Career Corner—Advice and Resources for Alumni

Berkeley Law - Reciprocity

Reciprocity

Reciprocity is a mutual exchange of privileges. Law schools use reciprocity to provide reasonable access to their career resources for law students and graduates from other law schools who agree to provide similar services.

Career development professionals understand that looking for a job, be it the first job or a change to another one, is a stressful time. ABA accredited and NALP member law schools support a policy of providing job search assistance to their students and graduates.

Reciprocity is only one method in the job search process. In addition to reciprocity, it is important that individuals explore other sources for finding employment within one's own law school such as employment listings and bulletins; job hot lines; legal press; local, state, and national bar associations; the Internet; NALP publications; and networking with friends and law school colleagues through alumni associations.

NON-BERKELEY LAW STUDENTS AND ALUMNI SEEKING RECIPROCITY AT BERKELEY LAW

Click here for Berkeley Law's reciprocity policy.

BERKELEY LAW ALUMNI SEEKING RECIPROCITY AT ANOTHER SCHOOL

Please send us an email indicating from which school(s) you would like us to request reciprocity. We will contact you once we know whether the other institution has granted it. It commonly takes a week or more to get a response.

REQUESTS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR OBTAINING RECIPROCITY

It is important to understand that every law school has its own reciprocity requirements. Students and alumni should check with their own law school's career development office regarding the reciprocity policies of other schools. NALP publishes a survey of member law school reciprocity policies, which is available in most law school career development offices.

  • While most law schools accept reciprocity requests via email, telephone, or facsimile, some law schools require written requests for reciprocity from the requesting law school's career development Office. This request should be sent several weeks in advance of the student's or graduate's scheduled visit.
  • If reciprocity is granted, it is important for the student or graduate to read and honor the reciprocity policy of the host school.
  • In some geographic areas having a number of law schools in close proximity, reciprocity services may be arranged only at one law school in that area. Accordingly, requests should be made to only one of these schools. The NALP survey cited above lists areas where this policy is in effect.

RECIPROCITY SERVICES

Services vary among the law schools that offer reciprocity. Generally, these services may include access to:

  • The host law school's career development facilities–at some schools this is available on a fee basis only
  • Legal publications, directories, and handouts
  • Job listings (usually only in hard copy onsite)
  • Employment bulletins–at some schools these may be available on subscription basis

 

Services generally not available are:

  • Remote access to online job listings
  • Participation in on-campus recruitment programs and job fairs
  • Counseling
  • Resume review services

The duration of reciprocity services also varies from school to school. Reciprocity services, when granted, are usually available for a limited time and for a limited number of visits. Some schools restrict services to graduates or to those who have recently graduated.

In addition, most law schools have a "blackout" period–a time during which no reciprocity requests are granted. This usually occurs from August 1 to December 15 when law schools are preparing for and conducting their on-campus recruitment programs. During this period their law school's students take priority.

All law school career development offices reserve the right to refuse services to any individual school or person who misuses or abuses the staff, facilities, and/or resources of the host school.

A law school may also suspend reciprocity access if such requests become substantially disproportionate with those of another school.

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LAW STUDENTS

  • Give your law school career development staff sufficient notice for them to initiate the reciprocity request.
  • Read and honor the reciprocity policy of the host school.
  • Call the career development office of the host school in advance of your visit. Walk-in or drop-in requests are not advised.
  • Bring your student ID card or your bar membership card if you are a graduate.
  • Don't ask for services that are not delineated in the host school's reciprocity policy.
  • Don't "bad-mouth" or speak poorly of your own law school's career development staff or facilities.
  • Do mention the fact in your cover letter to employers if you obtained a job listing through the career services office of the host school.
  • Do give feedback and suggestions to your law school's career development office about resources that you found helpful and that are not available at your law school. Career development professionals always welcome and value feedback from their students and graduates.

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LAW SCHOOLS

  • Send a copy of your request or letter of introduction to your student or graduate.
  • Include in the CC portion of your letter the student's or graduate's address so that the host school can send a copy of its reply to your student or graduate.
  • Include a copy of your law school's reciprocity policy with your reply letter.
  • Counsel your students or graduates on how to get the most out of the reciprocity services–this may help them make the most of their visits.
  • Don't distribute copies of another law school's employment or job bulletins to your students or graduates without the approval of the law school that published the material.

LAW STUDENTS AND LAW SCHOOLS

Do remember that the host law school's students and graduates have first priority for the use of the career development staff and facilities.