Principles and Standards

Board Adopts Two Provisional Timing Guidelines Permanently (November 2014)

At their November meeting, NALP’s Board of Directors reviewed member feedback on three recent provisional changes to Part V (General Standards for the Timing of Decisions and Offers) of NALP’s Principles and Standards. The Board opted to make the provisional “October 1” offer acceptance guideline for previously employed candidates permanent (in Parts VB3 and VC3), while opting to retain the 14-day reaffirmation clause for candidates not previously employed in Parts VB1 and VC1 provisionally for another recruiting cycle. The Board also adopted as permanent the “Summer Employment Provisions for First Year Students” in Part V, which enables law schools to offer one-on-one career counseling and application document review to full-time students beginning on October 15 (these were initially adopted provisionally in 2013). Full details are available here.

Background on these changes:


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 Schools and employers can work together to minimize the effect of a rescinded offer.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.

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