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krnprykt

No OCIs, then what?

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Hey,

I am currently a 2L and planning to apply for the OCIs. But, I'm so worried about them even though I haven't applied yet. The thing is that I'm heavily interested in pursuing a career in business law, and so far, I have taken only business law courses for my 2L (and I intend to do the same in 3L). However, I only have my first semester grades as the school went pass/fail in the second semester, and my average is a flat B. I'm worried that I don't stand a chance at the OCIs, and I'm looking for some guidance on what I should do when I got no interviews.

 

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There are a lot of firms that don't participate, particularly in smaller centers, that practice business related areas. Big firms only really service a tiny sliver of the population. Normal people have business issues too.

Basically, you need to hustle. 

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Who says you need to work at a big firm to practice business law? There are many other firms that practice business law and that hire summer/articling students.  

Edited by OnlyResident

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business law is often code for i want to make bay street salaries.

Traditionally speaking, a flat B makes it hard for that. 

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20 minutes ago, hmyo said:

business law is often code for i want to make bay street salaries.

Traditionally speaking, a flat B makes it hard for that. 

Agree

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What if you want to work in business law, strike out in OCIs and still want to work in business law (obviously for much less pay)? Are the opportunities still there (Toronto)? As a naive 1L, I get the idea that working in business law only means working on Bay st and this is also what my friends think so I would love some wisdom. The articling recruit doesn't seem to have a lot of business positions, so would students have to do all the leg work themselves to find these articling positions? 

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1 hour ago, krnprykt said:

Hey,

I am currently a 2L and planning to apply for the OCIs. But, I'm so worried about them even though I haven't applied yet. The thing is that I'm heavily interested in pursuing a career in business law, and so far, I have taken only business law courses for my 2L (and I intend to do the same in 3L). However, I only have my first semester grades as the school went pass/fail in the second semester, and my average is a flat B. I'm worried that I don't stand a chance at the OCIs, and I'm looking for some guidance on what I should do when I got no interviews.

 

Flat B in business law courses may be a huge hurdle. When is OCI?  

Edited by Luckycharm

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46 minutes ago, JusticeLordDenning said:

What if you want to work in business law, strike out in OCIs and still want to work in business law (obviously for much less pay)? Are the opportunities still there (Toronto)? As a naive 1L, I get the idea that working in business law only means working on Bay st and this is also what my friends think so I would love some wisdom.

There are lots of small firms that practice "business law" - but their clients aren't national/multinational or publicly traded. You deal with family-owned local businesses primarily. Lots of professionals (doctors, dentists, realtors, etc.), lots of franchise owners (people who own the local Tim Horton's, for example), and other local entrepreneurs.

I've only been at it for a few months but I find it rather fulfilling to be helping these family-owned businesses grow and succeed. I've managed to work on some larger scale files as well, like asset/share purchases in the ballpark of tens of millions of dollars.

I'll likely never get to handle a corporate transaction worth $100+ million like some of my friends at downtown firms, but I get to go home by 6PM so...

Quote

The articling recruit doesn't seem to have a lot of business positions, so would students have to do all the leg work themselves to find these articling positions? 

Yes and no. Many business firms outside of the OCI recruit will post positions for students, but it's up to you to find them. You should also be inquiring at business firms that don't post positions.

Edited by canuckfanatic
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12 minutes ago, JusticeLordDenning said:

What if you want to work in business law, strike out in OCIs and still want to work in business law (obviously for much less pay)? Are the opportunities still there (Toronto)? 

Yes.

12 minutes ago, JusticeLordDenning said:

As a naive 1L, I get the idea that working in business law only means working on Bay st and this is also what my friends think so

No. 

12 minutes ago, JusticeLordDenning said:

The articling recruit doesn't seem to have a lot of business positions, so would students have to do all the leg work themselves to find these articling positions? 

Recruits don't have a lot of business positions? Really? IIRC, when I was a student, it seemed like every bushy-tailed 2L/3L with a caffeine problem and a PSLOC, was getting scooped up to spend their evenings writing memos and combing through disclosure on behalf of Toronto's merchant class. Which makes sense. Because business law really just means law involving a business, and there's lots of legal work to be done for private enterprise -- work for lawyers ranging from regulatory defence, to commercial real estate transactions, to securities law, to bankruptcy, etc. Many of those lawyers hire students both inside and outside the articling recruit. Which leads me to ask: do you have a more specific definition of business law, or have business lawyers stopped hiring students in the past few years?

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32 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

Flat B in business law courses may be a huge hurdle. When is OCI?  

They are in January. My transcript only has three grades on it. But I think that this semester's grades will be included 

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7 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

do you have a more specific definition of business law, or have business lawyers stopped hiring students in the past few years?

I just thought that business law opportunities were more limited in the articling recruit, but I guess I was looking at it the wrong way. I was mainly looking for the big firms, and not a lot hire in the articling recruit so I guess that makes sense. 

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1 minute ago, JusticeLordDenning said:

I just thought that business law opportunities were more limited in the articling recruit, but I guess I was looking at it the wrong way. I was mainly looking for the big firms, and not a lot hire in the articling recruit so I guess that makes sense. 

Law students are such size queens :P 

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49 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

Law students are such size queens :P 

They say they care a lot about finding the one with the right fit personality-wise, but at the end of the day it's all about size tsk tsk. 

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5 minutes ago, Twenty said:

They say they care a lot about finding the one with the right fit personality-wise, but at the end of the day it's all about size tsk tsk. 

And yet, with time, experience, and a little guidance, even the smallest firm can leave you with your experiential training requirements fully satisfied. 

Edited by realpseudonym

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3 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

And yet, with time, experience, and a little guidance, even the smallest firm can leave you with your experiential training requirements fully satisfied. 

Though, to be fair, full-service is full-service. So I can see why many students are attracted to the bigger firms. 

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39 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

And yet, with time, experience, and a little guidance, even the smallest firm can leave you with your experiential training requirements fully satisfied. 

It's not the size, mate. It's how you use it.

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One of my friends just got a placement at a massive hedge fund's in house department through the LPP. 

There's always opportunities in business law. Our whole world runs around business!

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1) Most firms do not participate in the formal recruit. You'll see other jobs posted on your law school's job board. If you talk to people, you might discover places that don't list their positions.

2) There are other opportunities to gain legal experience without working at a firm in your 2L summer. My school has paid summer positions at our legal clinic. There are also summer clinical terms for credit that give you legal experience or volunteer positions in the community.

3) The articling recruit, in my experience and the experience of others, takes into account work experience as well as academics (allegedly more so than 2L OCIs). I know lots of people who landed well during the articling recruit despite striking out during 2L OCIs.

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Even if you strike out in OCIs you can:

  • Research firms that didn't participate in the OCI process and reach out to them
  • Research companies with in-house legal departments you might be interested in working for
  • Network (if you're good enough at networking, sometimes firms will create a student position...I've seen it happen at least 3-4 times in the last couple years)
  • Work for a professor (if you like business law, figure out whether any of your professors that teach business or commercial law need any assistance) 
Edited by gg092
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