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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


You know what, I don't care. I'm going to bask in having been identified as a "candidate of interest," even though this almost certainly will not lead anywhere.

Posted by: Anon2 | Oct 15, 2021 7:27:56 PM

RE: Berkeley. Tracking pixel provides info on whether email opened or not, and thus whether it went to spam, as a few of my screening invites have, giving them a chance to resend if that is suspected. If Berkeley wants to review a large number of job talk papers, how is that bad? IMHO that reflects well on them — it suggests a focus on quality more than credentials and thus seems equitable. As for job talk papers being uploaded with the FAR form, that's not the norm even though it is an option. At any rate, many candidates have no doubt improved their papers in the past two months and would prefer to send a current version.

Posted by: candidatesoup | Oct 15, 2021 7:25:00 PM

In past years, the hiring chair at Berkeley would send a personal email back in late August or early September asking for job talk papers of certain candidates. it was personalized to you. Whatever went on today probably was a glithch- probably an email was sent out to all who applied in AALS or FAR. Usually job talk papers are asked of only certain applicants.

Posted by: anon | Oct 15, 2021 7:17:41 PM

Also, if they sent this e-mail to ~100 candidates as it seems, then "The search committee has completed a thorough review of candidates in the AALS Faculty Appointments Register (FAR) and you have been identified as a candidate of interest" seems poorly calibrated.

Posted by: Anon1 | Oct 15, 2021 5:57:05 PM

Unclear why Berkeley does this, especially when job talk papers are included in the FAR now. Are they really not able to narrow their candidate list down more before they request DEI statements?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 15, 2021 5:54:16 PM

Don't know why the tracking pixel, but the mass email requesting papers seems to be something the top schools do.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 15, 2021 5:49:16 PM

The real question is WHY Berkeley sent a mass email requesting job talk papers with a tracking pixel?

Posted by: BerkeleyTrackingPixelAnon | Oct 15, 2021 5:05:55 PM

I’ve had the same thing happen twice. In one case they were even explicit about it: telling me I was being invited after someone had dropped out and it was either this specific date or nothing.

Posted by: C456 | Oct 15, 2021 11:11:10 AM

+ 1 on Berkeley.

Posted by: another1 | Oct 15, 2021 10:57:37 AM


You can never know for sure, but my best guess would be you were an alternate they are seeking to plug in after someone withdrew.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 15, 2021 10:26:51 AM

Question: I have had two schools offer me an extremely early/short notice callback date and claim that this was the only date currently available - if I couldn't do it, we would have to schedule the visit 6+ weeks from now. Am I the last person they are calling, and thus their last choice candidate? Is it a pressure tactic? Should I just not read into this at all? How do schools go about this scheduling process?

Posted by: anoncandidate | Oct 15, 2021 9:52:54 AM

the berkeley email has a tracking pixel in it

Posted by: anon | Oct 15, 2021 6:58:16 AM

Re: IowaOffer -- It was in corporate/business law.

Posted by: IowaOffer | Oct 15, 2021 5:28:52 AM

Not sure if we are all getting the same message from Berkeley, but the email I got was a request for a job talk paper, but not to apply online.

Posted by: Anontax | Oct 15, 2021 1:54:32 AM

I also got the Berkeley invitation to apply although I’ve already submitted the online application.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 15, 2021 12:56:57 AM

Same here regarding Berkeley. Was hoping it was more narrowly focused considering it’s a top school that presumably doesn’t need to mass email?

Would be great if any Berkeley committee members could speak to it!

Posted by: SameHere | Oct 14, 2021 11:09:57 PM

Same here (job talk paper). I have to assume they sent this to 100 of us.

Posted by: nonB | Oct 14, 2021 9:42:53 PM

RE - Berkeley. I just got an email from them specifically asking for my job talk paper. I did the direct application already though.

Posted by: nonA | Oct 14, 2021 9:35:18 PM

Did other folks get a request from Berkeley to submit an online application?

Posted by: Anonym | Oct 14, 2021 9:15:37 PM

Re the Iowa offer - do you perhaps know in which subject area??

