December 12, 2019

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 get offers of tenure-track positions in the next couple of months; a handful of offers have already been extended this season (2019-20).  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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December 12, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink | Comments (14)

October 18, 2019

Dickerson (UIC John Marshall) on negotiating a first job offer in legal academia

This is more detailed than advice I have posted here in the past (and which Dean Dickerson references at several points) and seems to me generally sensible.  I would particularly urge candidates to look at pp. 42-43 where Dean Dickerson reports her own preferences and attitudes regarding negotiating with many faculty candidates; I expect they are fairly widely shared by Deans.

October 18, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

October 09, 2019

How Long After "Meat Market" Before Candidates Hear from Schools?


A rookie job seeker writes:

A question about the law teaching market, which I suspect will be of interest to a number of candidates who read your Law School Reports blog:  When can we expect to hear from hiring committees we spoke with at AALS?  Do the better schools tend to wait longer to make their calls?  And do schools tend to notify candidates that they *won't* be inviting them for a job talk, or do you only hear from them if they're interested?

If you think this is a worthwhile topic, perhaps you could open a post for comments so that hiring committee members could say what their procedure is.

My impression is that schools will contact the candidates they are most interested in within the first two weeks after the AALS hiring convention, and, more often than not, within the first week.  Schools will often have some candidates "on hold" beyond this period of time:  e.g., because they are reading more work by the candidate, or collecting references, or waiting to see how they fare with their top choices.  So it is quite possible to get call-backs beyond the two-week window.  Schools tend to be much slower in notifying candidates they are no longer in contention (you might not hear for a month or more). 


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October 9, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Professional Advice | Permalink | Comments (16)

September 30, 2019

This is a good year to be looking for a law teaching job

With roughly 90 schools interviewing candidates at the AALS hiring convention this coming weekend, and a record low number of job seekers, this is a good year to be looking for a law teaching job.   Best of luck to those readers interviewing in Washington, DC this weekend!

September 30, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

August 16, 2019

Faculty appointments committees for 2019-20...

MOVING TO FRONT (ORIGINALLY POSTED JULY 18) can announce yourselves (and your school's hiring priorities) here.

August 16, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

August 05, 2019

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

I am happy to share the following announcement from Professors Rostron & Levit:

Dear Colleagues,

We  just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Spring 2019 submission season covering the 203 main journals of each law school. 

We have created hyperlinks for each law review to take you directly to the law review’s submissions page. Again the chart includes as much information as possible about what law reviews are not accepting submissions right now and what months they say they’ll resume accepting submissions. 

There has been some change in law reviews’ submission preferences:  Now 82 schools prefer or require Scholastica as the exclusive avenue for submissions, 40 law journals prefer direct emails, and 39 law reviews prefer or require submission through ExpressO, with 37 accepting articles submitted through either ExpressO or Scholastica. Seven schools now have their own online web portals.  Ninety-three schools permit email submissions even if they prefer submission through a service.

The first chart contains information about each journal’s preferences about methods for submitting articles (e.g., e-mail, ExpressO, Scholastica, or regular mail), as well as special formatting requirements and how to request an expedited review.  The second chart contains rankings information from U.S. News and World Report  (overall, peer, lawyers and judges), as well as data from Washington & Lee’s law review website (citation count, impact factor, and combined ratings).

Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews and Journals: 

We would welcome your forwarding of this link to your faculty.   We appreciate any feedback you might have.

Happy writing!

All the best,

Allen and Nancy

Professor Allen Rostron

Associate Dean for Students and William R. Jacques Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor of Law

Professor Nancy Levit
Associate Dean for Faculty and Curators' Distinguished Professor and Edward D. Ellison Professor of Law             

UMKC School of Law
500 E. 52nd St.

August 5, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Professional Advice | Permalink

July 18, 2019

This year's FAR form surprise

Last year it was the addition of the silly but harmless "student leadership" and "community service" sections, this year it's more consequential:   candidates can now upload their job talk papers along with their FAR form, CV and research agenda.  But of course many candidates are still polishing their job talk papers because they expected, reasonably enough, that they would have until the first FAR distribution in eary-to-mid-August to get them ready for circulation.   So I expect many candidates will not upload a job talk paper initially, and hiring schools shouldn't draw any adverse inferences from that given that AALS just sprung this on everyone.

It would be nice if the AALS would alert member schools well in advance of these changes, so we can advise candidates to prepare accordingly.

July 18, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

July 16, 2019

It's good the AALS has created a new website about careers in law teaching...

...but not so good that they simply pilfered Prof. Lawsky's data (without even crediting her by name).  Professor Lawksy comments here.

UPDATE:  This morning (July 17), James Greif, Director of Communications for the AALS wrote me, and gave me permission to share his message:

I noticed your post about our website “Becoming a Law Teacher” and wanted to let you know that not including Professor Lawsky’s name along with her data was an oversight on our part. We have reached out to her and are in the process of correcting the error on our site, per her updated post. Not recognizing her work was not our intention and proper attributions will be up shortly.

