Described below are more detailed instructions on what you need to do, and when, concerning Fall OCI:
1) Obtain your Symplicity user name and password. If you don't already have it, obtain your Symplicity username and password. Your username is your email address; the password is the same one you use to access our online Job Bank, which was sent to you via email in the fall of your 1L year. If you have forgotten your password, log in to Symplicity at https://law-wisc-csm.symplicity.com/students and click on the "Forgot My Password" tab on the Symplicity home page, and your password will be reset and emailed to you. If that doesn't work, contact the Career Services Office and we will manually reset your password. The Symplicity password for the University of Wisconsin Law School's Job Bank and fall on-campus interviewing program is DIFFERENT from the special ID and password that you use in order to participate in any of the Off-Campus Recruitment Programs or any other specialized job fairs.
2) Log on to https://law-wisc-csm.symplicity.com/students.
3) Review your personal "Profile"
data. In the "Academic Information"
section of the Profile, make sure your "Year in School" and anticipated
"Graduation Date" are correct. You should be listed as a 2L unless
you will be available for permanent employment by August 2012, in which case you should be listed as a 3L.
4) Update your resume, adding a description of what you did during the summer of 2011, any honors and awards you may have received, your current GPA and class standing (optional - we recommend you include that information if your GPA puts you in or near the top half of the class), and any significant law school activities (law journal, moot court, SBA, other student organizations, etc.) that you have participated in or plan to participate in during the coming year. Rising 2Ls may not be able to finalize their resumes until sometime in early August, because the results of law journal write-on competitions are generally not announced until that time. However, you can update all other parts of your resume, and then simply drop in current information about law journals as soon as you receive it. Students always know the outcome of law journal write-on competitions at least a day or two prior to the Phase One bidding deadline. Look at the sample resumes available in the Career Services Office and on our website for formatting ideas and suggestions about how to describe particular activities.
5) Have your resume reviewed by someone in the Career Services Office, if possible, and by anyone else whose opinion you value.
6) When it is in final form, upload your resume into
the Symplicity system. To do this, go to the "Documents"
section of Symplicity, click on "Add New," give the document a name,
choose the document type, and then browse your computer's hard drive
until the name of the resume appears in the window, then click on
After you've uploaded the resume, you can view it either as a Word
document or a PDF file.
It is critical that you upload your resume, because if you don't do so, you won't be able to bid for interviews; and if an employer doesn't receive your resume, it cannot select you for an interview. Having your resume uploaded into Symplicity also permits us to print out copies for you, or for participating employers, in an emergency, both during fall OCI and throughout the school year.
7. Search the employers who will be coming here to interview students in your year of law school. To do this, click on the word "OCI" in the top line, and then choose, from the drop-down "Session" menu, the Phase you are interested in seeing. Once you choose a Phase, the list of registered employers for that Phase will display. If you do not see the name of an employer you are looking for, go to the next page. Click on the "Review" button to the left of an employer's name, and you'll be taken to a screen giving you additional information about that employer (e.g., the employer's website, a list of the application materials that the employer wants students to provide, the name(s) of the interviewer(s), etc.). You will be shown only the names of employers who are coming here to interview students in your class year. You can also see a list of the employers participating in fall OCI by visiting the part of the Career Services website entitled "List of Employers Participating in Fall 2011 On-Campus Interviewing" (which should be available on the website by early July). Pay attention to information about which offices the employer is interviewing for, what its hiring criteria are, etc.
8. Upload your cover letters and unofficial transcript. Most
of the participating employers are asking for a resume; some also will
want to see a cover letter, an unofficial transcript, and/or a
references. You will need to create the documents that the
employers you want to interview with have requested, and upload them
into Symplicity, in the "Documents" section. We do not permit employers to require a writing sample as part of the bidding process, but many employers do want you to bring a writing sample with you to your interview, so be sure to have copies available.
To upload an unofficial
transcript, you will need to create a
Word document that contains your grades and
upload that document. When you create an
unofficial transcript as a Word document, be extremely careful to
ensure that the transcript is complete and accurate, and be sure to
include your name, and your cumulative GPA, on the document. You
can ask the Law School's registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org to verify
your GPA if you have any doubts about the accuracy of your
calculation. Information about how to
calculate your GPA and your class standing are on the law school's
website at http://law.wisc.edu/career/new_grading_system.html.
