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How to Prepare for OCI

It's already August. For law students, that means on campus interviews, more commonly known as "OCI." OCI is where fledgling, soon-to-be-lawyers take some of the very first steps down their career path.

You've sent out your resume and been matched for interviews. You have your suit pressed and a haircut scheduled for the day before. Now what? Here are five tips for preparing for OCI, whether you've got two days until your first interview or two weeks.

It's not hard to find prestigious legal work when you've graduated from a top law school. While the rest of the world's law school grads may struggle to find employment in a slumping legal market, it seems like every Harvard alum is given an honorary Supreme Court clerkship. We're pretty sure a Yale diploma comes with an entry level professorship somewhere in the Midwest.

But not everyone is impressed with grads from top-ranked schools. Take Adam Leitman Bailey, who runs a New York real estate law firm. When it comes to finding new talent, Bailey has a unique hiring rule: dogs and Ivy League grads need not apply.

Law schools tend to have a limited reach. If you didn't attend a top ranked school, say anything between Yale and Georgetown, your school's reputation is often limited to the immediate geographic area. Cardozo may be a great law school, but not many Angelenos will know that.

So it can be nice to hear that your small school is actually, literally, underrated. Bloomberg Businessweek is here to give a small handful of indebted grads the warm and fuzzies, having just released its list of the 10 most underrated law schools. Who made the cut? Which law schools are the tops when it comes to being underrated?

The Uniform Bar Exam is about to get more, well, uniform. The UBE, which provides one test and one score but portability to the 16 different states what accept it, was recently adopted by New York. The Empire State's 15,000-some bar examinees will sit for the UBE for the first time next summer.

Those New Yorkers, along with Alaskans, Coloradans, and Alabamans, may be getting some company from the Best Coast -- if legal academics have their say. Law professors from throughout California are currently pushing for the state to adopt the UBE, according to the Los Angeles Times.

If you're a law student or recent graduate, you're probably aware by now that finding legal work that pays can be difficult. For a law student looking to gain important legal experience, or young lawyers just starting out, it can be tempting to offer your services for free.

We're not talking pro bono representation of the indigent here, but unpaid internships, volunteer attorney positions, and no-cost legal services for otherwise paying customers. Should you ever do it?

This article begs the question: "Do lawyers still need business cards?" The simple answer is, "Yes you do." Just as your profiles on LinkedIn or FindLaw connect you to the digital realm, your business card connects you to the physical realm (which is still a part of reality, last I checked...).

These dos and don'ts will help you make a great business card and use it to further the success of your law practice.

If you're thinking to yourself, "Bridges? What bridges?" Then it may already be too late. Developing a strong career path involves cultivating relationships with all your professional connections from day one.

You may also be thinking, "What's the big deal? Will burning a bridge or two actually matter?" Like most industries, the legal field is surprisingly small. You know all the legal professionals that pop up on your LinkedIn account? Those are your potential bridges, and they exist as a finite number. Although you shouldn't burn any of them, you should especially not burn bridges with your employers.

It's not exactly the glamorous legal work shown on "The Good Wife" -- or even "Night Court" -- but document review makes up a fair share of many attorneys' work. In fact, document review is one of the great unifiers of the legal profession. Highly paid associates at BigLaw firms often slog through tedious document review just like their poorly paid contract attorney counterparts.

But is document review even the practice of law? Not according to one lawyer, who is arguing that his year plus of doc review for Skadden was so rote and mechanical it couldn't possibly be considered legal work -- and thus, he should be entitled to significant overtime pay.

The legal industry has seen plenty of technologically induced changes over the past decade, as e-discovery, online marketing and advances in legal research reshape the way lawyers work. As part of a symposium on the "legal profession's monopoly" last year, legal scholars argued that "machine intelligence" is on the verge of further revolutionizing the legal industry. The changes could be similar to the undoing of print journalism following the rise of Internet media.

Are such legal futurists just applying the typical clichés about "disruption" and the need to "adapt or die" applied to the legal industry? Absolutely. But there could be more to it than just that.

Whether you're on the job hunt, searching for a mentor, or just trying to connect with other professionals, you're going to want to network. Developing a strong professional network lets you keep ahead on industry developments, helps inform you of new jobs and legal opportunities, and provides support should you need advice or assistance.

But, making a connection takes more than a handshake and a business card. If you're a bore -- or a boar -- while networking, you may be doing more harm to yourself than good. So, keep from turning off potential connections by avoiding these three common networking faux pas: