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Employers recruiting Penn Carey Law students are expected to follow the recruiting policies and procedures below. Please review our policies and contact us at if you have any questions or concerns.

Policies for Conducting Lawful and Effective Interviews

Download Penn Carey Law Recruiting Policies & Procedures

Penn Carey Law Recruiting Policies & Procedures 

1. Guiding Principles

The mission of the Office of Career Strategy is to provide individualized services and resources to enable our students to understand their professional interests, identify the related career possibilities, and secure jobs that align with their goals.

We are committed to supporting a fair and equitable recruiting process that facilitates connecting our students with the widest range of employment opportunities and allows for informed career decisions.

We believe that a positive relationship with employers and the legal community as a whole is essential to supporting our students and promoting the mission and goals of the law school. We value our relationships with employers and strive to ensure a recruiting experience that is positive and mutually beneficial.

The University of Pennsylvania is a NALP member and, as such, abides by the organization’s Principles for a Fair & Ethical Recruitment Process.

2. Non-Discrimination Policy

The University of Pennsylvania and its Law School do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran status or any other legally protected status. Employers utilizing our career planning facilities will be held to the same standard of non-discrimination. Any claims of discrimination brought against recruiting employers will be referred to the Faculty/Student Career Strategy Committee.

3. Grading Policy

In the spirit of seeking the best and the brightest, employers often seek students who rank at the top of their law school class. We encourage employers to consider additional qualifications when evaluating our students; Penn Carey Law students are admitted to the Law School under very competitive standards. Their academic excellence should be kept in mind when considering their grades, both in comparison with their classmates and with their peers at other law schools.

The Law School’s grading system consists of A, A- B+, B, B-, C and F grades, with a rare A+ awarded for distinguished performance. The 1L Legal Practice Skills course is graded on an Honors/Credit/Fail basis.

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School students are not ranked in class or assigned published grade point averages. Employers should take care in comparing our system with those of other schools; our students are admitted under very competitive standards, yet first-year grading is subject to a mandatory curve.

4. Summer Employment for 1L Students

Commitment to academics: Penn Carey Law believes that it is critical for first year law students to focus during their first semester of law school on acclimating to the law school academic environment. Career activities should be limited, to the extent possible, to gaining a general understanding of legal careers and the skills that relate to these career paths.

Recruiting 1Ls during the fall semester:

  • Fall semester activities with employers should be limited to career education, and not formal recruiting or events whose primary purpose is introducing students to employers for future recruiting. Events should not conflict with the 1L academic schedule available on the Penn Carey Law website
  • Employers seeking to hire students for the summer after their first year of law school may post open positions and interview students during the Fall semester provided that the posting is clear about whether the application deadline is rolling and whether there is an advantage to applying prior to the completion of Fall semester exams.
  • Appointments with students for interviews should be established at a mutually convenient time so as not to interfere with class attendance or otherwise disrupt students’ studies. The Law School’s absence policy does not permit excused absences for interviews.
  • Employers should not schedule interviews or conduct any other student outreach during the Fall semester exam period. The current academic calendar can be found on the Penn Carey Law website here.

5. Interviewing and extending offers

5.a. Interviews When Class is in Session

Students should not miss class for the purpose of attending an interview. Employers are asked to work closely with students to ensure that their job search does not impact class attendance. Our office is happy to assist students in arranging space and equipment for video interviews.

5.b. On Campus Interviewing and Recruiting Programs

In addition to posting jobs on our internal job posting board (Symplicity), employers are encouraged to participate in the variety of interview programs that we offer on campus.

The Summer On-Campus Interview Program will be virtual. Other recruiting programs will be virtual, unless otherwise specified.

Penn Early Program: New for 2023, this takes place in June and July and is open only to employers participating in the Summer On-Campus Interview Program. Employers coordinate interview scheduling and format directly with students.

Summer On-Campus Interview Program: This takes place at the end of July and/or beginning of August and is geared primarily towards private sector legal employers seeking to hire students for 2L summer jobs, as well as post graduate jobs.

Fall On-Campus Public Sector Recruiting: This usually takes place on Fridays in September and October and includes primarily public sector employers seeking to hire students for 2L summer jobs, as well as 3L students for post graduate employment.

Spring On-Campus Interview Program: This usually takes place on Fridays in January and February and includes public and private sector employers seeking to hire 1L students for their 1L summer, 2L students for their 2L summer, and 3L students seeking post graduate employment.

5.c. No Pre-Screening for On-Campus Interviews

On-campus interviews at Penn Carey Law are assigned by computer lottery system based on student bids and taking into account student preferences and availability. Employers are not permitted to “pre-screen” candidates. A limited exception is made for IP opportunities, for which the employer may conduct pre-screening to ensure that technical degree requirements are met by candidates. Employers may not reject a student based solely on application materials received through the Penn Early Program.

5.d. Scheduling Callback Interviews

Students should not cancel or reschedule on-campus interviews to attend a callback interview. Employers should not schedule callback interviews for Penn Carey Law students on days of the Penn Carey Law on-campus interview program (For Summer 2023 OCI, July 25-26, 2023 and August 1-2, 2023).

