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Employer Recruiting Policies and Guidelines

Non-Discrimination   |   Timing of Offers & Decisions   |   Interviewing & Callback Policies   |   Extensions      
Recruiting 1Ls    |   Employer Events   |   Student Complaints

The following Policies and Guidelines have been established to protect the interests of both students and employers. They will be administered by the Placement Committee and sanctions may be imposed for failure to comply. By recruiting at Harvard Law School, employers agree to abide by these rules.

Non-Discrimination

Harvard Law School does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, disability, source of income, or status as a veteran in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities. All employers using the facilities and services of the Office of Career Services must comply with this policy.

Harvard Law School makes one exception to this policy. Under threat of loss of funding to the University resulting from the Solomon Amendment, the Law School has suspended the application of its non-discrimination policy to military recruiters. This exception to our policy does not in any way reflect acceptance of, or agreement with, discriminatory hiring practices.

Timing of Offers and Decisions

Employers recruiting at Harvard Law School agree to comply with Harvard Law School’s recruiting policies and guidelines, which are consistent with those set forth in NALP’s General Standards for the Timing of Offers and Decisions (“Timing Guidelines”). To the extent that Harvard's policies differ from the Timing Guidelines, Harvard's policies shall control.

“EIP” refers to Harvard Law School’s Early Interview Program which takes place in August. “FIP” refers to the Fall Interview Program which takes place in September-October.

  
OfferDeadline
Offer made to 2L/3L previously employed

Remains open until at least October 1 if the offer was made on or before September 2. If the offer was made after September 2, it remains open for at least 28 days.

Students must reaffirm interest within 30 days from the date of the offer letter. Employers may retract any offer not reaffirmed within the 30-day period.

Offer made before the first day of EIP to a 2L/3L student NOT previously employed

Remains open for at least 28 days from the first day of EIP.

Students must reaffirm interest within 14 days from the date of the offer letter. Employers may retract any offer not reaffirmed within the 14-day period.

Offer made after the first day of EIP and on or before December 15 to a 2L/3L student NOT previously employed

Offer remains open for at least 28 days following date of the offer or until December 30, whichever comes first.

Students must reaffirm interest within 14 days from the date of the offer letter. Employers may retract any offer not reaffirmed within the 14-day period.

Offer made after December 15 to 2L/3L student NOT previously employed

Offer remains open for at least 2 weeks after date of offer letter.

Students must reaffirm interest within 14 days from the date of the offer letter. Employers may retract any offer not reaffirmed within the 14-day period.

Offer made to 1LOffer remains open for at least 2 weeks after date of offer letter.
Possible Extensions

FIP Extensions for EIP Employers

Students may hold open one EIP offer in order to pursue opportunities in FIP.

 

Offer remains open until November 15.

Student must notify the employer in writing prior to the end of the otherwise applicable response period indicated herein and affirm that the employer’s offer is the only offer that the student is holding.

Public Interest/Public Sector and non-EIP/FIP Private Sector Extensions

Students may hold open one EIP/FIP offer or offer from a prior employer in order to pursue public interest and public sector opportunities as well as non-EIP/FIP private sector opportunities.

Offer remains open until April 1.

Student must notify the employer in writing prior to the end of the otherwise applicable response period indicated herein and affirm that the employer’s offer is the only offer that the student is holding.

* See Policy below regarding “No Interviewing Outside of Assigned Interview Schedule.”

Smaller Employers
Employers with 40 or fewer attorneys firm wide are not subject to these rules. Instead, offers made on or before December 15th should remain open for a minimum of three weeks. Offers made after December 15th should remain open for a minimum of two weeks.

Interviewing & Callback Policies

No Prescreening

Employers are not permitted to prescreen candidates or to ask for transcripts before EIP or any on-campus interview program. Similarly, when adding or filling open slots on their interview schedules, employers may not request transcripts in advance of, or as condition to granting a student an interview. Employers who wish to arrange separate interview schedules for LL.M.s, however, are permitted to prescreen candidates. Finally, employers are not permitted to request students to submit a cover letter in advance of, or as part of, any on-campus interview program.

No Interviewing Outside of Assigned Interview Schedule

In order to maintain the integrity and vitality of our Early Interview Program and to ensure that all students are adequately prepared for their interviews, the Office of Career Services assigns on-campus interview dates and arranges 2L and 3L on-campus interview schedules for employers. Employers participating in EIP or FIP may not schedule or conduct any initial or callback interviews of rising 2Ls prior to the employer’s assigned on-campus interview date(s).

Exceptions to this rule:

  1. Employers may meet with students for initial screening interviews in the case of: (a) Student-initiated requests for informational interviews; or; (b)  OCS-organized mock interviews;
  2. Employers may meet with students for both initial and callback interviews in the case of: (a) interviews conducted in accordance with organized job fairs; or (b) interviews for "2L/3L Employer Scholarship/Fellowship Programs," regardless of whether such programs include an offer of summer employment. "2L/3L Employer Scholarship/Fellowship Programs" shall mean programs for 2L or 3L students that provide a benefit or compensation separate from, or in addition to compensation provided to a student for summer employment.
  3. Employers participating in EIP or FIP may conduct interviews with rising 3Ls prior to the employers’ on-campus interview dates.

Scheduling Callbacks

Employers who make use of the facilities and services of the Office of Career Services may not schedule callback interviews to take place either:

  1. during the week of EIP; or
  2. at times that conflict with scheduled classes for students

Extensions

There may be a very small number of students also interested in exploring opportunities at smaller firms, non-law firm employers, or in the public sector. The following provisions are meant to accommodate students in these discrete situations.

To Pursue FIP Opportunities

Students are permitted an extension of one EIP offer until November 15 in order to pursue opportunities in FIP if:

  1. the student notifies OCS and the employer in writing prior to the end of the otherwise applicable response period indicated above; and
  2. the reason for the extension is to pursue FIP opportunities.

To Pursue Public Sector/Public Interest and Non-OCI Opportunities

Students are permitted an extension of one EIP/FIP offer or offer from a prior employer until April 1 if:

  1. the student notifies OCS and the employer in writing prior to the end of the otherwise applicable response period indicated above; and
  2. the reason for the extension is interest in either (a) a public sector or public interest employer; or (b) non-EIP/FIP private sector opportunities.

Recruiting 1Ls

Harvard Law School does not make the facilities of the Office of Career Services available to 1Ls prior to October 15. Consistent with NALP’s Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities, employers may not initiate contact with 1Ls prior to December 1. This rule also prohibits informally arranged meetings with 1Ls during the fall recruitment season, even if the contact is student initiated. Invitations to social functions scheduled before December 1 should be directed only to 2Ls and 3Ls and, if 1Ls appear at such functions, employers are expected to make clear that their attendance is a violation of policy.

Employers using the Office of Career Services may not organize their own 1L interview schedules in the Cambridge area before the spring semester.

Employer Events

Individual firm information sessions or networking receptions must be open to all students (or students in a particular class year). Employers that fail to comply with these policies may not be able to utilize the facilities and services of the Office of Career Services. Prior to organizing an event for students, employers must contact the Office of Career Services to ensure that the proposed date of the event does not conflict with another program. Please see our site on Hosting a Student Event and/or Reception.

Student Complaints

While most interviewers strive to maintain a professional and sensitive attitude, each year we receive a handful of complaints from students about offensive or discriminatory behavior on the part of the interviewers. For information about the the process in the case of a student complaint, please see the section on Procedures for Student Complaints.

Last modified: October 23, 2014

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