Visitor aka Podium Fill Time
Although the customary lateral hiring deadline of March 15 has expired, and AALS lurks in the semi-distant future; yet another hiring time is upon some law schools. Academic Deans must now see what coverage gaps exist and fill them. So those seeking to enter the world of law professors may want to see whether a school has such an opening and contact the Academic Dean with a c.v., cover letter, and possibly a publication. Note: check the school’s Web site. It may have a posting with requested information. Someone took the time to write that post. They probably appreciate those who pay attention.
Still, there are reasons not to take this approach. First, these positions may have rules against ever being hired as a tenure track professor. That means one has entered the arena, but is instantly on the market with less job security than when in the private sector. Second, the fellowships out there may, stress may, provide a more structured way to enter the profession. Third, true coverage spots may require many new class preps and little time to develop the writing one needs to have when one hits AALS. So, I am not saying this approach is the best one. Nonetheless as it exists and can work, I wanted to discuss it a little.
Frank reminds me that a great post on the true ups and downs of fellowships and what one should do about entering the profession is The Real Problem with Law Teaching Fellowships by Mike Madison. Anyone wishing to enter the profession should take a read. It covers many issues that relate to but are outside the scope of this post.
Finally, as a public service, I offer the comment thread to Academic Deans of law schools (or those in charge of this task) as a place to note current needs and how to apply.
PS For those who have taken visitor spots, Faculty Lounge is compiling a list so you may wish to contact them with your information.