Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

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Anonymous User
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Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:06 pm

first semester: 3 hs, 2 ps. One of the hs is in lrw.

1. anyone know where these grades would place one in the class? i've heard +/- top third, but that seems too high based on anecdotal evidence. most people i've spoken to got like one or two hs.

2. i want to work at wachtell. have i already precluded myself from this based on my decidedly mediocre 1st semester? to the extent that all hs is a realistic proposition at hls, that is what i plan on doing this semester. so....is a no-hitter semester at least possible?

3. is there at all a degree of predictability in law school grades, or are exams seriously as arbitrary as they seem? People who did shit all semester got hs, others who grinded got ps. and i know of at least one slacker that got a deans scholar.

thank you in advance folks.

smashedpumpkins
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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby smashedpumpkins » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:16 pm

I know nothing about any of those firms, legal recruiting, or what it takes to get there... BUT i was interested in figuring out what our grades meant.


"A couple of Autoadmit posts suggest that 4/10 Hs is median, 8/10 is top 25-30%, and beyond that distinctions are made by 9/10 Hs and a bunch of book prizes."

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 3&t=146018


I haven't talked to anyone in my class about what grades they got, so I have no idea what's typical.

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vamedic03
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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:18 pm

General comments:

(1) Don't focus on a single firm. That's great that you want to work for Wachtell (I hope it's because you like the particular sort of M&A that they do). You can't control their decision making, regardless of your grades. It's ok to want certain sorts of firms, or certain practice areas, but you can't place all your hopes on a single firm.

(2) Law school grades are not arbitrary. Some people learn faster than others how to take law school exams and some people never learn. While some decision making is certainly arbitrary - i.e., where to draw the line (under/over inclusion problems), there are clear distinctions between general ranges of exams. People who do well tend to continue doing well. People will certainly see some variation, but not dramatic variation in grades.

(3) It's a fallacy to equate amount of work, style of work, etc. with ability and performance. Grades aren't based on effort, hours of study, etc. Rather, they're based on exam performance. Some people will have stronger innate abilities than others. Likewise, people will find that different study techniques work for them. In short, grades aren't determined by whoever labored the hardest in the library.

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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:20 pm

i find it hard to believe that 4 hs is just median. and 8hs has to be at least top 15%...

i don't think hs are normally distributed throughout the class. i would bet the median number is closer to 2 or 3 after two semesters.

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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby Nogameisfair » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:first semester: 3 hs, 2 ps. One of the hs is in lrw.

1. anyone know where these grades would place one in the class? i've heard +/- top third, but that seems too high based on anecdotal evidence. most people i've spoken to got like one or two hs.

2. i want to work at wachtell. have i already precluded myself from this based on my decidedly mediocre 1st semester? to the extent that all hs is a realistic proposition at hls, that is what i plan on doing this semester. so....is a no-hitter semester at least possible?

3. is there at all a degree of predictability in law school grades, or are exams seriously as arbitrary as they seem? People who did shit all semester got hs, others who grinded got ps. and i know of at least one slacker that got a deans scholar.

thank you in advance folks.


I think your best bet for getting the firm specific questions is just to ask OCS. I know my school has GPA statistics for each firm that comes to OCI.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:23 pm

vamedic03 wrote:Law school grades are not arbitrary.

I will just say that they can certainly feel more arbitrary at HLS, because the system has fewer data points and can make it hard to figure out where you really stand relative to your peers, especially after only a single semester.

That said, 3 H's in one semester is a positive sign for OP.

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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:26 pm

your grades aren't mediocre. i had the same grades and got offers from davis polk and cravath, etc., as well as many dc firms. wachtell is something of a black box, and your chances would certainly be better if you were in the running for the sears prize, but you're not precluded from anything because of your grades now.

i agree with the advice that you not focus on a single firm. "i want to work at wachtell" is much less productive than "i want to work in X practice, at a firm of Y size in city Z." although i must say there's no way you really know what you want yet (that will sort itself out to a small extent during EIP and callbacks) so don't stake your self-worth on getting a 2L job with the shiniest firm out there.

smashedpumpkins
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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby smashedpumpkins » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i find it hard to believe that 4 hs is just median. and 8hs has to be at least top 15%...

i don't think hs are normally distributed throughout the class. i would bet the median number is closer to 2 or 3 after two semesters.



Yeah, I'm sure their posts were pretty speculative as well, so that could definitely be wrong. Does OCS ever give us a breakdown of median GPA (or # of Hs) by firm? How else would we be supposed to know what types of places would hire us?

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby Nom Sawyer » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:00 pm

haha never let law students do math... There's no mathematical way for 4 H's to be Median... Given only 37% H's, that absolute highest median would be 3.7 H's if teachers assigned grades randomly.

