March 18, 2019
January 21, 2019
They asked me to share the announcement, which I'm happy to do:
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 review preferences from a year ago, with the upticks going to Scholastica and to law reviews’ own emails. Now 78 schools prefer or require Scholastica as the exclusive avenue for submissions (compared to 62 last year), 42 law journals prefer direct emails, and 41 law reviews prefer or require submission through ExpressO (compared to again 62 last year), with 33 accepting articles submitted through either ExpressO or Scholastica. Six schools now have their own online web portals (compared to thirteen last year).
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 as well as data from Washington & Lee’s law review website.
Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews and Journals: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1019029
Professors Rostron and Levit welcome feedback, as always.
November 27, 2018
MOVING TO FRONT FROM NOVEMBER 7 (ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 24, 2009--I HAVE UPDATED CERTAIN NUMBERS)--SEE ALSO THE COMMENTS, WHICH HAVE HELPFUL ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS
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 (2018-19). 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.
August 28, 2018
This sometimes includes LLM and SJDs, as well as laterals:
1. Harvard University (28)
2. New York University (25)
3. Yale University (20)
4. Columbia University (15)
5. Stanford University (12)
5. University of Michigan (12)
7. University of California, Berkeley (11)
8. University of Chicago (9)
9. University of California, Los Angeles (8)
9. University of Pennsylvania (8)
11. University of Texas, Austin (7)
12. University of Virginia (6)
13. Northwestern University (5)
14. Cornell University (3)
14. Duke University (3)
14. University of Minnesota (3)
Apart from NYU, which has far too many candidates on the market, these numbers look about right given past placement performance.
August 16, 2018
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.
August 10, 2018
...although only about 40 have shared that information at the Prawfs site. This year is shaping up, as expected, to be the best year to be on the law teaching job market since the very early 2010s. We won't get back to those levels, to be sure, but since a number of the schools hiring are looking to fill multiple positions, I am hopeful we'll see more than 100 rookie faculty hired by the end of this academic year (compare that to 160-180 before the collapse). The main factor explaining this is, of course, the steady increase in LSAT-takers and applicants that we've seen for several years now, all occurring against the backdrop of the contraction by law schools during the prior five years.
August 01, 2018
Under "Major Published Writings" you can list up to five items, though you can also include a "total publication" count greater than that. If you have no published writings, or only one or two, you may also list your job-talk paper, but indicate that's what it is: "(job-talk paper)" Do not list articles for bar journals, or opinion pieces in newspapers--those can go on a CV, but are not "major" published writings for purposes here. If you do list such ephemera, schools will draw the conclusion that you are simply "padding" since you lack real scholarly writing.
And now a word on the AALS's idiotic decision to add two new categories to the FAR form this year: "Student Leadership" and "Community Servce." Applying for a job in law teaching is not like applying for admission to college, where admissions officers expect everyone to demonstrate "leadership" and "community service" and other public-spiritedness. Whoever at AALS made the silly decision to add these categories to the FAR form should be replaced with an adult familiar with the law teaching market! Job seekers should feel free to leave these blank, unless they have something pertinent. Most questions I'm getting seem to be about "community service": this can include pro bono legal work, service on the boards of non-profits and other community organizations, and the like. But don't take up too much space with this stuff, it isn't relevant, and hiring schools know it isn't relevant.
July 26, 2018
July 10, 2018
(Part I is here.)
The FAR form offers space for listing three references, though many candidates will have more than three--in that event, you need to make a decision about which three to highlight in the space provided ("the big three"). (Note that in the comment section you can add more: e.g., "Additional references include [give names, affiliations, e.g., 'Brian Leiter (Chicago)']... Full contact details available on CV.") Here are some considerations:
First, highlight faculty recommenders that know your work well and some of whom, at least, work in your main areas. In my view, it's more important that they know your work well than that they be famous, names everyone will recognize. Of course, there can be close cases: if a very junior faculty member knows your work well, but a much more prominent senior figure in your field knows your work well enough to recommend you, you might want to highlight the senior person. But these are judgment calls.
Second, if you're currently in (or have held) a VAP or Fellowship at a school other than the one where you got your JD, it's customary to have at least one faculty member from that school listed--if you have no references from the VAP/Fellowship school, hiring schools might wonder what transpired during your time there!
Third, if you have a PhD in a cognate field, list at least your dissertation chair in the comments, but not as one of the "big three" references, unless it is someone that law faculty will recognize. The "big three" should, ideally, be law faculty.
Fourth, do not list any judges your clerked for as one of the "big three," unless you lack three suitable faculty recommenders. There is space elsewhere on the FAR form to list your clerkships, and hiring schools will assume the judge will be available as a reference. "The big three" should provide new information about references ideally.