Friday, August 26, 2022
Where did aspiring law teachers in the first FAR graduate law school? (And why are there so few candidates in the first FAR?)
MOVING TO THE FRONT FROM AUGUST 22--MANY INTERESTING COMMENTS, MORE WELCOME
The AALS has implemented a better search engine, which allows one to identify where candidates received their JD (thus excluding LLM and SJD graduates from the picture, which makes for a cleaner comparison between schools). Here is the distribution in the first FAR for the 16 schools that produce the most law teachers: Harvard (24), Yale (21), NYU (10), Michigan (9), Columbia and Georgetown (8 each), Berkeley (7), Stanford (6), UCLA (4), Chicago, Virginia, Penn, Cornell, and Duke (3 each), Northwestern and Texas (2 each). Recall, of course, that the success rates of candidates varies quite a bit by school, and does not track the number of applicants. And this year's first FAR is unusually small.
One puzzle is why so many fewer graduates of elite law schools are entering the FAR. I have a couple of hypotheses, but would be glad to hear from readers as well. First, the private sector market is strong right now, with salaries having risen signifcantly, and lawyers with some experience are particularly in demand. Second, the barriers to successful entry to the tenure-track market have risen significantly over the last 25 years, and even over the last ten years. 25 years ago, plenty of folks got good tenure-track jobs on promise. Now, of course, one needs publications in most cases, and often the kind of profile one would associate with a graduate of a PhD program (one reason JD/PhDs are increasing their share of the market). I suspect it is harder now for even the typical very strong JD from an elite law school to contemplate the moves (e.g., to VAPs or Fellowships), or carve out the time (for writing), that is now required.
Thoughts from readers? Signed comments preferred, but all comments must include a valid email address (which will not appear). Submit your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.