Recruiting Program

Recruiting Program Overview

Each year, the formal 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. While some employers will interview students during on-campus interviews, others will do resume collections or need to be contacted directly by students. Typically, most of the recruiting activities take place in August and September each year. The 2021 Fall Recruiting Program will begin on Monday, August 2, 2021 and will be hosted throughout the fall. However, we anticipate that the majority of employers will interview in August.

Career Services anticipates that many employment interviews during the upcoming school year will be conducted in a virtual format. 

Moreover, we cannot emphasize enough that the formal Recruiting Program is by no means the only way in which students find jobs. That is why it is so important that you work with your career advisor on developing your own career plan. Our entire staff realizes that in these challenging times many opportunities are "on hold" but we are optimistic that things will improve. Your advisor will be working with you individually on how best to position yourself for future career opportunities.

Who is Eligible to Participate?

Full-Time Students

Those who will be 2Ls (graduating in May 2023) and 3Ls (graduating in May 2022) 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.

Part-Time Students

Part-time students who plan to graduate in May 2023 or December 2022 are eligible to participate as 2Ls. Those who plan to graduate in May 2022 or December 2021 are eligible to participate as 3Ls.

All part-time students who plan to graduate in May 2023 or December 2022 must be listed in Symplicity as 2Ls for the purpose of participating in OCI. All part-time students who plan to graduate in May 2022 or December 2021 must be listed in Symplicity as 3Ls for the purpose of participating in OCI. 

Important Note 

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-Campus Interview Employers and Hiring Criteria

This year, most on-campus interview employers will visit campus in August of 2021. However, there may be a few employers who wish to interview at different times. Participating students should carefully review the list of OCI employers (and their respective hiring criteria) in Symplicity in the "OCI" tab. The list will be available for viewing by Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Students can begin registering and bidding on employers in Symplicity on Monday, June 28, 2021. Interview schedules will be determined through a pre-select system. In other words, employers will have the opportunity to review the application materials of all students who placed a bid on that employer and will pre-select students to interview. The Career Services Office (CSO) uses a computerized scheduling system to create the on-campus interview employer's interview schedule, taking into account student class schedules (students may not interview during a scheduled class time).

Required and/or preferred 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. Students should research the employers and know the qualifications they require before bidding. The hiring criteria for each employer may be viewed in Symplicity.

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 Bidding System

To access the lists 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 in the system, click on the "OCI" tab, which will take you to the lists of employers who are coming on campus to interview students or collecting resumes. To view the interview date 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

Student bidding will open on Monday, June 28, 2021. 

Student bidding will end on Thursday, July 8, 2021.

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 Interview employers. The list of Resume Collect employers may 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.

Uploading Documents

Resumes, cover letters, writing samples, transcripts and reference lists can be uploaded as a PDF or Word document to Symplicity under the "Documents" tab. Click "Add New" and be sure to label each document appropriately. It is generally recommended that students upload all documents in PDF format, to preserve the intended formatting.

You can obtain your unofficial transcript by requesting a copy from the registrar or following the steps in the CSO Unofficial Transcript Guide

If you have difficulty uploading any document to Symplicity, please contact the CSO at kentcso@kentlaw.iit.edu for assistance.

Direct Contact Employers

Students should closely monitor their Symplicity Jobs tab regularly, to watch for job postings submitted by employers that are seeking 2L and 3L applicants for summer associate/law clerk or entry-level associate/staff attorney positions. Also, keep in mind that there are numerous employers accepting applications that are not interviewing students on campus, collecting resumes or posting positions, especially if you are seeking a position in another geographic location. The NALP Directory of Legal Employers is the best resource for locating large 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.

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. 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 for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process 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 recruitment process. Review these standards in detail, noting in particular the Principles for Candidates.

Students should also refer to the rules and ethics code in the student handbook.

PLEASE NOTE: We would be thrilled if all those who wanted to be hired by employers with formal recruiting programs 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 formal 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.