Permitted Employer Prerequisites and Preferences
How Employers Receive Your Resume
Bidding and Bidding Strategy
Open Interview Sign Up Procedure
Limitations on Trading Interview Time Slots
Resumes, References, Transcripts, Writing Samples
School Policies/Rules Governing Providing Information To Employers
Bids are processed randomly. Employers are not permitted to “pre-screen” students and specify who they want to interview. However, employers are permitted to specify the percentage of 2Ls and 3Ls they are interested in interviewing.
In addition, employers are permitted to specify that students interviewing with them have either:
1) a technical background (e.g., an advanced science degree);
2) a particular language skill; or
3) practice-specific interest demonstrated by course work (e.g., tax).
They are not permitted to impose any other prerequisites on students seeking interview slots with them. If a particular employer has specified that a student must satisfy one of the above permitted prerequisites, an “Additional Requests/Information” ["i"] icon will appear to the left of the employer’s name on the OCI homepage of the b-Line. (You can also find information about prerequisites -- and other information about an employer, including a link to its website -- by clicking on the “Review” button next to the employer’s name on the OCI homepage.) If you do not satisfy a permitted prerequisite, you should not bid on that employer. If you do, and your submitted resume demonstrates that you do not satisfy the specified prerequisite, your name will be removed from the employer’s interview schedule and you will have wasted a bid.
Stated Employer Preferences
While the CDO does not encourage the practice, it does not prevent employers from also using the “Additional Requests/Information” feature of the b-Line to state qualifications they prefer interviewing students to possess (such as “journal member” or “top 25%”). An employer’s stated preference, however, has no effect on a student’s eligibility to bid on an interview slot with that employer. Nor does it make it any more or less likely that a student’s bid on that employer will succeed in being assigned an interview slot. Statements such as top 25% may be a standard criterion or rule of thumb that the employer states at all schools where it recruits, which, in reality, may be a hard and fast rule at one school and something they may be flexible about at another.
Employer Access To Resumes
Prior to your scheduled interviews, employers will have access only to your resume. You need to bring collated copies of your other interview materials – your Berkeley Law transcript, writing sample, and a list of references - with you to each interview. You should also have extra copies of your resume on hand in case the employer did not bring a copy to the interview. For information on preparing your resume and having it reviewed by a CDO counselor, see the “Resumes, References, Transcripts, Writing Samples” section below.
In order for employers to be able see and download your resume, you must: 1) upload it; and 2) electronically attach it to each bid through the b-Line. You can upload multiple versions of your resume (for example, one version for law firms and one version for government employers, or a version for New York employers and another for California employers). You will be able to choose -- at the time you submit your bids -- which version a particular employer will receive. Be sure to label each in a way that will make your resumes readily identifiable when you bid.
An employer will be able to view and download the resumes of each student who bid on it, regardless of whether the bid was successful. It’s possible, therefore, that you may be contacted by employers on whom you bid but did not get an interview. It is not uncommon for them to seek to arrange an interview for an unsuccessful bidder outside of their formal interview schedule (perhaps after 5 pm or before 9 am). Employers will not have online access to any resumes other than those of students who bid for interview slots with them.
Keep in mind that employers will also be able to view the filename you assign your resume, so do not give it a name that you do not want employers to see. Further, to help employers identify your resume, it is recommended that you incorporate your last name into the filename (i.e., smithfirmresume, smithgovresume, etc.)
If you or anyone else who reviewed your resume used any revision or editorial tracking feature (such as “Track Changes” in Word), be sure that the version you upload into the b-Line has been finalized, i.e., all changes have been accepted or rejected and the file contains only one version of the document. This will ensure that employers see the final, changed document and not the history of your edits.
