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Wake Forest Law Recruiting Policies

Policy on Nondiscrimination

Wake Forest University School of Law expects that every student will be treated fairly, professionally, and with courtesy during any on-campus or other interview, and in hiring practices.

Wake Forest University is committed to diversity, inclusion and the spirit of Pro Humanitate.  In adherence with applicable laws and as provided by University policies, the University prohibits discrimination in its employment practices and its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability and veteran status.  Additionally, the University promotes the full realization of equal employment opportunity for women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program. This policy must also be adhered to by all persons, companies and organizations recruiting at Wake Forest University School of Law.

Wake Forest Law School reaffirms this University policy against discriminatory employment practices. The law school does not countenance any form of discrimination based upon age, color, handicap or disability, ethnic or national origin, race, religion, religious creed, gender (including discrimination taking the form of sexual harassment), marital, parental or veteran status, or sexual orientation. Accordingly, all employers recruiting at Wake Forest Law are required to abide by this policy.

Discrimination in employment practices refers to the use of the proscribed criteria mentioned above in arranging or conducting interviews, in offering employment, and in establishing the terms of employment, including but not limited to differential salary scales, working conditions, type of work available and promotion and retention policies.

Wake’s non-discrimination policy permits, and the Law School encourages, lawful affirmative action in hiring members of groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession and in many firms.

As a member of NALP and AALS, Wake Law School subscribes to the Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process (“NALP Principles”) established by NALP and the Regulations and Bylaws established by AALS that apply to law schools, students, and employers in the recruiting and hiring process. A copy of the current NALP Principles and the current relevant AALS Bylaws and Regulations are available in the Office of Career and Professional Development (“OCPD”). These Policies are deemed to include the NALP Principles and the AALS Bylaws and Regulations. Employers who use our recruiting services and violate these Policies face possible sanctions. Similarly, students who violate these Policies face possible OCPD sanctions and Wake Forest Law School disciplinary code sanctions.

Reporting Procedures

Allegations Regarding Employer Behavior. A past or present member of the Law School community who believes that an interviewer or employer has acted inconsistently with these Policies and Regulations should promptly inform the Dean of OCPD and complete an Interview Complaint Form. The Dean will promptly interview the complainant concerning the matter, inquire about the experiences of students interviewed by the same employer, and review OCPD files for any complaints against the employer in previous years. The Dean may also interview other students or seek to gain additional information, including information from the employer, bearing on the complaint. If the Dean of OCPD is for any reason disqualified from acting impartially in the matter, the Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee will designate a faculty/staff attorney committee member to conduct a preliminary inquiry.

Any student who wishes to alert the Dean of OCPD of improper and/or offensive conduct by an interviewer, but who does not wish to reveal his/her identity, is free to fill out an Interview Complaint Form without including his/her name, the time of the interview, or other potentially identifying information. However, please note that such anonymous complaints are extremely difficult to act upon and that, in all likelihood, the form will simply be kept on file so that the employer in question can be monitored in the future.

If after conducting interviews and obtaining other information, the Dean or designated committee member believes that the interviewer/employer violated these Policies and Regulations, he or she will attempt to resolve the complaint informally. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the Dean or designated committee member will make a written report of the matter and its current status to the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Upon receipt of a report from the Dean or designated faculty member, the Diversity & Inclusion may dismiss the complaint, or if it does not dismiss the complaint, shall send a letter to the employer’s hiring attorney requesting a written response to the complaint. After considering any response the employer may make and any additional information the Diversity & Inclusion Committee deems relevant, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee will determine whether these Policies have been violated. At the discretion of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, a hearing may be held. If the Diversity & Inclusion Committee concludes that a violation has occurred, it will advise the employer and complainant in writing of its decision and proposed sanction, and give the employer an opportunity to respond in writing before the Diversity & Inclusion Committee imposes any sanction.

If the Diversity & Inclusion Committee concludes that these Policies have not been violated, the employer and complainant will be so advised. If a complainant wishes, he or she may request a reconsideration of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee’s determination.

Because the appropriateness of sanctions necessarily depends on the seriousness of the violation of these Policies, as well as the nature of the involved employer’s response to the Diversity & Inclusion Committee’s letter, determination of the appropriate sanctions is left to the discretion of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Such sanctions may include, but are not limited to, sending an admonitory letter to the employer, publicizing the conduct to the law school community in connection with the employer’s interview sign-ups the following year, other forms of publicizing the incident, or barring the employer from using law school facilities and services for one or more years.

Because of the importance of resolving claims of violations of these Policies expeditiously, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee shall endeavor to resolve such claims no later than the beginning of the next on-campus interviewing season. Any appeal would be by petition to the faculty.

Allegations Regarding Student Behavior. A past or present member of the Law School community or an employer who believes that a student has acted inconsistently with these Policies should promptly inform the Dean of OCPD. In order to protect the confidentiality of the student, the Dean will handle all such matters with the complainant, student, and in consultation with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair and appropriate Associate or Assistant Dean, rather than turning over such matters to the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. However, at the option of the student, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, sitting without its student member, may hear the matter. If it is determined that a student’s conduct violates these Policies, the student faces possible restrictions or prohibitions on the use of OCPD resources and services. If a student’s conduct is deemed to be covered by the Student Code of Conduct, the matter may be referred to the law school administration for review and potential adjudication.

