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Policies and Procedures

Please review all policies and procedures carefully. You are bound by each of them in your contact and conduct with CP&P and employers.

Career Planning and Professionalism Committee

The Career Planning and Professionalism Committee meets regularly throughout the academic year to ensure excellent career-related advice and services for all students and alumni.  Please bring your concerns to any member of the committee. Our Committee includes:

Professor Jessica Simon Faculty Liaison
Assistant Dean Maureen Reilly Administrative Liaison

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Non-Discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedures

The University of Pennsylvania Law School is committed to a policy against discrimination in employment based on race, color, sex, sexual or affectional orientation, religion, age, national origin, or disability. The Law School’s career planning and placement services are available only to employers whose standards and practices conform to this policy.

Complaints concerning discriminatory conduct by an employer participating in the Law School’s placement program will be addressed by the Law School Career Planning & Professionalism Committee (“the Committee”) through the discrimination complaint process described below.

Discrimination Complaint Process

  • Section 1. The Discrimination Subcommittee
    The Discrimination Subcommittee (the “Subcommittee”), a subcommittee of the Committee, is responsible for receiving and processing discrimination complaints against employers. The Subcommittee consists of a faculty member, a representative of the Office of Career Planning and Professionalism, and a student, selected by the Chair of the Committee.
  • Section 2. Filing a Complaint Alleging Discrimination Against University of Pennsylvania Law Students (Complaint Form )
    Students who believe that an employer has engaged in discriminatory practices are encouraged to consult informally with a member of the Subcommittee concerning the challenged conduct. At this point, the student may choose simply to apprise the Subcommittee of the alleged misconduct so that the firm’s practices may be observed to determine if a pattern of discrimination exists. The Subcommittee will keep a confidential record of all informal complaints concerning discriminatory conduct. The student may file a discrimination complaint against a firm or particular recruiter by submitting a completed Discrimination Complaint Form to the Career Planning and Professionalism Office representative of the Subcommittee. Discrimination Complaint Forms are also available in the CP&P office. It is suggested that the complaint be filed within 48 hours of the incident so that the matter may be addressed promptly. Complaints must be filed within 14 working days of the alleged discriminatory conduct to be considered.
  • Section 3. Processing the Complaint
    The Subcommittee will meet with the complainant within one week of the date the complaint was filed to consider the student’s allegations and requested relief. At this time, the Subcommittee will discuss the nature of the allegations, the possible courses of action, and whether to inform the law firm or organization of the complaint. The Subcommittee will not inform a law firm of the student’s complaint if the student so requests. However, no action will be taken against an individual interviewer or a law firm without affording the alleged violator the opportunity to address the student’s allegations. If the student wishes to pursue the complaint, the Subcommittee will inform the hiring attorney at the organization allegedly involved in discriminatory conduct, provide a copy of the discrimination complaint to the organization, and request a prompt response. After receiving a response, the Subcommittee will determine whether it is possible to resolve the complaint without the necessity of formal action. Informal resolution may include, but is not limited to, a meeting or letter clarifying the circumstances of the incident, a letter of apology to the student, agreement by the organization to discipline the offending interviewer, or agreement not to send a particular interviewer back to the Law School. If the complaint is not resolved informally, or if the complaint raises the possibility of a pattern or practice of discrimination, the Subcommittee will refer the complaint to the full Committee for hearing and resolution.
  • Section 4. The Hearing
    The Committee will hold a hearing as soon as possible, and shall provide the parties with at least 14 working days notice of the hearing. The chair of the Committee or, in his or her absence, the acting chair, shall preside over the hearing. A member of the Committee will be designated to take careful notes of all testimony. Testimony and oral submissions to the Committee shall be tape recorded. A quorum shall consist of at least five members of the Committee. The complainant and the alleged violator may address the Committee, provide documents and call witnesses, and may be present at the hearing during the presentation of evidence. The parties may also make submissions to the Committee concerning the appropriate sanction, if any.
  • Section 5. Findings and Sanctions
    The Committee shall determine, by majority vote of those present at the hearing, whether the alleged violator has engaged in discrimination and, if so, an appropriate sanction. The Committee’s opinion and conclusions shall be in writing and copies shall be provided to the complainant and the alleged violator and organization. The sanctions that may be imposed included, but are not limited to: a. Conditioning continued use of the Office of Career Planning and Professionalism by the firm or organization on the provision of a letter of apology from the firm and/or the individual interviewer to the student; b. Conditioning continued use of the Office of Career Planning and Professionalism by the firm or organization on the firm’s provision of training and counseling within the firm concerning non-discriminatory practices; c. Barring a particular interviewer from use of the Law School Career Planning and Professionalism facilities for a limited or indefinite period; or d. Barring a firm or organization from use of the Law School’s Career Planning and Professionalism facilities for a limited or indefinite period.
  • Section 6. Complaints of Discrimination Against Non-University of Pennsylvania Students
    Any member of the Law School community, except personnel in the CP&P office, may file a written complaint with the Subcommittee against an employer, alleging that the employer discriminates against non-University of Pennsylvania students in violation of the Non-Discrimination Policy. As a prerequisite to the filing of such a complaint, a judicial or administrative tribunal must have made a finding of discriminatory conduct by the employer. Complaints must be filed within one year of the judicial or administrative finding relied upon in the complaint. A copy of the finding must be attached to the complaint.

