Drop in grades and the summer associate?

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nigelfrost
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Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:15 am

3Ls and 2Ls that know:

I have a summer associate position lined up in DC this year with an AM 100 firm. My GPA coming out of 1L put me in the top 25%, but I also had some good networking with this particular firm. I just got my Fall 2L grades back and my Cumulative GPA is down .03 points. Still waiting on class rankings for the semester.

Question: how much will this ding me during the summer? I realize things vary by firm, but does anyone have a similar experience with this? Am I needlessly worrying?

nigelfrost
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:59 am

Nothing?

Machine Spirit
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Machine Spirit » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:02 pm

....really?

.03? Really?

nigelfrost
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:04 pm

Well, I don't know! I'm worried, alright?! I feel like firms today are using ANY excuse not to hire people and I was just curious if other people had some kind of experience with this.

Machine Spirit
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Machine Spirit » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:08 pm

Lol...fair enough.

Stop worrying. That's the clearest answer I can give you.

Firm's will no-offer based upon grades alone only if you've basically had a free-fall in GPA. Regardless, your offer is going to, in the vast majority of circumstances, depend primarily upon your work effort/product over the summer. Even if your firm was unique in that it heavily weighs 2L and 3L grades, a mere .03 drop will hardly even register, much less raise a cause for concern.

sullidop
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby sullidop » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:10 pm

To quote a friend that now works in Biglaw: "Reading? You're still doing that?! My firm hasn't seen any of my grades since 1L!"

Granted this is a little extreme, however it appears that (generally) they're more interested in how you perform during the summer than how you perform in crim pro. Chill.

nigelfrost
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:14 pm

These comments are helping. This whole law school/career/life goal thing just winds me up.

sullidop
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby sullidop » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:18 pm

nigelfrost wrote:These comments are helping. This whole law school/career/life goal thing just winds me up.


I hear ya. Taking out massive loans is a huge gamble on the future. For some people it works out, for others not so much. Personally, I'll be on edge until August comes and they say, "...and we'd love to invite all of you back next year."

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jchoggan
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby jchoggan » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:24 pm

sullidop wrote:
nigelfrost wrote:These comments are helping. This whole law school/career/life goal thing just winds me up.


I hear ya. Taking out massive loans is a huge gamble on the future. For some people it works out, for others not so much. Personally, I'll be on edge until August comes and they say, "...and we'd love to invite all of you back next year."
+1... it's actually nice seeing someone more freaked out than I am for once. FWIW, my grades dropped the same amount this term, and my brother (biglaw associate) lol'd when I asked if I should be worried.

nigelfrost
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:33 pm

Machine Spirit wrote:....really?

.03? Really?


See? I'm not the ONLY one!

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Nogameisfair
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Nogameisfair » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:37 pm

nigelfrost wrote:3Ls and 2Ls that know:

I have a summer associate position lined up in DC this year with an AM 100 firm. My GPA coming out of 1L put me in the top 25%, but I also had some good networking with this particular firm. I just got my Fall 2L grades back and my Cumulative GPA is down .03 points. Still waiting on class rankings for the semester.

Question: how much will this ding me during the summer? I realize things vary by firm, but does anyone have a similar experience with this? Am I needlessly worrying?


Most firms don't ask for 2L transcripts, but of those that do, I've never heard of a no offer as a result of bad grades.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby ZXCVBNM » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:44 pm

gibson dunn is known to no offer based on grades alone although i'm not sure how big of a drop is required. most firms will ask for transcripts but unless there is a big drop will focus on your summer performance when considering an offer. actually the current trend based on last summer and the growth of legal work suggests 100% offer rates will be common again this summer.

nigelfrost
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:48 pm

ZXCVBNM wrote:actually the current trend based on last summer and the growth of legal work suggests 100% offer rates will be common again this summer.


I like where you're going with this, but can you substantiate it? Any reports/commentary suggesting this?

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Nogameisfair
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Nogameisfair » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:48 pm

ZXCVBNM wrote:gibson dunn is known to no offer based on grades alone although i'm not sure how big of a drop is required. most firms will ask for transcripts but unless there is a big drop will focus on your summer performance when considering an offer. actually the current trend based on last summer and the growth of legal work suggests 100% offer rates will be common again this summer.


I wonder what the ratio really is because of my friends at firms I only know a few who had to submit grades...

dougroberts
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby dougroberts » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:50 pm

ZXCVBNM wrote:actually the current trend based on last summer and the growth of legal work suggests 100% offer rates will be common again this summer.


I sure hope so...

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Kohinoor
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:51 pm

Nogameisfair wrote:
nigelfrost wrote:3Ls and 2Ls that know:

I have a summer associate position lined up in DC this year with an AM 100 firm. My GPA coming out of 1L put me in the top 25%, but I also had some good networking with this particular firm. I just got my Fall 2L grades back and my Cumulative GPA is down .03 points. Still waiting on class rankings for the semester.

Question: how much will this ding me during the summer? I realize things vary by firm, but does anyone have a similar experience with this? Am I needlessly worrying?


Most firms don't ask for 2L transcripts, but of those that do, I've never heard of a no offer as a result of bad grades.

