Prospective Law Teachers (and VAPs and fellows) Workshop Committee
The mission of the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop Committee is to provide aspiring law professors with targeted feedback and advice from seasoned law professors. The Committee coordinates the SEALS Prospective Law Teachers Workshop, which provides opportunities for aspiring law teachers to participate in mock interviews and mock job talks. The Committee also schedules 1-on-1 sessions for prospective law teachers to receive faculty feedback on their CVs. Additionally, the Committee traditionally has organized at least one substantive panel on a topic of particular relevance to prospective law teachers, including past sessions such as “Maximizing your VAP” and “Navigating the Hiring Process.” Many of the Committee’s past workshop participants have gone on to obtain tenure-track positions in legal academia and now teach at diverse schools, ranging from Tulane to South Carolina to Louisville.
- Bradley Areheart (Tennessee) (Co-Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leah Chan Grinvald (Suffolk) (Co-Chair) email@example.com
- Glen-Peter Alhers (Barry)
- Mark Bauer (Stetson)
- James Douglas (Thurgood Marshall)
- Ian Holloway (Calgary)
- Becky Jacobs (Tennessee)
- Sam Jordan (St. Louis U.)
- Stacy Leeds (Arkansas)
- Melissa Lonegrass (New Scholar Committee liaison)
- Colin Marks (St. Marys)
- Rob McFarland (Faulkner)
- Luke Milligan (Louisville)
- Elizabeth Pendo (St. Louis)
- Howard Wasserman (FIU)
“I think I tried to express to you at the conference just how helpful the Prospective Scholars workshop was for me (and continues to be), but words don’t begin to sum it up. The advice, candor, and feedback from you, Leah, and the dozens of SEALS attendees that you two organized to speak with us was nothing short of awesome. The feedback is helping me to improve my materials and to present myself better and, if I get a job, which I hope I will, it will be in no small part due to all of the work that you put in and you do it all with a great sense of humor that takes the edge off of and adds some fun to what can feel like a completely insane process.”
Portia Pedro, 2017 Workshopper, Ph.D. in Law Candidate, Yale
“I can’t tell you how much more prepared I am for the job market this cycle and how grateful I am for all of your efforts!”
Hiba Hafiz, 2017 Workshopper, Bigelow Teaching Fellow
“I’m still amazed how much effort and thought went into planning this. You are truly doing a remarkable service to aspiring law professors. For me, it really serves as a reminder to constantly give back to my students and my community.”
William Moon, 2017 Workshopper, NYU Lawyering
“I have had a note on my desk for a long time reminding me to email you both and thank you for all of your encouragement and help . . . The SEALS workshop was instrumental in getting me on the right track in terms of interviewing and job-talking and meeting folks, and I so appreciate your work on that front. I have already raved about the workshop to [others].”
Michael Pollack, 2016 Workshopper, Associate Professor, Cardozo Law
“I was so impressed that you had so many professors at our job talks, the CV review session, and in the mock interviews. Everything worked seamlessly, and all of the advice and input will help so much on the market. You’re doing us all a great service, and you have my deep gratitude!”
Luke Norris, 2017 Workshopper, Columbia Associate in Law
Welcome to the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop Committee. We are thrilled that you are interested in this year’s exciting program. We look forward to learning more about you and your interest areas for teaching and scholarship. We hope you will find the mock interviews, mock job talks, and related panels of great use in your quest to secure a tenure-track position. If you are interested in participating, please contact one of us to express your interest. At that time, please provide a CV as well as a brief statement regarding your upcoming plans and professional goals.
If you are already planning to attend SEALS, please make sure you have registered for the conference and arranged for your rooms. Some people attend the whole week-long conference (for networking), while others attend just a few days centered around the Prospective Law Teachers Workshop. Information for registering for the conference is also on this website.
We look forward to seeing you at the conference.
2017 Annual Report
With the word spreading among fellowship and visiting assistant professor (VAP) programs, as well as among SEALS attendees, in 2016 we were able to accept the highest number of candidates yet for the workshop. We instituted a number of new programmatic developments designed to increase the feeling of “community” among the workshopees, including a welcome reception at the hotel bar the night before the workshop began. We also had the candidates arrive a bit early each day to check-in with Brad and Leah, which also led to the candidates feeling part of a workshop and community.
