October 15, 2020
Without a "meat market" around which schools and candidates coordinate their behavior, the timing is quite various this year. Some schools are still scheduling initial interviews, while other schools hosted call-backs as early as September. Some schools have even started extending offers. This is going to make things more challenging all around; I hope hiring schools will give candidates at least one month to consider an offer. By the same token, candidates should be timely in letting schools know if they are no longer interested in being considered because they have other offers in hand.
September 09, 2020
As part of the very enjoyable discussion on "The Legal Academy," Orin Kerr (Berkeley) asked me about how a school can hire strong scholarly faculty. I made a variety of observations related to this topic. A school must constitute a good hiring committee, meaning one with faculty who are engaged in scholarship and have good judgment about scholarship. Schools like Florida State and San Diego (two examples I gave) have, historically, done very strong rookie hiring (better than their peers), in part because Deans have invested serious faculty with good judgment with a decisive role in hiring at those schools. While "objective" metrics (like citations or place of publication) can be useful proxies, there is, as I said, "no substitute for reading" (as long as those reading satisfy the prior desiderata!).
Finally, there's the question of how to use recommendations from faculty elsewhere (no committee can read everything, so recommendations are often used to figure out which candidates deserve further scrutiny). Everyone who has done hiring has their own list of reliable and unreliable references, and everyone of course gives different weight to references based on their opinion of the recommender (if they have one). I gave the example of a recommendation from a professor at San Diego (an expert I respected in the candidate's area) that ultimately led to Texas hiring someone when I was chairing appointments there. I also gave the example of the Yale recommender who "never met a candidate he didn't love": such recommendations are useless, of course. I remarked that my own approach was not to credit or give weight to references from faculty I wouldn't hire, i.e., those I don't respect on the intellectual merits.
August 31, 2020
June 02, 2020
Amicus brief from law professors in support of Shmuel Leshem in his tenure dispute with Southern California
March 21, 2020
March 18, 2020
March 14, 2020
March 09, 2020
This is an open thread for law faculty to post about what their schools are doing: e.g., cancelling classes, "remote" teaching or exams, cancelling conferences, prohibiting faculty work-related travel etc. Feel free to link to public resources/statements by your schools. Submit your comment only once, they are moderated, and may take awhile to appear.
February 10, 2020
The entire editorial board of the European Law Journal has resigned in a dispute with publisher, Wiley, over who the new editors will be. Legally, it looks like Wiley can appoint the editors, but the credibility of the journal is now shattered.
(Thanks to Matt Kramer for the pointer.)