On – Campus Interview and Resume Collect Program (OCI)
Large and mid-sized law firms, a few government agencies and other legal employers participate in OCI by visiting campus during the year to interview law students for employment starting the following summer and fall.
What is 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 OCI?
- 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.
How does OCI work?
Students who wish to interview with OCI employers will need to login to PEARSON to review the online list of employers and upload their application materials during the application period. Employers will then select the students they wish to interview. PEARSON will notify you whether you received an interview and the date/time of the interview.
What types of credentials are OCI interviewers seeking?
Government employers generally seek students who are committed to the work of the agency. Large law firms generally seek students with a high class rank (top 10-20%) and/or other distinguishing academic credentials such as Law Review or Moot Court. Patent firms want a technical/science background.
Why do large law firms interview more second year students than third year students?
Large 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 law firms directly?
If you are interested in applying to a large law firm's summer associate program and they are not interviewing on-campus, send a cover letter and resume to the firm's recruiter. 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 will I know whom I received interviews with?
PEARSON will inform you via email. Be sure to check your spam folder. Hard copies of interview schedules will not be distributed.
What should I expect when interviewing begins?
Interviews are generally scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A number of recruiters schedule only half-day schedules. Interviews are usually 20 or 30 minutes long. 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. Please note, according to Loyola guidlines and policies you are only allowed to keep three OCI offers open at a time.
Cover Letters & Resumes:
You are required to email your resume and a cover letter to your career counselor to review. Keep in mind that you will need to market the experience, skills (research and writing skills) and education you have acquired. See sample OCI cover letters in the "Preparing for OCI Interviews" tab.
How will the Office of Career Services communicate with me regarding OCI?
You should check your Loyola email daily for communications from PEARSON and email@example.com. We will not call you with changes or updates (this includes interview time changes and additional or canceled interviews).
For full-time students, all 2Ls (graduating in May 2023) and 3Ls (graduating in May 2022) are eligible to participate in the program. We recommend students check their profiles in PEARSON to make sure their graduation date is correct before participating in OCI. If your class year or graduation date is incorrect, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Full-time 2Ls will interview for summer associate/summer law clerk positions. Full-time 3Ls will interview for full-time, entry-level attorney positions after graduation. The employers will post their hiring criteria in PEARSON.
Weekend JD Students
Weekend JD students who plan to graduate in December 2022 or May 2023 are eligible to participate as part-time 3Ls. Those who plan to graduate in December 2021 or May 2022 are eligible to participate as part-time 4Ls. We highly recommend weekend JD students check their profiles in PEARSON to make sure their graduation date is correct before participating in OCI. If your class year or graduation date is incorrect, please email email@example.com.
Weekend JD 3Ls will interview for summer associate/summer law clerk positions and weekend JD 4Ls will interview for full-time, entry-level attorney positions after graduation. The employers will post their hiring criteria in PEARSON. Weekend JD students with questions about OCI should contact Marianne Deagle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Dates & Deadlines
Important 2021 OCI Dates & Deadlines
Thursday, July 1: Application period opens. Students can apply to OCI/Resume Collect employers on PEARSON. Prior to applying, students must have their resume and a sample cover letter reviewed by their assigned career counselor.
Friday, July 9: Deadline to apply to OCI/ Resume Collect employers. Double-check to make sure that all your materials have been properly uploaded on PEARSON. OCI Student Agreement Form due to the Office of Career Services by email at email@example.com.
Friday, July 23: Interview selections/schedules released to students.
Wednesday, July 28: Virtual on-campus interviews begin (9:00 am - 5:00 pm). The majority of interviews will take place July 28-30 and August 2-4. Please keep these dates in mind when making your summer plans.
Mid-October: OCI process concludes.
To view participating OCI employers:
Sign in to your PEARSON account with your Loyola email address and your PEARSON password
1. Click on the OCI and Job Listings module on the left navigation panel.
2. Click on the OCI Tab at the top to sort for the OCI listings.
3. To the right of the Job Title and Employer's Name, you will see the employer's interview date.
4. Identify the employers you want to apply to interview with during OCI.
• Click on the star icon to favorite a listing.
5. Click on the Job Title to see more information about an OCI opportunity.
• View the date the employer will be interview on campus, their hiring criteria, and the application
materials that are required to apply (i.e. resume, cover letter, transcript, writing sample, etc.
NOTE: You cannot apply to the OCI employers until the application period opens.
