September 03, 2020
...bringing the total number of schools advertising up to 40 (this includes some of the law schools which I alluded to previously that weren't in the first bulletin). A number of highly ranked law schools are looking selectively this year, although they have not advertised in either bulletin.
August 31, 2020
August 25, 2020
MOVING TO FRONT FROM AUGUST 20--UPDATED
...with only 297 candidates, down from just under 400 last year. That's good news, given that there are also fewer jobs. The new format, however, is a bit harder to search than last year's. Last year, for example, it was quite easy to search by subjects a candidate was interested in.
ADDENDUM: Unless I'm missing something (and I may be, given my technical ineptitude), a school needing a contracts professor can't search the 297 candidates to find those interested in teaching contracts! E-mail me if I'm wrong. I find it hard to believe they could have reduced the search functionality of the website so dramatically.
CORRECTION: Thanks to Professor Lawsky, I can report that the first FAR last year had 334 candidates, not "just under 400" (which was more like the final tally after all distributions).
UPDATE: Professor Jamie Macleod (Brooklyn) helpfully explains how to search by subjects taught:
- When viewing the long list of applicants unfiltered, click “Filter”.
- At the bottom right corner of the drop-down box that appears, click “Filter by Form Responses”.
- In the new window that appears, click “Select Form”à”Position Sought and Teaching Preferences”.
- I’m guessing the rest is self-explanatory. But do note that you can then click “Save” and name the filtered view you create, then return to that filtered view later by clicking “Saved Views” (which is next to the “Filter” button).
August 18, 2020
The first FAR distribution occurs this week, but with the traditional "meat market" in Washington, DC cancelled, I expect that schools may start scheduling Zoom interviews to occur before August is over. I've advised our job candidates to be prepared for that possibility in any event. Thoughts from readers on hiring committees at their schools? Submit comments only once they may take awhile to appear.
August 14, 2020
I count 32 AALS-member schools that are advertising, in several cases for multiple positions (roughly half the number last year, if my memory is correct). As noted earlier, more than 100 schools have constituted appointments committees, but some are only looking at laterals I've learned, while others are probably constituted in case it's possible to hire. I should note I've already heard from one law school (not a top 20 school) that is planning on hiring that has not advertised in the bulletin.
UPDATE: I've now looked at the first AALS job bulletin from last August, and there were 76 accredited schools advertising, some (again) for multiple positions. So the drop this year is by more than 50%. Some schools may yet return to the market, of course, depending on developments in the months ahead.
August 11, 2020
July 20, 2020
According to a widely circulated list of hiring chairs at different law schools in the U.S., 117 have already named appointments chairs, compared to 138 last year. That's not as big a drop-off as I had feared we might see. Bear in mind that last year's 138 hiring chairs yielded 88 rookie hires at 66 law schools according to Professor Lawsky's data (of course, some schools hired laterals, not rookies). Still, while this will definitely be a tighter job market, it may be somewhat better than many had feared.
June 18, 2020
The AALS has revised the FAR form. On the plus side, they've done away with the "community service" category; eliminated the need to explicitly rank the "preferred teaching subjects" (which always led to endless and pointless strategizing) and cut the "additional subjects" altogether (perhaps recognizing that the old "preferred subjects" were the key); and will permit candidates to upload a document with their references, so no more agonizing about the "big three" for the FAR form. On the negative side, it's no longer possible to print out a draft of the FAR form for review (that was dumb!). Candidates can still upload the CV, research agenda, and job talk, as before.
June 01, 2020
May 15, 2020
Professor Lawsky (Northwestern) has released her typically excellent entry-level hiring report for this academic year. I'll have more to say about some of what we learn from these results in a subsequent post.
I'll add one data point: Professor Lawsky reports the number of graduates by school who got law teaching job, but not how many were on the market. Using the first FAR distribution (not a perfect metric, since it includes LLMs as well as JDs, but that effect probably washes out across schools), here are the schools ranked by the success rate of their graduates on the market (for all schools that placed at least two graduates and had at least five graduates on the market):
1. University of Chicago (57% [4/7])
2. Stanford University (53% [9/17])
3. Yale University (51% [18/35])
4. University of California Berkeley (46% [5/11])
5. Harvard University (33% [12/36])
6. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (23% [3/13])
7. New York University (20% [6/20])
8. Columbia University (15% [2/13])
9. Georgetown University [14% [3/22])
Northwestern had only three graduates on the market, but placed two of them, so 67%!