BruceWayne wrote:somewhatwayward wrote:You are again projecting your personal experience onto not only everyone at UVA but everyone at all non-HYS T14s. You are right that bad grades will keep you out of many firms and decrease your chances at getting a firm job. But as far as I can tell at CLS, they don't act as an absolute bar to a firm job, mainly because there are hundreds of firms who have different requirements and needs. Below a 3.0 or multiple B-s definitely gets dicey, but very few people are that low. I personally know two people at CLS with below a 3.0 who got jobs through EIP....those two people may make up 5-10% of people with grades that low. But you are implying median is the cutoff, not 3.0. That is simply not empirically true. 85% of the CLS c/o 2012 who participated in EIP got offers (I have seen the data). Some kids with terrible grades may not participate (although I think that is a dumb decision - I mean, why not?), so maybe firms aren't going down to the bottom 10% of the class, but they are clearly going below median regularly. Big law is not "VERY HARD" to achieve at below median (but not bottom of the class) from CLS. It is, however, unpredictable. Median people will fail to get offers while my friends with sub-3.0 will. This next point, however, I agree on....
First, I think you are evaluating some of what I'm saying in too pedantic a fashion. I certainly realize that some people below median at non HYS top 14's get biglaw. What I am saying is that their chances are AWFUL. Go talk to the vast majority of people below median at non HYS top 14s and see how many of them are headed to biglaw. The nlj 250 charts show this alone (again I realize that just because 40%, for example of a school on the nlj chart gets biglaw that that doesn't mean it's exactly the top 40%).
You may disagree but let me say something that you and Tiago's post both highlight that I think is doing more for your school than you realize. In fact, I believe that's why they recently changed their policy. These big firms DEFINITELY have hard and fast cutoffs. That's why it's best to have a very murky grading system--particularly for grades below the median. From what you and Tiago are describing Columbia has enough damn sense to make it VERY difficult to get grades below a B (unlike idiotic schools like UVA that allow professors to give out ANY grade they want as long as the MEAN of the course is a 3.3). For most biglaw firms that is going to be an absolute cutoff. Thus, by making it very difficult to get that sort of grade at CLS, your school has set up a system where it's actually difficult for a student to get the grades that would put them below every big firm's cutoff. Now don't get me wrong--I don't think that's the only thing helping CLS out in regards to placing well. I personally believe that they have sort of a perfect storm for keeping employment high as a non top 14. They are in the city with the most big firm jobs, while being an ivy league top 14. That's perfect because it combines the top 14 prestige that people often overestimate with the regional factor (which people often underestimate). Kids at Columbia can intern during the year with major legal employers and network in a city with a ton of lawyers. That's CRITICAL for a below median student--all while KEEPING the top 14 prestige.
I agree that UVA's grading system and their preselect system is screwing the below median students over. I didn't apply to UVA and I am glad I didn't consider it because I wasn't savvy enough when I was a 0L to understand that UVA's grading system and preselect system were a real liability. They are protecting the interests of the top students at the expense of the interests of the bottom students, which is stupid because the top students don't need OCI to get the firm job they desire. Even if they don't get Wiliams & Connolly in the lottery, they can always shoot them an email or drop by their hospitality suite, and they will get an interview outside the system. The same cannot be said of students at the bottom of the class.
But I still disagree that below median CLS students have "awful" chances at a big law job. They are not great but not awful either. You can see it with the 85% figure. Assuming everyone in the top half got jobs (which we know is not how it works), that still leaves 70% of the below median students getting offers at EIP. Now that figure will overstate your chances probably because we know not everyone participates in EIP and I would guess that students with low grades are disproportionately represented among non-participants. Thus, the pool of people who did participate, 85% of whom got offers, probably have a median GPA that is actually maybe the 55th percentile of the class as a whole or whatever....meaning that some of that 70% are actually people at or above the class-as-a-whole's median but not the EIP participants median.
TL;DR: CLS students below median probably have at least a 50% chance of getting a firm job, which I don't think is awful.