Law School GPA vs Class Rank

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
Repartee16
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:00 am

Law School GPA vs Class Rank

Postby Repartee16 » Tue May 01, 2012 12:39 am

I'm going to be applying this upcoming cycle (taking the June LSAT) and had a question about the varying curves of the different law schools. My question is, during OCI, do firms that are conducting interviews place more emphasis on class rank or GPA from law school? It seems the lower down the totem pole, the grading curves get more and more strict. I guess the hypothetical situation is if a school has a curve of 2.6, and you're in the top quarter with a 3.0, however someone from a different school has a 3.3 at exactly median, are those discrepancies going to play a major role in judging potential candidates? Or does the interviewer mainly look at class rank due to different schools having different curves for grade distributions?

Any light anyone can shed on this would be greatly appreciated. And an extra thank you to anyone who can answer why higher ranked institutions have more lenient grading scales :)

User avatar
Ludo!
Posts: 4764
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: Law School GPA vs Class Rank

Postby Ludo! » Tue May 01, 2012 12:45 am

Absolutely class rank. They know every school grades differently. Usually schools give them a ranking guide at OCI so they know where each GPA falls.

e: As far as your question about why lower ranked law schools have lower curves, the only explanation I can think of is that so when they say your scholarship stipulation is a 2.7 or whatever you think "oh hey that's easy I can get at least a C+ average!" and they hope you don't bother to look up that 2.7 is like top 10% or some shit. No clue if that's the real reason, but sounds plausible

User avatar
bceagles182
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:53 pm

Re: Law School GPA vs Class Rank

Postby bceagles182 » Tue May 01, 2012 12:50 am

Repartee16 wrote:I'm going to be applying this upcoming cycle (taking the June LSAT) and had a question about the varying curves of the different law schools. My question is, during OCI, do firms that are conducting interviews place more emphasis on class rank or GPA from law school? It seems the lower down the totem pole, the grading curves get more and more strict. I guess the hypothetical situation is if a school has a curve of 2.6, and you're in the top quarter with a 3.0, however someone from a different school has a 3.3 at exactly median, are those discrepancies going to play a major role in judging potential candidates? Or does the interviewer mainly look at class rank due to different schools having different curves for grade distributions?

Any light anyone can shed on this would be greatly appreciated. And an extra thank you to anyone who can answer why higher ranked institutions have more lenient grading scales :)


Firms typically have a GPA cutoff that varies for each individual school from which they recruit regularly, so it is effectively done by class rank. For example, it was leaked last year that the Sullivan & Cromwell GPA cutoff for Michigan is 3.7. That's an extreme example though because S&C is one of the most grade obsessed firms around.

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/09/an-insid ... g-process/
Last edited by bceagles182 on Tue May 01, 2012 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
bceagles182
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:53 pm

Re: Law School GPA vs Class Rank

Postby bceagles182 » Tue May 01, 2012 12:57 am

I should add that there is usually a single GPA cutoff for all of the schools that the firm does not typically recruit from. So, generally speaking, most big firms have individualized GPA cutoffs for every school in tier 1, and then also every school in market. And then all other schools will have a single GPA cutoff (which is quite high).

I know this because I know people in recruiting. Firms pretty much never publicly release their cutoffs.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11725
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Law School GPA vs Class Rank

Postby kalvano » Tue May 01, 2012 1:01 am

As Ludovico said, it will all be done based on rank, not grades. Top 10% is top 10%, regardless of what the actual GPA is. Firms that come to your school will probably know how the school grades. If you plan on applying to firms that do not come, then it needs to say on your resume, right next to your GPA, what your rank is, perhaps the relevant cutoffs as well.

For instance, mine looks something like this: GPA 3.000 (Top 33% —3.015, Top 50% — 2.910).

That way, firms get a sense of what your GPA actually means at your school.

Repartee16
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Law School GPA vs Class Rank

Postby Repartee16 » Tue May 01, 2012 1:07 am

I think I might have double posted, not sure if TLS is lagging or not...

That's good to hear. My target schools are SMU/Houston - Alabama - LSU. I wouldn't mind working in either of the markets. Food from Texas and Louisiana are very suitable to my taste buds :) Alabama has a pretty generous curve but I guess having a 3.0 from there is bottom quarter it seems and top quarter at LSU haha.
Last edited by Repartee16 on Tue May 01, 2012 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Repartee16
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Law School GPA vs Class Rank

Postby Repartee16 » Tue May 01, 2012 1:12 am

Thank you everyone for all of your responses, they were very helpful!

de5igual
Posts: 1463
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:52 pm

Re: Law School GPA vs Class Rank

Postby de5igual » Thu May 03, 2012 5:45 pm

The only time I can think of when having a lower median curve hurts is when a job/internship position requires a minimum 3.0 GPA threshold (or some random GPA) across the board. This obviously helps out those with 3.3 medians vs those with 2.7 medians.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], maddawg2020, Mhr and 2 guests