So the effort to decide the rest of my life began in earnest today with my first OCI interview.

For those not in the law school know, OCI stands for On Campus Interviewing. Personally, I wish I could come up with some alternative explication of the acronym to convey the idea "Royal Pain in Our Collective Ass" but with only three letter to work with, two starting with vowels, I think I'll just give up and tell you OCI sucks.

OCI consists of a month-long process of bidding against about 200 other people for one of 18 or so 20-minute "interview" spots with firms that have deigned to send a few poor associates to the Cornfield College of Law campus to try and pluck a few promising students to hire for the next summer. Yes, we have not made it even halfway through the September and we must already start thinking about Summer 2004. Anyway, these "interviews" really are nothing more of a screening process, where the people lucky enough to have their bids for slots granted try and distinguish themselves enough in a 20-minute stretch to make the interviewer think that his or her firm should extend a call-back offer to them, knowing full well that few firms will offer call-backs to more than two students. The process is grueling for the employers because they meet five candidates back to back, get a short break, and then meet five more, until they have gone through their whole allotment of 20 students or so. For the students, it can seem never ending, as the process goes on for a month, often with as many as 30 or 40 firms interviewing each week. A number of my friends have no fewer than six interviews just this week.

And the great kicker in all of this is that most of the firms doing interviewing during OCI are big corporate type firms from the major metropolitan centers closest to the campus. So for us Cornfield students, if working for the Man in Chicago isn't what you want, you've got the OCI deck stacked against you, yet seeing everyone else interview makes you feel artificially pressured to get a job right away. Definitely not good times.

Anyway, having made the determination that your friendly neighborhood Hose Monster wants to return to Los Angeles at the end of law school (and I hope this doesn't make it back to my mother just yet, as I think she might drop everything and run to church and thank God for answering her prayers), my OCI participation seems minimal compared to most of the people I know at school. I had one interview today and I will have three next week, but I think that's pretty much the extent of the LA firms here that have me at all interested. And since the success rate of OCI for students tends to run closer to the "destroy your ego" side of low, I cannot say that I have high hopes that all this artificial pressure will at least end up with some results. Not that I wish to complain about that; I made the decision to return to LA knowing that I would probably have to work at it to get there. And so it goes.

Anyway, I get to run around in a suit for much of the next month and try and bullshit my way to job , not yet knowing exactly what kind of law I want to practice when I finish school. Good times ahead, I say. It's kind of exciting, in some way, but right now it just feels like a lot of artificial pressure.

Oh well. That's the game, so let's play to win.