Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

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Renne Walker
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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby Renne Walker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:30 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:The benefit of charging a significant OCI fee eliminates the tire kickers. No student wants to waste time (and in some occasions an OCI slot) to meet with a less than serious firm. IMO: If firms want a seat at the table, they should pony up (as they say in NYC).



You actually believe that?

If a firm shows up on the cheap and does not tender any offers, I would hope my school drops the $$ hammer on them.

kryptix
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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby kryptix » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:47 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:The benefit of charging a significant OCI fee eliminates the tire kickers. No student wants to waste time (and in some occasions an OCI slot) to meet with a less than serious firm. IMO: If firms want a seat at the table, they should pony up (as they say in NYC).



You actually believe that?

If a firm shows up on the cheap and does not tender any offers, I would hope my school drops the $$ hammer on them.


At Fordham OCI there were a bunch of firms that showed up and made 0 offers. I guess I'd rather have saved my bids for firms that do make offers rather than have more firms to spread bids to but many be black holes... So in that regard, charging them is probably proper...

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Renne Walker
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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby Renne Walker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:06 pm

kryptix wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:If a firm shows up on the cheap and does not tender any offers, I would hope my school drops the $$ hammer on them.


At Fordham OCI there were a bunch of firms that showed up and made 0 offers. I guess I'd rather have saved my bids for firms that do make offers rather than have more firms to spread bids to but many be black holes... So in that regard, charging them is probably proper...


….perhaps (on questionable firms), charge a hefty fee that is substantially discounted with every offer tendered by the firm. It probably wouldn’t work for reasons I cannot think of (but the thought of sticking it to habitual tire kickers is always appealing to me).

kryptix
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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby kryptix » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:18 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
kryptix wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:If a firm shows up on the cheap and does not tender any offers, I would hope my school drops the $$ hammer on them.


At Fordham OCI there were a bunch of firms that showed up and made 0 offers. I guess I'd rather have saved my bids for firms that do make offers rather than have more firms to spread bids to but many be black holes... So in that regard, charging them is probably proper...


….perhaps (on questionable firms), charge a hefty fee that is substantially discounted with every offer tendered by the firm. It probably wouldn’t work for reasons I cannot think of (but the thought of sticking it to habitual tire kickers is always appealing to me).


I think that wouldn't work because it would incentivize the weaker firms to just make an offer out to the valedictorian who will turn them down and they bear no risk... Worst case they actually get the top guy in the class.

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Renne Walker
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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby Renne Walker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:25 pm

kryptix wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:….perhaps (on questionable firms), charge a hefty fee that is substantially discounted with every offer tendered by the firm. It probably wouldn’t work for reasons I cannot think of (but the thought of sticking it to habitual tire kickers is always appealing to me).


I think that wouldn't work because it would incentivize the weaker firms to just make an offer out to the valedictorian who will turn them down and they bear no risk... Worst case they actually get the top guy in the class.

Legit firms aside.

While not stellar, based on offers accepted. Deters low ball offers to Law Review students just to sidestep the OCI fee. My guess is that there are local firms legitimately needing only 2-3 SAs but attend 5 OCIs … I am actually [kind of] okay with that because they will usually target the median or below student. Nevertheless, widening the net comes with a price.

It’s the firms that attend yearly and never tender reasonable offers is why OCI fees are essential.

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:11 pm

kryptix wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:The benefit of charging a significant OCI fee eliminates the tire kickers. No student wants to waste time (and in some occasions an OCI slot) to meet with a less than serious firm. IMO: If firms want a seat at the table, they should pony up (as they say in NYC).



You actually believe that?

If a firm shows up on the cheap and does not tender any offers, I would hope my school drops the $$ hammer on them.


At Fordham OCI there were a bunch of firms that showed up and made 0 offers. I guess I'd rather have saved my bids for firms that do make offers rather than have more firms to spread bids to but many be black holes... So in that regard, charging them is probably proper...


Fordham, for the first time, as far as I can tell, did a mass-mailing to a much wider array of firms this year in an attempt to draw more firms to OCI. Not sure if it will net better results for students, but at least they are thinking out of the box. I recruited a summer from Fordham a few years ago and I guess by virtue of that they sent me the mass mailing..

