How to Excel in OCI Law School: Process and Tips


As a law student, some of the most crucial experiences that can contribute to a successful legal education happen outside of the classroom during the summers of your Juris Doctor (JD) program. During these summer breaks, students are expected to find valuable employment opportunities to gain relevant legal experience. This practical experience helps boost their resumes and build lasting professional connections, ultimately aiding their efforts to secure jobs after graduation.

One way that law students secure excellent summer positions is through on campus interviews law school. This article will explore what OCI law school entail, how they work, and how you can best prepare for these important events.

Woman in Long Sleeve Shirt Sitting and Having an Interview- OCI Law School

What is OCI Law School?

Law firms and other legal employers come to the school campus to interview and hire summer associates from this pool of candidates. The on campus interviews (OCI)  facilitate this important step, as many law students can secure summer employment through the law school OCI process. Successful candidates are in an advantageous position to receive offers for full-time employment with the firm or organization after graduation.

One of the major events you’ll encounter in pursuing your law school degree is the on-campus interviews. When is OCI law school? These interviews take place in the fall semester, usually for students in their second year of law school.

While the OCI law school process is undoubtedly significant, there are other paths for law students to find employment. Can you work while in law school? Many students work in law school, either in legal positions or other roles, to supplement their income and gain additional experience alongside their studies.

Who Participates in OCI?

On-campus interviews are a program many schools provide to allow students to connect with potential employers on campus. Here’s a closer look at who takes part in OCI law school:

  • Law Firms and Legal Employers: The major participants of OCI are law firms and legal employers. They recruit law students as summer associates and sometimes as an associate for future full-time attorneys. Some OCI events include alumni and other legal professionals as interviewers.

  • Law Students: Law students in their second year typically participate in OCI law school. They use this platform to connect with potential employers, showcase their skills, and secure valuable summer positions.

  • Law School Career Services Offices: They coordinate interviews, provide student resources, and ensure a smooth process. Career advisors guide students in preparing for interviews.

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How Does Law School OCI Work?

Law school students interested in OCI law school should follow these steps to participate effectively.

  1. Research: Visit your school’s hiring website to view the list of employers hosting interviews.
  2. Application: Upload your resume and other required documents for the job openings you’re interested in.
  3. Screening Interviews: On OCI day, you’ll have interviews with employers to showcase your skills and personality.
  4. Callbacks: Selected candidates receive callbacks for a second interview with the firm.
  5. Offers: Impress your interviewer during the callback, and you may receive an offer for a summer articling position.

What Employers Look For: Top Qualities

Legal employers are highly selective in their candidate evaluation. They seek out individuals with exceptional academic performance and a well-rounded skill set.

A Solid GPA

A high GPA portrays you as competent, with a good work ethic and motivation. Most firms consider a student in the top 15-20% of their class a sign of excellence and future potential within the legal field. In such a competitive industry, every small point in the GPA can help open doors to better opportunities.

Practical Experiences

Academic achievements such as law review, moot court competitions, and other recognitions speak volumes. Additionally, relevant experiences that provide practical skills, such as internships, clerkships, and participation in legal clinics, are highly valued. These experiences enrich students’ understanding of the law and demonstrate their ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios.

Practice Area Interest

Employers want to assess your interest and passion for specific areas of law. Be prepared to articulate which practice areas you are most drawn to and explain why those particular fields appeal to you. This could involve discussing aspects like the type of legal work, subject matter, client interactions, or alignment with your values and interests.

Your True Self

The employer wants to know the real you beyond the grades and the resume. An interview serves as a means to exhibit personality traits such as confidence, empathy, intellectual curiosity, and communication skills. Allowing aspects of your true personality to shine through can help the employer envision you as a future colleague and assess interpersonal dynamics. However, be mindful of maintaining professionalism.

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A Professor Talking to her Students

Preparing for Your OCI Law School Experience

Whether you have a few days or a couple of weeks, these tips will help you make the most of this critical opportunity:

  1. Keep Your Resume Updated:

  • Your resume will be the first impression of your application, so make sure it is updated and reflects your academic, personal, and professional achievements. 
  • Highlight relevant coursework, if any, related to law and activities related to legal research, writing, and other law-related topics.

