Recruiting Policies


In order to ensure the highest standards of professionalism, fairness, transparency, and nondiscrimination, Yale Law students and all employers using the services of Yale Law School’s Career Development Office, including interview programs and online job postings, shall adhere to Yale Law School’s Recruiting Policies set forth below.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Yale Law School is committed to a policy against discrimination in employment. An employer using the services of Yale Law School’s Career Development Office or hiring a Yale Law School student or graduate participating in any of the funding programs described below is required to abide by this policy with regard to its use of those services and programs. The policy prohibits discrimination in employment based upon age; handicap or disability; ethnic or national origin; race; color; religion; religious creed; sex and gender (including pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment); marital, parental, or veteran status; sexual orientation; gender identity; and gender expression. Discrimination in employment refers to the use of these criteria in arranging or conducting interviews, in offering or continuing employment, and in establishing the terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to salary scales, working conditions, types of work available, and promotion and retention policies. The prejudice of clients does not provide a basis on which an employer may engage in discrimination in employment prohibited by this policy.

Application.
The nondiscrimination policy applies to the Career Development Office services, post-graduate fellowships funded by the Law School, Summer Public Interest Fellowship (SPIF) funding, and the Career Options Assistance Program (COAP).

Diversity and Inclusion Efforts.
The nondiscrimination policy permits and the Law School encourages lawful diversity and inclusion efforts in employment.

Inapplicability to Religious Organizations with Respect to Discrimination Based on Religion and Religious Creed.
The elements of the nondiscrimination policy that prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion and religious creed do not apply to a religious organization, including a religious or religiously-affiliated educational institution, that certifies that it qualifies for a religious exemption under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A religious organization may prefer employees of a particular religion within the meaning of Title VII.

Ministerial Exception.
The nondiscrimination policy does not apply to a religious organization’s employment of ministers.

Inapplicability to the U.S. Military.
Under threat of loss of funding to Yale University resulting from the Solomon Amendment, United States military employers are exempt from the nondiscrimination policy’s application to on-campus recruiting and job-posting services offered by the Career Development Office.

Inapplicability to Employers Prohibited by Law from Complying.
To the extent an employer is prohibited by law from complying with the nondiscrimination policy, the employer is exempt from the policy.

Implementation and Waiver Process

Yale Law School has a longstanding tradition of encouraging its students and graduates to pursue the career opportunities they choose. The Yale Law School nondiscrimination policy will be implemented by administrators as designated by the dean. If a student or graduate seeks funding in connection with work for an employer that fails to certify compliance with the policy, the student or graduate may request a waiver of the policy from the relevant administrator. In the event that an administrator encounters a substantial question about the policy or its application to a particular employer, student, or graduate, including a request for a waiver, the administrator will refer the question to a faculty committee appointed by the dean, which will recommend a resolution to the dean. Upon receipt of the faculty committee’s recommendation, the dean may decide the matter or refer it to the Expanded Governing Board.

Effective Dates

The nondiscrimination policy shall apply only prospectively. The effective date for the nondiscrimination policy’s application to the Career Development Office on campus recruiting and job posting services is March 11, 2020. The effective date for the nondiscrimination policy’s application to SPIF funding and post-graduate fellowships funded by the Law School is September 1, 2020. The nondiscrimination policy’s application to COAP will commence with the Class of 2024.

Yale UNIVERSITY Sexual Misconduct Policies

Yale’s Sexual Misconduct Policies, which prohibit all forms of sexual misconduct, apply to all members of the Yale community as well as to conduct by third parties directed toward students. Conduct that occurs in the process of selection for employment is covered.

NALP Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process

All recruiting activity shall be guided by NALP’s Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process.

No Consideration of First-Year Students Prior to December 1

In recognition of the importance of the first semester of law school in providing a strong academic foundation, prospective summer employers shall not consider applications from first-year students before December 1.

Exceptions:

  1. Federal entities that require candidates to undergo extended background checks (commonly entities involved in national security) and need to conduct summer hiring prior to December 1 to accommodate their unique hiring procedures, may receive and review applications prior to December 1.
  2. Employers hiring for non-legal positions and foreign entities that need to conduct summer hiring prior to December 1 to accommodate their unique hiring procedures, may receive and review applications prior to December 1.