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby Pokemon » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:20 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
kryptix wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:….perhaps (on questionable firms), charge a hefty fee that is substantially discounted with every offer tendered by the firm. It probably wouldn’t work for reasons I cannot think of (but the thought of sticking it to habitual tire kickers is always appealing to me).


I think that wouldn't work because it would incentivize the weaker firms to just make an offer out to the valedictorian who will turn them down and they bear no risk... Worst case they actually get the top guy in the class.

Legit firms aside.

While not stellar, based on offers accepted. Deters low ball offers to Law Review students just to sidestep the OCI fee. My guess is that there are local firms legitimately needing only 2-3 SAs but attend 5 OCIs … I am actually [kind of] okay with that because they will usually target the median or below student. Nevertheless, widening the net comes with a price.

It’s the firms that attend yearly and never tender reasonable offers is why OCI fees are essential.


But it is not like there are no other costs associated with OCI. First of all, offices from outside the region absolutely do not need to prove their interest via fees since traveling and partner time is enough of the proof.
For the local firms, the school can very well limit OCI to firms with SA programs, and allow firms without such programs, to interview during Spring or Fall (sept. as opposed to August) OCI.

Also, there are legitimately interested firms in the students of a school that end up not getting a single student from that school. At my school, a ton of firms showed up, yet not all of them got students to accept their offers. During a callback, one of the recruiters complained that it was not worth it for them to come anymore to my school, though they did so in the past, because students were not accepting their offers.

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby Renne Walker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:48 pm

reasonable_man wrote:Fordham, for the first time, as far as I can tell, did a mass-mailing to a much wider array of firms this year in an attempt to draw more firms to OCI. Not sure if it will net better results for students, but at least they are thinking out of the box. I recruited a summer from Fordham a few years ago and I guess by virtue of that they sent me the mass mailing.

Since you are a recruiter, what is the real deal on OCI fees? Are they often too high, fair or free? Do fees vary from T14 to the others? Is HYS or T6 more expensive? And generally, what is your opinion on OCI fees?

Pokemon wrote:Also, there are legitimately interested firms in the students of a school that end up not getting a single student from that school. At my school, a ton of firms showed up, yet not all of them got students to accept their offers. During a callback, one of the recruiters complained that it was not worth it for them to come anymore to my school, though they did so in the past, because students were not accepting their offers.

In guessing I would think that the firm is low-balling the cream of the crop and bypassing median and below. What else could it be ITE?

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:59 pm

kryptix wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:The benefit of charging a significant OCI fee eliminates the tire kickers. No student wants to waste time (and in some occasions an OCI slot) to meet with a less than serious firm. IMO: If firms want a seat at the table, they should pony up (as they say in NYC).



You actually believe that?

If a firm shows up on the cheap and does not tender any offers, I would hope my school drops the $$ hammer on them.


At Fordham OCI there were a bunch of firms that showed up and made 0 offers. I guess I'd rather have saved my bids for firms that do make offers rather than have more firms to spread bids to but many be black holes... So in that regard, charging them is probably proper...

This is shortsighted. Students should not be wasting their bids on firms that don't intend to hire anybody, but if a student does then that is on them (or their CSO if the CSO withholds pertinent info). With callback GPA information from previous years, students can tell which firms would realistically consider them. If the firm is new to OCI then that student is taking a gamble with bidding on that firm. None of this solves the problem of CSO withholding such info from students, but that problem really falls on the CSO and not the firms. Having more firms interviewing, even if they are not that serious about it, can only be a good thing.

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:04 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Fordham, for the first time, as far as I can tell, did a mass-mailing to a much wider array of firms this year in an attempt to draw more firms to OCI. Not sure if it will net better results for students, but at least they are thinking out of the box. I recruited a summer from Fordham a few years ago and I guess by virtue of that they sent me the mass mailing.

Since you are a recruiter, what is the real deal on OCI fees? Are they often too high, fair or free? Do fees vary from T14 to the others? Is HYS or T6 more expensive? And generally, what is your opinion on OCI fees?

Pokemon wrote:Also, there are legitimately interested firms in the students of a school that end up not getting a single student from that school. At my school, a ton of firms showed up, yet not all of them got students to accept their offers. During a callback, one of the recruiters complained that it was not worth it for them to come anymore to my school, though they did so in the past, because students were not accepting their offers.

