2015 Fall Recruiting Program
Each year, the Fall Recruiting program offers Chicago-Kent students in their second and third years the opportunity to interview for summer associate/law clerk or entry-level associate/staff attorney positions with a variety of legal employers. Employer participants are predominantly large and midsize Chicago -based law firms, which hire students for summer employment after their second year of law school. If the students hired for summer associate positions perform well during the summer, firms generally make offers to these students for full-time employment upon graduation. A number of government agencies also hire through this program, with the largest number of these agencies seeking graduating 3Ls. While some employers will interview students as part of the on-campus interview program, others will do resume collections or need to be contacted directly by students.
Fall Recruiting is only one means of securing employment, so please be sure to talk with a Career Advisor about all of the means to find the right job for you.
The On-Campus Interview portion of the 2015 Fall Recruiting Program at Chicago-Kent begins on Monday, August 10, 2015 and ends in late October 2015. Students are able to view participating employers on Symplicity beginning on Monday, July 6, 2015. Students can begin bidding for interviews on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Information about the program and registration process can be found on this website. Please review all information below and in the links in the right navigation bar thoroughly to determine if you would like to participate and how to go about registering.
Who is Eligible to Participate?
- For full-time students, those who will be 2Ls (graduating in May 2017) and 3Ls (graduating in May 2016) are eligible to participate in the program. 2Ls will interview for summer associate/summer law clerk positions. 3Ls will interview for full-time entry level attorney positions after graduation.
- Our office will roll over all students into their new class years (2L, 3L) over the summer. You MUST not change your class year or graduation date prior to July 1st. On July 6, all students must check their profiles in Symplicity to make sure their graduation date is correct and they are listed with the proper class year (2L or 3L) before participating in OCI. If your class year or graduation date is incorrect, please make the change on or after July 6.
- For part-time students, those who plan to graduate in May 2017 or December 2016 are eligible to participate as 2Ls. Those who plan to graduate in May 2016 or December 2015 are eligible to participate as 3Ls.
- On July 6: All part-time students who plan to graduate in May 2017 or December 2016 must be listed in Symplicity as 2Ls for the purpose of participating in OCI. All part-time students who plan to graduate in May 2016 or December 2015 must be listed in Symplicity as 3Ls for the purpose of participating in OCI.
On-Campus Employers and Hiring Criteria
This year, most on-campus employers will visit campus between August 10th and October 30th; however there may be a few employers who wish to interview later, even into November. Participating students should review the online list of OCI employers (and their respective hiring criteria) in Symplicity in the Document Library. These lists will be available for viewing on Monday, July 6, 2015. Students can begin registering and bidding on employers in Symplicity on Thursday, July 23, 2015. The Career Services Office uses a computerized scheduling lottery system to match on-campus recruiters with students and create interview schedules. The scheduling program takes into account student class and work schedules (students may not interview during a scheduled class time), student preferences for particular employers, and any hiring criteria required by employers.
Hiring criteria listed for each employer has been set by the employer; the CSO never sets this criteria. The majority of these employers, especially the very large law firms, seek students who have attained academic excellence and other achievements such as Law Review or Moot Court. Some firms are looking for additional credentials, such as accounting, engineering, or technical backgrounds. Others may be evaluating candidates on their past professional work experience, such as teaching, insurance work or health care experience. Students should research the employers and know the qualifications they require before bidding.
A student may only bid to interview with an employer if that student's credentials match an employer's hiring criteria. If an employer requires students to be in the top 15% of the class, and you are ranked top 16%, unfortunately, you may not bid for an interview with that employer through the online Symplicity process.
Please Note: If an employer lists "preferred" hiring criteria, this indicates the employer will typically hire from within this class rank or just outside of it. Students should be realistic in their bidding selections. Any student not within 10% of an employer's "preferred" class rank will be removed from the bidding process for that employer.
To determine your eligibility, you must use your official GPA and class rank as of the completion of the Spring 2015 term. You cannot compute your GPA to include your Summer 2015 grades. If you wish to indicate your Summer 2015 GPA on your resume, you must do so on a separate line.
Just Outside the Hiring Criteria?
Within 10%: Employers set strict bidding and hiring criteria for student applicants. Therefore, only students who meet this criteria may submit an online bid to interview with that employer. However, the CSO strongly encourages employers to consider students who fall within 10% of the employers' "required" hiring criteria. For example, if an employer states it will only interview students within the "Top 10% of the class," but a student's class rank is top 13%, the CSO will recommend the employer consider that student.
To facilitate this, students should prepare a list of "reach" employers with whom they want to interview, but upon which they cannot bid (because they fall just outside, or "within 10%, of the hiring criteria for those employers). Specifically, if a student is within 10% of the employer's "required" class rank (e.g. student is top 11%-top 20%, but employer requires top 10% to bid), the student should prepare a list of those employers.
This list should include your name, GPA and class rank at the top of the page, and you should list those employers you are interested in submitting a resume to but fall just outside of the hiring criteria. You must submit this list to the Career Services Office by noon on Thursday, July 30, 2015. Our office will forward employers the resumes of these students who are within 10% of the hiring criteria.
