I’m Unsure How to Handle an OCI Situation


I met a partner from this highbrow law firm when I was out one night having a nice dinner with my fiancée. I asked for his card, he gave it to me, and I ran into him again at that very same restaurant when I was waiting for a friend to meet me at the bar. He remembered me, and we talked for a bit.  It turns out that I currently work with one of his good friends, and he’s also a graduate of my current law school.

So I came to find that his firm was conducting OCIs at my school. I applied, looked him up on the firm website, and saw that he was on the firm’s board of directors. I decided to e-mail him asking if he could help me secure an interview. I expected no response. Sure enough, he emailed me back, told me that he remembered me, said that he would help me out, and said that he would “recommend me” to the partner conducting interviews (he also gave me that partner’s name.) He ended his response with “good luck”.

What does this mean in lawyerspeak? Does it mean that he got me an interview, but anything beyond that, I’m on my own? Should I offer to take the guy out to lunch so we could get to know each other better? What about the partner conducting interviews? Should I reach out to her before she come to campus? What should I say?

Based on what you’ve told me, it means he’s going to help you get an interview. That’s it.  Unless, of course, there’s more going on here than you’re suggesting.  If there’s not, here’s what you should do…

If Partner Guy delivers on his email and gets you an interview with his firm, send him a thank you email prior to the on-campus interview.  If for some reason he doesn’t hook up the interview, send him an email asking him one more time if he can possibly get you on the list (citing the various reasons you think his firm is a good fit for you, etc…).

Other than that, leave it alone.  No lunch.  No calls.  No flirting.  If you get the interview, show up and do your thing.  That’s it.  And no matter what, do not reach out to the interviewing partner prior to the interview.  What would you say?  “Hi, I met this guy at a bar… Don’t really know him, but he hooked me up with an interview.  Oh well, I hope you guys hire me.  Bye.” I also wouldn’t drop your bar-buddy’s name in the actual interview either, unless of course, the interviewer brings it up first.

And yeah, you’re on your own after that.

Got a question for Ex-Bitter?  Email it to info@bitterlawyer.com.

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    September 9, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Don’t be a twerpy broad.  And keep your friggin’ knees together if you should happen to meet up with this partner while visiting the firm (or afterward).  Too many giddy women wind up getting F***ed over (figuratively and literally) if they suck up to the partner or otherwise flirt heavily.  No job, no panties.  Not the way you want to be remembered.

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