How important is networking before OCI?

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How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:37 pm

I will not be in my target market during the summer before OCI. How big of a deal is this? Can I make up for it by networking in-person now and doing phone calls during the summer?

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby personwholaws » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:47 am

In my experience, it was not that important. I made phone calls for informational interviews in the weeks leading up to OCI, but the firm I am going to I had the worst phone call and had not networked there at all. But it is better to network than to not network.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby nrthwst4now » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:01 am

Yeah, never hurts to know some people and be able to develop some relationships at firms you want to interview for during the school year. I think whether its super important or not is debatable, and I think the school you are at makes a big difference. If you are at a T-13, less important. If you are at a school where only a few people get OCI jobs, then I think it would be more important. Go to the career development office tell them you want info on firms and see if they will hook you up with some names to reach out to. Also, good to go to the events.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Aergia » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:28 am

I didn't get a job from networking but I did network my ass off all summer before OCI and it made me SUPER comfortable talking to lawyers and discussing the useless shit they like to ask about. So, unless you're already a naturally amazing interviewer, I think that benefit alone makes it worth it.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby umichman » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:23 am

id put it squarely in the category of medium important. If you do it great, if not no big deal.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Nagster5 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:51 pm

Depends on your situation. Are you above median at a T10, or below median at a T50? For one of those people networking will likely be essential to getting a job, for the other it is likely a waste of time.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:19 pm

Nagster5 wrote:Depends on your situation. Are you above median at a T10, or below median at a T50? For one of those people networking will likely be essential to getting a job, for the other it is likely a waste of time.

Exactly median at t13. Gunning hard this semester

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:06 pm

Disclaimer: This was for a 1L SA not through OCI.

Targeted a market with decent ties (SO from there and lives/works there but we are not engaged) so I networked my ass off to show my dedication to the city since my resume screams the city I go to law school in. I went through every firm website and found alum from my law school who worked there and if that did not work, I resorted to alum from my undergrad. I just sent out emails asking if they had 10 minutes to tell me about their firm and practice area. Response rate was huge - very very few people didn’t respond. I probably had 50 20-30 minute phone calls with various associates and partners across the city.

I had very high grades at a T20 so I won’t discount that. But I know for a fact that a couple of my callbacks were solely due to those i networked with pulling for me and one of my offers was partially due to the fact that I really bonded with a partner and he went to bat for me. Additionally, I think being able to say in my cover letter that I had spoken with X and Y helped show dedication to the city since my ties were meh to get me in the door. It also gave me something to discuss in interviews when asked “why us?” and I received a lot of compliments from attorneys on taking such proactive efforts to learn more about their firm.

If I had stronger ties + it was 2L (way more spots, so less competitive) I probably wouldn’t have done so much because it wouldn’t have had the same impact

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Disclaimer: This was for a 1L SA not through OCI.

Targeted a market with decent ties (SO from there and lives/works there but we are not engaged) so I networked my ass off to show my dedication to the city since my resume screams the city I go to law school in. I went through every firm website and found alum from my law school who worked there and if that did not work, I resorted to alum from my undergrad. I just sent out emails asking if they had 10 minutes to tell me about their firm and practice area. Response rate was huge - very very few people didn’t respond. I probably had 50 20-30 minute phone calls with various associates and partners across the city.

I had very high grades at a T20 so I won’t discount that. But I know for a fact that a couple of my callbacks were solely due to those i networked with pulling for me and one of my offers was partially due to the fact that I really bonded with a partner and he went to bat for me. Additionally, I think being able to say in my cover letter that I had spoken with X and Y helped show dedication to the city since my ties were meh to get me in the door. It also gave me something to discuss in interviews when asked “why us?” and I received a lot of compliments from attorneys on taking such proactive efforts to learn more about their firm.

If I had stronger ties + it was 2L (way more spots, so less competitive) I probably wouldn’t have done so much because it wouldn’t have had the same impact


Thankfully my law school is in my target market, and I have some ties there. I'm trying to figure out how much of a role networking plays for acquiring a job, especially as a median student who will likely be on the borderline.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Sprout » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:12 pm

Network as much as possible, always. I would say (from friends - not my own experience) that firm specific networking is +1 for OCI under certain circumstances. If you are aiming for a few places and know partners or even associates there, it is an awesome talking point during interviews.

I would still say though above all before OCI you should be mass mailing like crazy, and it is probably a better use of your time.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:20 pm

Sprout wrote:Network as much as possible, always. I would say (from friends - not my own experience) that firm specific networking is +1 for OCI under certain circumstances. If you are aiming for a few places and know partners or even associates there, it is an awesome talking point during interviews.

