January 14, 2016
My colleague Jonathan Masur asked that I call the attention of interested readers to a new Fellowship opportunity here at Chicago; he writes:
The Wachtell Fellowship in Behavioral Law & Economics is designed for aspiring legal academics with research or teaching interests in behavioral law & economics. Fellows will have have substantial time and resources (including research funding) to pursue their own research. In addition, Fellows will have the opportunity to teach seminars of their choosing related to behavioral law & economics, present papers at faculty workshops, and participate in conferences. The Fellowship will run for one year, with an option to renew for a second year. We are currently accepting applications for fellowships covering the 2016-17 academic year, and we anticipate having one or more openings in subsequent years as well. Any candidates who are interested in the Fellowship or would like more information are very welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply, go here. I'll just note that all our Fellows are thoroughly integrated into the intellectual life of the institution.
November 30, 2015
Signs of the times: a list of schools that offered retirement incentives and "buyouts" to faculty in recent years
Blog Emperor Caron has a list of schools and links to the stories with details. It's perhaps worth noting that a number of these schools are now hiring junior faculty this year, indicating that their finances have stabilized, and they are now ready to meet the institutional needs that require full-time faculty. I expect we will see more of this in the next couple of years, which will contribute to an improved market for new law teachers (I do not expect we will get back to the pre-recession highs of 170 or more new faculty being hired each year, however, but I expect we will get back to 100 or so, from the lows of the last two years, which saw only about 65 new tenure-stream academic faculty hired nationally each year.)
October 08, 2015
September 09, 2015
An increasing number of schools are now asking candidates to supply "teaching statements." This is common in many PhD fields, where, of course, the candidates typically have teaching experience. I'm more doubtful how productive it is on the law teaching market. But mostly I'm curious what readers, either faculty or candidates (candidates may post with a pseudonym) think should go into such a statement. Here are some possibilities: (1) texts you favor for certain subjects, and why; (2) "Socratic" vs. lecture vs. other teaching modalities, why and how you expect to use them; (3) "experiential" components of courses you might use; (4) how your practice experience (or PhD study or other pertinent experience) will factor into your teaching.
September 08, 2015
Blog Emperor Caron has some excerpts (it is otherwise behind a paywall). The chart overstates the hiring, since it includes all faculty appointments, not only tenure-stream academic lines. My anecdotal impression is that more schools are hiring, and hiring for more positions, this year--we won't get over 100 new hires, but I am guessing we will get to 80 or more (compared to 60 or 65 the last two years). With the enrollment decline over, schools can now budget for the future and start filling positions that need to be filled.
August 20, 2015
Sarah Lawsky (UC Irvine) has the numbers. In the past, I would estimate that 50% of those in the FAR were non-starters wasting their time and their money. That percentage has probably gone down with the amount of information easily accessible via the Internet. But does the drop in total applicants represent the casual/tourist candidates not bothering or does it represent credible, but well-informed candidates deciding to wait in light of the weak market? I'm not sure. Here's another data point: there are roughly 200 candidates in the FAR with JDs or LLMs from Yale, Chicago, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Michigan, Columbia, NYU, and Virginia, to take schools that send sizable numbers into law teaching on a regular basis. Add in graduates of Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, UCLA, Northwestern, Penn, Southern California, and Texas, and the total rises to about 270. Not all these candidates are going to turn out to be serious--I'd guess 15-25% of these folks threw their hat in the ring without much consultation or preparation. If, in fact, there is more hiring this year (my impression so far is that the number of schools hiring is up slightly), then it could turn out to be a good year to be on the teaching market given the overall decline in candidates--but it's too soon to say for sure.
August 17, 2015
This is the week that job seekers in law teaching are sending out packets of their materials to the schools they are particularly interested in. The question often arises whether to send the materials via e-mail or via regular mail or both. I generally advise both, but I'm curious what readers with experience in hiring think. (Comments are moderated and may take awhile to appear, so please submit the comment just once and be patient. Thank you.)
July 24, 2015
July 22, 2015
...has been updated again. They write:
We just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Fall 2015 submission season covering the 204 main journals of each law school.
A couple of the highlight from this round of revisions are:
First, the chart now 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, there continues to be a gradual increase in the number of journals using and preferring Scholastica instead of ExpressO or accepting emails submissions: 22 journals prefer or strongly prefer Scholastica, 14 more list it as one of the alternative acceptable avenues of submission, and 10 now list Scholastica as the exclusive method of submission.
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.
The Washington & Lee data, I should note, is mostly silly (among other things, it does not control for publication volume by the journals). Law review prominence and visibility tracks law school reputation, full stop. For some specialty journals, the W&L data is somewhat useful, but that's about it.