Farewell to the Marriott Wardman Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The AALS "Meat Market" will have to find another home; or go fully virtual!


The American Association of Law Schools (AALS) holds their annual hiring conference–known as the "Meat Market"– at the Marriott Wardman hotel in Washington, D.C.  That experience, even for those who find a job, is painful. Shivers run down my spine whenever I think of that hotel. Maybe another day I'll describe my trip to the meat market in detail.

Alas, that experience may change for future applicants. Marriott told its employees that the century-old hotel will close.

This year, AALS is holding its hiring conference online. Perhaps that is a viable path going forward. Hiring will be low for the foreseeable future. And schools spend way too much money brining their committees to D.C. I think it would be feasible to spend less money on the hiring conference, and devote additional resources to bring more candidates back to campus.

NEXT: Justice Alito wrote Thuraissigiam; Chief Justice Roberts and/or Justice Breyer will wrap up Blue June

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  1. Such a shame. I’ve been in there a few times; last time was around 2004. I remember getting a thrill while watching the film ADVISE AND CONSENT when you see the entrance to the old version of the hotel.

  2. I would very strongly encourage you to write about your experience with the law school faculty hiring process.

    1. Agreed; it’s something that 99%+ of us lawyers know nothing about. (And I always am interested in these sorts of “How they actually make the sausages” stories.)

  3. I also would really like to hear about how the brined you. That doesn’t sound pleasant at all.

    1. And a typo in my comment as well. Karma I suppose.

  4. And schools spend way too much money brining their committees to D.C.


    Clearly a typo, but I can’t get over the image of salting down the committees so they don’t rot.

    Lobster bait, e.g. herring, is caught in the summer and salted down for future use. “Brine” is the oily/salty liquid produced, and it’s quite foul smelling come spring, but I digress.

    But salting down the old professors so they don’t rot…. 🙂

    1. On a more serious note, CPAC used to be there, and it moved to Maryland at least 5 years ago now. My guess is that a lot of other functions did too.

  5. Never been to the Meat Market, but for many years I attended the Transportation Research Board annual meeting, which was held at the Marriott Wardman Park (the meeting was so big they also took over the Omni Shoreham and Washington Hilton). Many fond memories of the hotel over the years.

    However, about eight years ago the TRB meeting moved to the Washington Convention Center, which is an example of exactly the sort of difficulties facing the Marriott Wardman Park that the article describes.

  6. The worst was the snipe hunt. I finally found my way back to the Wardman but I lost my little toe to gangrene.

  7. A long list of prominent DC office holders have used that location as a residence over the years. Take a look:


  8. Just a random question….why do some fields like law do their initial screening at conferences, while in others (e.g. engineering) it’s the traditional send in resumes followed by successive filtering steps leading to an on-campus interview.

    Is it merely tradition, or is that what you’re looking for is harder to deduce from a resume? Do typical law school faculty applicants not have publication records for the initial cut?

    1. Na the firms are looking for certain “personalities” in their first years. For men that usually means someone who they can work 80+ hours/week and they won’t complain. For women, it will depend on firm culture (and might be different these days) but lets just say they were hired for other qualifications.

  9. That experience, even for those who find a job, is painful. Shivers run down my spine whenever I think of that hotel. Maybe another day I’ll describe my trip to the meat market in detail.

    Alas, that experience may change for future applicants.

    If the experience was so unpleasant, why are you bemoaning its demise? “Alas” is exactly the opposite of an expression of relief or joy.

    1. I’m thinking that at least a third of the law professors in this country will be unemployed in the next 10 years.

      Just sayin….

      1. I saw a piece of automated technology that basically wrote a brief for most trial court and appellate issues just by clicking some boxes and punching in options. It produced an outline with cites that would cut at least 50% of time it takes to research a brief and write an initial draft. Automation like this is going to put many people, in the legal field and elsewhere, out of business in the next 10 years.

        1. Go back to the ’80’s when the cite told you which book to look in and what page the case started on, and then you had to check the pocket packet. And then Shepardizie it with those arcane characters and then go look those books up, hoping you didn’t copy the numbers down wrong.

          I’ve long argued that half of being a lawyer was merely knowing how to do legal research, and as much of the other half is increasingly automated, there’s going to be a serious challenge to the legal monopoly. We’ve seen that in medicine — pharmacists can now give flu shots and prescribe birth control pills (morning after).

          But my one-third figure was based on (a) declining law school enrollment, (b) the student loan/debt issue, and (c) changing demographics.

    2. “why are you bemoaning its demise? ”

      Because he successfully went thru it, its a badge of honor, like complaining about law school or the bar exam for decades afterwards.

  10. I can remember when the Marriott Wardman used to be the Sheraton Washington. In that incarnation, it was also a “meat market” hotel, or one of them, for the American Economics Association when they held their annual meeting in DC, one of the years I was on the job market.

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