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 that 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. Some employer participants interview and hire 3Ls for full-time employment after 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 (OCI) 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 available opportunities to find the right job for you.
The OCI portion of the 2017 Fall Recruiting Program at Chicago-Kent begins on Monday, August 7, 2017 and ends in late October 2017 with the majority of the interviews taking place between August 7 and August 18. Students are able to view participating employers on Symplicity beginning on Monday, June 5, 2017. Students can begin bidding for interviews on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Information about the program and registration process can be found on this website and there will be a mandatory Fall Recruiting Information Session on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Please review all information below and in the links in the 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 2019) and 3Ls (graduating in May 2018) 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 in Symplicity prior to June 1st. On June 5, 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 June 5.
- Part-time students who plan to graduate in May 2019 or December 2018 are eligible to participate as 2Ls. Those who plan to graduate in May 2018 or December 2017 are eligible to participate as 3Ls.
- Our office will roll over all students into their new class years (2L, 3L) over the summer. All part-time students who plan to graduate in May 2019 or December 2018 must be listed in Symplicity as 2Ls for the purpose of participating in OCI. All part-time students who plan to graduate in May 2018 or December 2017 must be listed in Symplicity as 3Ls for the purpose of participating in OCI. You MUST not change your class year or graduation date in Symplicity prior to June 1st. On June 5, 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 June 5.
On-Campus Interview Employers and Hiring Criteria
This year, most on-campus employers will visit campus between August 7th and August 18th. 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 by Monday, June 5, 2017. Students can begin registering and bidding on employers in Symplicity on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Interview schedules will be determined through a partial pre-select and partial lottery system. Employers will have the opportunity to review the application materials of all students who placed a bid on that employer and may pre-select students to interview in up to 50% of the employer's interview slots. The Career Services Office (CSO) uses a computerized scheduling lottery system to match on-campus recruiters with students and create the remaining 50% of the employer's interview schedule. This 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 does not set 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. The hiring criteria for each employer may be viewed in Symplicity.
A student may only bid to interview with an employer if that student's credentials match an employer's hiring criteria. For example, if an employer requires students to be in the top 15% of the class and you are ranked within the 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.
To determine your eligibility, you must use your official GPA and class rank as of the completion of the Spring 2017 term. You cannot compute your GPA to include your Summer 2017 grades. If you wish to indicate your Summer 2017 GPA on your resume, you must do so on a separate line.
Just Outside the Hiring Criteria?
Required Hiring Criteria
Within 10% Program: Employers set strict bidding and hiring criteria for student applicants. Therefore, only students who meet this criteria may submit a bid to interview with that employer. However, the CSO strongly encourages employers that are interviewing on campus 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 within the top 13%, the CSO will reach out directly to that employer and recommend the employer consider that student.
To facilitate this, students should prepare a list of employers with whom they want to interview, but upon which they cannot bid because they fall outside of but within 10% of the hiring criteria for those employers. This list must include your name, GPA and class rank at the top of the page and should list those employers to whom the student is interested in submitting a resume but for whom the student falls outside of but within 10% of the employer's "required" hiring criteria. You must submit this list, along with one copy of your resume for each listed employer (with the employer's name written on the back), to the CSO by noon on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Our office will forward employers the resumes of these students who are within 10% of the employers' "required" hiring criteria. 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.
Password for OCI Online Bidding System
To access the list of participating employers and complete the online bidding process, you will use Symplicity. You received your username and password via email in the fall of your first year of school. If you forget your password, click on the "Forgot 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 or searching the key words "2017 Fall Recruiting." The lists of Fall Recruiting employers are continuously being updated, so check back often for the most up-to-date lists (the description of each list says when the list was last updated).
Students may also click on the "OCI" tab, which will take you to a list of employers who are coming on-campus to interview students or collecting resumes. 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 Wednesday, July 5, 2017 to noon on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. All bidding must be completed and all registration materials must be turned in to the CSO by noon on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
Resume Collect Employers
Some 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 or other materials of interested students in one packet (Resume Collect employers). If a student is interested in Resume Collect employers, that student must submit a resume and any additional materials requested by the employer through the Symplicity system, just as that student would for On-Campus employers. The list of Resume Collect employers may be found in the Document Library. Resume Collect employers may also be reviewed under the OCI tab in Symplicity. To participate in an employer's Resume Collect, students must enter a bid for that Resume Collect employer.
Resumes, cover letters, writing samples, transcripts and reference lists can be uploaded as a Word document to Symplicity under the "Documents" tab. Click "Add New" and be sure to label each document appropriately. In order to upload a transcript, you will need to create an unofficial transcript in Word listing your classes and grades. You can then upload the Word document to Symplicity. To see a sample unofficial transcript, visit the CSO transcripts page.
If you have difficulty uploading any document to Symplicity, please contact the CSO at email@example.com for assistance.
Direct Contact Employers
A list of Direct Contact employers to which students may submit application materials directly may be found in the Document Library. Keep in mind that there are numerous employers to consider writing to that are not interviewing students on-campus or collecting resumes, 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 Contact employer.
When contacting 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 employers are interviewing and hiring at the same time the OCI program is taking place. Do not wait until the OCI program ends to apply to Direct Contact employers. Send your application materials in July if you are interested in a particular employer (we recommend that you have forward all such application materials no later than the last week of July).
Joint OCI Employers
Some employers will interview Chicago-area students from a number of different law schools at one location (usually one of the Chicago-area law schools); these are referred to as "Joint OCI employers." These employers are also part of the online bidding process and are included as a Resume Collect employer, even if they are interviewing on the Chicago-Kent campus. If a student is interested in being considered by one of these employers, that student must bid on and submit a resume and any other requested documents (e.g., unofficial transcript, writing sample, reference list) for that employer at the time that student submits all other bids and Fall Recruiting registration materials. The CSO will forward all materials to these employers, and they will select which students they wish to interview on the date listed in Symplicity. Students selected for an interview may be contacted, either by phone or by email, by the employer, the CSO or another law school's career services staff (if another school is hosting) regarding scheduling an interview time. Please make sure to check 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 outlines 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 your Career Advisor.