Harvard had a speaker come talk about it. I didn't know he was coming, but they put a broadcasat on a website - that only students can access. I'll write down the important parts.
1. Schools are after someone that will produce important scholarship rather than someone that will teach their students. Although both are important, the scholarship is much much more important.
2. The traditional path - great grades + law review + clerkship is, pretty much, a thing of the past. Schools used this as a proxy for those that would write good scholarship and it turns out they weren't that right. So while schools look at them, it's not important in getting a job.
3. What schools want is someone that has already written, has a well defined research area, and knows the type of methodology they use to answer their questions- and they, obviously, want those questions to be good.
4. Graduate training in an aligned field helps a lot– in last 10 years this has been the new hot track. You can get good teaching jobs with only JD but fighting uphill battle (the guy said get a fellowship if not doing a phd). PhD's have advantages – lots of writings, dissertation.lots of law review articles, they have a well defined research agenda and have knowledge of the methodologies Etc. Huge benefit. You will have to figure out a way to make this up if you do not have it.
5. References – must be faculty members that know you well. Need them to get a teaching job and can’t get one without them.
6. Writing – every other credential is a proxy for you potential to write important scholarship. So, if you have actually written something that is good scholarship – then none of the other proxies matter that much. Schools are looking for scholarship and if you can show you do great scholarship then you will get a teaching job. Usually they have at least 1 piece sometimes the have 2.
Edit: this was a talk to Harvard students so, things are likely to be different for those not going to YH. But, the guy said that if you did go to a lower ranked school and want to teach, getting an LLM at a top dog will help in getting a job. For those that already went to a top school, the LLM does not add much value.
And sorry if it reads kinda choppily; it's adapted from my notes and ya'll nukkas ain't about to have me wastin' my time making sure it reads perfectly.