The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) has released new Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process (Recruitment Principles). The NALP Board of Directors voted to make significant changes in its law school recruitment standards to meet the diverse needs of its member organizations.
The NALP Recruitment Principles reflect the organization’s commitment to ensuring the legal profession is accessible to everyone on a non-discriminatory basis.
What are the NALP Recruitment Principles?
The Recruitment Principles provide best practices for the ethical recruitment of law school students. They outline suggested guidelines for employers, law schools and job candidates to ensure fair and transparent recruitment.
The guidelines are designed to minimize interference with law students’ academic work, while enabling students to benefit from career development opportunities. They provide employers with recommendations on initiating recruitment activities with law schools and students. The Recruitment Principles also outline the law school’s role in career planning and recruitment, and policies job candidates should follow throughout their employment search.
NALP’s former Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities were first adopted in 1978.
The new NALP Recruitment Principles move away from “one size fits all” uniformity. The revised policy aims to accommodate the varied needs of NALP members and encourages broader experimentation to meet recruitment goals. The Recruitment Principles emphasize reasonableness in recruitment that “provides all members the flexibility necessary to innovate and thrive in an evolving marketplace.”
NALP eliminated the 28-day period during which offers for summer and permanent employment were to remain open. The October 15 and December 1 timing guidelines for advising and recruiting first-year students have also been eliminated.
The new Recruitment Principles are based on the findings of several boards, task forces and working groups. They considered recruiting methods used in other industries, advancements in candidate evaluation techniques and NALP member feedback.
NALP encourages member institutions to review their policies in light of these changes. Members should consider if their procedures promote fair and ethical recruitment in the best interest of students and lawyers. NALP recommends members commit their policies to writing and communicate them appropriately.
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