[Speaking in the voice of the late, great Don LaFontaine] In a world where 2Ls are terrified. In a time when Biglaw openly flouts NALP rules. There was one man who would not take it anymore.
[Cue sweeping and inspiring theme song]
That man was Harvard Law School’s Assistant Dean for Career Services, Mark Weber.
Without the knowledge of the general public, the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell told 2Ls interviewing with the firm that it would disregard the 45 day waiting period for holding open offers. Instead, the firm would expect a decision in just two weeks. Am Law Daily reports:
In late July, S&C called several of the nation’s top law schools and informed career services personnel at those schools that the firm would not be following the 45-day guideline, according to six sources with direct knowledge of the situation. All six spoke only on the condition that they not be identified publicly.
Instead, S&C told the career services personnel, the firm would require prospects to respond yes or no in two weeks.
But S&C wasn’t prepared for Mark Weber.
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Weber decided to confront Sullivan & Cromwell, head on:
Law school higher-ups had varying reactions to the move, but none reacted more strongly than Harvard, according to all six sources. Harvard quickly told S&C that, if it stuck with its plan to leave offers open for just two weeks, the firm would not be invited to recruit on campus this year.
Where Harvard goes, others follow:
Weber also sent an e-mail to several prominent law firms reminding them of the 45-day rule, according to a copy of the e-mail obtained by The Am Law Daily. “We expect all firms participating in our [interviewing] programs to comply with these rules,” the e-mail states. Other law schools, including New York University School of Law and Yale Law School, sent similar reminders.
Harvard and the other law schools successfully pushed back against S&C. For now.
But will this line hold?
[Cue hauntingly familiar music]
There is no NALP police. Only law schools, acting in concert for the greater good of its students, can hold law firms accountable to the current recruiting guidelines.
S&C vs. Harvard and the Relevance of NALP’s 45-Day Rule [Am Law Daily]
Earlier: Accept Your Offers: All of Them