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
have it, obtain your Symplicity username 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
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 2015, 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 2014, 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 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 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, if possible, and by anyone else whose opinion
you value. If you wish to have your resume reviewed by OCPD, please submit your resume via email by Friday, August 1 at Noon.
6) Upload your final, error-free resume 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
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. If you don't do so, the system will not allow you to bid for interviews.
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, what its hiring criteria are, etc.
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
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. OCPD anticipates that 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 need an unofficial transcript prior to the date that they will be generated by the registrar, you can create an
unofficial transcript as a Word document. In this instance, 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 email@example.com 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.
9) Enter your bids through Symplicity by the bidding deadline for each Phase. The four bidding deadlines are: August 6 for Phase One; August 20 for Phase Two; August 27 for Phase Three; and September 3 for Phase Four. 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 and answered 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.
There is no advantage to bidding early, other than that you can turn
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.
For Fall 2014, 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 Phase Two and beyond). 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
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.
11) Sign up for Interviews. Employers will publish its 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"
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.
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. 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! Phase One interviews begin on Wednesday, August 20th. 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 on the 3rd floor of Grainger Hall (which is across University Avenue from the Law School). Phase Two, Three, and Four interviews will be 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. 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 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. To cancel an interview that you have already scheduled yourself for, you must give the Office of Career & Professional Development 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. 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.
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.