The Catholic University of America

FAQs About Fall Recruiting

1. What is Fall Recruiting, on-campus interviewing (OCI), and how does it work?

Fall Recruiting, and on-campus interviewing, is the process through which a small segment of employers, generally large laws firms, federal government agencies, and state prosecutors’ offices, hire future attorneys. Employers pre-screen students’ résumés and pre-select the candidates they wish to interview. Employers typically interview, or screen, up to 20 students in one day, in 20- or 30-minute intervals.

2. What do I need to do to prepare? You MUST READ 2013 Fall Recruiting Procedures.

3. What is a Summer Associate position/program? How does it differ from a summer law clerk job I might get through a job posting?

Most large law firms hire their entry-level attorneys through their summer associate program. Therefore, if you want to join a large law firm after graduation, it is crucial to get a Summer Associate position the summer following your second year if you are a day student or the summer following your third year if you are an evening student. Historically, a Summer Associate position holds the expectation of permanent employment following graduation, provided that the employment relationship works out. Other summer positions, such as law clerks and internships, offer great experiences, but do not necessarily translate into a permanent job upon graduation.

4. What types of employers participate?

Primarily large law firms, some federal government agencies, and state prosecutors’ offices hire summer and permanent employees through fall recruiting programs. OCPD invites all types of employers to participate; however, typically only organizations with large numbers of attorneys know what their hiring needs are as early as the fall semester. Smaller firms hire part-time law clerks during the academic year or conduct OCI in the spring.

5. How can I find out if I am interested in the participating employers?

You will be able to research participating employers over the summer using our Symplicity database ( There will be information about the firms’ practice areas, branch office sizes and overall firm size. To further research employers, you should check the employer websites, Martindale-Hubbell listings on LEXIS-NEXIS,, and located on your Symplicity home page.|

6. How do the employers decide which students to interview? Which students should participate? All students (2D, 3E, 3D and 4E) are welcome to participate; however, employers will submit their own hiring criteria that will be listed on Symplicity. Students should assess whether they fit within the employer requirements. Most law firms will be seeking students within the top 10-25% of the class, but other factors on a student’s résumé can offset a lower rank. Many employers will be seeking students with journal, clinic, and moot court experience or trial practice. Other employers value prior work experience. Some government agencies, prosecutors’ and public defenders’ offices do not put as much emphasis on class rank or grades as law firms.

7. What are the different ways of applying for Summer Associate positions through fall recruiting?

(A) On-Campus Interviewing: The On-Campus Interview (OCI) Program runs from Monday, August 19 through Friday, November 1. It provides employers with an opportunity to screen second-, third-, and fourth-year students for summer and permanent positions. Employers will come on campus to conduct screening
interviews of the students they select after reviewing résumés of those who “bid” for them electronically

1) What is “Bidding”? Bidding is the electronic manner by which you will apply to employers (via Symplicity) who will receive your résumé for consideration. You will find out whether you have been selected for a screening interview by checking Symplicity. Employers will then contact the students directly to schedule second (callback) interviews. On-campus interviews will not be held on 9/2 (Labor Day); 9/4-9/6 (Rosh Hashanah); 9/13-9/14 (Yom Kippur); 10/14 (Columbus Day)

i. Bidding for BIP will open Monday, July 15th, Bidding for Session #1 will open on Friday, July 19. NOTE: There is no benefit in bidding on the first day or the last day of the bid period; however, ALL bids must be submitted no later than 12 noon EST on each bid date deadline. NO EXCEPTIONS!!

2) Is there a limit on the number of employers for which I can bid? There is no limit. However, if an employer is not looking for your class year, Symplicity will not allow you to bid for that employer. Note: It is wise to be selective and research employers before bidding!

3) Can I just bid for every employer at one time and hope that someone selects me? First, Symplicity will not allow you to bid for every employer at one time. Second, if you bid for an employer and were selected to interview – YOU MUST attend that screening interview. It will be time consuming and costly as employers do not reimburse for out of state travel during the screening process, only during the callback phase. (OCPD’s Fall 2013 Interview and Cancellation Policies).

(B) Off-Campus Interviewing: The process is the same as for on-campus interviewing, except that the selected students go to the offices of local employers for all interviews. Again, you will need to “bid” electronically if interested in any off-campus employers.

(C) Résumé Collection: OCPD will collect résumés of students via Symplicity and then forward the résumés to the employers. You will need to “bid” if interested in any résumé collection employer. Employers will contact students directly if they are interested in scheduling interviews.

(D) Direct Send (DS): OCPD will provide contact information for those employers who wish to be contacted directly by students. Students apply to these employers by sending résumés, cover letters and other requested materials directly to the employers. Employers will directly contact the students that they wish to interview. You will NOT “bid” electronically for Direct Send employers. You should apply to Direct Send
employers as soon as possible after you receive the information about their requests and no later than mid-August.

8. If an employer does not come to campus but screens résumés through a Résumé Collection or through Direct Send applications are they serious about hiring students from here?

Any employer requesting that students submit résumés through any means is very serious about hiring a candidate from this law school. A number of employers find hiring through résumé collections or Direct Send to be more cost effective than traveling to interview on-campus. Many students have obtained positions through résumé collections or direct send applications. In addition, fall recruiting takes place in August-September, a heavy “vacation” period for many legal employers, creating staff deficiency.

9. How do I apply to employers that are not participating in fall recruiting at CUA?

There will be organizations that you may wish to contact about summer or full time employment that are not participating in our Fall Recruiting program. This is particularly true of employers outside the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. If, after conducting your research on Symplicity, you find that there are employers to which you want to apply that are not registered to participate in our Fall Recruiting Program or listed in our job bank, you should apply to those employers directly. You should send your résumé, cover letter, and a copy of your law school transcript to these employers by the first week of August. Your goal is to ensure that your application is placed within the same “pool” of applicants from schools where the employer recruits.

10. How many people get jobs through the fall recruiting program?

Approximately 25–30% of fall recruiting participants are successful in getting jobs through this process. These students generally are ranked in the Top 25% of the class. Regardless, the majority of the class will not get jobs this way. Students should keep this in mind and not forego other job search methods to put all of their efforts into fall recruiting.

11. Why don’t other employers participate in this program?

Most other types of employers, including state and county governments, public interest employers, small- and medium-sized law firms, associations, businesses and Capitol Hill offices, do not participate in law school fall recruiting programs because they cannot assess their hiring needs so far in advance. They hire on an “as-needed” basis, when a position becomes available. Still other employers do not participate at all because so many students contact them directly without being solicited. Students who do not participate in the 2013 Fall Recruiting Program should make an appointment with an OCPD Career Advisor to discuss an individualized job search strategy. The majority of employers of entry-level attorneys are small to medium-sized firms, most of which do not participate in fall recruiting programs.

12. What if I have not received my Rank yet? What if I have been re-ranked?

Ranks are generally released early July. Do NOT wait to register!! If you receive your rank after you have been approved for fall recruiting and wish to include it on your résumé, you must resubmit your résumé to OCPD for rank approval. This is easy . . . just include the rank, upload the revised résumé on Symplicity and notify OCPD at We will review it online and send you another “approval” email. These procedures also apply if you are later re-ranked.