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Law Firm Interviews… Déjà Vu of Undergrad Rush

For 2Ls who personally went through Greek recruitment at your undergraduate university or knew someone who did, you will likely be prepared for the three-ring circus of on-campus interviews or “OCI.” The first thing you should know is that the whole OCI experience from start to finish is a little random, and the outcome depends on luck combined with the connection between you and your interviewers based upon 15 to 20 minutes of polite chit-chat. It goes without saying that grades and class ranking factor into the equation as well.

The reason why I say that OCI is similar to sorority rush is that the attorneys you will meet from the firm are not a haphazardly chosen group. Like a 19 year-old legacy sorority girl, the firm’s recruiters and HR personnel have done their research and will ALWAYS make sure that there is some type of connection between you and whoever it is you are meeting. However, finding out what this connection is will be up to you, so do your homework before you meet with the person. The firm or your career services office should tell you who is interviewing you, but if they don’t then make sure to ask. Sometimes the connection can be basic and quite obvious. For example, you both went to “The” Ohio State University, or the attorney practices in an area of law in which you are interested. If you are any type of minority or a female, you can be assured that for a call back they will try to find someone with whom you can “identify.” Even if the connection is not so clear to you on the surface, there is likely to be something you have in common, so keep that in mind to help limit your nervousness.

Like any good rushee, the final pieces of advice are always:

  1. Remember your manners as you will likely be going to lunch on your callbacks
  2. Limit your alcohol intake if you are at a firm sponsored social event
  3. Make sure to send a thank you card or email

Good luck!

About the Author

Earthen E. Johnson earned her J.D. from the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University and received her B.A. in history and American studies from the University of Virginia. Between college and law school, Earthen taught third grade in Camden, NJ through Teach For America and then led an educational non-profit organization in Philadelphia.

Comments

One of the most important things to remember during OCI interviews is to be GENUINE! The OCI process can be very overwhelming and extremely competitive, and as a 2L it's easy to lose sight of your goals and ambitions. It's important to remember what type of firm you envision yourself in, what type of law you ultimately want to practice, what size firm you think might fit you best, and why you think you are or might not be a fit for the firm. These lawyers know who is genuinely interested in their firm and who is simply saying things that they think people want to hear in hopes of getting a job. Just be yourself, do your research, and be confident when you walk in the door.

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