Lounge readers may recall the thread from February on whether we are sustaining a "VAP trap" by sustaining so many VAP programs at a time when most think the market for tenure-track jobs at American law schools is likely to contract significantly.
That post led to an avalanche of comments from (among others) current VAPs about their situations. One commenter offered in the comments to survey fellow VAPS, and I offered to publish the survey results here.
The organizer of the survey sent me the results this morning. They are below. Please don't ask me questions about them; I am simply presenting what was sent to me. If the person who ran the survey monitors this thread, s/he may (or may not) wish to respond to questions.
(Anyone wishing to dredge up issues about confidentiality of commenter identities and the like should first consider this article in yesterday's NY Times.)
1. Where are you currently a VAP or Fellow? How long is your stay at this school?
US News 1-20 3
US News 21-40 2
US News 41-60 6
US News 61-80 1
US News 81-100 1
Tier 2 0
Tier 4 1
Length of stay:
1 year 1
2 years 9
3 or more years 0
I am not a VAP or Fellow: 5
One person commented that (s)he had previously been a VAP at
a top 40 school.
2. Where did you get your JD?
US News 15-30 3
US News 31-50 1
Tier 2 3
Tier 3 1
Tier 4 0
3. Do you have another advanced degree, e.g., an LL.M. and/or Ph.D.? If so, from where? Similarly, did you do a clerkship? If so, which court?
state trial court 3
state appellate court 0
state supreme court 0
federal district court 3
Comments (which asked for additional info about the degree-awarding institution): Temple, Chicago, foreign JD and LLM, USN 1-10, USN 10-20, MA from top 10, and "Clerkship - other")
4. How many years of practice experience did you have prior to going on the market, exclusive of clerkships and fellowships?
1-3 years 9
4-6 years 7
7-10 years 2
10+ years 0
5. What are your area(s) of expertise, i.e., your primary research/teaching area(s)?
Civ pro 5
Crim law/procedure 2
Con law 3
Civil/human rights 3
Business law 1
specialty (e.g., IP,
T&E, health, labor,
election, etc.) 6
Critical theory 1
Law and religion 1
6. When you went on the market, how many scholarly publications did you have?
7. How many AALS interviews did you have? Please include first-round interviews that you had before the conference in DC.
8. How many callbacks did you have?1-3 12
9. Did you receive any offers? If so, why did you decline?
All of the people who declined said they did so because of location and spouse/family.
10. Did you receive support in your TT position job search?
I had support from my host institution on the programmatic level
I had support from individual faculty at my host institution, but not on the programmatic level
I had support from my host institution on the programmatic level and from individual faculty
I had no support from my host institution
I had support from my JD institution on the programmatic level
I had support from individual faculty at my JD institution, but not on the programmatic level
I had support from my JD institution on the programmatic level and from individual faculty
I had no support from my JD institution
I had support from my LLM/PhD institution on the programmatic level
I had support from individual faculty at my LLM/PhD institution, but not on the programmatic level
I had support from my LLM/PhD institution on the programmatic level and from individual faculty
I had no support from my LLM/PhD institution
- I eventually got another offer from a Legal Studies department at a Business School (separate from the AALS process) and am accepting that offer.
- On the market twice: 2011 AALS + VAP, 2012 VAP only. Survey reflects both. PhD was in a different field, so no help there for legal academy placement.
- You're welcome to discount my responses if I don't qualify as an "unplaced" VAP. [Editor's note: I believe this is from a person who said (s)he accepted a non-TT offer in a better location for his/her family.]