Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

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dusk2k2
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Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby dusk2k2 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:36 pm

What do I need to do between now and fall to put myself in the best position for Fall OCI? (besides grades, law review, and 1L summer job). These law school deadlines move so quick that I don't want to miss the boat on anything that would be important.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:51 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:A time machine with a setting to warp back to 2006 would be useful.

In all seriousness, doing your homework on firms and bidding is a big part of whether you succeed. But wait to do this UNTIL AFTER 1L YEAR IS OVER. You don't want to leave anything on the table with 1L grades, as you can research over the summer, but cannot use the summer to improve your grade in property or conlaw.


CR. Especially the part about a time machine.

My school (T20) was all preselect, so my advice really pertains to that. If anybody else wants to edit-in tips about a pure bidding system, be my guest. My advice will generally discuss the timeline between the end of your last exam to the moment you walk into your first interview.

OP, you'll want to do the following things:

1. Get a list of firms coming for OCI. If your OCS doesn't have one early in the summer, get one from last year. Moreover, get information about GPA cutoffs, number of bids per employer, number of interviews given, etc... This information will help you formulate your bid strategy.

2. Figure out whether you have a lottery, preselect, or hybrid OCI system. This will be critical for planning your bid list.

3. See where your grades land you after spring semester. This will allow you to throw out firms at which you've got no shot, as well as give you an idea of how to best use your bids.

4. Figure out where you want to work after graduation and what you want to do/practice. This is very important and will come in handy during interviews. To be sure, you're probably going to want to take a job at just about any firm that offers you (ITE, you take what you can get). If you've got the luxury of choosing between firms based upon location or whatever, then these considerations become very important (trust me).

5. Hopefully, your OCS will post employers on your school's online interface long before the bidding deadline. LOTS of information is contained here. You will find: a) which employers are attending, b) location of firm offices, and c) special instructions for bidding. You should use this information, cross-referenced with your preferences from 4., and decide how to bid. For example: if you want to work in NYC but you also want to do appellate/government contract work, you'll probably want to bid the DC office instead of the NYC office...but we know that DC is a harder nut to crack, so if you're a borderline candidate but really want to work in the firm, then you'd probably be better-off bidding NYC, etc... This is probably the most complicated step, and you should TRIPLE CHECK your choices before submitting bids (also, keep in mind certain employers require certain things...some people say these recommendations are not iron-clad, and I'd agree since I definitely got interviews with firms that had requirements I didn't meet...bottom line, just take those recommendations into account in choosing bids).

6. Set your bids. If you're in a preselect system, bid away (assuming you've done your homework). If you're in a lottery system, then you have to be careful with ranking, which should have been figured into your analysis in 5. (I assume, since I didn't have a lottery system). Anybody who had lottery can fill-in here.

7. In the meantime/while you're doing all this, make sure you polish the f*ck out of your resume and cover letter. Consider writing a cover letter for each bid, even if not required. I did this, and while I had lots of success at OCI, I can't say for sure that cover letters helped. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't, but they were certainly not a negative impact.

8. Once you get your interview selections (hopefully!), get online and schedule your interviews as soon as you can. I liked doing them either first or last. People tend to remember the beginning and end of the day. Interviewers are speaking with like 10-20 people per day, so taking the slot just after lunch might be a bad idea (especially if the interviewer crushed a huge lunch and is experiencing a hyperglycemic-hangover). People argue about time scheduling all the time, and surely your credentials will be the dispositive factor in getting you a job. ITE, we use any possible advantage in our favor if we want to be gainfully employed at graduation.

9. Once you're all scheduled, STUDY! You've got a wealth of information on the internet, so use it to learn each firm. This will get really tedious, but it's really important. You don't want to give the interviewer a reason to write you off. Moderate research should be sufficient. Once you do it like 10+ times, firms start to blend together and you'll realize commonalities between firms. Studying will also help you build an arsenal of questions, should you walk in and have to ask questions for the entire interview. Being able to ask questions is key, so have lots ready.

10. If you're an awful interviewer, get some practice.

11. Dress well, relax, and do the interview.

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nealric
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby nealric » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:23 pm

A few things to add:

Look at the actual size of the firm's class as compared to the number of interview slots they have (if the information is available). All other things being equal, it's easier to get an offer at a firm with a large summer class. Firms with large classes tend to be a bit less idiosynchratic in what they are looking for, so they may make better "backup" selections than non-vault firms. Keep in mind that selectivity does not necessarily correspond to vault ranking.

lawfuture10
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby lawfuture10 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:29 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:A time machine with a setting to warp back to 2006 would be useful.

In all seriousness, doing your homework on firms and bidding is a big part of whether you succeed. But wait to do this UNTIL AFTER 1L YEAR IS OVER. You don't want to leave anything on the table with 1L grades, as you can research over the summer, but cannot use the summer to improve your grade in property or conlaw.


