"Is your name Jon Schoenwetter?"
"Will Brady Quinn fall to the Dolphins at #9?"
"Will Brady Quinn be another Rick Mirer in the NFL?"
"How has the quality of the professors/classes been so far compared to where you spent your 1L?"
My 1L professors were very good as are ND's, but ND's professors seem to have a lot more prestige under their belts (fancier firms, top govt. jobs, more publishings, etc.)
"How helpful did you find OCI? And where are you looking to practice?"
Not sure what you mean by helpful, but OCI presents are far greater chance of getting a firm job than sending resumes out on your own. To give some comparison to you, I'll compare the 1st law school I attended to ND. At the first school, to get an interview with a reasonably good-sized firm, students probably had to have law review or moot court and be in the top 10-20% of students, depending on the firm. At ND, you are pretty much guaranteed initial interviews at most of the firms you apply to (it is based on a lottery, so if a lot of students are bidding on the same firms, you have less of a chance), and the firms interview a great many more students. Jones Day ran interviews all day in a few different rooms, for example. Also, all the big firms come to ND: Skadden, Kirkland, Sidley, Shearman, White, and on and on, and they do take ND students. I think I did somewhere around 20 interviews and received around 8 call-backs. I interviewed primarily in the Midwest and took an offer in Chicago.
OCI is helpful in other ways too. Sometimes you can know instantly that a firm is not right for you. For example, when I asked a partner what kind of assignments they usually give summer associates, he responded, "Well, there's not really much you can do. One of the more interesting assignments I had an associate do was get a secretary out of a traffic ticket. The assignment involved a good amount of research, and the secretary got the fine reduced." Other firms definitely have strong preferences for law review or moot court, and as I was not on either (seeing as I was a transfer student), this put me at somewhat of a disadvantage, but hey, I got my first pick so I'm happy. Not everyone gets jobs exactly where they want, but I can't think of any student that didn't get an offer. Keep in mind I am not too sociable and I didn't know many students (outside of the transfers) during OCI, but I heard a lot of people talking about their options. The worst I have heard is from a student who had trouble getting call-backs and ended up landing a job in Indy for $900 a week. Not great, but not Wal-Mart either.
"And are the rumors of ND's overrated alumni network true?"
I've only heard the rumors about how great the network is, but this is mostly from other students at ND and faculty at ND, so maybe the info I'm getting is biased. I guess I don't have any proof or any way of getting proof. However, most of the interviewers that come from the big firms are ND grads, and they are definitely loyal to the school and pushing for more ND lawyers. While ND may only be ranked in the 20s, it seems highly competitive in the big firm market. For example, and I hate to keep giving you JD facts, but the other summer associates I will be working with are from much higher ranked schools (Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, Virginia, etc) and there are two ND students. I know this is similar at some of the other top firms, but whether this is relative to the school's overall prestige or its presence in the Midwest, I'm not sure. I am sure that I had many options and would have been happy with a number of them.
Oh yeah, I know of some students who are going to D.C. as well, along with Texas. These two seem like pretty hot spots around here.
Anyway, sorry I can't be more specific. It's hard to answer things about reputation and national reputation as far as firms are concerned, because nobody can really know unless you get hiring lists from all the big firms year after year. I have learned that lots of people on these boards throw out inaccurate information, things they couldn't possibly know. There really is more to law school than ranking, although it is a huge factor, too huge in my opinion.
One more thing. Check out www.nalpdirectory.com
. It shows a lot, but not all, of the firms that interview at law schools, and it also shows where the firms interview, how many students they take, pay, etc. This will mostly be helpful to you your 2L year in the fall.