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NALP Accepting/Declining

NALP Standards on Accepting/Declining Offers

Cornell, like nearly every other law school in the country, is a member of NALP.  NALP establishes standards governing various aspect of the recruiting process.  Below is a summary of the most relevant NALP standards regarding accepting and declining offers; please see NALP's website for the complete text.  The Career Services Office strongly encourages you to adhere to all NALP standards.  

2L Summer Employment Standards

Q: I am a 2L who got an offer of summer employment from an employer I’ve never worked for before. How long does this offer remain open?

A: Employers offering positions for the following summer to candidates not previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 45 days following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, whichever comes first. Offers made after December 15 for the following summer should remain open for at least two weeks after the date of the offer letter. 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.

Q:  How do I calculate the 45-day period?

A:  The 45 day offer period begins on the day following the date printed on the offer letter. For example, if the offer letter is dated September 2, day one of the 45-day period is September 3.   The offer will expire at the close of business on October 17 (unless October 17 is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, in which case the offer should be extended to the next business day).

Q: I worked for an employer as a 1L and the employer gave me an offer to return during the summer after my 2L year. How long does this offer remain open?

A: Employers offering positions for the following summer to candidates previously employed by them should leave those offers open until at least November 15. 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.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of offers I can hold at one time?

A: A student should not hold open more than five offers of employment at any one time. For each offer received that places a student over the offer limit, the student should, within one week of receipt of the excess offer, release an offer.

Q: Can I ask for an extension from a firm if I am also pursuing a government or public interest job?

A: Students may request that an employer extend the deadline to accept the employer’s offer until as late as April 1 if the student is actively pursuing positions with public interest or government organizations. Students may hold open only one offer in such circumstances. Employers are encouraged to grant such requests.

Post-Graduate Employment Standards

Q: I am a 3L who received an offer of post-graduate employment from the employer for which I worked during my 2L summer. How long does this offer remain open?

A: Employers offering full-time positions to commence following graduation to candidates previously employed by them should leave those offers open until at least November 15 of the candidate’s final year of law school. 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.

Q: I am a 3L who has received an offer of post-graduate employment with an employer I haven’t worked for before. How long does this offer remain open?

A: Employers offering full-time positions to commence following graduation to candidates not previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 45 days following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, whichever comes first. Offers made after December 15 for full-time positions to commence following graduation should remain open for at least two weeks after the date of the offer letter. 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.

Q: How do I calculate the 45-day period?

A: The 45 day offer period begins on the day following the date printed on the offer letter. For example, if the offer letter is dated September 2, day one of the 45-day period is September 3. The offer will expire at the close of business on October 17 (unless October 17 is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, in which case the offer should be extended to the next business day).

Q: I am a 3L holding an offer of post-graduate employment with a firm, but I am also exploring public interest and/or government opportunities. Can I ask the firm to grant me an extension?

A: Students may request that an employer extend the deadline to accept the employer’s offer until as late as April 1 if the student is actively pursuing positions with public interest or government organizations. Students may hold open only one offer in such circumstances. Employers are encouraged to grant such requests.

Exemptions for Smaller Firms

Employers having a total of 40 attorneys or fewer in all offices are exempted from these standards. Offers made on or before December 15 should remain open for a minimum of three weeks. Offers made after December 15 should remain open for at least two weeks.