In order to keep students informed about pending complaints, properly filed complaints and any further written material generated as a result of such complaints shall be attached to the CP&P files for the employer against whom a complaint is filed.

After discussing the complaint with the complainant, the Subcommittee may refer the complaint to the full Committee. The Committee may then seek assurances from the employer that the employer is and will remain in compliance with the Non-Discrimination Policy.

The Committee may conduct an investigation to assure itself that the employer is and will remain in compliance. As part of its investigation into compliance, the Committee may consider the following:

  1. Any written reaffirmation of the employer’s compliance with the Non-Discrimination policy;
  2. Any remedial measures taken by the employer to address past acts of discrimination;
  3. The policies and procedures the employer has instituted to protect against future discrimination;
  4. Any training and counselling concerning non-discriminatory practices provided by the employer within its offices; and 
  5. Any other information provided to the Committee.

If an employer refuses to provide the Committee with assurances of compliance or fails to assure the Committee that the employer is in fact in compliance, the Committee shall bar the employer from use of the services and facilities of the Office of Career Planning and Professionalism as required by the Non-Discrimination Policy until the employer has provided the Committee with the necessary assurances.

Message to Students

If you feel that any action of an interviewer constitutes a violation of this policy, we urge you to report it to CP&P. Complete a Discrimination Complaint Form (available online or in the CP&P office) and return it to us.

Students may occasionally feel that a particular interviewer or line of questioning, while not rising to the level of discriminatory, was particularly inappropriate. We encourage you to let us know of this kind of questioning as well. We will work with you to decide if you would like to take action in light of the occurrence and, if so, what that action might be.

Please report these instances to a member of the CP&P staff as soon as possible after their occurrence.

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Cancellations and No-Show Policy

Cancellations

  1. If you wish to cancel an interview for any reason, you must do so during the open cancellation period.  All cancellations for the On-Campus Interview program must be made during the open cancellation period (NO EXCEPTIONS).  You may cancel an interview after this time only if you accept an offer of employment, in which case you must cancel all remaining interviews by emailing all-cpp@law.upenn.edu .                  

