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sman99

Create Your Own New OCI Process

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Been following the other threads on here the past couple of days and very interested in the discussion / debate.

So here goes... I'd like to see what you guys would do if you were to create a new OCI process (from scratch or modification from the current). What would it look like? Try to keep it to 6 or fewer bullet points / steps. 

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1. get rid of thank you letters. Mandatory rule leading to a decade long ban from the legal industry if done (students) and a decade long ban from any recruitment sooner than winter of 2Ls (firms).

2. In firms happen over a month, with students selecting a date that works for them, after OCIs. Offers to be made any time within a 1.5 month window that in firms can be held (september 25 to Nov 5) and must stay open for at least 15 days.

3. Any claim of a sign of pressure from a firm to a student to get "first choice" will be subject to mandatory arbitration by the Arbitration Board of Anxiety Inducing Illegal Recruitment Activities, with findings of guilt leading to bans of various length from participation in any recruitment until winter of 2L.

4. Any firm rejections must be communicated to the student as soon as possible and within reasonable time of knowing; no ghosting is allowed (because that's just mean and lazy).

5. Align all canadian cities' recruits together in the same time period, so students don't end up doing multiple recruits over possibly a whole year, missing out on learning at school

6. Faculties of law must allow their students time off for interviews and make accommodations regarding in-course evaluations and assignments (not sure how to enforce this).

 

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4 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

 

2. In firms happen over a month, with students selecting a date that works for them, after OCIs. Offers to be made any time within a 1.5 month window that in firms can be held (september 25 to Nov 5) and must stay open for at least 15 days.

 

 

How do you address the 6 week span that OCI occur in? Does the in-firm process start right after OCI #1 or does it only begin as of a set date? If it is the latter, then would this not just create an in-firm process where all firms try to line up candidates on days 1 and 2?

Edited by sman99

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Just now, sman99 said:

How do you address the 6 week span that OCI occur on? Doe the in-firm process start right after OCI #1 or does it only begin as of a set date? If it is the latter, then would this not just create an in-firm process where all firms try to line up candidates on days 1 and 2?

Fair point. Condense OCIs to happen over a two week period. Or make the in firm period one month instead of 1.5.

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Allow students and firms to rank each other like is done in the US so that OCIs are split a little more evenly 

 

Allow firms to tell students if they’ll be calling at 5 so when you get on the train to go home there aren’t people crying when they don’t get a call next to people joyously laughing and smiling

 

Help to cover travel expenses for students coming from out of town
 

Those are a few thoughts I had so far

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9 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

1. get rid of thank you letters. Mandatory rule leading to a decade long ban from the legal industry if done (students) and a decade long ban from any recruitment sooner than winter of 2Ls (firms).

2. In firms happen over a month, with students selecting a date that works for them, after OCIs. Offers to be made any time within a 1.5 month window that in firms can be held (september 25 to Nov 5) and must stay open for at least 15 days.

3. Any claim of a sign of pressure from a firm to a student to get "first choice" will be subject to mandatory arbitration by the Arbitration Board of Anxiety Inducing Illegal Recruitment Activities, with findings of guilt leading to bans of various length from participation in any recruitment until winter of 2L.

4. Any firm rejections must be communicated to the student as soon as possible and within reasonable time of knowing; no ghosting is allowed (because that's just mean and lazy).

5. Align all canadian cities' recruits together in the same time period, so students don't end up doing multiple recruits over possibly a whole year, missing out on learning at school

6. Faculties of law must allow their students time off for interviews and make accommodations regarding in-course evaluations and assignments (not sure how to enforce this).

 

A 15 day offer hold period is entirely unworkable in the Canadian market, where many firms are hiring only a couple of students, and even the biggest are hiring tiny classes compared to the large NYC firms. I get why you liked that aspect of the NYC recruit, but it’s not possible to bring it to Canada without severely harming both students and firms. 

Aligning the recruits is an oddly firm-friendly idea you’ve dressed up as a student friendly one. Imagine how stressed students would be having to choose only one market when they’re open to working in two or more.

Also, I’ve never gotten all the hate on the pressure angle. I’ve been pushed multiple times about where an employer ranks. I believe it’s a set policy for ONCA to ask all their candidates where else they’re interviewing. Learning to navigate mildly uncomfortable situations is part of life, and I’m personally of the opinion that students should just suck it up and navigate it like an adult. But that’s probably a hot take these days. 