Click here for a sample format that you can use when creating your unofficial transcript.
If you've already submitted a cover letter in order to apply to a specific job posting, or if you've already used a particular cover letter to bid for an interview with an employer coming here for OCI, a permanent copy of that document is created in the Symplicity system after you hit "Apply." You can delete that cover letter from your "Documents" section without fear that the letter will be deleted from your prior application or bid.
9. Enter your bids, on line, through Symplicity by the bidding deadline for each Phase. The seven bidding deadlines are: August 7, for Phase One; August 15, for Phase Two; August 23, for Phase Three; August 31 for Phase Four; September 7 for Phase Five; September 14, for Phase Six; and September 21 for Phase Seven. You must complete your bidding by midnight, Eastern Daylight time (i.e., 11 p.m. Central Daylight time), on each bidding deadline.
When you have finished uploading the required documents, go back to
the "OCI" section of Symplicity and click on the "Review" button to the
left of the name of any employer you want to bid for an interview
with. On that screen you will be able to select, from a pull-down
menu, the appropriate
version of your resume, cover letter, etc. that you want that
particular employer to see, and you can type in the "preferred
location" you would like to interview for, if the firm is recruiting
for multiple locations, and then click on the "apply"
NOTE: It is important to select "Review" before you click on "Apply." "Review" allows you to see all the documents that will be necessary to bid for that employer. If you click on "Apply" when you are in the employer list and you have already bid for one employer, the system automatically chooses your "default" resume and doesn't give you the opportunity to select your documents. You may change your bids as often as you'd like, up until bidding closes for that Phase. There is no advantage to bidding early, other than that you can turn your attention to other things. Bidding early does not increase your chances of obtaining interviews.
If you complete your bidding early
in the Phase One bid period, you would be wise to go back into
Symplicity just before bidding closes on August 7 to check to see
employers are coming during Phase One who hadn't been scheduled when
your first bids. Even near the end of the summer, we sometimes receive requests
from employers to participate in the on-campus interview program, so we
that you check Symplicity periodically to get the most up-to-date
We always adopt "bid limits" during the early Phases of Fall OCI. This year, students will be permitted to bid to interview with up to 16 employers in Phase One. Thereafter, bidding will not be limited; i.e., a student may bid for an interview with every employer that is conducting interviews during any subsequent Phase. We rely on the bid limit, and our commitment to open up the waiting list as early as possible to interested students, to ensure that the maximum possible number of students get meaningful interviewing opportunities. Therefore, be sure to carefully research the employers before you bid. You won't want to waste any of your bids on employers that don't interest you, or whose hiring criteria you don't satisfy. (I.E., don't waste a bid on a patent law firm if you aren't eligible to take the patent bar exam). See "Advice on Bidding," below, for general suggestions about how to bid wisely.
You can bid from any computer that has Internet access, either in the law school, at home, or wherever you happen to be.
10. Multi-Office Employers. Dealing with employers who have multiple offices in a number of cities: Most employers who come here for fall OCI reserve one interview room, and send one interviewer, to talk to students about all of that employer's offices. For example, if you obtain an interview with Jones Day, you may talk to the Jones Day interviewer about the firm's offices in Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Washington D.C., etc. Godfrey & Kahn (which is headquartered in Milwaukee) has a Madison office, and will have interviewers here from both offices. If you are interested in interviewing with the Madison office, just bid for an interview with "Godfrey and Kahn -- Madison," which will be listed as a separate employer. If you are interested in being considered for Godfrey & Kahn's Milwaukee office, enter a bid for "Godfrey & Kahn -- Milwaukee." If you want to be considered for an interview with BOTH Godfrey & Kahn's Madison office AND its Milwaukee office, you will have to use two bids, and you may be selected for an interview by one, or by both, of their offices.
When the bid period for a particular Phase ends, the Career Services Office Federal Expresses or emails the resumes of all students who've bid to interview with employers in that Phase to the various employers. The employers review the resumes, and are allowed to "pre-select" their interview schedule. The employers fax us the names of the students they have preselected.
