Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

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cccZillo
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Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby cccZillo » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:23 pm

(I copied this over from the FAQ forum to see if anyone had any first-hand experience with this problem.)

I have a bad undergrad GPA but still got into some good schools thanks to a solid LSAT. But now I’m starting to think that GPA isn’t quite behind me yet.

Perusing the NALP directory, I noticed that a lot of firms list “undergraduate performance” as one of their hiring criteria. I’ll have had four years between graduating and starting law school, but will employers even care? I like to think this is less of a problem come OCI, when actual law school grades take precedence, but am I sadly mistaken?

Also kind of on that note: When applying for 1L summer jobs early (December 1), what are the criteria that employers look at, being that there are no grades yet. I know the responses probably aren’t “yes we’ll hire you” and more likely “send us your grades when they come out,” but how does an applicant even get to that point. I’m guessing undergraduate performance is a part of it.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:40 pm

My uGPA was asked at OGI. No callback.

Anonymous User
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:27 am

I had a low GPA from undergrad and I was 7 years out from undergrad with a graduate degree and work experience. It was a serious negative against me.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:I had a low GPA from undergrad and I was 7 years out from undergrad with a graduate degree and work experience. It was a serious negative against me.


Why was the anonymous?

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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:55 am

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had a low GPA from undergrad and I was 7 years out from undergrad with a graduate degree and work experience. It was a serious negative against me.


Why was the anonymous?


I'm not a regular poster here, but the stickied post on the anonymous feature states that it's ok when discussing grades and other personal info.

linquest
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby linquest » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:59 am

Not necessarily. I've never been asked for, or submitted, my undergrad GPA or transcripts to a legal employer. Still managed to get 4 internships in law school (3 paid) and my current job practicing with a federal agency. Then again, I went to an Ivy League undergrad (though I'm glad I never had to disclose my GPA because it actually was bad!) and had 3 years of relevant work experience, so some employers might not have asked me for undergrad records where they might have asked other candidates.

As far as early 1L apps, the major considerations are work experience, quality of undergrad institution, and connections. If it's an employer that specializes in certain fields, such as a non-profit or a boutique firm, they'll usually look for evidence of a sincere interest in the field like a related major or work experience.

Come to think of it, I can't remember ever seeing a legal job (internship or attorney) posting asking for undergrad grades/transcripts. However, big caveat is that I knew I wanted to work in public interest or a boutique firm when I went into law school, so I didn't really bother looking at corporate or general practice firm postings at my school. I've definitely never seen a job ad for an experienced attorney position asking for undergrad transcripts.

keg411
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby keg411 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:15 am

Just finished the 1L job search. I left my undergrad GPA off my resume and no one asked about it.

Bumi
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Bumi » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:11 am

Tag because I'm nervous that my UGPA will neutralize the ability of my engineering degree to get me into IP, especially since my work experience is in finance and not engineering.

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Bluben
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Bluben » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:17 am

Yeah, I would like to see where this goes too.

So undergrad counts for IP?

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20121109
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby 20121109 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:24 am

Some firms at the very, very top...like V3 firms definitely ask for an undergraduate transcript, at least for 1L summer employment. But this is not a common thing. Most firms don't care about it...

I've also been told by my school's OCS that you're supposed to leave your UGPA off your resume for legal employment. The only things you should include in regards to grades are Latin honors and possibly Dean's List.

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Doritos
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Doritos » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:36 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Some firms at the very, very top...like V3 firms definitely ask for an undergraduate transcript, at least for 1L summer employment. But this is not a common thing. Most firms don't care about it...


I had multiple not "top" firms ask for my undergrad transcripts. You can try to neutralize a so-so undergrad GPA by supplementing your app with a fall grade ASAP (assuming its not bad). They look @ uGPA in order to see if you are going to be a successful law student and once they have some grades (or even just one) it presumably will lessen its importance.

Rule11
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Rule11 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:55 pm

yes. If you ever want a clerkship, undergrad credentials will matter a lot then, too.

A bad UGPA can be overcome in general, but it'll be in the mix when you apply to most jobs for the immediate future.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:21 pm

Doritos wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Some firms at the very, very top...like V3 firms definitely ask for an undergraduate transcript, at least for 1L summer employment. But this is not a common thing. Most firms don't care about it...


I had multiple not "top" firms ask for my undergrad transcripts. You can try to neutralize a so-so undergrad GPA by supplementing your app with a fall grade ASAP (assuming its not bad). They look @ uGPA in order to see if you are going to be a successful law student and once they have some grades (or even just one) it presumably will lessen its importance.

All of my 1L interviews and one of my 2L interviews requested it.

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Cupidity
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Cupidity » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:33 pm

Some firms care about UG grades a lot. 90% of firms will never even look at them, but a few like Ropes weigh them heavily. Research when you bid and make sure you don't waste an opportunity to interview.

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Cupidity
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Cupidity » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:36 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Cupidity wrote:Some firms care about UG grades a lot. 90% of firms will never even look at them, but a few like Ropes weigh them heavily. Research when you bid and make sure you don't waste an opportunity to interview.

Ropes did not ask me for mine.

Boston or NYC? Friend at boston office told me hiring committee seriously considers them.

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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:24 pm

It will have almost no effect. You're probably not going to get Cravath, and there may be a few other firms that care. But for the most part, no one asks for UG transcripts. I had three or four F's in UG and a few other bad-but-not-failing grades, and I ended up at a V5.

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vamedic03
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:01 am

I'll echo what others have said. I had an atrocious UGPA and spent 9 years finishing my under grad (I left after 2 years, worked full time for 6 years and finished my undergrad degree in a year while working full time). I had multiple V5 and V10 (NYC + DC) offers - Cravath was the only firm that asked for an undergrad transcript.

cccZillo
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby cccZillo » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:08 pm

So to summarize the thread, it seems that most firms don't care about the ugpa, but some probably will. And generally speaking, more will care during 1L than 2L (makes sense).

My follow-up question is this: What sort of can I do to mitigate the ugpa during 1L interviews (aside from getting high marks first semester of course)? Or is hoping that they don't ask for them really all I can do?

Thanks for a great thread everyone.

Anonymous User
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Re: Will this bad undergrad GPA haunt me forever?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:48 pm

Cupidity wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
Cupidity wrote:Some firms care about UG grades a lot. 90% of firms will never even look at them, but a few like Ropes weigh them heavily. Research when you bid and make sure you don't waste an opportunity to interview.

Ropes did not ask me for mine.

Boston or NYC? Friend at boston office told me hiring committee seriously considers them.



LOL no. I summered at Ropes Boston and did not give an UG transcript.




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