Obviously this isn't the case, and while grades do have some elements of randomness, there clearly are students with 5-8+ H's. Mathematically this means 3H's should be around the higher end of the possible median. Thus Vanwinkle is probably right in saying that 2-3 H's out of 10 is the usual median.

smashedpumpkins
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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby smashedpumpkins » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:03 pm

Nom Sawyer wrote:haha never let law students do math... There's no mathematical way for 4 H's to be Median... Given only 37% H's, that absolute highest median would be 3.7 H's if teachers assigned grades randomly.

Obviously this isn't the case, and while grades do have some elements of randomness, there clearly are students with 5-8+ H's. Mathematically this means 3H's should be around the higher end of the possible median. Thus Vanwinkle is probably right in saying that 2-3 H's out of 10 is the usual median.



Hah, I was under the impression that the curve wasn't enforced and some profs deviated upward from that 37%.

Edit: I found one of the discussions that suggested median was 4+ Hs.
http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thr ... 4#15652885

I'm not trying to be contentious or say that random XO dudes are always right. Just slightly bewildered about our grading system.
Last edited by smashedpumpkins on Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

citydweller09
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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby citydweller09 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:06 pm

I found a page on the OCS website about strategic bidding for EIP. It doesn't say what median is or anything but it does indicate roughly what kinds of firms we should bid on based on our grades.

https://www.law.harvard.edu/current/car ... index.html

The relevant portion:

1 or more LPs and mostly Ps: No more than 5 highly selective firms on your bid list of 25-35 firms. Make an appointment with an OCS advisor.
Mostly Ps: No more than 7-8 highly selective firms on your bid list of 25-35 firms.
Mix of Ps and Hs: More evenly split your bids between highly selective and other firms on your bid list of 20-30 firms.
More than 5 - 6 Hs and no LPs: Bid list can be focused on more highly selective firms but have a few target firms on your bid list of 15-25 firms


Edited to add another interesting tidbit from the page:

If you have one or more of the following characteristics, you can add a virtual “H” to your transcript:

* Relevant work experience
* Advanced degrees
* Geographic ties to the area
* Diversity
* Language abilities
* Strength of your undergraduate institution and relevant course of study. For example, if you majored in business or economics, you might have a slight edge in the process. Similarly, those with a background in one of the hard sciences, may more easily market themselves to EIP employers
* Strength of your interviewing skills

Conversely, if you are bidding in regions known to be particularly competitive, such as Washington, D.C. or San Francisco, subtract a virtual “H” from your transcript.

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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:11 pm

smashedpumpkins wrote:
Nom Sawyer wrote:haha never let law students do math... There's no mathematical way for 4 H's to be Median... Given only 37% H's, that absolute highest median would be 3.7 H's if teachers assigned grades randomly.

Obviously this isn't the case, and while grades do have some elements of randomness, there clearly are students with 5-8+ H's. Mathematically this means 3H's should be around the higher end of the possible median. Thus Vanwinkle is probably right in saying that 2-3 H's out of 10 is the usual median.



Hah, I was under the impression that the curve wasn't enforced and some profs deviated upward from that 37%.


The curve isn't enforced. That doesn't mean that professors don't strictly adhere to the "recommended" curve.

Most professors don't give more than 37% Hs in the large classes, particularly 1L classes. If anything, they exercise the discretion in terms of not giving out LPs and giving out the remaining 63% in Ps.

From anecdotal evidence in last year's 1L class and in speaking to OCS, 4 Hs with no LPs was slightly above median. If you got the same grades as this semester, 6Hs and 4Ps would be between Top 25% and Top 33%.

smashedpumpkins
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Re: Help HLS 1L figure out shot, if any, at Wachtell/Cravath/DPW

Postby smashedpumpkins » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:14 pm

citydweller09 wrote:I found a page on the OCS website about strategic bidding for EIP. It doesn't say what median is or anything but it does indicate roughly what kinds of firms we should bid on based on our grades.

https://www.law.harvard.edu/current/car ... index.html

The relevant portion:

1 or more LPs and mostly Ps: No more than 5 highly selective firms on your bid list of 25-35 firms. Make an appointment with an OCS advisor.
Mostly Ps: No more than 7-8 highly selective firms on your bid list of 25-35 firms.
Mix of Ps and Hs: More evenly split your bids between highly selective and other firms on your bid list of 20-30 firms.
More than 5 - 6 Hs and no LPs: Bid list can be focused on more highly selective firms but have a few target firms on your bid list of 15-25 firms


Edited to add another interesting tidbit from the page:

If you have one or more of the following characteristics, you can add a virtual “H” to your transcript:

* Relevant work experience
* Advanced degrees
* Geographic ties to the area
* Diversity
* Language abilities
* Strength of your undergraduate institution and relevant course of study. For example, if you majored in business or economics, you might have a slight edge in the process. Similarly, those with a background in one of the hard sciences, may more easily market themselves to EIP employers
* Strength of your interviewing skills

Conversely, if you are bidding in regions known to be particularly competitive, such as Washington, D.C. or San Francisco, subtract a virtual “H” from your transcript.


Wow, both of those are interesting. I know I'm supposed to get back on my spring semester grind, but I'm having trouble motivating myself this semester.




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