11. Sign up for Interviews
You Obtain. Students who
entered bids for any Phase should check the Symplicity home page to
find out when employers have submitted their lists of students to be
interviewed. We will update that information several times daily. If an
employer you bid for is listed as having submitted its list of
preselected students, you can log on to Symplicity to find out if you
have been selected
for any interviews. To do this, click on "OCI," and then choose the
appropriate Phase from the "Sessions" drop-down menu. A list of
the employers you bid for will appear, and in the column headed
"Invitations," you'll see either "invited," "alternate," "not invited"
If you've been "invited," that means you've been selected for an interview, and should click on the "Accept Preselect" button, which will take you to a screen where that employer's interview schedule will display. Select an interview time and click on "Submit." If selected students do not sign up for an interview by the deadline established by the Career Services Office, students who were listed as "alternates" by that employer will be notified by email that they can sign up for interviews. If your status is listed as either "not invited" or "pending," after an employer has submitted its list of preselects, it means you were not selected for an interview.
If you are preselected but do not want to accept an interview opportunity, please click on the "Decline" button so that your interview spot can be offered to another student.
If an employer is listed on the Symplicity home page as having made its pre-selections, and your status with that employer is still listed as "pending," it means you have not been selected for an interview by that employer.
Be sure to leave as much time as possible between interviews that you
schedule for the same day – at least 40 minutes
is recommended. If you schedule yourself for an interview that you
later realize is too close to another interview, or for some other
is an unworkable time, try to change it in Symplicity, but if the time
period for doing so has passed, ask someone in the Career Services
Office to help
you fix the problem.
12. Show up for your interviews! The interviews begin on Tuesday, August 23rd. Most of the interviews will last 20 minutes, although a few employers choose to conduct 30 minute or 45 minute interviews. Keep in mind that you will need to be flexible, because many interviewers fall behind schedule almost immediately. Therefore, your 10:00 a.m. interview may not even START until 10:15 or 10:20. For that reason, when you are signing yourself up for interviews, it is important to leave at least 40 minutes between the end of one interview and the beginning of the next. Many of you will have the opportunity to interview several times per day, particularly during Phases One and Two.
Fall OCI interviews are conducted in several locations. All Phase One interviews will be conducted in interview rooms at the Business Career Center on the 3rd floor of the UW-Madison School of Business (Grainger Hall, which is across University Avenue from the Law School). In Phases Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven, all interviews will be conducted at the Law School, using the six interview rooms in the Career Services Office as well as various vacant faculty offices and conference rooms throughout the Law School and the Law Library. We frequently are unable to assign particular employers to specific interview rooms until the day of the interview, so during Phases Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven, you will need to check in the Symplicity system, or at the front desk of the Career Services Office, on the morning of your interview to determine the location of your interviews.
IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU ACTUALLY SHOW UP FOR EVERY INTERVIEW FOR WHICH YOU SCHEDULE YOURSELF. Nothing is more unfair to your fellow law students, or more annoying to employers, or more likely to convince an employer to stop interviewing at this Law School, than "no shows." If you bid for and obtain an interview opportunity but don't want it, DON'T SCHEDULE YOURSELF FOR AN INTERVIEW. That way, someone on the waiting list, who does want the interview, will be able to take it. If an emergency arises that will prevent you from showing up for an interview, tell us AS SOON AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN, so that we can contact someone from the waiting list, and your interview slot won't go to waste. To cancel an interview that you have already scheduled yourself for, you must give the Career Services Office THREE FULL BUSINESS DAYS NOTICE.
Bring with you, to each screening interview, a copy of your résumé, your transcript, a writing sample, and any references you would want to share.
13. Attend "Call Back" Interviews You are Offered. Remember that fall OCI interviews are screening interviews. The next step, if you have a successful screening interview, is not a job offer, but a "call back" interview. When you receive a "call back," it means the employer wants to arrange for you to visit its offices (usually at the employer's expense) for further interviews.
14. Familiarize Yourself with NALP Principles Applicable to Students. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the "Principles for Candidates" that are part of the NALP "Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities", which all law students are expected to abide by. Those Principles can be found at the front of each copy of the NALP "National Directory of Legal Employers," or on the NALP website at www.nalp.org, or at www.nalpdirectory.com. These Principles explain the kind of behavior that is expected of you during the recruitment process, and they also establish guidelines for the timing of offers and decisions.