bigkahuna2020 wrote:Do law students really depend on OCI that much? That might be the source of the problem. There are a shitton of decent law firms that do not do a ton of OCI interviews. Obviously not as lucrative as BigLaw but here in NJ/NYC there are a lot of firms with 25-75 lawyers, and a lot of them are booming. Connections are key, though, and really should be made when in law school, even if it is just picking their brains/buying some lunch and talking.
I somewhat agree and somewhat disagree here. Students do over-rely on OCI, there is no doubt about that. I think a lot of this comes from the pre-ITE boom, and some of it comes from how much easier OCI makes things for students at the top. But there are not a "shit ton" of decent law firms, if by decent you mean "well-paying." The vast majority of law firms pay under 60k, and a lot of them only pay 30-40. If you have a lot of debt and you just spent 7 years (or more) getting a law degree, that just doesn't cut it, and I would personally prefer to work a PI gig and get 10 year IBR if I was only going to make that much in a private firm. Honestly, my biggest concern is no unemployment, but underemployment.
As you noted, cracking into the "network" is often what it takes, and that is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a whole heck of a lot of luck. I came into law school planning to be Mr. Networking, and I've gone to almost every event I can go to during my first semester. I think of myself as a pretty good networker, and I've made a whopping one contact (maybe two others who would be decent), and I don't think he is someone who would be able to help me get a job.
And finally, those "booming" 25-75 person firms might take on, what, like 1-2 freshly minted JDs at the very most each year? So even if we assume that in NYC/NJ there are a few hundred of these firms, and each one takes on two freshly minted JDs (which they are not, since many of these smaller firms want experienced lawyers), that is no where near enough to absorb the rest of the grads.
So again, while I agree with your point that students over-rely on OCI, I think doing the things you mention are a lot more difficult