April 02, 2017
New York Times Reporter Elizabeth Olson Claims That Professors Earning Less than First Year Associates are Paid like Law Firm Partners (Michael Simkovic)
New York Times reporter Elizabeth Olson recently complained that the Dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law was suspended after attempting to slash faculty compensation (“Cincinnati Law Dean Is Put on Leave After Proposing Ways to Cut Budget”). According to Olson, “law schools like Cincinnati [pay hefty] six-figure professor salaries that are meant to match partner-level wages.”
Olson goes on to cite the compensation of the current and former Dean of the law school. This makes about as much sense as citing newspaper executive compensation in a discussion about reducing pay for beat reporters.
Data from 2015—the latest readily publicly available—shows that law professors at Cincinnati earned total compensation averaging $133,000. A few professors earned less than six figures. Only one faculty member—a former dean and one of the most senior members of the faculty—earned more than $180,000. Including only Full Professors—the most senior, accomplished faculty members who have obtained tenure and typically have between seven and forty years of work experience—brings average total compensation to $154,000 per year.
As Olson herself reported less than a year ago, first year associates at large law firms earn base salaries of $180,000 per year, not counting substantial bonuses and excellent benefits. With a few years of experience, elite law firm associates’ total compensation including bonus can exceed $300,000. Law firm partners at the largest 200 firms can earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year according to the American Lawyer, and often receive large pensions after retirement.
March 01, 2017
MOVING TO FRONT FROM LAST FRIDAY, IN CASE ANYONE MISSED IT!
The University of Chicago Law School has issued the following statement; prospective authors take note!
It has come to our attention that a website run by the International Agency for Development of Culture, Education and Science (IADCES) is purporting to assist authors with submission of academic work to nearly 20 academic journals in various fields. One of these journals is the University of Chicago Law School’s Journal of Legal Studies. This website is in no way affiliated with the University of Chicago Law School, nor the Journal of Legal Studies, and submitting an article through this website will not in any way get an article submitted to JLS. We believe that is true of the other esteemed academic journals the site lists as well.This website, at http://iadces.com/, provides instructions for submissions by emailing to a gmail address and requires the payment of a fee to have the article reviewed. At least as far as JLS is concerned, this website is a scam. The Journal of Legal Studies does not charge a review fee. Submitting to the email address on this site will not get the piece submitted to JLS. The instructions on how to format your paper have nothing to do with JLS. The fee will be paid to those who run the website, not toJLS.Authors wishing to submit their work to the Journal of Legal Studies should visit the journal's website for instructions. Authors wishing to submit to any of the other journals listed on this website should visit those journals’ official web pages.
January 17, 2017
We just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Spring 2017 submission season covering the 203 main journals of each law school.
A couple of the highlights from this round of revisions are:
First, again the chart includes as much information as possible about what law reviews are not accepting submissions right now and what dates they say they'll resume accepting submissions. Most of this is not specific dates, because the journals tend to post only imprecise statements about how the journal is not currently accepting submissions but will start doing so at some point in spring.
Second, while 72 law reviews still prefer or require submission through ExpressO, the movement toward the number of journals using and preferring Scholastica continues: 27 schools now require Scholastica as the exclusive avenue for submissions, with 25 more preferring or strongly preferring it, and 25 accepting articles submitted through either ExpressO or Scholastica,.
The first chart contains information about each journal’s preferences about methods for submitting articles (e.g., e-mail, ExpressO, Scholastica, or regular mail), as well as special formatting requirements and how to request an expedited review. The second chart contains rankings information from U.S. News and World Report as well as data from Washington & Lee’s law review website.
Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews and Journals: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1019029
The Washington & Lee data on citations to law reviews is not very useful, since it does not correct for volume of publication. As a rule of thumb, law review status tracks the hosting law school's status, though the further down the hierarchy one goes, the less meaningful the distinctions become. 2nd-tier specialty journals at some top schools can offer be a better bet than the main law review at other schools--you need to ask colleagues in your specialty to find out.
December 07, 2016
MOVING TO FRONT(ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 24, 2009--I HAVE UPDATED CERTAIN NUMBERS)
With luck (and luck will help since the academic job market remains tight), some of you seeking law teaching jobs will get offers of tenure-track positions in the next couple of months. What then? Here's roughly what I tell my Texas and Chicago advisees they need to find out, and in the interest of having it written down in one place and for the benefit of others too, here it is (not in order of importance):
1. You will want to get (in writing eventually) the basic salary information, obviously, and the nature of summer research support and the criteria for its award (is it automatic for junior faculty? contingent on prior publication [if so, how much?]? awarded competitively (if so, based on what criteria/process)?). You should also find out how salary raises are determined. Are they, for example, lock-step for junior faculty? Fixed by union contract? (Rutgers faculty, for example, are unionized, a huge advantage and why they are among the best-paid faculty, not just in law, in the country.) Is it a 'merit' system, and if so is it decanal discretion or is their a faculty committee that reviews your teaching and work each year?
