On-campus interviewing (OCI) is the most popular component of most law school career services offices. Interestingly enough, this high profile program also is the search strategy with the lowest yield. For Bowen, historically, five to eight percent of the graduates in any class will identify OCIs as the source of their law firm employment after graduation. OCI hiring is competitive even for top-ranked students. For that reason, the Law School encourages and supports multiple approaches to your job search. Some are identified and discussed in Conducting a Successful Job Search.
On-campus interviews and direct applications for summer associate programs are the primary ways law students enter large firm entry-level associate positions. See NALP’s “Open Letter to Law Students.” These larger firms are most often counsel, whether litigation or transactional, to corporate America and have structured recruiting programs that will include a hiring partner, hiring committee or, as in larger markets, law firm recruiting administrators. Their first goal is to attract the top talent in each class. However, in addition to grades, it is important to find the best “fit” for the firm. So in addition to academic achievements that often will not be overlooked, firms consider personality, work ethic, character, personal appearance and presentation.
Bowen holds two on-campus interview programs. The fall program is mid-September to early October and focuses primarily on second-year students. Two to four employers may express interest in interviewing third-year students. The spring program is mid-February to early March and focuses primarily on first-year students. Again, a small number may express interest in upper-level students. In recent years Bowen has hosted 15 to 20 employers each term. The OCI program has a set of established guidelines for participation. Students may apply for on-campus interviews via HIRE Bowen.
Larger regional and national firms in other states have a small number of law schools they visit for OCIs. While they may not actively recruit at Bowen, you are encouraged to submit your resume, transcript and references for consideration if you are seriously interested and meet their hiring criteria – usually being in at least the top 25 percent of the class.
Information including the series of resume and cover letter writing workshops, the January Mock Interview Program, and Interviewing Skills discussion panels are designed to acquaint and prepare students for various aspects of the legal job search. Whether job postings, on-campus interviews or the self-initiated search, everyone will need a resume and everyone will interview at some time in the near future. Attend as many of these events as you can!