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 based upon age, color, handicap or disability, ethnic or national origin, race, religion, religious creed, gender (including discrimination taking the form of sexual harassment), marital, parental or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or the prejudice of clients.

All employers using the services of Yale Law School’s Career Development Office, including interview programs and online job postings, must abide by this policy. Discrimination in employment practices refers to the use of the proscribed criteria mentioned above in arranging or conducting interviews, in offering employment, and in establishing the terms of employment, including but not limited to differential salary scales, working conditions, type of work available and promotion and retention policies.

Yale’s non-discrimination policy permits, and the Law School encourages, lawful affirmative action in hiring members of groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession and in many firms.

Under threat of loss of funding to the University resulting from the Solomon Amendment, the Law School exempts military recruiters from our policy.

Yale Law School’s Placement Policies and Regulations

Yale Law School's Placement Policies and Regulations are in place to ensure that students receive fair treatment by employers and that the law school, students, and employers act in good faith in the recruiting and hiring process. These policies set forth procedures for handling allegations of employer or student behavior inconsistent with these policies.

Yale 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, first-year students shall not submit applications to prospective summer employers and prospective summer employers shall not consider applications from first-year students before December 1. Invitations to employer recruiting events scheduled prior to December 1 shall be directed only to upperclass students.

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 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.

Interview Programs

Employers are encouraged to participate in Yale Law School’s two interview programs in New Haven, our Spring Interview Program (SIP) in late January primarily targeted to first-year students, and our Fall Interview Program (FIP) in early August primarily targeted to rising second-year students. Click the Interview Programs link for detailed information relating to these programs.

No Prescreening
Employers participating in SIP or FIP are not permitted to prescreen students or request any application information from students prior to the programs. Interviews are assigned by a lottery algorithm based on student interest.

No Pre-FIP Interviewing of Rising Second-Year Students
In order to ensure an efficient, fair, and open hiring process for students, employers participating in FIP shall not conduct initial or callback interviews of rising second-year students prior to their assigned FIP dates.

Exceptions:

  1. Employers may interview rising Yale Law School second-year students prior to their assigned FIP dates as part of an organized job fair.
  2. Employers may interview rising Yale Law School second-year students prior to their assigned FIP dates as part of sponsored scholarship or fellowship programs that provide a benefit or compensation separate from, or in addition to, an offer of second-summer employment.
  3. Employers may interview rising second-year Yale Law School students prior to their assigned FIP dates if informed by specific students that they are not participating in FIP.

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.

Grading Policy

There is no required "curve" for grades in Yale Law School classes. Individual class rank is not computed and the grading system does not allow for the computation of a grade point average. Please review the law school’s J.D. Degree Requirements including grade structure. Employers are free to request transcripts from students.

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 28 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 28 days following the first day of FIP; offers made after the start of FIP should remain open for at least 28 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 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 28 days following the first day of FIP; offers made after the start of FIP should remain open for at least 28 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.