3L OCI Question

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Anonymous User
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3L OCI Question

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:46 pm

I asked this in another thread, but didn't get a ton of responses so I'm going to try again in this new thread. I am a transfer student from a t4 school to lower ranked t14. I am top 1% at new school, on secondary journal, with board position, and a publication (not a note, its a much shorter article on something specific going on in the law). I struck out at OCI as a 2L. I will be working at a PD office this summer.

My question: if I maintain my GPA (or close to it) in the spring semester, do I have much of a shot at 3L OCI (I am including mass mailing in this)?

Should I be happy with any close to market-paying firm that wants to hire me or do I have a shot at some of the better known firms which would, in general, probably give me more future options?

How do I answer why I worked at a PD office this summer instead of a firm? Do I say I struck out and this was my next best option or try to spin it like I was really interested in getting courtroom experience and liked crim law, but after the summer internship I realized it wasn't for me and now I want biglaw?

I don't really have any preference for litigation versus corporate (maybe a little for corporate). However, as I understand it, law firms that do hire 3L's are usually hiring for specific practice areas. How do I figure out which areas they are hiring for and sell my interest in that area?

When should I begin mass mailing applications? Closer to July and August I assume?

General advice? I will be applying (and have begun applying) to federal clerkships, but in case that doesn't work out getting hired as a 3L would be the next best option in my opinion.

Rootbeer
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Rootbeer » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:56 am

Thoughts on questions about PD from a chump who has zero interest in working at a firm, if you care...

For the love of God do not tell them you struck out. They might make an inference, but I would think it's better to let them do it on their own instead of making sure they know. If I were you and got questions about it, I would emphasize that you wanted to do it because there aren't really any other types of internships (outside of a DA's office) where you can get courtroom experience every day and that you wouldn't have been able to get the trial/litigation experience you have elsewhere. I'm not sure if I would even say anything about an interest in crim law unless you want to do white collar criminal defense at a firm. If you don't want to do white collar defense, then it might be better to not say anything about having an interest in crim law, since it might provoke more questions. Also, if they ask why not the DA, say it was because you also wanted to get practice counseling clients and the DA has no clients. Do your best to make them think it was your choice and not because you got dinged by all the firms. If you do want to do white collar crime defense, then it might be worth saying that you wanted to have the experience of defending clients to get you prepared as early as possible while you had the chance to do the same down the road with the firm's clients.

I would guess that you should still expect them to question why you didn't work at a firm, even if you say all that, if you wanted to ultimately work at firm. Still, I think the best course of action would be to stand firm by your decision, be 100% confident about it, don't apologize for it, and express how important it was to making you a great litigator.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about everything since I have no dang clue as to what these people want.

09042014
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:36 am

Rootbeer wrote:Thoughts on questions about PD from a chump who has zero interest in working at a firm, if you care...

For the love of God do not tell them you struck out. They might make an inference, but I would think it's better to let them do it on their own instead of making sure they know. If I were you and got questions about it, I would emphasize that you wanted to do it because there aren't really any other types of internships (outside of a DA's office) where you can get courtroom experience every day and that you wouldn't have been able to get the trial/litigation experience you have elsewhere. I'm not sure if I would even say anything about an interest in crim law unless you want to do white collar criminal defense at a firm. If you don't want to do white collar defense, then it might be better to not say anything about having an interest in crim law, since it might provoke more questions. Also, if they ask why not the DA, say it was because you also wanted to get practice counseling clients and the DA has no clients. Do your best to make them think it was your choice and not because you got dinged by all the firms. If you do want to do white collar crime defense, then it might be worth saying that you wanted to have the experience of defending clients to get you prepared as early as possible while you had the chance to do the same down the road with the firm's clients.

I would guess that you should still expect them to question why you didn't work at a firm, even if you say all that, if you wanted to ultimately work at firm. Still, I think the best course of action would be to stand firm by your decision, be 100% confident about it, don't apologize for it, and express how important it was to making you a great litigator.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about everything since I have no dang clue as to what these people want.


Yea just tell them you don't want to work at the type of firm they are.

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Uncle.Joe
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Uncle.Joe » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:16 am

I somewhat disagree with root beer. I would say something along the lines that the market is very competitive and you did not receive an offer from a firm that rally appealed to you and then transition into a description that shockingly matches them (this is if they ask you why PD instead of firm). I also think an issue with the answer offered by root beer is that his/your reasons for choosing a PD are not things that you will be doing as a first year at a large firm.

