Establishing a strong professional network can benefit your business several ways, from receiving feedback by bouncing ideas off successful entrepreneurs and business owners to opening doors that were once closed — building your professional network should be something you are always working on.
You have undoubtedly heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” right? I’m such a firm believer in building business connections and relationships that I decided to launch an online community that business owners and entrepreneurs can access 24/7 — EBOC launches July 15th and I’m excited to be able to provide a community that people can connect through.
The right connections can open doors with some amazing opportunities behind them, so here are eight tips to help you grow your professional network.
Read more HERE
Program Interview Date: Friday, August 10
Bidding Open: July 2 | Bidding Closed: July 17
A Note From Akin Gump: Demystifying and Navigating On-campus Interviews and the Early Interview Week
What is OCI or EIW?
As the end of July nears, the on-campus interview (OCI) or early interview week (EIW) season is just starting up. OCIs and EIWs are held at law schools during the end of July / beginning of August. During this process, law firms send representatives to various law schools to meet with rising second year students and secure the top talent for their summer programs. If you are participating in OCI, you are interviewing for a spot in a firm’s summer class for the following summer. After completing an on-campus interview, a firm may decide to invite you for a second interview in their office to meet with additional attorneys. These meetings are called callback interviews and upon completing this round, a firm may then extend an offer to you for a summer position. The entire interview process takes place in a very compressed time period and thus can be very stressful. The following tips are meant to help calm your nerves and give you a better idea of what to expect this August!
- Research — Before you bid for your interview spots, research the different firms and their locations, substantive practice areas and culture. This will help prepare you to make informed decisions on firms that are a good fit for your interests, geographic preferences and goals.
- Schedule — Given the different bidding processes at various schools, you may not secure an interview with all of the firms with which you want to interview. Please see our previous post on OCI Bidding for further details. When you receive your OCI schedule, be sure to be on time! These interviews run on a tight schedule, and you certainly do not want to be late for your meeting.
- Organize – Stay organized. Be sure to prepare notes on each firm that you can review prior to your interview. You will receive large amounts of information during a small period of time. Be sure to stay up to date and review any “current events” on the firms in which you are interested. Do your best to digest the different statistics and facts from each firm so that you have a clear understanding and can speak to a specific firm intelligently.
- Prepare – Know your resume inside and out and be prepared to answer questions on anything you have listed. Prepare some questions that you can ask of your interviewer – just be careful to try to ask questions that are not easily ascertainable by a review of the firm’s website. Use the research you do to show you are interested in the firm and have done your ‘homework.’
- Handouts – Be sure to bring extra copies of your resume, transcript, and writing sample with you to the OCI to give to interviewers, recruiters as well as any attorneys who may need them.
- Relax – Be sure to take some time for yourself during the process to decompress so that you can put your best foot forward for your interviews. You need to be clear and focused on the day of your interviews.
- Ask Questions – Your interview is the perfect time to ask questions. Be sure to have a tailored list of questions prepared to make the most of this opportunity and show your interest in the firm.
- Take notes — After your interviews, jot down a few notes about your interview or interviewers to refer back to when following up, visiting for a callback interview or making a decision.
- Be Yourself – You are interviewing for a position in which you will work closely with many different people at a firm. Stay true to yourself and give an accurate representation of your personality and work, so that you can find a position where you truly fit. Don’t be afraid to talk about what matters to you– be genuine and confident!
The OCI season is a time to let your experience, hard work, personality and dedication shine. Doing a bit of preparation before the interview and staying focused during the process will help you navigate the process and find a firm that is best for you.
Check out more helpful tips and articles on Akin Gump’s Legal Scoop blog HERE
To ensure that you are completely prepared for your OCIs, it is essential that you do your research beforehand. First, you should know the firm. I made a small chart with basic information (office locations, type of work, unique reasons I’d want to work there, etc.) about the firms I was interviewing with during OCI. It’s a great way to compare firms and to organize information. I would then review this before each interview. I also contacted 3Ls who were spending their summers at the firms I was interviewing with. This will give you a personal perspective and will give you an opportunity to learn information that may not be available online.
Second, you must know yourself. Review your resume, review potential interview questions and think of your answers to them. Also, know what professional clothes you are most comfortable in and wear them! For me, my mouth gets dry when I’m nervous so I always brought a water bottle with me to interviews. If there is something that makes you feel more confident that won’t be a distraction, don’t be afraid to bring it with you as a comfort. Additionally, be aware of what you need before the interview. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep beforehand and eat a healthy breakfast before your interviews. If you’re a coffee drinker, don’t skip your morning cup on the day of the interview.
Third, you should know the interviewer. You will be notified of who your interviewer will be. Just like researching the firm, it is essential that you research the interviewer. I also made a chart with basic information of the interviewer including what law school they attended, their professional history, if available, and what law they currently practice.
Fourth, your interview should be a conversation. This may be the most important part. Engage with your interviewer. Showcase your confidence, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the firm. Respond to their questions. Ask thoughtful questions. This is an opportunity to meet and to learn about intelligent and experienced attorneys and an opportunity to share your goals and background with them. Relax and try to enjoy the conversation with each interviewer.
Finally, when you receive notification that you have a call-back, it is equally as important to be flexible with scheduling call-backs and try to schedule them as soon as possible. This helps firms with filling their interview slots and also shows your interest in the firm. If you have multiple call-backs in the same city, it is usually easiest to schedule them on the same trip. However, avoid scheduling two call-backs on the same day because it is impossible to know for sure that an interview will finish within the allotted timeframe. Often firms will also give you the option of going out to lunch worth with junior associates to learn more about the firm at the end of the interview, which is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the firm in a more casual environment. Hopefully your call-back interview will lead to an offer. Even if an offer is not from your top-choice firm, it will make you feel more relaxed in your other interviews.
