May 08, 2013

Decline in lateral hiring of faculty

The evidence.  Not surprising.

Posted by Brian Leiter on May 8, 2013 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

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.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 30, 2013 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

April 25, 2013

Academic freedom (and due process) under threat at Brooklyn Law School?

Details here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 25, 2013 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

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. 

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 18, 2013 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1)

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.


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Posted by Brian Leiter on February 4, 2013 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

January 29, 2013

Law school applications likely to hit an all-time low this year since records were kept (going back to 1983)

Details here

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.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 29, 2013 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

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.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 17, 2013 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

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.

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 29, 2012 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

November 06, 2012

"Fall" submissions data from one student-edited law review

Interesting, and probably not unrepresentative.

Posted by Brian Leiter on November 6, 2012 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

October 18, 2012

Useful NLJ Piece on This Year's Hiring Convention ("the meat market")

Here.  An excerpt:

Approximately 142 law schools registered to attend the AALS hiring conference—a 14 percent decline from the 166 that attended last year and a 21 percent decrease from the 179 schools that participated during pre-recession 2007. The schools that do attend won't necessarily hire—some use the conference to scout teaching talent for the future. (It's difficult to tell how many open teaching spots actually exist, as some schools advertise specific positions in an AALS-published bulletin but many do not.)

At the same time, the number of aspiring law professors has held fairly steady during the past five years. Thus far, 750 candidates registered for the AALS' faculty interviews, although that number does not include the final list of candidates, which will come out in February. The total number of registrants has fluctuated between 824 and 901 in recent years, according to the AALS.

Sad to say, my prediction during the summer has been borne out.  Dean Wu at Hastings is clearly correct that this year is a buyer's market, though, based on the candidates we are working with, there will still be candidates for whom the schools will be competing.  But it is definitely a great year to be able to hire new faculty.

Posted by Brian Leiter on October 18, 2012 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink