The Phases of OCI: Phase 1 – Bidding

Now that OCI season is upon us, it is important to understand the phases of the OCI process, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Bidding
  • On-campus (1st round) interviews
  • Call-back (2nd round) interviews
  • Offers

Below you will find details about the Bidding Phase (i.e., the application phase) and tips on what you should be doing during this time.

1.  Log in to Symplicity at

Your username should be your law school e-mail address, and your password should be your nine-digit DUID number (87*******) unless you have changed it.

2.  Update your “Academic Information” in Symplicity to reflect your class year for the 2017-18 academic year.

You must manually make this change in the “My Account” section as Symplicity does not automatically change your year in school after you complete each year.

3.  Update your resume.

Be sure to add any of the following to your resume if they apply:

  • Summer 2017 job
  • Fall 2017 job (if known)
  • Honors, awards, and/or scholarships you may have received
  • GPA and class rank (class rank should be available prior to the OCI application deadline of July 18, 2017)
  • Law school activities such as law journals, moot court, SBA, other student organizations, etc.=

4.  Have your resume reviewed.

To have your resume reviewed by a CDO counselor, please make your request no later than July 10, 2017 via an appointment in Symplicity or an e-mail to your counselor.

5.  Upload your resume in Symplicity.

From the “Documents” tab, click on “Add New,” name the document, choose the document type (i.e., “Resume”), select the resume you wish to upload, then click on “Submit.”  It is important to upload your resume in advance, otherwise Symplicity will not allow you to bid for interviews.  Symplicity will allow you to upload more than one resume as you may have different resumes tailored to different positions.  If you do upload multiple resumes, be sure to give each resume a unique and descriptive name (e.g. “IP Resume,” “Firm ABC Resume,” etc.) so you don’t inadvertently upload the wrong resume.

6.  View the OCI employers.

In Symplicity, click on “OCI” and then choose the session you are interested in viewing from the drop-down panel (the session should be “Fall 2017 OCI”).  A list of registered employers for the session should appear, and that list contains employers who are interviewing students in your class year (i.e., a 2L’s list will be different from a 3L’s list because many OCI employers do not interview 3Ls).  To view additional information about an employer and the position they have posted, click on the “Review” button to the left of the employer listing.

7.  Research the OCI employers.

While the OCI application deadline isn’t until July 18, begin your research now! Pay attention to which offices the employer is interviewing for (the offices may differ from the employer’s headquarters), and pay attention to what practice areas are offered at each location.  For example, the Denver office may not offer all the practice areas that the firm lists on it website.  Also, quality is more important that quantity, so make a short list and be intentional about which employers you wish to pursue. If you would not accept an interview if offered, then you should not bid on that employer.

8.  Draft customized cover letters for each employer for which you plan to bid.

Draft a customized cover for each employer for which you seek to submit a bid. Customization is key! Also, in the words of John F. Kennedy, Jr., ask not what the employer can do for you; ask what you can do for the employer. Demonstrate the value you will add to the employer and its clients rather than discussing why that employer would be a great fit for you.

9.  Have a sample cover letter reviewed.

To have one of your cover letters reviewed by a CDO counselor, please make your request no later than July 10, 2017 via an appointment in Symplicity or an e-mail to your counselor. Due to the number of students participating in OCI, the CDO counselors unfortunately do not have time to review every cover letter that every student plans to submit. They will, however, try to review one cover letter per student so long as they receive it by the above deadline.

10.  Upload all required documents into Symplicity.

Most of the participating employers have requested a resume, cover letter, transcript, and writing sample.  Once you have created these documents, you will need to upload them into Symplicity in the “Documents” section.  Regarding transcripts, an unofficial transcript will suffice unless the employer has specifically requested an official transcript. For instructions on how to obtain your transcript, click here.  Class rank should be available from the Registrar prior to the OCI application deadline.

11.  Submit your bids.

To submit a bid, click the “Review” button to the left of the employer’s name.  From the employer’s page, select from the drop-down menu the documents (e.g., resume, cover letter, etc.) requested.  Once all of your requested documents are uploaded, click on the “Apply” button.  NOTE: Symplicity will not allow you to submit a bid unless all required documents have been uploaded into your Documents section and are attached to the application.

12.  Editing documents after you have submitted your bids.

You may make changes to your bids up until 11:59 p.m. on July 18, 2017.  Employers will not have access to your applications until after the July 18 deadline, so there is no advantage to bidding early other than crossing those applications off your to-do list. If you edit any of your documents and upload them in the “Documents” area, make sure you also upload the new documents in your applications.

13.  Attend the OCI Expo on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 from 5-6:30 p.m.

After the application deadline, you will have an opportunity to meet many of the participating employers at the OCI Expo before the employers make their final decisions on whom to invite for a first-round interview. We highly recommend that you make arrangements to attend this important event. Employers will have their own tables, and representatives will be on hand to put faces to names and to answer your questions. The Expo will take place at the law school Forum on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 from 5-6:30 p.m. Business attire is recommended.

14.  Start checking Symplicity! Employers will make their “Pre-select” decisions beginning July 26.

Employers will begin to make their “Pre-select” decisions the day after the OCI Expo on July 26. “Pre-select” is Symplicity’s term for students who have been offered a first-round, on-campus interview. If you have been selected to interview with an employer, you will see “Pre-select” next to the employer’s name.

Stay tuned for information about the remaining phases of OCI. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Felicia Ho or your assigned counselor in the CDO.

By Felicia Ho
Felicia Ho Career Consultant Felicia Ho