Posted by: IowaOffer? | Oct 14, 2021 6:52:58 PM

Am also curious about lateral hiring. Threads from prior years indicated schools looked at entry levels first, then turned to laterals. Is that still mostly the case in this atypical year? Or are laterals just mostly being recruited through word of mouth and/or contacts, so are playing an entirely different game?

Posted by: laterals?? | Oct 14, 2021 6:08:20 PM

Why are so few laterals on the list? Are schools focused on entry level, then turning to laterals?

Posted by: laterals? | Oct 14, 2021 9:20:39 AM

I can confirm that the TN report is correct. Faculty were informed yesterday of those who have been called back.

Posted by: Anonprof | Oct 14, 2021 8:08:43 AM

Are the Seton Hall and Tennessee callbacks first-hand information?

Posted by: Anonym | Oct 13, 2021 7:07:15 PM

**At least one definite offer from Iowa -- through the grapevine**

Posted by: IowaOffer | Oct 13, 2021 6:53:30 PM

Seton Hall also.

Posted by: Candid8 | Oct 13, 2021 1:35:55 PM

Tennessee has extended callback invitations.

Posted by: anon | Oct 13, 2021 1:20:50 PM

I'll add Seton Hall, Utah, and Chicago Kent to the list of schools I'm curious if anyone has heard from.

Posted by: Anonym | Oct 13, 2021 11:59:07 AM

Anyone heard from BU, Kentucky, or Fordham?

Posted by: anon | Oct 13, 2021 10:40:42 AM

Just one final message from me. Let me first acknowledge that I am just one person with one point of view and that I certainly don't claim to possess any truths as to a process which by its very nature is sui generis, subjective, and idiosyncratic.

I appreciate the feedback on both the hobbies point and the childcare point. What a candidate wishes to disclose at an early stage like the screening interview is something in the full discretion of the candidate. I obviously understand where candidates might see risk or fear about revealing too much too early.

That said, I think there are different cultures at different schools and at different geographical locations and you SHOULD be cognizant of that as you're interviewing. Consider a typical midwest T30-T70 school. They probably have had many interviews which led to offers to top tier candidates that ultimately chose to go elsewhere for geographical reasons. Even more so, they've had recent colleagues who took a lateral offer from a school in a better location or with a better ranking. An early indication from the candidate that they want to settle in the hometown, that they have broader familial or personal desires to find themselves in that geographical unit for the long term (including by referencing relevant hobbies and child care options) can GO A LONG WAY. I personally have witnessed how that consideration of "gettability" played a way more important role in my committee's decision-making than where that candidate last published or the quality of the recommendation letter we got.

I really do get the risk associated with disclosure but I also want to motivate you to think about how you stand out in a crowded room and how you build early connection with a committee chair or committee member that leaves a long lasting impression about you. That question you can ask is one of the only things during the screener interview that is fully in your control (except where the committee runs out of time and doesn't even give you an opportunity to ask a question). I think there are ways to use it more prudently to tell something about yourself and develop a connection with the committee that might have not been achieved up until that point. Mind you, that question is also the last thing we talk about in the screener interview, and therefore one of the main things people remember from the interview. There's just a lot more opportunity there than you imagine, and I don't know what you get from asking about some center that you dug up from a google search (let alone where the center is probably an empty shell legacy leftover, and the committee is trying to pump it up to you because you asked about it when in reality it does nothing but providing its executive director an extra title to latch on to).

Posted by: ApptComMember | Oct 13, 2021 9:24:47 AM

Looping back on the non-FAR/FAR candidates, I think it's ultimately a matter of whether schools understand the equity implications of ignoring or looking askance at non-FAR candidates. Sure, committees are up to their eyeballs with emails and calls, so non-FAR candidates should try to get their application pulled. But think about who can afford to be on a fellow/LRW/PhD salary to break into legal academia and build those connections. And whose families can spare them to move during a health catastrophe. I myself considered going back to practice when it was clear the pipeline was rupturing for those with little cushion during the pandemic.

