a pretty narrow area of law to branch out to ones that have broader appeal to law schools. For example, I currently focus on campaign finance law (hoping to submit my first full-length article for publication this year), which I can't imagine is a very desired area of law at any school. I know I could list "election law" more broadly as one of my subjects, but that too is a bit niche. Would it make sense then for me to attempt to publish some scholarship in a 1L subject area, such as civil procedure? Or would having dealt with the subject in practice (I'm a litigator) be enough to list it as a possible subject to teach?

I have many more questions, though I won't spam this page with all of them at the moment.

Posted by: AspiringLawProfessor | Jan 3, 2022 12:17:23 PM

Consistent with previous years, I will put out the first call for information around the end of February or beginning of March. I will post the entry-level hiring report in mid-April to mid-May, depending on when most hiring has been resolved.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Dec 30, 2021 8:52:28 AM

Given that the hiring cycle is pretty much over, I would expect the entry level hiring report post will be coming relatively soon.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 30, 2021 8:45:45 AM

When will the spreadsheet showing new entry-level hires be posted? Seems like there have been a number of offers and acceptances at this point

Posted by: Anon | Dec 27, 2021 11:20:46 AM

At my school, if you are voted "unacceptable" (meaning you won't be getting an offer no matter what happens), we immediately communicate to that person that the faculty voted to not make an offer. However, if you know there's been a vote and you haven't heard anything, it typically means the faculty approved you for an offer (i.e., you were voted acceptable) but you won't be getting that offer until some other person/people turn it down.

However, we do often reach out to those who may ultimately get the offer to ask that they let us know of any offers they get elsewhere (as that might mean we need to put more time pressure on the person currently holding the offer).

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 21, 2021 5:49:00 PM

The question of why a school doesn't notify someone of an adverse decision has many possible answers. One explanation is that schools (or the relevant individuals) are conflict-averse; this seems to get a lot of attention on this board, and I suspect it is 100% correct. But in my experience, it is incomplete. Schools also like to keep their options open. Saying no closes doors; staying quiet keeps them open. This can be maddening to the candidate (been there) but it has the potential to be to their benefit.

Say a school has an offer out to their favorite candidate (Candidate A), and they expect that candidate to turn them down. However, they have not heard anything from that candidate yet officially. They may take a vote on whether to make an offer to their second-favorite candidate (Candidate B) notwithstanding the outstanding offer to Candidate A, with the knowledge that that may mean they get two acceptances for what is probably intended to be a single hire.

In that case, even faculty who would prefer hiring Candidate B to the alternatives (including not hiring anyone) might vote against that motion, if they are worried about tying up two lines, so long as they can be assured that the school would not notify the candidate that s/he had been rejected but would instead keep things quiet and leave open the possibility of revisiting the vote in the spring, after which time they would presumably have received a yes or no from Candidate A. I have seen that happen on my faculty, and heard about it on others.

TL;DR, don't try and read the tea leaves, you'll drive yourself crazy and nothing good can come from it. Just try and enjoy winter break; sometimes things do shake loose in the spring.

Posted by: Response to AnonAnon | Dec 21, 2021 5:41:47 PM

Hoping someone can shed some light on this issue: If a candidate has been presented for a full faculty vote, and hasn't heard anything for a couple weeks since the vote took place, is that generally a good/bad sign or can nothing at all be inferred from it? I'm sure multiple other things have to happen even after a successful vote. But it at least seems like if the vote was UNsuccessful the school could pretty promptly send the candidate a rejection notice afterwards (maybe I'm misunderstanding the role of the faculty vote, though). Thanks.

Posted by: AnonAnon | Dec 21, 2021 5:18:57 PM

I know multiple people who struck out one year and then had multiple T14 offers the very next year. No offers does not equal deficient/defective.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 20, 2021 3:23:27 PM

Just because certain candidates have more offers than others does not in any sense mean other candidates are in any way less -deficient or defective or however one phrases it. This process is not strictly meritocratic either. Although this years market is more robust than years past, it has historically been the case that there are candidates with top 10 or 20 placements, phd/fellowships, top law schools and great teaching that strike out in any given year and gets offers in subsequent years. I do not think those candidates are in any away less or defective or deficient just because they did not get an offer the first time around. I have seen multiple resumes of great candidates who have been on the market for years.

