In just a few days, law school faculty from across the country will descend on our nation's capital to participate in the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference. And by noon on Friday, the first full day of interviews, recruiting teams will have been asked the same set of questions by most of that morning's group of faculty candidates (e.g., "What resources are available to promote research and scholarship?" "How long is the tenure process and what are the scholarship requirements?" etc.). For candidates who want to be remembered, who want to separate themselves from the herd, who dare to “shake it up a bit” and wish to throw caution to the wind, consider (perhaps at your own peril!) borrowing one or more questions from the following list when your inquisitors ask, "So, what questions do you have for us?":
1. Why are YOU asking ME about scholarship?
2. If I were to ask your students how your institution could be improved, what would they tell me?
3. How important is article placement in the tenure process?
4. Why isn't your law school ranked in the first tier?
5. Can you envision any – ANY! – situation arising in the next thirty years that would require me to teach a UCC course?
6. How important is quality teaching in the tenure decision?
7. How successful are faculty-student dating relationships at your school?
8. Does your tenure committee view “Professor of the Year” accolades as the kiss of death?
9. If you require four articles for tenure and I have already published four articles, do I start with tenure?
10. Will I have more than one new prep during my first year of teaching?
11. Where do most of your colleagues travel when they take a sabbatical?
12. If you could jettison some of your faculty deadwood, which three colleagues would be gone by tomorrow?
13. What makes your school the best fit for my talents?
14. How often may I visit elsewhere?
15. What criticisms were raised, following the last site inspection at your law school?
16. This interviewing process is making me hungry. Do you have any snacks?
17. Have any other candidates suggested to you that scheduling classes on Friday is a bad idea?
18. Do you think diversity hiring is overrated?
19. Would you mind if I excuse myself for a few moments to check my emails for possible last-minute interviews with other schools?
20. How long do your faculty meetings last?
21. If I don't want to attend the AALS annual conference in January, may I have the cash instead?
22. If I were to play "faculty bingo" during your faculty meetings, which of your colleagues might I want in my center square?
23. Why hasn't your Republican Law Students Organization had a faculty sponsor for over three decades?
24. How often do tenure decisions lead to nasty litigation at your law school?
25. You're not seriously considering anyone for this position who didn't attend Harvard or Yale, are you?
26. How much grade inflation goes on at your place?
27. Do I receive a dinner allowance if I work later than 6:00 p.m.?
28. Will you help me reach my goal of leaving the conference with at least 100 new Facebook friends?
29. Do you think the quality of legal education would improve if we scrapped the tenure system? (courtesy of Jeff Lipshaw)
30. How many of your junior hires have successfully written their way to some place better? (courtesy of Orin Kerr)
Pictured: one wing of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, the sight of this week's AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference (source link here).