Firm recruiting changes

January 19, 2010
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If the National Association for Law Placement has its way, January and November are going to become very important months to many law students.

NALP released a report this month detailing significant changes to the recruiting process. The biggest one: Goodbye rolling-offer deadlines, hello offer kick-off days.

The changes stem from member feedback that the status quo isn’t working in the current state of the economy and legal profession, and significant change is required to help members meet current and future challenges.

The NALP Commission on Recruiting in the Legal Profession wants to do away with the current system in which law schools schedule on-campus interviews as early as possible before the first semester to give students a better chance at having an offer extended. Law firms are hopping from school to school trying to interview as many students during this time period as possible so as not to miss out on top-notch candidates for summer associates and new hires.

Instead, a date in January would be designated for 2L recruiting before which no offers could be extended, but may be extended any time after that date. The rolling period of time during which offers can remain open would shrink from 45 to 14 days. If the 2L had previously been employed at the firm, their offer could be extended at any time but would need to remain open until the kick-off date.

The 3L process remains mostly intact, but the report suggests the deadline in November for responding to offers extended to previous summer associates needs to correlate closely with the deadline for full-time offers to those who weren’t previously employed at the firm as a summer associate.

The commission believes adopting these changes will achieve a balance between giving employers additional time to process their hiring needs after looking at year-end financial data and giving law schools enough time to work with their students. You can read the full report on the NALP Web site, http://www.nalp.org/commissiononrecruiting.

There are some firms that aren’t fans of the proposed changes, which isn’t surprising given the legal community’s tendency to resist change and favor the status quo. But the changes aren’t perfect because law firms aren’t required to extended offers on the offer kick-off day, but are prevented from doing so any earlier. Students may receive offers from firms at different times and would face a shorter period in which to consider the offers. Firms that aren’t members of NALP may extend offers earlier, which could really throw a wrench in the process. Indiana has 14 firms – some with various offices – listed in NALP’s 2009-2010 member directory.

NALP is taking comments about the proposed changes through Jan. 29. You can send your feedback to suggestioninbox@nalp.org.

Law firms, students: What do you think about the proposed changes? Will it level the playing field or create different kinds of inequity and challenges for firms and schools?
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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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