In addition to submitting a list of "reach" employers, students should also consider writing a persuasive cover letter to the hiring partner or recruiter and sending it directly to the employer along with a resume (get contact name and info from www.nalpdirectory.com). In the cover letter, students should assert their skills, background, qualifications, etc., and ask to be added to the firm's interview schedule. We have had several students find success with this option and not only get added to an interview schedule, but actually get the job.
Preferred Hiring Criteria? If an employer's hiring criteria is listed as "preferred," this indicates the employer will typically hire from within this class rank or just outside of it. Students should be realistic in their bidding selections. Any student not within 10% of an employer's "preferred" class rank will be removed from the bidding process for that employer.
Password for OCI Online Bidding System
To access the list of participating employers and complete the on-line bidding process, you will use Symplicity. You received your username and passwords via email in November of your first year of school. If you forget your password, click on the "Forgot my password" tab and your password will be reset and emailed to you. Once you are into the system, click on the "Resources" tab. Once there (in the Document Library), review Fall Recruiting documents by selecting the Fall Recruiting tag. Students may also click on the "OCI" tab, which will take you to list of employers who are coming on-campus to interview students. To view the schedule for each employer and additional information, including the hiring criteria, simply click on the box labeled "Review" next to the employer's name.
Timing for Bidding
All bidding will take place from July 23, 2015 to noon on July 30, 2015. All bids must be completed and all registration materials must be turned into the Career Services Office (CSO) by noon on Thursday, July 30, 2015.
Resume Collect Employers
Other employers do not visit campus but have expressed an interest in reviewing Chicago-Kent student resumes. Some of these ask that the CSO forward the resumes and cover letters of interested students in one packet (Resume Collect Employers). If interested in Resume Collect Employers, you will submit a resume and any additional materials requested by the employer through the Symplicity system, just as you would for On-Campus Employers. Resume Collect employers may also be reviewed under the OCI tab in Symplicity. To participate in Resume Collect, students must enter bids for each Resume Collect employer.
Transcripts on Symplicity
In order to submit a transcript, you will need to create an unofficial transcript (using a Word document) listing your classes and grades. You should then be able to upload the Word document to the system and submit it for this position. To see a sample unofficial transcript, visit the CSO transcripts page. Cover letters, writing samples, and reference lists can be uploaded from a Word document to the system.
If you have difficulty uploading an unofficial transcript, writing sample or reference list onto the Symplicity system, please contact the Career Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Direct Contact Employers
Keep in mind that there are numerous other employers to consider writing to, especially if you are seeking a position in another geographic location. The NALP Directory of Legal Employers is the best resource for locating law firms with summer associate programs and is available on-line at www.nalpdirectory.com. Please note that you are responsible for contacting these employers directly and the CSO will not be forwarding any of your information to any Direct Employer.
Tip for Contacting Direct Contact Employers
When writing to any employer directly, keep in mind that you will need to market the experience, skills and education you can offer them. Out-of-state recruiters will also want to know why you wish to relocate to their cities. Be sure to thoroughly research each employer you write to so your cover letter and resume are tailored specifically to their practice.
Also note that direct contact recruiters are interviewing and hiring at the same time the on-campus program is taking place. Do not wait until the campus program ends to apply to direct contact employers. Send your resumes in August if you are interested in a particular employer (we recommend that you have forward all such resumes and cover letters no later than the first week of August).
Joint OCI Employers
A few employers from outside the Chicago area will interview Chicago-area students from a number of different law schools at one location (one of the area law schools); these are referred to as "Joint OCI Employers." These employers are also part of the on-line bidding process and are included as a Resume Collect employer, even if they are interviewing on the Chicago-Kent campus. Should you be interested in being considered by any of these employers, you will submit a resume and any other requested documents (i.e., unofficial transcript, writing sample, reference list) for each employer you're interested in at the time you submit all other fall program registration materials. The Career Services Office will forward all materials to these employers, and they will select which students they wish to interview on the date listed in the Symplicity system. Students selected for an interview may be contacted either by phone or by email from the employer or the Career Service Office regarding scheduling an interview time. Please make sure to check your email and voicemail messages regularly in order to respond in a timely manner.
Principles and Standards for Recruitment and Hiring
The National Association for Law Placement (NALP), of which Chicago-Kent is a member, has established Principles and Standards for Recruitment that legal employers, law schools and law students are expected to abide by. These Principles were created to ensure fair and ethical hiring practices; they explain the behavior expected of both employers and students during the fall recruitment process and provide "Standards for the Timing of Offers and Decisions." Review these standards in detail and familiarize yourself with the timing guidelines, "Part V" of the Standards, which outline how many offers may be held at one time, the dates by which students must inform employers of their decision, etc. Also, it is recommended that you review the "Student Professionalism During the Interview Season: A Quick Guide to Your Ethical Responsibilities in the Offer and Decision-Making Process."
PLEASE NOTE: We would be thrilled if all those who wanted to be hired by Fall Recruiting employers could be. However, these types of legal employers hire a very small percentage of all the nation's law school graduates, making these positions extremely competitive. Please keep in mind that the Fall Recruiting program is just one avenue to legal employment and, depending on your academic credentials, career goals and practice interests, it may not be the appropriate avenue for you. If you are uncertain whether this is a program you should participate in, or if you would like to evaluate other employment opportunities, please make an appointment to discuss your options with a Career Advisor.