I really don't think it would be too much of an issue though. They know that hiring is down and that your old school did not exactly ring out at OCI. Your resume sounds very competitive, rooting for you and if anyone gets something out of 3l OCI its someone that looks like you on paper.

For the areas of hiring question I think thats more difficult and its important to sell yourself for something specific. Your CSO might have an idea going into the process of what firms are looking for for 3Ls so I might just sit on top of them. From what I know is that what they are usually looking for is tax or IP so i would probably sell tax if going in blind FWIW.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Rootbeer » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:57 pm

Totally true about PD things not being the things you'll do when you start, but it seems like the work is so different from any firm job that you'd have to spin it like a pinwheel somehow. It's also kind of surprising to me that a PD office nowadays would take someone who clearly doesn't want to be there in the first place. Really, I'm not sure why you'd even apply to a PD if you want to do firm work. Why not just work with a smaller firm or an agency or something that has something to do with what you want to practice if your stats are good? An internship shouldn't be a liability to explain away. If you're doing that, I would think it makes you look like an apologetic wiener and it doesn't make sense to bust your hump at a job you're afraid you'll have to answer for later. Seems like there should be better options.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby de5igual » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:09 pm

edit: didn't read the last paragraph of OP
Last edited by de5igual on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

horseradish
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby horseradish » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:11 pm

I think the question might more likely be "Did you enjoy your time at X last summer? Why don't you want to go back?" You will need to come up with an explanation as to why, after working in PD, you now want to work for a firm. That will most definitely come up.

If I understand correctly, you are top 1% at a T14? Then I would think you have a shot at some solid firms. I know a few people who did not have biglaw as 2Ls and got v5 as 3Ls.

Pokemon
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Pokemon » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:32 pm

T-14s are not ranked, and even if they were, a transfer would not probably count for ranking purposes since they "parachute" at the front of the class. 1L is where most of the student GPA's suffer. So not sure what makes OP think he is top 1% at his new school, especially since has only completed one semester of potentially BS classes.
Having said that, if he kills it again, I am sure there will be a few firms/judges interested in him.
Also, no need to come up with big excuses about 2L summer. A firm looking for 3Ls (except maybe the V5 that might be looking to poach other firm SAs) should at least expect that the great majority of their candidates are people that for one reason or another struck out of 2L OCI or got no-offered.

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bk1
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:53 pm

Pokemon wrote:T-14s are not ranked, and even if they were, a transfer would not probably count for ranking purposes since they "parachute" at the front of the class. 1L is where most of the student GPA's suffer. So not sure what makes OP think he is top 1% at his new school, especially since has only completed one semester of potentially BS classes.

It is most definitely possible to figure out approximate rank based on historic cutoffs. This isn't actual ranking where the school might exclude transfers so that's not particularly relevant.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:34 pm

OP here. First, rankings aren't official until the end of the year. That being said, based on historical cutoffs I would be top 1%. Transfers are not excluded from class rankings. The only thing the transfer will impact ranking-wise is that I'm not eligible for summa. I'm maxed out at magna. My school does not give individual rankings, but gives percentile cutoffs up to top 10%, but everyone inside the top 5% gets a private email indicating their specific percentile rank at the end of the year. I'm not really sure what you mean by transfers "parachute" to the top of the class. Our old GPA doesn't count at our new school. Further, not that I'm sure it matters a ton, firms will get my transcripts and see that I didn't take a lot of fluff classes. If that makes a difference.

Also, I don't "clearly not want to work at the PD office". I do want to work there, but I would rather work at a big firm, at least for a while. I would enjoy my work at the PD office (I think). However, I would prefer to start my career at a big firm so I would like to try and have that option.

From my understanding, a lot of 3L OCI is from people who got offers from their 2L SA and are looking to "trade up". However, I have a much better resume this time around and would like to put myself in the best position possible to have better results.

09042014
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby 09042014 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. First, rankings aren't official until the end of the year. That being said, based on historical cutoffs I would be top 1%. Transfers are not excluded from class rankings. The only thing the transfer will impact ranking-wise is that I'm not eligible for summa. I'm maxed out at magna. My school does not give individual rankings, but gives percentile cutoffs up to top 10%, but everyone inside the top 5% gets a private email indicating their specific percentile rank at the end of the year.

