The Post-OCI Job Search

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The Post-OCI Job Search

Postby 2LLLL » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:03 am

So you've struck out at OCI and now you're just trying to pick up the pieces and move forward. You want to be proactive, but all you can think to do is mass mail every small to mid-sized firm you can find on Martindale. You go to Career Services, and all they have to offer is a vague instruction to "network," without really telling you effective ways to do so. You don't want to give up, but you're worried that your legal career may be effectively over before it even began.

ITT, let's discuss strategies for finding a worthwhile summer job that won't be radioactive on your resume after striking out at OCI. There's a ton of advice for how to succeed in OCI (some good, some bad), but there is very little on what to do afterwards. I'm especially interested in input from people currently in this situation, as well as people who struck out in OCI in previous years but managed to make it work (or didn't).

So I'm not just asking for advice without bringing anything to the table, I'll tell you what I've done. I reached out to a hiring partner I interviewed with at OCI for advice/guidance because he went to my school and seemed like a nice guy. He took me out to breakfast the other day and we discussed some things. He told me that he would put out feelers to people he knows at non-OCI firms and recommend me to them. I figure that even if that isn't ultimately fruitful, it has a better shot than anything I can think to do on my own right now. So possible strategy - get other people invested in your success.

Would really like to hear what others are doing/have done in this situation.

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Re: The Post-OCI Job Search

Postby SpiteFence » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:21 am

While I was still waiting firms to get back to me, our CSO set up meetings with alumni association people from our target markets to help us find job opportunities. So my advice is try to find alumni with a history of some sort of continued involvement in your ls because they will be the most likely to meaningfully help.

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Re: The Post-OCI Job Search

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:40 am

Without more info it is kind of hard to comment (what your school ranking is, did you not get a job at OCI because of grades or just no firms came or other?), so this advice applies mainly to those in lower T14s.

As someone this happen to last fall, besides looking at firms I would contact any government agency/DA Offices/ AG's Offices, etc. in areas where you know you want to practice long term. For government agencies though lots of them have formal programs for the summers, if you call some of the regional offices they will take on interns on their own just because they are smaller and don't normally have interns. I just set up a list of places and would cold call a few a day. Eventually it worked out. Just find the regional number, ask if you can speak to someone about a summer internship. I included DAs and AG's offices just because if you work there in a major metropolitan area they are going to know quite a few people and this could give you a possible lead. Even in rural areas they are going to know everyone, but the downside is the legal markets are quite smaller there.

I'd add besides what you are doing now, try and refocus and look at getting a clerkship next fall. I realize this is going to be quite a few others' plans as well, but I still don't think it is a bad one. I think working at a government agency etc. rather than a small firm may give you an advantage. Quite a few Judges came from the public sector and are looking for someone with public interest experience. You now have a way to make your resume stand out amongst the others. Additionally, if you choose to work in a state without a top law school, working in public interest in that state makes receiving state supreme clerkships interviews easier.

I realize there is the argument that "If he struck out at OCI, he will strike out applying for clerkships." I would say ITE this really isn't the case. I know people who were on Law Review who could hardly find a job and those with lower than average grades that did find a job. Quite a few of the people who couldn't find a job at OCI managed to get a clerkship this fall.

On those lines, I'd also try and be a research assistant for a professor. This can aid you in the clerkship and job process. The professors are usually linked in and have a great network of people they know. Partners/Judges ask them about jobs and if they can suggest anyone to fill open positions. If you were just another good student in their class they don't have much of an incentive to recommend you. If they know you and you do good work, a personal call from them can make a difference. Though just an anecdote, I know people who have gotten jobs this way. To me it seems like a pretty good upside without much downside. You get to know a professor and most schools will either let you get credit or the professor will pay you.

Edit: I should have added, probably finding something that pays isn't going to happen or it is going to be much more difficult. I think it is better to be focusing on more long term employment at this point.

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Re: The Post-OCI Job Search

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:20 am

I worked at the USAO-DC this past summer after my 1L year, and there were a number of rising 3Ls (from across the country) working there. While its not a paid position, and by rule can't lead to an offer for full-time employment, you still get to do a ton of substantive work, and its a great resume line for anyone wanting to apply for clerkships/become a litigator. They also tend to begin interviewing in January, so its not too late to apply.

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