Jump to content
BlockedQuebecois

The OCI process is (fine/the worst) [split]

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, RollMaster said:

I didn’t say that. I don’t disagree that money makes the world go round and that it’s the most important thing to a law firm, i.e. a business. I can appreciate that. My point was that certain factors beyond the control of many of us result in us getting the short end of the stick, which goes to the arbitrariness and unfairness of the process

You know, this comes up every year in the aftermath of OCIs. I grew up in a family with a parent at a large firm, I know hundreds of lawyers, of all ages, who work at those firms and similar ones, in more than one city. I have been practicing for 7+ years and have friends across the country at various legal employers. I can honestly say that I know of only one individual who got hired for a 2L position due to a client/family friend of a senior partner at a firm. That firm isn't in Toronto and that individual was absolutely qualified to be hired.

I guess my point is for those of you who were unlucky yesterday not to think that it was because of some injustice like this. It happens so rarely in the big picture that it shouldn't be a concern for anyone going through this process. Don't let this weigh on you. Don't look for an assortment of reasons you didn't get an offer. It's unproductive and unhealthy. 

Looking ahead, as someone else mentioned briefly earlier, some of you may be interested in looking into obtaining a clerkship. I urge you to explore that option. It can be a wonderful experience and I'd recommend it to anyone who truly has an interest. I think there are a few of us who participate regularly here who have done it and would be happy to speak about our experience via PM. It's so much better than articling anyway!  ;)

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: nepotism

Direct nepotism is few and far between, especially in the formalized recruitment process. These firms are large, sophisticated enterprises with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually (at least dozens, I may be wrong on the number). It is not in their best interest to be nepotistic, and they put mechanisms in place to stop it. It still happens, but it's rare.

However, I think there's room for a Frank (and calm, I.e not in this thread or just after the recruit) on the effects of indirect nepotism. Often times these recruits can go one way or another based on knowing what to say and knowing what not to say. Based on knowing how to frame your interests, and how not to. More factors like this are at play too. If candidate A knows going in that Goodmans has a solid S&E practice because your uncle knows a guy who knows about it, then you'll emphasize that in your applications and interviews. Then candidate B (who might genuinely be into it) but doesn't know that, might try to be more of a generalist because that's the general wise thing to do. Candidate A might have a leg up because of that.

It's not an exact science. Indirect things like that still influence hiring (everywhere, even government). So it's certainly a discussion worth having, especially since law (as far as I'm told) used to be quite nepotistic in the past.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@pzabbythesecond   Different types of innate or subtle experiential advantages may be a topic for discussion but that isn't the same thing as nepotism. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, erinl2 said:

@pzabbythesecond   Different types of innate or subtle experiential advantages may be a topic for discussion but that isn't the same thing as nepotism. 

There's certainly literature calling for an expanded definition of nepotism to include social class advantages and the concept of "fit".

Regardless, the label is less important (though I'd argue important in it's own right, since certain labels may evoke a stronger reaction) as it is acknowledging subtle benefits certain holders may have, and how this process isn't well designed to stop or minimize them.

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Re: nepotism

Direct nepotism is few and far between, especially in the formalized recruitment process. These firms are large, sophisticated enterprises with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue annually (at least dozens, I may be wrong on the number). It is not in their best interest to be nepotistic, and they put mechanisms in place to stop it. It still happens, but it's rare.

However, I think there's room for a Frank (and calm, I.e not in this thread or just after the recruit) on the effects of indirect nepotism. Often times these recruits can go one way or another based on knowing what to say and knowing what not to say. Based on knowing how to frame your interests, and how not to. More factors like this are at play too. If candidate A knows going in that Goodmans has a solid S&E practice because your uncle knows a guy who knows about it, then you'll emphasize that in your applications and interviews. Then candidate B (who might genuinely be into it) but doesn't know that, might try to be more of a generalist because that's the general wise thing to do. Candidate A might have a leg up because of that.

It's not an exact science. Indirect things like that still influence hiring (everywhere, even government). So it's certainly a discussion worth having, especially since law (as far as I'm told) used to be quite nepotistic in the past.

