Recruiting Policies

Non-Discrimination

All employers and their representatives engaging in recruitment activities with our students are expected to comply with our Statement on Equal Opportunity.

Recruiting Policies

Northwestern Law, our students and all employers recruiting Northwestern Law students shall adhere to the NALP Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process. In addition, all parties shall follow the additional policies set forth below.

Recruitment of First-Year Law Students

The first semester of law school is a very important time in a student’s academic and legal career.  Accordingly, we ask that our employer-partners act respectfully and reasonably with regard to the timing and manner in which they recruit first-year law students, allowing students to focus on their studies rather than their job search and related activities.

  • Start Date: Employers and law students should not engage in formal one-on-one recruitment activities (e.g., applications, interviews, offers) prior to December 1.
  • Interview Black Out Dates: We ask that employers not schedule interviews with first-year law students between (a) December 1 and the end of first semester exams, or (b) April 15 and the end of second semester exams, unless the student has been offered times outside of these periods and has independently expressed a preference for interviewing during one of these periods.
  • Interview Times: Related, while classes are in session, employers should make reasonable efforts to avoid class conflicts when providing to students interviewing options.
  • Offer Period: All offers for first-year summer employment should be left open for a minimum of 14 days from the date the offer was made.

Recruitment of Second-Year Law Students

Offers

  • Offer Period: Employment offers extended once Northwestern Law’s OCI has begun should be left open for a minimum of 21 days from the date of the offer letter. 
  • Offers Made Prior to OCI:
    • All employment offers extended prior to the beginning of Northwestern Law’s OCI should be left open for a minimum of 21 days from the first day of Northwestern Law’s OCI.
    • Should after law school or student request for adherence to our policies the employer not honor the above-referenced policy, a student accepting such an offer will not be found in violation of Northwestern Law’s reneging policy should they continue to interview and/or accept another employment offer.
  • Extensions: Prior to an offer’s expiration, a student may request an extension of at least an additional 7 days to decide on the offer.  The request should be made in writing to the employer’s designated recruiting contact.  The employer should not unreasonably deny the granting of an extension
  • Reaffirmation: If requested in the offer letter, students should reaffirm their interest in the offer within 14 days of the offer letter’s date.  If an employer affirmatively requests such a reaffirmation and a student fails to reaffirm, decline or extend an offer within the 14 day period, the employer may retract the offer.
  • Maximum Number of Offers: Students may not hold open more than three offers of employment any given market, and no more than five total offers at any one time (a five business day grace period is provided).

Exception for Smaller Employers

  • Offer Period: For any particular employer’s office where the prior summer’s summer class was less than 10 students, employment offers extended once Northwestern Law’s OCI has begun should be left open for a minimum of 14 days from the date of the offer letter. 
  • Offers Made Prior to OCI:
    • All employment offers extended prior to the beginning of Northwestern Law’s OCI should be left open for a minimum of 14 days from the first day of Northwestern Law’s OCI.
    • Should after law school or student request for adherence to our policies the employer not honor the above-referenced policy, a student accepting such an offer will not be found in violation of Northwestern Law’s reneging policy should they continue to interview and/or accept another employment offer.
  • Extensions: Prior to an offer’s expiration, a student may request an extension of at least an additional seven days to decide on the offer.  The request should be made in writing to the employer’s designated recruiting contact.  The employer should not unreasonably deny the granting of an extension.
  • Notice: The employer should inform the Career Strategy Center of any desired exceptions at the time they register for OCI.

Recruitment of Third-Year Law Students

  • Offers to Candidates not previously Employed by the Employer
    • Offer Period: Offers for full-time positions to commence following graduation made to candidates not previously employed by the employer should be left open for the latter of (a) a minimum of 21 days following the date of the offer letter, or (b) a minimum of 21 days from the end of Northwestern Law’s OCI.
    • Extensions: Prior to an offer’s expiration, a student may request an extension to decide on the offer.  The request should be made in writing to the employer’s designated recruiting contact.  The employer should not unreasonably deny the granting of an extension.
    • Reaffirmation: If requested in the offer letter, students should reaffirm their interest in the offer within 14 days of the date of the offer letter.  If an employer affirmatively requests such a reaffirmation and a student fails to reaffirm, decline or extend an offer within the 14 day period, the employer may retract the offer. 
  • Offers to Candidates previously Employed by the Employer
    • Offer Period: Offers for full-time positions to commence following graduation made to candidates previously employed by the employer should be left open until at least October 1 of the candidate’s final year of law school, provided that such offers are made prior to or on September 15.  After September 15 of a candidate's final year of law school, employers offering full-time positions to commence following graduation to candidates previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 21 days following the date of the offer letter.
    • Reaffirmation: If requested in the offer letter, students should reaffirm their interest in the offer within 21 days of the offer letter’s date.  If an employer affirmatively requests such a reaffirmation and a student fails to reaffirm, decline or extend an offer within the 21 day period, the employer may retract the offer.
  • Public Interest Extension: Candidates may request that an employer extend the deadline to accept the employer’s offer until as late as April 1 if the candidate is actively pursuing positions with public interest or government organizations.  Candidates may hold open only one offer in such circumstances. Employers are encouraged to grant such requests.