I would still say though above all before OCI you should be mass mailing like crazy, and it is probably a better use of your time.

When does the mass mailing process begin? Once you get your second semester grades back? Also, should someone submit an app to a place they plan on interviewing with at OCI?

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Sprout » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:Network as much as possible, always. I would say (from friends - not my own experience) that firm specific networking is +1 for OCI under certain circumstances. If you are aiming for a few places and know partners or even associates there, it is an awesome talking point during interviews.

I would still say though above all before OCI you should be mass mailing like crazy, and it is probably a better use of your time.

When does the mass mailing process begin? Once you get your second semester grades back? Also, should someone submit an app to a place they plan on interviewing with at OCI?


I started mass mailing in the spring... and continued it all summer long. I didn't wait for second sem grades.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:29 pm

Sprout wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:Network as much as possible, always. I would say (from friends - not my own experience) that firm specific networking is +1 for OCI under certain circumstances. If you are aiming for a few places and know partners or even associates there, it is an awesome talking point during interviews.

I would still say though above all before OCI you should be mass mailing like crazy, and it is probably a better use of your time.

When does the mass mailing process begin? Once you get your second semester grades back? Also, should someone submit an app to a place they plan on interviewing with at OCI?


I started mass mailing in the spring... and continued it all summer long. I didn't wait for second sem grades.

How soon in Spring? I still have friends interviewing for 1L SA's.

Edit - also have to remember I'm median. I really need the boost in my grades in order to be a more competitive candidate

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:26 pm

T20 here.

I know of at least two people at our OCI who received callbacks to V20s based extensively on networking done before OCI. In one of the situations, the interviewers took the student out for drinks the night before the screener. Obviously the screener itself was more of a formality the next day at that point. Would definitely recommend it if you had time, wish I had spent more time doing it.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby cron1834 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:31 pm

SO, I think there's a pretty big difference between schmoozing your specific screener over drinks and general networking. The former isn't really a possibility for most folks. At my T14, we didn't know who our screeners were until right before OCI, and even then the firms sometimes swapped out if an attorney got busy.

In terms of general meeting-and-greeting of folks at several firms before you interview with someone else, I found that to be of limited value. Certainly couldn't hurt. But the firms I tried that with, by random happenstance, sent OCI screeners that I just didn't vibe with. There's a serious possibility that this could be seriously helpful, but it certainly didn't work that way for me. If you're at a T14, the potential for wasting your time is pretty high imo.

OP, I think I'd want to know school and target market to give better advice...

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:49 pm

cron1834 wrote:SO, I think there's a pretty big difference between schmoozing your specific screener over drinks and general networking. The former isn't really a possibility for most folks. At my T14, we didn't know who our screeners were until right before OCI, and even then the firms sometimes swapped out if an attorney got busy.

In terms of general meeting-and-greeting of folks at several firms before you interview with someone else, I found that to be of limited value. Certainly couldn't hurt. But the firms I tried that with, by random happenstance, sent OCI screeners that I just didn't vibe with. There's a serious possibility that this could be seriously helpful, but it certainly didn't work that way for me. If you're at a T14, the potential for wasting your time is pretty high imo.

OP, I think I'd want to know school and target market to give better advice...


Not OP, but wanted to get your views and advice from anyone who has any to offer.

Top 1/3 CCN, probably able to get top 25%-20% after 1L thanks to easier elective.

1. Wasting time to network in secondary markets (think TX/IL) if I have 0 ties?
2. Wasting time to network w/V100s just to secure SOMETHING before OCI so I can play around w/riskier bids on bidlist?
3. Wasting time to network in the V10 reach firms where I might get a slight edge?
4. Which one of 1-3 is the most critical to network?

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby cron1834 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
cron1834 wrote:SO, I think there's a pretty big difference between schmoozing your specific screener over drinks and general networking. The former isn't really a possibility for most folks. At my T14, we didn't know who our screeners were until right before OCI, and even then the firms sometimes swapped out if an attorney got busy.

In terms of general meeting-and-greeting of folks at several firms before you interview with someone else, I found that to be of limited value. Certainly couldn't hurt. But the firms I tried that with, by random happenstance, sent OCI screeners that I just didn't vibe with. There's a serious possibility that this could be seriously helpful, but it certainly didn't work that way for me. If you're at a T14, the potential for wasting your time is pretty high imo.