Uploading Your Resume Into The b-Line
The uploading process is accomplished by clicking on the “Documents” tab at the top of your b-Line homepage and following the instructions. Uploading is a two-step process. First,the b-Line copies the resume file; second, it converts the file to .pdf format. The conversion is complete when the word “Ready” appears in green in the “Status” column pertaining to the version you are uploading. It is possible that the conversion to PDF may slightly change the format of a Word document. The chances of this happening are minimal, but can be reduced or eliminated by using common fonts and by formatting the Word document properly. Alternatively, you may want to convert your document to .pdf prior to uploading it into the b-Line. Some word processing programs already have the ability to allow users to convert a document to .pdf format. There are also websites that provide software or services to perform the conversion. Two examples are http://www.pdfonline.com/ and http://www.primopdf.com/. Regardless of when or how you convert your document, be sure to view your converted resume in the b-Line to be sure it is appears as you would like it to for any employer who will be viewing it.
Attaching Your Resume To A Bid
You can attach any uploaded version of your resume to each one of your bids. If you fail to attach any version of your resume to a particular bid by the time bidding closes (see Calendar), the b-Line will automatically attach your “default” resume to that bid and make it available to that employer. Your default resume is the one you have designated as such (via the “Documents” homepage of the b-Line). If you have not made a default designation, the b-Line will use the first version you uploaded as your default resume.
Revising a Resume Already Attached To A Bid
Once you have selected a version of your resume and attached it to a bid, that selection is “sticky.” Merely replacing an existing version with a revised one in the Documents section of the b-Line will have no effect on the versions that have already been attached to your existing bids. You need to actually substitute the revised version for the version that you originally attached to your existing bids. In order to do that, you need to go to the “Employers/Apply” tab and individually update each bid affected (via the "Review" button) or, if you are using the same version of your resume for all your bids, click the “Update All” button in the upper center box labeled “Default OCI Resume.” Please note that once the bidding period has closed, you will not be able to change the resume associated with any of your bids.
What To Bring To Your Interviews
Bring collated copies of the following materials to each interview: current resume, photocopy of your official law school transcript, writing sample, and a list of 2 to 3 references. Please do not upload transcript documents into the b-Line. For more information about what/whom to use as writing samples/references, see the “Resumes, References, Writing Samples" section below. Some employers have requested that students bring additional materials to the interview such as a cover letter or an undergraduate transcript. Employers with additional document requests or other information will be indicated by an "i" icon on the employer’s schedule entry in the b-Line. Click on the “Review” button next to the employer’s name on the OCI homepage to obtain the details of their request.
The maximum number of interviews you can receive in EIW is 20 (there is, however, no limit on the number of additional interviews you can obtain through the “open sign-up” process – see below for details).
There is no limit imposed on the number of bids, but we believe that submitting more than 70 would be excessive for a 2L. On the other hand, you should bid on at least 60 firms to ensure you achieve the 20 interview maximum. (In the past, most students have done at least 20 EIW interviews) Given scarcity of 3L slots, we suggest that 3Ls bid on as many firms as they can.
You place bids from the employers list on the OCI homepage. Keep in mind that you will only be able to view the schedules of employers who are interviewing your class year. (As noted elsewhere in this Guide, you will need to fill out at least the few required fields of the Summer Employer Evaluation before you can access the OCI section of the b-Line; if you click on the OCI tab prior to completing an evaluation, the b-Line will re-direct you to the Evaluations page.) Rank your bids in order of preference.
To place a bid on a particular employer, select a ranking number from the pulldown menu in the column marked “Bidding” next to the employer’s name. There is no "submit" or "enter" button. Employers do not see the rank you assign them. If you decide to change an employer’s ranking, the b-Line will automatically adjust the ranking numbers of your other existing bids, if necessary. You can change your bids up until the date and time bidding closes. (See Calendar). After that, your rankings will be “locked.” So, make sure that your bids are ranked the way you want them prior to the close of bidding. We recommend that you print the screen containing the final version of your bids for your records.
You must upload at least one version of your resume on the b-Line before you will be permitted to bid. Please be sure to allow yourself sufficient time to complete the resume upload and bidding functions before bidding closes.
