Described below are more detailed instructions on what you need to do, and when, concerning OCI:
1) Obtain your Symplicity user name and password.
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 Office of Career & Professional Development (OCPD), and we will manually reset your password. (Remember: the University of Wisconsin Law School's Symplicity site is different from the Symplicity sites that you may be using to participate in any of the Off-Campus Recruitment Programs.)
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.
4) Update your resume.
Adding a description of what you did during the summer of 2016, any honors and awards you may have received, your current GPA and class standing (if you choose -- this information is optional), 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 late July, 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 OCPD and on our website for formatting ideas and suggestions about how to describe particular activities.
5) Have your resume reviewed by someone in the OCPD
And by anyone else whose opinion you value. If you wish to have your resume reviewed by OCPD, please submit your resume via email.
6) Upload your final, error-free resumes onto Symplicity.
Go to the "Documents" tab, 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 "Submit." After you've uploaded the resumes, you can view them either as a Word document or a PDF file.
It is critical that you upload your resumes. If you don't do so, the system will not allow you to bid for interviews. You may upload more than one resume. You may have a resume specifically tailored to certain positions. Make sure you give your resumes descriptive names (e.g. tax-based resume, IP resume) so you are able to easily upload your desired resume for the relevant bid.
7) Research employers who will be coming to interview.
To do this, click on the "OCI" tab, and then choose the Phase you are interested in seeing from the drop-down options. Once you choose a Phase, the list of registered employers for that Phase will display. Click on the "Review" button to the left of an employer's name to view 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. Pay attention to information about which offices the employer is interviewing for (this may be different than the headquarters city listed behind the employer name!), what its hiring criteria are, etc. Begin this research early in the summer! You should only bid on employers with which you would accept an interview. Do not bid at random and do your research before you bid. This avoids wasting bids and taking spots from others who may really wish to interview with a particular employer.
8) Upload your cover letters and other required documents.
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 list of 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.)
A word about transcripts: Most employers will require submission of an unofficial transcript. These unofficial transcripts will be generated by the University's registrar's office and uploaded into your accounts prior to the bid deadline. OCPD will update you on the progress of this effort throughout the summer.
If you have not signed your transcript release form which allows the transcript to be uploaded to Symplicity, please do so here.
Information about your class standing is on the law school's website at http://law.wisc.edu/career/new_grading_system.html.
9) Enter your bids
Through Symplicity by the bidding deadline for each Phase. You must complete your bidding by midnight, Eastern Daylight time (i.e., 11 p.m. Central Daylight time), on each bidding deadline.
To bid: Click the "Review" button to the left of the name of any employer you want to bid. Once on the employer's screen, you will be able to select, from a pull-down menu, the appropriate version of all required documents (resume, cover letter, etc.) needed for the bid. If necessary, and if the firm is recruiting for multiple locations, you can also type in your "preferred location". Once you've uploaded all required documents, click on the "Apply" button. (NOTE: You will not be allowed to apply unless you have all required documents for the employer (a) uploaded into your Documents section and (b) attached to the application.)
You may edit your documents and change your bids as often as you'd like, up until bidding closes for that Phase. However, if you change any of your documents in the documents section of Symplicity, make sure you re-upload the edited documents to your bid or bids. The documents are not changed automatically in the bid section of Symplicity. 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. Further, no documents are submitted to the employers until after the bidding deadline passes.
Students will be permitted to bid on up to 16 employers in Phase One. Thereafter, bidding will not be limited (i.e., a student may bid for as many employers as s/he wishes in Phases 2 and beyond). We rely on the bid limit 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 the firm requires a technical background you do not have).
10) Multi-Office Employers.
Most Fall OCI employers reserve one interview room, send a few interviewers, 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. To the extent you are interested in a particular geographic area, you should highlight that interest in your cover letter and/or in the "geographic preference" option on the Bid screen. It is important you actually specify your preference. It is much easier for the employer to place you if you have expressed excitement and desire to go to a particular location.
11) Sign up for Interviews.
Employers will publish their selections for interviews no later than one week after each bidding deadline. To see if you have been selected for an interview, log on to Symplicity, click on "OCI," and then choose the appropriate Phase from the "Sessions" drop-down menu. A list of the employers you bid on will appear, and in the column headed "Invitations," you'll see either "invited," "alternate," "not invited" or "pending."
If you've been "invited," you have been selected for an interview, and you should click on the "Accept Preselect" button, which will take you to that employer's interview schedule. Select an interview time and click on "Submit." If selected students do not sign up for an interview, students listed as "alternates" by that employer will be notified by email that they can sign up for interviews on the last day of interview sign-ups.
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. If your status is listed as "not selected" after the selection deadline, it means that you were not selected or that the employer failed to make their selections by the deadline, so make sure to check back.
Be sure to leave as much time as possible between interviews that you schedule for the same day – at least 20 minutes is recommended. If you schedule yourself for an interview that you later realize is too close to another interview, or for some other reason is an unworkable time, try to change it in Symplicity. If the time period for doing so has passed, ask someone in OCPD to help you fix the problem.
12) Show up for your interviews!
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 try to leave at least 20 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. If you see an impending conflict as employers run late, talk to an OCPD staff member immediately.
Fall OCI interviews are conducted at the Law School, using the interview rooms in OCPD 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 you will need to check Symplicity or at the OCPD front desk on the morning of your interview to determine the location of your interview.
YOU MUST SHOW UP FOR EVERY INTERVIEW YOU SCHEDULE. 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, DO NOT SCHEDULE YOURSELF FOR AN INTERVIEW. You should have already made decisions regarding potential employers during the bid process, but if something comes up that changes your mind, do not interview. That way, an alternate, 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 the OCPD 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. If you accept a pre-select and schedule an interview, you MUST ATTEND THAT INTERVIEW UNLESS YOU ACCEPT A JOB OFFER PRIOR TO THE INTERVIEW OR YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY.
Bring with you, to each screening interview, a copy of all the documents you submitted including your résumé and transcript. At times, the interviewer may not have your documents and you should be able to provide them with copies. Additionally, bring copies of your writing sample.
13) Promptly Respond to Callback Invitations.
Fall OCI interviews are screening interviews. If you have a successful screening interview, you will not receive 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. If your priorities have changed, and you no longer wish to pursue employment with an organization which has extended a callback invitation, promptly respond to their invitation and politely decline.
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.