Posted by: 21stClateralling | Oct 13, 2021 6:39:41 AM

For dinners before and after your interview day, ask your contact person there and/or the hiring chair and ask. We usually do business casual for meals.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 12, 2021 4:40:38 PM

suit and tie at all time, imho. i'm sure jacket and no tie is fine, and probably none of this could affect hiring, but i still think tie is the norm

Posted by: anonprof | Oct 12, 2021 3:49:18 PM

What is the expected dress code for men during an in-person call back? I presume a suit and tie.

But what about for the dinner with faculty the night before the call back? Wearing a tie then would seem kind of odd.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 12, 2021 3:06:19 PM

While I very much appreciate the committee member's advice, I also find it odd to bring up - during the screening interview - questions about child care. Whether someone has children or not is not really appropriate to bring up on the interviewer side (or even legal to consider), and potentially some candidates could see such as question as volunteering too much personal information too early- for those who have children, they might not want to mention it, and for those who don't, they also might not want to mention it since it makes it could make it appear they are more moveable.

I would think at the callback would be the time to ask that question, if even then. I appreciate the committee members' honesty, but many candidates choose to focus on the scholarly part of the job interview and interest in the center a school might have is something that goes to the workings of the job, at least during the screening interview. I think many candidates asking at that stage about their hobbies or revealing there personal child care situation could be perceived negatively by some others which is why candidates don't often do it.

Posted by: anon | Oct 12, 2021 2:56:01 PM

I thought @ApptComMember's suggestion to bring up hobbies in a screening interview was odd. My experience in the academy is that passion for hobbies outside of work is frowned upon and not really encouraged or supported. Additionally, if you do have a passion for a hobby, you most likely can find more information about accessibility of that hobby on your own than asking just-met faculty, who more-likely-than-not don't share your interest in that hobby. Finally, if you ask about a hobby that that school actually isn't great for (e.g. some places in the US are objectively horrible for biking), that just sets the hiring committee up to have to give a less than positive answer about their school, which seems not a good strategy. But what do I know? I'm just another desperate candidate.

Posted by: anon | Oct 12, 2021 2:24:14 PM

Dear Candidate

Just to be sure, I tried to engage the question posed as thoughtfully and as carefully as I could, with the aim of providing practical response from my own experience and point of view. I, in my role as appointment committee member, have not once dinged a candidate on the basis of that question -- but of course that question played into our broader appreciation of the candidate overall (a consideration that includes that candidate's cv, writing samples, recommendations, research agenda, diversity statement, and teaching statement, as well as their overall performance in the screening interview). You have to understand that we see 20-25 candidates per cycle and need to narrow that pool down to 7~8 callbacks. Many (many!) candidates are excellent candidates and some of this does get into perceptions and assessments of the (very limited) evidence presented to us.

I hope this is helpful -- I certainly don't want to introduce more stress or anxiety to what is already an absurdly difficult process.

Posted by: ApptComMember | Oct 12, 2021 10:16:16 AM

If you want committee members to share information, you probably should hold off on arguing with them when they do. Understand that their voice is one perspective on the issue, and that others may disagree.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 11, 2021 12:09:16 PM

I want to start by saying these comments are helpful, and I hope more committee members will share their views. At the same time...

I would hope that when a candidate asks a question that sounds contrived or weird, a committee wouldn't ding them for it. Someone may have advised them to ask a question about a center. The center may match their research area and they may have a legitimate interest in it.

And while it may be a waste of valuable interview minutes to ask a question about the timing, the fact that this question is asked might suggest to a committee that they might want to communicate with candidates about their process. Perhaps the process is so secretive that timing can't be predicted, but even acknowledging that would be helpful from a candidate's perspective. In any other industry this question would be completely normal, and it strikes me as absurd to suggest that inquiring about timing is somehow a faux pas.

Posted by: Candidate | Oct 11, 2021 10:53:32 AM

Re: what questions to ask the committee, a couple more thoughts:

1. I personally think that the "I read on your website that you have this center X or program Y or focus Z -- can you tell me more about it" feels unbelievably contrived to the point of brown nosing. I personally do not feel impressed if a candidate uses their one question to ask that, because it doesn't feel genuine (but rather feels like a strategic question).

2. A big red flag is wasting that question on something that could be interpreted as negative by the committee: so if you waste your question to ask about "when will I hear back" or "who else are you interviewing" or "why haven't you hire in the last two years" (these are all really problematic questions that could just hinder your chances and there is no reason to risk it like that).

