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Harvard Law School will delay its Early Interview Program until January 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a March 31 email to students.
The Early Interview Program facilitates the hiring process by offering on-campus interviews for rising second year students interested in private sector employment. The Law School originally scheduled the program for July 27-31 at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square.
This year the Law School also planned to pilot additional programming for EIP week. This new component — called EIP Preview —would allow students to apply to up to 5 employers in advance and interview before the official EIP Week.
Although the standard EIP Week will still take place in January, the Law School decided to suspend the pilot for this recruiting season.
In his email to students, Law School Associate Dean for Career Services Mark Weber wrote that the decision to postpone EIP Week resulted in part from the Law School’s transition to a universal pass-fail grading system for the spring 2020 semester.
“This change will enable you to have one more semester of grades to share with employers and will give you additional time to explore and make well-considered career decisions,” the email reads.
Weber’s email also states that the new timeline aims to alleviate the stress students may be facing following the switch to online learning.
“We hope this additional time will give you one less thing to think about in the coming months and allow you to focus on your well-being, settle into what for many of you is a changed living situation, and adjust to our new remote learning environment,” he wrote.
Law School student George Z. He wrote in an email that he supports the school’s decision since the state of the coronavirus pandemic remains unclear.
“I don't think it makes sense to plan on sending students out for interviews amid all of the uncertainty,” He wrote.
But he also noted that students interested in EIP Week may be discouraged from participating in “externships” or clinics offered during the University’s January Term, which may now overlap with the postponed program.
Law School student Kiah D. Duggins, president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, echoed this concern. She explained that the new dates for EIP Week may conflict with an annual workshop hosted by the bureau in January.
“We are now in conversation with the HLAB Board and the registrar about the options that HLAB students can have if they want to participate in both EIP and [Trial Advocacy Workshop],” she wrote in an emailed statement.
Ivanka D. Canzius, another Law School student, said she thinks the postponement may actually increase the number of students who choose to participate in the Early Interview Program because it will not conflict with summer internship plans.
“Doing it in January might actually increase the participation because it will be during the time that students are normally back in school anyway,” Canzius said.
In his email, Weber stated that the Law School administration appreciates the student input it receives and will provide future updates.
“We are listening and want you to know that every decision we make is through the lens of how we can best support you and your career opportunities,” the email reads. “In the meantime, please stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, and know that we’ll navigate these challenges together.”
—Staff writer Kelsey J. Griffin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kelseyjgriffin.
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