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September 30, 2010

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Richard Gershon

Todd Bruno from LSU to the Charleston School of Law

Anon Prof

Wow... looks like no women hired as laterals this cycle...

Kurt Lash

My last name is spelled Lash, not Lasch. And I'm excited to be moving to Illinois from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

anon

Anthony Niedwiecki will be moving from Nova Southeastern to John Marshall in Chicago.

Orin Kerr

Wow... looks like no women hired as laterals this cycle...

That is striking, although this is only a partial and incomplete list of a still ongoing process. Assuming it's accurate, though, what do you think it shows?

Jacqueline Lipton


Yes, some others of us had also notice the "no women" thing - also no/not many women even commenting on this thread.

It either means that people are not interested in interviewing women (which would be weird) or that women are more difficult to move because many have "trailing husband" issues and these are difficult economic times. I assume the problem is not as bad moving men with "trailing wives" because a number of wives are probably still home-makers or caring for children these days, although I may be wrong about that statistically. I just don't know.

Or are schools just hiring more this year in fields that happen to be dominated by men? Some of the moves (but not as many as usual) are IP folks with somewhat of a patent focus. I'm sure that women are largely under-represented in patent law for example.

Green Wave

Adam Feibelman from North Carolina to Tulane

http://www.law.tulane.edu/tlsNews/newsItem.aspx?id=12386

Anon Prof

Gregg Polsky from Florida State to North Carolina.

Anon

My school was interested in a woman lateral candidate, but we couldn't afford to match her salary.

anonalso

Couldn't afford it, or didn't wish to spend the money?

anon

Re: Jacqueline's comment -- it can't be trailing spouse issues, or at least not entirely. Not everyone has a spouse & not all partners are opposite sex.

On my school's appts committee, lists of possible laterals are generated largely by word of mouth, and people suggest folks they like. One colleague has only suggested men, and the only "diverse" candidates come from women. It ends of looking like a new version of the old boys club. Only we're supposed to be past all of that, so the topic doesn't come up.

Anon Prof

Not all female faculty members are married.

anontx

Law schools like to fill their "female" quota with junior women to keep them as powerless as possible.

Jacqueline Lipton

BTW, I wasn't meaning to suggest that all women are married or that all academics are in heterosexual relationships. I was just hoping that the problem was more to do with logistics of moving women than of "old boys' club" issues arising. I'm sorry to hear that I'm probably wrong on that score. At least my school looked at lots of women this year and actually made offers to more women than men. But it sounds like that's not the experience at many schools.

Anon

"Couldn't afford it, or didn't wish to spend the money?"

The professor in question makes more significantly more money than anyone on our faculty. So first of all given the budget crunch, couldn't afford it in general, and moreover couldn't afford the inevitable demands among equally accomplished colleagues to raise their salaries to match the newcomer. No professor, man or woman, is going to get hired under those circumstances. But the good news is that at least one woman professor is already very well paid.

anon prof

St. John's has hired Peggy McGuinness from U. Missouri.

Orin Kerr

"Law schools like to fill their "female" quota with junior women to keep them as powerless as possible."

I don't follow this. Given that tenure is very easy to get in law schools,entry-level hiring in law schools is essentially an offer of life employment, including all the powers that go along with tenure, based on only relatively modest accomplishments. In light of that, Isn't hiring a particular group at the entry-level likely to be a strategic way to empower a group rather than a way to keep them powerless?

Eric Muller

Jacqueline wrote: "It either means that people are not interested in interviewing women (which would be weird) or that women are more difficult to move because many have 'trailing husband' issues and these are difficult economic times."

As a logical matter, it could also mean a third thing: that women are themselves not looking for lateral positions at a rate proportional to their numbers in legal academia. That's subtly different from Jacqueline's second possibility (that women are "more difficult to move," which implies that the women are just as eager as men to want to move but the "wooing" schools find it hard to "move" them).

My own main reason for not looking for lateral positions (apart from that small matter of my phone not ringing, alluded to in an earlier comment on this blog) is that I have not wished to bring on my wife and our children the enormous upheaval of relocation.

Now I'm a guy and all, so I could be totally wrong about this, but I've long sensed that this "not wanting to bring upheaval upon my family" is a concern considerably more common (or at least more commonly voiced) among/by women than by men. (I'm not defending that, or critiquing it, or suggesting that it's as it ought or ought not be, or saying it's the natural order of things, or the unnatural order of things. I'm just making an observation about what I've seen in my life.)

If I'm right about this, then it would stand to reason that (assuming roughly equal rates of marriage and parenting as between male and female law faculty members), the "seekers" in the lateral movement market would tend to be rather disproportionately male -- and this not because they're "easier to move" but because they're more eager to move.

Ann Bartow

I note with permission that Andrea Dennis is moving to University of Georgia from Kentucky.

Still, the gender difference in lateral hires is discouraging. Based on anecdotal evidence men are being pursued for lateral hires at much higher rates than women, possibly based in part on the assumption that "women won't move," which is a pretty handy assumption if you want to avoid hiring them for other reasons.

Orin Kerr

Ann writes:

****
"Based on anecdotal evidence men are being pursued for lateral hires at much higher rates than women, possibly based in part on the assumption that "women won't move," which is a pretty handy assumption if you want to avoid hiring them for other reasons."
****

As you have noted, Ann, the placements of scholarship in top journals are disproportionately of articles written by men. I'm curious, has anyone compared the the number of articles and placement of articles among lateral hires by gender? That might be interesting.

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