Monday, January 7, 2019

SEALS decides to screw over academic job seekers... creating a competitor hiring conference (the Blog Emperor reprints the self-serving announcement in its entirety, although at least Professor Weaver dropped some of his earlier false claims about its purpose).  I'm not aware of any other academic field where there are competing hiring conferences.  Their absence is easy to explain:  it's costly enough--in time and money--to seek an academic job, without having to think about going to two different conferences.  In other fields, the main professional organization runs a hiring conference, which simplifes things for job seekers.  I will be advising all Chicago candidates to ignore Professor Weaver's vanity project, and I would urge all hiring schools, including those that are part of SEALS, to boycott this process.  More importantly, I urge all the placement directors at Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Michigan, Stanford, NYU, Virginia, Berkeley, Penn etc. to steer their candidates AWAY from this destructive undertaking.  One hiring conference is enough.

(I asked Professor Weaver how many candidates actually participated in the SEALS workshop for prospective law teachers.  The answer:  18.)

ADDENDUM:  Professor Weaver is correct that AALS rips off both schools and candidates for participation in its process, so perhaps the AALS will seize this opportunity to reduce costs.  And if the AALS does, then Professor Weaver will have accomplished something worthwhile.

ANOTHER:  Brad Areheart (Tennessee), whom I had the privilege of working with when I taught at the University of Texas, writes:  "As you may or may not know for the last several years I have run the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop at SEALS. It’s a pretty streamlined enterprise (mock job talks, mock interviews, and CV review sessions + a panel and networking with others on the market) but I think it’s a nice enough service for future law profs. We get dozens of applications each year and limit our workshop to just 12 people. We also usually have approximately 100 faculty who volunteer their time at SEALS to make this workshop run.  I am writing you just to clarify that my workshop will continue to operate the same way that it has each year to this point. I have no involvement with the new hiring initiative."  I'm sure Professor Areheart does an excellent job with this, and I commend him for his efforts in helping law teaching candidates.

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