Posted Jan 08, 2010 01:32 pm CST
A NALP commission is recommending that law firms push back the date for summer associate job offers until mid-January of the second year of law school, giving employers more time to do extensive interviewing and testing.
The recommendation by the Commission on Recruiting in the Legal Profession addresses concerns that law schools were scheduling on-campus recruiting as early as August, the American Lawyer reports. The report (PDF) recommends establishing an “offer kick-off day” in mid-January, and shortening the period of time during which offers remain open from 45 days to 14 days.
“This approach addresses a number of members’ concerns by taking pressure off schools, employers and students to schedule interviews at the earliest possible moment,” the report says.
“A January offer kick-off day also opens up the possibility for employers to experiment with more in-depth interviewing and assessment techniques [e.g., the use of hypothetical situations (commonly used now in public defender hiring environments), written tests, competency-based and behavioral interviewing, and even McKinsey style group projects], which they may have been unable to previously consider due to time constraints.”
The later date also allows law firms to make decisions after receiving year-end financial data, the report says.
Some law firm partners are worried, however, that the later date means they will have to wine and dine law students over a period of several months, NALP officials acknowledged in interviews with the American Lawyer.
The commission was appointed last year by NALP, which bills itself as the association for legal career professionals.