Wednesday, August 1, 2012
MOVING TO FRONT FROM MAY 30-ALSO UPDATED
Although the general economic situation, since the collapse of the global capitalist system in 2008, has largely stabilized in the United States (though obviously events in Europe could have repercussions here in the coming months), there are forces specific to the market for new law teachers that will, I expect, make this coming year a more difficult one. This is based mainly on anecdotal evidence, but enough of it to suggest there's going to be a real effect. The significant downturn in applications to law school is going to put significant financial pressure on 50-75% of all law schools in the country, and one way many schools will respond is by doing less faculty hiring or no faculty hiring at all, until they see how their enrollment situations stabilize (if they do).
UPDATE: Stories like this indicate that even well-established law schools are struggling to fill their 1L class, and are effectively cutting tuition (via awarding more and larger grants to admits) in order to do so. Since salaries for teaching staff are the biggest part of a law school's budget, schools are going to proceed very cautiously before hiring new faculty. My guess is this cutback in hiring will last at least the next couple of cycles, until the applicant pool stabilizes.