2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

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EIWIsMyFetish

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2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby EIWIsMyFetish » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:45 pm

For the future. Having just gone through OCI, I was surprised that there was no thread like this from recent years.

Here's a place to put any tips you have that you think may be valuable for the future. Wisdom for OCI, but that doesn't necessarily mean from OCI (feel free to give some insight into things you felt helped/didn't help that you did as a 1L.) Think from a 1L's perspective: talk about things like "do the networking sessions hosted by firms during 1L matter at all?" or "should my resume be printed on special paper?"

If you have wisdom for the legal job search, lay it down.

___________________________________

Personal advice: Career services will give you a lot of tips for interviewing, one of them being to "sell yourself." This, imo, is the default rule - do this if you can't interview. If you think you're a skilled interviewer (and that has been reaffirmed by other sources) then don't force a "sell" - it will come across as stiff and awkward. I learned this the hard way when I switched my demeanor about half way through OCI.

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:56 pm

OCI tip- work in the city you want to interview for as a 1l and start mailing the day finals end. Especially for DC.

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:06 pm

if you're at a school that uses the lottery system for OCI, don't just bid based off the GPA requirements. Some of the firms with lower GPA reqs, might have tiny classes so it can be harder to get a cb than a firm that has a larger class.

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OCI tip- work in the city you want to interview for as a 1l and start mailing the day finals end. Especially for DC.


+1. Pre-oci callbacks/offers are becoming more and more common, so if you can spend your 1l summer in the city you want to end up in permanently, it can be super helpful. I think this is especially true if you have poor grades (like me). I did this and it led to numerous networking opportunities, several callbacks, and an eventual offer.

Big Red

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Big Red » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:23 pm

Not sure why we're all going anon here, but yeah given the increase in Pre-OCI activity on the firm side you should have your MMs off before the 4th.

Also I would add that while you need an answer to three basic Q's (why X firm, why X place, tell me about yourself) your answers can't sound canned or mechanical or you come off badly. The process is boring and redundant but you can't be boring and redundant or you're not going to come off well.

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Kinky John

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Kinky John » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:28 pm

  • Don't confuse "OCI" with "getting a job." OCI is just one part of the whole process that officially begins December 1st of 1L.

  • Apply for 1L SA positions on December 1st (even though you likely won't get an offer). Some firms will extend CBs pre-OCI to those who applied 1L but didn't get offers. It's also a great way to practice interviewing for OCI.

  • Your career office might say you can't contact firms before OCI, and may threaten you with forfeiture of OCI interviews or worse. Ignore this and email your resume + transcript to firms pre-OCI (as others have said). Right after finals may be a bit early, mid-July is late.
Last edited by Kinky John on Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hikikomorist

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Hikikomorist » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:49 pm

I think it would have been hugely helpful to have had my 1L MMs ready to go by the middle of October. If you're lazy like me, that probably means updating your resume and drafting a template for cover letters before classes start. 2L MMing seems to have moved into late June/early July, so probably have all your stuff ready to go July 1.

Hustle for extra interviews during OCI. You can probably pick up double digits in extra interviews (not that you necessarily want to accept all of them). Research the person more than the firm, so you can tailor questions to that person. (I found a lot of attorneys seemed bored discussing general aspects of their firm, so maybe go light on those questions.) If you're weird/not naturally personable, practice certain facial expressions, and try to get used to smiling during about half of your conversations. Always (very few exceptions) be positive. It is possible to fake a tolerable personality for 20-minute bursts. What you say is less important than how you say it/make the interviewer(s) feel.

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:53 pm

Kinky John wrote:
  • Don't confuse "OCI" with "getting a job." OCI is just one part of the whole process that officially begins December 1st of 1L.

  • Apply for 1L SA positions on December 1st (even though you likely won't get an offer). Some firms will extend CBs pre-OCI to those who applied 1L but didn't get offers. It's also a great way to practice interviewing for OCI.

  • Your career office might say you can't contact firms before OCI, and may threaten you with forfeiture of OCI interviews or worse. Ignore this and email your resume + transcript to firms pre-OCI (as others have said). Right after finals may be a bit early, mid-July is late.


I agree except for the right after finals advice. Especially DC. People had v10 and v20 offers from MM in mid June this summer in DC. If you want DC, mail mail mail the days immediately after finals because firms are scheduling cbs and offers in June (at least DC, can't speak for other markets).

