Jump to content
Imnotacat

What can I do to prepare for 2L Recruit?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! Hope your are having an amazing day! :) Looking for some wisdom and tips here

I would love to work at a big law firm, and as a current 1L at uOttawa, I was hoping to receive some wisdom on what I can do NOW till the recruit period to better my chances! I have a few good corporate experiences from undergrad and my grades in undergrad are pretty good.  So far, I've been working on the following:

  • my grades! Currently, I am sitting at B+ average, but hoping to improve on a few of the classes I neglected
  • networking - I have been networking with a few people from big law but nothing too special & networking with professors for reference letters 
  • summer? WHAT DO I DO FOR SUMMER?
  • ECs: joined 1-2 (working with a lawyer and advocacy work) 

Anyways, I feel like nothing I am doing is really making me stand apart and I feel so mediocre. I would love to get some advice on what I can do to better prepare myself or increase my chances :) 

Thank you in advance xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Focus on your grades. Then focus on crafting the best application possible before submitting. Then focus on OCI prep. Then focus on in-firm prep.

This year's recruit seemed to be a bit different, but historically, and still to some extent this year: a B+ average at Queen's is good enough for atleast a handful of OCIs. I'm sure Ottawa is similar, although there are less OCI spots (40 vs 20 for most firms). Your corporate expeirence, should you articulate them well in your application, will proabably help you with getting OCIs. 
At the in-firm stage, grades seem to matter less, but still matter. Your resume obviously still matters, but alot of it boils down to how much you can "connect" with a firm and your ability to interview/conversate. Remember they want to know if they can stand being in a room with you for extended periods of time. This is why some top students strike out and some average/below average students get top jobs. Very subjective process. 

In my experience, networking is more for you to learn about firms than vice versa. Instead of helping me get OCIs, networking helped me convey my interest in firms during interviews. I don't think just slapping an articling students name on your cover letter will get you an OCI. 

Don't worry too much about where you're working this summer. If you can pick up something solid that could improve your application (business/corporate/client-facing/law firm in area of interest), then thats a plus. But if you have good corporate experience through your undergrad and if you've been active outside the classroom during 1L, don't fret about not doing much this summer.

You're right - you want to try and make yourself stand apart from other candidates as much as you can. A lot of that boils down to how well you can articulate your experiences and relate your skills to what firms are looking for in your application, then in an interview. Focus on your strengths on your resume. As you get further along in the process you'll start to understand this aspect more (hopefully).

It's a marathon not a sprint. You have ample time after exams to prepare your applications. I very much understand how you feel because I was there one year ago! R E L A X 

Good luck!!

Edited by underrated
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After having recently been through the OCI recruit, I can say I have a handful of friends who are all deserving of jobs (work hard, have top grades, great resumes, great personalities) but struck out. All you can do is try to get the best grades possible. Great grades alone will get you interviews. Average grades and relevant work experience can also get you interviews. Once you get those interviews though, it comes down to preparing so that you can perform well in those interviews. Some firms ask behavioral questions and use them to rank candidates accordingly. Other firms, not so much. As mentioned above, try to connect with the interviewers. When it comes down it, you could make it to the last round of in-firm interviews and be a fantastic candidate, but there are 25 other fantastic candidates for 10 positions. There is an element of luck involved. I guess all this is to say that you can do everything in your power and still fall short of a position, simply because it's that competitive and there aren't too many positions available. If you manage to land a position, good job, you earned it. If you don't, you most likely deserved it but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. We'll all be fine in the end. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fellow uOttawa Student here :) Currently in 2L and i was successful in the Toronto recruit. I was almost in your exact same spot (re had a B+ average, networked, etc.).

What can you do to prepare: research firms, go to open houses, write your resume and cover letter, do mock interviews, etc. I spent nearly 8 months working on my documents, networking, and researching and it honestly still didn't feel like enough. Personally, I found the uOttawa career centre pretty useless in regards to resume and cover letters (I got the best feedback from lawyers + law students) but their mock interviews are good.

What can you do this summer? In addition to everything i listed above, i HIGHLY recommend doing SPIs. Not only do they make it so your course load is lighter during the recruit, but it also gets your foot in the door at some firms that participate in the recruit and it can help you get strong references. One of the lawyers who interviewed me bluntly told me that he called my SPI supervisor bc they are friends and he wanted to check my reference. Pretty sure that SPI directly led to my job offer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also a uottawa student here who landed a job in the 2L Toronto recruit. I had an A- average, SPI experience, decent ECs, a part time job and got approximately 15 OCIs. I think networking with people at firms in the recruit is a great idea - both to get a good idea of what the firm culture is like and to get your name out there. I networked a lot with summer students and articling students. 
 

I definitely echo what @aw321 said about SPIs this summer. It’s a really great way to get some legal experience and it’s something that many of my interviewers asked me about. Take a look at the internship opportunities on Source! I got my SPI by reaching out to a legal organization and asking if I could do an SPI. There’s also the summer student support initiative that is organized by the faculty. The SPI is only 120 hours so you could definitely work a part-time job as well. 
 

I also recommend starting to work on your written materials sooner than later because you can spend more time to edit and make them the best you can. I started mine about 3-4 months before apps were due. I sent my cover letter to some upper year friends and they helped me a lot too. 

Best of luck! And feel free to message me directly if you have more personal questions 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most of what was already said: grades first, job experience helps, ECs are good too... The one thing I'll add (forgive me if it was already mentioned and I missed it) is have genuine interests. Things that are not only interesting to you but interesting for others to ask/hear about. These things will absolutely come up for in-firms, if not OCIs.

Also, be ready to talk about these things. On my application, I mentioned that one of my hobbies was reviewing music; in one of my first in-firms, I had an interviewer ask me to "review" his favourite album. I genuinely think me being able to do that helped a lot.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, aw321 said:

 i HIGHLY recommend doing SPIs

 

2 hours ago, catgirl2022 said:

SPIs this summer. It’s a really great way to get some legal experience and it’s something that many of my interviewers asked me about. Take a look at the internship opportunities on Source! I got my SPI by reaching out to a legal organization and asking if I could do an SPI. There’s also the summer student support initiative that is organized by the faculty. The SPI is only 120 hours so you could definitely work a part-time job as well. 

Sorry can one of y'all clarify what an SPI is haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, companyonion said:

 

Sorry can one of y'all clarify what an SPI is haha

Sorry! It’s a student-proposed internship. Basically an internship for course credits. Typically they are 3 credits (1 course)

  • Like 1

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.

×
×
  • Create New...