Possibly stupid question about OCI/placement

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rinkrat19
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Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Possibly stupid question about OCI/placement

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:38 pm

Forgive me if I'm being dense, but I'm just a lowly 0L still trying to gain an understanding of the whole OCI process.

I'm planning on attending Northwestern. While I would like to come back home to Portland after graduation, I'm not limiting myself to that, since I know Portland is a pretty small legal market.

Is it possible to do OCI in Chicago and get a SA job at one of a firm's other offices? Or does that 'other' office need to actually have representatives at OCI for them to do any hiring?

Specifically, I'm wondering if it's totally out of the realm of possibility to get a summer job at home in Portland. Portland has a few biglaw firm branch offices, but obviously, the Portland offices of those firms are not going to be doing OCI at Northwestern. I'm wondering if those firms would ever choose a Northwestern student with an expressed interest in living in Portland after graduation over students from the local (much lower-ranked) schools.

(all of this, of course, assuming that I have the grades to earn myself a shot at a biglaw SA)

Rule11
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:25 pm

Re: Possibly stupid question about OCI/placement

Postby Rule11 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:44 pm

It's not a stupid question at all.

The answer is that it will depend on whether employers that have Portland offices will be attending Northwestern's OCI. Northwestern should be able to furnish you with a list of firms that attended previous OCIs, and you should be able to go from there. I'd say that chances are good that at least one of the "Portland biglaw" firms will be there. The biggest one that I know is Stoel Rives, although maybe someone else knows more about that market (probably!).

Anyway, if you're interested in Portland, OCI is not your only option. Northwestern is a "national" school, and you would always have the option of contacting firms outside of the OCI process (you just mail them a cover letter, resume, sometimes a writing sample, etc.--feel free to call/write their HR departments and ask what materials they like to receive from students).

Good luck! Portland biglaw is a tough nut to crack, but it sounds like you'll be in a good position to make a run at it.

edit: sorry, I just realized that there was a question in your post that I didn't answer--yes, many firms will allow you to be considered for other offices than the one from whom the OCI representative hails. It depends a little bit on the firm, but you should feel free to contact HR departments and ask.

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tome
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Re: Possibly stupid question about OCI/placement

Postby tome » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:46 pm

I know a guy at NU who I am pretty sure had no connection to Portland, did a 1L summer there, and liked it so much he just skipped OCI completely and took a 2L summer job there too. Just to show it can happen.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Possibly stupid question about OCI/placement

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:50 pm

Rule11 wrote:It's not a stupid question at all.

The answer is that it will depend on whether employers that have Portland offices will be attending Northwestern's OCI. Northwestern should be able to furnish you with a list of firms that attended previous OCIs, and you should be able to go from there. I'd say that chances are good that at least one of the "Portland biglaw" firms will be there. The biggest one that I know is Stoel Rives, although maybe someone else knows more about that market (probably!).

Anyway, if you're interested in Portland, OCI is not your only option. Northwestern is a "national" school, and you would always have the option of contacting firms outside of the OCI process (you just mail them a cover letter, resume, sometimes a writing sample, etc.--feel free to call/write their HR departments and ask what materials they like to receive from students).

Good luck! Portland biglaw is a tough nut to crack, but it sounds like you'll be in a good position to make a run at it.

edit: sorry, I just realized that there was a question in your post that I didn't answer--yes, many firms will allow you to be considered for other offices than the one from whom the OCI representative hails. It depends a little bit on the firm, but you should feel free to contact HR departments and ask.


Just as a heads up... Garvey Schubert Barer is a great firm with a nice sized office in Portland.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Possibly stupid question about OCI/placement

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:43 pm

Thanks for the replies, guys. Very helpful, and relieving to hear that it's not an entirely unrealistic pipe dream.




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