No Shows

  1. Employers will inform us immediately when a student fails to appear for a scheduled appointment. These students will receive an email instructing them to report immediately to CP&P.
  2. 1Ls & 2Ls: Upon a first failure to appear for an interview, a 1L or 2L student must write a letter of apology to the employer, with a copy brought personally to the Director of Career Services.  A 1L or 2L student who fails to appear for a second interview (and these failures are cumulative throughout your law school career) without canceling that interview in the assigned manner will lose interviewing privileges for the remainder of this season’s programs AND for the next academic year’s interviewing programs.  CP&P will place a note in the student’s academic file that they failed to abide by Law School procedures.
  3. 3Ls: Upon a FIRST failure to appear, 3L students will lose interviewing privileges for the remainder of that year and will have a note placed in their academic file that they failed to abide by Law School procedures.  Loss of privileges during OCI will begin as soon as CP&P can fill your scheduled slots and, in all cases, on the 3rd working day following the day of your failure to show for an interview.
  4. If you disagree with a determination by CP&P that you violated the No Show Policy, or if you believe the violation involved extenuating circumstances, you may lodge an appeal with the Faculty/Student Committee by immediately completing a notice of appeal, available in CP&P.
  5. This policy applies to all on-campus interviews and to all job fairs in which Penn students participate.  In certain instances, CP&P may modify deadlines to reflect the needs of the particular interviewing program or fair, but unless expressly modified the terms of this policy will apply.  Basically — it’s like this: we’ve all been on a waitlist for something we’ve really wanted. A no show deprives a fellow classmate of the opportunity to see an employer he or she is interested in.  Next time, it may be you losing out.

DON’T FAIL TO APPEAR AT YOUR SCHEDULED INTERVIEWS AND BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE CANCELLATION POLICY.

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Resume and Transcript Accuracy

The misrepresentation of credentials on a resume or transcript in any way is a violation of the Law School’s Code of Student Conduct and Responsibility.

Many bar examiners require law schools to inform them of any disciplinary action taken against a bar exam applicant. Accordingly, transcript misrepresentations, along with any sanctions imposed by the Law School Disciplinary Committee, may be reported to a state bar examiner if a student sits for a bar examination.

The number of students over the years who have been caught cheating in this way has been small; nonetheless, we wish to restate that the Law School strictly forbids misrepresentations on transcripts, resumes, and in written or oral communications with employers, including in the interviewing process.  Please note that CP&P will use file copies of student resumes to verify information which a student is circulating to prospective employers if that need arises, and that the Registrar’s Office will verify any and all questions posed by employers and by CP&P about a student’s transcript.

In addition, please note that Penn Law does not have a class ranking system or a GPA calculation. Students are not permitted to include law school grade point averages on resumes and are advised against estimating academic standing in the class; the law school will not support any student’s claim to be in a particular percentage of the class.

The entire law school administration appreciates the pressures which the job market places on students. Giving in to those pressures by falsifying credentials or presenting misleading or inaccurate information in interviews is inexcusable. We are proud that incidents of misrepresentation by Penn Law students are so few.

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Early Interviewing Policy

Employers participating in Penn Law’s on-campus interview program (OCI) may not schedule or conduct initial or callback interviews of Penn Law students for 2L summer positions prior to their assigned OCI date, except for:

  • Interviews arranged through organized job fair programs
  • Interviews for employer fellowship or scholarship programs that provide a benefit or compensation in addition to an offer of 2L summer employment
  • Interviews with students currently employed by, or who were previously employed by, the interviewing organization
  • Interviews resulting from informational interviews or other student networking efforts.

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Policies on Job Offers

  1. Reneging: CP&P will not support a student who reneges on a commitment to an employer, except in extreme cases of unforeseen circumstances or of personal emergency. This means that a student who reneges without cause may not use any CP&P services or programs. The offense may become a permanent part of the student’s law school record.

    Continuing to conduct a job search and/or interview after having accepted a position is considered unacceptable as well. A student should accept an employer’s offer of employment only when he/she is committed to working for that employer.

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

  3. Public interest job searches and time frames for accepting offers: second and third year students who are waiting to hear from public interest employers in the spring may ask one law firm or corporation employer to hold an offer open for him or her until April 1. We urge employers to honor this request.

    If you would like to make such a request to an employer, please let the office know. We will support you in any way possible, including by contacting the employer directly on your behalf.

