Sunday, February 5, 2023

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


With luck, some of you seeking law teaching jobs will have gotten offers of tenure-track positions.  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.

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February 5, 2023 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink | Comments (14)

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2022-23

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in summer or fall 2023 (except where noted); (recent additions will be in bold.)  Last year's list is here.


*Ifeoma Ajunwa (law & technology, race & law, employment law) from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to Emory University.


*Vikram Amar (constutional law, civil procedure, federal courts) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (where he has been Dean since 2015) to the University of California, Davis (where he taught before moving to Illinois).


*Noa Ben-Ashar (gender, sexuality & the law, family law) from Pace University to St. John's University.


*Anya Bernstein (administrative law, civil procedure, law & society) from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York to the University of Connecticut (effective January 2023).


*Eleanor Brown (property, immigration and migration law, law & development) from Pennsylvania State University, University Park to Fordham University (effective January 2023).


*Kristin Collins (immigration law, family law, federal courts, legal history) from Boston University to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


*Hanoch Dagan (contracts, torts, private law theory) from Tel-Aviv University to the University of California, Berkeley.


*Deepa Das Acevedo (employment law, law & anthropology, law & politics of India) from the University of Alabama to Emory University.


*Mailyn Fidler (criminal law & procedure, law & technology) from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln to the University of New Hampshire (untenured lateral).


*Pratheepan Gulasekaram (immigration law, constitutional law) from Santa Clara University to the University of Colorado, Boulder.


*Kelly (Dineen) Gillespie (health law, bioethics, torts) from Creighton University to Saint Louis University (effective January 2023).


*Andrew Hammond (civil procedure, administrative law, poverty law) from the University of Florida, Gainesville to Indiana University, Bloomington (untenured lateral) (effective January 2023).


*Neha Jain (international law, human rights, comparative law) from the European University Institute & University of Minnesota to Northwestern University.


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February 1, 2023 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

In Memoriam: Michael J. Kelly (1938-2023)

Professor Kelly, an expert in legal ethics and the legal profession, was also a longtime Dean of the law school at the University of Maryland.  The Maryland memorial notice is here.

(Thanks to Robert Condlin for the pointer.)

January 31, 2023 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Monday, January 30, 2023

40 law schools are now "boycotting" the rankings...

...according to Blog Emperor Caron, who has been keeping track.  Most of those joined after announced it would utilize only public data and its own survey data.  According to the Blog Emperor, 53 schools have officially declined to join the boycott, while the rest are either hedging or not telling!

January 30, 2023 in Rankings | Permalink

Saturday, January 28, 2023

In Memoriam: Kent Greenawalt (1936-2023)

Professor Greenawalt just recently retired from Columbia Law School, where he taught for more than fifty years and from which he also graduated.  He was well-known for influential articles and books on a wide array of topics in constitutional law (especially the First Amendment), criminal law, and jurisprudence.  I will add links to memorial notices as they appear.

UPDATE:   Professor Greenawalt's son, Sasha, also a law professor, kindly gave permission to share this beautiful tribute to his father.

ANOTHER:  Columbia's memorial notice is here.

January 28, 2023 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Professor Wax files grievance against Penn Law Dean Ruger

An informative report from The Daily Pennsylvanian.

January 26, 2023 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Sudden "resignation" of Pitt Law Dean

The Provost's cryptic announcement.   Perhaps the Dean had compelling personal reasons for resigning (but then why did the statement not say so?), but more likely, from what I can gather, is that the Dean had conflicts with the Provost:  since Provost Cudd took over in fall 2018, a half-dozen Deans have resigned or been terminated.   Please email me with more information, and I'll do a follow up post.

January 25, 2023 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

ChatGPT goes to law school at the University of Minnesota

Oy veh:

How well can AI models write law school exams without human assistance? To find out, we used the widely publicized AI model ChatGPT to generate answers on four real exams at the University of Minnesota Law School. We then blindly graded these exams as part of our regular grading processes for each class. Over 95 multiple choice questions and 12 essay questions, ChatGPT performed on average at the level of a C+ student, achieving a low but passing grade in all four courses.

Thoughts from readers?  Submit comments only once, they may take awhile to appear.

UPDATE:  See esp. Derek Muller's comments, below.

January 24, 2023 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (8)

Thursday, January 19, 2023

So what might the new ranking look like?

We know what the criteria will be, and we know most (but not all) of the inputs, what we don't know is the new arbitrary "weightings."   Professor Muller (Iowa) charts the possibilities on various reasonable assumptions about weightings.  (I'm not sure those schools boycotting the rankings will do worse in the reputational surveys, but we'll see.)

January 19, 2023 in Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Levit & Rostron's guide to submitting to law reviews...

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Blast from the past: "Triumph of the JD/PhDs"

Monday, January 9, 2023

UC Law San Francisco (formerly Hastings) joins the ranking boycott

Dean Faigman's statement is here.  I'm not sure what joining the boycott at this point means, since has indicated it will use public data, plus its own survey data.

January 9, 2023 in Rankings | Permalink