I can go into more details about my strategy if people are interested.
Yes, please. It seems so far away now, but August will be here before I know it.
I was totally paranoid about OCI. I did not have a "power" resume and was concerned that being old (and a parent) was going to kill me. Here was my plan of attack:
1. Started networking 1L year by going to firm events and panels. I spoke with attorneys about their practice areas and about the business side of their firm (how was it structured, what did they like, what didn't they, what was the partnership track like, how was compensation decided, etc.). I asked a lot of "dumb" questions at this point. This kept me from asking/saying dumb things in interviews (for the most part).
2. Bid very strategically during OCI. I researched the hell out of firms beforehand -- I did not go by Vault rankings (though I did use the Vault guide for info), but instead looked for firms that had large practice groups in areas I thought I would be interested in. I also looked for indications that firms were "facetime" firms (something I did not want and knew I wouldn't be seen as a good fit for). I spoke to friends that were attorneys to get the inside scoop (you could also troll either your UG or LS alumni to do some of this).
3. Bid on multiple markets. I know some people say to concentrate bids, but I was getting feedback that some markets were getting hit harder and that there seemed to be a "type" for some markets -- I wanted to maximize my chances of not getting shut out.
4. Reached out before OCI to a smaller market that I had weak ties to. Cold contacted an alumn at one of the firms to talk about the legal market there. Sent letters indicating when I would be in town.
5. Hustled for extra interviews at OCI at hospitality suites. (Picked up several and got callbacks from all of them.)
6. Went to hospitality suites for all the firms I interviewed with and spoke with the attorneys staffing them (was able to talk about meeting someone back in 1L year at a panel -- it wasn't that I had developed a connection, but that I could demonstrate long-standing interest in the firm by giving that name).
7. Aggressively sold being "old" in my interviews. I had identified the red flags on my resume and generally sought to mitigate them in the interview before I was even asked about them. I sold myself as someone who had enough experience to know what I wanted (and didn't want), knew what working full-time was like, knew what it was like to be a client (not a legal client, but I was able to talk about it in a way that I could show an awareness of needing to keep client needs in mind even as a junior associate), knew what it was like to be a manager, knew what it was like to be a subordinate, etc. I was also (I think
) personable and enthusiastic (in a restrained way) in the interviews. I made sure going in that I knew how to talk about what experience I had gained in my 1L job. I tried to answer questions about myself in a way that would show what I could bring to the table that would be valuable to them.
8. Scheduled callbacks so that some of firms I was least excited about were first. I screwed up a couple of my first callbacks. I was glad they were with firms that were not as good of a fit for me. I took stock of what I did wrong, and how I could fix it.
I think that's about it