What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:46 pm

I am pretty close to totally striking out post-OCI and am still applying to firms, but assuming I don't get a firm job next summer, a couple of questions:

What's the best type of summer employment to get if I can't work at a law firm? I'm going to try for public interest positions or maybe a government job in the area of law I'm interested in practicing; I'm also doing a lot of coursework in that area this year (corporate M&A, maybe securities). Would I be better off staying at school and working as a research assistant to a professor in my field?

What are firms hiring 3Ls for, a summer associate position for the next summer, or an associate job the next fall? If it's for the summer, do most people study for the bar at the same time, or do it later?

Why is 3L OCI so awful/impossible? Is there a stigma against hiring 3Ls, or not a lot of room in firms for them?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:14 pm

I've never heard of a 3L doing a SA position--maybe someone else can comment on that. I was a SA this summer in nyc and applied to some other firms (I was extended an offer from my SA firm). Most claimed they filled their summer spots from their summer class (I got no bites at all in the other city I applied in) and only a few nyc firms expressed interest in interviewing me (I got 1 offer at a v10 firm in nyc and I'll probably take it). All this is to say that firms do hire 3Ls, it's just much harder. I think the road will be even more uphill if you will not have summered at a firm after 2L. Not impossible, just harder. If your goal is a big firm, go for the most prestigious, name-droppy place you can this summer, and network your tail off. Go to city bar association events and gladhand people who look like they could help you down the line if you sent them a random email. Go to mixers held for 1Ls/2Ls during the summer (I know the firms in NYC hold these). Apply to firms in early- to mid-July (I applied in early August and it felt like it was too late). Lastly, do a judicial clerkship if you can. Most firms like to hire federal clerks and will often start you as a second or third year (depending on how long your clerkship was) so you can skip at least some doc review/diligence.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:17 pm

If you don't get a 2L firm job, you've basically already blown 3L OCI. Do the least do-goody thing you can (gov't is good) and then clerk, and apply for biglaw while clerking. or just come to grips with your new reality, which doesn't involve you getting a biglaw job. Start making a plan B.

lawfirmrecruiter
Posts: 622
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby lawfirmrecruiter » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:22 pm

I posted this in another thread and thought it might be useful here:

I believe more and more firms are at least considering lowering their overall 2L class and then filling gaps with 3Ls if they see a greater need. Our firm has moved entirely to 3L hiring so all is definitely not lost if you struck out in OCI. Here are a few suggestions for what to do now:

1. Study. Don't just maintain your grades, make them better. Show how you improved over the semester and year.
2. Ask yourself what went wrong. What happened in OCI? Was it your grades? Do you have a hard time talking to people? Targeted firms incorrectly? Really be honest with yourself.
3. Plan. Make a plan of about how you will improve those areas you just identified.
4. Target. Figure out what market you really want to be in. Not pie in the sky, but realistically. Where do you want to be living in 10 years and what kind of life do you want? What kind of practice do you want to have?
5. Network. Use your alumni network at your law school to learn more about the markets you narrow down to. Ask them for informational interviews about the area and see if they will introduce you to others. This will be good practice for job interviews too.

Now you are ready to figure out what to go for next summer before 3L hiring. If you want to be in business in a middle market, find out what companies dominate and see if they have intern programs in their legal department. Litigation for you? Check out the smaller shops and see if they take clerks. The goverment does not always post jobs but usually has them. Check out the department of insurance in your state capitol.

Hope all of this is helpful. There really are opportunities out there. You just have to look for them!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you don't get a 2L firm job, you've basically already blown 3L OCI.


I can't believe this is right; a firm isn't going to hire me after three years of law school just because I didn't spend eight weeks working in a firm one summer? Even if I have legal work experience at a non-profit or government organization?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:24 pm

lawfirmrecruiter wrote:I posted this in another thread and thought it might be useful here:

I believe more and more firms are at least considering lowering their overall 2L class and then filling gaps with 3Ls if they see a greater need. Our firm has moved entirely to 3L hiring so all is definitely not lost if you struck out in OCI.


hi lawfirmrecruiter, thanks for that advice!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you don't get a 2L firm job, you've basically already blown 3L OCI.


Based upon everything I've seen, this really seems to be the case. I see a lot of V20ish SAs getting 3L OCI offers with V10ish firms, and some V5ish SAs getting offers with some of the elite boutiques like Susman, etc., but I have yet to see somebody who struck out at 2L OCI get something at 3L OCI.

