Wednesday, September 27, 2006

OCI (WARNING: May be pointless)

I've been delaying writing about this, thinking "I'll just write about it when it's over and I have some perspective and know what happened," but tonight, after 1.3 beers, I decided "Well, that's a load of inauthentic bullshit. The only possible value of blogging is to write about what you're experiencing when you're experiencing it. Duh. Cowboy up, superannuated1(now 2)L!"

OCI, for those who haven't heard me rant about it in the past few months, is On Campus Interviewing.* Most law schools have a deal where firms solicit resumes, then come on campus to conduct a nearly endless series of 20-minute interviews with second-year law students. If you get a job through this, what you get is usually a well-paid position for the following summer with an extreme inside track for a permanent job. The timeline is wacky: resumes/cover letters/writing samples/references go out in July, the brief on-campus interview is in late August or early-ish September, and 2- to 8-hour callback interviews generally happen over the next month. This timeline explains why 1L grades are so important: those are the only grades you have when you send out that resume in July.

Most schools have some kind of "bidding" system for OCI, and most schools use some kind of online tool to manage the thing. Here, we had about 75 employers participating in OCI. You're allowed to apply to some number of them, and the online tool lets you upload your resume and other documents. You also assign each employer a "bid" number. At some schools, the bid numbers actually help determine which interviews you get. (Georgetown evidently has some system where the employer has very little (no?) input in who they interview.) Here, employers choose interviewees for most of their slots, and your bid number is only relevant if very few employers choose to interview you--in that case, the Career Office people will use your bid numbers to foist you on employers you'd like to meet. Rumor has it that sometimes the interviewer's behavior makes it completely obvious that they didn't really want to talk to you. Nice.

Anyway, I did OCI. In July, I bid on 18 employers. We can bid on almost twice that, but I felt there were only 18 firms I was credibly interested in. In presentations the previous spring, the Career Office folks will tell you that you need to research each employer and do a custom cover letter for each one of them, blah blah blah. When you go in for advising the week before materials are due, the Career folks will just tell you to add more firms to your list. My cover letter is probably one of the worst things I've ever written. Hate cover letters blah.

In September, I had 7 on-campus interviews.

Now, I have 3 callbacks.

[At this point, I became overwhelmed by the awfulness of OCI and ceased writing the blog entry. Update to follow.]

* Note: The following explanation will be stupid and obvious if you are a law student. This is because my imaginary audience for this blog is my friend M, who is not.


At 12:55 AM, November 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your friend m appreciates the deep background, thx. -- m


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