2016 Fall OCI Tips Regarding Summer or Permanent Employment Offers

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP), of which Denver Law is a member, has established Principles and Standards for Recruitment that legal employers, law schools and law students are expected to abide by. These Principles were created to ensure fair and ethical hiring practices; they explain the behavior expected of both employers and students during the fall recruitment process and provide “Standards for the Timing of Offers and Decisions.” Review these standards in detail and familiarize yourself with the timing guidelines, “Part V” of the Standards (which outlines how many offers may be held at one time), the dates by which students must inform employers of their decision, etc. Also, it is recommended that you review the “Student Professionalism During the Interview Season: A Quick Guide to Your Ethical Responsibilities in the Offer and Decision-Making Process.”

Here is an overview of the timing of offers and decisions:

Offers to 2Ls for summer employment (IF you have not previously worked for the employer):

Students have 28 days following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, 2016, whichever is earlier, to formally accept or decline the offer.  Students should reaffirm their interest in an offer of employment within 14 days of the date of the offer letter or risk revocation of the offer.  THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THE OFFER!  You only have to reiterate your interest in the offer to the employer. If you need more time to make your decision, thank the employer and indicate that you would like some time to consider their offer, offering to provide them with an answer in a specific amount of time.

Offers to 3Ls made by their summer employer:

Offers made to 3Ls by their summer employer on or before September 2, 2016 are to remain open until October 1, 2016. Students should reaffirm offers within 30 days or risk retraction of the offer by the employer. Offers made after September 2, 2016 shall remain open for 28 days from the date of the offer letter.

Management of Employment Offers:

It is important to read your offer letters very carefully and to track on your calendars all response deadlines.  You do not want to lose an employment opportunity because you miss the deadline to accept!!

Accepting Offers:

Accepting and declining offers of employment should not be taken lightly. Consider offers thoroughly. Weigh the pros and cons.  Make sure you are confident about your decision.

When you are ready to accept an offer, you can either call the person who extended the offer to you, or the Recruiting Department.  If you accept a law firm job offer over the phone, it is usually not necessary to follow up with a letter. The employer typically follows up an acceptance with a letter confirming the acceptance and providing additional information about the position. With public interest employers, if you accept by phone, you should send a confirming email or letter.

Declining Offers:

You should decline an offer of employment as soon as you decide that the position is not right for you. It allows employers to determine their hiring needs and opens the position for classmates who might be extended an offer if you were to decline.  Be professional and decline offers you do not want.

It is common to respond to an offer in the same manner it was conveyed (i.e. respond to a letter with a letter), but it is not necessary.  Be polite and direct.  When you decline the offer, remember to state your gratitude for the offer, and be sure to thank the employer for their time and effort.  You do not have to volunteer what your employment plans are, but some employers may ask where you will be working so be prepared for that question.

While the OCI process can be daunting, please remember the CDO is here to help.  We are available to meet with you throughout the summer, answer your questions during the process, and assist you in your job search.  OCI should be only one part of your career planning and employment search.

We look forward to meeting with and assisting you in your career plan and employment search!

By Colleen Scarola
Colleen Scarola Career Consultant Colleen Scarola