- What is Law School “Reciprocity”?
- Reciprocal Job Bulletins
- Accessing Reciprocal Job Bulletins
- Reciprocity Visit Privileges
- How to Request Reciprocity Privileges at Another Law School
- Are There Limits on How Many Reciprocity Requests One Makes?
For legal job seekers everywhere, it can be challenging to search for employment outside of the region where your law school is located. Accordingly, NALP member law schools support a policy of providing job search resources to students and graduates of other law schools through a system called “reciprocity.” Reciprocity allows law schools to provide reasonable access to their career resources for students and graduates from other law schools that agree to provide similar services. Villanova Law, as a member of NALP, participates in reciprocity with other law schools around the nation.
Reciprocity typically involves two benefits for students and alumni:
- Alumni job bulletins shared among networked law schools.
- Visit privileges that allow a job seeker to use another law school’s career office resources.
Each of these benefits is described below in greater depth, as well as instructions on how to use them. It is important to understand that reciprocity is only one method in the job search process. Individuals seeking jobs in other markets must explore other sources for targeting employers in different regions (like the internet, networking, alumni outreach, bar associations, national legal directories, etc.). While schools are usually generous to visitors, every law school—including Villanova—must take steps to ensure that its resources are reserved primarily for the benefit its own students. Toward that end, law schools establish their own appropriate policies to regulate visitor use of their career resources.
Villanova and dozens of law schools around the nation share alumni job postings, commonly called “job bulletins,” through sharing agreements. Villanova Law has one of the most extensive shared bulletin networks in the country.
The contents of these bulletins vary according to each law school. The overwhelming majority of postings are for graduates. However, even student job seekers may benefit from these postings. Alumni postings provide valuable leads to legal employers who are in serious need of additional legal talent---and a summer clerk or entry-level graduate could fill that need in the short or long term.
Most of the job bulletins Villanova receives are available in digital form on the Villanova Law Symplicity website.
For the current Intercollegiate Job Bank user id and password, log into your Symplicity Account to see the list of passwords at the home/announcements page. Then, go to the BYU Law School website and access the page “for Visitors” linked here: https://www.law2.byu.edu/Career_Services/jobbank. Select “Intercollegiate Job Bank” and enter the current user id and password.
Reciprocity visit privileges for students and graduates typically contemplate an actual visit to the law school career office in your desired location.
It is important to understand that each law school has its own reciprocity requirements. Each law school determines the scope of the resources visitors may use. In addition, law schools within the same region or metropolitan area ordinarily do not extend reciprocity visit privileges to students or graduates from neighboring law schools. Also, metropolitan areas with several law schools typically expect the visitor to request reciprocity from only one school in that area. If reciprocity privileges are granted, students/graduates should be sure to read and honor the reciprocity policy of the host school.
Reciprocity visit privileges may include access to career library resources, handouts, local legal newspapers, alumni job postings, and other listings. Virtually all law schools (including Villanova) exclude counseling, resume / letter critiques, or other advising from reciprocity services. Carefully review the reciprocity privileges of law schools in the region where you wish to visit.
One of the best reasons to request reciprocity privileges is to do localized career research on legal employers in your target geographic market outside Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware. Career offices usually maintain helpful local legal resources unique to that law school’s region. Such resources include local legal newspapers, regional bar association directories and publications, and other career materials focused on the law school’s “home base.” However, while some local legal publications and directories are available only in hard copy, you may be able to access vast amounts of localized information via the internet.
For more information about specific law schools and their reciprocity privilege policies, please check the NALP website at http://www.nalp.org. The reciprocity policies included on this site have been provided by NALP member law schools and are posted here as an information service only. (Schools with inactive links on this list have not yet provided their reciprocity policies to NALP.)
Before you visit another law school’s career office, the Office of Career Strategy and Advancement at Villanova Law must request privileges from your desired law school on your behalf.
Therefore, the first step is for you to determine what law school you wish to visit and when you will be able to get there.
Next, you must contact the Office of Career Strategy and Advancement to make your request. To make your request, complete the short “Reciprocity Request Form” available at Career Strategy and linked below. The form asks for basic information necessary to process your request, including: school that you wish to visit, alternate school in case your first choice is not available, your contact information, date(s) you plan to visit, and date of last reciprocity request, if applicable.
Then, the host law school you wish to visit will either approve or deny the request in writing. If your request is approved, you will receive a letter from the host law school. That letter becomes your “passport” allowing you access as a visitor to that career office.
Please plan ahead and allow several weeks to arrange your reciprocity visit privileges. Villanova’s letter is only part of the process—the host law school must review and approve our request. While the process of obtaining your reciprocity privileges can sometimes be very speedy, it can also take several weeks depending on demands on limited staff at either law school. Because of competing deadlines and demands, reciprocity requests may take up to 2 weeks to process. Moreover, while we work hard to transmit our request to the law school you wish to visit, that law school may take 1 to 2 weeks to reply. Therefore, plan ahead and allow ample time to complete the process.
For more information about specific law schools and their reciprocity privilege policies, please check the NALP website at http://www.nalp.org.
The Office of Career Strategy and Advancement may restrict or refuse reciprocity privileges to any student or graduate who misuses the facilities or services, or to anyone surpassing a reasonable number of requests during any given year.
The Reciprocity Request Form is available in the following formats:
Yes. Most law schools limit the number of visitors from the same school. In addition, most schools limit the number of weeks or months that the reciprocity privilege will be effective.
As a Villanova student or alumni, you generally may make no more than 3 reciprocity requests in any one calendar year. NOTE: virtually all law schools honor a “blackout period” (usually from August to December) during which no reciprocity requests will be processed or honored. So, it is important that you plan your requests wisely.
(Effective February 28, 2007)
The Office of Career Strategy and Advancement at Villanova University School of Law will provide reasonable access to resources for alumni and students of law schools outside the Philadelphia area on the terms outlined in the Policy document linked below: