Thursday, May 6, 2021

AALS cancels fall 2021 in-person hiring convention ("the meat market")

Here.   The AALS also cancelled last fall's in-person hiring convention for the obvious reasons. 

What this means for academic jobs seekers is that they have to be ready to do screening interviews (via Zoom) within a week or two of the FAR forms being released next August 18 (forms will be due before that of course).  It will also mean that the hiring "season" will have a less predictable timetable, with many callbacks in September and October and offers before Thanksgiving likely.  That happened last year too, but a countervailing force was that many law schools entered the market quite late in 2020-21, as it became clearer that the pandemic might end and that enrollments (and thus income) were shaping up favorably:  as a result, many hiring schools did not enter the market until early 2021. 

2021-22 promises to be an excellent year for law school enrollments, and early indicators suggest that the 2022-23 year will be at least as strong.  Since enrollments drive hiring at 80-85% of the law schools in the country, this bodes very well for academic job seekers.   I expect many more law schools to be in the market for new teachers this coming year, compared to this past year.  (This past year, 1 in 5 tenure-track jobs weren take by Chicago alums and/or Fellows.  Needless to say, we hope that will continue, and we appreciate the strong interest in law schools in our graduates and Fellows.)   I doubt we'll get back to the pre-2010 levels of hiring (when 150+ new faculty were hired each year), but I would not be surprised if next year saw 100 or so new faculty hired.

ADDENDUM:   A colleague elsewhere points out to me a possible countervailing consideration:  namely, uncertainty about whether foreign LLMs will be able to come to the US next year for their degrees.  LLM enrollment is a significant source of tuition revenue at many schools.  My guess is that a majority of foreign LLM students will be able to enter the country for purposes of study.

https://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2021/05/aals-cancels-fall-2021-in-person-hiring-convention-the-meat-market.html

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