Skip to content

OCIs are here!

So the time has come for 1L OCIs. You have tried to squish the very best things about yourself into a little application package, or maybe just included everything you thought that a law firm would want to hear (like how the interests section of my resume doesn’t include make-up when, DUH! I LOVE make-up). Your suit is either newly bought or freshly dry cleaned, hanging alone in your closet. You waited with your phone at your side and felt a rush of excitement whenever a phone number you didn’t recognize called; you got an interview!! Or, you know, maybe it was just AMA calling to harass you to renew your membership and your heart subsequently sinks…

I have no idea if what I just described actually applies to the feeling of OCIs. I made it all up. Why? Because I am writing an article on OCIs and I never, ever, took part in OCIs while I was in law school. I had no clue what I wanted to do, no clue what city my spouse was going to be going to school in, and I hated the one-hour of the one career day that I actually attended. And yet here I am, with the exact article that I wanted in my beautiful hometown, and a clerkship there to boot. So even though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend my course of action because banking on a fruitful articling week might be ballsy, if you’re not doing OCIs (or you don’t get any interviews) you’re going to be just fine. Breathe and enjoy the ride.

Athyna Slack, 3L


I did OCIs in 2L and got tons of them. I thought to myself “Great! Everyone wants to hire me”. Then I got tons of in-firm interviews and I was even happier. And then I didn’t get a job. I learned a few valuable lessons from that miserable experience.  First – don’t tie your self-esteem to a process more akin to speed dating than anything else. Second – the number of OCIs you get does not guarantee you a job. Third – tell the firms you like them. Think of the firms as slightly below average attractiveness dates, who need constant confirmation that you are, in fact, interested in being seen with them long term. Stroke that ego. Everyone likes to hear that they’re great. I didn’t say that to a single firm during OCIs or interview week so despite a full dance card, I ended up out in the cold. Here’s the thing though – I didn’t tell firms I was interested because I genuinely didn’t know if I wanted to work there and in the end I’m happy I didn’t get a 2L summer job. Yes, I stressed about finding an article but in return I got to work for a great professor, made my own hours, and took a two-month vacation. And I still ended up with an article (and a clerkship). These things have a way of working out.

Natasha Edgar, 3L


To put it lightly, job applications, interviews, and waiting for interviews is the most stressful thing I have ever experienced in my whole life. The whole process determines your self-worth, career path, and earning potential as a contributing member of society. I had basically been living an existential nightmare, until I found out that at least two firms are interested.

I applied to all the possible 1L firm jobs in Calgary. When I found out about my first interview, I cried. I mean, I literally found out in the library, bottled up my tears, called my significant other in a semi-private area, and then actually bawled my eyeballs out. Then I got a second interview and I almost died.

I wish that were the end of the story. But now I am *SMP* trying to think of something intelligent to say in the interviews. I’m up against some pretty wonderful people that are probably smarter, funnier, more attractive, and better at rhythmical gymnastics or teaching English in a third world country than I am.

Anonymous, 1L


As a first year law student the application process for a summer student position can be quite daunting, to say the least. This year has become especially complicated, with Calgary firms not attending OCIs. I can understand why firms chose this route, as it does weed out students who aren’t completely committed to working in Calgary. But, the situation becomes interesting for students intending to interview in both of Alberta’s major cities. Scheduling the first round of interviews was fairly painless, with Edmonton firms on the 18th and Calgary firms the next day. But where the situation gets tricky is with potential second round interviews or evening social activities. Having to already pass up a meet and greet with a Calgary firm on the 18th, I already feel the new process comes at the cost of having to pick between the two cities. However, I believe with some careful planning and willingness to drive up and down the QE2 (a number of times), students can still interview in both cities. The fact that U of A students have that choice should not be taken for granted, as there are some amazing opportunities to be had.

Luke J, 1L