OP, I think I'd want to know school and target market to give better advice...


Not OP, but wanted to get your views and advice from anyone who has any to offer.

Top 1/3 CCN, probably able to get top 25%-20% after 1L thanks to easier elective.

1. Wasting time to network in secondary markets (think TX/IL) if I have 0 ties?
2. Wasting time to network w/V100s just to secure SOMETHING before OCI so I can play around w/riskier bids on bidlist?
3. Wasting time to network in the V10 reach firms where I might get a slight edge?
4. Which one of 1-3 is the most critical to network?

Seems pretty clear that TX/IL are *way* more ties sensitive than NYC biglaw. So, if you really want one of those, I'd prioritize that in terms of effort. I'm in one of those two with kinda-sorta ties, and it wasn't easy.

If I was top-third at CCN, I would pick a half-dozen target firms I really wanted (v20 or higher), try to learn as much as possible about them, and maybe try to have a conversation with a person or two at each. There's no good reason why you can't get your resume in before OCI if you're going to be in NYC during 1L summer. Try to apply ahead of time, unless your school is weird about it. In any event, I would definitely not spend my time networking with random v100 firms in your position. Plus, the bigger/better firms are the ones more likely to hire before OCI anyway.

Caveat - obviously Vault rankings are kinda dumb, and there are some really good firms outside of the v20. I'm using "v100" as a placeholder for generic corporate biglaw offices in NYC.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:Network as much as possible, always. I would say (from friends - not my own experience) that firm specific networking is +1 for OCI under certain circumstances. If you are aiming for a few places and know partners or even associates there, it is an awesome talking point during interviews.

I would still say though above all before OCI you should be mass mailing like crazy, and it is probably a better use of your time.

When does the mass mailing process begin? Once you get your second semester grades back? Also, should someone submit an app to a place they plan on interviewing with at OCI?


I started mass mailing in the spring... and continued it all summer long. I didn't wait for second sem grades.

How soon in Spring? I still have friends interviewing for 1L SA's.

Edit - also have to remember I'm median. I really need the boost in my grades in order to be a more competitive candidate


In my opinion, spring is premature to start mass-mailing places. I mass-mailed my ass off, but I didn't begin until summer and once I had received my spring semester grades. Any earlier would would have been a waste of efforts. Eventually got nibbles, but not any until closer to OCI. It is good you are thinking about this now and getting a plan together.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:55 am

cron1834 wrote:SO, I think there's a pretty big difference between schmoozing your specific screener over drinks and general networking. The former isn't really a possibility for most folks. At my T14, we didn't know who our screeners were until right before OCI, and even then the firms sometimes swapped out if an attorney got busy.

In terms of general meeting-and-greeting of folks at several firms before you interview with someone else, I found that to be of limited value. Certainly couldn't hurt. But the firms I tried that with, by random happenstance, sent OCI screeners that I just didn't vibe with. There's a serious possibility that this could be seriously helpful, but it certainly didn't work that way for me. If you're at a T14, the potential for wasting your time is pretty high imo.

OP, I think I'd want to know school and target market to give better advice...

Northwestern, target market is Chicago

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:50 pm

Bump

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Sprout » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:Network as much as possible, always. I would say (from friends - not my own experience) that firm specific networking is +1 for OCI under certain circumstances. If you are aiming for a few places and know partners or even associates there, it is an awesome talking point during interviews.

I would still say though above all before OCI you should be mass mailing like crazy, and it is probably a better use of your time.

When does the mass mailing process begin? Once you get your second semester grades back? Also, should someone submit an app to a place they plan on interviewing with at OCI?


I started mass mailing in the spring... and continued it all summer long. I didn't wait for second sem grades.

How soon in Spring? I still have friends interviewing for 1L SA's.

Edit - also have to remember I'm median. I really need the boost in my grades in order to be a more competitive candidate



When I said spring I meant late spring.. like may, after finals. I just addressed that briefly in my cover letter and it gave me an excuse to contact them again when grades were released. I had mass mailing interview screeners in june or july before OCI. ymmv, gl. Imo mass mailing was crucial. Also t20, median.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:05 pm

Sprout wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:Network as much as possible, always. I would say (from friends - not my own experience) that firm specific networking is +1 for OCI under certain circumstances. If you are aiming for a few places and know partners or even associates there, it is an awesome talking point during interviews.

I would still say though above all before OCI you should be mass mailing like crazy, and it is probably a better use of your time.

When does the mass mailing process begin? Once you get your second semester grades back? Also, should someone submit an app to a place they plan on interviewing with at OCI?