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10 minutes ago, couscous said:

Help to cover travel expenses for students coming from out of town

I’ve always liked this idea, but keep in mind that I’m a student who would’ve benefit from it. Marginal students would get a lot less interviews if it came with a request for a couple hundred bucks in expenses. 

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3 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Also, I’ve never gotten all the hate on the pressure angle. I’ve been pushed multiple times about where an employer ranks. I believe it’s a set policy for ONCA to ask all their candidates where else they’re interviewing. Learning to navigate mildly uncomfortable situations is part of life, and I’m personally of the opinion that students should just suck it up and navigate it like an adult. But that’s probably a hot take these days. 

I agree. I actually think it could alleviate the stress and potentially help avoid candidates "striking out" if the firms can just straight up ask first choice.

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I didn't read the whole spliced thread, but I got the gist of what caused the splice. 

What I'd change is to make it more merit-based, competency-based, more like any other job hiring. While some may say it's the easiest recruit ever, logistically, it's also not one that really selects candidates based on their ability to do the job they're being hired for. 

But hey, I also respect that OCI firms are successful and I'm sure they have good reasons for doing it this way. And there are more candidates who can do the job well than they can hire, so why not select by social skills? On the other hand, the huge attrition rate for these firms is constantly cited, yet I didn't have a single OCI or in firm interview that I felt really tried to gauge my genuine interest in/love of the law, dedication to jobs in general, or tolerance for long work hours.

When they say it's all about "fit", it's pretty transparently about social fit. Hence the dinners, receptions, "conversational" interviews. I'm sure those skills are important. But I also think they're really hard to judge in high-pressure situations, especially for students who already feel like they don't belong.

Edited by feraenaturae
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2 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Fair point. Condense OCIs to happen over a two week period. Or make the in firm period one month instead of 1.5.

If you condense OCIs you’re going to dissuade firms from participating. Boutiques, mid sizes, and some larger firms just can’t have people booked off for two weeks straight to interview students.

In turn you’ve just expanded the private recruitment allowing true nepotism to flourish.

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16 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

If you condense OCIs you’re going to dissuade firms from participating. Boutiques, mid sizes, and some larger firms just can’t have people booked off for two weeks straight to interview students.

Fair point. Could this be resolved by having a fall recruit for firms with 75+ lawyers and a winter recruit for firms with 0-74 lawyers?

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I’m of the opinion that all recruitment should be done before the fall semester begins the same way it goes in the US

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1 minute ago, sman99 said:

Fair point. Could this be resolved by having a fall recruit for firms with 75+ lawyers and a winter recruit for firms with 0-74 lawyers?

Sure, if you want to make the small firms even more second class.

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20 minutes ago, feraenaturae said:

I didn't read the whole spliced thread, but I got the gist of what caused the splice. 

What I'd change is to make it more merit-based, competency-based, more like any other job hiring. While some may say it's the easiest recruit ever, logistically, it's also not one that really selects candidates based on their ability to do the job they're being hired for. 

But hey, I also respect that OCI firms are successful and I'm sure they have good reasons for doing it this way. And there are more candidates who can do the job well than they can hire, so why not select by social skills? On the other hand, the huge attrition rate for these firms is constantly cited, yet I didn't have a single OCI or in firm interview that I felt really tried to gauge my genuine interest in/love of the law, dedication to jobs in general, or tolerance for long work hours.

When they say it's all about "fit", it's pretty transparently about social fit. Hence the dinners, receptions, "conversational" interviews. I'm sure those skills are important. But I also think they're really hard to judge in high-pressure situations, especially for students who already feel like they don't belong.

...it already is merit based. That's what gets you to OCIs. Straight C students don't make it to Bay.

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2 minutes ago, Rashabon said:

Sure, if you want to make the small firms even more second class.

Okay - fair point too. So flip it and have the 0-74 lawyer group go in the fall. How many students are taking chances to wait it out for winter recruit? 

