More Disinformation About Law Faculty Hiring

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Over at MoneyLaw Tom Bell is asserting that “at least in terms of hiring, women and minorities enjoy significant advantages.” He bases this claim on data that says nothing about the qualifications of the underlying pool of applicants, and completely ignores data showing a troubling trend in which women are disproportionately hired into nontenure track jobs. He also focuses on “success rates” rather than giving absolute numbers, which tell a very different story. Previous posts at this blog on this subject, with links to various AALS data tables, can be found here, and here. See also this.

–Ann Bartow

UPDATE: See also Christopher Bracey’s post about this at Blackprof.

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0 Responses to More Disinformation About Law Faculty Hiring

  1. Tom W. Bell says:

    Thanks, Ann, for your comments. Allow me, though, to alert your readers to the context of my quote. In full, I said, “That [the AALS] data suggests that, at least in terms of hiring, women and minorities enjoy significant advantages.” That’s quite a different thing from a bald statement that women and minorities *do* enjoy significant advantages.

    As I said elsewhere in my post, the AALS data comes with significant qualifications. As I made clear, it *proves* nothing. But it indisputably does *suggest* that women and minorities had more success landing legal academic jobs, on average, than men and non-minorities did. The full story, as you and I both recognize, calls for more data and careful analysis.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Well, now let’s do the full quote with the preceeding sentence:

    “But we have got pretty good data about how well women and non-Caucasian minorities do at winning academic jobs at law schools:a necessary prerequisite to winning tenure. That data suggests that, at least in terms of hiring, women and minorities enjoy significant advantages.”

    People should definitely read your full post, I absolutely agree with you on that. They should also look over the AALS data, and see what variables it tracks, and which variables are not factored in, and decide for themselves whther it is indeed worthy of your description of it as “pretty good data….”

  3. litman says:

    The AALS data indicate that many fewer women candiates succeed in finding teaching jobs than do male candidates, and that many fewer minority candidates are hired than non-minority candidates. (I assume that Tom draws his inference that women and minorities have advantages over white men in the AALS interview process because the data also indicate that there are fewer women in the AALS candidate applicant pool than men and fewer minority candidates than non-minority.)

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    Yes, he does, and that reminds me of yet another objection to his inference, which is that a lot of entry level hiring happens outside of the AALS FRC.