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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

Comments

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

Also, re not hearing back: I wonder how much the Law Review submission process feeds into the norm here. In that process, its rare to get a rejection. So maybe hiring committees have internalized not giving rejections.

Posted by: LawRevSubmissions | Oct 1, 2021 1:37:18 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!)

Posted by: Story | Oct 1, 2021 1:36:06 PM

Anon - the communication thing is ridiculous. I don't know to what extent it's an academia thing in general vs law-school thing in particular, but it's definitely not the norm in the professional (i.e. non-academic) world. There are probably lots of reasons: it's a complete buyer's market (no pressure to be polite to people you're rejecting); some (not all) professors are a toxic combination of absent-minded, busy, and/or rude; and decisions are made by committees that may be poorly run, have ill-defined roles, etc.

BL:it's really unfortunate, and you have every right to be frustrated. But if you're serious about this game, you just have to learn to roll with it.

Posted by: clorox | Oct 1, 2021 10:52:06 AM

Anon - the communication thing is ridiculous. I don't know to what extent it's an academia thing in general vs law-school thing in particular, but it's definitely not the norm in the professional (i.e. non-academic) world. There are probably lots of reasons: it's a complete buyer's market (no pressure to be polite to people you're rejecting); some (not all) professors are a toxic combination of absent-minded, busy, and/or rude; and decisions are made by committees that may be poorly run, have ill-defined roles, etc.

BL:it's really unfortunate, and you have every right to be frustrated. But if you're serious about this game, you just have to learn to roll with it.

Posted by: clorox | Oct 1, 2021 10:52:04 AM

Reasons appointments chairs don't follow up:

--many applicants remain theoretically in play until the position if filled
--committees often lack administrative support to effectively communicate with the large number of applications received.
--academia attracts people who poor social skills who are terrified of communicating bad news.
--academia also attracts those who have trouble thinking of anyone other than themselves and, thus, it just doesn't occur to them to follow-up

IMO, none of these reasons are sufficient justifications and it's ridiculous how bad this problem is (indeed, look up any hiring thread from previous years and you will see this complaint making multiple appearances). I merely offer them to explain why the hiring chairs most frequently fail to follow up.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 1, 2021 10:50:59 AM

Reasons appointments chairs don't follow up:

--many applicants remain theoretically in play until the position if filled
--committees often lack administrative support to effectively communicate with the large number of applications received.
--academia attracts people who poor social skills who are terrified of communicating bad news.
--academia also attracts those who have trouble thinking of anyone other than themselves and, thus, it just doesn't occur to them to follow-up

IMO, none of these reasons are sufficient justifications and it's ridiculous how bad this problem is (indeed, look up any hiring thread from previous years and you will see this complaint making multiple appearances). I merely offer them to explain why the hiring chairs most frequently fail to follow up.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Oct 1, 2021 10:50:54 AM

It is not unheard of to not even get rejections from callbacks (when you actually go to the school, have dinner, etc.). It's highly usual to just never hear back at all from screeners. I feel that law is actually better than other fields - I also applied in another field and I think at least when they had the AALS conference there was at least an effort to let you know status 1-2 weeks after the conference. The lack of a conference this year I think means that I think alot of schools will leave people in limbo even more than before- essentially keeping people on a perpetual waitlist since now there is no "norm" to at least give an answer a few weeks after the conference. Schools are often hiring more than 1 person and all schools are all on different schedules so I don't think committees know how it will turn out. It's better to not hear anything than to force a school into a decision when you don't have to if one is only inquiring to squash curiosity. It's not like they forgot to email you if you got a callback. I think more than before schools will end up going back to the list later this semester or the spring if they need more people or if their first choices don't work out.

It seems that lower ranked schools are moving quickly which is going to put some people in a weird position if they get exploding offers and still have to do screeners at other (more likely higher ranked) schools. At least before there was a rough schedule (interviews in October, callbacks in late October/November, offers in November/December for most schools outside a few of the top ones who did more stuff later into spring). Now it's all over the place. And some schools may incrementally add more screeners as they go along if they don't find someone in their first batch; before, that wasn't really an option (or if it technically was, it was rarely used); because of the conference, they had to pick their 20-30 people and they did not go back to the pile generally. Now, there is a possibility some schools could go back even in February to the initial list. Some schools may even want to hold back on callbacks if they think covid will get better and allow better in person visits.

