Harvard Law School altered the 2011 schedule for their annual Early Interview Program, moving on-campus recruiting to mid-August and allowing second years to finish the entire interview process before the beginning of classes.
The Early Interview Program allows employers to recruit students for summer jobs, which are considered to be a stepping stone for future permanent employment.
During the next academic year, the program will be held between Aug. 15 and 19, and students will have three weeks to travel to callback interviews before classes start for upperclassmen on Sept. 12. In the past, classes were cancelled after a few weeks of school so students could fly out to interviews.
Mark A. Weber, assistant dean for career services, said that the former schedule distracted students from their course work.
“The new schedule lets students interview without interfering with studies—which is the primary reason they’re here,” Weber said.
The recruiting process has been shifting earlier and earlier over the past five years. In 2006, callback interviews were completed in late October.
Despite its early start, Weber said that the new schedule would not cut students’ summer jobs short, saying that firms have cut summer programs to end in late July.
The Law School’s Office of Career Services wrote in an e-mail to students that the changes would enhance student employment opportunities and enable students to have more flexible calendars when scheduling callback interviews.
Weber said that there is “no downside” to making recruiting earlier.
“Why not?” Weber asked.
Most other law schools have already scheduled on-campus recruiting during mid-August, Weber said. Yale Law School made the decision to move on-campus recruiting from mid-September to mid-August last year.
Despite the large number of schools hosting potential employers during the same time period, Weber said that he is confident that potential employers will recruit at Harvard.
Employment after graduation for Law School students has been steady for the past 20 years, despite the financial crisis. According to the Law School’s Office of Career Services, between 92 and 95 percent of third years who graduated last year obtained employment.
—Staff writer Caroline M. McKay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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