Monday, August 13, 2018
I have only one comment on this terrible idea: don't do it! It will make the lives of job seekers much worse, and increase their out-of-pocket costs, since they may then feel the need to attend two separate hiring conferences (which belies all the blather in the proposal about "inclusiveness"--the cost (both financial and in terms of time away from work) of travelling to two separate conferences will be prohibitive, so only the candidates with the most resources and institutional support will be able to do it). More importantly, I encourage all schools to boycott any alternative hiring convention for these same reasons.
ADDENDUM: Let me comment on one particularly ludicrous reason given for the idea that what the world needs is another hiring convention for aspiring law teachers:
Many schools are “jumping the gun” in the sense that they are actively recruiting candidates well before the AALS recruitment conference. Indeed, some schools hold Skype interviews, invite candidates to campus, and even make offers, outside the AALS time frame. Indeed, some candidates receive multiple offers before the AALS conference. Some of these offers are “exploding offers” which require the applicant to make a decision in a relatively short period of time.
To start, this just isn't true. In a given year, maybe one candidate in the entire market has an offer before the "meat market," if that. More to the point, how in the world would having an earlier hiring convention help with this non-problem? Obviously those looking to "beat the market" would simply accelerate their own process.
ANOTHER: In this article, Prof. Weaver of SEALS admits they are trying to do something "positive" for their "member schools." At least it is now clear this has nothing to do with the job seekers, although how it will be positive for the SEALS schools is mysterious, since those schools will have to send hiring committees to two difference conferences. This really is shameful, and I hope schools hold fast on boycotting this if, in fact, SEALS pursues this foolish and pointless exercise.