Also some schools have HR reasons regarding communication and who can communicate with who and when.

Sometimes I got rejections the following summer or in some cases even a year later when the HR system set a formal email.

Posted by: anon | Oct 1, 2021 6:12:51 AM

General question: why don't hiring committees send rejection letters. Why do they go silent instead? As far as I am aware, this is unheard of in other areas of the academy. When and how did this become acceptable?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 30, 2021 10:31:31 PM

Most schools reach out to the laterals they want. For instance, I saw that William and Mary recently posted an ad for laterals, but I know they sent targeted invitations to folks during the summer.

I think it's rare to lateral without first being approached. For those who move from lower ranked school to lower ranked school, however, I think that's less true.

Posted by: AnonProf | Sep 30, 2021 11:55:44 AM

Frustrating: schools that say they'll let candidates know either way after an initial interview and then go silent.

Posted by: SomeCandidate | Sep 30, 2021 7:33:35 AM

For me,the screening interview invites stopped about a week and a half ago (6 schools in total have reached out, and one other school requested letters of reference from my references). My area is in tax. Anyone else in tax that have seen a slowdown in invites?

Posted by: Anontax | Sep 29, 2021 7:15:44 PM

For the laterals mentioned, are they getting the laterals from applicants actually applying or does the school go out and solicit laterals? It is very unclear how the lateral market works.

Posted by: lateral question | Sep 29, 2021 5:10:48 PM

I was fortunate to receive two screener interview invites this week. Hang in there everyone!

Posted by: An0n1 | Sep 29, 2021 4:54:05 PM

UC Davis sent an email yesterday informing lateral candidates that lateral hiring has been deferred to the spring.

Posted by: Lateral Market | Sep 29, 2021 8:11:27 AM

I know of multiple colleagues who have already had screeners and job talks on the lateral market. I also now that at our T30 school we have two lateral candidates lined up for screeners in October.

Posted by: LateralQ | Sep 29, 2021 7:48:33 AM

Anyone hear anything about lateral market this year? Good year? Bad year? I hear lateral hiring usually happens later in the year. Any bites so far?

Posted by: Lateral Market | Sep 28, 2021 10:41:16 PM

My opinion is you should only follow up/harass the committee if there is a reason you need to do so. For example, if you have a callback booked and have reason to believe it would result in an exploding offer, but you prefer a school that hasn't responded yet. Or you have an offer in hand. If you just want to know for your own anxieties, I think you should just wait. Committees are possibly interviewing folks over multiple weeks, and silence could mean bad news, but could also just mean they aren't done with interviews and are waiting to make decisions until then, or are making decisions by subject area.

Posted by: follow up protocol | Sep 28, 2021 4:51:00 PM

To candidates, consider applying for non-law school positions. For example business school at Cal. State (Northridge) in LA is hiring for a tenure-track position in business law (broadly defined).

Posted by: AnonymousToo | Sep 28, 2021 4:50:09 PM

Would like to know also. If the committee said you should hear by a certain date and they've gone silent, do you follow up?

Posted by: AnonCandidate | Sep 28, 2021 3:31:24 PM

on a related note, is it ever appropriate to reach out to a hiring chair if there has been no word for a while? how long should one wait? I don't want to seem pushy.

Posted by: curiouser | Sep 28, 2021 2:24:07 PM

How long are people hearing back from schools (ding or call back offer) after initial screening interview?

Posted by: Curious | Sep 27, 2021 3:02:28 PM

Has anyone heard anything from Berkeley?

Posted by: Anon_Anxious | Sep 27, 2021 1:08:51 PM

I was on the spreadsheet when someone posted the GWU screener and several others a few weeks ago. I noticed several of the ones they posted were removed some days later.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 26, 2021 4:01:23 PM

I saw the GW screener on the list as well. It was there about a week ago and then quickly disappeared.