I could be wrong and I'm sure somebody out there has done it, but pretty much every 3L I know getting success out of 3L OCI at my school (CCN) had something lined up during 2L summer (with a majority of them having spent the summer with an elite, selective firm but trying for even more elite, selective firms).

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:28 pm

One other thing: as best you can, identify firms that want to grow their ranks. This is likely where 3L hiring will come from (assuming they retain their summer class). You might be able to get this inside info by contacting alums from your school who currently work at the firm, or perhaps through your career services office (if they're competent--that's a big if at my school). Word of mouth will reveal that X firm is shrinking because they lost Y clients in 2007 and are now losing partners, etc. Other firms are opening new offices and things. These are good heuristics.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you don't get a 2L firm job, you've basically already blown 3L OCI.


I can't believe this is right; a firm isn't going to hire me after three years of law school just because I didn't spend eight weeks working in a firm one summer? Even if I have legal work experience at a non-profit or government organization?


This seems to be commonly accepted. As stated above, it's not impossible, just extremely unlikely. Most firms don't hire many 3L's because they fill up their entry level positions from 2L SA's. Firms who are hiring through 3L OCI will take someone who did a 2L SA and wants to move firms over someone who did not. Absent a miracle, the only route to biglaw after striking out of 2L OCI is clerking. Not trying to be negative, just trying to be realistic based on extensive reading and talking with people.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:I posted this in another thread and thought it might be useful here:

I believe more and more firms are at least considering lowering their overall 2L class and then filling gaps with 3Ls if they see a greater need. Our firm has moved entirely to 3L hiring so all is definitely not lost if you struck out in OCI.


hi lawfirmrecruiter, thanks for that advice!


Haven't heard of any V100 firm doing this.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you don't get a 2L firm job, you've basically already blown 3L OCI.


I can't believe this is right; a firm isn't going to hire me after three years of law school just because I didn't spend eight weeks working in a firm one summer? Even if I have legal work experience at a non-profit or government organization?


This seems to be commonly accepted. As stated above, it's not impossible, just extremely unlikely. Most firms don't hire many 3L's because they fill up their entry level positions from 2L SA's. Firms who are hiring through 3L OCI will take someone who did a 2L SA and wants to move firms over someone who did not. Absent a miracle, the only route to biglaw after striking out of 2L OCI is clerking. Not trying to be negative, just trying to be realistic based on extensive reading and talking with people.


Yeah, a lot of the firms that are looking to add people via 3L OCI are firms with large summer class sizes (which are in turn, the more prestigious firms). Cravath adds a fair number of people through 3L OCIs, but why would they take on somebody without a biglaw SA when there are probably numerous people who had V15 SAs willing to jump on board. There are probably some V15s who add people via 3L OCI, but they can probably take care of their needs with V30 people who want to "move up," and so on and so on. Also, as everybody knows, the farther down the list you go, the smaller the summer class sizes become.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you don't get a 2L firm job, you've basically already blown 3L OCI.


I can't believe this is right; a firm isn't going to hire me after three years of law school just because I didn't spend eight weeks working in a firm one summer? Even if I have legal work experience at a non-profit or government organization?


Maybe you can't believe it, but it's overwhelmingly true (of course, always a few exceptions. you could be that exception, so no use in giving up).

I have a 3L friend at CLS who was high stone after 1L, but skipped EIP because he wanted to do the clerkship to USAO route. Financial situation changed for his family, so he tried to get a 3L position this past EIP...has found absolutely nothing. He applied fairly broadly. His grades have even improved. This is someone who would have been rolling in offers had he done 2L EIP.

Omerta
Posts: 381
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:47 pm

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Omerta » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lawfirmrecruiter wrote:I posted this in another thread and thought it might be useful here:

I believe more and more firms are at least considering lowering their overall 2L class and then filling gaps with 3Ls if they see a greater need. Our firm has moved entirely to 3L hiring so all is definitely not lost if you struck out in OCI.


hi lawfirmrecruiter, thanks for that advice!


Haven't heard of any V100 firm doing this.


This definitely seems more common for regional biglaw/midlaw firms. There were a few firms that came to OCI looking at 3Ls only and I agree with LFR that more firms are going to move in that direction.

traydeuce
Posts: 680
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:07 pm

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby traydeuce » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:04 am

I have to think it's theoretically possible, because after having no SA position last summer, W&C, which got my resume somehow, asked me to come in for an interview. They didn't invite me for a CB, though the screener went about as well as any I've been on (which is to say, well but not incredibly well), but if their rule was that no SA = no 3L hiring, that wouldn't have happened. But yes, it's a huge long shot at best.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:04 am

What is it about people who have done a 2L SA that firms prefer?

azntwice
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:46 pm

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby azntwice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:What is it about people who have done a 2L SA that firms prefer?


