Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

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Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:47 pm

ND’s class of 2017 had a 48.9% fed clerk+biglaw placement rate according to LST. Anecdotally, the classes of 2018 and 2019 look like they’re around or above that number. But OCI for the ND class of 2020 has been terrible. Plenty of very strong candidates have zero callbacks. This class could very well be below 33% fed clerk+biglaw placement.

Have any other schools seen similarly tough OCI seasons?

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:ND’s class of 2017 had a 48.9% fed clerk+biglaw placement rate according to LST. Anecdotally, the classes of 2018 and 2019 look like they’re around or above that number. But OCI for the ND class of 2020 has been terrible. Plenty of very strong candidates have zero callbacks. This class could very well be below 33% fed clerk+biglaw placement.

Have any other schools seen similarly tough OCI seasons?


Anecdotal based on a pretty small sample, but the LA market has seemed somewhat tough to crack this year.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:04 pm

I chatted with a Columbia student and a Harvard student at a callback and they both said their friends are doing way worse than they expected given their stats. maybe the end of an era.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:22 pm

I’m a registered patent agent with 4+ years of prosecution experience in large law firms. Electrical engineering undergrad. Above median 1L grades at a T25. Solid interviewer.

I had piss-poor results at PLIP (the patent fair). I applied only to top firms, but still, I received far fewer screeners than I expected, and no callbacks. Fucking nerds.

Since transferring law schools, OCI has been much kinder to me. So far have had a ~50% callback rate from screeners, including many lottery picks, and ~75% offer rate from callbacks. My options are more regional than I expected, but thankfully they are broader than just IP jobs.

My take is that firms have become pickier, especially with respect to schools. Maybe it’s always been this way, or more characteristic of certain markets... I am slowly becoming more #teamretake

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:24 pm

I think it's hard to get a gauge in the middle of the process. I've heard mixed things at Fordham, with some students seriously outperforming their numbers and others disappointed. My anecdotal sense is that interviewing ability and work experience matter more than expected.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby kyle010723 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:ND’s class of 2017 had a 48.9% fed clerk+biglaw placement rate according to LST. Anecdotally, the classes of 2018 and 2019 look like they’re around or above that number. But OCI for the ND class of 2020 has been terrible. Plenty of very strong candidates have zero callbacks. This class could very well be below 33% fed clerk+biglaw placement.

Have any other schools seen similarly tough OCI seasons?


Class of 2020 meaning you’re a rising 2L and you already concluded ND had a terrible OCI season? Seems a little premature. LST is for post-grad placements, not summer. As a wise TLSer once said, stop reading tea leaves and start mass mailing.

NDLS ‘15

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:45 pm

I've heard that OCI has been a bloodbath for a lot of people, including my peers at T14 schools (I go to a T25). For me, OCI went better than expected (especially since I was barely top quarter) but I think that is only because I had a lot of relevant work experience from before law school. My friends with much higher grades who were K-JDs either struck out or only got 1-2 offers from mediocre firms.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:51 pm

HLS here—well above the median, but not LR. D.C. seemed to be as tough as it’s ever been, if not tougher. And (though this is purely anecdotally) New York appeared to have been a more difficult get than in years prior. Saw plenty of people who would’ve gotten at least a few V10 CBs in any other year draw blanks.

My very preliminary conclusion, for whatever it’s worth: firms are assuming that the bull market can’t be bullish too much longer, that 2020 is the earlier bound for a recession, and that hiring at ~2006 or ~2015 levels will turn out to be a poor investment.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:56 pm

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bloodbath. I mean, there has been a trend the past few years where firms are shrinking their summer classes (some greatly expanded, but most are shrinking).

As first year salaries go up, I think firms are just looking to hire based on immediate need (trimming the fat, so to speak). If you look at many posts and speak to recruiters, junior level hiring is WAY up (even at V5).

My firm has hired a lot of 2016-17 grads this year and has shrunk our summer program by half. I’m assuming this is a new trend.

So, yeah, it may suck. But this isn’t new by any means.