Also, I don't "clearly not want to work at the PD office". I do want to work there, but I would rather work at a big firm, at least for a while. I would enjoy my work at the PD office (I think). However, I would prefer to start my career at a big firm so I would like to try and have that option.

From my understanding, a lot of 3L OCI is from people who got offers from their 2L SA and are looking to "trade up". However, I have a much better resume this time around and would like to put myself in the best position possible to have better results.


3L Oci is a joke. Do not rely on it. You gotta find other ways to interview. Mass Mailing. Other career fairs. A lot of jobs will be posted to simplicity for specific practice areas. Get read to fake interest in whatever is available.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby nevdash » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:00 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. First, rankings aren't official until the end of the year. That being said, based on historical cutoffs I would be top 1%. Transfers are not excluded from class rankings. The only thing the transfer will impact ranking-wise is that I'm not eligible for summa. I'm maxed out at magna. My school does not give individual rankings, but gives percentile cutoffs up to top 10%, but everyone inside the top 5% gets a private email indicating their specific percentile rank at the end of the year.

Also, I don't "clearly not want to work at the PD office". I do want to work there, but I would rather work at a big firm, at least for a while. I would enjoy my work at the PD office (I think). However, I would prefer to start my career at a big firm so I would like to try and have that option.

From my understanding, a lot of 3L OCI is from people who got offers from their 2L SA and are looking to "trade up". However, I have a much better resume this time around and would like to put myself in the best position possible to have better results.


3L Oci is a joke. Do not rely on it. You gotta find other ways to interview. Mass Mailing. Other career fairs. A lot of jobs will be posted to simplicity for specific practice areas. Get read to fake interest in whatever is available.

Actually, the best way to get ready for the 3L job search is to purchase some high-quality angus steak and vigorously season it with some pepper.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby keg411 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:39 pm

OP: apply for federal clerkships (go out and make professor connections NOW -- see if you can get one to make calls for you when the time comes. Go be their BFF). That's a better way into BigLaw for you than 3L OCI.

That said, I don't know what to tell you about this summer. If you're interested in being a PD, take the PD gig. Otherwise, there must be something else left that you can apply for that's more applicable to BigLaw work than working as a PD.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Lasers » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:19 pm

nevdash wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. First, rankings aren't official until the end of the year. That being said, based on historical cutoffs I would be top 1%. Transfers are not excluded from class rankings. The only thing the transfer will impact ranking-wise is that I'm not eligible for summa. I'm maxed out at magna. My school does not give individual rankings, but gives percentile cutoffs up to top 10%, but everyone inside the top 5% gets a private email indicating their specific percentile rank at the end of the year.

Also, I don't "clearly not want to work at the PD office". I do want to work there, but I would rather work at a big firm, at least for a while. I would enjoy my work at the PD office (I think). However, I would prefer to start my career at a big firm so I would like to try and have that option.

From my understanding, a lot of 3L OCI is from people who got offers from their 2L SA and are looking to "trade up". However, I have a much better resume this time around and would like to put myself in the best position possible to have better results.


3L Oci is a joke. Do not rely on it. You gotta find other ways to interview. Mass Mailing. Other career fairs. A lot of jobs will be posted to simplicity for specific practice areas. Get read to fake interest in whatever is available.

Actually, the best way to get ready for the 3L job search is to purchase some high-quality angus steak and vigorously season it with some pepper.

Image

also, OP, i asked my career services about 3L OCI and was told what you mentioned earlier: that it was more for firms to poach other SA's and for students looking to "trade-up." no hurt in trying though, especially with your new GPA.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Rootbeer » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:42 am

keg411 wrote:OP: apply for federal clerkships (go out and make professor connections NOW -- see if you can get one to make calls for you when the time comes. Go be their BFF). That's a better way into BigLaw for you than 3L OCI.

That said, I don't know what to tell you about this summer. If you're interested in being a PD, take the PD gig. Otherwise, there must be something else left that you can apply for that's more applicable to BigLaw work than working as a PD.


