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Author Topic: What does it mean to get an OCI?  (Read 1802 times)

brownsfan05

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What does it mean to get an OCI?
« on: August 17, 2007, 03:12:51 PM »
I have two OCIs with biglaw firms so far.  One has 12 students and the other 15.  I'm not in the top 10%, but I have geographical ties and am in top 20% and on law review.  My question is if I have an interview does that mean they consider me qualified and it will come down to personality and how the interview goes?  Or am I just a warm body to fill up a slot and they are more concerned about top 10% students who will get a callback unless they really screw up?

brightline

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Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 05:49:59 PM »
Look at the websites of the firms in question. If the associates who were actually hired from your school have "better" academic credentials than you it may be that your chances of getting hired are not good.

Also, ask your career services office about how many students from your school were hired. Depending on your school it may be that only 1 or 2 students were hired for that firm. Again, that would mean that your chances aren't that great even if your academic qualifications vs. your classmates' qualifications aren't an issue.

Bottom line: OCIs are just screening interviews. There is no guarantee you'll get a callback much less an offer from any given firm. This especially holds true if you're not at a top school.

xferlawstudent

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Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 06:25:22 PM »
I disagree to an extent...I think credentials such as grades/rank/law review get you into interviews.  Once in, I think your performance in the interview is what gets you hired.  The reason I qualified my disagreement is that I'm sure there are situations where an interviewee's credentials are borderline and the firm grants a long-shot interview.  In such a case, the interviewee may be required to show outstanding performance to overcome his credentials and thus a good interview does not mean an offer.  However, I think the latter is the general rule.

Look at the websites of the firms in question. If the associates who were actually hired from your school have "better" academic credentials than you it may be that your chances of getting hired are not good.

Also, ask your career services office about how many students from your school were hired. Depending on your school it may be that only 1 or 2 students were hired for that firm. Again, that would mean that your chances aren't that great even if your academic qualifications vs. your classmates' qualifications aren't an issue.

Bottom line: OCIs are just screening interviews. There is no guarantee you'll get a callback much less an offer from any given firm. This especially holds true if you're not at a top school.

HRoark81

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Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 06:56:24 PM »
I disagree with xferlawstudent.  They're there anyway, so they fill their interview slots.

xferlawstudent

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Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2007, 08:21:19 PM »
how do you know?  You're just now a 2L

I disagree with xferlawstudent.  They're there anyway, so they fill their interview slots.

LVP

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Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2007, 09:08:32 PM »
I'll tell you what our career services person told me.  I'm not saying you should believe it - I'm not even saying I do or don't believe it - I'm just giving more information to be considered.

Basically, she said that if you get an interview, they've seen your resume, grades, and (if applicable) writing sample, so they already know you're qualified on paper.  The interview is to see if you "fit" with them - that is, if they think you have the right personality, temperament, or other intangibles that will make you a good choice for their firm.  She said it's better to be at ease with yourself and able to be comfortable talking and establishing a good rapport than it is to be able to list off all your accomplishments and merits.

Also - don't necessarily worry if you're not at a top school.  I'm in Michigan, and she said that most employers generally take a few students from all of the Michigan law schools (except Cooley and Ave Maria) rather than focusing strictly on U of M.  So, it's possible that firms in your area do the same thing, but I have no idea.
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xferlawstudent

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Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2007, 09:27:55 PM »
This is correct

I'll tell you what our career services person told me.  I'm not saying you should believe it - I'm not even saying I do or don't believe it - I'm just giving more information to be considered.

Basically, she said that if you get an interview, they've seen your resume, grades, and (if applicable) writing sample, so they already know you're qualified on paper.  The interview is to see if you "fit" with them - that is, if they think you have the right personality, temperament, or other intangibles that will make you a good choice for their firm.  She said it's better to be at ease with yourself and able to be comfortable talking and establishing a good rapport than it is to be able to list off all your accomplishments and merits.

Also - don't necessarily worry if you're not at a top school.  I'm in Michigan, and she said that most employers generally take a few students from all of the Michigan law schools (except Cooley and Ave Maria) rather than focusing strictly on U of M.  So, it's possible that firms in your area do the same thing, but I have no idea.

ANBUDOM

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Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2007, 09:33:50 AM »
I disagree with xferlawstudent.  They're there anyway, so they fill their interview slots.

If you make a note of which screening interviewees get callback interviews, it will become readily apparent that firms extend screenings to certain individuals just for the sake of taking up interview slots.  If the firm is planning to stay at the school for 4-5 hours, they will not go there just to interview a few people and then leave. 

However, they do use the screening interviews to weed out the social retards and to extend callbacks to very impressive interviewees that they were not previously considering.  OCP will obviously say that getting a screening interview means that you are qualified for the firm but the fact of the matter is that if you observe which students consistently get callbacks and which students are repeatedly rejected after the screening, firms already know which students they will take prior to the screenings.

Getting back to the OP, I don't know what law school you come out of but top 20% and law review is a great accomplishment.  Unless you go to a terrible law school you should assume that you have the credentials for a callback and they're just checking to make sure that you're not socially awkward.  Good luck to you!
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jacy85

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Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2007, 09:56:38 AM »
This is what the recruiter told me at the firm I worked for this summer.  If you get a screening interview, you meet the minimum requirements they're looking for, or, if someone's made a very good case for you, you have something "extra" that makes up for not meeting the reqs (she said this was pretty rare).

Getting a screening interview won't mean you're going to get a callback, obviously.  Meeting the min requirements doesn't mean you're the best that they're interviewing.  A screening interview is a chance to put yourself in the "best" category if you can really wow them in 20 minutes though.  It's an opportunity, nothing more (unless you have such a stellar resume that the firm sees the screening interview as little more than a formality before offering you a callback).

I'll tell you what our career services person told me.  I'm not saying you should believe it - I'm not even saying I do or don't believe it - I'm just giving more information to be considered.

Basically, she said that if you get an interview, they've seen your resume, grades, and (if applicable) writing sample, so they already know you're qualified on paper.  The interview is to see if you "fit" with them - that is, if they think you have the right personality, temperament, or other intangibles that will make you a good choice for their firm.  She said it's better to be at ease with yourself and able to be comfortable talking and establishing a good rapport than it is to be able to list off all your accomplishments and merits.

Also - don't necessarily worry if you're not at a top school.  I'm in Michigan, and she said that most employers generally take a few students from all of the Michigan law schools (except Cooley and Ave Maria) rather than focusing strictly on U of M.  So, it's possible that firms in your area do the same thing, but I have no idea.