Friday, August 11, 2006

Rookie Faculty Hiring: Which Factors Matter Most?

Daniel Solove (GW) has initiated a discussion of this topic here.  Personally, I give most weight to the references (if they are from reliable people) and the quality of any writing the candidate has done.  Later on, the job talk can be useful for assessing likely classroom performance, and sometimes for assessing intellectual ability (though written work is a better guide on that score).  Excellent grades in law school and clerkships turn out to be quite weak predictors of scholarly ability and intellectual depth.  (There are exceptions:  successful clerkships with academically-minded judges like Posner or Calabresi can provide valuable information.)

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