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:54 pm

To jump off of what Hikko said, something that helped me get better results halfway through OCI - show your teeth and smile every once in a while and be generally enthusiastic without overdoing it.

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:54 pm

  • Start mass-mailing the second you get grades back and FOLLOW UP continuously throughout the summer with firms that don't get back to you right away.

  • Have a specific practice area in mind that you want to express interest in, and decide on it early. Like, before law school early if possible. If there's a particular area of law that you can demonstrate to firms you've had at least tangential interest in since undergrad and spent your 1L summer in a related internship, you'll stand out to them compared to the horde of 2Ls who are "open to litigation and transactional." This is more important the further down the grades/school rank ladder you fall. If you're top 10% at a T6 any given firm is going to want you more than you want them and it's not a big deal whether you have a compelling story. But if you're median at a T20 you still have a chance at biglaw (speaking from personal experience here) if you can articulate interest in a specific area of law that a firm has a hiring need for.


  • Network your ass off, starting as early in 1L year as possible. Get coffee/drinks/lunch/whatever with as many attorneys in your target market/practice area as you can. Don't get discouraged if this doesn't pay off immediately in the form of pre-OCI interviews - being able to say in your OCI interviews that you talked to person X from firm Y who spoke highly of practice area Z stands out in a positive way.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Sideshow Raheem

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Sideshow Raheem » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:54 pm

.

dabigchina

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby dabigchina » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:54 pm

There are a bunch of 1L diversity/leadership programs where the firms basically wine and dine you for a couple of days that don't lead to a 1L SA. Applying to them is still a great use of your time. If you go to one of those things your mass mail basically goes to the top of the list during 2L summer.

ETA: I think off the top of my head, I think Kirkland, STB, and Latham all have these types of programs.

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Hikikomorist » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
  • Start mass-mailing the second you get grades back and FOLLOW UP continuously throughout the summer with firms that don't get back to you right away.

  • Have a specific practice area in mind that you want to express interest in, and decide on it early. Like, before law school early if possible. If there's a particular area of law that you can demonstrate to firms you've had at least tangential interest in since undergrad and spent your 1L summer in a related internship, you'll stand out to them compared to the horde of 2Ls who are "open to litigation and transactional." This is more important the further down the grades/school rank ladder you fall. If you're top 10% at a T6 any given firm is going to want you more than you want them and it's not a big deal whether you have a compelling story. But if you're median at a T20 you still have a chance at biglaw (speaking from personal experience here) if you can articulate interest in a specific area of law that a firm has a hiring need for.


  • Network your ass off, starting as early in 1L year as possible. Get coffee/drinks/lunch/whatever with as many attorneys in your target market/practice area as you can. Don't get discouraged if this doesn't pay off immediately in the form of pre-OCI interviews - being able to say in your OCI interviews that you talked to person X from firm Y who spoke highly of practice area Z stands out in a positive way.

Agree with the first point. You can check in again when grades are released and when journal results are released. If they're released really close together, maybe wait on the journal results to send a separate update.

Disagree on the second point for most people. I think it comes across as silly for most people to try to specify beyond lit./trans. But if you have a background where that makes sense, hammer that hard.

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:12 pm

of all preparing you can do for OCI, this is the most important:

https://law.duke.edu/career/pronunciation/

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:21 pm

Get a haircut

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:35 pm

EIWIsMyFetish wrote: Think from a 1L's perspective: talk about things like "do the networking sessions hosted by firms during 1L matter at all?" or "should my resume be printed on special paper?"


Networking sessions are probably a good idea--free alcohol and finger food, and it helps sell your interest in the firm later on. Don't need to go crazy with it though.

I printed my resume on regular printer paper. My CSO told us you "have to" print resumes on resume paper. V10 hiring partner told me during a screening interview that he thinks people who use resume paper are (paraphrasing here) try-hard goofballs. CB and offer.

Do not send thank-you notes after screeners or CBs.

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Re: 2016 OCI Wisdom Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:41 pm

Re: Firm events: go and enjoy the food. Don't be the annoying try-hard who feels the need to talk to every partner.

Re: Resume paper, I doubt anybody is going to ding you for it, but I wouldn't bother either. Nobody cares tbh.



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