The following Employer Recruiting Policies have been established to protect the interests of both students and employers and will be administered by the Office of Public Interest Advising (OPIA). By recruiting at Harvard Law School (HLS) through OPIA-administered recruiting programs, employers agree to abide by these rules.
OPIA encourages all public interest employers to educate themselves around salary transparency and to publicly post compensation ranges in your job descriptions. Disclosing salary ranges indicates an organizational culture that values fairness and trust, and is seen as a way to close persistent salary gaps that exist between genders and races. For more information, review the National Women’s Law Center’s fact sheet.
HLS has instituted policies and procedures to ensure a safe and non-discriminatory environment and to meet legal requirements. Employers recruiting at HLS must comply with HLS’s non-discrimination policy.
INTERVIEW AND RECRUITING PROGRAMS
OPIA conducts interview and recruiting programs throughout the year, including Public Interest Interview Programs (PIIP) or, when conducted remotely, Virtual Public Interest Interview Programs (V-PIIP). All programs allow employers to hire for summer and/or postgraduate positions. Depending on the time of year, these programs may be for 2L and 3L students (in the fall) or for 1Ls, 2Ls and 3Ls (in the spring).
EMPLOYER RESTRICTIONS ON GRADE REQUESTS
Employers may request transcripts from students participating in PIIP or V-PIIP. However, in order to ensure a fair, open and effective hiring process for students as well as employers, employers participating in the interview program will not receive transcripts until they have selected the students they wish to interview. Employers participating in resume collection may request, and if so will receive, transcripts in the students’ application packets.
NO INTERVIEWING DURING CLASS TIMES
Students are not permitted to interview during their scheduled class times. Employers scheduling interviews directly with students are asked to keep this policy in mind and schedule interviews at times that do not conflict with classes. This includes the January Experiential Term for 1Ls, which takes place over three weeks in January (the Winter Term). Please be aware that, because the Winter Term does not have a graded curriculum and is based on participation and class work only, missing a class is the equivalent of missing an exam in a fully graded course. Please see the Academic Calendar for Winter Term dates.
Offers and Decisions
OBLIGATIONS TO APPLICANTS
Employers should tell interviewees when they expect to make hiring decisions. Interviewees not receiving offers should be notified as soon as possible. When employers reach hiring decisions, they should notify all applicants, updating them on their statuses.
If possible, all offers to students should remain open for at least 14 days after the date of the offer letter. If 14 days cannot be accommodated, the employer should outline their preferred timeline at the time of the offer. Offers should be made or confirmed in writing and should include any other material terms related to the internship or employment.
Through Resume Collection
Employers participating in OPIA’s resume collection program are strongly encouraged to abide by the following policies:
- Employers who wish to interview applicants should inform them when the employers expect to begin interviewing.
- When employers reach hiring decisions, they should notify all applicants, including those who were not interviewed, updating them on their statuses.
It is in the interest of the student and the employer that all parties conduct their due diligence, and for the students to make an informed job decision. To that end, employers are encouraged to be as accommodating as possible when students request an extension on an offer.
OBLIGATIONS TO OPIA
When an employer participating in an OPIA interview or recruiting program has completed its hiring, the employer should report to OPIA how many HLS students, if any, were given offers through that program, and how many HLS students, if any, accepted positions. If an employer participates in the resume collection program, they should also indicate how many HLS students were interviewed through that program.
Employers that have already completed hiring before the start of an OPIA interview or recruiting program should either withdraw from participation in the program or inform OPIA that its interviews will only be informational in nature.
Limitations on Recruiting 1Ls
By HLS policy, 1Ls may receive career advising starting on October 15 and may apply for jobs starting December 1, with some limited exceptions. Therefore, employers are asked not to accept applications from 1Ls or extend interviews or offers to 1Ls until on or after December 1. Additionally, 1Ls are not eligible to participate in fall recruiting programs, including PIIP or V-PIIP.
Employers that participate in on-campus interviews may also request to designate a block of time for information sessions. If you would like to hold an information session during your interview period, please contact Micah Nemiroff.
While most interviewers strive to maintain a professional and sensitive attitude, OPIA occasionally receives complaints from students about offensive or discriminatory behavior by interviewers.
Students may speak with an OPIA advisor or the Assistant Dean for Public Service about any employer behavior that concerns them. Where appropriate, OPIA will work with the student and the employer to resolve the issue. If the employer has violated OPIA’s Employer Recruiting Policies or HLS’s non-discrimination policies, sanctions may be imposed.
Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of sexual or gender-based harassment or discrimination committed by an employer in connection with law school recruitment activities may file a formal or informal complaint. Procedures for complaints under Title IX may be found in the HLS website under Title IX Policies and Procedures.