In guessing I would think that the firm is low-balling the cream of the crop and bypassing median and below. What else could it be ITE?


I'm not a recruiter. I'm a 2008 grad and an attorney at a small NYC firm with a very different and varried practice. We hire when we need to and I'm the associate that sort of looks after a lot of the business end stuff so things like recruiting fall to me. I can tell you though, if a law school tried to charge me to interview, etc., I'd simply call the next law school.

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby Pokemon » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:18 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Also, there are legitimately interested firms in the students of a school that end up not getting a single student from that school. At my school, a ton of firms showed up, yet not all of them got students to accept their offers. During a callback, one of the recruiters complained that it was not worth it for them to come anymore to my school, though they did so in the past, because students were not accepting their offers.

In guessing I would think that the firm is low-balling the cream of the crop and bypassing median and below. What else could it be ITE?


First, OCI fees vary on the basis of the size of the firm. So bigger firms pay more, and smaller firms pay less. I am not sure whether the division is made by revenues, size or something along those lines.

Firms who do not get any students are not really low-balling the cream of the crop as much as it is an inefficient system. I am actually a believer in JD Match or similar projects will work in the future because there is so much uncertainty in the recruitment process both for firms and students.
Think about a V80 in a secondary market or something along those lines. It is very difficult for them to figure who they will hire. They cannot offer everyone cause they are afraid of too many acceptances. They probably know historically that they are not getting the grade superstars. They will make 3-4 offers, maybe, and it can very easily happen that due to geography or ranking, none of those students from a particular T-14 will accept them. Even when a firm goes for median, below median students, they tend to go for the students that other firms will go for (someone with impeccable interviewing skills, or someone with work experience etc).
If recruiting was merely a matter of choice for firms, then they would not have recruiting mixers and would also not sponsor a ton of school events. It might not seem like that to students who strike out, but during fishing season (OCI), firms compete with each other and very easily a firm can leave a school empty handed. I do know firms that gave callbacks and did not get students from my t-14.

Also, according to TLS, none of the students accepted the Goodwin NYC offers like two years ago, forcing the firm to re-recruit later in fall. Same way that some above median students can strike out via bad luck, even good firms can do the same and not get a single student from a particular school, even though somewhere in that school there is a student willing to give his left kidney for a jerb at that firm.

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:00 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Fordham, for the first time, as far as I can tell, did a mass-mailing to a much wider array of firms this year in an attempt to draw more firms to OCI. Not sure if it will net better results for students, but at least they are thinking out of the box. I recruited a summer from Fordham a few years ago and I guess by virtue of that they sent me the mass mailing.

Since you are a recruiter, what is the real deal on OCI fees? Are they often too high, fair or free? Do fees vary from T14 to the others? Is HYS or T6 more expensive? And generally, what is your opinion on OCI fees?


A lot (most?) schools list the fees on their OCS website. They aren't all that expensive:

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Renne Walker
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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby Renne Walker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:22 pm

Pokemon wrote:First, OCI fees vary on the basis of the size of the firm. So bigger firms pay more, and smaller firms pay less. I am not sure whether the division is made by revenues, size or something along those lines.

Firms who do not get any students are not really low-balling the cream of the crop as much as it is an inefficient system. I am actually a believer in JD Match or similar projects will work in the future because there is so much uncertainty in the recruitment process both for firms and students.
Think about a V80 in a secondary market or something along those lines. It is very difficult for them to figure who they will hire. They cannot offer everyone cause they are afraid of too many acceptances. They probably know historically that they are not getting the grade superstars. They will make 3-4 offers, maybe, and it can very easily happen that due to geography or ranking, none of those students from a particular T-14 will accept them. Even when a firm goes for median, below median students, they tend to go for the students that other firms will go for (someone with impeccable interviewing skills, or someone with work experience etc).
If recruiting was merely a matter of choice for firms, then they would not have recruiting mixers and would also not sponsor a ton of school events. It might not seem like that to students who strike out, but during fishing season (OCI), firms compete with each other and very easily a firm can leave a school empty handed. I do know firms that gave callbacks and did not get students from my t-14.

Also, according to TLS, none of the students accepted the Goodwin NYC offers like two years ago, forcing the firm to re-recruit later in fall. Same way that some above median students can strike out via bad luck, even good firms can do the same and not get a single student from a particular school, even though somewhere in that school there is a student willing to give his left kidney for a jerb at that firm.


