Loyola University Chicago

Career Services

School of Law

Frequently Asked Questions About Fall OCI & Resume Collect

On-Campus Interviewing begins in mid-August and ends in mid-October.

What is Fall OCI?
Law firms and other legal employers visit law schools nationwide during the fall to interview applicants for employment starting the following summer. Most large law firms do the majority of their hiring of new law graduates this way. Firms hire students to work the summer between their second and third year, and if the student performs well, firms often make offers to them for full-time employment upon graduation.

What types of employer participate in the fall interview program?

  • Large Law Firms: These employers are able to establish their hiring needs a year in advance. Occasionally, a mid-size or small firm will participate. In  general, smaller law firms do not. Instead, they recruit when they need to fill immediate openings.
  • Government Agencies: Federal, state and local government agencies recruit for their summer intern programs, graduate honors programs or for entry-level attorney positions.
  • Accounting & Consulting Firms: Sometimes accounting firms are interested in law graduates with accounting backgrounds for their tax departments. They are generally interested in third year students.

What types of credentials are OCI interviewers seeking?
Generally, employers seek students with a high class rank (top 10-15%) and/or other distinguishing academic credentials such as Law Review or Moot Court. Patent firms want a technical background. Government employers generally seek students who are committed to the work of the agency. Because employers often interview at many campuses across the country, the competition for positions is extremely high.

Why do recruiters interview more second year students than third year students?
Large and mid-size law firms tend to fill most of their first year associate needs from their previous year's summer associate class. Therefore, they focus on hiring second year students to fill future hiring needs.

Can I contact large, non-OCI firms directly?
If you are interested in applying to an employer that is not interviewing on-campus this fall, send a cover letter and resume to that employer in early August. If the recruiter is interested in interviewing you, he/she will contact you directly. You can go to www.nalpdirectory.com and do an advanced search of larger law firms in the city of your choice.

How does OCI work?
Students who wish to interview with the OCI employers will need to use PEARSON to review the online list of employers and their hiring criteria and to upload their application materials. Employers will then pre-select the students they wish to interview.

Employer hiring criteria:
Employers determine their required or preferred hiring criteria. Know the employers' qualifications before bidding. If an employer requires the top 15% and you are ranked at 16%, unfortunately, you may not bid on that employer. If an employer's hiring criteria are listed as "preferred," this means that the employer will typically hire from within this class rank or just outside it. Students should be realistic in their bidding selections.

How will I know whom I received interviews with?
We will inform you via email once personal interview schedules will be available for viewing in PEARSON. Hard copies of interview schedules will not be distributed.

What should I expect when interviewing begins?
Interviews are generally scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A few recruiters schedule only half-day schedules. Interviews are usually 20 or 30 minutes long. Evening students will need to report their work schedules in such a way that blocks of time are available for interviews (if you have questions about this, please contact us at law-oci@luc.edu). If you do not show up for an interview, you will risk forfeiting all of your upcoming interviews. If an interview opportunity opens up, we will contact you to make you aware of it.

If I get no interviews through OCI, what should I do?
About 90% of the nation's law graduates, including those who graduate from Loyola, do not get hired through OCI. OCI is just one avenue to legal employment and, depending on your academic credentials, career goals and practice interests, it may not be the appropriate avenue for you. If you are uncertain whether this is a program in which you should participate, or if you would like to evaluate other employment opportunities, please make an appointment to discuss your options with a career counselor.

Consider Out of State Employers:
If you are interested in an out of state employer, your cover letter should address why you wish to relocate to that city. Also, these employers will take your request more seriously if you tell them that you plan to visit their city on a certain date and that you would appreciate the opportunity to meet with them while you are in town. Keep in mind that if you want access to information about legal employers in other states, you can often gain  the information by getting reciprocity to another law school career services office. To learn more about reciprocity please visit www.luc.edu/law/career/reciprocity.html.

If I receive multiple offers for summer associate positions, how should I decide which offer to accept?
Focus on the work each firm engages in. What is each firm's core business? How will work be allocated? Will you rotate through practice areas as a junior associate or stay in just one? If you don't know what work you are interested in, choose a firm that will keep doors open and expose you to a number of practice areas. Be honest with yourself about your personality and genuine interests. What vibe did you get with your interviewers? Who did you really click with? Find out about the day-to-day structure of the summer program including what practice areas you will be exposed to. Speak to current and former lawyers at each firm, though bear in mind that experiences of the same firm can vary dramatically and things may be different in two years' time.  

Cover Letters & Resumes:
It is important that you let one of the counselors in the CSO review your resumes and cover letters. In the past, we have seen several poorly written and inappropriate cover letters after they went out to employers. Keep in mind that you will need to market the experience, skills (research and writing skills) and education you have acquired.

How will the Office of Career Services communicate with me regarding OCI?
You should check your Loyola email daily for communications from our office. We will not call you with changes or updates (this includes interview time changes and additional or canceled interviews).

Principles and Standards for Recruitment and Hiring:
The National Association for Law Placement (NALP), of which Loyola is a member, has established principles and standards for recruitment that legal employers, law schools and law students must abide by. These principles were created to ensure fair and ethical hiring practices; they explain the behavior expected of both employers and students during the fall recruitment process and provide "Standards for the Timing of Offers and Decisions." Please review these standards and pay particular attention to the 28 day rule. You may also go to http://www.nalp.org/fulltextofnalpprinciplesandstandards to learn more about NALP's standards.