Firms explain why you're being no-offered? Seems bad for liability.

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vamedic03
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:58 pm

nigelfrost wrote:3Ls and 2Ls that know:

I have a summer associate position lined up in DC this year with an AM 100 firm. My GPA coming out of 1L put me in the top 25%, but I also had some good networking with this particular firm. I just got my Fall 2L grades back and my Cumulative GPA is down .03 points. Still waiting on class rankings for the semester.

Question: how much will this ding me during the summer? I realize things vary by firm, but does anyone have a similar experience with this?
Am I needlessly worrying?


Dude, if you're stressing out over a 0.03 drop in GPA, you're going to have issues dealing with the stress of being a professional.

Not to be overly harsh, but worrying, or even batting an eyelash, over a 0.03 variation in GPA is silly. There will always be some inconsistencies with people's performances on exams. Everyone knows this. And you know this.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:02 pm

Start worrying at the .06-.1x mark.

nigelfrost
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:04 pm

vamedic03 wrote: Not to be overly harsh, but worrying, or even batting an eyelash, over a 0.03 variation in GPA is silly. There will always be some inconsistencies with people's performances on exams. Everyone knows this. And you know this.


*sigh* I know. Thanks.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:57 pm

When I was considering offers, I asked associates questions about 2L/3L transcripts, grade requests, and no-offering based upon grades. Some firms only requested a 3L transcript to verify that you had graduated in "good standing" (i.e. weren't like failing out of school), while others may not have requested transcripts at all. In fact, a few said they only consider grades if grades indicate that the student had seriously neglected their school work, indicating that the candidate wouldn't have the requisite "responsibility" for the practice of law. I actually spoke with a biglaw recruiting coordinator about grades/grade drops, GPAs, etc... The woman had been working as the head recruiting coordinator for years - probably helping to make/observing decisions on permanent offers for hundreds of SAs. She said that only once did grades come up in considering an SA for a permanent offer. In that case, the SA had a precipitous decline in GPA (apparently went from A/Bs to straight C/Bs during 2L year). The SA, however, was still permanently offered because work product was very good and 3L grades bumped back up a little bit (e.g. person either (a) actually started caring again or (b) resolved whatever personal situation that dragged the 2L grades down so far).

From what I gathered, and as some have echoed in this thread, performance during the summer is a very important factor (if not the MOST important factor) in determining permanent offers. The NALP data you see online (e.g. like 24 summers and 22 offers) often reflects those who are "not cut out for firm work/environment" or "just don't want to do biglaw" (quotes from midlevel associates).

To be sure, ITE gives none of us reason to think that declining GPAs are okay. Hell, I'm in the same boat (SA offer, transferred and GPA went down a bit). Yet, I think summer performance is going to be far more important than a 0.03 or even a 0.2-3 drop in GPA. So, you didn't spot that equal protection issue on your conlaw II exam, chose a few wrong answers on your IP multiple choice test after narrowing it down to two possibilities, or just had a super-full plate and couldn't get another practice test or two in for evidence. Each situation, combined in the aggregate, might lead to a drop in your GPA. Yet, exams test exam-taking ability, not necessarily your knowledge of the area of law (let alone your ability to work with others and/or do legal research/writing). If missing an issue on a conlaw exam, etc... translates into a no-offer scenario at a biglaw firm conducting business in some field that has nothing to do with conlaw, etc..., then why would that firm even consider summer performance?

Sure, my observations are anecdotal, but I'd bet those observations are on par with most firms. I'm as anxious about no-offers as much as the next person, but I doubt small GPA lulls are serious cause for concern. If you've got an abrasive personality, can't handle your liquor, or are generally a miserable person to work with, THEN you've got problems. :lol:

nigelfrost
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When I was considering offers, I asked associates questions about 2L/3L transcripts, grade requests, and no-offering based upon grades. Some firms only requested a 3L transcript to verify that you had graduated in "good standing" (i.e. weren't like failing out of school), while others may not have requested transcripts at all. In fact, a few said they only consider grades if grades indicate that the student had seriously neglected their school work, indicating that the candidate wouldn't have the requisite "responsibility" for the practice of law. I actually spoke with a biglaw recruiting coordinator about grades/grade drops, GPAs, etc... The woman had been working as the head recruiting coordinator for years - probably helping to make/observing decisions on permanent offers for hundreds of SAs. She said that only once did grades come up in considering an SA for a permanent offer. In that case, the SA had a precipitous decline in GPA (apparently went from A/Bs to straight C/Bs during 2L year). The SA, however, was still permanently offered because work product was very good and 3L grades bumped back up a little bit (e.g. person either (a) actually started caring again or (b) resolved whatever personal situation that dragged the 2L grades down so far).

From what I gathered, and as some have echoed in this thread, performance during the summer is a very important factor (if not the MOST important factor) in determining permanent offers. The NALP data you see online (e.g. like 24 summers and 22 offers) often reflects those who are "not cut out for firm work/environment" or "just don't want to do biglaw" (quotes from midlevel associates).