Thank you for your attention to this issue and your coverage of legal education issues on your blog.

ANOTHER:  It turns out there is other pilfered material on the new AALS law teaching website.  I have alerted them to it.  This may all be inadvertent, but it is still disgraceful for a professional organization.

July 16, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers | Permalink

May 15, 2019

Entry-level hiring report for 2019


Professor Lawsky (Northwestern) is now collecting information.

May 15, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink

April 28, 2019

Congratulations to Chicago Alumni and Fellows who secured tenure-track jobs this year on the teaching market (UPDATED)


Another strong year for Chicago alums and Fellows on the teaching market.  Although there were clearly more schools hiring this year, demand was remarkably weak in certain areas, like intellectual property.  Happily, almost all our candidate secured offers, and several secured multiple offers.  Here they are (with one omission [a Fellow] that will be added later when the decisions can be made public):


Ilya Beylin '08, who will join the law faculty at Seton Hall University.  He graduated from the Law School with Honors and Order of the Coif, where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review.  He clerked for Judge Stephen Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell and then Sidley Austin, both in New York, as well as General Counsel of AngelList.  He was a VAP and a postdoctoral scholar at, respectively, NYU Law School and Columbia Law School.  His teaching and research interests include corporate law and finance, securities regulation, derivatives and other financial regulation, and bankruptcy.


Gregory Buchak '19, who will join the faculty of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.  He will earn his J.D. and his Ph.D. in Finance both from the University of Chicago in June.  At the Law School, he was a member of the Law Review and a Kirkland & Ellis Scholar.  His teaching and research interests include corporate and consumer finance, law & economics, banking, and financial regulation.


Courtney Cox’14, who will join the law faculty at Fordham University.  She graduated with Highest Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where she was also a member of the Law Review, a Rubenstein Scholar and a Kirkland & Ellis Scholar.  Before coming to Chicago, she earned her D.Phil. in Philosophy from Oxford University.  Upon graduation from the Law School, she clerked for Judge Lynch on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and was then an associate focusing on intellectual property litigation at Ropes & Gray in Boston.  Her teaching and research interests include intellectual property, copyright, trademarks, trade secrets, jurisprudence, civil procedure, and property.  


Stephanie M. Didwania '09, who will join the law faculty at Temple University.  She graduated with Honors from the Law School, where she was the Comment and Development Editor of the University of Chicago Journal of International Law.  She clerked for Judge Paez on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and earned a Ph.D. in Managerial Economics and Strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 2016. Most recently, she was a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  Her teaching and research interests include criminal law and criminal justice, intellectual property, torts, and antitrust.


Emma Kaufman, who will join the law faculty at New York University.  She is currently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.  She graduated from Yale Law School in 2015, where she was Comments Editor of the Yale Law Journal.  Prior to law school, she earned a D.Phil. in Criminology as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University.  Before coming to Chicago, she clerked for Judge Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Judge Oetken on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Her teaching and research interests include criminal law and procedure, immigration law, administrative law, and remedies.


James (Jamie) Macleod ’12, who will join the faculty at Brooklyn Law School.  He graduated with High Honors and Order of the Coif from the Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review and a Kirkland & Ellis scholar all three years. He clerked for Judge Lohier on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and was a litigation associate, first at Williams & Connolly in D.C. and then at Gibson Dunn in New York, before joining Columbia Law School as an Associate-in-Law in 2017.  His teaching and research interests include criminal law, torts, evidence, criminal procedure, legislation, and experimental jurisprudence.


Manisha Padi, who will join the law faculty at the University of California, Berkeley.  She is currently a Bigelow Fellow at the Law School.   She received her J.D. from Yale and her Ph.D. in Economics from MIT, both in 2017.  Her teaching and research interests include contracts, bankruptcy, financial institutions, corporate law and finance and empirical legal studies.


Kyle Rozema, who will join the law faculty at Washington University, St. Louis.  He is currently the Behavioral Law & Economics Fellow at the Law School.  He received his J.D. in 2011 from Washington University, St. Louis and his PhD in Economics from Cornell University in 2015, with a dissertation on tax policy.  He was a post-doctoral Fellow in Empirical Legal Studies at Northwestern before coming to Chicago in 2017. His teaching and research interests include federal income taxation, tax policy, law & economics, empirical legal studies, patents and torts.


Emily Winston '10, who will join the law faculty at the University of South Carolina.  She is currently the Jacobson Research Fellow in Law & Business at New York University School of Law, where she was previously a Clinic Fellow and Supervising Attorney in the Business Law Transactions Clinic from 2014-16.   Prior to joining NYU, she was a corporate associate at Dewey & LeBoeuf and then Paul Hastings, focusing on cross-border securities and corporate finance transactions involving Latin American companies.  Her teaching and research interests include corporate law, securities regulation, contracts, international business transactions, and nonprofit and philanthropy law.

You can see a complete list of the several hundred alumni in teaching here.

April 28, 2019 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink