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What is EIP?

What is EIP?

Much of 2L hiring by law firms is facilitated through our extensive on-campus recruiting process known as the Early Interview Program (EIP). In early August, over 400 employers visit Cambridge to interview 2Ls for summer positions as well as some 3Ls for post-graduation positions.

Introduction to EIP

Popular EIP Links


Step-by-Step Guide to EIP

Preparing for EIP is a multi-step process that takes place throughout the summer. Take some time now to learn about the Early Interview Program and what you’ll need to do before starting your summer job.

The following information is from EIP 2018. Information for EIP 2019 is forthcoming. 

1. EIP Overview (March–May)

Preparing for EIP is a multi-step process that includes updating your materials, researching employers, bidding on firms, practicing your interview stills, managing callbacks, and ultimately deciding on offers. Take some time now to learn about the Early Interview Program and what you’ll need to do before starting your summer job.


Additional Links and Resources

2. Materials, Receptions, Wardrobe and Other Foundations (Late-May–Late-July)

Get the following items out of the way early so you don’t have to worry about them later this summer.


Additional Links and Resources

3. Employer Research and Strategic Bidding (June–August)

Bidding strategy is an important key to EIP success. DO NOT wait until the last minute to research employers and prepare your list. Start working on the Strategic Bidding steps early and give yourself time to reflect and refine your list before bids are due.


Additional Links and Resources

4. Networking and Interview Preparation/Practice (June–August)

Do not underestimate the importance of the EIP screening interview. The interview, more than any other component of your application, is still within your control and can tip the scales in one direction or the other. The key to a successful interview is preparation. Being well-prepared means knowing what you want from a firm, knowing what the firm wants from an associate, and being ready to show the firm that those match. 


Additional Links and Resources

5. The Week Before EIP (July 30–August 5)

Complete any last preparation steps now so you can focus on your interviews during EIP week. When EIP week is here you’ll want to know that you’ve set yourself up for success.

Checklist: The week before EIP

Checklist: Over the Weekend

  • Review voicemail greeting and online social media presence.
  • Put together a nice looking (i.e. no plastic or paper) portfolio with printed copies of your resumes, references, writing samples and transcripts, so that you can produce them readily upon request. You do not need to use specialty resume paper; regular photocopy paper will suffice.
  • Print your schedule or save it to your phone so it is readily at hand, and review your interview schedule, including room assignments.
  • Make sure you know the exact pronunciation of the firms’ names.
  • Review which firms have hospitality suites and figure out a game plan for visiting those with whom you have interviews or are particularly interested in.
  • Plan your commute and leave extra time for traffic, last minute bathroom touch-ups, and elevators (be aware that during EIP, the elevators at the hotel can become overwhelmed). The Charles Hotel is located at 1 Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (in Harvard Square).
  • Pack a pen and paper to record your impressions immediately after your interviews (but do not take notes during your interviews).

Checklist: The Night Before EIP

  • Lay out the clothes you plan to wear and ensure clothes are pressed and shoes shined.
  • Take care of personal grooming: haircut, shaving, manicure.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • The EIP Student Lounge in the Charles Hotel is open from 8am to 6pm daily during EIP. Plan to arrive early on Monday so you have time to orient yourself before your first interview that day.

Additional Links and Resources

6. EIP Week (August 6–10)

Get plenty of rest because the week will be hectic. You may be attending dinners and receptions in addition to your interviews, so clear you schedule of other obligations if possible.


  • Make time for breakfast, even if you are feeling nervous.
  • Bring only what you need—there is no bag or coat check—and be prepared to bring your belongings with you or leave them with a friend.
  • Check the Daily Add openings to see which firms have available interview slots. The daily add table allows you to add interviews for firms that are at EIP that day and have open slots. The table is open daily from 8:30 to 11:30 am.
  • Review the list of EIP Employers and see which ones will have Hospitality Suites.
  • Before your interviews, go to the bathroom to check your hair, teeth and overall appearance; turn off your cell phone.
  • Remember that employers might not be wearing business attire when they’re not interviewing. Be mindful of your etiquette inside the hotel and around Harvard Square. Maintain your professionalism with every person you encounter, from hotel staff to recruitment staff to your classmates.
  • Bookmark What to Expect at EIP for easy reference.
  • Visit OCS Advisors and Peer Advisors at the JD Students table for questions, mock interviews, and general check ins. See OCS Resources to learn what’s available to you during EIP.
  • Deadline: August 6 @ 12pm (noon). Deadline to bid on Resume Collection firms.
  • Start scheduling Callbacks (see below for more information).

Additional Links and Resources

7. Callbacks and Offers (August–September)

Most employers that participate in HLS recruitment programs have a second round of “callback” interviews at their own offices before they make final hiring decisions. A callback interview typically lasts two to four hours and gives the employer the opportunity to evaluate your fit for the firm. Use this time to evaluate firms.

Callbacks Checklist

Offers Checklist

Additional Links and Resources


Research Resources and Podcasts

Researching Law Firms

Employer Directory in CSM

  • Created by OCS for HLS students and includes HLS specific data and statistics.
  • Provides comprehensive employment information about employers that will be participating in the Early Interview Program (EIP).

Ask the Market Experts

  • Learn about firms in specific geographic markets.
  • Download location-specific Market Reports.
  • Make an appointment to learn about your market of choices and firms that might be a good fit for you.

Researching Employers

  • The full list of resources for researching firms including, Vault, ALM, and other resources and directories.

Podcasts and Videos

EIP Podcasts and Videos

  • Podcast topics include strategic bidding, how to approach EIP for students with various grade profiles and backgrounds, how to network, and successful callback interviews.

Practice Area Podcasts

  • Listen to practicing attorneys discuss their practice, background, and what they look for in new associates.
  • Learn about practice areas before you start interviewing with attorneys.

Job Search Outside of EIP

Depending on your career goals you may need to expand your job search outside of the firms that will be at EIP this year.

NonEIP Firms

  • These are direct application firms. Make sure to check deadlines and apply before EIP week.
  • Smaller firms and firms with smaller summer classes do not always attend EIP.
  • Many of the firms listed have great summer programs and post-graduate opportunities.
  • Lists include large, medium and small recruiting markets and firms of all sizes.

Additional Employers

  • Information includes non-EIP recruiting programs, applying to small and mid-sized firms, applying to firms in markets that do not attend EIP, job fairs, and other avenues to find the right job for you.
  • Make sure to check deadlines early in the summer so you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Business Careers

Resume Book Program (RBP)

  • The application period is from August 24 through September 21.
  • Submit resumes and law school transcripts to a large number of law firms quickly.
  • Employers include law firms from 11 major markets, some of which participated in EIP and others that did not.
  • Law firms will contact students directly for interviews at their discretion.

Steps to Finding a Job After EIP