Monday, November 28, 2005
A student at a law school that produces a lot of law teachers writes:
I have been doing searches on your blog to address the question of how should an aspiring academic couple proceed through the academic market. I recognize that these answers very much depend on the school, but if you could provide a take on this or at least open it up in the blogosphere that would be wonderful.
My thoughts were that my spouse and I should try to enter the market at separate times so that one can leverage their position as an academic to assist the other in the market. But it seems that on one of your blog posts you seem to describe the process by which some law schools "play ball" and make arrangements for the spouse at the hiring stage. Also it seems that it is more difficult to lateral than to enter the market. Do you think it is more advantageous to both attempt to enter the market at the same time and work it from that angle or is my initial impression that we should try to enter the market at different stages
While it is probably true that the vast majority of academic couples (at least those who aren't quite senior) secure jobs at the same institution in a sequential process (first one partner/spouse is hired, then later, the other), I'm actually not sure whether that reflects the best strategy or just the fact that in many academic couples, the decision to go into academia is made at different times. I am inclined to think that a couple that both want academic posts should probably look for academic posts at the same time, perhaps making clear that two positions are sought. Making the "joint" nature of the search known early can have the advantage that schools that might otherwise not believe themselves to be competitive in recruiting one or the other partner/spouse may see an opportunity in virtue of being able to hire both.
I'm opening this up for comments from others, as this is surely an issue on which many institutions and faculty have had experience.