While the particulars of your circumstances are of course unique, you raise a good many questions (as well as underlying fears) that are likely shared by many.
The fact that you transferred from one T10 school to another lends some weight both to others’ advice and to your potential career options. On the other side, your experience with OCI, while not uncommon in this market, might speak to either an issue of interviewing skills or (and I don’t mean this crudely) motivation. If it’s skill, there are sources that can help. Try Insider’s Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job. It has a number of points. (There’s no point sugar-coating it, of course: in this market even with skills it’s hardly a sure thing. Unlike in the past, however, where any law reviewer short of autistic could land a top job, now the interpersonal standard is high for all. This, however, makes the importance of the right approach all the more important.) The second possibility is the deeper question in the rest of your essay: What is it you really want?
You mentioned you worked as a paralegal. Did you like it? Did you like what you saw of the attorneys? The junior associates? How did that play out in your discussions with interviewers?
In most academic careers, yes, a PhD is required. But if you’re still finding yourself, it’s unlikely that jumping ship to another ship will lead to a better result. Moreover, you’re friends are certainly right that you shouldn’t do anything rash. There is time to make a good decision.
While it might seem that the late 20s is “too late” for a new career, the truth is that time postponed is “too late.” The real challenge is to figure out what you really love. Seriously. Love. Time spent figuring that out, at any age, is time well spent. Time spent doing what others want (and that you really don’t) is a damned shame.
I hope this helps,