OCI — If you are asking yourself, "What is OCI?" here's some frequently asked questions to give you a basic introduction.
On-Campus Interviews (OCI) is a program that brings legal employer to our campus every fall and spring to interview 2D/3E and 3D/4E students for summer and post-graduate position. Fall interviews take place in August and September, but you'll submit applications well in advance — beginning in June. Spring interviews take place in February and March, and employers will interview 1D/2E, 2D/3E and 3D/4E students for summer and post-graduate positions.
Fall OCI is comprised of three weekly deadlines which correspond to groups of employers interviewing during the same week. Different employers participate in each week, or "group" of OCI. While there are three group deadlines, the vast majority of employers participate in the first week of OCI, so you should not put off bidding on interviews.
Typically, a small percentage of students receive job offers through OCI. However, this is still one of the best ways to get your resume in the hands of an employer, and we therefore encourage everyone to participate. You could be one of the students who get a job!
While some employers specify a class rank requirement, most OCI employers don't. Many employers are focusing less on grades and class rank, and more on practical experience and other factors. The bottom line is that everyone should apply through OCI!
Why not?! This is one of the easiest ways to get your resume and cover letter in the hands of an employer. While we can't guarantee that you will be selected for an interview, we can certainly guarantee that if you don't apply, you won't be selected. OCI is a great opportunity and every student should plan to take advantage of this program. As a side benefit, participating in Fall OCI will force you to get your resume, cover letter, and other application materials polished and ready to go early in the academic year so that you are ready to act on any other job postings that come up throughout the year, whether through MCO or otherwise.
Fall OCI employers are primarily medium-to-large private law firms and government agencies. Spring OCI tends to have a higher percentage of small firms or employers. There may be a handful of public interest positions available through OCI, but typically OCI does not have a large selection of public interest employers.
In a word, no. Employers do not have access to your recruiting materials until the day following the deadline, and they have no way of knowing when students uploaded their materials. However, we recommend that you submit your OCI materials in advance (and after they've been vetted by a career advisor) to save yourself the stress of putting everything together at the last minute and running the risk of making a mistake. Also, do NOT wait until 11:40 p.m. on the OCI bid date to start uploading — there are often delays and you may miss the deadline altogether. Good luck!
Don't despair. OCI is just one of many ways that law students find jobs. Most jobs are obtained through other techniques, such as networking and responding to McGeorgeCareersOnline (MCO) job postings. Even if you do participate in OCI, we recommend that you plan a concurrent non-OCI job search. Also, don't forget that there is Spring OCI. While a bit smaller than Fall OCI, Spring OCI tends to draw a different selection of employers comes to campus. We recommend that you plan on submitting bids in both Fall and Spring OCI, while continuing to focus effort on your non-OCI job search.
In the upcoming weeks, we will send you more information about preparing for OCI. As a starting point, you will need to update your profile on MCO as this is how you will submit OCI bids. You should also update your resume and cover letter and plan to have them reviewed. You will also need to start thinking about compiling a list of references, polishing a writing sample, and tracking down appropriate transcripts. We recommend that you and make sure you have a solid writing sample and list of references by the end of the summer.
It is also very important that you routinely check your email for updates, tips and information relating to OCI. We will be providing you with a lot of useful information so that you are ready to submit your bids before the first deadline.
When you view the OCI employers on MCO you will only see those employers that are recruiting for your class year. Fall OCI offers many more opportunities for 2L students than 3L students, because most Fall OCI employers are recruiting summer law clerks, and not new associates. But please don't be discouraged! Keep in mind that most law students ultimately work for small to mid-size law firms and government agencies, and those employers typically don't know their hiring needs this far in advance. Most McGeorge students get their jobs through MCO job postings and referrals, though OCI will lead to jobs for a number of you. If you don't see the types of employers you're interested in participating through OCI, meet with a career advisor to design or update your job search strategy—there are many ways to map out the path to your desired job!