2. You should ask for a copy of the school's tenure standards and get clear about the expectations and the timeline. Does any work you have already published count towards meeting the tenure standard?
3. What research leave policy, if any, does the school have? A term off after every three full years of teaching is a very good leave policy; some schools have even better policies, most have less generous leave policies. (If there is a norm, it is a term off after every six years.) Many schools have a special leave policy for junior faculty, designed to give them some time off prior to the tenure decision. Find out if the school has such a policy.
4. One of the most important things to be clear about is not just your teaching load, but what courses you will be teaching precisely. You should ask whether the school can guarantee a stable set of courses until after the tenure decision. Preparing new courses is hugely time-consuming, and you also get better at teaching the course the more times you do it. As a tenure-track faculty member, having a stable package of, say, three courses (plus a seminar) will make a huge difference in terms of your ability to conduct research and write. In my experience, most schools will commit in writing to a set of courses for the tenure-track years (and do ask for this in writing), but some schools either won't or can't. In my view, it's a good reason to prefer one school to another that one will give you the courses you want and promise them that they're yours, while another won't--a consideration that overrides lots of other factors, including salary.
November 07, 2016
October 26, 2016
Conventional wisdom that I've endorsed before is that job seekers get most of their callback interviews within the two weeks after the FRC. "Most" here means that after those two weeks, a candidate who got four or five callbacks in the first two weeks might pick up one more, and might even pick it up rather late in the process. This is based on anecdotal evidence involving Chicago candidates over the last eight years, so I'd be curious to hear from others who have noticed other patterns. Submit your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear. Thanks.
October 20, 2016
According to Professor Lawsky, there were 86 law schools at the FRC this past weekend in Washington, DC, compared to 89 in 2015. This doesn't account for the number of slots schools are looking to fill, but my guess is that, like last year, we will see at least 80 new tenure-track academic faculty hired, perhaps a bit higher.
The 94 in 2013 is misleading, since that was a year in which many schools went to the FRC but did no hiring, due to budgetary stresses. The real contrast, of course, is with the last reasonably good year on the market, 2012-13, when 142 schools participated in the FRC.
September 13, 2016
MOVING TO FRONT (ORIGINALLY POSTED 2011)--STILL RELEVANT (I did not update the link to the thread)
PrawfsBlawg hosts many informative threads related to the job market, to which we often link, but this one still seems to me counter-productive, and I continue to urge our candidates to ignore it. The problem is not the misinformation (though there is always some, whether malicious or inadvertent), but that the "information" posted is always woefully incomplete, and so tends to increase the anxiety or blood pressure of other candidates for no good reason. Imagine, you are a job seeker working in IP, and you see that some anonymous soul posts on this thread that the University of My Dreams (UMD), which is hiring in IP, has called to schedule an interview, and yet you have heard nothing! Panic sets in. Of course, anonymous soul usually doesn't voulnteer that s/he has a significant other on the UMD faculty, or that s/he is a diversity candidate in a year when UMD is desperate to increase the diversity of its faculty, or that s/he went to school with a key member of the hiring committee, and so on. Most schools schedule interviews over a period of several weeks, and the vast majority of interviews won't be scheduled until later in September. Bear that in mind should the temptation to look at this incomplete information prove irressistible, and also bear in mind that behind each anonymous posting there is often more of a story than simply, "I got an interview with UMD."
September 05, 2016
As noted previously, this was the smallest FAR--382 applicants--in decades. Two other striking data points: more than 100 of those 382 applicants have a PhD; and only three are former Supreme Court clerks (two of those three are our candidates!). How might those data points be connected? Here's an hypothesis: the now astronomical big firm signing bonuses for SCOTUS clerks--$300,000 in some cases--are keeping them in practice in greater numbers; by contrast, JD/PhDs are training for academia, and so are making up a bigger and bigger share of the candidates.
September 01, 2016
This is based on the first FAR, and includes SJDs and LLMs, as well as JDs:
Harvard University (35)
Georgetown University (31)
Yale University (26)
New York University (25)
University of Michigan (18)
Columbia University (16)
Northwestern University (14)
Stanford University (12)
University of California, Berkeley (12)
University of Pennsylvania (9)
George Washington University (8)
Cornell University (6)
University of Texas, Austin (5)
University of Virginia (5)
Duke University (4)
University of Wisconsin, Madison (4)
Emory University (3)
University of California, Los Angeles (3)
University of Chicago (3)
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (3)
As I noted, this is an unusually small contingent for Chicago this year (we usually have 6-10 candidates), but we do work closely with the vast majority of our alums to time their entry to the teaching market when they can put their best feet forward. Based on past success rates, I fear some schools may have too many graduates on the market.