To view participating Resume Collect employers:
1. Sign in to your PEARSON account with your Loyola email address and your PEARSON password.
2. Click on the OCI and Job Listings module on the left navigation panel.
3. Click on the Job Listings Tab.
4. To sort for Fall Resume Collect opportunities:
• Click on the blue "Add Filter" button;
• Click on "Resume Collect" under the "Job Postings - Job Details" heading;
• Choose "Fall Resume Collect" from the dropdown box, then click on "Add Filter";
• Click on "Get Results" to search.
Preparing for OCI
PREPARING YOUR OCI APPLICATION MATERIALS
- Sample OCI Cover Letter
- Sample Resumes
- Sample Job Duty Phrases for Resumes
- Writing Sample Guideline
- Writing Sample Cover
- Reference/Letter of Recommendation Guidelines
- Dean's List/Awards
GOING BEYOND OCI
If you want to work in a large law firm next summer, you can research and apply directly to firms that have a summer associate program but are not participating in our OCI program.
PREPARING FOR OCI INTERVIEWS
- Common Interview Questions
- Behavioral Interview Questions
- Handling Multiple Interviewers (The Team Interview)
- Tips for Video Interviews
- Preparing for the Most Common Types of Law Firm Interviewers
- Preparing for a Callback Interview
- OCI Advice from Recruiters
- What do Hiring Partners Mean by "Personality Fit?"
- Coping with Interview Anxiety
The Office of Career Services offers mock interviews in which a counselor will act as a legal employer and ask you interview questions which you will respond to as if in an actual interview. You will discuss answers, demeanor, etc. with the counselor after role-playing the interview. Mock interviews can be incredibly useful, both in helping you identify and address your individual interviewing weaknesses and in developing good answers to tough interview questions. Mock interviews will also help introduce you to the feel of a legal interview if all of your previous interviewing experience is in non-legal fields. No matter how comfortable you are with interviewing currently, we recommend that every student participating in OCI have a mock interview to polish their interviewing skills. Practice and preparation can't hurt, and it can make an incredible difference in how you present yourself to employers.
Good interview preparation involves much more than polishing up your resume, pressing your best suit, and getting a pep talk from your roommate. Preparing a resume and preparing to talk about your resume are two entirely different things. As you put together your resume, you craft concise descriptions of your education, employment, and other activities. Preparing to talk about your resume, on the other hand, means: 1) being thoroughly prepared to go into detail about every entry on your resume; and 2) thinking of concise and easy-to-tell stories about every entry on your resume that will emphasize your skills and experience for the position you are seeking.
And preparing for interviews means much more than preparing to talk about your resume. You will also need to be prepared to talk about topics that are not covered by your resume - your plans for the future, professional goals, etc. One of the most sensitive areas of interview preparation is thinking of ways to address any weaknesses in your resume or candidacy. And you will also need to research every employer you interview with and come up with a host of appropriate questions to ask during the interview.
Use Pearson to set up a mock interview appointment with your career counselor. We look forward to meeting with you!
DISCUSSING YOUR RESUME IN INTERVIEWS
You should be fully prepared to discuss any entry on your resume in detail. If you have listed "drafted discovery requests" as a task that you undertook as a law clerk, you may be asked, "What kind of cases did you draft discovery for?" You will want to be prepared to answer intelligently - "I worked mostly on medical malpractice cases, so the interrogatories and document requests I drafted were largely about hospitals' practices and procedures." The last thing you want is to have to respond to this question with an "Ummmm" while you rack your brain for the details of cases for which you drafted discovery. Similarly, be prepared to summarize the key legal issues involved in any pleadings, briefs, or judicial options you mention having drafted. Being prepared to go into detail also means that you should go back and read any papers or publications you list on your resume, including your undergraduate thesis. If your interviewer is knowledgeable in the areas in which you have written or published, you want to be sure you can hold your own on a topic you may not have thought about for years.
In structured interview programs such as OCI, the initial phase consists of introductory or screening interviews. These interviews are usually short - only 20 or 30 minutes. Employers conduct 16-20 interviews in one day, and then select a small number of candidates who will be invited back to the firm for more lengthy interviews. Screening interviews are usually conducted by one or two attorneys from each employer.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that a screening interview is just a formality because you meet the employer's hiring criteria. Employers interview only candidates who meet their hiring criteria during this initial phase of interviewing and must choose among them. Beyond their hiring criteria, employers are looking for candidates who impress them as professional, intelligent, enthusiastic, capable, hard-working, easy to get along with, and interested in the employer.