CR. Especially the part about a time machine.

My school (T20) was all preselect, so my advice really pertains to that. If anybody else wants to edit-in tips about a pure bidding system, be my guest. My advice will generally discuss the timeline between the end of your last exam to the moment you walk into your first interview.

OP, you'll want to do the following things:

1. Get a list of firms coming for OCI. If your OCS doesn't have one early in the summer, get one from last year. Moreover, get information about GPA cutoffs, number of bids per employer, number of interviews given, etc... This information will help you formulate your bid strategy.

2. Figure out whether you have a lottery, preselect, or hybrid OCI system. This will be critical for planning your bid list.

3. See where your grades land you after spring semester. This will allow you to throw out firms at which you've got no shot, as well as give you an idea of how to best use your bids.

4. Figure out where you want to work after graduation and what you want to do/practice. This is very important and will come in handy during interviews. To be sure, you're probably going to want to take a job at just about any firm that offers you (ITE, you take what you can get). If you've got the luxury of choosing between firms based upon location or whatever, then these considerations become very important (trust me).

5. Hopefully, your OCS will post employers on your school's online interface long before the bidding deadline. LOTS of information is contained here. You will find: a) which employers are attending, b) location of firm offices, and c) special instructions for bidding. You should use this information, cross-referenced with your preferences from 4., and decide how to bid. For example: if you want to work in NYC but you also want to do appellate/government contract work, you'll probably want to bid the DC office instead of the NYC office...but we know that DC is a harder nut to crack, so if you're a borderline candidate but really want to work in the firm, then you'd probably be better-off bidding NYC, etc... This is probably the most complicated step, and you should TRIPLE CHECK your choices before submitting bids (also, keep in mind certain employers require certain things...some people say these recommendations are not iron-clad, and I'd agree since I definitely got interviews with firms that had requirements I didn't meet...bottom line, just take those recommendations into account in choosing bids).

6. Set your bids. If you're in a preselect system, bid away (assuming you've done your homework). If you're in a lottery system, then you have to be careful with ranking, which should have been figured into your analysis in 5. (I assume, since I didn't have a lottery system). Anybody who had lottery can fill-in here.

7. In the meantime/while you're doing all this, make sure you polish the f*ck out of your resume and cover letter. Consider writing a cover letter for each bid, even if not required. I did this, and while I had lots of success at OCI, I can't say for sure that cover letters helped. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't, but they were certainly not a negative impact.

8. Once you get your interview selections (hopefully!), get online and schedule your interviews as soon as you can. I liked doing them either first or last. People tend to remember the beginning and end of the day. Interviewers are speaking with like 10-20 people per day, so taking the slot just after lunch might be a bad idea (especially if the interviewer crushed a huge lunch and is experiencing a hyperglycemic-hangover). People argue about time scheduling all the time, and surely your credentials will be the dispositive factor in getting you a job. ITE, we use any possible advantage in our favor if we want to be gainfully employed at graduation.

9. Once you're all scheduled, STUDY! You've got a wealth of information on the internet, so use it to learn each firm. This will get really tedious, but it's really important. You don't want to give the interviewer a reason to write you off. Moderate research should be sufficient. Once you do it like 10+ times, firms start to blend together and you'll realize commonalities between firms. Studying will also help you build an arsenal of questions, should you walk in and have to ask questions for the entire interview. Being able to ask questions is key, so have lots ready.

10. If you're an awful interviewer, get some practice.

11. Dress well, relax, and do the interview.


Flagged for this summer, post - transfer -- (hopefully not counting my chickens)

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drdolittle
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby drdolittle » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:38 pm

nealric wrote:A few things to add:

Look at the actual size of the firm's class as compared to the number of interview slots they have (if the information is available). All other things being equal, it's easier to get an offer at a firm with a large summer class. Firms with large classes tend to be a bit less idiosynchratic in what they are looking for, so they may make better "backup" selections than non-vault firms. Keep in mind that selectivity does not necessarily correspond to vault ranking.

How reliable are these class numbers nowadays?

dusk2k2
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby dusk2k2 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:45 pm

Thanks for the primer! This is a huge help!

What about class selection, clubs, and internships/externships for fall 2L semester? Other than law review, do firms care about what you are doing the upcoming semester or what activities you did your 1L year? I ask this because I'm seeing that my resume is going to have nothing on it but my school, grades, and 1L summer. I keep thinking I need to get on the hunt for some sort of Fall 2L internship or volunteer work.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby JusticeHarlan » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:45 pm

I don't have anything to add, but I'll link to this thread, where other people did.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=135739

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nealric
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby nealric » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:50 pm

How reliable are these class numbers nowadays?