(Not saying I think this would work... just trying to spur some ideas)

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A little radical, but here goes.  Interested to hear what I'm overlooking:

  1. Ban 1L and 2L recruiting.
  2. Applications consist strictly of CV, transcripts and an essay sample, eliminating the need for customization between firms.
  3. Students are not eligible to write the Bar until they have completed their articles or LPP.
  4. OCIs and clerkship interviews begin on the Reading Week prior to law school graduation and conclude one week prior to the exam period.
  5. Clerkship offers are made no later than the week of law school graduation.
  6. In-firm interviews commence two weeks after law school graduation.
  7. Communications between applicants and firms at the in-firm stage are restricted to three designated recruiters only.
  8. In-firm interviews commence at 8:00 AM and conclude at 5:00 PM.  There are no dinners or cocktails.
  9. Once in-firm interviewing has begun, offers may be made, accepted or rescinded at any time.
  10. Firms are permitted to recruit a maximum of three, or 80% of their articling students, whichever is greater, through this process.

Note: this creates a strategic advantage for New York firms.

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I would scrap the law society rules and see what happens, at least initially. Let the free market chaos freedom reign.

In so far as we need rules, copy the NALP principles (which were drastically watered down this year to no ill effect, e.g. no more mandatory open offers or limit on the number of open offers).

Edited by onepost
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30 minutes ago, onepost said:

I would scrap the law society rules and see what happens, at least initially. Let the free market chaos freedom reign.

In so far as we need rules, copy the NALP principles (which were drastically watered down this year to no ill effect, e.g. no more mandatory open offers or limit on the number of open offers).

These rules were put in place because students complained. The old process involved way more stress as recruitment was theoretically infinite in duration and connections ended up mattering way more.

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35 minutes ago, Uriel said:

A little radical, but here goes.  Interested to hear what I'm overlooking:

  1. Ban 1L and 2L recruiting.
  2. Applications consist strictly of CV, transcripts and an essay sample, eliminating the need for customization between firms.
  3. Students are not eligible to write the Bar until they have completed their articles or LPP.
  4. OCIs and clerkship interviews begin on the Reading Week prior to law school graduation and conclude one week prior to the exam period.
  5. Clerkship offers are made no later than the week of law school graduation.
  6. In-firm interviews commence two weeks after law school graduation.
  7. Communications between applicants and firms at the in-firm stage are restricted to three designated recruiters only.
  8. In-firm interviews commence at 8:00 AM and conclude at 5:00 PM.  There are no dinners or cocktails.
  9. Once in-firm interviewing has begun, offers may be made, accepted or rescinded at any time.
  10. Firms are permitted to recruit a maximum of three, or 80% of their articling students, whichever is greater, through this process.

Note: this creates a strategic advantage for New York firms.

Wouldn't this get rid of north of anywhere between $24,000 to $50,000 for students during law school?

Why punt the bar to after articles? It's educational and provides a learning opportunity for upcoming articling or LPP students.

If this is how they get 80% of their articling students, where does the remaining 20% come from?

Do firms just go through summers without any student support now?

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3 hours ago, sman99 said:

How do you address the 6 week span that OCI occur in? Does the in-firm process start right after OCI #1 or does it only begin as of a set date? If it is the latter, then would this not just create an in-firm process where all firms try to line up candidates on days 1 and 2?

For what it's worth, Calgary doesn't have OCIs. We do "in firms" over the course of around 6 weeks, so it's rather close to the suggestion. Firms have kind of sorted themselves into windows through the course of the six weeks; there's about 6 that hit candidates up super hard right on the very first permitted day, yes, but there's a second wave that pick up a week or two later for interview #1.  The 2nd/3rd interviews for Wave 1 get scheduled after Wave 2 of interview #1s. It's kind of interesting that everyone's game theory'd it out, because (I assume) it's very resource intense for firms to go really hard for six whole weeks and not every firm is willing to do that (even national ones). We do have a set call day so I think that takes the pressure of some firms from going crazy hard right from day 1 when it's a 6 week long process.

As a student, it might be grass is greener but I think I'd prefer OCIs + an in-firm week. The expectations of candidates seems way higher with our lengthy process. Going through my calendar out of morbid curiosity, I had 59 interviews/meals/coffees and I wasn't particularly prolific: I converted about 50% at each stage from 1st to 2nd to 3rd etc. I don't think I ate at home for two weeks in the middle. Getting a call from some firms requires a one-on-one or at most two-on-one with the entire committee, since the process is long enough to do that. Sure you have some flexibility to schedule your commitments, but the sheer number of them means I still ended up missing three weeks solid of class.

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