5.e. Pre-OCI Interviews for 2L Summer Employment

Employers participating in Penn Carey Law’s Summer On-Campus Interview Program may not solicit applications from or schedule or conduct interviews (initial or callback) of Penn Carey Law students for 2L summer positions prior to their assigned OCI date, nor may students apply for such employment prior to OCI except for through:

  • organized job fair programs,
  • diversity fellowship or scholarship programs that provide a benefit or
    compensation in addition to an offer of 2L summer employment, or
  • the Penn Early Program

Each office of a firm is considered a separate employer for purposes of this policy. If an employer or student violates the above policy, they will forfeit the opportunity to participate in the Penn Early Program and/or the Summer OCI program.

If a student violates the above policy, they may forfeit the opportunity to participate in the Penn Early Program and/or the Summer OCI program. If an employer violates the above policy, they may forfeit the opportunity to participate in some or all on-campus activities and recruiting programs. Each office of a firm is considered a separate employer for purposes of this policy.

5.f. Written Offers

All offers of employment to law students should be made in writing and include the material terms of employment, as well as the deadline for a response, and any reaffirmation requirements.

5.g. Time to Make Decisions

Reasonable time for informed decisions: Allowing students the opportunity to reflect on their options and make fully informed employment decisions will facilitate the right match between student and employer and facilitate mutually beneficial outcomes. Offers that must be accepted on the spot or within a very short time frame (“exploding offers”) are inconsistent with these principles and therefore prohibited. Incentives for accepting offers in advance of the required deadline are strongly discouraged for the same reasons.

Time frames for various categories of private sector offers are set forth below and reflect an understanding that firms with smaller class sizes have a more pressing need for responses within a shorter time frame.
For offers that are not covered by the sections below, employers should provide no less than two weeks.

5.h. Minimum times to Consider Offers

Class Level

Type of Offer

Firm Size

*Summer Class Size

Days to Consider

Other considerations


Offers for 1L summer employment

Any size

Any size




Offers for 2L employment through the Penn Early Program

Any size

Any size


(but no fewer than 10 days)

Offer decisions must be communicated to students by July 10, 2023. Students must respond by July 20, 2023. Students may request one extension to August 10, 2023.


Offers for 2L summer employment outside of the Penn Early Program

Any size

≤ 12


Timing to respond begins the later of the date of the offer or the first day of Penn Carey Law OCI.


> 12



Post graduate offer, previously employed by the employer

Any size



Offer deadline should be the later of 21 days or Oct 1.


Post graduate offer, not previously employed by the employer





< 40




Any year

Offers from public sector employers

Any size

Any size


Or no less than the time granted all other applicants for the same or similar positions.

*Summer class size is based on the firm’s good faith estimate of the number of students they expect to hire for that summer in that particular office.

These are minimum time frames: Offers should be held open for no shorter duration than the time frames afforded candidates from other schools.

Penn Early Program extension: An extension until August 10 for an offer through the Penn Early Program should be provided upon written request from the student on or before July 20. Students are permitted to request the extension of no more than one Penn Early Program offer.

7-day extension: For offers extended outside of the Penn Early Program, a 7-day extension should be granted upon written request from the student prior to the expiration of the offer. Additional extensions should be considered for students who are in communication with the employer and provide reasonable assurances that they are seriously considering the offer.

Requests for extensions to accommodate public sector job seekers: Private sector employers are encouraged to grant requests for extensions from students who are actively seeking positions with public interest or government organizations. Extensions should be granted until as late as April 1, provided that the student is holding only one extended offer.

Reaffirmation requirements: Employers may require students to reaffirm an offer (of either 2L summer or post graduate employment) after holding it for a particular number of days. This requirement should be stated in the written offer letter, including the consequences for failing to comply. If the student fails to reaffirm as required, the offer may expire at the employer’s discretion.

6. Holding & Accepting Offers

6.a. Adhere to deadlines

Students are expected to accept or release offers or request an extension by the applicable deadline. Offers that are not accepted by the offer deadline may expire at the employer’s discretion.

6.b. Offer Limits

A student should not hold open more than three offers of employment secured outside of the Penn Early Program 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. Students seeking employment in more than one geographic market are encouraged to hold no more than five offers at any one time.

6c. Accepted Offers

Retracting after having accepted an offer of employment is a serious act of unprofessionalism. As a result, OCS will not support a student who repudiates this commitment to an employer, except in extraordinary cases of unforeseen circumstances or of personal emergency. This means that a student who repudiates without cause may not use any OCS services or programs. The offense may become a permanent part of the student’s law school record. Extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration, for example, the extent to which the student and employer have adhered to OCS policies and the NALP Principles for a Fair & Ethical Recruitment Process.

6.d. Job search after accepting an offer

A student should accept an offer of employment only when committed to working for that employer. Continuing to conduct a job search and/or interview after having accepted a position is considered unacceptable, except in circumstances where the student is seeking a second job in addition to the one already accepted, e.g. to “split” a summer with multiple employers.