Pretty much agree with this. If you do actually want to be a PD there is no better way to become one than doing that internship. But, if your preference is to be at a firm, especially a big one, it's hard to see a PD internship being an asset. Those two career paths go together like oil and water.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:45 am

Well, my thought was that nothing aside from a good sized-firm offer would really count in 3L OCI. Everything else would be regarded as kind of the same. However, for PD careers working as a PD my 2L summer was a big boost and that is my next ideal path. Thus, I figured rather than work at some 5 lawyer firm that doesn't really matter anyways for 3L OCI I should simply work as a PD this summer in case 3L OCI doesn't work out.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:18 pm

A huge consideration for 3L OCI is what firm you worked at your second summer (i.e. prestige of the firm, practice area, etc) and whether you got an offer from that firm. So working at a PD's office your second summer is going to hurt you, a lot. With that said, top 1% at a t14 is killerly good stats. I think you have some shot at biglaw with those grades as a 3L (assuming you're still top 1% after your 2nd semester). Focus on applying to the top firms. Those are the ones that care the most about grades and usually have the need for additional hiring beyond their 2L summer classes. Also, even if you miss biglaw from 3L OCI/mass mailing/etc, you will have good options coming out of a t14 at top 1% (think fed clerkships, fed government, boutique firms, etc.), so it's nothing to be too hugely concerned with. Just keep up those grades and try to publish onto law review.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Rootbeer » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Well, my thought was that nothing aside from a good sized-firm offer would really count in 3L OCI. Everything else would be regarded as kind of the same. However, for PD careers working as a PD my 2L summer was a big boost and that is my next ideal path. Thus, I figured rather than work at some 5 lawyer firm that doesn't really matter anyways for 3L OCI I should simply work as a PD this summer in case 3L OCI doesn't work out.


Sounds like a plan as long as you don't have your heart set on a big firm. There MAY be a very small chance you'll get in one, but as long as you don't go in with expectations and are happy with the idea of being a PD or doing something else in public interest, then it's all good.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:07 am

OP here. Unfortunately, I kind of do have my heart set on working at a firm. At least for a starting point to my career. PD would be my second best career sure. I think I would like it and it would be a good career. However, I really do want a big firm. I just didn't think that the small firms I could get would really benefit me all that much so the advantage to future PD applications was much greater by working at a PD office my 2L summer than big firms would care about my small firm summer vs PD summer. That was my reasoning at least...Unfortunately, I really do want to work at a firm. Or at least not simply have the decision made for me by not getting hired in the first place.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby keg411 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Unfortunately, I kind of do have my heart set on working at a firm. At least for a starting point to my career. PD would be my second best career sure. I think I would like it and it would be a good career. However, I really do want a big firm. I just didn't think that the small firms I could get would really benefit me all that much so the advantage to future PD applications was much greater by working at a PD office my 2L summer than big firms would care about my small firm summer vs PD summer. That was my reasoning at least...Unfortunately, I really do want to work at a firm. Or at least not simply have the decision made for me by not getting hired in the first place.


Clerkships, dude. That's pretty much your only route to BigLaw at this point, so start sucking up to professors and try to get published.

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thesealocust
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby thesealocust » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:44 am

A transfer landing in the top 1% might get looked at in 3L OCI, but it'll be a tough sell. Last year there were like ~5,000 2L SA positions and like ~80 3L firm hirings, the lion's share of which likely going to people who had 2L summers at a firm.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby rad lulz » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:58 am

thesealocust wrote:like ~80 3L firm hirings

Just so we're clear, that's offers.

It is very likely that more than one person got more than one offer.

I think it ended up being about 60 offers accepted.

That's probably closer to the number of 3L OCI openings.

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby 09042014 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:26 pm

rad lulz wrote:
thesealocust wrote:like ~80 3L firm hirings

Just so we're clear, that's offers.

It is very likely that more than one person got more than one offer.

I think it ended up being about 60 offers accepted.

That's probably closer to the number of 3L OCI openings.


Does this include non oci 3L hiring?

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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby rad lulz » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:45 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
thesealocust wrote:like ~80 3L firm hirings

Just so we're clear, that's offers.

It is very likely that more than one person got more than one offer.

I think it ended up being about 60 offers accepted.

That's probably closer to the number of 3L OCI openings.


Does this include non oci 3L hiring?

Just NALP firms who reported to NALP who did 3L OCI

09042014
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Re: 3L OCI Question

Postby 09042014 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:05 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
thesealocust wrote:like ~80 3L firm hirings

Just so we're clear, that's offers.

It is very likely that more than one person got more than one offer.

I think it ended up being about 60 offers accepted.

That's probably closer to the number of 3L OCI openings.


Does this include non oci 3L hiring?

Just NALP firms who reported to NALP who did 3L OCI


I noticed more than a few firms not doing general OCI recruiting, but still searching for targeted practice areas via simplicity.




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