UF Law Student Corey Dorne Discusses Campus Career Resources
Name: Corey Dorne (JD 18)
Hometown: Flagler Beach, Florida
Undergraduate Institution: College of Charleston, B.A. in French and International Studies
Law School Involvement: Senior Managing Editor, Florida Law Review
As you begin the summer after your first year of law school, there is a sense of relief. As the summer nears its end, however, you realize that you already need to start applying to jobs for the next summer. In addition, for many large firms, a successful 2L summer will lead to full-time employment after graduation. So much for having three years to decide what you want to do with your life, right?
What are OCIs?
OCIs are on-campus interviews. The Center for Career Development brings a large number of legal employers to UF Law’s campus to interview students for summer employment. The first round typically occurs the week before classes start. Additional rounds continue throughout the fall and spring semesters. An employer will typically conduct a day of interviews, each lasting about 20 to 30 minutes. If an employer is interested in finding out more about you, the employer will invite you to interview at the firm for a callback. A callback typically includes a series of interviews with different associates and partners at the firm. These often include a dinner the night before and a lunch that day.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to the OCI process, the first of which is the way that it streamlines the application process. All of the employers are listed online in one location. You can find out which materials each firm requires and submit all application materials in one place. This is much more efficient than mailing out all of your application materials to every single potential firm that may interest you. Another significant benefit of the process is the fact that the employers come to you. At this stage, employers are interviewing numerous applicants, and if the firm is not interested in you, at least you did not have to drive several hours and miss class to figure that out.
What is my advice for a successful OCI experience?
My first piece of advice is to apply broadly, but strategically. If you are at the very top of your class, you may not have to do this, but it is better to have too many options than not enough. You can always turn down or cancel callbacks if you find that you are overwhelmed or truly have no interest in working with a firm. Be conscious, however, that if you apply for a firm for which you have no interest in working, you are likely taking away the opportunity from a classmate who does have an interest in working there.
Next, if you get an interview, relax and be yourself. I know it sounds cliché, but by granting you an interview, the employer has already indicated that you have the credentials to work at the firm. What many employers are actually interested in is finding out if you are a good personality fit for their firm. You also want to know if the firm is a good fit for you. If you do not have a good rapport with the interviewers, then the firm might not be right for you. Having said that, each firm is different, and you should not go into any interview unprepared.
On that note, my last piece of advice is to be prepared. Be prepared to explain why you want to work at a law firm, why you want to work at that particular law firm, and why you want to work in the geographic area where the firm is located. Be prepared to talk about every single item on your resume. Be prepared for canned questions. Be prepared to ask the interviewers thoughtful questions that indicate you are actually interested in their firm. Finally, be prepared to be exhausted by the entire experience. You may be flying to callbacks, missing class, and beginning work on a journal, moot court, or other extra- or co-curricular activity. It will be exhausting, but worth it!
What do you do if you don’t get any OCIs?
OCIs are a very important tool in your search for summer employment. This does not mean, however, that OCIs are the only method of obtaining employment. In fact, most students find their summer employment through other means. Do not get discouraged! Talk to The Center for Career Development about tips on how to apply to employers not participating in the OCI process.
To find out more about the career opportunities available to students click here.