Top Law Schools Want to Delay Hiring Process Due to Chinese Virus

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Law schools around the country are working to delay the summer hiring process to protect students from the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Administrators from top law school programs are working with large law firms this week to adjust the traditional hiring timeline.

According to a report by, top law schools such as Columbia University and Harvard Law School are working with law firms to reschedule “on-campus interviews,” which typically take place during July and August. Now, many firms have agreed to move this process to January.

Law students at Harvard and Columbia were informed of these changes this week. “We are considering additional summer research assistant opportunities to help 1L students work with and get to know more faculty, and exploring whether it is feasible to move the law firm hiring process to later in the academic year,” Harvard Law Dean John Manning in an email to students. “1L students” refers to first-year law students.

Manning said that the decision was made in response to the stress of dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. “At this moment, when you have so much to cope with and deal with, we thought it important for you to be devoting your mental and emotional energy to something other than worrying about whether to opt into [pass/fail] for the semester,” Manning added.

Columbia Law Dean Gillian Lester told students this week that New York law firms are “strongly considering” moving their hiring season to January 2021. “We have learned that the major New York firms are strongly considering moving EIP, the job-matching process for private law employment, from the summer following the 1L year to January 2021, which may mitigate this concern, at least for 1Ls,” Lester said.

The New York Court of Appeals announced this week that the New York State Bar Examination will be postponed from its scheduled date of July 28 and 29. Many students were scheduled to take the exam in the Javits Center, a large conference center in Manhattan that is currently being used as a makeshift hospital for coronavirus patients.

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