Interview Process

Job Talk

As part of the interview process, Georgia State Law requires each faculty candidate to present a “job talk” to members of our faculty, in which you demonstrate your teaching ability and scholarly interests.

The job talk gives evidence of your promise as a teacher. We do not expect junior faculty candidates to be polished presenters, but we assess whether you have communicated your thesis in a clear, logical way others can easily follow. We’ll also look for your promise as a scholar. In particular, we will consider how effectively you develop your legal position, answer questions on your feet and make connections to broader legal issues.

The job talk will last about one hour. Candidates are expected to speak for 20-30 minutes on the topic of their choice and to leave another 30 minutes for questions from the faculty. Although we characteristically allow candidates to have at least 10 uninterrupted minutes at the beginning of the talk, the audience may immediately ask questions. You should prepare for both scenarios.
Choose an issue related to your research or work history, something you have written on previously or plan to explore in the future. Give careful thought to whether you can develop your thesis clearly within a 20- to 30-minute time frame. Most of your audience members won’t be experts in your field, so you’ll need to educate them on the basic legal premises underlying your position.

If you choose a topic that is highly technical or esoteric, you may want to be particularly sensitive to the challenges associated with developing a clear thesis and engaging the faculty in your discussion. You may submit a short description of your thesis prior to the presentation if you believe this would be helpful.

You may use PowerPoint or other technology during your presentation. Slides can add to or detract from discussions, so determine whether yours add meaning or clarity to the discussion.

The best presentations identify a problem in the law, briefly explain how the underlying problem developed and propose a solution in a way that acknowledges the strengths and weaknesses of the position. Our faculty prefers presentations that are balanced and fair to advocacy discussions.

Time is limited. Candidates who clearly convey one or two central ideas during their presentations generally do much better than candidates who try to convey too much information or assume too much pre-existing knowledge.

Q&A

You can expect a wide range of questions during the interactive portion of your presentation, relating to your topic specifically and its connection to law and policy more generally.

View these questions positively. They reflect faculty interest in your premise. It is almost always best to answer questions directly, even if an answer seemingly undermines your thesis. We don’t expect you to have a definitive answer to every question posed. Ideally, however, you will have identified the key strengths and weaknesses of your thesis in advance and have thoughtful responses ready for the more obvious questions about your position.

Overall, we hope you’ll find your job talk to be an energizing opportunity to discuss your ideas with us. If you have any questions relating to this process, contact a member of the recruiting committee.

 
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