Some very accomplished scholars could be sitting on no offers because they write in a field that is not a field where schools are looking in or they did not do a fellowship and have all kinds of recommenders calling up. Others may be geographically limited and may have chosen not to waste committees time by playing the game of doing callbacks at places they cannot realistically go (a minority- most who cannot move still do the interviews). Others may come from practice and not have any academic recommenders.

It is precisely the attitude of those who believe that those who do not have offers are deficient that encourages time wasting behavior. Many people apply just to get any offer, even though many could not actually or would not actually move to a specific area of the country and thus use offers as leverage to get more offers. A candidate who for spousal or family reasons has to stay in NYC or DC would save everyone time if they just applied there with the understanding that they may have to apply multiple times. But such candidates don't do that; they accept interviews everywhere just to not have the perception of no offers, and in the process waste schools time and take up space from those who would love to go to that midwestern or rural school.

Having been on both sides, I see how random ranking choice can be. One candidate may just click better with then faculty for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with their scholarship. All the candidates we interviewed but diid not get offers would be perfectly fine professors and the line between getting an offer and not may have more to do with some faculty championing another candidate more or having more of a teaching need for that persons scholarship. Or maybe they lost a vote by 10-9 and were ranked higher than someone else- all very random things when looking at a pool of highly qualified applicants where most would be great additions to any faculty.

Many candidates may even have gotten offers and made decisions that the geographic location for their family does not work and they would rather wait or try again next year. These candidates could still be on the market having declined offers. I don't think these candidates are deficient and I would hope schools don't count them out (though sadly as one of the poster notes, it seems like some schools do and would rather wait until next year than consider that candidates may have declined offers and still be on the market). It is probably that perception that hurts the diversity of the profession, especially among women and parents.

We have the same people holding multiple offers because once you get one offer it is human nature to make you look like a more attractive candidate. And no doubt some candidates are superstars and deserve multiple offers. Also business, health law and other high demand fields will almost al get multiple offers because many schools are looking in those fields. But just because some candidates have multiple offers does not mean that there are not many random elements to this process and bad luck and writing in a less demand field or without a lot of connections can mean people fall through the cracks.

Posted by: anon | Dec 20, 2021 12:35:19 PM

Please note I never said “defective” nor did I say I agreed with the impression some have that those without offers are “deficient,” which is the actual word I used. I disagree though that this process is random — if that were the case we wouldn’t have the same people holding multiple offers.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 17, 2021 9:11:39 PM

It is definitely not the case that those without offers are “defective in some way.” This process is very random, and is often based on connections and other factors that have nothing to do with the candidate. Many people including people who publish in top journals go through this process multiple times.

So no one sitting there without offers this holiday season should think they are in any way “ defective” for not having offers. There are a lot of things that go into this process so especially if you are in any way a non traditional candidate ( not the typical top 5 law school graduate 3-6 years out of law school with a fellowship) it may very well be you could be picked up later on or next year. Many schools were hiring multiple lines this year so many might be looking in the spring.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 17, 2021 6:38:56 PM

I've often wondered why no law school seems willing to defect from this prisoner's dilemma and play Moneyball with entry-level faculty hiring. Maybe it just hasn't happened yet.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 17, 2021 6:35:45 PM

It's not so much that every school is going after the same dozen candidates, but rather that different bands of schools tend to look for different factors. Schools lower down the pecking order aren't chasing the superstar candidates--not only because they probably can't get those candidates, but also because they may be prioritizing teaching skills or practice experience, or other things that just are not the markers of elite candidate status (but which are still very valuable).

Posted by: anon | Dec 17, 2021 10:10:11 AM

Sadly, many schools won’t go back to the well, assuming that anyone who is left must be deficient in some way. Instead, they just wait until the following year to try again.