You do not gain any advantage by submitting your bids early in the time period when bids are being accepted. It is only after the bidding period closes that the b-Line randomizes the order of participating students and begins to process bids according to their rank. At the same time, the process of submitting your bids may take longer than you think (and you may encounter unexpected accessibility/connectivity problems), so don’t wait until the last minute. Once the processing of the bids has begun, there is no reversing it, so no extensions to the deadline can be granted.
Bidding on Multiple Offices (Different Locations) of the Same Legal Employer
Many employers participating in EIW have offices in several different locations. Some of these employers have individual EIW interview schedules for each office location (or for subsets of locations). Others are interviewing for all of their locations on one or two schedules. When employers register they must indicate whether students can interview “with multiple offices of the same organization”. If an employer indicates that students are allowed to interview with multiple offices, you can bid on (and potentially obtain an interview slot on) more than one of its schedules. If the employer has indicated that students are not allowed to interview with multiple offices, an "!" icon will appear next to its name on the OCI homepage of the b-Line. In this case, you are permitted to place bids on more than one schedule, but, at most, only one of these bids will succeed; you will have the opportunity to express your interest in different offices at the one scheduled interview. Once you are granted an interview on one schedule, your remaining bids (if any) for that employer will be voided and the ranking of your remaining bids on other firms will move up accordingly.
How the b-Line Processes Bids
At the close of bidding for each phase, the b-Line randomizes the students’ bid entries and begins filling the employer schedules by processing students’ first ranked bids. It then moves down to the second ranked bids and begins processing those in random order and so on. When the b-Line encounters a student whose highest not-yet-processed bid cannot be assigned an interview, that student’s next-highest ranked bid will then get priority in the next round of processing.
A student’s bid cannot be processed when:
--the employer’s interview schedule has filled, or
--the only available slots are reserved for students of another class year, or
--there are no available slots that do not conflict with one of the student's already scheduled interviews.
Strategic Implications of this Process
There are a few key elements that determine bidding success:
Rank and popularity. Obviously, anyone who places an employer at a higher rank than you will have his or her bid processed before yours (although this does not necessarily mean he or she will receive an interview). Moving an employer up by just a single rank can substantially increase your odds of receiving an interview, if the employer will be in high demand. To help you gauge that demand, you may want to consult the statistical report containing information about the number of bids an employer received during last year's OCI. You can find a link to the 2013 OCI Results on the EIW/FIP webpage. [NOTE: We expect the link to "go live" in mid to late June.]
Number of slots and popularity. Your chances of receiving an interview also depend on the number of interview slots (e.g., larger employers may have multiple concurrent interview schedules; smaller ones may have only a half-day schedule). If you determine that an employer will likely have more interview slots than bids, you might consider assigning it a lower rank. (See the 2013 OCI Results, to assist you in making this determination.) Similarly, you would likely not succeed if you placed a popular employer with only two interview schedules at the end of your list; their schedule will likely be filled before the b-Line reaches your bid.
An employer’s class year preference. Employers designate how many students from each class year they would like to interview. Class allocation can affect the actual number of interview slots available to you, as well as the total population of potential bidders. A schedule with a 50-50 2L to 3L allocation will have more potential bidders (interested 2Ls as well as 3Ls); however, only about half the slots will be available to you.
Deciding how to rank your bids no matter how many factors you take into account, is still largely guess-work. If you attempted to calculate as thoroughly as possible the odds of getting a particular interview, you would still have to rely on many assumptions. Also, keep in mind that data from last year’s EIW reflects conditions that existed in the legal marketplace at that time.
After the bidding process is completed and your interview schedules are generated (and made available via the b-Line), there is yet another opportunity for obtaining interviews by using what is known as the Open Sign-Up Process. (You can also use this process to reschedule an existing interview to an open time slot). Here’s how:
1. The Open Sign-Up process will go "live" at 9 a.m. on the morning after interview schedules become available. At that time, an "Available Dates" column will appear on the employer list in the OCI section of b-Line. For employers with available open time slots, the date in that column will be enclosed in a clickable box. (You will not be able to click on the date of an employer whose schedule is full.) Click on the date button to review the available times and sign up for a slot. Do not sign up for an open slot with an employer if you do not meet their permitted hiring prerequisites. You can review an employer’s permitted prerequisites by clicking on the “Additional request/information” ["i"] icon next to the employer’s name or by clicking the “Review” button next to the employer’s name on the OCI homepage. If you are already on a schedule of a multiple office firm that requires that you interview only once for that firm, the b-Line will not allow you to sign up for a second interview slot. You risk losing both interviews if you attempt to do so.
