FAQs

This page provides answers to many frequently asked questions regarding hiring and payment for students at the Law School. If you do not find the information you are seeking below, or if you need general assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Law HR Team.

1. When can I start working?

2. What paperwork do I need to complete?

3. I am not working for the Law School or University. Why do I need to complete hire paperwork and take other actions as though I am an employee?

4. I have been paid by the Law School or University before. Do I still need to complete paperwork? 

5. Can I get credit instead of payment?

6. Why do I need to complete I-9?

7. Can I email my paperwork instead of uploading it to Box (i.e. the Student Payment and Hiring Document Upload Portal)?

8. I have submitted all my paperwork. Why haven't I heard from Law HR?

9. Why am I being asked to complete a background check? 

10. What is FNIS? What happens after I submit a Request for FNIS form?

11. When will I get paid?

12. I haven’t received a payment that I was expecting. What should I do?

13. Why was I taxed (or not taxed) on a payment?

14. How do I set up or update my direct deposit?

15. How much am I allowed to work?

16. How do I report my worked hours?

17. I have multiple biweekly roles (I am an RA for multiple professors, etc). How do I know which timecard is which in Kronos?

18. Why can’t I enter or edit my worked hours in Kronos prior to a certain date? 

19. I made a mistake on my timecard. What should I do now?

20. I have previously worked hours not reported in Kronos that I need to be paid for. What do I need to do to report them now?

21.  Where can I find copies of my paystubs, see my W-2, or obtain Employment Verification?

 

  

1. When can I start working?

It is always necessary to begin the hiring process with the Law HR Team right away when you are offered a position.

Hourly employees (such as research assistants) may start working after receiving email notification from the Law HR Team that their hire has been fully processed by Northwestern Payroll.

Employees receiving a monthly stipend (such as teaching assistants) may generally begin work at the start of the period for which they have been formally offered to serve in an approved role (for example, the beginning of a semester), provided they are actively completing the hiring process with the Law HR Team.

Please contact the Law HR Team if you are unsure of when you may begin working.

 

2. What paperwork do I need to complete?

Please visit the Student Hiring and Payment webpage.

3. I am not working for the Law School or University. Why do I need to complete hire paperwork and take other actions as though I am an employee?

The University has a complex set of guidelines for processing any payment to an individual. Even for students receiving awards, prizes, financial assistance, and other payments, it is almost always necessary for payment to be processed via payroll, thus making the recipient an “employee” from the University’s perspective in terms of processing and required actions.     

4. I have been paid by the Law School or University before. Do I still need to complete paperwork?

Yes. At a minimum, an updated Personal Data Form is necessary for every hire, rehire, and new stipend or award payment. You may also need to update your tax forms or complete the I-9/E-Verify process.  Please review these detailed instructions for student hiring and payment and submit the appropriate materials via the secure Student Payment and Hiring Document Upload Portal. 

 

5. Can I get credit instead of payment?

There are opportunities for students to work for credit instead of payment at the Law School, but separate processes and guidelines apply, and any request must be approved in advance by the Office of the Registrar.  

Whether for credit or for payment, do not begin any work until you have been cleared to do so either by the Law HR Team (for payment) or the Office of the Registrar (for credit).

 

6. Why do I need to complete I-9?

The University requires all employees and individuals being paid through payroll to have an active I-9; please see the University's I-9 FAQ Page for additional information.  

 

7. Can I email my paperwork instead of uploading it to Box (i.e. the Student Payment and Hiring Document Upload Portal)?

The Law HR Team uses the secure Student Payment and Hiring Document Upload Portal powered by Box to protect your sensitive information and also to manage our internal workflow amidst a high volume of requests.  If you are having technical difficulties using Box, please contact the Law HR Team.

 

8. I have submitted all my paperwork. Why haven't I heard from Law HR?

If you have uploaded your hire documents, you can trust that we are actively managing the administrative aspects of the hiring process or awaiting final approval of your hire or payment from NU Payroll. We will always email you to confirm that a hire or payment request is complete or if there are any issues that need to be addressed.

If you become concerned or have questions, you are always welcome to check in with the Law HR Team.

 

9. Why am I being asked to complete a background check? 

If you are being asked to complete a background check, you are likely a graduate or not a current student of the University or Law School.  The University processes anyone who is not a current student as a non-student temporary employee and therefore prompts a background check as required for all non-student employees. 

10. What is FNIS? What happens after I submit a Request for FNIS form?

The University's Foreign National Information System (FNIS) is a database used to determine how to tax employees who are foreign nationals. When you are processed for hire or payment for the first time and complete the Request for FNIS form, a member of the University's Payroll team creates an FNIS account and will prompt you to complete your profile. Payroll will use this information to produce tax documents.

After the initial FNIS data entry, you will not need to complete the FNIS process again. However, other updates may be necessary for future hires or payments: for example, if the work authorization document expires, or if you need to complete new tax documents after a gap in employment.

Please consult this helpful overview of the FNIS process ("Foreign National Information System FNIS" tab) or contact Northwestern University Payroll with questions.

