Do I need to do OCI?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Not everyone needs to do OCI and not everyone should. I know that sounds like crazy talk this time of year when it seems like all of your classmates are prepping their resumes, cover letters, and writing samples for bidding, but it really is true. Why? Well, not everyone wants to work for the type of employers that participate in OCI. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, OCI is dominated by large law firms. There are a few government agencies and smaller firms sprinkled in there, but by and large they just don’t hire that way. If the employers you want to work for aren’t participating in OCI, then you don’t need to do it.

Every year I see students bow to the pressure they feel from their peers and throw their hats into the OCI ring. Students who told me back in November that they want to be a prosecutor or work in public interest suddenly place bids on every big law firm they can find. Now, sometimes people change their minds, and that’s perfectly fine. If you’ve had a change of heart about your career plans and OCI employers suddenly look appealing to you, then bid away. However, if you’re only doing it because everyone else is (which isn’t true by the way) or you think you should because you got good grades and shouldn’t pass up the chance at a high-paying BigLaw job, I encourage you to think again. This is your life and your career. Don’t let others define it for you.

If you’re feeling unsure about participating in OCI and want to talk it through, just give us a call. Remember we’re always happy to help!

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