Posted by: FakeScreener2 | Sep 26, 2021 11:12:21 AM

When was it there?

Posted by: Candidate | Sep 26, 2021 10:32:27 AM

Was the GW screened removed from the list?

Posted by: Fake screeners? | Sep 26, 2021 9:37:18 AM

I received two new screening interviews this week, so things are still in play and screening interviews are definitely not done.

Posted by: Anony | Sep 25, 2021 5:16:03 PM

IF you have not heard from a school and IF you know that they have extended callbacks to people in your pool, then yes, you are likely done. Not necessarily though as the school might need to go back to the well if none of those called back work out (either because they pull out, decline the offer, or the faculty votes them unacceptable). However, I always let those who we had identified as alternates know that we could be calling them back at a later time.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 25, 2021 2:10:27 PM

@AnxiousCandidate - Definitely not the end of the road. We had 20 screeners, we invited 8 for zoom callbacks, and we'll probably make 4 simultaneous offers. If none of our offers are taken, we will likely extend a few more callbacks in the spring. Our committee was tasked with hiring two new faculty and in all likelihood we won't stop until we succeed in doing that.

Posted by: AnonHiringComMember | Sep 25, 2021 11:37:53 AM

When a school you've interviewed with has made callback decisions and you haven't heard from them, should you assume you are out of the running with them? It's known that schools sometimes go back and do a second round of callbacks, but does that happen often or just once in a blue moon?

Posted by: AnxiousCandidate | Sep 25, 2021 10:01:32 AM

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Posted by: Search engine optimization services | Sep 22, 2021 12:16:29 AM

Screening interviews are definitely still being scheduled. I've received 3 interview requests (out of 7 total, for context) in the last 48 hours.

Posted by: Anonym | Sep 21, 2021 10:36:33 AM

Thanks—would be great if it’s somewhat individualized, and I suppose it doesn’t hurt to apply and find out!

Posted by: An0nCandidate | Sep 19, 2021 6:05:45 PM

An0nCandidate, without naming the school that's hard to answer, but I'd guess it's at least somewhat targeted. I know a few other current candidates, and collectively we have gotten several of these (or analogous requests to send additional materials by email), but we don't always receive the same invites, suggesting that they are at least somewhat targeted (some maybe more narrowly than others). Thus far, some of these requests have turned into interviews and others have not.

Posted by: AnotherCandidate | Sep 19, 2021 11:57:19 AM

Did other candidates get an email from a school inviting them to apply through their hiring portal (but not extending an interview offer)? I am not sure if it is just a mass email sent to everyone or an individual expression of interest.

Posted by: An0nCandidate | Sep 19, 2021 10:41:33 AM

Not be Debbie Downer (see below!) but there really is little comfort to be had in this process. There are people (e.g., me!) who got hired after having only one screening interview, but also people who averaged 10 or more screening interviews, but didn't get an offer. There will be things about you that some schools absolutely love, while those same traits will effectively end your candidacy at other schools. When people ask me what it takes to get a TT job, I tell them you have to have the basic qualifications and then, essentially, the stars just have to align. Honestly, I think sometimes the person my faculty selected for the first offer was largely a function of the day on which we voted (as some candidates lose their luster as time goes on while others are perceived to be better over time). It's a terrible process for candidates, and there's just no escaping that.

That being said -- here's the good news. Whenever I chair appointments, I keep track of everyone we interview and, almost always, every one of those folks eventually got tenure track teaching job (although some had to repeat the cycle a few times). So if you're getting interviews, that means you're doing something right -- if this ultimately isn't your year, just keep building on those things and, odds are, it'll eventually work out.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 18, 2021 5:05:15 PM

It's so hard to find any kind of comfort in this process; how many screeners should be enough; how many callbacks should translate into at least one offer. Everything is guesswork. How are others dealing with this challenge?

