Non-Discrimination Policy and Recruiting Guidelines

SMU Dedman School of Law values our relationships with employers and is committed to promoting professionalism and fairness in the recruiting process by providing a positive and reasonable recruiting environment that will allow students and employers to be successful. 

Non-Discrimination Policy

Every employer must observe Southern Methodist University's principles of equal opportunity, described in the Statement of Nondiscrimination below, as a condition to obtaining any form of placement assistance from SMU Dedman School of Law or use of the school's facilities. As a member school of the Association of American Law Schools, we are required to ask that you agree to observe principles of non-discrimination the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status and acknowledge this statement when registering and using Symplicity.

SMU Dedman School of Law Statement of Nondiscrimination

Southern Methodist University (SMU) will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, education activity, or admissions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.  SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.  The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX1 Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, including the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title IX.  The Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, accessequity@smu.edu.  Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

1 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688.

Southern Methodist University will investigate any complaint concerning discriminatory practices against its students or alumni to assure that placement assistance and facilities are made available only to employers whose practices are consistent with the principles of equal opportunity described in the SMU Dedman School of Law Statement of Nondiscrimination.

 

Policy Regarding Unpaid Internships

  • Law students may work only under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
  • Unpaid positions with for-profit companies or law firms will not be posted or advertised to students. Employers are encouraged to be informed about federal and state labor and employment laws. For additional information please see the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet on Internships.
  • SMU Dedman School of Law will post unpaid positions for government agencies, the judiciary, and non-profit entities. Employers recruiting at SMU Dedman School of Law agree to abide by the employment standards and guidelines noted in the NALP Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process.   

Recruiting Guidelines

In December 2018 the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) rescinded the long-standing Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities.  SMU Dedman School of Law subscribes to the new NALP Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process and has adopted the following SMU Dedman Law Recruiting Guidelines for the Timing of Offers and Decisions.

We encourage communications between students and employers throughout the recruiting process. In addition to following the specific provisions set forth below, students should keep employers informed, in a timely manner, about the status of their consideration of their offers, and employers should keep students informed, in a timely manner, as to the status of their candidacies.


GUIDELINES FOR THE TIMING OF OFFERS AND DECISIONS


A. General Provisions

  1.  All offers to students of SMU Dedman School of Law should remain open for at least 28 days from the date of the offer letter.
  2. Students are expected to accept or release offers or request an extension by the applicable deadline. Offers that are not accepted by the offer deadline expire.
  3. A student should not hold open more than three offers of employment at any one time. For each offer received that places a student over the offer limit, the student should release an offer no later than three business days after the receipt of the excess offer.
  4. Employers are encouraged to schedule interviews at a mutually convenient time outside of class so as not to disrupt students’ studies.
  5. Employers offering part-time or temporary positions for the school term are exempt from the requirements of Paragraphs B and D below.
  6. Practices inconsistent with these guidelines should be reported to the Office of Career Services.

B. Employment Provisions for the Following Summer

  1. Employers offering positions for the following summer to students not previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter. 
  2. Candidates may request that an employer extend the deadline to accept the employer’s offer until as late as April 1, if the candidate is actively pursuing positions with public interest or government organizations. Candidates may hold open only one (1) offer in such circumstances.  Employers are encouraged to grant such requests.
  3. Students can accept the offer at any time prior to the offer deadline and should strive to make offer decisions in a timely manner. 
  4. Employers offering students positions for the following summer and having a total of 40 attorneys or fewer in all offices are exempt from Paragraphs 1-2 of this Section.

C. Summer Employment Provisions for First-Year Students

  1. To position law students to be as successful as possible, their efforts during the first semester of law school should focus on their studies rather than on job search activities. Nonetheless, opportunities to learn about professionalism, professional development, and the legal profession are appropriate early in law school, and SMU Dedman School of Law welcomes employer participation in student programs focused on professional development and not recruiting.
  2. Prospective employers and first-year law students should not initiate contact with one another, and employers should not initiate formal one-on-one recruiting contact with students, including applications, interviews, or offers to first-year students, before November 1.  An exception for earlier recruitment is granted to government employers with extensive security clearance processes.
  3. Interviews should be scheduled for a mutually convenient time outside of class and so as not to disrupt students’ studies.
  4. All offers to first-year students for summer employment should remain open for at least two weeks after the date made.
  5. Students may accept the offer at any time prior to the offer deadline and should strive to make offer decisions in a timely manner.

D. Full-Time Employment Provisions

  1. Employers offering full-time positions to commence following graduation to any student previously employed by them should leave those offers open until at least October 1 of the student’s final year of law school, provided that such offers are made prior to or on September 1.
  2. After September 1 of a student's final year of law school, employers offering full-time positions to commence following graduation to students previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter.
  3. Employers offering full-time positions to commence following graduation to any student not previously employed by them should leave those offers open for at least 28 days following the date of the offer letter or until December 30, whichever comes first
  4. Students may accept the offer at any time prior to the offer deadline and should strive to make offer decisions in a timely manner.
  5. Students may request that an employer extend the deadline to accept the employer’s offer until as late as April 1 if the student is actively pursuing positions with public interest or government organizations.  Candidates may hold open only one offer in such circumstances.  Employers are encouraged to grant such requests.
  6. Employers offering students full-time positions to commence following graduation and having a total of 40 attorneys or fewer in all offices are exempt from Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Section.