New open slots will be created whenever a student cancels an interview (see the "Cancellations" section below for instructions and important restrictions relating to interview cancellations). Accordingly, if you are interested in a particular employer, you should check the employer’s schedule regularly because slots may open up at any time during the permissible cancellation period.
2. At the time you sign up for an open slot, you will be able to specify which uploaded version of your resume you want to make available to the employer. If you do not select a version, the b-Line will allow your “default” version to be viewed and downloaded by this employer. You should not assume that the employer necessarily will have downloaded and reviewed your resume prior to your interview (especially if you sign up only a few days before the interview date). Accordingly, you should always bring a copy of your resume to your interviews. (In fact, it is a good practice to bring extra copies of your resume as well as your other application materials to all your on campus interviews).
You will be able to sign up for any open time slot on an employer’s schedule via b-line up until 5:00 p.m. on the day before the interview is scheduled to take place.
If you must cancel an interview, you need to do so via the b-Line before 5 p.m. three days prior to the interview (e.g, if your interview is anytime on Friday, you must cancel by 5 p.m. on Tuesday). This deadline does not apply to 3Ls who are awaiting an offer from their summer employer (see below). The b-Line will not accept cancellations after the cancellation deadline.
The interview cancellation policy is necessary in order to give adequate notice to employers -- many of whom are traveling a great distance to meet with Boalt students and whose travel or work plans may need to be re-arranged in response to a change in their interview schedules.
If an emergency arises after the online cancellation period has closed, you will need to meet with the CDO Assistant Dean or a designated staff person. Please do not call the Hotel or the employer directly to cancel interviews. Only CDO staff can process interview cancellations after the online cancellation period.
FAILURE TO ATTEND AN INTERVIEW WITHOUT PROVIDING A TIMELY AND ADEQUATE EXPLANATION MAY RESULT IN THE CANCELLATION OF A STUDENT'S REMAINING SCHEDULED INTERVIEWS.
ATTENTION 3Ls: Employers may not be able to make offers before you return to school. Therefore, we suggest that you bid for interviews as if you are going to fully participate in EIW. If you receive an offer and accept a job after submitting your interview requests, please cancel your interviews via the b-Line immediately. If the online cancellation deadline has passed, please contact the CDO as soon as possible.
Because employers notify us of their plans several months in advance, some of them find it necessary -- despite the CDO’s best efforts to discourage them -- to make adjustments after students have already submitted bids or have been assigned interviews. We ask employers to notify us as far in advance as possible about any changes in their hiring needs, but it is not unusual for us to receive very late requests for modification or cancellation of interviews. As noted above, as we receive cancellations and updates, we will be forwarding this information to affected students via the email addresses contained in their b-Line Profile. If you are notified of an interview schedule cancellation directly from an employer, we ask that you notify the CDO immediately.
We do not permit employers to “prescreen” interview candidates in EIW. We have notified all employers that they may not selectively cancel student interviews. However, they may cancel the entire schedule, if their hiring needs change, or they may cancel interviews for all students of a particular class year. If you encounter instances where you believe an employer is selectively canceling students from their interview schedule, please notify the CDO Assistant Dean immediately.
Should an unforeseen or unexpected conflict arise, you are able, with permission, to trade an interview time slot with another student on the same schedule. (Under no circumstances, however, can you give your interview time slot to any student who has not been assigned an interview with the same employer on the same schedule.) To view an employer’s interview schedule, click on the “Scheduled Interview” tab from the OCI homepage and click on the hyperlinked date next to the employer’s name. You will be able to view the names and the hyperlinked email addresses of other students on the same schedule. You may contact them to see if they are amenable to switching slots with you. If you find someone willing to switch, both you and that student need to send an email (or come by to see or call) Marty Grenhart (email@example.com (510) 643-7242), who manages EIW scheduling, to process the trade. The email should include the employer’s name, the date of the interview and the name of the student with whom you are switching. We ask that you be considerate of your fellow students and be prudent in using this option -- the person you are contacting for a slot trade may be receiving similar requests from other students as well.
Due to the fluid nature of their attorneys’ schedules and the demands of their practice, employers rarely know who they will be sending as interviewers until the very last minute. Accordingly, we will not know the interviewers’ identities with certainty until they check into the Hotel on the morning of their scheduled interviews. As soon as all the interviewers are checked in, CDO staff will enter that information on b-Line (usually by 10 a.m.).
Employers do have the ability to enter the name of the attorney(s) they are expecting to conduct their interviews at any time using the b-Line (though there is no guarantee that, even if they choose to provide this information, they will remember to update it when changes occur). You can view this information (if it has been provided) by clicking on the "Scheduled Interviews" tab towards the top of the OCI homepage and then clicking on the interview date in the "Interview Dates" column to the left of the employer’s name. Don't be surprised, however, if your interviewer turns out to be someone else.
You can find the CDO's Resume Guide online at http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1145.htm and a resume template online at https://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/careers/2013_Sample_JD_Resume_Outline.pdf. Similarly, you can find the CDO's Cover Letter Guide online at https://www.law.berkeley.edu/1147.htm and a cover letter template online at https://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/careers/2013_Sample_JD_Cover_Letter_Outline.pdf. To have your resume reviewed by an Attorney-Counselor, please read the Guide first, then update your resume and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (or drop off a typed draft at the CDO reception desk). A counselor will review your resume, make comments if appropriate, and arrange to get it back to you. Following these suggested revisions, either you or the counselor may request an appointment for resume counseling.
If you want your resume reviewed promptly, please make sure to submit it to us as early as you can (counselors are available throughout the summer). The demand for counseling resources dramatically increases in July. Accordingly, after July 14th, we cannot guarantee that resumes submitted in this way will be reviewed by the date bidding closes. Due to the volume of resumes and time constraints, CDO Attorney-Counselors will be unable to re-review or review revised versions of resumes that were previously reviewed in July or August. If you have any questions regarding a counselor’s comments on your resume, direct them to the counselor who did the original review and comment. Time and resources prevent us from allowing review by multiple counselors.
You should bring with you to each interview a photocopy (front and back) of your official transcript as it was prepared by the Berkeley Law Registrar. Transcripts from the UC Berkeley main campus or BearFacts printouts may not be submitted to employers. Knowing violation of this prohibition will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Student Services for appropriate action.
In order to ensure you receive your transcript in time for EIW, you will need to order it from the Registrar by July 14th. The Registrar’s Office now accepts online orders for transcripts (from the Registrar’s website, click on “Forms” on the right sidebar menu and then click “Order Online”) and will mail them to a designated address, thus eliminating the need for you to make a separate trip to the School prior to EIW. (NOTE: You also have the option to order your transcript and pick it up in person from the Registrar’s Office, if you prefer.)
You should take full advantage of Phase II of the TeleBEARS process to complete your enrollment and ensure the accuracy of all your information via BearFacts (e.g., that your name and grades are correct, etc.) well before classes begin.
Once you receive your transcript, you will need to make enough photocopies to distribute to each of your interviewers during EIW, so be sure to build in sufficient time to do this before the first day of interviews (you will not be able to make photocopies at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza during EIW). You should also have several extra photocopies in case an employer asks you for one during one of your visits to a hospitality suite.
Keep in mind that EIW employers are interested in reviewing your transcript essentially for the purpose of determining how well you did in the courses that you have completed. By and large, they are not interested in to the classes in which you are enrolling (or have enrolled) for the coming semester. Accordingly, you should not be concerned about going into an EIW interview with a transcript that does not reflect last-minute changes/additions/deletions in your course enrollment. The key data that must be accurate for employers are your grades.
You should line up 2 or 3 individuals who will be willing to serve as references for you prior to EIW. The general rule of thumb is that you should choose those individuals who are the most willing to say the most good things about you (your legal analytical and writing abilities, work ethic, your character) in the most enthusiastic manner. Legal employers tend to be most interested in what you have done since you have been in law school, so it would be preferable to use law professors, instructors, 1L summer work supervisors, or clinical instructors (as opposed to your college professors or non-law-related employers, unless you had substantial work experience prior to law school).
Always ask your potential references about their willingness to serve before you provide any potential employer with their contact information. The more informed your references are, the better the reference they will provide is likely to be. Let them know what kind of employment you are looking for, how such employment fits your overall career plans, and to whom (as specifically as you can) you are planning to apply. Share your resume and other application materials with them if you think it will help.
Once you know a potential employer is definitely going to contact them, give your references a “heads up.” EIW employers will likely ask for references at the conclusion of the initial on-campus interview or at the end of your last call-back interview. You should have a document separate from your resume, entitled “References”, which you should bring to all of your interviews. It should list the following information about each of your references: Name, Title, Business, Address, Telephone Number and Email Address.
Here is a link to our resource on references. Here is a link to our sample list of references.
Your writing sample needs to be law-related, perfectly spell-and cite-checked, and grammatically error-free. In the EIW context, shorter is probably better (that generally means 3-5 pages, with 10 or so pages being the upper limit). If you have something from your 1L summer work that satisfies these criteria, you should probably use it (provided you have the permission of the client and the employer and all confidential or identifying information is redacted). Alternatively, it is not unusual for students to use a sample from their 1L skills courses. Whatever you choose, have as many people as you can proof-read it. Click here for a resource on writing samples.
It is imperative that all information presented on your resume be scrupulously honest and free of embellishment. The potential for misrepresentation of academic performance is of great concern to employers; they typically verify this information. Berkeley Law has established practices to ensure the fair and accurate presentation of students in the job search process, including procedures for the verification of statements concerning grades, journal membership, or other law school achievements that a student has made in a resume or other document. By making such statements to an employer in writing, students consent to the Law School verifying the substance of these statements at the employer’s request.
Participants in EIW are obligated to adhere to: 1) the policies of the CDO; 2) the NALP Principles and Standards relating to the acceptance of offers of employment; and 3) basic standards of honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect for the rights of others.
Any falsification or misrepresentation of Law School grades or other records, recommendations or other qualifications is a violation of the Academic Honor Code. The Code also prohibits students from taking any improper action to gain an unfair advantage or place any other student at an unfair disadvantage in the career planning or placement activities of the School, whether strictly within CDO or more generally.
If you list your grades on your resume, on a separate grade sheet, or in your cover letter, you must include a copy of Berkeley Law's Grade Key as it is found on the back of your transcript.
The faculty policy provides that students must not include any representation or estimate of class rank or Law School grade point average on a resume or in a cover letter. Any employer verifying student academic information with the Registrar will be informed that there are no formal provisions for student ranking within their class. If the CDO is informed that a student has provided an estimated rank or GPA to an employer, the student will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Student Services for appropriate action. There are only 2 exceptions: 1) providing rank information to a Judge in the context of applying for judicial clerkships; and 2) transfer students may include this information in the entry related to the law school from which they transferred.
If you encounter discrimination (or other inappropriate behavior) on the part of an employer, contact CDO Assistant Dean, Terrence Galligan right away. If you have any doubts about an interview situation or employer question, please do not hesitate to talk to any CDO attorney-counselor about it.
It is possible that an employer may ask you to fill out a voluntary disclosure form called an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Self Identification Form, which asks, among other things, your gender and ethnicity. We understand that employers with federal government contracts are required by the government to distribute such forms to all applicants. You are in no way obligated to complete it and employers have provided assurance that your decision to complete it or not will have no impact on whether or not you are offered a position.