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These policies are drafted with the expectation that employers and students act in good faith. These policies address the most immediate context of employers who interview and hire current law students. However, the sanctions set out above may also be applied to an employer who by its own admission, established policy, or legal determination violates Wake Forest Law School’s Non-Discrimination policies, NALP Principles, or AALS Bylaws and Regulations.

Guidelines for the Recruiting Process

Recruiting Policies for Employers

Wake Forest University School of Law is a member of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). In December 2018, the NALP Board of Directors made significant changes to the Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities. Now known as the NALP Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process, these create a standard of reasonableness that provide flexibility in meeting the needs of students and employers in legal recruiting.  In accordance with NALP’s principles, the Office of Career & Professional Development has developed the following guidelines for employers seeking to recruit Wake Forest Law students.

            Applications From and Interviews with First-Year Law Students

Our primary goal is to ensure that students in their first semester of law school have time to focus on the intellectual rigor of their legal education, while at the same time considering future professional goals. Our 1L Professional Development class is specifically designed to provide space for students to consider their professional path as they begin to learn about the practice of law. We ask employers not to solicit applications from first-year students before December 1, or before January 1 if they plan to take first semester grades into account in interview and offer decisions. Grades and class ranking from the first semester typically become available in the second week of January.

Please note, this is not a prohibition on employer contact with our law students. We have programming in the fall and spring semesters designed to educate students on the practice of law, and to help students build critical interviewing and networking skills. We welcome your participation in these programs.

            Timing of Offers and Acceptance – All Law Students

As an office, our goal is to provide support to students in making thoughtful, informed decisions about their professional future. We ask employers to follow these guidelines for timing of offers and decisions:

  • OCI Interviews: For offers of employment (summer or permanent) resulting from interviews conducted as part of spring or fall on-campus recruiting programs, we ask that you provide the student a decision period of 14 calendar days from the date of the offer to accept or decline.
  • Resume Collects: For offers of employment (summer or permanent) resulting from interviews conducted as part of a resume collect, we ask that you provide the student a decision period of 14 calendar days from the date of the offer to accept or decline.
  • If your timeline or circumstances cannot allow for a decision period of 14 calendar days, we ask that you notify the Office of Career & Professional Development by email at lawcareeroffice@wfu.edu, so that our office can advise the student appropriately.
  • This policy does not apply to offers resulting from interviews conducted for positions posted in Symplicity, or conducted as part of an off-campus interview program.
  • Pre-OCI Offers: Our office strongly encourages employers to participate in the on-campus recruiting process. However, if an offer is made to a rising 2L before on-campus interviews begin in August, we ask that you provide the student a decision period of 28 calendar days from the first day of on-campus interviews.

Extensions: We ask that employers who have reasonable assurance that a student is seriously considering their offer to grant requests for extensions of time liberally. Our experience has shown that students who are afforded the time to reach an informed, thoughtful decision are far more likely to be confident in that decision. We will encourage students who have been granted extensions to remain in active contact with the employer.

Communications between the Office of Career & Professional Development & Employers

Our goal is to make the recruiting process beneficial to our students and smooth for employers. To that end, we encourage you to maintain open lines of communication with the Office of Career & Professional Development. If you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact Assistant Dean Francie Scott at scottfs@wfu.edu.

Reporting Recruiting Outcomes

We strive to maintain accurate data on hiring outcomes. If you extend a callback invitation or make an offer to a Wake Forest Law student, please report that outcome to our office using this form:

blue button stating "Recruitment Form"

 

Recruiting Policies for Students

Career planning, counseling, and individual professional development are integral components of a legal education, reflecting Wake Forest Law School’s commitment to educating the whole professional. As we strive to position students to be successful in the job search, we also recognize that students need meaningful time and space to pursue academic study. Traditionally our practice has been not to meet with first-year students to discuss career planning until after October 15. We encourage students to develop a relationship with their career advisor through the 1L Professional Development class; if students have specific questions they are welcome to schedule an appointment prior to October 15, but we recommend that students focus on academics in their first semester.

The OCPD is committed to each student’s ethical and professional growth during law school and into future careers. As such, we expect each student to adhere to certain policies and responsibilities that promote ethics and professionalism in the recruiting and job search process. These guidelines include:

Student Responsibility: Students should keep OCPD apprised of employment status each year. Students must provide OCPD with information requested in surveys or otherwise so that OCPD can comply with its reporting obligations to the Law School, the ABA, and NALP.

Professional Conduct: We expect students to act in a professional manner and be courteous and respectful in communication with employers, alumni, networking contacts, classmates, OCPD, and other Wake Forest law personnel.

  • Accepting an Offer of Employment: Once a student has committed to a specific employer, we expect that student to follow through on the commitment. Once a student has accepted an offer, the student should withdraw all pending applications and cease seeking employment on entertaining other offers.
  • Interview Attendance: Students are expected to attend all initial interviews obtained through OCPD recruiting programs, including all on-campus interview programs, off-campus interview programs, resume collects, and job fairs. Once the student has submitted an application and been selected to interview, the student cannot cancel unless the student has accepted or is planning to accept another job offer prior to the interview.
  • Emergency Cancellation: If an unavoidable and unforeseen emergency prevents a student from attending an interview, the student must notify OCPD immediately by phone and follow up by email.
  • Multiple Open Offers: Students should not hold open more than 5 pending offers at any one time.