During On-Campus Interview Season, Firms See Intense Competition for Top Talent
Hiring Partner Renee Covitt spoke with The American Lawyer about the impact of COVID-19 on the On-Campus Interview (OCI) season for firms and law students across the country. The pandemic pushed the OCI period from August of 2020 to January of 2021. The OCI process this year is forcing firms to innovate, while the virtual process has heightened competition for top talent, especially as firms compete to find diverse law students. Law firms have historically reached out to law students with offers of summer employment before the beginning of OCI. And this year, sustained demand for top talent and the delayed schedule have enticed some firms to again sign up top associates early.
Ms. Covitt noted that Holland & Knight met with candidates who reached out in 2020 but didn’t seek out talent. “We’re not trying to get candidates before the OCI process, we like to do it the way we’re supposed to,” she said. But she said she thinks other large firms are reaching out to candidates early. “We’ve talked to candidates who started the OCI process with formal offers from firms,” she said. Compared with previous years, recruiting in 2020 has made the 2021 OCI process more competitive than previous years, Ms. Covitt continued.