I heard a rumor that OCI is only for the top of the class. Is that true?
June 2, 2014
It is true that some employers specify a class rank requirement; however, most OCI employers do not. 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!
Class Rank and GPA on your resume
With fall recruiting just around the corner, you will need to consider whether and how to make adjustments to your resume and other application materials to reflect your class rank and GPA. There are no hard and fast rules that fit every situation, so you may need to make some judgment calls. We have included some guidelines below, but if you have doubts, you can always talk with one of the CDO career advisors to determine the best course of action.
Somewhere in the middle?
If your class rank falls between the top third and the top half, you'll probably want to designate your class rank on your resume. It really depends on where you are applying. For example, many firms may assume you are in the bottom half of the class if you do not make a designation. For other employers, it may not be advisable to include a class rank unless you are above the top third. The key is to assess each job application individually and make the move that will both show you in the best light and be responsive to the job application.
I didn't make the top half. What now?
Fifty percent of all law students are in the bottom half of their class. You are in good company. If this describes your position, you will probably not want to include your class rank on your resume (unless an employer specifically requests it). Your job in this case is to focus your application materials on your strengths and show employers other ways in which you shine. In this difficult job market, employers are valuing experience more than ever and many do not put heavy emphasis on grades and class rank.