Posted by: AnonProf | Dec 17, 2021 7:34:52 AM

If there are so many rejections of offers, does this mean that schools essentially go after the same dozen or two candidates while the remaining 300 or so candidates are “second choice?” That would seem to belie the narrative that the market is “oversaturated with qualified candidates.” (This is from someone who can’t imagine turning down a T30 offer, and yet two candidates did just that)

Posted by: anon | Dec 17, 2021 3:35:19 AM

@Waiting -- Our school (a T30 school) made 4 simultaneous offers this year and already got two rejections. Right now it seems likely that the two remaining candidates will accept our offer (we will know within the next week or two) but if say only one of them does it is quite plausible that we will come back to the pool again in the spring and reach out again to candidates to close various curricular needs that we have for next year. Hope this one anecdotal example is helpful.

Posted by: ApptFacultyMember | Dec 16, 2021 10:57:51 AM

Any other candidates having trouble getting reimbursed from schools that asked you to pay for things like flights, taxis, etc. to do a callback? How long does this typically take? I'm waiting on some pretty big checks . . .

Posted by: Candidate | Dec 15, 2021 1:19:03 PM

@Waiting - quite often, especially during November/December, when many schools are deciding around the same time, and so some candidates end up receiving multiple offers at the same time.

Posted by: Anon2 | Dec 14, 2021 7:35:48 PM

@ Waiting

Depends on the candidate and whether multiple schools show significant interest in the candidate. FWIW, the advice I received was not to turn down a TT offer with other schools not showing strong interest in my candidacy (unfortunately, they had not even decided on callbacks when I had to decide on the offer). However, even with strong interest from other schools (but not yet an offer), I was told that advice will at most be split on the accept/turn down offer question. What I was told is that TT hiring is so finicky, we can't really understand how finicky it is unless/until we're inside a faculty looking to make a hire. This has materialized into good advice for my situation as some of the schools I had hoped to have a crack at ended up not even being on the radar for me (one school hired in business, though they posted in a bunch of other areas, one school made a lateral hire instead of an entry hire).

Posted by: anon | Dec 14, 2021 7:06:32 PM

How often do first choice candidates decline an offer? For the higher ranked schools, I'm sure it's not all that often. But for the lower ranked schools? Asking for a friend...

Posted by: Waiting | Dec 14, 2021 10:50:32 AM

Anyone heard from Roger Williams?

Posted by: Anon44 | Dec 10, 2021 10:22:02 AM

I’m also wondering about the clinical market if anyone can share details…not as many clinicians using the spreadsheet. Hard to tell if the process is over or just beginning.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 8, 2021 5:20:38 PM

Well, this doesn't speak to the new year exactly, but I got a callback invite today off a screener in early October. I'm sure I was not in the "first batch"; maybe not even in the 2nd or 3rd batch!

Posted by: Anon | Dec 8, 2021 5:18:12 PM

Do schools ever go back to the well for screeners or callbacks come the new year? Or are those 1st-4th choices that, for example, AnonHiringChair was referring to always in a first batch of callbacks? Of course, there should be no breath holding, but just curious if all hope should be lost.

Posted by: backtothewell | Dec 8, 2021 2:37:22 PM

We call references for any candidate we called back. Typically the timing of those calls indicates that the faculty will be meeting soon to vote, and the committee members are just gathering all the info they need. It's also not uncommon for them to reach out and ask for more teaching evals.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Dec 8, 2021 10:37:45 AM

Any info on reference checks? My guess is that they happen pretty late in the process as part of due diligence. If we've heard a school has contacted one of our references, should we be feeling pretty good about that school? Or do some schools really reference check for multiple candidates and then make decisions?

Posted by: Going Going Anon | Dec 8, 2021 6:44:13 AM

Does clinical hiring mostly happen on the same timeline as doctrinal hiring (most of it happening in the fall) or can we expect new clinical postings in the spring?

Posted by: Anon | Dec 7, 2021 10:48:52 PM

anon,

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

Post a comment