Also, isn’t the class of 2020 the year that law school apps/entrants had an uptick after the recession?

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:14 pm

It appears as if OP is projecting. I'm also a member of NDLS's class of 2020 and have had big law callbacks in Chicago and other Midwestern markets with a slightly below-median GPA (I have work experience, in the interest of full disclosure). Anecdotally, there are many other members of the class that have been offered by V50-V5 firms in NYC, Chi, SF, and Dallas. These peoples' stats run the gamut from significantly below median to your typical law review all-star and everything in between; and that's just what I've heard from the grapevine. To echo an earlier post, OCI success is multivariate and individualized. To suggest that our big law+fed clerk placement will be below 33% is ridiculous and irresponsible. Hopefully OP gets a nibble in the coming days/weeks so that NDLS' brand doesn't continue to suffer at the hands of anonymous TLS posters.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:23 pm

I'm at Harvard. I have no idea how things will pan out when all's said and done, but in the meanwhile I've anecdotally heard of a lot more people on the verge of striking out than I expected to from here. I agree with one of the anons above that work experience and interviewing mattered a lot, but also once people hit below median things got dramatically harder. Nothing surprising there really, I suppose.

Caveat: Even the people who talked about being on the verge of striking out did have 3-4 ish callbacks, and may well have secured an offer through one of them, albeit at a less desirable firm. It's also entirely possible that this happens every year, and the upperclassmen who struggle just never talk about it. I may have believed career services a bit too much when they told us that everyone who wants market from here will get market, and made it seem like EIP was a walk in the park.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It appears as if OP is projecting. I'm also a member of NDLS's class of 2020 and have had big law callbacks in Chicago and other Midwestern markets with a slightly below-median GPA (I have work experience, in the interest of full disclosure). Anecdotally, there are many other members of the class that have been offered by V50-V5 firms in NYC, Chi, SF, and Dallas. These peoples' stats run the gamut from significantly below median to your typical law review all-star and everything in between; and that's just what I've heard from the grapevine. To echo an earlier post, OCI success is multivariate and individualized. To suggest that our big law+fed clerk placement will be below 33% is ridiculous and irresponsible. Hopefully OP gets a nibble in the coming days/weeks so that NDLS' brand doesn't continue to suffer at the hands of anonymous TLS posters.


OP here. Not projecting in the slightest. I accepted an offer from a V10 in one of the markets you mentioned (with a GPA above median and strong ties to the market). You know very well that there are plenty of people in our class who have either already struck out or are in danger of doing so - and the replies to this thread show that NDLS is far from alone.

EDIT: Missed a word
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby yyyuppp » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:33 pm

not to say its not happening, or discount the struggles some people are having, but these threads seem to show up every year. See: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=267688 . i think it can be easy to get tied up in the world around you during OCI process. I felt a similar way last year.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:43 pm

NDLS 18 here. It’s tough every year at ND, Biglaw is not a sure thing even for top students. I knew of 3 people in the top 5% who struck out.

If you have good grades mass mail New York today. I got one offer from NDLS OCI with a 3.6 gpa but went to a firm I mass mailed in NY.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:44 pm

We're almost ten years into this current recovery. When you combine that fact with the recent round of associate raises/bonuses, it's really not surprising that firms are tightening their belts across the board and being much more selective with offering candidates, even among the T-14.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:06 pm

HYS here around median, and LA has been pretty brutal this year

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:57 pm

mid-level associate at a major firm in Chicago. It is way too early to know if OCI is terrible. But I do think the raises have played a part in smaller classes. My firm matched Cravath and is doing very well financially, but they did say they were planning on the summer class to be 10% smaller this year. They didn't tie it to raises, but it seems to me that is probably the reason. And if my firm that is doing well financially is having a smaller class, then I am sure other firms are as well

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:44 pm

first day of school at Duke and I've already met a few people who have struck out

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I’m a registered patent agent with 4+ years of prosecution experience in large law firms. Electrical engineering undergrad. Above median 1L grades at a T25. Solid interviewer.

