Navigating Fall OCI: Advice from Chrissy Hocker, ’17

Chrissy Hocker, ’17, candidly shared her advice for navigating 2016 Fall OCI.

What resources did you find most helpful when researching employers? The firms’ websites, NALP Directory of Legal Employers, Google, and Texas Law 3Ls who were working at the firm.

How did you decide which employers to apply to? I decided to bid on the maximum amount of employers to increase my chances.

Did you tailor your application materials for each employer? If so, how? I did, but only based on the location. I’m from Fort Worth, so I made sure to mention that to the Fort Worth and Dallas firms I applied to. To other firms in Texas, I made sure that I mentioned I am from the state and wanted to be here long term.

How long does it take to go through the bidding process? How much time should we plan for? It takes a while to figure out which employers to apply to and what order you want to put them in, so I would give yourself at least a couple weeks.

What was your strategy in deciding how to rank employers? I put the firms I was very interested in and at the city I wanted to be in first, and then worked my way down considering who I was interested in and their hiring criteria.

What did you do if you didn’t get on an interview schedule for an employer you are really interested in? This didn’t happen to me, but I know of people that would just email the recruiters the day before that firm was interviewing and ask if they had any more open spots that they wanted to fill. They usually will want to interview as many as they can, so that’s a way to get in front of people even if you don’t initially get an interview.

What suggestions do you have on the day of interviews? Get there early, bring a snack, and be prepared for down time in between interviews. Also, don’t blow all your energy at the beginning of the week—it’s a marathon, and you have to stay positive for your later interviews.

Did you send thank-you notes after each interview? If so what format and to whom? Yes, I sent emails after the on-campus interviews and handwritten notes after callbacks.

What was the average wait time to hear back from employers after the first interview? Average was two or three days.

What one piece of advice would you give to a rising 2L regarding OCI? Don’t be afraid to work any connections you might have from outside the OCI process—whether it’s for a firm coming to OCI or not. For example, if you have a connection to someone at a firm, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to lunch so that you can pick his or her brain about working at a firm generally and the OCI process. This is exactly how I landed the summer job I’m working at now.

What one piece of advice would you give to a rising 2L who may need to look outside of OCI to find a summer clerkship? Do it! Don’t think that just because a firm doesn’t come to OCI that they don’t want to hire anyone for the summer. You have to be proactive in working your connections and asking firms if they’re thinking about hiring for the summer. Many of the smaller firms who don’t have big summer programs would still be interested; they might just not think about it until closer to the summer.