Posted by: ArmChair | Sep 18, 2021 2:04:23 PM

At my school, we interview everyone by subject matter (both laterals and entry-level) and then decide on callbacks. In years with a hiring conference, we'd do laterals via Zoom in the weeks leading up to the conference and then entry-level at the conference. This year, we're doing both together via Zoom.

The only time we'd separate them out is if we're only hiring for entry level or lateral (but, of course, in that case wouldn't even interview the other group).

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 17, 2021 5:17:50 PM

Based on the spreadsheet, looks like most appointments committees start with entry-levels before moving to laterals. Right interpretation? Not sure if silence at this point means lateral-ing unlikely this cycle.

Posted by: lateralcurious | Sep 17, 2021 4:53:39 PM

Based on the spreadsheet, looks like most appointments committees start with entry-levels before moving to laterals. Right interpretation? Not sure if silence at this point means lateral-ing unlikely this cycle.

Posted by: lateralcurious | Sep 17, 2021 4:53:39 PM

@anon - "Has anyone gotten new screener invites in the last few days?"

I just got screening invites from two T30 schools on Wednesday, several days (perhaps even a week) after other candidates had listed both schools on the spreadsheet. So that leads me to believe that some schools are organizing interviews according to subject area, or committee members are reaching out at different times. Or other factors are at play. All that is to say keep the faith and that I don't think we should over-interpret the spreadsheet (even though it's hard not to!).

Posted by: An0n4 | Sep 17, 2021 1:02:20 PM

FWIW - last year I had a dozen screening interviews, but they were as early as August and as late as (I kid you not) March. Hopefully this year won't be quite as disorganized but...who knows. This year I only have one interview scheduled so far, but I'm also not competitive for a first-tier position, so I'm not too concerned...yet.

Posted by: khan | Sep 17, 2021 12:32:23 PM

I'm sure there are some committees who have not gotten their act together enough yet to schedule first round interviews, but I would hope that number is quite small. Without a hiring conference and so many schools already interviewing (some even scheduling callbacks already), schools that haven't started yet are very much at risk of missing out. I would be shocked to learn that there's a committee out there that has consciously decided to wait.

Posted by: AnonHiringChair | Sep 17, 2021 10:55:20 AM

@An0nCandidate I mean, if the spreadsheet is accurate, UCLA, Michigan, Alabama, Boston College, Georgetown, Penn just to name a few T30 schools, have all sent out their screeners. I have to believe we are getting down to the last few schools in terms of screening interviews. I know people don't want to hear that (I know I don't).

Of course, the spreadsheet may be inaccurate. Cornell is listed as entry, but I have reason to believe they are focusing on laterals only this year. But you know, there are hiring chairs that pop into this conversation and watch the spreadsheet too. At this point, I think it's unrealistic to expect to receive more than one or two more screening interviews, which sucks (for me too), but that's life.

Posted by: anotheranoncandidate | Sep 17, 2021 10:44:35 AM

Also, the meat market wouldn't even normally start for about another 3 weeks. Yes, the timing of the market is a bit different this year because it is all virtual, but I think we are still in early days (...I hope at least!)

Posted by: An0nCandidate | Sep 17, 2021 10:25:45 AM

@anon, no, I don’t get the feeling that all initial interviews have been scheduled. Particularly at T30 schools, who have the luxury of waiting to schedule interviews since they know applicants will wait for them (if they can).

Posted by: An0ncandidate | Sep 17, 2021 10:18:02 AM

My school is interviewing between 15-20 per slot this year given that the absence of a conference frees up more time (but normally it would be in the 6-10 range). Also, for the two positions we have, we have contacted everyone we'd like to interview for one of the subject areas, but not the other one just yet (although we have identified those folks -- we're just trying to find time to schedule the interviews). To my surprise, none of those 15+ people we've already contacted has reported their interview on the spreadsheet. This leads me to believe there are many more schools that have scheduled interviews than are being reported here (as I am sure most of the people we are interviewing have multiple interviews, and if they aren't sharing news of ours, they probably aren't sharing news of any).

Posted by: AnonProf | Sep 17, 2021 9:00:13 AM

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