To add onto this idea of indirect nepotism, I think growing up with a lawyer/business executive in the family certainly helps with the "fit" aspect of hiring practices. I'm certain it's easier to go to a cocktail and come off as a confident and controlled individual when you've experienced these kinds of networking events through a parent or family member. Even if you haven't been to a networking event per se, you've had years of experience discussing/being around professional people. All though, is that really nepotism?

This is not to take away from those who were hired and have lawyers in the family at all. But I do think it's understandable that someone with a more "blue-collar" upbringing may experience more difficulty at the cocktail reception stage of the game. 

Thoughts?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, TdK said:

To add onto this idea of indirect nepotism, I think growing up with a lawyer/business executive in the family certainly helps with the "fit" aspect of hiring practices. I'm certain it's easier to go to a cocktail and come off as a confident and controlled individual when you've experienced these kinds of networking events through a parent or family member. Even if you haven't been to a networking event per se, you've had years of experience discussing/being around professional people. All though, is that really nepotism?

This is not to take away from those who were hired and have lawyers in the family at all. But I do think it's understandable that someone with a more "blue-collar" upbringing may experience more difficulty at the cocktail reception stage of the game. 

Thoughts?

Yes. I don't think this is a novel take and it's even been directly acknowledged by some firms (see: Lenszner). The issue is telling people who didn't get it that they're wrong to think nepotism or unfair advantages weren't involved. That's plainly untrue.

 

Debating the extent of it is valid, and discussing ways to minimize it is important. But to deny its existence is a bit outdated at this point.

Edited by pzabbythesecond
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, erinl2 said:

@pzabbythesecond   Different types of innate or subtle experiential advantages may be a topic for discussion but that isn't the same thing as nepotism. 

 

2 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

There's certainly literature calling for an expanded definition of nepotism to include social class advantages and the concept of "fit".

Regardless, the label is less important (though I'd argue important in it's own right, since certain labels may evoke a stronger reaction) as it is acknowledging subtle benefits certain holders may have, and how this process isn't well designed to stop or minimize them.

I think in dictionary terms it's the difference between nepotism and favouritism (with cronyism referring to partiality to a partner or friend). That said, I feel like we need a better term for it than 'favouritism', cause that feels like it has some kind of conscious element. It's more an issue with innate social ordering and an affinity for people that we can relate to, and how that can lead to the entrenchment of social class structures - even if, all else being equal, the candidates are the same. It's actually interesting cause in that case, you can have a meritocracy that in the long run actually ends up being unfair and perpetuates inequality; the question then becomes how long does a meritocracy like that stay meritocratic...

As mentioned though, this probably isn't the time or place lol.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TdK said:

To add onto this idea of indirect nepotism, I think growing up with a lawyer/business executive in the family certainly helps with the "fit" aspect of hiring practices. I'm certain it's easier to go to a cocktail and come off as a confident and controlled individual when you've experienced these kinds of networking events through a parent or family member. Even if you haven't been to a networking event per se, you've had years of experience discussing/being around professional people. All though, is that really nepotism?

This is not to take away from those who were hired and have lawyers in the family at all. But I do think it's understandable that someone with a more "blue-collar" upbringing may experience more difficulty at the cocktail reception stage of the game. 

Thoughts?

I grew up blue collar, first lawyer in my family (prospective lawyer), never spoke to a lawyer before law school, didn’t do fine dining, hardly drank wine, and had never eaten the style of dish that was served at the recruitment dinner. What do I do? I joked about it. Got the job.

Edited by FingersCr0ssed
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

I grew up blue collar, first lawyer in my family (prospective lawyer), never spoke to a lawyer before law school, didn’t do fine dining, hardly drank wine, and had never eaten the style of dish that was served at the recruitment dinner. What do I do? I joked about it. Got the job.

You clearly didn't take statistics either, and missed the point

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's completely understandable that those who weren't successful will be angry (and in some cases, irrationally so) at the process. They're asking "why me?" when there are many qualified, bright students who are used to a certain level of success and have had their hopes dashed. There isn't necessarily a "why", only the fact that there are limited spots and it may come down to even arbitrary differences between candidates. 