This year marks the fifth consecutive year of the workshop. We were again quite successful in raising awareness of the workshop among the many fellowship and VAP programs around the country, as well as more general knowledge among the legal community (shown through the applications we received from practitioners). The committee received approximately 23 applications to participate in the workshop, which was about the same as in 2016. Therefore, we were able to have another successful competitive process, and have accepted 12 candidates for the 2017 workshop, all of whom are quite impressive.
Our “graduates” continue to experience success on the market. Our 2016 workshopees accepted positions for tenure-track professorships all around the country. While the workshop cannot take all the credit for helping these candidates secure jobs, the feedback we received was extremely positive and clearly indicates the workshop was helpful in preparing them for the market. In addition, Brad and Leah stayed in touch with the 2016 candidates throughout the job market, checking in with them at critical times. We spent hours on the telephone and over email providing one-on-one advice to candidates about the pros and cons of particular job offers.
Our plan for 2017 is to continue the success that we have seen with the workshop and provide each candidate with mock interviews that are closely related to the real experience of the AALS faculty recruitment conference. Each candidate will have three mock interviews. In addition, our goal is to have a minimum of five faculty members in the audience for each of the candidate’s job talks (in addition to other candidates, which we require to sit in on at least one job talk). Last year, we had approximately 60 faculty volunteers from 30 unique and very different law schools. We believe that the exposure to a wide range of interviewers and job talk audience members is one of the most distinguishing features of this workshop.
In addition to the mock interviews and mock job talks, the workshop also provides candidates with a one-on-one CV feedback session, as well as a panel geared toward navigating the job market. The panel generally features a mix of professors who have spent time on appointments committees and junior professors who have recently succeeded on the job market. As in years past, we coordinated our dates with the Newer Law Teacher’s Workshop so that the candidates can also take advantage of their programming on teaching, research, and service; indeed, we have strongly encouraged each workshopee to attend these sessions as well. Our hope is that the candidates enjoy a well-rounded and rich experience at SEALS, which helps to prepare them for the upcoming market. We hope that the workshop will continue its success in the coming years.
2016 Annual Report
2016 marked the fourth consecutive year of the workshop, and with four years under our belt, we can now see some of the results. Of the 24 candidates to have participated in the workshop since 2013 (not counting the 2016 candidates), all but three candidates are currently employed in an academic institution. While the workshop cannot take all the credit for assisting these candidates in their job searches (particularly those from 2015 that are still in the academic positions they held while participating in the workshop), it is gratifying to see that many have clearly benefited from the workshop and the programming that we offer to them.
This year, we were again quite successful in raising awareness of the workshop among the many fellowship and Visiting Assistant Professor programs around the country. The committee received 23 applications to participate in the workshop, which was about one less than last year. Due to the efforts of the chairpersons and the willingness of the faculty volunteers, we were able to accept 12 candidates, which was an increase of three from the year prior. We currently have 36 faculty volunteers lined up for the mock interview sessions. This means that we can provide each candidate with mock interviews that are closely related to the real experience at the AALS meeting, as each interview room will have at least three faculty volunteers “interviewing” a candidate at one time. Each candidate will have three mock interviews. In addition, we have lined up over 25 faculty volunteers for the mock job talk sessions, which will mean that each job talk will have at least five members of the audience at any one time (as other candidates will sit in on the job talks as well). The faculty volunteers are from a wide range of schools across the country, representing approximately 27 different law schools.
In addition to the mock interviews and mock job talks, the workshop also provides candidates with a one-on-one CV feedback session, as well as a panel geared to them on navigating the job market. As in years past, we coordinated with the New Professors Workshop on dates so that the candidates can take advantage of their programming on teaching, research, and service. This ensures that the candidates are provided with a well-rounded and rich workshop and experience at SEALS, hopefully helping them to prepare for the upcoming market. We hope that the workshop will continue to be able to expand to include additional candidates and faculty volunteers next year.