3. So where does that leave us: With genuine and sincere questions; what the person before me called questions that make you "come across as a thoughtful and complete person." If you have kids this could be about the upbringing of children in that town, if you have a passion for improv it could be asking if the university or the city has any improve troupes that you could join, if you really like riding bikes ask about biking trails. But the questions can also be more professionally oriented if you prefer that. For example, you might be really into a particular kind of moot court program and spent the past five years coaching and judging in it, sharing that little tidbit about your background (that might not come across from your CV) and then asking about whether the school has a team for this moot court or would be open to you organizing it (is a great way to articulate both your nerdy passions and your early desire to engage in service). Same applies for supporting certain kinds of student groups based on your prior experience.

4. Finally, theres the teaching package question which is a common one in these interviews. I feel like this question is just playing it safe. Usually the associate dean for faculty affairs will be a member of the appointments committee ex officio and will take this question on and give you a detailed answer -- BUT: (1) that kind of question doesn't engage the rest of the committee, and therefore its a missed opportunity in my book; (2) the question will be discussed at length during your job talk, so is there really a need for it now; (3) sometimes you already cover this during the screener itself, in which case don't repeat the question cause then it comes off as if you weren't paying attention.

Tried to think as broadly as I could on this question, hope this helps.

Posted by: ApptComMember | Oct 11, 2021 5:41:40 AM

Re "why do you want to work in city/state/geographic region X?": answer it honestly. I suspect that you misread your interviewer when you responded that [x] was your hometown. I can't imagine how it wouldn't be viewed as a + that a candidate was genuinely interested in returning to their hometown (so unless you said it with some derision...).

Re questions for the school, again, I think genuine questions are the best, so long as there isn't a huge risk that the answer will reflect poorly on the school. (And your question should obviously not reflect poorly on you, either.) The more that you come across as a thoughtful and complete person in your interview, the better. Asking an obviously prepackaged BS question that you couldn't possibly care much about is likely counterproductive to that goal. Asking a real question, that therefore gives your interviewers a better window into who you are, might help. That said, I don't think these usually move the needle -- it's just something that committees feel obligated to do.

Posted by: a non | Oct 8, 2021 10:49:44 AM

Anyone have any suggestions on how to answer the ubiquitous question, "why do you want to work in city/state/geographic region X?" I mean, it seems kind of stupid to ask, because committee members know very well that most of us are desperate for a position, any position, anywhere...but I've even had one where X was my hometown, and the interviewers didn't seem impressed. Is there a "right" answer to this question?

Also, when we're given the chance to ask questions about the school, what kinds of questions are the best to ask--something that shows that we've read their web site? Softball questions like "why do you like school Y?" What are you expecting, hiring committee members?!

Posted by: newbie | Oct 8, 2021 10:41:40 AM

Has anyone heard anything from BU? Thank you!

Posted by: anon | Oct 7, 2021 10:56:33 AM

Has anyone heard from Berkeley? Thanks!

Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2021 10:27:39 PM

Is it still too early to do a thread/spreadsheet on fellowships?

Posted by: Fellowships | Oct 6, 2021 8:29:52 PM

Tapering but not over. I’m aware of some that went out last week and today even.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 6, 2021 6:02:50 PM

are screener invites tapering off?

Posted by: the end? | Oct 6, 2021 1:36:50 PM

I'm just a fellow, but I don't see why schools wouldn't be taking non-FAR apps seriously. Last year, two of my co-fellows were on the market outside the FAR. Both interviewed with several schools and ended up with offers.

Posted by: AnonFellow | Oct 5, 2021 9:06:52 AM

Re: Applying outside FAR. I applied this year in a very targeted fashion exclusively via direct outreach/applications. Out of ~20 applications, I got two screeners that both led to callbacks. So at least some schools take non-FAR candidates seriously.

Posted by: AnonOutsideFAR | Oct 5, 2021 8:29:55 AM

Do applicants who go outside of the FAR form route, e.g., by applying directly to schools based on advertisements placed by law schools on academic websites, ever have a hope in hell? Are such applications put into the pile of people to consider, or just the recycling bin? If such candidates do have a hope in hell, what are the reasons for it? Further, how can they increase their odds of being taken seriously as applicants?

