Jennifer Mnookin’s recent post on “exploding offers” in law school hiring provokes a reflection on the practices of law school searches and offers in general. For the last twenty years or so, Arts & Sciences faculties have been held to fairly stringent rules designed to level the playing field for job candidates, especially at the entry level, and to ensure that affirmative action means something. All positions are publicly advertised (in the Modern Language Association Job Information List and the Chronicle of Higher Education, for instance), candidates’ dossiers are requested from his or her university’s dossier service, the search committee reads (at least skims) letters of recommendation and written work, then makes up an interview list. There is no longer, in my experience, much back-channel communication on candidates. There’s an effort at least to give the appearance of openness, fairness, and a clean break with the old-boy network.