They are going to fluctuate, but there is a big difference between a firm that usually takes 50-60 people and one that usually takes 4-5.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:57 pm

nealric wrote:A few things to add:

Look at the actual size of the firm's class as compared to the number of interview slots they have (if the information is available). All other things being equal, it's easier to get an offer at a firm with a large summer class. Firms with large classes tend to be a bit less idiosynchratic in what they are looking for, so they may make better "backup" selections than non-vault firms. Keep in mind that selectivity does not necessarily correspond to vault ranking.


Great point. Also, have an idea about firms' class sizes/changes in the past/ITE. Check out data on nalpdirectory, which should give you an idea of the trend over the past few years. Just another factor to add to the analysis.

2LLLL
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby 2LLLL » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:47 pm

BigShrimpin's post is spot on.

I'd just like to add a little about choice of markets and mass mailing.

Markets - For OCI 2010, at least, the consensus is that NYC was the easiest and DC and California the hardest. From what I've gathered, Chicago is somewhere in between but closer to DC/Cali on the spectrum. I have no knowledge about TX, but I think you really need ties there anyways. From my personal experience in the DC meatgrinder, I honestly wouldn't recommend bidding on DC unless you're competitive for it, or else you're just wasting bids/time. Competitive for DC means very good grades and, less importantly, federal or other relevant work experience (IP is a +++). You don't need ties for DC if you can put together a plausible story about why you want to work there. If there is a secondary market that you have ties to, mass mail it (or bid it if they are coming to your OCI). If you don't have ties it's probably not worth your time.

Mass Mailing - You really should try to get applications out to firms that aren't coming to your school's OCI. If NYC firms aren't coming, you should mail them to have a good backup plan. If you have ties to a secondary market that's not doing OCI at your school, mass mail the fuck out of it. I know people who mass mailed their hometown firms and had offers in their pockets before OCI even began.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Big Shrimpin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:04 pm

2LLLL wrote:BigShrimpin's post is spot on.

I'd just like to add a little about choice of markets and mass mailing.

Markets - For OCI 2010, at least, the consensus is that NYC was the easiest and DC and California the hardest. From what I've gathered, Chicago is somewhere in between but closer to DC/Cali on the spectrum. I have no knowledge about TX, but I think you really need ties there anyways. From my personal experience in the DC meatgrinder, I honestly wouldn't recommend bidding on DC unless you're competitive for it, or else you're just wasting bids/time. Competitive for DC means very good grades and, less importantly, federal or other relevant work experience (IP is a +++). You don't need ties for DC if you can put together a plausible story about why you want to work there. If there is a secondary market that you have ties to, mass mail it (or bid it if they are coming to your OCI). If you don't have ties it's probably not worth your time.

Mass Mailing - You really should try to get applications out to firms that aren't coming to your school's OCI. If NYC firms aren't coming, you should mail them to have a good backup plan. If you have ties to a secondary market that's not doing OCI at your school, mass mail the fuck out of it. I know people who mass mailed their hometown firms and had offers in their pockets before OCI even began.



All good stuff. I definitely forgot about mass mails. I did one in my home market with good results...definitely better to do it earlier rather than later. DC was tough too...even with IP.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:28 pm

Grades. IHOPETHISHELPS

Anonymous User
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:54 pm

Target NY.

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risktaker
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby risktaker » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:01 am

.

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beachbum
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby beachbum » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:02 am

I love it when discussions are legitimately helpful on TLS. Thanks for the advice, everyone.

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dood
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby dood » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:32 am

just two things in addition to the above (which is all highly credited) that others have not considered / forgot to mention:

1. get buff as FUK, crest white strip, buy some proactiv if u got acne. all other things being equal, the better looking bro is going to get the jerb.

2. make sure to contact all of mommy and daddys friends who are partners in big law firms NOW - not the day before u bid them. and trust me, they have lists and shit of people to auto-invite for callbacks. (i.e. ive had an interviewer tell me "oh ive heard about u, this screener is a mere formality")

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risktaker
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby risktaker » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:36 am

dood wrote:just two things in addition to the above (which is all highly credited) that others have not considered / forgot to mention:

1. get buff as FUK, crest white strip, buy some proactiv if u got acne. all other things being equal, the better looking bro is going to get the jerb.

2. make sure to contact all of mommy and daddys friends who are partners in big law firms NOW - not the day before u bid them. and trust me, they have lists and shit of people to auto-invite for callbacks. (i.e. ive had an interviewer tell me "oh ive heard about u, this screener is a mere formality")


That's good to know. Guess going to the gym while in law school might pay off.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:35 am

dood wrote:just two things in addition to the above (which is all highly credited) that others have not considered / forgot to mention:

1. get buff as FUK, crest white strip, buy some proactiv if u got acne. all other things being equal, the better looking bro is going to get the jerb.