The 2L SA is basically a voucher. Just like going to a T14 school is a voucher that you are getting a top notch legal education (heard this from the mouth of an attorney at NY biglaw firm), getting a 2L SA is a voucher that after 1L year, you were eager, ambitious and ready to jump into biglaw (along with having the creds). People who didn't get the 2L SA will just... not look as good in comparison, no matter what their reasons are - maybe they didn't want biglaw and now changed their minds, but more likely the recruiter will think it was b/c they weren't capable of getting biglaw their 2L year. Why hire a non-2L-SA person when there are tons of 2L-SA folks waiting to jump on the train?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:What is it about people who have done a 2L SA that firms prefer?


In 3L OCI, demand is infinitely lower than in 2L. So, take the competitiveness of 2L OCI and apply a large multiple. Also, the 3L who did not 2L SA is already starting behind. It will be much, much harder.

Here are some concrete advantages to hiring 3L's who did have a 2L SA:

1) They were already vetted.

2) They showed a commitment to working in a law firm.

3) They were offered SA positions over students who were not. (Probably same as #1)

I think lost in the rationality and explanation of this is how much of a no brainer it is. Hard to put percentage odds but the chances of hitting biglaw after no 2L SA from 3L OCI is for all practical purposes less than 1%. Not something to bank on. Of course, no reason not to apply, but do start thinking about a plan B.

prawnstar
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby prawnstar » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:25 am

3L at a lower ranked T10. Did 3L ocip and got 2 big law offers and accepted 1. As far as I know I am the only 3L from my school who got a big law offer from 3L ocip. I worked at a high end boutique that has a national reputation my 2L summer and specialized in a practice area that is in demand now. Everything in my resume is also geared toward that practice area.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by prawnstar on Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby MrAnon » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:25 am

3L OCI is composed of the following types of applicants:

1. Those who couldn't find anything in 2L OCI

2. Those whose firms no-offered them after 2L summer

3. Those who do not want their 2L summer job to be permanent; are looking to trade up or over


As you may imagine, both 1 and 2 have stigmas attached. No firm wants these people. Why would they? They've been rejected by biglaw firms in the past. Who wants reject scraps? So basically only the people in group 3 can realistically find work. Still firms view them with suspicion. How does the firm know they are in fact not part of group 2? If they were unhappy with their biglaw summer job, why would they be happy at a different biglaw job? Lastly of course, 2L hiring gives the firm the opportunity to look over the applicant and make a decision on him or her so that the relationship can end cleanly if the person is not a good fit for the firm. They get fired before they ever really start at the firm. 3L OCI doesnt afford that luxury. So the firms are super finicky about who they hire. In my experience, they only hire superstars. Maybe someone from Harvard who couldnt do a 2L SA because he was invited to some special thing in a foreign country for the summer that only the top 3 law students in the country are invited to.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:26 am

Having summered is certainly a factor, but it is not the only one. I have had a number of call backs as a 3L, who did not summer, and I know others from my school who did summer who have gotten nothing. At the end of the day, it seems grades still matter a lot, as that is the only way I can explain my V10 callback.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:Having summered is certainly a factor, but it is not the only one. I have had a number of call backs as a 3L, who did not summer, and I know others from my school who did summer who have gotten nothing. At the end of the day, it seems grades still matter a lot, as that is the only way I can explain my V10 callback.


Did you get an offer?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:31 am

Not as of yet. I have not heard back from any of the firms with which I did callbacks. One is probably a ding, the others however either told me they would get back to me at a time which has yet to pass or have not gotten back to any 3Ls.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:Having summered is certainly a factor, but it is not the only one. I have had a number of call backs as a 3L, who did not summer, and I know others from my school who did summer who have gotten nothing. At the end of the day, it seems grades still matter a lot, as that is the only way I can explain my V10 callback.


Sure, necessary but not sufficient. If you got a V10 offer after not 2L SA'ing, congrats, you were one of probably less than 10 people in America.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:44 am

What you meant to say was neither necessary, nor sufficient. Hell, there was a guy a Chicago last cycle got a 3L offer from Cravath without having summered. Of course, he went to Chicago.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273397
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: What is 3L OCI and how do I avoid blowing it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:32 am

Anonymous User wrote: Of course, he went to Chicago.


Well I'm at CCN, does that change things at all? (OP here)




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.