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How to Crush It During OCI – Insider Tips from Alumni Hiring Partners

University of Houston Law Center Summer Career Chat Series

July 8, 2021


Three members of the University of Houston Law Center Class of 2006 provided an employer’s perspective on how law students can successfully navigate the On-Campus Interview Program. The virtual event, “How to Crush It During OCI – Insider Tips from Alumni Hiring Partners,” was moderated by Assistant Dean for Career Development Tiffany J. Tucker.

Panelists included:
  • Scott D. Ellis, Hiring Partner for Foley & Lardner LLP’s Houston office
  • Nicole M. Perry, Hiring Partner for Jones Day’s Houston office
  • Alex Roberts, Partner and Co-chair of Beck Redden LLP’s Hiring Committee and 2021-2023 president of the University of Houston Law Center Alumni Association

Panelists provided guidance on what to look for when researching employers, what firms are looking for in candidates, and how students can put their best foot forward during interviews and callbacks to secure an offer. Ellis said that the most successful interviewees he meets during OCI are those who are comfortable and prepared. He also added what he expects from a summer associate.

“What I’m looking for in a summer associate is someone who’s engaged, and somebody who’s going to do the work,” Ellis said. “You’re not going to be a superstar at first. You need to learn those skills and I’m really looking for somebody who’s interested in learning those skills and becoming a superstar.”

Perry suggested that attendees do their homework on firms prior to interviewing with them.

“What we look for in a summer associate candidate isn’t anything earth-shattering,” Perry said. “We really want someone who’s eager to learn and to work. I’m always looking for a level of maturity that I think is very important for the practice of law. We want someone who’s done their homework on Jones Day and someone who can identify how we’re different.”

Roberts said that when recruiting on behalf of his firm, he is looking for candidates capable of career growth.

“We are looking for people that we intend to eventually make partner,” Roberts said. “We are a small firm and we have the luxury and the limit of being quite selective in who we bring in for summers. We’re also looking for people who want to be first-chair trial lawyers. That’s a must for us. We’re looking for people who are self-motivated, who are team players, and who want to get in and get experience early.”

All panelists emphasized the importance of interview practice when preparing for interviews. The CDO offers mock interviews year-round for Law Center students and graduates.

Alex B. Roberts 713.951.6261

Visit our Summer Associate Page to learn more.

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