2. make sure to contact all of mommy and daddys friends who are partners in big law firms NOW - not the day before u bid them. and trust me, they have lists and shit of people to auto-invite for callbacks. (i.e. ive had an interviewer tell me "oh ive heard about u, this screener is a mere formality")


very important to be a clean-cut bro during OCI...2. is extremely credited as well

2LLLL
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby 2LLLL » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:03 pm

All good stuff. I definitely forgot about mass mails. I did one in my home market with good results...definitely better to do it earlier rather than later. DC was tough too...even with IP.



This is credited- you need to do your mass mail BEFORE OCI. If you wait until you're striking out its too late because all firms basically recruit on roughly the same schedule.

Also, working any connections you can (family, law school, undergrad) is highly credited. Don't be a dick about it, i.e. don't expect this person to get you a job on his/her own, but definitely see if the person wants to have a phone conversation or meet for coffee/lunch to discuss their firm. If you reach out to someone you have a connection to and show interest in their firm there is a good chance that they might put in a word.

Anonymous User
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:31 pm

for now: grades, then writing comp.

the advice about mass mailing above is very good, and getting buff, having a good attitude (slightly disinterested like you are too good for the firm. that worked best for me)

my school was half preselect/half lottery, or something like that. A lot people say bid on the largest classes, which also have the most bids. I found that with these firms the competition was much stiffer, since even the law review types would throw a bid at them. I had better luck with the firms who had smaller interview schedules/summer classes. I think part of it is that even if a firm has a huge summer class, they will only offer a few people from each school. some mix of the two is probably a sweet spot.

also, if a firm requires a cover letter to bid, write a letter and bid them low. You can get extra interviews this way. many people will look at it as "all firms are the same so why put in the extra work." But you can get some interviews with bids 45-50 doing this, for example. alternatively, some of these firms will preselect you if you cover letter is good (though grades are still probably most important even for these firms).

right now worry about grades. but if you end up in the part of your class, where you are only likely to get 0-3 offers, then bidding is EXTREMELY important. which is kind of shitty, that getting a job may come down to something like that, but its life.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm

2LLLL wrote:
All good stuff. I definitely forgot about mass mails. I did one in my home market with good results...definitely better to do it earlier rather than later. DC was tough too...even with IP.



This is credited- you need to do your mass mail BEFORE OCI. If you wait until you're striking out its too late because all firms basically recruit on roughly the same schedule.

Also, working any connections you can (family, law school, undergrad) is highly credited. Don't be a dick about it, i.e. don't expect this person to get you a job on his/her own, but definitely see if the person wants to have a phone conversation or meet for coffee/lunch to discuss their firm. If you reach out to someone you have a connection to and show interest in their firm there is a good chance that they might put in a word.



On connections (biglaw)--these meetings can often by tricky to execute, but the upside potential is huge. These people were once in your shoes, and in my experience most attorneys are not only pretty keen on how dismal the legal market is today, but also willing to commiserate with you about it (which ends up being a great segue into your career pitch or whatever).

It's so easy to pick up the phone and give someone a call. Premise the conversation on your interest in networking and getting together to talk about both the profession in general and questions you have regarding your own career. Ask them if they want to meet for lunch or coffee and be sure to be REALLY flexible with your schedule, as these people are often very busy. If you arrange a meeting, don't be surprised if you end up playing second-fiddle to intermittent phone calls.

You'll want to have two objectives in mind for these meetings: (1) to pitch your own career/story/whatever to see if they're hiring or if you can "get on the list" for screening interviews, and (2) ask for other contacts/people to whom you can connect with thereafter.

Protip: and for GOD's sake, be relaxed and personable. Nobody wants to spend their lunch/coffee time (probably non-billable time, depending upon how much phone conversation goes on) with a ball of nerves anxiously begging for a jorb. Shoot the sh*t, talk about sports, etc...and thread-in your objectives. And then enjoy OCI, which blows IMO.

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incase2011
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby incase2011 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:09 am

Is it just me or does OCI sound more and more like slaying women in a club, or wherever, as this thread goes on? lol, I should work out, pick the firm that accepts the most offers, relate why I'm a good candidate for their firm, and act confident and a little disinterested during the interview.

So maybe make an extra effort to pimp it 1L summer as practice? People in relationships at a disadvantage?

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:47 pm

incase2011 wrote:Is it just me or does OCI sound more and more like slaying women in a club, or wherever, as this thread goes on? lol, I should work out, pick the firm that accepts the most offers, relate why I'm a good candidate for their firm, and act confident and a little disinterested during the interview.

So maybe make an extra effort to pimp it 1L summer as practice? People in relationships at a disadvantage?



It's all an elaborate mating ritual, bro.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:22 pm

Where can you find out what percentage of each firm's summer class were extended offers at the end of the summer in previous years?

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Malcolm8X
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Re: Putting yourself in best position for Fall OCI

Postby Malcolm8X » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:34 am

tag




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