I started mass mailing in the spring... and continued it all summer long. I didn't wait for second sem grades.

How soon in Spring? I still have friends interviewing for 1L SA's.

Edit - also have to remember I'm median. I really need the boost in my grades in order to be a more competitive candidate



When I said spring I meant late spring.. like may, after finals. I just addressed that briefly in my cover letter and it gave me an excuse to contact them again when grades were released. I had mass mailing interview screeners in june or july before OCI. ymmv, gl. Imo mass mailing was crucial. Also t20, median.


That's a good idea. They likely would not auto-ding a median applicant until their second semester grades came back, correct?

Did you massmail firms that were coming to your school's OCI as well?

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby cron1834 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
cron1834 wrote:SO, I think there's a pretty big difference between schmoozing your specific screener over drinks and general networking. The former isn't really a possibility for most folks. At my T14, we didn't know who our screeners were until right before OCI, and even then the firms sometimes swapped out if an attorney got busy.

In terms of general meeting-and-greeting of folks at several firms before you interview with someone else, I found that to be of limited value. Certainly couldn't hurt. But the firms I tried that with, by random happenstance, sent OCI screeners that I just didn't vibe with. There's a serious possibility that this could be seriously helpful, but it certainly didn't work that way for me. If you're at a T14, the potential for wasting your time is pretty high imo.

OP, I think I'd want to know school and target market to give better advice...

Northwestern, target market is Chicago

Chicago is tough, so I'd take advantage of your presence during the remainder of the school year, and maybe throw in a few phone calls over the summer to boot. Your goal should be to research every firm you eventually interview with, and go a little above and beyond at your targets, like being able to drop a name or two (i.e., you had a convo with that person). I think that's totally attainable without backbreaking work.

Just my $.02.

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:15 pm

cron1834 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
cron1834 wrote:SO, I think there's a pretty big difference between schmoozing your specific screener over drinks and general networking. The former isn't really a possibility for most folks. At my T14, we didn't know who our screeners were until right before OCI, and even then the firms sometimes swapped out if an attorney got busy.

In terms of general meeting-and-greeting of folks at several firms before you interview with someone else, I found that to be of limited value. Certainly couldn't hurt. But the firms I tried that with, by random happenstance, sent OCI screeners that I just didn't vibe with. There's a serious possibility that this could be seriously helpful, but it certainly didn't work that way for me. If you're at a T14, the potential for wasting your time is pretty high imo.

OP, I think I'd want to know school and target market to give better advice...

Northwestern, target market is Chicago

Chicago is tough, so I'd take advantage of your presence during the remainder of the school year, and maybe throw in a few phone calls over the summer to boot. Your goal should be to research every firm you eventually interview with, and go a little above and beyond at your targets, like being able to drop a name or two (i.e., you had a convo with that person). I think that's totally attainable without backbreaking work.

Just my $.02.


I can do that. So get coffee with someone from every firm I want to work for before I leave for the summer?

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Re: How important is networking before OCI?

Postby Sprout » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Sprout wrote:Network as much as possible, always. I would say (from friends - not my own experience) that firm specific networking is +1 for OCI under certain circumstances. If you are aiming for a few places and know partners or even associates there, it is an awesome talking point during interviews.

I would still say though above all before OCI you should be mass mailing like crazy, and it is probably a better use of your time.

When does the mass mailing process begin? Once you get your second semester grades back? Also, should someone submit an app to a place they plan on interviewing with at OCI?


I started mass mailing in the spring... and continued it all summer long. I didn't wait for second sem grades.

How soon in Spring? I still have friends interviewing for 1L SA's.

Edit - also have to remember I'm median. I really need the boost in my grades in order to be a more competitive candidate



When I said spring I meant late spring.. like may, after finals. I just addressed that briefly in my cover letter and it gave me an excuse to contact them again when grades were released. I had mass mailing interview screeners in june or july before OCI. ymmv, gl. Imo mass mailing was crucial. Also t20, median.


That's a good idea. They likely would not auto-ding a median applicant until their second semester grades came back, correct?

Did you massmail firms that were coming to your school's OCI as well?

I don't know if it would be an auto-ding but I was surprised I got interviews at several places for sure even after grades were released and I updated my resume to reflect GPA. I wasn't ranked because my school only ranks top third, which is nice for people like me. I could just say that and based on my understanding I was likely just below top third. I was told after a very long callback though that their GPA cut off prevented me from receiving an offer (Pilsbury, Latham)



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