Jump to content

What kind of grades do you need to do well in OCIs?

Recommended Posts

I'm sure it differs depending on the firm, and i have a feeling some firms may look at one's performance in particular courses. To what extent do extracurriculars and undergrad grades impact prospects? How about networking? 

Any insight would be appreciated. If you could share the grades you and/or people you know had and the firms that gave you OCI invitations, and ultimately offers, that would be great. 

Thanks in advance, homies. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since no one else is answering, I'll give you a basic answer that you may or may not like. 

ECs and undergrad grades don't matter much.  The type of undergrad degree can matter in select circumstances if it's business or science/engineering.  

My opinion on networking for OCIs is that it doesn't do anything unless you're close friends with a partner or something.  No one cares about the 15 minute long coffee chat you had with a junior associate or articling student.  

I'm not gonna say anything about grades.  Not because I can't or don't know, but I know what it's like being a 1L and all it's going to do is set a pointless target for you and add to the stress.  Just get the best grades you can.  What I will say is that, according to the facts sheet the CDO sent out during the summer, about 85% of students participating in OCIs got at least one interview.  So, congrats, you're almost guaranteed an interview if you apply somewhat broadly and don't totally shit the bed in 1L, and grades matter less and less once you're gotten an interview.  


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the above post by @Shankar re: undergrad grades and networking. But, ECs definitely matter. They can be important indicators of your interest areas, and show the amount of effort you've put into pursuing them. If you want to go into litigation, firms will care about whether you did clinics or moots; if you couldn't get into a clinic or moot, you may be able to make up for that by being involved in a litigation-related club. If you figured out what interests you at a point when your selected courses won't reflect it, or you weren't able to get into a desired course, perhaps you can demonstrate that interest through meaningful extracurricular involvement. In short, ECs can be used to demonstrate genuine interest in a practice area.

Also, I highly doubt anyone will tell you their grades/OCIs/offers - that would be a fairly identifying combination.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your question is potentially 2 fold.

Doing well in OCI's could either mean

- getting a lot of OCI interviews

- landing one or more offers

For the first one, having a B+/A- 1L average and a rudimentary ability to cobble together a resume will do.

For the second, honestly, that's still a bit of a mystery.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Every school has its own grade system.  Whatever puts you in roughly the top third to top quartile of the class is going to net you some interviews.

In terms of ECs and networking, I can only answer for my own firm: both are just kind of interview fodder, and as @barelylegal says we can tell something about your interests from ECs.  If you take typical ECs like Law Review or Pro Bono --- which are great, I loved them and still do lots of the latter, but are not unique at all --- then for me, it mostly shows how much time you have.  If there are two identical students with a 3.89 GPA, then the one with ECs might be smarter and harder working than the one with none. 

If you've done a ton of networking, then I might know who to introduce you to at the cocktail party and we might talk about that person a bit.  Meh.  The real value in networking for you is getting the inside scoop on a firm beyond the shiny veneer of their website.

My interviewing process looks like this:

- Review CV and grades for anything I think I can talk to this person about for a while, whether it's an undergrad course, an award, job or EC

- Do that

  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Recent Posts

    • Thank you guys! Best of luck in the admissions cycle.  
    • Look, there is only one wrong question to ask about academic misconduct - and it's been asked here many times in the past. Do you really need to disclosure it? The answer is yes. Any time you are asked a direct question about this, you need to answer truthfully. Note that you'll also be asked when you apply to be licensed as a lawyer, assuming you get that far. Now kudos for the fact that you haven't asked that question, because when people do ask it often reveals a mindset that's not entirely in line with legal culture. But beyond answering this question which you haven't asked, no one here can comment definitively at all. I'm mainly answering to provide this context. I'm a criminal defence lawyer. And I'm frequently asked some variation of this question by clients - "will my past mistake stop me from doing X?" Again, it isn't often I have a definitive answer. But I've observed that many people who aren't defence lawyers like to get self-righteous when addressing this topic. It's human nature (though not the best part of human nature) to enjoy seeing other people suffer from mistakes that we ourselves have avoided. The Greeks understood this. And so in answer to an unanswerable question - how much will schools, the law society, etc. choose to care about this - it's likely you are going to get a lot of extreme replies that suggest you've permanently fucked your life. That doesn't make it true. I will observe that law schools have admitted students in the past who have been convicted of serious crimes, and so have law societies. Your individual situation is unique and I won't presume to suggest what will happen. But be honest in reply to any direct question - that's your obligation. How you choose to frame your experiences, or if you choose to highlight them at all beyond this, is entirely your choice. Don't lie about the past, because when you do that it creates new offences of dishonesty. But you also have no obligation to inhabit the identity full-time, as though you are permanently defined by your past. You're entitled to move on. And don't let anyone else imply otherwise. Good luck.
    • Ask for a coffee or lunch instead. Reiterate your interest in them and they should understand.
    • No one would be able to answer whether you have any chances at Canadian law schools or not. If you really reflect on your issues of academic misconduct and you are indeed serous about going to law schools, I would like to say that your personal statements may need to talk about your academic misconduct in the past and discuss how you personally or academically have grown by dealing with these wrongdoings. Good luck!  
    • How do I deal with conflicting dinner invitations?  I will be accepting the dinner with my first choice but I don't want to burn the other firms so early in the process.
  • Create New...