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Lawschoolkid7

OCI: Applying to Multiple Offices of a Firm

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Hey Everyone,

Im planning on applying to several national firms in both their Toronto and Vancouver offices. I have connections to both cities, however, I heard this can  have an impact on whether I receive an OCI or not as it raises “red flags”. I was wondering if anyone has some input on this, specially from upper year students!

thanks!

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Who told you that it can have a negative impact? It may be firm dependent, but recruiters and partners from various firms have told me that they understand the reality that many students find themselves in, how competitive recruitment is, and that many students are genuinely willing to make a move to a new city if it means gaining meaningful work experience. 

Edit: To be clear, you still need to communicate that you are willing to stay in whatever office will hire you for some time, but I wouldn't let this deter you from applying to multiple markets if you can see yourself practicing in those cities. 

Edited by Twenty

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One firm removes your application from consideration in other offices if you have applied to their Toronto office, but that’s pretty aggressive and the only one I know of that has a policy about it.

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1 hour ago, easttowest said:

One firm removes your application from consideration in other offices if you have applied to their Toronto office, but that’s pretty aggressive and the only one I know of that has a policy about it.

A recruiter from one firm said that they ask students to clarify which office is their preference before removing the applications for the other offices (the rationale is that they don't want their offices competing against each other - not because it is a response to a "red flag" that a student is giving off).

Which is interesting, because I then wonder why the firm you mentioned would funnel their applicants to their Toronto office as a default. 

Edited by Twenty

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11 minutes ago, Twenty said:

A recruiter from one firm said that they ask students to clarify which office is their preference before removing the applications for the other offices (the rationale is that they don't want to have their offices competing against each other - not because it is a response to a "red flag" that a student is giving off).

Which is interesting, because I then wonder why the firm you mentioned would funnel their applicants to their Toronto office as a default. 

Do they want you to clarify this in your cover letter?

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26 minutes ago, Lawschoolkid7 said:

Do they want you to clarify this in your cover letter?

Oh dear lord, no. Don't apply to both offices while expressing to one office that they are your second choice haha. I'm not saying this as a "this is what the recruiter said" (you don't even know the name of the firm that has this policy or if other firms follow the same protocol), but as general recruitment advice. I'm sure we all have our preferences prior to OCIs + in-firms, but things change and I wouldn't want to imply in my cover letter that I am less inclined towards a certain office, when I'm very open to various possibilities and would be grateful for the opportunity in any event.

They mentioned something about bringing this up during interviews. In any event, it seemed like it was something that they have to figure out on their end.

Edited by Twenty

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I'm a little concerned about this myself. I applied to both the Toronto and Ottawa offices of a few national firms. I'm considering withdrawing my Ottawa apps (I'm from Toronto), but I'm not sure if that will look even worse lol.

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9 minutes ago, Psychometronic said:

Talk to your CDO/CSO, hopefully they'll be upfront with you.

I just sent them an email. Hopefully they can be of some assistance. 

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I know that some firms with offices in more than one city do exchange lists of students who apply. This isn't something that should be surprising. What effect it has on who gets an interview is less clear. The other thing you should consider this year is that with the changed timing of OCIs, is the timeline such that  interviews/in-firms/offers will allow for both Toronto and Ottawa, without having to make a decision on an offer? That wasn't possible in previous years because Ottawa's took place long after Toronto's.

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I spoke to the CDO office and they said it would be very unlikely to have an affect on your application especially if you indicate your ties to the respective city you are applying to. In my opinion this makes sense. You may have grown up/have family in Vancouver; however, may have lived in Toronto for most of your adult life. In such circumstances, you would be open to moving to either city, especially given the competitiveness of the job market. 

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I know for a fact that firms who have hired in both Ottawa IP and Toronto 2L have interviewed the same person in both offices. I also know of firms that gave in-firm offers to the same person for both the TO and Vancity offices. These recruits overlap significantly so proximity isn’t necessarily an issue.

I have always felt like some recruiters like multiple applications to the same firm at different offices less than others though. But it’s hard to tell which ones. Difficult choice to make when deciding where to apply. My calculus back then was there is probably less firms that care than those that do, so I’d be missing out more if I constrained myself on where to apply.

On 1/25/2021 at 11:22 AM, easttowest said:

One firm removes your application from consideration in other offices if you have applied to their Toronto office, but that’s pretty aggressive and the only one I know of that has a policy about it.

If you’re thinking of the same firm as I have, I have heard anecdotally that this firm offered an OCI to a person who they offered an OCI to in Toronto. I don’t know the person who said this well enough to know if they were telling the truth though.

And law students lie a lot, so it could have been false.

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2 hours ago, spacelaw said:

If you’re thinking of the same firm as I have, I have heard anecdotally that this firm offered an OCI to a person who they offered an OCI to in Toronto. I don’t know the person who said this well enough to know if they were telling the truth though.

And law students lie a lot, so it could have been false.

I’m not sure what firm you’re referring to, but this anecdote was shared by the uOttawa CDO at a recruitment event. 

If they were wrong, it won’t be the last time. 

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41 minutes ago, easttowest said:

I’m not sure what firm you’re referring to, but this anecdote was shared by the uOttawa CDO at a recruitment event. 

If they were wrong, it won’t be the last time. 

A recruiter in Vancouver said the same thing you said. I dunno if we're all thinking of the same firm or not. 

Another said it would be a problem. 

They could be bluffing, I don't know, and I don't think most of the firms care. So take it with a grain of salt I guess. 

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1 hour ago, Starling said:

A recruiter in Vancouver said the same thing you said. I dunno if we're all thinking of the same firm or not. 

Another said it would be a problem. 

They could be bluffing, I don't know, and I don't think most of the firms care. So take it with a grain of salt I guess. 

A recruiter in Calgary once told me the same thing. We might all be thinking of the same firm LOL 

OP, to answer your question: It won't necessarily affect your chances. But be prepared for them to ask if you applied to their other offices (that happened to me twice). And you'll have to be ready to explain having a strong connection to both locations if you did. 

I know in Ottawa, firms in the past have placed (and I think still place) a pretty heavy emphasis on planning to stay in Ottawa long-term. In fact, one of my friends who is doing hiring at his firm called me up to ask about an applicant I know and what connection said applicant has to Ottawa. This was yesterday. So I think Ottawa firms still value this connection.  

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