WashULAW Pre-OCI Interview Program
Gibson, Dunn (NY) Pre-OCI Bidding Deadline July 13, 2018 11pm CDT
Log in to Symplicity and apply!
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Diversity Scholarship
As part of our continuing commitment to increasing diversity in the legal community, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is pleased to announce the continuation of our 2L diversity scholarship program for 2018. More information about the scholarship can be found on our website at Diversity Scholarship.
Ropes & Gray Roscoe Trimmier Scholarships
The scholarship provides $25,000 (less required income and payroll taxes) and a summer associate position to five second-year law students. The application process is now open and we will be reviewing submissions on a rolling basis until August. We very much hope that many of your students will apply for the scholarship and that we will have the opportunity to meet with them this recruiting season. More information about the scholarship can be found here.
Latham & Watkins 2019 2L Diversity Scholars Program
Latham & Watkins’ 2L Diversity Scholars Program offers a summer employment opportunity and a scholarship of $25,000 (less applicable taxes and withholdings). The first $10,000 of the scholarship will be paid upon starting as a summer associate at Latham & Watkins and the balance of $15,000 will be paid upon starting as a full-time associate at the firm. Our 2L Diversity Scholars also receive valuable networking, training, and mentoring opportunities. More information on the program, as well as the online application, are available at www.lw.com/aboutus/diversity/2L. The deadline to apply is July 18, 2018.
The August recruiting season is just around the corner, and, at this point, your days are probably filled with interview preparation, resume building and mock interviews. Before you consider the hypothetical questions you’re about to be asked by potential interviewers, you should take this time to ask yourself some important questions. Deciding where you want to be, both geographically and fit wise, is something you should consider before stepping foot into your first interview. A little research and self-reflection will help you narrow the scope of your search and clarify the number of choices that you will be left with in just a few short weeks. This post will provide you with some “food for thought” as you embark upon the interviewing process.
Check upcoming bidding deadlines HERE
Help, I logged onto Symplicity and I can’t find any info for the program I’m trying to bid on!
If you’re looking for employers recruiting through our New York, DC, Bay Area, Chicago or Atlanta programs, they are run through different symplicity sites. You can find the bidding dates and websites here:
MCGC – (NY, DC, Chi, Bay Area) – https://law-midwestcali-csm.symplicity.com/students/
SEMW – (NY, ATL) – https://law-semw-csm.symplicity.com/students/
WashU – (New England, Philly, Nashville, Denver, Miami, LA, Houston, Texas, Early Interview Week) – https://shibboleth-law-wustl-csm.symplicity.com/sso/
For those off-site programs, you’ll need to register for a password through the particular site listed and wait up to 24 hours for your registration to be approved. Sign in and register NOW so you don’t miss the deadlines! For our on-campus programs, as well as the off-campus programs in LA, New England, Texas, and Seattle, you can view employers, upload materials and bid through our WUSTL Symplicity site. Don’t wait until the last minute!
Should I bid on an employer through EIW or an off-campus program if I’m also bidding on them through a diversity program?
YES! You should take as many opportunities as you can to be considered by an employer of interest. If you happen to be so lucky as to be selected to interview with the same employer in more than one program, please notify the CCD so we can help you figure out which to accept and how to notify the employer. While they will consider application materials from the same candidate in various programs, they will likely not want to actually interview the same person more than once.
If I want to maximize my chances, shouldn’t I just bid on employers in all programs if I’m willing to live in that city?
Well, it depends. You want to be strategic about the programs in which you submit bids for interviews. While you may be willing to work anywhere, you will probably find it difficult financially or logistically to travel to too many programs. You are responsible for the cost of travel to the off-campus programs, and you are expected to attend if you are selected to interview with two or more employers. Consider the possibility of being selected for 2 interviews in Miami, Nashville, Texas, New York, DC and Chicago – that’s too much travel!
Does it matter what order I rank employers when I bid?
You must rank every employer you bid for within each Session. You should rank your first choice employer “1,” your second choice “2,” etc. (Rankings can only be viewed by CCD . Employers will not know the order in which you ranked them). Rank your OCI employers first, followed by the resume collects
What if I miss the bidding deadline?
DO NOT MISS THE BIDDING DEADLINE! If you miss it, you miss the chance to participate in these interview programs. Please do not wait until the last minute to bid, as you never know when technical difficulties may cause unexpected delays. Get your materials in as soon as possible!
The 14th Annual Heartland Diversity Legal Job Fair (HDLJF) will be held August 10-11, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Students who are interested in becoming part of Kansas City’s dynamic legal community should strongly consider attending this event. Students who will be returning to school in August and those graduating in May are eligible to attend the job fair, as employers will be interviewing for both summer and post-graduate positions.
The HDLJF is the result of Kansas City’s leading law firms, legal associations, and corporate legal departments coming together to encourage law students to practice law in Kansas City. The HDLJF is designed to expose law students of diverse backgrounds to both traditional and non-traditional legal employers. In addition, the event is a great way to learn more about living in this wonderful city.
The HDLJF will kick off with an evening Welcome Reception on Friday, August 10th at the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, 2300 Main Street, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64108. The Job Fair will take place on Saturday, August 11th at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Atterbury Student Success Center, Pierson Auditorium, 5000 Holmes Street, Kansas City, MO 64110. The Saturday schedule includes a continental breakfast, interviewing from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and a luncheon at which participants will be greeted and addressed by a special Keynote Speaker. More information can be found at heartlanddiversity.org.
Please register as soon as possible. The final deadline for registering is June 29th.
Students can register on-line at https://law-kcmba-csm.symplicity.com/students/.