Careful preparation for these types of interviews is essential because each candidate has such a short time in which to make a positive impression and distinguish himself or herself from other candidates. Before any screening interview, you should research the employer and identify areas of your background that make you a good fit for the position they are looking to fill. Make sure that you highlight these experiences in the screening interview.
You will need more questions prepared than you can possibly imagine to be able to keep interviews running smoothly when all the interviewer wants to do is answer your questions. Make sure that you are prepared to "run" an entire 30 minute interview if the interviewer just keeps saying to you, "What else can I tell you about the firm?"
Try to ask questions that will start a conversation, rather than those that have a quick, factual answer. Different questions are appropriate for attorneys at different levels - if you meet with the managing partner, asking questions about the firm's mission, plans for expansion, etc. are appropriate. When you meet with younger associates, asking about what they are currently working on, what their typical caseload is, what types of opportunities they've had for court time, client time, etc. are appropriate.
You may also want to think about questions that will turn the interviewer's attention to your resume. For example, you may have noticed that the firm just won a big securities case. If you saw a number of securities issues when you clerked for a judge this summer, you can say
"I noticed the decision on your website. I'm really interested in securities law issues because of the exposure I gained this summer while working for Judge . How large is the securities practice here?" Not only will you get an answer about the firm's securities practice, but hopefully the interviewer will follow up with a question about your experience with the Judge.
The second phase of a structured interview program is the call-back interview. Students who are viewed as strong candidates are invited to continue the interview process. You will most likely either be contacted by the attorney who conducted the screening interview (who will likely refer you to someone else for scheduling), or be directly contacted by the employer's recruiting coordinator. If you are interested in a particular area of practice, ask the person coordinating the interviews to schedule you to meet members who specialize in that area.
When choosing a date for your callback, try to schedule it as early in the hiring season as possible. Offers are generally extended on a rolling basis, so the earlier in the process you schedule your callback, the more open positions there are likely to be when you interview. You will also want to schedule only one callback interview per day. Each callback will require a lot of time, energy, and alertness.
A callback interview is usually a lengthy session which may last from several hours to a full day, and usually takes place at the employer's office. Candidates frequently meet with several individuals in both formal and informal settings. It is not uncommon to be given a tour of the offices, meet with several partners and/or associates, and be taken to lunch. When you schedule your interview, ask how much time you should block off. You may inquire whether you will receive a schedule for the interview ahead of time. Some employers will send you a schedule of who you will be meeting with - an invaluable resource for researching your interviewers ahead of time!
Even if you felt well prepared for the screening interview, you will want to continue preparing before the callback interview. More in-depth research on the employer is a good idea. You will want to have a broad range of questions about the employer to ask during your callback, and research will help you ask informed questions. Not only will the answers to these questions help you determine if the employer is right for you, asking informed questions will demonstrate your genuine interest in the employer.
When will you hear about callbacks from the employers you've interviewed with? This varies widely from employer to employer. Some firms empower their on-campus interviewers to make callback decisions and can move very quickly; other employers can move very slowly. In general, expect to hear from employers anywhere from the day after your OCI interview to 2-3 weeks later. Most employers only contact the students they want to call back - so all you can really do is wait.
Keeping your energy up can be hard when you meet with 4-6 people for interviews and then have lunch with additional people from the firm! Make sure that you are well rested, well fed, and well prepared going into every callback so that you can stay enthusiastic and sociable for the duration.
Don't be afraid to ask more than one person the same question - as long as they aren't basic fact questions that you've already had answered by someone else. You can ask everyone on the schedule what their favorite thing about practicing at the firm is. In fact, getting both a partner and an associate perspective on, for example, a mentoring program can be valuable. You may ask a partner about what formal and informal structures the firm has in place to foster mentoring, and then ask an associate how the mentoring program has enhanced their time at the firm and development as an attorney.
Instructions on How To Apply
OCI Student Agreement Form
You must complete the following OCI Student Agreement Form
Waiver Letter Information
If your grade point falls just outside the GPA required by an employer to apply (for instance, the required GPA is top 15% and your GPA places you at 17%), consider drafting a letter and emailing it along with your application materials directly to the recruiter (do not upload to PEARSON) requesting a waiver of their hiring requirement for you and asking to interview with them on campus for OCI. Please consider having your career counselor review any waiver letter that you plan to send to a firm or other legal employer.