Sunday, March 3, 2013
As Larry notes, the 2013 figures are preliminary and although more moves certainly will become public after the March 15 AALS deadline (I know of seven lateral moves not yet reported), 2013 undoubtedly will see a sharp contraction in lateral market. Larry notes that the figures reflect
the general decline in student applications to law schools and the considerable uncertainty facing legal education now. Whatever else critics might say about the legal academy, such a decline shows deans and faculty making big changes in operating procedures. The import may be mixed, however. It’s one less way that many schools can demonstrate that they are competing with each other, though schools that are able to compete in such an environment (e.g., Alabama) send a signal that they have the resources and confidence to buck the trend. It may be one less tool prawfs have to negotiate raises and other perqs, though, again, those that are able to do so may have greater leverage than predecessors.
Jim Diamond argues that "Georgetown’s annual study of the legal profession confirms enormous overcapacity. It would therefore be totally irrational for any law school to add faculty. That explains much of the decline in lateral moves reported. To the extent that some schools have hired anyway, that may explain why they have not reported doing so publicly."