Thank you for the clarity. It certainly explains last year (and some of its craziness). Several “no offered” median (and below) cohorts were stressing, then toward the end of the cycle they suddenly received multiple offers. From suicidal to euphoria. At that point they were declining offers that they would have enthusiastically accepted two weeks earlier. One cohort went to a firm that had upped its compensation $40K over the previous year to be more competitive, another reneged on a firm (probably not cool). I am in agreement that firms have their challenges.

The concern that I mostly hear these days regards the “offered” rate of a SAs firm. That information seems to be difficult to ascertain (other than word of mouth, etc.) — perhaps that is data OCS could or should supply (if they don't already). Thx again.

AllTheLawz wrote:A lot (most?) schools list the fees on their OCS website. They aren't all that expensive:

+1 Surprisingly trivial fee.

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:51 am

Again, trivial or not, I wouldn't pay to interview a law student. ITE, where many schools are all but begging you to hire their grads - I would not pay to interview a law student on principal. As it is, law students come to a firm with close to no skill set. It takes, on average, 2 years of training (and re-teaching) to transform a law-student into a junior attorney. At that point, once the investment starts to pay off (and believe me it is an investment of both time and money), you then run the risk of losing the associate to another firm, etc. I understand that it might seem like the fees are negligible, and I'm not saying that they aren't objectively "reasonable" - I'm saying that from my perspective, where it will take me YEARS to properly train a young associate and where schools should be doing all that they can to help their graduates land a job - the idea of "paying" to interview a student is something that I would reject out of hand and simply move to another law school. After all, there are more than 200. And I do understand that there is some perceived quality associated with a school ranked 52 as opposed to 38, but the reality is that the difference between the caliber of student from one school to the next is not all that great. While I know that it is believed that top talent only comes from top schools - in actual practice, I have never known that to be the case. I have met just as many T10 grads who are, objectively, awesome attorneys as I have T10 grads that cannot bumble their way though a conference with a magistrate judge. So honestly, the idea of me paying a law school to interview a student that the school has utterly failed to train or prepare for the practice of law is something that I would simply not do. I am totally willing to invest in the student and teach them how to practice, but I will not pay money to the school that failed to train the student properly in the first place.

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Re: Law schools sell OCI slots to law firms - not news, I guess

Postby AllTheLawz » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:42 am

reasonable_man wrote:Again, trivial or not, I wouldn't pay to interview a law student. ITE, where many schools are all but begging you to hire their grads - I would not pay to interview a law student on principal. As it is, law students come to a firm with close to no skill set. It takes, on average, 2 years of training (and re-teaching) to transform a law-student into a junior attorney. At that point, once the investment starts to pay off (and believe me it is an investment of both time and money), you then run the risk of losing the associate to another firm, etc. I understand that it might seem like the fees are negligible, and I'm not saying that they aren't objectively "reasonable" - I'm saying that from my perspective, where it will take me YEARS to properly train a young associate and where schools should be doing all that they can to help their graduates land a job - the idea of "paying" to interview a student is something that I would reject out of hand and simply move to another law school. After all, there are more than 200. And I do understand that there is some perceived quality associated with a school ranked 52 as opposed to 38, but the reality is that the difference between the caliber of student from one school to the next is not all that great. While I know that it is believed that top talent only comes from top schools - in actual practice, I have never known that to be the case. I have met just as many T10 grads who are, objectively, awesome attorneys as I have T10 grads that cannot bumble their way though a conference with a magistrate judge. So honestly, the idea of me paying a law school to interview a student that the school has utterly failed to train or prepare for the practice of law is something that I would simply not do. I am totally willing to invest in the student and teach them how to practice, but I will not pay money to the school that failed to train the student properly in the first place.


It isn't about training. For most major firms (probably even mid-size ones) that recruit at 10 or less schools its actually probably a pretty good deal. If you are a mid-size firm that recruits at the top 3 or 4 local schools and interviews 20 or so students at each one it costs you less than $2,000 in fees (an probably closer to $1,000 depending on the schools). That small fee is almost certainly worth the convenience factor and mass access to students that OCI provides.

You aren't really paying to interview students as much as you are paying for convenience. Given the recruiting model of the firms that show up at OCIs, the value add is actually legit.




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