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Monday, July 12, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions About the Fall Recruitment Program

Q: What is the Fall Recruitment Program? 

A: The Fall Recruitment Program (FRP) includes a variety of public interest, government, law firm, and judicial employers seeking 2011 summer and post-graduate associates and clerks. FRP begins in August and will continue throughout the Fall semester. 

Q: How do I apply for the Fall Recruitment Programs?

A: If you are applying for an on-campus interview, resume collection, or the New Hampshire Legal Interview Program, apply through the CSO’s Symplicity site. If you are applying for the National Recruitment Program, or the Government and Public Interest Interview program, apply through the Massachusetts Law School Consortium’s (MLSC) site. For detailed, step-by-step instructions, please refer to the Fall Recruitment Instructional Packet, which was emailed to your New England Law account, and can also be found in the Document Library on the CSO’s Symplicity site.

Q: When I’m in Symplicity, and I click on the “OCI” tab, it says something about a summer survey and I can’t find the participating employers. Where do I go from here?

A: All 2LD/3LEs and 3LD/4LEs are required to complete summer surveys and update their profiles including the Transcript Waiver and Interview Policy Acknowledgement before they are able to view the OCI section. When prompted to complete the summer survey, click “Add New” and fill in the required survey fields. After you submit your survey, you should automatically be taken to the OCI section. 

Q: How do I calculate my class rank percentage? 

A: If you are in the top 33% of the class, we suggest you put your class rank, and percentage, on your resume. Your GPA, class rank, and class rank percentage must be accurate to be included in the resume packets being sent to employers. To calculate your class rank percentage, do the following:

  1. Divide your class rank by the total number of people in your class;
  2. Count to the fourth digit to the right of the decimal point, and if it is 5 or higher, round up the third digit; and 
  3. Repeat for the third digit, and if it is now a 5 or higher, round up the second digit. 
    Note: If you applied for any upcoming Fall Recruitment Programs, and find that your percentage is not calculated according to the formula above, please "Withdraw" your application on Symplicity, upload your updated resume with the correct percentage, and re-apply.

    Q: My grades aren't great. Should I even bother applying to big firms?

    A: You should be realistic when applying to large firms. They typically are very strict about their grade requirements and most likely will not interview students who do not meet the standards which they have set. That said, occasionally there are exceptions to that general rule when a student exhibits better than average grades with special skills or highly relevant experience.

    Q: I will be taking a clinic in the Fall. Can I include it on my resume, even though I haven't started it yet?

    A: YES! Include all future clinics, journals, and law review. When listing something that is going to happen in the future, use "Fall 2010" as your date, and "Responsibilities will include..." or "Anticipated job duties will be...". Use the employer's job posting and your knowledge of what you might do as a basis for your description. After you start your clinic, update your job description with elaborated duties and change to the present tense. Bring the updated resume to your interview.

    Q: To whom should I address my cover letter?

    A: Always make sure to include the recipient's name and address on your cover letter. You can find this information on Symplicity by searching under "OCI" and clicking "Review" to the left of the employer.

    Q: If the employer doesn’t specifically ask for a cover letter, can I send one anyway?

    A: No. When applying to employers participating in FRP, only include what has been requested. The employers who have elected not to collect cover letters have done so for a reason. Sending a cover letter will merely show an inability to follow directions.

    For more Fall Recruitment application tips, read: 
    What are Memorandums? Frequent Resume Mistakes and Questions
    Frequent Resume Mistakes and Questions, Part II
    Tips for Writing the Perfect Cover Letter
    Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Samples

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