May 27, 2013
Rookie hiring summary courtesy of UCI's Sarah Lawsky...
...here. As a percentage of candidates on the market, here's how the schools fared in terms of tenure-track placement of their alumni (Lawsky's numbers are a bit different, at least in part due to a failure to count tenure-stream jobs in non-US law schools; I list only schools that had at least five candidates on the market):
1. University of Chicago (58%)
2. University of Virginia (57%)
3. Yale University (49%)
4. Duke University (39%)
4. New York University (39%)
6. University of Michigan (31%)
7. Harvard University (30%)
8. University of California, Los Angeles (25%)
9. Cornell University (21%)
9. Northwestern University (21%)
11. University of Texas, Austin (18%)
12. Georgetown University (17%)
13. Stanford University (15%)
13. University of California, Berkeley (15%)
15. Columbia University (11%)
The Stanford and Columbia performances seem anomalously low--maybe due to underreporting, and maybe due to a fluke this year.
Professor Lawsky's numbers, even allowing for the limits of self-reporting, also clearly show the steep drop-off in hiring this year, on the order of almost one-third fewer hires than in recent years.
UPDATE: Professor Lawsky's percentage chart, but just for US tenure-track hires.
May 08, 2013
Law faculty salaries 2012-13Blog Emperor Caron breaks out the latest SALT data.
Decline in lateral hiring of facultyThe evidence. Not surprising.
April 30, 2013
Law schools with JD Alumni on the Teaching Market
MOVING TO FRONT FROM SEPTEMBER 13, 2012--AS HIRING SEASON NEARS ITS END, AND PRAWFS COMPILES HIRING DATA, THIS INFO IS TIMELY AGAIN (candidates who accepted offers, please submit your info at the Prawfs site--I knnow the information there is not complete as it presently stands)
UPDATED AND CORRECTED
This is from the first FAR distribution, which is the most important one, and typically includes the most viable candidates (meaning also the candidates the school knew about!). The school name is followed by the number of graduates on the market this year, the average recent class size, and then two ranks: how the school ranks over a long period of time in per capita placement in law teaching; and how the school ranks more recently in placement of graduates at leading law schools.
1. Harvard (57 candidates; average class size circa 550) (#2, #2)
2. Yale (37 candidates; average class size circa 200) (#1, #1)
3. NYU (31 candidates; average class size circa 450) (#9, #9)
4. UC Berkeley (20 candidates; average class size circa 250) (#7, #5)
5. Columbia (18 candidates; average class size circa 400) (#5, #6)
5. Georgetown (18 candidates; average class size circa 600) (#14, #14)
7. Cornell (14 candidates; average class size circa 200) (#10, outside top 15)
7. Northwestern (14 candidates; average class size circa 250) (#10, #11)
9. Duke (13 candidates; average class size circa 250) (#10, #9)
9. Michigan (13 candidates; average class size circa 350) (#5, #6)
9. Stanford (13 candidates; average class size circa 200) (#4, #3)
12. Chicago (12 candidates; average class size circa 200) (#3, #4)
13. Texas (11 candidates; average class size circa 425) (#14, outside top 15)
Among the elite law schools, others had smaller number of alumni in the first FAR this year: for example, there were eight from UCLA, seven from Virginia, four from Southern California, and three each from Penn and Vanderbilt. Other major law schools with comparable numbers include George Washington (7) and Wisconsin (5).
ADDENDUM: It is striking how weak the correlation is between the total numbers on the teaching market compared to past success in placement.
April 25, 2013
Academic freedom (and due process) under threat at Brooklyn Law School?Details here.
April 18, 2013
So which areas of law deserve more attention in the legal academy?
The results of our earlier poll, with over 200 votes cast:
|1. Consumer Law (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)|
|2. Energy Law/Natural Resources Law/Water Law loses to Consumer Law by 109–73|
|3. Employment Law loses to Consumer Law by 115–73, loses to Energy Law/Natural Resources Law/Water Law by 91–85|
|4. Alternative Dispute Resolution loses to Consumer Law by 106–80, loses to Employment Law by 89–83|
|5. Immigration Law loses to Consumer Law by 118–67, loses to Alternative Dispute Resolution by 87–86|
|6. Family Law loses to Consumer Law by 123–61, loses to Immigration Law by 99–72|
|7. Insurance Law loses to Consumer Law by 130–53, loses to Family Law by 100–77|
|8. Comparative Law loses to Consumer Law by 117–68, loses to Insurance Law by 91–87|
|9. Elder Law loses to Consumer Law by 135–47, loses to Comparative Law by 88–80|
|10. Wills, Trusts & Estates loses to Consumer Law by 126–58, loses to Elder Law by 88–79|
Thoughts from readers? Signed comments only: full name and valid e-mail address.
February 04, 2013
Submitting to law reviews
Updated for Spring 2013. Co-author Nancy Levit (Missouri/Kansas City) writes:
The highlights from this round of revisions include the following: First, there has been movement toward Scholastica and we have tried to track which law reviews prefer Scholastica or exclusively accept through that channel. Second, the chart now includes, where available, information about whenjournals are open to receive articles—i.e. the opening date for the submission season.
January 29, 2013
Law school applications likely to hit an all-time low this year since records were kept (going back to 1983)
This essentially guarantees that next year's job market for law teachers will be even more difficult than this year's. Until enrollments stabilize (or increase), the majority of schools have to put off or limit full-time faculty hiring.
January 17, 2013
Yale Law School's New Fake "PhD in Law" Program...
...got only 82 applicants, which is surprising. I would have expected higher demand for a three-year paid Fellowship for aspiring law teachers! (The linked article, bizarrely, thinks this is an impressive tally, yet I can't imagine any other "PhD program" at Yale has so few applicants. On why the program is a fake qua PhD program, see the earlier discussion.)
November 29, 2012
The Academic Job Market in Law: Looking Forward
As Dan noted last week, there was another nearly 20% drop in the number of LSAT takers in October. That will almost surely translate into another decline in the total number of law school applicants and then law students, which will put further financial pressure on two-thirds or more of law schools in the United States. And that will, in turn, translate into fewer jobs for new law teachers next year. Already this year, we saw 20% fewer schools at the "meat market" than in 2007; we don't have a clear read on how many fewer positions even those schools that went are filling. A number of schools that went are not sure whether they are really hiring this year. In all the cases I know about, these are schools that are being affected by the declining pool of applicants, including the most highly-qualified applicants.
Given all this, my expectation is that next year, 2013-14, will be an even tougher year for aspiring law professors. The fiercer competition will exacerbate the credentials inflation that has taken place over the last decade (more publications, more Fellowships/VAPs, etc.). Some colleagues think they've seen slightly more emphasis at some schools on candidates with practice experience, but I'm skeptical: it still seems that the bulk of candidates doing well have the traditional academic credentials, plus the usual 2-5 years of experience. But we won't have a clearer picture on that score until the hiring season is over. My own impression is that curricular hiring is dominating more of the process at more schools than usual this year (and it usually dominates in a normal year, but this year seems to be extreme--that, of course, creates fabulous opportunities for schools doing "best athlete" hiring).
Until the application pool stabilizes, law schools are going to postpone or forego hiring. There will probably be an increase this Spring in VAP hiring, but this will be driven by curricular needs, rather than presenting opportunities for scholarly and professional development for those seeking tenure-stream positions. Still, now that the recession has really hit home for law schools, job seekers would do well to take those VAP positions seriously as well.