May 22, 2018

Entry-level hiring report for 2017-18

We are indebted, as always, to Professor Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern) for compiling it yet again.  A few striking data points:  total rookie hires increased from 62 last year to 75 this year; I was expecting more like 80, but perhaps the small pool of candidates led some schools not to hire at the end of the day.  56 schools did hire, up from 42 last year.   Barring a war or economic catastrophe, I expect the upward trend in both total hires and the number of schools hiring to continue, given the stabilization, indeed, increase, in the applicant pool.  (You can see details about the Chicago placements this year here.)


May 22, 2018 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

May 18, 2018

How to become a better empiricist, or at least start using empirical methods (Michael Simkovic)

I recently wrote about the evolution of economics--and law & economics--from fields that focused on assumptions and priors to fields that emphasizes data, causal inference, and scientific objectivity.  Many law professors and aspiring academics share my enthusiasm for Albert Einstein's vision of universities as “Temples of Science”, but are unsure of how to acquire or sharpen the technical skills that will make them effective empiricists.

Bernard Black at Northwestern runs extremely helpful and practical summer workshops that I highly recommend. The quality of Professor Black's workshops easily justifies the cost.  (There are free law & economics workshops--and some that will even pay you a stipend to attend--but from what I have seen, these  tend to present non-empirical methods and political view points).

Details about Professor Black's workshop are available below the break.

Continue reading


May 18, 2018 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Science, Student Advice | Permalink

March 23, 2018

Entry-level hiring report for 2018

Professor Lawsky (Northwestern) is once again compiling the information.


March 23, 2018 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink

November 21, 2017

What do you need to find out now that you've gotten a tenure-track offer?

MOVING TO FRONT (ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 24, 2009--I HAVE UPDATED CERTAIN NUMBERS)--SEE ALSO THE COMMENTS, WHICH HAVE HELPFUL ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS

With luck, some of you seeking law teaching jobs will get offers of tenure-track positions in the next couple of months; a handful of offers have already been extended this season (2017-18).  What then?  Here's roughly what I tell the Chicago job candidates we work with that 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.

Continue reading


November 21, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink | Comments (14)

November 20, 2017

Schools offering VAPs and Fellowships...

...can post about it here.


November 20, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

November 07, 2017

How Long After "Meat Market" Before Candidates Hear from Schools?

MOVING TO FRONT FROM LAST YEAR (SINCE TIMELY AGAIN--AND MORE COMMENTS WELCOME--ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 2007)

A rookie job seeker writes:

A question about the law teaching market, which I suspect will be of interest to a number of candidates who read your Law School Reports blog:  When can we expect to hear from hiring committees we spoke with at AALS?  Do the better schools tend to wait longer to make their calls?  And do schools tend to notify candidates that they *won't* be inviting them for a job talk, or do you only hear from them if they're interested?

If you think this is a worthwhile topic, perhaps you could open a post for comments so that hiring committee members could say what their procedure is.

My impression is that schools will contact the candidates they are most interested in within the first two weeks after the AALS hiring convention, and, more often than not, within the first week.  Schools will often have some candidates "on hold" beyond this period of time:  e.g., because they are reading more work by the candidate, or collecting references, or waiting to see how they fare with their top choices.  So it is quite possible to get call-backs beyond the two-week window.  Schools tend to be much slower in notifying candidates they are no longer in contention (you might not hear for a month or more). 

Schools higher in the "food chain" in general do move at a somewhat more, shall we say, "leisurely" pace, and schools lower in the "food chain" are more likely to have tiers of candidates they remain interested in, on the theory that they are likely to lose their first-round choices.

Those, to repeat, are my impressions, based on a decent amount of anecdotal evidence.  But I invite others to post their impressions and/or information about their school's practices.  No anonymous postings.  Post only once, comments are moderated and may take awhile to appear.


November 7, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Professional Advice | Permalink | Comments (16)

October 09, 2017

The evidence is in, this is a good year to be looking for a law teaching job

There's less competition (fewer than 500 candidates) and more demand from schools (we don't have hard numbers yet, but there are at least 65 schools that are interviewing rookies, the highest number since 2013--these include Harvard, Chicago, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, NYU, Virginia, Michigan, Berkeley, Penn, Duke, Cornell, Northwestern, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Illinois, North Carolina, Penn State-University Park, Penn State-Dickinson, Miami, American, St. Louis, Baltimore, Tulane, William & Mary, George Mason, Alabama, Richmond, Brooklyn, Cardozo, UC Davis, Northern Kentucky, Belmont, Lincoln Memorial-Duncan, Cal Western, Loyola/Chicago, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Northeastern, Connecticut, Suffolk, Washington & Lee, Ohio State, Colorado, Florida State, St. John's, St. Mary's, Temple, Wash U/St. Louis, Boston Univ, Boston College, Arizona, Denver, UC Irvine, Notre Dame, Drexel, South Carolina, Dayton, Wake Forest, Fordham, Tulsa, Houston, Idaho, Mississippi College, Quinnipiac).

ADDENDUM:  Just to be clear, we aren't back to 2010 levels by any means, but the ratio of hiring schools to job seekers is as good as it's been in at least four or five years.

UPDATE:  Also looking at rookies are Hofstra (which may appoint up to four people!), Georgetown, Maryland, and Oregon.  So now we're up to 69 schools looking at rookie hires!  Comments are open, for faculty from schools also hiring this year that I've not mentioned to note that--comments must be signed, full name and valid e-mail address.  Thanks.


October 9, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (2)

September 28, 2017

The second FAR distribution came out today...

...with only 55 new applicants for faculty positions.  Altogether, there are fewer than 500 candidates seeking law teaching positions this year, one of the lowest totals I can recall.  There are some indications that hiring is up this year--or at least interviewing--but it's too early to say for sure.


September 28, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

September 06, 2017

University of Chicago Law School, Dickerson Fellowship for 2018-19

The University of Chicago Law School invites applications for the Earl B. Dickerson Fellowship, with an appointment at the rank of Instructor, for a twelve-month term to begin on July 1 or August 1, 2018. The Dickerson Fellowship is named after the first African-American graduate of the Law School, from the class of 1920. The Law School seeks candidates who demonstrate the promise of distinguished legal scholarship and law teaching and ideally have relevant practice experience that will qualify them to act as teachers and mentors of students. Among other considerations, we value candidates with diverse backgrounds and perspectives who will enrich and improve the student experience and the Law School's culture. The Dickerson Fellow will teach one or more courses per year and will be expected to publish high-quality scholarship and contribute to the intellectual life of the Law School. A J.D. is required. Candidates must apply online at the University of Chicago Academic Career Opportunities website, http://tinyurl.com/y94upx29, and upload a current curriculum vitae, law school transcript, and reference contact information. Applications will be considered until the position is filled or until June 30, 2018, whichever comes first.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination at http://www.uchicago.edu/about/non_discrimination_statement/.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-0287 or email ACOppAdministrator@uchicago.edu with their request.


September 6, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink

August 30, 2017

Hiring committees and their curricular priorities can be announced...