I had piss-poor results at PLIP (the patent fair). I applied only to top firms, but still, I received far fewer screeners than I expected, and no callbacks. Fucking nerds.

Since transferring law schools, OCI has been much kinder to me. So far have had a ~50% callback rate from screeners, including many lottery picks, and ~75% offer rate from callbacks. My options are more regional than I expected, but thankfully they are broader than just IP jobs.

My take is that firms have become pickier, especially with respect to schools. Maybe it’s always been this way, or more characteristic of certain markets... I am slowly becoming more #teamretake


Similar stats as you, except I go to BU/BC/Fordham/GWU. Several years of engineering experience and also registered with USPTO. I had 20 screeners between OCI and PLIP and only for got 3 CBs. Once I had all the screeners, I thought I’d be pretty set.

Got an offer at one of my top choices, but it was way tougher than I expected and I was pretty sure I was gonna strike out.

I know one or two people who are killing OCI, but I’ve also heard of a lot of top kids on LR with fed court 1L internships at my school who are striking out.

I also know the other IP folks at my school have mostly struck out.

Scary stuff. T6 or bust.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:44 pm

Firms are tightening up again. Partners all remember 08. Lawyers are risk averse. They went from “idk economy is too bad” to slowly “shit we have no mid levels we need to hire more summers to have enough in the future” to “omg it’s been a while since last recessions, we’re due!” quickly. Going from $160K to $190K in a short period doesn’t help when they’d been chilling at $160K for almost a decade.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:05 am

I did OCI in 2016 when firms had just announced raises to 180, and it was a bloodbath for some of us at my lower T14. Some partners told me they were being cautious because of the raises. The following year OCI was much better and the year before (2015) was great. If I had to guess it's got to be the new raises.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:14 am

This is all funny/sad because a firm would rather work their current associates to death than lower their profits ever so slightly.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:I chatted with a Columbia student and a Harvard student at a callback and they both said their friends are doing way worse than they expected given their stats. maybe the end of an era.


Rising 2L @ CLS. Grades seemed to create ceilings in terms of what firms were achievable but the floor was always striking out regardless of grades. Especially in NYC, if you had the grades, you got CBs. At the CB stage, enthusiasm and looks were equally predictive of performance with grades taking a slight backseat. Those who had both looks and enthusiasm converted really well. Those with neither were close to or did actually strikeout even with 5+ CBs.

I don't think this is anything new though. There's a thread like this every year by someone under-performing or being exposed to a bad sampling of anecdotes.

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:24 am

Came across this thread by chance... It is a much leaner year anecdotally according to our career services at a T6. Apparently everyone is freaked out about Latham'ing and all the buzz about the economy tanking in 2020 has firms wary. Have hope though. How it goes is there will be a few people with tons of CBs/offers off the bat and tons will be on hold with there 1-3 CBs. Those kids still get offers.. Just wait til offers start getting rescinded. They only have 28 days and hopefully they are nice enough to their classmates to rescind offers they don't want

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Re: Notre Dame has had a terrible OCI season. Has OCI been a bloodbath at any other schools this year?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
OP here. Not projecting in the slightest. I accepted an offer from a V10 in one of the markets you mentioned (with a GPA above median and strong ties to the market). You know very well that there are plenty of people in our class who have either already struck out or are in danger of doing so - and the replies to this thread show that NDLS is far from alone.

EDIT: Missed a word


Congratulations on your result, and please forgive the snarkiness. Is this not the nature of the beast, though? Coming to NDLS, one ought to know ahead of time that our combined fed clerk + big law placement vacillates between 45-50%. That big law callbacks/offers (thus far, that is - it's still relatively early) might have been somewhat redistributed away from the high GPAs of the class to students with relevant work experience, good interview skills, good networking, etc. isn't something I think is cause for alarm.

Coming to NDLS, I knew I had a shot at big law. A shot. But I also knew (if anything, from lurking on this forum) that people at higher ranked schools also struggle for the same jobs in the same markets. Bidding on secondary markets is a must here, imo.



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