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October 14, 2010


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Sounds very practical. Getting your foot in the door at first can take all your effort.

Tim Zinnecker

I wonder if there's not another factor that dictates, to a great extent, the number of interviews: law school attended. Let's face it. For some hiring committees, the review of the FAR form starts there. And for many unfortunate (but possibly incredibly talented) candidates, that's where the review ends, too.


Don't think anyone should be taking advice from someone who teaches at Florida Coastal.

Michael Lewyn

Law school attendance (and other factors less obviously important than those discussed in my post) may come up in my next post. So stay tuned!

Alfred Brophy

JA--Michael was not so much giving advice as explaining the process, I thought.

As a member of a hiring committee, he's in a good position to judge what the market's like for many of us.

roger dennis

And there are 185 schools outside the top 15 so Michael's perspective is highly relevant..I would add write a great cover letter to the chair of the hiring committee..this works wonders..r


Roger, what constitutes a "great cover letter"? That is one area that is not really covered in the various materials online re this process (although it may be in the new ABA book by Marcia, Brannon and Jeff).

David Bernstein

At many schools, you'd be better off spending the time it would take to prepare and teach a class writing an excellent article or two.


As someone going to AALS in a couple weeks with only 5 interviews, all I could think while reading this was, he had only 5 interviews...and he got a job! So thanks for that. I have the publications and the school and the practice, but no teaching experience (assuming legal writing doesn't count?) and, probably most importantly, I have an area that is not in demand.


Don't think anyone should be bothering to respond to someone who affects snobbery while concealing their own credentials -- or more important, their identity.

I would emphasize that this perspective isn't universally held. For example, relevant teaching experience is helpful, but what is probably more important is spending time at some academic enterprise that signals an understanding of the milieu and a commitment to being an academic -- and using that time to generate scholarship. As for practice experience, saying it's important and then calling it a given reveals the problem: the issue is whether a distinctive degree of experience is harmful or hurtful, and as against other ways of spending one's time, a good case can be made that it is hurtful (regardless of whether that should be the case).

roger dennis

A good cover letter has an integrated theory of the suggests how the candidate's professional experience, teaching, and scholarly agenda work together to make a potentially great faculty member.

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