To be sure, ITE gives none of us reason to think that declining GPAs are okay. @#!*% , I'm in the same boat (SA offer, transferred and GPA went down a bit). Yet, I think summer performance is going to be far more important than a 0.03 or even a 0.2-3 drop in GPA. So, you didn't spot that equal protection issue on your conlaw II exam, chose a few wrong answers on your IP multiple choice test after narrowing it down to two possibilities, or just had a super-full plate and couldn't get another practice test or two in for evidence. Each situation, combined in the aggregate, might lead to a drop in your GPA. Yet, exams test exam-taking ability, not necessarily your knowledge of the area of law (let alone your ability to work with others and/or do legal research/writing). If missing an issue on a conlaw exam, etc... translates into a no-offer scenario at a biglaw firm conducting business in some field that has nothing to do with conlaw, etc..., then why would that firm even consider summer performance?

Sure, my observations are anecdotal, but I'd bet those observations are on par with most firms. I'm as anxious about no-offers as much as the next person, but I doubt small GPA lulls are serious cause for concern. If you've got an abrasive personality, can't handle your liquor, or are generally a miserable person to work with, THEN you've got problems. :lol:


I can neither confirm nor deny that I shed a tear over this post. That's what I needed to hear. Thank you.

End thread.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:34 pm

nigelfrost wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When I was considering offers, I asked associates questions about 2L/3L transcripts, grade requests, and no-offering based upon grades. Some firms only requested a 3L transcript to verify that you had graduated in "good standing" (i.e. weren't like failing out of school), while others may not have requested transcripts at all. In fact, a few said they only consider grades if grades indicate that the student had seriously neglected their school work, indicating that the candidate wouldn't have the requisite "responsibility" for the practice of law. I actually spoke with a biglaw recruiting coordinator about grades/grade drops, GPAs, etc... The woman had been working as the head recruiting coordinator for years - probably helping to make/observing decisions on permanent offers for hundreds of SAs. She said that only once did grades come up in considering an SA for a permanent offer. In that case, the SA had a precipitous decline in GPA (apparently went from A/Bs to straight C/Bs during 2L year). The SA, however, was still permanently offered because work product was very good and 3L grades bumped back up a little bit (e.g. person either (a) actually started caring again or (b) resolved whatever personal situation that dragged the 2L grades down so far).

From what I gathered, and as some have echoed in this thread, performance during the summer is a very important factor (if not the MOST important factor) in determining permanent offers. The NALP data you see online (e.g. like 24 summers and 22 offers) often reflects those who are "not cut out for firm work/environment" or "just don't want to do biglaw" (quotes from midlevel associates).

To be sure, ITE gives none of us reason to think that declining GPAs are okay. @#!*% , I'm in the same boat (SA offer, transferred and GPA went down a bit). Yet, I think summer performance is going to be far more important than a 0.03 or even a 0.2-3 drop in GPA. So, you didn't spot that equal protection issue on your conlaw II exam, chose a few wrong answers on your IP multiple choice test after narrowing it down to two possibilities, or just had a super-full plate and couldn't get another practice test or two in for evidence. Each situation, combined in the aggregate, might lead to a drop in your GPA. Yet, exams test exam-taking ability, not necessarily your knowledge of the area of law (let alone your ability to work with others and/or do legal research/writing). If missing an issue on a conlaw exam, etc... translates into a no-offer scenario at a biglaw firm conducting business in some field that has nothing to do with conlaw, etc..., then why would that firm even consider summer performance?

Sure, my observations are anecdotal, but I'd bet those observations are on par with most firms. I'm as anxious about no-offers as much as the next person, but I doubt small GPA lulls are serious cause for concern. If you've got an abrasive personality, can't handle your liquor, or are generally a miserable person to work with, THEN you've got problems. :lol:


I can neither confirm nor deny that I shed a tear over this post. That's what I needed to hear. Thank you.

End thread.



No problem, dood. FYI, most of these conversations were post-offer. While I knew these types of questions could have been perceived as taboo to ask as a prospective rising 2L, I couldn't have made my decision without asking. In fact, many associates told me that they wish they had asked similar questions when were making SA decisions. For example, who knows if/when someone could have some serious life crisis right before finals and flub a class or two. Life happens, and it would be a shame to get no-offered on such a basis. Sure, someone could perceive it as someone seeking validation for slacking-off and riding the median for the rest of 2L. An equally plausible alternative, however, could be that the candidate is curious about the permanent offer consideration process, thereby learning what he/she must to secure a permanent offer upon completion of the program.

Bottom line, even SAs should work hard ITE. If you do have a grade drop, then be prepared to explain it the need arises. In most cases, I bet it won't be an issue.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 28, 2011 8:49 pm

what about a GPA drop from 3.54 ---> 3.41 ?????

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vamedic03
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby vamedic03 » Sat May 28, 2011 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:what about a GPA drop from 3.54 ---> 3.41 ?????


Look you can't change your grades. Just focus on producing good work product. Grades were the proxy that got you through the door. Good work product keeps your job.

Anonymous User
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Re: Drop in grades and the summer associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 30, 2011 1:16 am

I think most firms actually do ask for 2L grades, but most don't care unless it's a steep drop. One outlier is GDC.




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