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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Preparing for the 2014 - 2015 Recruitment Program

On July 1, the Recruitment Instructional Packet was e-mailed to all rising 2LD/3LE and 3LD/4LE students. The first Recruitment application deadline is July 9. Each year our office receives many questions from students about this program. Please find our answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

Q: What is the Recruitment Program?

A: The Recruitment Program (RP) includes a variety of public interest, government, law firm, and judicial employers seeking 2015 summer and post-graduate associates and clerks. RP begins in July and will continue throughout the Fall semester.

Q: How do I apply for the Recruitment Programs?

A: If you are applying for an on-campus interview, resume collection, or off-campus interview, 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 Recruitment Instructional Packet, which was e-mailed 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: Every Fall, all 2LD/3LEs and 3LD/4LEs are required to complete their profiles, including summer surveys 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: 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 2014" 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 RP, 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.

Have more questions about preparing your application? Read our blog entries on resumes, cover letters, and writing samples or e-mail us at

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