Know When to Knock


Bid schedules have come out!  You log in and check the screen.  What?  You didn’t get an interview slot for your top firm.  Your grades meet the cut-off, so that can’t be it.  What’s going on?  What are you going to do?

Fear not.  You still have an opportunity to show what you’ve got.  You just need to know when to knock!

Do you try to knock right after someone leaves the interview room? You may have seen some of your other classmates do this. You knock on the door, walk in and hand over your resume, transcript and writing sample. Then you scurry away.

Is this an exercise in futility?  If you do the drop and scurry, yes. The drive-by drop of documents doesn’t do much to enhance your chances.

Pick the right time! First, find out what the interview schedule is for the day.  Look for a natural break in the interview schedule of at least 10-20 minutes and make note.  Interview schedules usually contain a morning and afternoon break, along with a break during lunchtime and of course at the end of the day.  Target one of these times to invite yourself into an interview.

Take advantage of the time!  Second, rather than just dropping off documents, use the extra time that you have to introduce yourself to the interviewer.  This is where your prior research about the firm and interviewer will help as an ice breaker.  You’ll need to be able to give your 30-second elevator speech to quickly pitch yourself.  At this point, the interviewer will either thank you and end the time or invite you to sit and spend a few more minutes.  If the latter happens, bingo!  You’ve just scored your interview.  Make the most of it!

Putting yourself out there and taking the risk shows initiative, which is one of the attributes that law firms are looking for.  Dropping off your credentials and walking out is not enough.  You have to seize the opportunity and show the interviewers why they should choose you even if you didn’t get the interview slot.

I have called back door knockers and know of many other lawyers who have done the same.  But you have limited time to make an impression.  So be prepared to take advantage of that time!

Ascend Legal offers consulting services to prepare you for the OCI process.  For more information, visit