The Career Development Office stands ready to help employers find the best students and graduates of the S.J. Quinney College of Law for their organizations.
Utah Law Recruitment and Hiring During COVID-19
Dear Utah Law Employers,
We hope this email finds you safe and enjoying these warm summer months.
After careful consideration we have elected to move Fall On-Campus Interviews (Fall OCI) to the January 2021 Spring On-Campus Interview (Spring OCI) season. Among the many reasons for this move are that it will allow both you and our students to have another semester of grades for applications. It will give you the fall to better assess your needs for the summer of 2021 and beyond in light of changing economic realities. Furthermore, it will allow students to return to campus and focus on academics as they adjust to the new reality of legal education in the age of COVID-19. Despite moving Fall OCI, you will still be able to post positions and recruit during the fall, although, as explained below, we believe delaying your recruiting until Spring OCI will be to your advantage.
What will Spring OCI look like?
Some of it will be very familiar to you. As in the past, you will be able to schedule interview dates, post your position and criteria, collect applications through our system, download and review applications, and indicate those students you’d like to interview. Likewise, students will be able to review your posting, apply, and accept an interview – if one is forth coming. In the background the CDO will work to manage the number of employers on any particular day, resolve timing conflicts, promote openings, and otherwise support the process.
Some aspects of Spring OCI will be very different. The program will be much larger, and supports all three classes, rather than focusing on the 1L class. It will conducted entirely on-line, both to prevent spreading the COVID-19 virus, and—because so many students will be involved—we will not have the physical space to conduct the interviews as we have in the past, much less in the face of social distancing.
We will send you Spring OCI details in the coming months. However, please rely on the fact that we will be consulting with employers on this process, refining our technology, and developing a strategy to make it a great success for both you and the students. While not finalized, we anticipate launching the program on a Saturday, affording you a full day of recruiting while not missing a billable day in the office, and simultaneously avoiding class conflicts for students. We expect to offer you the ability to interview using one of our interview platforms, or facilitate student access to your organization’s internal system, as you prefer. We will also work with you to promote your firm, organization or company during the fall semester, creating mindshare, and driving student interest.
What about recruiting in the fall of 2020?
You may recruit students in the fall of 2020, and the Career Development Office (CDO) will be here to assist you as in years past. However, as noted above, we will not conduct our Fall OCI program, deferring that activity to the Spring OCI season. In practical terms, this means that you can post positions on our student and alumni job boards, actively recruiting students from any of the classes. You will also have the full support of the CDO in your efforts, from assisting you with developing postings, to helping identify candidates with unique skills, to promoting positions through our regular communication to students. However, in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to and among students, the CDO staff, as well nearly all other administrative units, will operate remotely this fall. This means that all of our support for you and students will be done virtually. It also means that we will not conduct any in-person events or interviews at the college of law. You can interview via teleconference and phone, or you can invite candidates to interview with you at your offices. We do ask that if you elect to conduct in-person interviews, you do so in a way that protects the health of our students as they work to complete classes. If you want to recruit now, and throughout the fall, please follow this link to our 12Twenty system where you can create an account, if you do not have one, and post your position.
Why should I wait until the spring to recruit students?
There are a variety of reasons, but here are a few of the big ones.
- Impact and Efficiency – We devote considerable time and effort to building and managing the OCI process. This includes working with students to prepare their materials and practice their interview skills, promoting employers to students, developing coordinated interview schedules that allow students to interview with multiple employers while avoiding conflicts, and doing all of this in a way that increases value to all involved while reducing the time you have to spend out of the office.
- Grades – The college decided not to award letter grades for the spring 2020 semester. This was a difficult decision, but one most of our peers took as well. As a result, 2Ls only have their first semester grades, and we know these grades, alone, do not give a clear picture of performance. Thus, relying on one semester of grades may cause you to pursue candidates who are not as strong as you believe, and miss candidates who are far stronger than you can tell. In concrete terms, with class of 100 we have seen students move as many as 35 places between the fall and spring. While rising 3Ls will have three semesters of grades, the additional semester may still be telling, especially in light of the challenges imposed by COVID-19.
- Finality – One effect of moving OCI entirely to the spring is that the vast majority of employers will be delaying their recruiting efforts until then. If you recruit in the fall you may be able to draw an outstanding set of candidates, and students may well accept an offer. However, those same students can choose to participate in the Spring OCI program, as well as apply to job postings outside of the OCI process. Thus, there is a risk a student may rescind their acceptance of an offer received in the fall in favor of one received in the spring. To be clear, we strongly encourage student to fulfill their commitments, but we are also obligated to assist them in pursuing their goals, and we may not bar them from participating in OCI or other recruiting activities. Thus, recruiting in the fall may benefit you, but it may also result in your losing a candidate you thought you had secured, and causing you to enter the spring recruiting season weeks behind other employers.
We know this is a massive change in how you recruit our students. We want you to know that were are here to serve and support you. If you have questions, please reach out and ask. If you have ideas or concerns, please let us know as it will help us ensure we are delivering on our promise to you and our students. In addition, if you have a specific need or unique situation, please allow us to develop a plan to help you and ensure your continued success.
Arturo Thompson, Assistant Dean of Career Development
Jaclyn Howell, Director of Career Development
James Holbrook, Director of Special Projects
Posting a Job with SJQ
To Post a Job for a Law Student, Law School Graduate, or Experienced Alumni: Please visit our on-line system at https://law-utah.12twenty.com/hire.
If you need any assistance posting a position please contact Jaclyn Howell at 801-581-7767.
Career Development Office Equal Opportunity Policy
The S.J. Quinney Utah College of Law at the University of Utah supports a policy of equal employment opportunity. Discrimination against a job applicant because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information is not only illegal but incompatible with the practice of law. Employer inquiry regarding these classifications during an interview is prohibited by law and University policy.
If a job applicant with a disability needs an accommodation (such as a sign language interpreter) to apply for a job, please allow the Professional Development Office to assist you in arranging the necessary support.
The S.J. Quinney College of Law believes that fairness in hiring requires something more than just meeting a legal standard. As such, we expect all employers making use of our resources to consider ways in which they might evaluate candidates in a manner which promotes equity, diversity and dignity.
Employers should use valid, job related criteria when evaluating candidates.
- Hiring decisions must be based solely on bona fide occupational qualifications. Be certain to consider the role of implicit bias in your decisions.
- Employers should carefully avoid conduct or questions during the interview and selection process that are (or appear to be) based on stereotypes or isolated prior experiences.
- Factors in a candidate’s background that have no predictive value with respect to employment performance, such as marital or parental status, cultural background, religion or sexual identity should not be inquired about or evaluated.
Employers should refrain from any activity that may adversely affect the ability of a candidate to make an independent and considered decision.
- Employers should give candidates a reasonable period of time to consider offers of employment and should avoid conduct that subjects candidates to undue pressure to accept.
- Employers offering 1L positions for the following summer to candidates not previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 14 days following the date of the offer letter.
All parties are urged to report unfair hiring practices to the Professional Development Office or any Faculty Member. All such reports will be investigated and if found to have merit the employer may be warned about the conduct or suspended from use of University resources for a period of time or indefinitely, at the sole discretion of the Dean.
Please write or call the PDO Director, Jess Hofberger at Jess.Hofberger@law.utah.edu or 801-581-8700 to report unlawful employment practices.