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Recruiting Policies

Regarding NALP Changes to Industry Guidance

On December 12, 2018, The National Association for Law Placement rescinded its Principles & Standards for Law Placement & Recruitment Activities and replaced them with new Principles for a Fair & Ethical Recruitment Process.  In addition to adhering to the new Principles, Penn Law has issued the following interim policies, which are intended to align with the previous NALP standards regarding the timing of offers and decisions.  We will continue to evaluate our policies and practices, as well as the market, to ensure fair and professional practices and the best interests of all Penn Law students.

Summer Employment Provisions for 1L Students (effective October 2019)
  • Commitment to academics: Penn 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 gaining a general understanding of legal careers and the skills that relate to these career paths.
  • Recruiting 1Ls during the fall semester: Prospective employers and 1L students should not initiate contact with one another and employers should not accept applications, interview or extend offers to 1L students before December 1.  Appointments with candidates for interviews should be established for a mutually convenient time so as not to interfere with class attendance or otherwise disrupt candidates’ studies. 
  • Time to consider offers: All offers to 1L students for summer employment should remain open for at least two weeks after the date of the written offer.

Interim Policies Relating to Callbacks & Offers (effective January 2019)

Summer Employment Offers to 2Ls and 3Ls
  • Time to consider offers: Employers offering positions for the following summer should leave those offers open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, whichever comes first.  Candidates should reaffirm these offers within 14 days from the date of the offer letter, upon request from the employer.  Offers that have not been reaffirmed may be rescinded. 

Offers made prior to Penn Law’s on-campus interviewing program (“OCI”) should not expire until 28 days after OCI commences.  Offers made after December 15 should remain open for at least two weeks after the date of the offer letter.

  • Requests for extensions to accommodate public sector seekers: 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.   
  • Exceptions for smaller firms: Employers offering candidates positions for the following summer and having a total of 40 attorneys or fewer in all offices are exempted from the timing rules set forth in the prior paragraphs of this section.  Instead, 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. 
Full-Time Post-Graduate Employment
  • Time to consider offers for candidates not previously employed: Employers offering full-time positions following graduation to candidates not previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, whichever comes first.  Candidates should reaffirm these offers within 14 days from the date of the offer letter, upon request from the employer.  Offers that have not been reaffirmed may be rescinded.

Offers made prior to Penn Law’s on-campus interviewing program (“OCI”) should not expire until 28 days after OCI commences.  Offers made after December 15 should remain open for at least two weeks after the date of the offer letter.

  • Timing for candidates previously employed: Employers offering full-time post-graduate positions to candidates previously employed by them should leave those offers open until at least October 1 of the candidate’s final year of law school, provided that such offers are made on or before September 2. Candidates should reaffirm these offers within thirty days from the date of the offer letter, upon request from the employer.  Offers that have not been reaffirmed may be rescinded.

After September 2 of a candidate’s final year of law school, employers offering full-time post-graduate positions to candidates previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter.

  • Requests for extensions to accommodate public sector seekers: 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.
  • Exceptions for smaller firms: Employers offering candidates full-time post-graduate positions and having a total of 40 attorneys or fewer in all offices are exempted from the timing rules set forth in the prior paragraphs of this section. Instead, 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.
General Provisions Relating to Offers of Summer & Post-Graduate Employment
  • All offers of employment to law student candidates (“candidates”) should be made in writing and remain open for at least two weeks after the date of the offer letter, unless a longer consideration time is set forth elsewhere in these interim policies, in which case, the longer time frame shall govern.
  • Candidates are expected to accept or release offers or request an extension by the applicable deadline. Offers that are not accepted by the offer deadline expire. 
  • A candidate should not hold open more than five offers of employment at any one time. For each offer received that places a candidate over the offer limit, the candidate should, within one week of receipt of the excess offer, release an offer. 
  • Practices inconsistent with these guidelines should be reported to the Office of Career Planning and Professionalism at all-cpp@law.upenn.edu .

 

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