The biggest problem with the OCI process isn't anything really about the process itself - it's the expectation of a neat timeline where you can finally end your job search. Since the successful students will have their articles lined up well before graduating, other students want that security/finality too. Yes, it's hard, and there's no getting around that with these formal recruitment cycles. There's always going to be the mentality of "OK, 1L recruit... now 2L recruit... ugh articling week is my last chance... and then what?". Just know that those cycles are absolutely not the end. 

Keep your head up. Other posters have mentioned it before, but there are many opportunities to get into BigLaw later on in your career if that's what you want. There are plenty of other firms doing interesting work that will be hiring for articling outside the formal processes. Just keep making connections, applying, and keeping an open mind - you may end up far happier than if you got that 2L BigLaw job in the first place.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's also not forget the outrageous tuition prices in Ontario and how they add to the anxiety. I can't imagine paying 60k in tuition alone, and still looking for articles in 3L. I feel for everyone. 

The discussion should also be focused on that, since a lot of people even do OCIs at all because they can't afford not to - even though they'd much rather do legal work that doesn't hire until much later.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Let's also not forget the outrageous tuition prices in Ontario and how they add to the anxiety. I can't imagine paying 60k in tuition alone, and still looking for articles in 3L. I feel for everyone. 

The discussion should also be focused on that, since a lot of people even do OCIs at all because they can't afford not to - even though they'd much rather do legal work that doesn't hire until much later.

One of things to touch off your point is how disgraceful it is to see the disparity between the compensation between public and private jobs. MAG positions are paying less than what I know some friends are making with college diplomas. 

I would have loved to consider a public interest job. As you said, living in Toronto with mounds of debt really leaves many, including myself, to feel that this is a financial and business decision more so than a career move. 

The stress and anxiety of debt and cost of living has a very big impact of the decisions I made during this recruit. 

I think the government needs to get its act together and become more competitive in that regard. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, JaysFan364 said:

One of things to touch off your point is how disgraceful it is to see the disparity between the compensation between public and private jobs. MAG positions are paying less than what I know some friends are making with college diplomas. 

I would have loved to consider a public interest job. As you said, living in Toronto with mounds of debt really leaves many, including myself, to feel that this is a financial and business decision more so than a career move. 

The stress and anxiety of debt and cost of living has a very big impact of the decisions I made during this recruit. 

I think the government needs to get its act together and become more competitive in that regard. 

MAG compensation for summer students is pretty awful, sure. But long term MAG is actually a very good compensator when it comes to public interest work generally. Articling gets close to even with the market rate of bay street (though less so with recent raises, but MAG will catch up eventually), and first year counsel salary is nothing to sneeze at, with regular raises, benefits and pension included.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Eeee said:

Well, the only thing that matters in most law firms is money. Rainmaking partners are entitled to run them like little fiefs. They are allowed to be petty, selfish, nepotistic, and superficial. If you don't want to be in an environment where wealth = prerogative, then you shouldn't be participating in the Bay recruit.

So if an aspiring lawyer does not wish to be in an environment where wealth = prerogative, where should one look instead? What did you do? 

Edited by levin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, harveyspecter993 said:

Only lawyers/law students could spend hours arguing on an online forum about a process they have no power to change.

what can you expect, they're keyboard warriors lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's examine the extreme here. The most frustrated individual in this recruit would be someone who...

  • did OCI's.
  • Successfully landed a handful of in-firms.
  • Did the in-firms with multiple firms.
  • Got the dinners.
  • Got the callbacks.
  • No offer.

Perks: Predictability- you always know what the next step is. 

Cons: Some politics. E.g. didn't know where they ranked in the firm's list and chose the wrong cocktails and dinners *gasp*

But come on. It's not that bad of a process. We could argue about the aRDuos nature of applying to 40+ places, yadda yadda, but you know what you're getting into. At the end of the day, it's a way to attract some unique, (essentially) unskilled talent into the profession.

