Principles and Standards

Recruitment Guidelines

Law schools, legal employers, and law students together share the responsibility of ensuring fair and ethical legal hiring practices. NALP's Principles & Standards are guidelines that offer an ethical framework for all participants in law student recruiting. They guide the timing of responses to offers and set forth the obligations of all participants in the recruiting process. Compliance with the Principles is voluntary, yet virtually all ABA-accredited law schools and many of the nation's legal employers subscribe to these guidelines.

NALP also offers interpretations of the Principles that provide guidance for dealing with specific difficult recruiting situations, such as signing bonuses, exploding offers, establishing a waiting list, and first year recruiting.

One of the thorniest recruiting dilemmas occurs when an employer receives too many acceptances of its offers to law students. Schools and employers can work together to minimize the effect of a rescinded offer.

NALP has prepared a list of some of the questions law students most often ask about these ethical standards. These answers provide students with a quick guide to the essentials of navigating the fall interviewing season with professionalism.

Board Proposes Elimination of 1L Date Restrictions in Part V Timing Guidelines
Member Input Requested

March 2016

At their February 2016 Board meeting, NALP’s Board of Directors proposed the removal of the specific date restrictions for interaction between 1Ls and career services professionals, and between 1Ls and employers, as they appear in Part V.D. of NALP’s Principles and Standards. This memorandum to the membership from the Board explains the proposed changes, or you can view a redline version of the change. The Board was motivated and informed in its decision-making by the changing market, by changing law school career services office behavior, and the recent report from the Innovating Talent Acquisition Work Group.

Members are invited to submit comments on the proposed changes not later than March 31. Questions or comments can be directed to, and should be sent with the subject line “First Year Provisions Proposed Changes.” The NALP Board of Directors will take up a final discussion and vote on whether to adopt these draft changes at its meeting on April 12 immediately in advance of the NALP Annual Education Conference.

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