 

11. When will I get paid?

Payment timing follows the University's established payroll schedules and can be impacted by a number of factors.  After the role or payment is fully processed: 

  • Hourly employees who report their worked hours via the Kronos online timekeeping system (such as RAs and writing coaches) are paid every other Friday according to a biweekly schedule established by the University.

  • Stipend recipients who are paid on a one-time or monthly basis (such as TAs, award recipients, and various types of fellows) are paid on the last workday of the month according to a monthly schedule established by the University.

Employees are paid at next opportunity after the hire or payment request is fully processed based on the administrative cutoff dates.  In order to ensure payment on a specific date, it is necessary to allow at least 1-2 weeks of lead time before the posted cutoff dates to enable students and the Law HR Team to complete all steps of the hiring process.

The Law HR Team will contact you via email to verify your role or payment is fully processed and confirm when you can expect to receive payment.  If you are concerned or have questions, please contact the Law HR Team.

 

12. I haven’t received a payment that I was expecting. What should I do?

Please see an explanation of the payment schedule noted in question 11.   If you were told to expect payment on a certain date but did not receive it, there may have been a problem with the direct deposit or, in the case of a mailed check, with the mailing address used.  Please contact the Law HR Team if you have not received an expected payment and we will do our best to resolve the issue.

 

13. Why was I taxed (or not taxed) on a payment?

The University determines internal tax procedures for all employees, including student employees and payment recipients, based on position type and employee tax status/paperwork on file.

For certain employment types and payments, such as award payments, the University may not deduct taxes from the paycheck, though the payments are considered taxable income. Note: for student hires and stipend recipients who are foreign nationals, taxes generally are deducted from the paycheck.

If taxes were not deducted from your paycheck as you expected and the payment is not considered an award, the most likely reason is missing or incomplete tax forms provided at time of hire. Employees without a valid W-4 form on file are processed as single filers with no adjustments.

Please consult additional tax information and pay and tax FAQs for the University.  

 

14. How do I set up or update my direct deposit?

Direct deposit is accessed via the myHR employee portal and is only accessible when you have an active, fully processed appointment. Because of this, you will generally need to wait to enter your direct deposit information until after you have received notification from the Law HR Team that the hiring process is complete.

To access your direct deposit information:

  • Log into myHR using your Northwestern NetID and Password.
  • Click the “Pay” option and select “My Direct Deposit” on the left side.
  • To confirm your identity, enter your Date of Birth if prompted.
  • Follow the on-screen options to Add Account, Edit an Existing Entry, or Remove an Account.

Note: the payroll system is not linked to your student account and requires a separate direct deposit to be established.   If you do not have an account set up for direct deposit before the payroll deployment date, or if there is a problem with the direct deposit information entered, a paper check will be sent by mail to the address on file.

 

15. How much am I allowed to work?

Temporary student employees of the Law School may work no more than 20 hours combined per week for any/all roles at the University while they are enrolled in classes, and no more than 40 hours per week combined when not enrolled in classes.

 

16. How do I report my worked hours?

Hourly employees such as RAs and writing coaches must report all worked hours in Kronos, the University’s online timekeeping system, before the cutoff date of each biweekly pay period. The cutoff date is the date listed under “Kronos Employee Data Entry and Approval by 5:00pm” in the  biweekly payroll schedule.

It is necessary to log in to the VPN to access Kronos. Please review the VPN instructions and Kronos FAQ page for help.

This information and additional employment-related details will be shared with you via email when your hire is fully processed.


17. I have multiple biweekly roles (I am an RA for multiple professors, etc). How do I know which timecard is which in Kronos?

Please contact the Law HR Team. Unfortunately, there is no easy way for student employees to discern the role each timecard is tied to without assistance.

18. Why can’t I enter or edit my worked hours in Kronos prior to a certain date? 

Your timecard is only available to edit for the current biweekly pay period and the upcoming biweekly period. Additionally, your timecard will only allow you to enter hours as of your official start date as it appears in the payroll system.

If a historical edit is necessary because the opportunity to make edits has closed, or there appears to be a problem with the timecard or job start date, please reach out to the Law HR Team for help.

 

19. I made a mistake on my timecard. What should I do now?

Please check out the Kronos FAQ page for guidance or write the Payroll-Timekeeping team to troubleshoot.

If a historical edit is necessary because the opportunity to make edits has closed, or there appears to be a problem with the timecard or job start date, please reach out to the Law HR Team for help.

20. I have previously worked hours not reported in Kronos that I need to be paid for. What do I need to do to report them now?

Please reach out to the Law HR Team for help.

 

21.  Where can I find copies of my paystubs, see my W-2, or obtain Employment Verification?

Paycheck details are available for view in myHR while you are actively employed and for approximately two weeks after your employment ends. If you no longer have access to myHR, please email Northwestern University Payroll to request previous paycheck stubs.

Please read about W-2s and email Northwestern University Payroll if you require a W2 reprint.

Employment verification for Northwestern is managed via the Employment Verification InfoLine. If this resource does not meet the needs of your situation, please contact the Law HR Team for further assistance.