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krnprykt

No OCIs, then what?

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Aside from the comments others made here about opportunities outside the formal 2L recruit, I don't understand why you think you're already out. You only have one semester worth of grades and you still have this semester's grades to come. If you manage to get a B+ average this semester, you'll be competitive for some OCIs. Ultimately, focus on what you can control now -- which are your grades this semester. If you strike out at OCIs, then start thinking about the next step (and there is a next step), but don't jump ship yet.

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Re: course selection as a signaling mechanism, I think it is a common mentality reflected in OP's thread and also a number of threads of upper year students who end up with a transcript full of business courses to show that they are interested in the area of practice, which I always felt like was a bit of an "all eggs in one basket" approach. I personally think that a transcript full of nothing but business courses tends to have a pigeonholing effect, unlike other types of experiences which you can customize to show a variety of transferrable skills which would be useful to have in many different types of legal practices, for example, client communication, doing research, managing various projects/teams/deadlines, etc.

If you don't have a business-related degree or pre-law work experiences, there are plenty of ways to show a genuine interest in the practice area and still keep your course selection diversified (e.g. through taking externships, clinics, part-time work). Because, anecdotally, if you go to a school where a lot of people are interested in getting on Bay St, a transcript full of business credits is probably quite unlikely to set you apart from the pack, and I think it's not worth forgoing a customized legal education experience which consists of a broad range of courses that interest you. Ultimately, there are so many external factors that can cause perfectly good candidates to strike out at formal recruit, and the competitive landscape is not going to become less competitive any time soon. There is no need to be too harsh on yourself or too pessimistic about your odds of success at OCIs, but as a matter of risk management, it's worth spending some time to think about hedging in that regard.

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5 minutes ago, cherrytree said:

personally think that a transcript full of nothing but business courses tends to have a pigeonholing effect

I am only in 1L, so I might be jumping the gun here, but I was thinking about what courses to take in 2L as a student interested in business law. However, I didn't want to pigeonhole myself like you said and take only business heavy courses (ex. securities MA). How diverse should you go, as in anything that interests you? I am interested in other areas too (labour law, personal injury, tax) but will taking such a diverse subset of courses not make you appear as though you're unsure of what you want to do? 

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5 minutes ago, JusticeLordDenning said:

I am only in 1L, so I might be jumping the gun here, but I was thinking about what courses to take in 2L as a student interested in business law. However, I didn't want to pigeonhole myself like you said and take only business heavy courses (ex. securities MA). How diverse should you go, as in anything that interests you? I am interested in other areas too (labour law, personal injury, tax) but will taking such a diverse subset of courses not make you appear as though you're unsure of what you want to do? 

For mid-large full-service employers that collect hundreds of applications through the formal recruit, it's your grades that those employers are drawn to when they glance at your transcript to see if you make the cut. That being said, many firms in the 2L recruit do ask candidates to submit a list of anticipated upper year courses to get a sense of your directions in that regard (e.g. if you want to work for a securities boutique you should have enough common sense to put securities on that list), but anecdotally I have never heard of that list being a heavily weighed factor which makes or breaks a student's candidacy after they are invited to an interview. 

I think taking courses in which you are genuinely interested and motivated to understand the material is probably helpful for boosting your grades overall. It is okay to take a variety of courses and see how much you enjoy learning about labour law, tax law, etc. How would you know if it's right for you without taking the time and giving it an earnest attempt? Being unsure about what you want to do is a normal part of the law student experience, especially in 1L/early 2L. It's about the steps you take to reduce that uncertainty and narrow down your focus over the years of your law school career, and course selection is but one part of those steps.

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7 hours ago, JusticeLordDenning said:

I am only in 1L, so I might be jumping the gun here, but I was thinking about what courses to take in 2L as a student interested in business law. However, I didn't want to pigeonhole myself like you said and take only business heavy courses (ex. securities MA). How diverse should you go, as in anything that interests you? I am interested in other areas too (labour law, personal injury, tax) but will taking such a diverse subset of courses not make you appear as though you're unsure of what you want to do? 

For full service firms, It’s perfectly fine to take diverse courses. I think the problem is when you take a bunch of courses that make it glaringly obvious that you have no interest in what the firm actually does. I.e if you took securities, business organizations and tax in 2L, no one is going to flinch if you also take family, immigration and estates (for example). A lot of students will take non-business courses to help with the bar (or because they honestly happened to be less dry).  
However, if you are a 2L that is signed up to take Immigration I and II, you’re doing the immigration law intensive clinic, and your previous work experience was working as an immigration consultant, it’s going to be harder for you to convince a full service firm that you’re interested in M&A. 
 

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