Thursday, August 8, 2013

GUEST POST: My OCI Experience

Our previous guest poster provides some specific information for evening students from a first-hand perspective as the guest poster was also an evening student.

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I was an evening student when I participated in OCI and I worked full-time during the process. If you are going through the OCI process as an evening student, here are a few tips that may be helpful:
  • Legal Experience. As an evening student, I did not have the chance to intern for a judge or at a law firm during my first summer. I was concerned that this would affect my chances in OCI.  From my experience, this was not a problem for most firms.  They did, however, want to know how/why my experience made me a better candidate. Make sure to emphasize the skills that your work experience has helped you develop that would transfer to the practice of law at a firm such as your interpersonal skills and professionalism.  At the very least, working 9-5 and going to school at night has prepped you for the long firm hours! 
  • Why the Evening Program? Many firms asked me why I chose to attend school part-time and why I chose to change careers.  If your career is one where becoming a lawyer is a natural progression, it may be easier. If not, you should think about this and be prepared to answer the question.
  • Scheduling time off from work. This can be difficult depending on your employer.  Remember to reserve a few days for call-back interviews in addition to the days you will need for OCI.