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Researching OCI Employers

June 2, 2014

Tags: CDO, 2014

OCI season is upon us and it's time to select the OCI employers that interest you and prepare your application materials. Researching employers is a big part of this process in order to: (1) decide where you want to submit applications; (2) prepare the best materials; and (3) be ready to shine in an interview.

Where should I apply? Let's face it, these days law students are often willing to take anything they can get. However, it is still important to research employers and target those that interest you the most and have the potential to be a good match for your skill sets and personality. That said, there are no limits to the number of OCI employers you can apply to, so we encourage you to apply to any and all positions that interest you!

How Can I Find Information on OCI Employers?

Information to Seek:

  • Practice Area (What are the employer's practice areas? Does the employer focus on one or many?)
  • Size of Firm/Employer (The size of an employer will often dictate the environment/culture)
  • Location (Is the employer located where you are willing to live? Are there branch locations?)
  • Types of Clients (Prosecution or defense? Biotech or family law? In-house or public interest?)
  • Work Environment (corporate culture, work/life balance, systems for assigning work, etc.)
  • Recent cases in the news
  • Size of Summer Associate program
  • Other — Any other information you find that may be of use!

Where to Look:

  • Employer's Own Websites — These can be a great source of information. Most private firms have websites. For other employers (public interest, government, solo practitioners, etc.) there may or may not be a website.
  • State Bar of California — you can find out basic information about attorneys that work at the employer
  • Lexis or Westlaw
  • News — Search for news about the employer, its clients, or news about the industry the employer serves
  • Google and other online searches — use your savvy to find out more about the employer

Who to Talk To:

  • Other Students who have worked for the employer or in the same practice area(s)
  • Alumni who have worked for the employer or in the same practice area(s)
  • Professors, especially those who teach subjects related to the employer's practice area(s)
  • CDO staff
  • Anyone else you know who might be able to help

How Can I Use My Research in the Bidding Process?

The key is that information revealed in your research will help you personalize and customize your applications. Here are some ways to incorporate your research during OCI bidding:

  • Resume — tailor your accomplishments and job descriptions to showcase skills relevant to the employer
  • Cover Letter — impress with your knowledge of the employer and connect that information to how you are a perfect fit (Flattery will get you everywhere!)
  • References — If you have the option, list persons as your references who may know about the employer's practice areas or otherwise will be a persuasive reference to the employer
  • Interviewing — If you do get an interview, your knowledge of the employer's organization, client base and practice areas will go a long way to demonstrate your attention to detail, careful preparation, and enthusiasm for the employer

Good luck with OCI!