Paul L. Caron

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Muller: Despite Stable Enrollment, Law Schools Continue To Shed Full-Time Faculty

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Despite Stable Enrollment, Law Schools Continue to Shed Full-Time Faculty:

Law schools dropped from 10,226 full-time faculty (this figure includes all full-time positions, regardless of faculty status) in 2017 to 9470 in 2019, a 7% decline in two years. Law schools are doing more with less. Indeed, they’re not being replaced with adjuncts or temporary faculty—non-full-time faculty also declined (albeit at a smaller rate) in this period, too (from about 17,000 to about 16,500). ... 44 law schools saw faculty declines of at least 15% in that time period. ...

19 law schools decreased their full-time faculty by least 20% (including William & Mary (-28.1%), SUNY-Buffalo (-26.2%), and UC-Berkeley (-22.3%)).

14 law schools increased their full-time faculty by over 10% (including UNLV (+31.0%), George Mason (+18.2%), and UC-Irvine (+14.0%)). 

Update:  From Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Berkeley):

I saw your blog post about Berkeley’s decrease in faculty size. I fear by focusing on that time period that it gives a misleading impression as to what has happened at Berkeley. Berkeley Law has hired 17 new faculty in the last three years. In 2019, we hired nine new faculty who began on July 1 (Abhay Aneja, Khiara Bridges, Jonah Gelbach, Rebecca Goldstein, Jonathan Gould, David Grewal, Orin Kerr, Manisha Padi, and Rebecca Wexler.). In 2018, we hired three new faculty (Seth Davis, Frank Partnoy, and Erik Stallman). And in 2017, five new faculty arrived (Abbye Atkinson, Adam Badawi, me, Catherine Fisk, and Joy Milligan). All are academic tenure track faculty, except Erik Stallman who is a clinical professor. We also expect to hire at least ten more tenure track faculty in the next two to three years.

There was a decrease during the earlier time because of retirements and some departures, but we have filled these slots and we are continuing to hire so we will have the largest faculty in the history of the law school by a significant percentage.

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It looks like Steve Diamond is calling for more specificity and transparency in the ABA Form 509s. Oh, the irony!

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 25, 2020 8:20:25 AM

It should be noted that this category includes tenure stream and non tenure stream facutly. The latter subgroup is very poorly defined and can include facutly with a wide range of appointments. I think only a measure of the hiring rates of tenure stream faculty makes sense as Erwin's comment indicates, in part.

Posted by: Steve Diamond | Jan 23, 2020 11:54:25 PM