University of Denver

Foundations: Hiring Guide

Cut through Bias. Hire & Retain the Best Lawyers.
Director of Legal Education and the Legal Profession
Director of Research
Academic Analytics Advisor
Legal Education and Employment Advisor

This guide is for employers who want to improve their hiring practices—to improve quality, retention, and diversity—based on what IAALS has learned from the Foundations for Practice project.

To make the most of this resource, employers should use the guide in conjunction with the Hiring Toolkit at the end of the guide. This is not a list of boilerplate criteria for employers to drape over an existing hiring process. Instead, it is a set of principles and recommendations geared toward hiring candidates suited to excel at an organization— based on that organization’s practice, vision, goals, and needs—that can be adapted to the specific objectives and goals of different employers.

The framework for this guide is based on:

  • The Model Learning Outcomes that IAALS developed in collaboration with Columbia Law School, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Seattle University School of Law
  • Results of the Foundations for Practice survey of more than 24,000 lawyers from across the country
  • Collaborative working sessions conducted with 36 different legal employers in New York, Chicago, Denver, and Seattle representing a variety of practice areas and organization sizes

The guide and accompanying toolkit are designed to walk legal employers through the following process:

  1. Analyze hiring criteria
  2. Create comprehensive hiring criteria
  3. Design objective measures for assessment of candidates
  4. Establish and clearly communicate standards
  5. Put in place accountability measures

More information about Foundations for Practice—including resources for educators, employers, and students—is available here.

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