September 03, 2012
Attention Hiring Committees: Don't Google CandidatesAn interesting cautionary tale from Lyrissa Lidsky (Florida).
August 28, 2012
Exploding Offers--What are the Norms?
These devices are becoming more common is my impression. Some schools have actually made them prior to the 'meat market,' and others make them afterwards. In the typical case, the candidate is given two weeks, or some even shorter period of time, to accept or decline. My impressions are that, as a strategy, these do not work well--candidates tend to decline them, or, if they accept, they accept with a plan to head out the door ASAP. I'm curious what experiences others have had with these offers?
But that's not the main topic I wanted to address. The main question is should schools utilize exploding offers at all and if so with what time frame? My own view is that it is in the interest of both the hiring schools and the candidates to provide a 30-day window for any offer, and that anything much less than that is certainly unfair to the candidate, but will also backfire for the hiring school.
What do readers think? Signed comments only: full name and valid e-mail address.UPDATE: The AALS has officially endorsed a four-week standard.
August 21, 2012
The PrawfsBlawg "Hiring Thread"
MOVING TO FRONT FROM LAST YEAR SINCE, ALAS, THEY STILL RUN IT
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."
August 16, 2012
More on OUP Journals and Westlaw
I see Dan Filler, independently, picked up the story about the removal of most OUP journals from Westlaw. As it happens, I was corresponding with Rhodri Jackson at OUP about this issue, and was invited to share the following information and explanation:
The central fact of Daniel Sokol's piece, that we have pulled some journals from Westlaw, is correct. This happened as of August 1, 2012, and was announced here:
There are some things we would correct or add to in Daniel's post. Firstly, European Journal of International Law, Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases, and Industrial Law Journal remain in Westlaw.
Secondly, many of the journals Daniel lists were never in Westlaw in the first place, and many are not in Westlaw OR Lexis now. I’ve listed the actual titles removed from Westlaw at the bottom of this email. All our titles remain in the LJI (Legal Journals Index).
Thirdly, re the W&L rankings, whilst Daniel is correct that the W&L rankings are based on Westlaw, it is unlikely removal from Westlaw will have any discernible impact on a journal’s ranking. Citations to journals are pulled from Westlaw – so OUP journals would only fall in those rankings if they received a significant proportion of their citations from one of the removed titles. W&L will still pull citations to OUP journals in other publications in Westlaw’s databases.
More generally, it’s never quite as straightforward as us taking a decision that affects all our journals. We have standard policies but the final decision on appropriate licensing is taken on a journal by journal basis.
Hopefully that helps clarify. As to why - we took the decision to take journals out of Westlaw because we have agreed a preferred licensing partnership deal with Lexis Nexis. We continually evaluate which services are the best fit for our titles, and at present Lexis’ global reach and commitment to working with us to disseminate our content (including new journals) stands out. Usage of the journals within Westlaw was very low, and runs somewhat counter to the dire warnings regarding discoverability which Daniel makes.
We’re very keen to ensure that all our journals are discoverable and citable, and we do appreciate that some scholars and practitioners use Westlaw and the JLR. We are working with Lexis to make our journals as visible and easy to find within their database as possible. It’s also worth noting that the primary method of delivery for all our journals is of course through our own site http://www.oxfordjournals.org/subject/law/index.html. We have licensing agreements with multiple providers including Lexis, Westlaw, Hein, and EBSCO, but usage of the journals at all of those venues is dwarfed by that at Oxford.
I hope that helps clarify, but if you have follow up questions we'll be happy to answer
Titles Removed from Westlaw as of 1 August 2012
British Journal of Criminology
Human Rights Law Review
International Journal of Constitutional Law
International Journal of Law and
International Journal of Law, Policy and
International Journal of Refugee Law
Journal of Competition Law & Economics
Journal of Conflict and Security Law
Journal of Environmental Law
Journal of International Criminal Justice
Journal of International Dispute Settlement
Journal of International Economic Law
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization
Journal of Refugee Studies
Law, Probability and Risk
Medical Law Review
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
Statute Law Review
This is useful information, and it's certainly right that the effect on any kind of "citation" rankings will be minimal. On the other hand, this move is not without costs for US-based legal scholars, who overwhelmingly do their research on-line and some of whom (I'm one of them) never use Lexis anymore (I don't even know my Lexis password, it's been so many years!). Scholarship that isn't in the Westlaw database is going to be missed by some non-trivial number of researchers. That's unfortunate indeed, and may well give some pause about submitting to these journals. (As a sidenote, the W&L journal rankings are pretty worthless, I'm surprised to learn anyone is looking at them.)
Thoughts from readers? Comments must have a full name in the signature line and a valid e-mail address, or they won't see the light of day.
August 10, 2012
Declining Enrollments and Credentials at Law Schools
A very useful (and sobering) analysis of what's been going on since 2010; some excerpts:
ENROLLMENT IN DECLINE – Between 2010 and 2011, 141 law schools had a decline in enrollment (of which 63 had a decline of 10% or more), 30 had an increase in enrollment (of which 6 had an increase of 10% or more), and 26 had flat enrollment (within +/- 1% of 2010 enrollment). This means over 70% of schools had a decline in enrollment and that nearly one-third had a decline in enrollment of 10% or more....
ENROLLMENT AND PROFILES IN DECLINE – Most significantly, 75 schools (roughly 38%) saw declines in enrollment and in their LSAT/GPA profiles, of which 37 schools saw declines in enrollment of greater than 10% and saw declines in their LSAT/GPA profiles....Four of the schools are ranked in the top-50, while the other 33 schools are relatively evenly divided between the second-50, the third-45 and the alphabetical schools....
FORECAST FOR 2012-- Given that LSAC has estimated a decline of roughly 14.4% in the number of applicants for fall 2012, from 78500 to roughly 67000, and given that the decline has been greatest among those with higher LSAT scores, one should anticipate further declines in enrollment and further erosion of entering class LSAT/GPA profiles for fall 2012....
IMPACT FELT ACROSS THE RANKINGS CONTINUUM, BUT WORSE FOR LOWER-RANKED SCHOOLS...-Among the top 100 schools, 55 schools (over one-half) had a decline in profile, while 67 (two-thirds) had a decline in enrollment, with 27 experiencing a decline in enrollment of 10% or more....Overall enrollment was down roughly 6%.
Across the bottom 97 schools then, 56 saw a decline in profile while 74 (more than three-quarters) saw a decline in enrollment, of which 36 (nearly 40%) saw a decline in enrollment of 10% or more. Notably 40 schools saw a decline in enrollment and a decline in profile, of which 22 saw a decline in enrollment of 10% or more and a decline in profile. Overall, enrollment was down nearly 10%.
August 06, 2012
Hiring Chairs can announce themselves...
...and their hiring needs here.
August 01, 2012
A prediction about the law teaching job market for 2012-13
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.
July 19, 2012
Information for submitting to law reviews
July 18, 2012
A propos last week's post about Yale's new pseudo-PhD in law, Katherine Franke (Columbia) writes:
You mention "canonical legal scholarship and methodologies" courses taught in many law schools - I teach one of them at Columbia. It would be great if you could put out a call for syllabi, or links to syllabi, of such courses so we can compare notes on what counts as "canonical".
Comments are open. Feel free to post links, or post a list of 'canonical' materials, or offer substantive suggestions. Signed comments only: full name, valid e-mail address.
July 13, 2012
Hiring Chairs for 2012-13
Prawfs has opened its annual thread for hiring chairs to declare themselves, as well as particular areas of need.