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Career Advisor

RESPONDING TO JOB OFFERS

Published in the October 4, 2011, AdvisorEach fall, students who have received job offers approach us with questions. We welcome those questions. Here is some information in response to the questions we hear most often.

Many employers are members of the Association for Legal Career Professionals (formerly the National Association for Law Placement, and still known as “NALP”). NALP has developed rules about job offers for law students. Those rules govern NALP members; they can serve as a “best practices” guide for non-members as well.

NALP’s basic rule dictates that all offers of full-time summer or post-graduation positions to law students should remain open for at least two weeks after the date of the offer letter unless the offers are made pursuant to the “Fall Offers” or “Smaller Employer” guidelines below.

Fall Offers for Summer Jobs & for Full-time Post-Graduation Jobs

  • If a student was not previously employed by the employer: employer should leave offer open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, whichever comes first.
  • If a student was previously employed by the employer: employer should leave offer open until at least November 1. (For a full-time post-graduation job, employer should leave offer open until at least November 1 of student’s final year of law school.) Students should reaffirm these offers within 30 days from the date of the offer letter. Employers may retract any offer that is not reaffirmed within the 30-day period.
  • Students may request that the employer extend the deadline to accept the offer until as late as April 1 if the student is actively pursuing positions with public interest or government organizations. Students may hold open only one offer in such circumstances. Employers are encouraged to grant such requests.

Smaller Employer Exception

  • Employers having a total of 40 or fewer attorneys in all offices are exempt from the Fall Offers rules above. Under the guidelines, offers made on or before December 15 should remain open for at least three weeks following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, whichever comes first.

Accepting, Releasing, and Reaffirming Offers

Students should reaffirm offers within 30 days from the date of the offer letter. Employers may retract offers that have not been reaffirmed.

In addition, students should accept or release an offer or request an extension by the applicable deadline. Offers that are not accepted by the offer deadline expire.

For more details, see the NALP Principles & Standards and Interpretations of those standards at the NALP website: http://www.nalp.org. The website includes links to professional organizations and employers as well as other valuable information.


Oregon Law » » Career Center » October 4, 2011 » RESPONDING TO JOB OFFERS