As a best practice, we encourage employers to refrain from hiring first-year law students until after the first semester of law school is completed. Later application deadlines provide students with more time to acclimate to the law school environment; to develop meaningful relationships with faculty who will be better equipped to serve as references; and to assess their career goals and research employment opportunities with the support of the Career Development Office. Early hiring disadvantages students who arrive at law school with less knowledge of the legal landscape and fewer relationships in the legal community, and thus disproportionately impacts first-generation professional students and students of color.

No Pre-FIP Interviewing of Rising Second-Year Students

In order to ensure an efficient, fair, and open hiring process for students, law firm employers participating in FIP shall not conduct initial or callback interviews of rising second-year students prior to their assigned FIP dates, except for those students who:

  1. are interviewing as part of an organized job fair.
  2. are interviewing for law firm fellowship/scholarship programs that provide a benefit or compensation separate from, or in addition to, an offer of second-summer employment;
  3. are not participating in the FIP bidding process.

No Interviewing During Class Times

Students are strongly discouraged from interviewing during their scheduled class times. Employers scheduling interviews directly with students are asked to keep this in mind and schedule interviews at times that do not conflict with classes.

YLS Grading System

Please review the Law School’s Explanation of Grading System. Note that the grading system does not allow the computation of grade point averages. Individual class rank is not computed. There is no required curve for grades in Yale Law School classes.

Policies for Offers and Decisions

General

  1. Employers should refrain from any activity that may adversely affect the ability of students to make an independent and considered decision. Employers should not offer special inducements to persuade students to accept offers of employment earlier than is prescribed.
  2. Offers should be made in writing with all material terms and conditions of employment clearly expressed.
  3. Employers having a total of 40 attorneys or fewer in all offices are exempt from the timing policies for offers and decisions set forth below. Instead, offers should remain open for at least two weeks following the date of the offer letter.
  4. Students should expeditiously release offers they have no expectation of accepting and should not hold open more than five offers of employment at any one time. For each offer received that places a student over the offer limit, the student should, within one week of receipt of the excess offer, release an offer.

Summer Employment Offers to First-Year Students

  1. All summer employment offers to first-year students should remain open for at least two weeks following the date of the offer letter.
  2. Summer employment offers to first-year students that obligate students to work for the same employers during their second summer (as compared to providing students the option to return for part of their second summer) are strongly discouraged.

Summer Employment Offers to Upperclass Students

  1. Summer offers resulting from a Fall Interview Program (FIP) interview: offers should remain open for at least 21 days following the date of the offer letter; offers made after December 15 should remain open for at least two weeks following the date of the offer letter.
  2. Summer offers not resulting from a FIP interview: offers made prior to FIP should remain open for at least 21 days following the last day of FIP; offers made after the start of FIP should remain open for at least 21 days following the date of the offer letter; offers made after December 15 should remain open for at least two weeks following the date of the offer letter.
  3. Employers may request in their offer letters that students reaffirm interest in their open summer employment offers within 14 days from the date of the offer letter. Employers that request students to reaffirm their interest may retract any offer that is not accepted, reaffirmed, or extended within the 14-day period.
  4. Employers should extend the deadline to accept a summer offer until April 1 for upperclass students pursuing positions in public interest, government or business on the condition that the student is holding open only one offer under this provision.

Full-Time Employment Offers to Third-Year Students

  1. Full-time offers to students not previously employed by the employer: offers made prior to the start of FIP should remain open for at least 21 days following the last day of FIP; offers made after the start of FIP should remain open for at least 21 days following the date of the offer letter; offers made after December 15 should remain open for at least two weeks following the date of the offer letter.
  2. Full-time offers to students previously employed by the employer: offers made by September 2 should remain open until at least October 1 of the candidate’s final year of law school; offers made after September 2 should remain open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter.
  3. Employers should extend the deadline to accept a full-time offer until April 1 for third-year students pursuing positions in public interest, government or business on the condition that the student is holding open only one offer under this provision.
  4. Employers should provide flexibility with respect to offer deadlines for third-year students committed to a judicial clerkship immediately after graduation and both the employer and student should be guided by the judge’s practices relating to post-clerkship employment.