Sometimes your career fate is established during On Campus Interviews (OCI) - but only about 12.7% of all law students have the opportunity to feel this joy. Law firms come to visit and look for a match between what they have to offer and what you want. It used to be a bit easier when what you want could be broader than a job. However, in the current market – the firms are pickier than the students because there are too many law students and too few law firms.
A lot of the work of OCI begins prior to the actual event. During the Spring of your 1L and 2L years, you’ll be invited to attend a firm preview. This is like a college fair – you are cordially invited to visit each booth and the law firms in those booths let you get to know them a bit. You go away and, with your impression of each law firm, build a list of firms for which you would like to work. Using that list, you can then research the firms and continue prioritizing that list until the next Fall. At the beginning of Fall semester, the firms return to your school for the formal OCI event. During OCI, you bid for interviews based on your prioritized list. When you make a bid for a firm, that firm receives a copy of your resume’, cover letter, and transcript so they can decide if they would like to interview you. The OCI interviews last about 20 minutes each and are sometimes your chance to shine and sometimes the worst interview through which you will ever have to suffer.This is very much a job interview. Eventually you will find out if the firms you selected chose you. If you were one of the lucky few selected – it is for a Summer Associate position only. No other guarantees apply until the firm actually makes you an offer or a guarantee.
The Summer Associate position is a chance for you and the firm to get to know one another better. In a best case scenario, you love each other and you’re offered a future job at some point to begin after your graduation. These opportunities are golden! If you aren’t offered a Summer Associate position or, if after working there you are sure that is not the firm for you, you have a second bite at the apple during the Fall of your 3L. But remember you should never let up on your personal search for your dream job since less than 15% of all law students are being placed through OCI.
For those of you who have graduated, we send you our best wishes for a successful and lucrative future. May you pay off your loans timely and still have money for fun. For those of you hoping to earn a future juris doctorate we wish for you a good time, a great line, and a fine wine. Hang in there.