Policies and Guidelines for Employers
Interview and Callback Policies
Interview Programs Limited to Columbia Law School Students
Only current Columbia Law School J.D. students are allowed to participate in our interview programs. Interviewers may not ask students from any other law school to present themselves for meetings at any venue where the Resume Collect Program, Early Interview Program, ("EIP"), Spring On-Campus Interview Program ("OCI"), or Fall On-Campus Interview Program ("OCI") are under way. Interviewers who violate this policy jeopardize their organizations' or agencies' ability to participate in future Columbia Law School interview programs.
Interviewing Outside of Interview Programs/Assigned Schedules
Employers participating in on-campus recruiting programs may not schedule or conduct initial or callback interviews of rising 2Ls prior to any on-campus recruiting programs, including EIP. This policy does not apply to:
- Interviews conducted in accordance with organized job fairs
- Interviews for employer-sponsored fellowship/scholarship programs
- Interviews which result from requests by students for informational interviews
- Interviews with 1Ls who are currently or were previously employed by the employer
Wherever possible, we encourage employers to accommodate our students' course schedules when arranging callback interviews. We ask that students be given options for interview times, so that they can select one that least disrupts their class schedules.
Interview Program Limited to Students at Participating Schools
Only current LL.M. students at one of the seven partner schools hosting the Overseas-Trained LL.M. Student Interview Program (“LL.M. Interview Program”) will be permitted to participate in the LL.M. Interview Program. Interviewers may not ask students from unassociated law schools to present themselves for meetings at the venue where the LL.M. Interview Program is under way. Interviewers who violate this policy jeopardize their firms’ ability to participate in future Columbia Law School interview programs. Read more about LL.M. Interview Program policies
A student’s failure to keep or cancel a scheduled mock or on-campus interview by 12 noon the day before the interview will result in his/her suspension of access to Social Justice Intiatives ("SJI") and/or the Office of Career Services and Professional Development (“OCS”) until meeting with the Associate Director of Recruiting or an SJI or OCS Counselor. The student will also be required to send an email apology and explanation to the employer/interviewer within 24 hours of the missed appointment, copying the appropriate Counselor from the corresponding office. Any two unexcused "no shows" will result in withdrawal from SJI and/or OCS for the duration of the academic year.
Please alert the Dean for SJI of any “no shows” within 48 hours of the scheduled interview.
As a condition of obtaining any form of placement assistance from Columbia Law School, employers are required to confirm their willingness to observe our equal opportunity commitment:
Columbia pursues a policy of equal opportunity to obtain employment, without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability, gender (including gender identity or expression), or sexual orientation. The Law School communicates to each employer to whom it furnishes assistance and facilities for interviewing and other placement functions the school’s expectation that the employer will observe these principles of equal opportunity.
We are very pleased that under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, gay and lesbian people can begin serving openly in the United States Armed Services. Because of ongoing discrimination against openly transgender individuals who seek to serve in the U.S. military, however, we take this opportunity to remind members of our community of the Law School's anti-discrimination commitment and express our view that the military should take steps to allow transgender individuals to continue to serve openly and remove barriers that currently exist for transgender people who seek to enter military service.
Please note: Because the federal Solomon Amendment threatens the loss of federal funding to the University, the Law School cannot apply its nondiscrimination policy to the military. This exception to our policy does not in any way reflect acceptance of, or agreement with, any existing or proposed discriminatory hiring practices, including against transgender individuals in the Armed Services.
Employers recruiting at Columbia Law School agree to comply with the recruiting policies and guidelines set forth in NALP’s General Standard for the Timing of Offers and Decisions. In addition, Columbia Law School has adopted the interim offer timing guidance effective as of December 13, 2018. To review the complete terms of the policies, please click the links below.
Most importantly, employers are expected to:
- Fully comply with the General Standards for the Timing of Offers and Decisions.
- Refrain from recruiting, considering the applications of or extending offers to candidates who have already accepted offers.
- Employers should provide anti-harassment, including sexual harassment, training to anyone involved in the recruitment process.
- Refrain from undertaking any communications intended to secure the acceptance of their offer of employment from a student who has accepted another offer.
- Use valid, job related criteria when evaluating candidates.
- Respect the policies, procedures and legal obligations of individual law schools and request only services or information that are consistent therewith.
- Honor all commitments made on its behalf.
Failure to meet any or all of these expectations may jeopardize an employer’s ability to continue to recruit at Columbia Law School.
Read the full text of NALP's Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process
Read the full text of Interim Offer Timing Guidelines
Employer Events for Students and Alumni
For employers who participate in any of our on-campus interview programs, SJI is available to assist in the planning and execution of all symposia, receptions, panel discussions, and similar events that such employers wish to host on- or off-campus for Columbia Law School students and alumni.
If an employer does not currently participate in any on-campus interview program and wishes to host or participate in an event such as those referenced above, please contact the Dean of SJI directly.
Student Complaint Procedures
SJI understands that employers strive to maintain a professional demeanor during all of their interactions with students. However, each year we receive complaints from students about offensive, insensitive, and/or discriminatory behavior on the part of employer representatives. If our students encounter any such behavior, they are instructed to contact our office immediately.
When SJI receives a complaint from a student, the Dean of SJI may take one or more of the following actions:
- Place the complaint in a confidential “watch file.” Employers in the watch file will be closely monitored by SJI for a period not to exceed one academic year.
- Promptly call the employer involved to discuss the incident(s) giving rise to the complaint and seek clarification regarding the conduct in question. To the extent that the Dean concludes that the employer, while fully intending to comply with the Law School’s Policies and Guidelines Applicable to Employers, acted improperly, the Dean will request that the improper conduct be modified. If the Dean determines that conciliation is possible and may be useful, he/she may work with the student and the employer to resolve the matter in a manner agreeable to both parties.
- Ask the student to file a formal, written complaint, addressed to the Employer Relations Committee. Once the Employer Relations Committee reviews the complaint, it may decide to take several actions, including conducting a full factual investigation into the complaint and imposing appropriate sanctions if it is determined that there has been a violation of the Policies and Guidelines Applicable to Employers. If the Employer Relations Committee determines that there has been a violation of the Policies and Guidelines Applicable to Employers, it may respond by:
- sending a letter of reprimand to the offending employer;
- informing the wider Columbia Law School community about the complaint;
- placing the offending employer on probation for a specified period;
- barring the employer from participating in recruiting activities managed by SJI for a specified period; or
- imposing any other appropriate sanctions.