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NALP Guidelines for Fall Law Student Interviews By Rebecca Neely According to NALP, the National Association for Law Placement, law students need to keep several important things in mind during fall interviewing season in order to maintain their professionalism.

NALP guidelines were formulated specifically to promote fairness amid the pressures of the fall interviewing season. 1. Employers are required to leave offers open for specified lengths of time to allow law students to complete their interviewing schedules and make an informed decision about the first step in their legal career. Law students have certain ethical responsibilities relating to areas like response dates and how many offers a law student can hold. 2. Employers offering full-time positions to commence following graduation to candidates not previously employed by them - and employers offering positions for the following summer to candidates not previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, whichever comes first. Offers made after December 15 for the following summer should remain open for at least two weeks following the date of the offer letter. Employers offering full-time positions to commence following graduation to candidates previously employed by them - and employers offering positions for the following summer to candidates previously employed by them - should leave those offers open until at least November 1. No matter what the guidelines say, it’s critical that law students understand by what dates the offer or offers will expire. Law students should communicate directly with potential employers regarding these dates. 3. When offers are made at other times of the year, the NALP guidelines state that offers should remain open for at least two weeks after the date made. 4. Employers with 40 or fewer attorneys in all offices are required to keep offers made through December 15 open for at least three weeks and offers made after December 15 open for at least two weeks. Because smaller employers generally

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cannot forecast their hiring needs a year in advance and must staff their offices as needs arise, they are less likely to participate in fall interviewing, but you should be aware of this provision. 5. Pursuant to NALP Principles and Standards Part V.A.3, a student should not hold open more than five offers of employment at any one time. For each offer received that places a student over the offer limit, the students should, within one week of receipt of the excess offer, release an offer. This is one of the most important provisions of the NALP guidelines because holding too many offers at once essentially precludes employers from extending those offers on a timely basis to other candidates. Considering, and evaluating offers can be difficult, and overwhelming. If law students are having difficulty selecting a firm, several things can often help them decide, such as doing more research on the firm, or having further conversations with one or more contacts at the firm to answer any questions or concerns about whether or not it’s the right fit. Students should not worry about ‘hurting’ an employer’s feelings by rejecting an offer. This is business, and should be treated as such, with professionalism. Timely, direct communication is best, either by phone or email. NALP was founded in 1971 during a period of rapid change in both the legal profession and legal education, in response to a perceived need by many law schools and legal employers for a common forum to discuss issues involving placement and recruitment. NALP is dedicated to facilitating legal career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students and lawyers.

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NALP Guidelines for Fall Law Student Interviews