Posted by: anon (as an adverb) | Oct 5, 2021 1:51:13 AM

Actually correction; not that they were never spread out, but if you look at spreadsheets probably two-thirds to 75% of schools did all their invites the same day in early September for the October conference. But that was partly due to constraints of the conference.

This is the first year when you have callbacks so early.

Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2021 2:35:07 PM

In the past they were never spread out since there was a conference. Most schools did all their invites for a subject at the same time, it was my experience, though some spread them out. Look at the sheets from prior years to see; most times when they spread out it was due to subject matter. But now, with the lack of a conference, nothing stops schools from doing a few at a time. No one wants to sit on Zoom for 8 hours so schools may be splitting them up more, doing 3-4 each week.

Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2021 2:32:29 PM

I really doubt it means much of anything. this system is new this year due to the lack of a conference, so it could very well mean they didn't like their first candidate. or it could mean you are later in the alphabet or the person assigned to review your app didn't get to it as quickly as the first candidate's did. it could be that the first candidate was so strong that it was a no brainer to give them an interview and they saved the "maybes" till later. It could very well be that the first candidates recommenders pushed the school early so that is why they went first. One can't really ascribe much to clues on the spreadsheet; given the lack of a conference, schools are all over the place with their ways of operating so you really don't know whether it's a positive sign or not. The schools use to interview 20-30 candidates and given the ease of virtual interviews it could be that schools are being more generous with virtual calllbacks.

also if you did not send your job talk in until later that also could be the reason for a later invite. Some people sent them unsolicited in August.

Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2021 2:28:47 PM

What does it mean if I got an offer for an interview with a school that is already up on the spreadsheet with the same subject area, but the other poster had an interview a couple weeks ago? Does that mean the committee didn't love anyone they interviewed and are doing a second round of screening interviews? Or is it normal to spread them out that far? Just seems weird to me...

Posted by: interview curious | Oct 4, 2021 12:40:27 PM

Both of those stories are great haha. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Story | Oct 3, 2021 8:36:39 PM

Two years ago I did an interview during the conference, and everything was (I thought) going really well, until I got the question, "Why do you want to come teach at our school?" I then spent a minute talking about how great their something-or-other program was, and how I was from a nearby town and would love to return to the area. After an awkward pause, somebody said, "Um, I think you're talking about California. Our school is in New York."

I had mixed up my interview with a California school (which was later that day) with the New York interview. Needless to say, I didn't get the job!

Posted by: bad_interview_story | Oct 3, 2021 3:45:59 PM

Like LateralQ, I'm sensing the norms have changed at many schools -- and thankfully so, considering we haven't had major national conferences in person for nearly two years. I've received two unsolicited emails to consider lateralling and had a few interviews in September. It doesn't hurt to ask a friendly contact whether their committee is open to an expression of interest.

Posted by: 21stClateralling | Oct 3, 2021 8:44:39 AM

Because everything is unsynchronized, are any applicants leveraging callbacks for screeners or is that considered inappropriate by hiring committees? (In a normal hiring season, this wouldn't be possible because all callbacks would follow all screeners)

Posted by: anon | Oct 2, 2021 7:44:10 PM

"As we wait and pass the time, do any faculty have funny/entertaining/interesting stories of interviews? Could be from this year or years past. Could be when you yourself were the interviewee, or when you were the interviewer. (And obviously no names, and use your judgment so as to not hurt anyone's feelings given how stressful these interviews can be!)"

Here's one. I was interviewing at the Wardman Park Hotel, and during my interview (started 11? 11:30?) room service knocks and then rolls the lunch cart into the room. Not for a second did anyone pay any attention to anything I said after that, and I knew it was hopeless. I didnt think it was funny at the time, but in retrospect it is my personal example of how random it all is.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2021 6:04:04 PM

Is there a spreadsheet for VAPs, etc., for this year? Would love to see it if it can go up!

Posted by: vap | Oct 1, 2021 4:14:35 PM

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