  1. Practice Interviewing:

  • Conduct mock interviews with friends, study groups, or at your law school’s career center.
  • Focus on articulating your experiences and discussing legal issues you’ve worked on.
  • Practice answering common interview questions to build confidence.

  1. Research the Firm:

  • Go beyond basic information available online.
  • Understand the firm’s unique structure, organization, and programs.
  • Look up law school alumni associated with the firm and connect with them.
  • Learn about the firm’s culture, values, and practice areas.

  1. Know Yourself:

  • Be prepared to discuss everything on your resume.
  • Articulate your experiences in a relevant way.
  • Talk about what you’ve learned and taken from each experience.

  1. Be Curious and Ask Questions:

  • Show genuine interest in the firm.
  • Ask thoughtful questions about their unique programs, structure, and goals.
  • Research the firm well enough to have granular knowledge during interviews.

  1. Be Confident and Authentic:

  • Practice active listening during interviews.
  • Be prepared to discuss your goals, interests, and fit with the firm.
  • Be human—employers want to see the real you.

Impact of OCI on Law School Students

As you wrap up those final semesters of late-night study sessions and practice exams, two major questions are often asked: What to do after law school? And how much do lawyers make out of law school? It will depend on many factors, like the area of law they intend to focus on, the location, the size and prestige of the law firm they join, and the type of clients they serve. 

Salary varies, though attorneys in large metropolitan cities and those working in big law firms often have the highest compensation compared to other starting salaries since the high cost of living coupled with the demanding nature of the work are considered. 

Strengthening Your Resume Through Summer Internships

One of the most critical steps you can take in securing a summer internship is getting your resume in the right shape and building credentials for those post-graduation applications. If selected, you will be a part of an internship that entails hands-on experience in the legal field and exposes you to the operations of a law firm or legal department.

Potential Employment Offers from Internship Firms

Among the direct benefits of success in a summer internship is the opportunity to land a position with the hosting firm. Most firms regard their interns as an extended interviewing process and might be able to gauge an intern’s potential to become one of their full-time employees.

Building Valuable Connections During Internships

Another benefit is the relationships and contacts that are made, which are truly invaluable. This would involve connecting with professionals in the field who may be able to open doors toward opportunities that may not be publicly advertised, help mentor and guide one through the often treacherous waters of those first two or three years, and afford a support group within the industry who could represent one’s ability and character.

Preparing for Law School

Before walking into a classroom, your journey begins with the dreaded Law School Admission Test. Crushing this standardized test is crucial, as your score plays a massive role in the admissions process and in determining which schools will accept you. This is where a solid LSAT prep strategy becomes invaluable. 

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Ace the LSAT and unlock your dream law school admission with our comprehensive LSAT Prep Course. Students will learn each area of the LSAT through video lessons, mock examinations, and daily online practice sessions led by qualified teachers. Students will learn strategies for each question type and area of attention, boosting their confidence and understanding to obtain their best LSAT scores. 

LSAT Tutoring

Elevate your LSAT scores with personalized tutoring, paving the way to your dream law school. Our private tutoring services offer students a unique learning experience that is tailored to their specific shortcomings and goals. This is achieved through customized study plans, extensive performance analysis, and hands-on activities guided by an exclusive tutor. Each coaching package is tailored to students’ specific challenges to succeed on the LSAT.

Law School Admission Consulting

Craft a winning application and secure admission to your dream law school with our expert guidance – turning aspirations into reality. Our admissions advisers will take the complexities out of the application process by looking at the candidates’ experiences, making program suggestions based on that information, helping candidates with their interviews, and ensuring they have competitive applications to stand out.

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The Bottom Line

Your performance during on campus interviews law school can significantly impact your legal career trajectory right out of the gate. While academics like your GPA and LSAT score will get your foot in the door, OCI is your chance to showcase your full potential as a well-rounded candidate. As you navigate the OCI law school process, remember to research firms, prepare well, and be authentic. For personalized guidance and an LSAT Free Consultation, consider contacting our LSAT experts and law school admissions consultants. 

We can provide insights tailored to your unique journey. Best of luck on your path to legal success!

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