But when it comes down to it, you're not crying about the apps. You're not crying about your 17 min OCI's you didn't receive. Or even the in-firms you didn't receive. You're shedding that tear for the firm who welcomed you into their client floor and took a brief interest in you for 30-90 min. And when they welcomed you to an exclusive, beauuuutiful dinner, you went to Davies instead because they gave you a f*cking colouring book.

And to this day, your one single regret is not realizing that you were too naive to ask the right questions and gauge each firm's interest. So you choose to blame the sYsTEM.

---

But hey, to everyone out there. It's really tough. So proud of you for taking this huge jump to build up your legal career. This process brings up so many emotions amongst all of us. Just know that you have value and the OCI's are not a reflection of your talent. No recruit is. If you are a law student reading this, you are already one of the most exceptional minds in this country. The world sees values in the skills you will learn over the next few years. Don't lose hope. If anything, you are already in very high esteem amongst a handful of firms and will likely be a familar face if you ever choose to apply again for articling/ jr assoc roles.

Edited by gorgonzola
f*cking colouring books.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, harveyspecter993 said:

Only lawyers/law students could spend hours arguing on an online forum about a process they have no power to change.

Implying one should only discuss an issue if they have the power to change it?

Also, some of the people discussing these issues may, in the future, have some of the power necessary to make change. I can't think of a group more likely to wield some of that power in the future than law students/lawyers.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone still trying to recover psychologically from this process? I'm still getting flashbacks to embarrassing moments and my mind keeps drifting back to "what could I have done differently?" even though I actually got a job in the end. The succession of rejection notifications on Tuesday night after second round interviews made me feel like 💩. I can barely focus on school and I have 4 assignments due this week.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BNAAct1867 said:

Anyone still trying to recover psychologically from this process? I'm still getting flashbacks to embarrassing moments and my mind keeps drifting back to "what could I have done differently?" even though I actually got a job in the end. The succession of rejection notifications on Tuesday night after second round interviews made me feel like 💩. I can barely focus on school and I have 4 assignments due this week.

Absolutely. I'm still physically exhausted, emotionally drained and distracted - despite ultimately accepting a job, like you.

I'm trying to get back into school work but also trying to give myself some latitude. We just went through a whirlwind. Hopefully you can remind yourself that even the 'rejections' were dependent on you getting in the In-Firm door: a HUGE accomplishment in itself.

  • Like 3

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

    • Possibly! But on this forum you also can't account for equity and diversity considerations that are important to every university (in theory at least). There are of course considerations for race, culture, etc., but also for academic interests and life experiences. So it may be early offers had better personal statements or ECs, but it could also be that the university thinks their life experience/background will contribute greatly to the diversity of the class.
    • People here are getting all up in arms about $1000 shoes, but there are probably plenty of people at your offices every day who are easily wearing $2000 on them and you would have no idea - take a Hugo Boss/Theory suit and a shirt, quality shoes, watch/jewellery, and a tote. None of that is necessarily flashy or tacky.
    • I don't know enough about that school to comment, sorry!
    • thank you! I like many of these points especially the business oriented and technological aspect. And between Ryerson and Windsor, which one are you leaning towards if you don't mind me asking? 
    • I’ll go.  I wrote at the KPU testing centre in Surrey B.C.    Pros - Don’t have to drive all the way into Van if you’re from farther east.    - Next to Surrey central if you need to hit the mall or something. You can knock 2 birds with one stone and get your passport renewed.    - Not an overwhelming amount of test takers.    - Lots of parking.    - Friendly and helpful staff.  - Large and well-lit rooms, lots of natural light. Large and comfortable desks.  - Right next to the Skytrain.    Cons - Right next to the skytrain.    - It’s in Surrey so there’s lots of sirens.    - Easy to fuck up and go to the main KPU campus if you’re stupid like I am.    - Probably in a bad location for anyone not based in Surrey. Having to drive 90 minutes for an 8:30 test time wasn’t my favourite.    Overall it was fine, I’d easily recommend it if it was the only option, or the closest one, as it was for me. I only wrote once on the second iteration of the electronic LSAT, so my experience might not be representative.    Cheers, P&S    

×
×
  • Create New...