Good grades bad?

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Anonymous User
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Good grades bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:35 am

I am a 1L in the top 1% of my class at a T2. I've applied to a lot of PI and government jobs for this summer, and I'm starting to feel like my grades are a negative to a lot of people. In one interview, the lady said that she only chose me because of something non-law related on my resume that she thought would impress her son. She then went on to say that she normally wouldn't choose me for an interview because I had such good grades that I'd probably have paid summer work.

That would be great if I could actually get a paying summer gig, but that is far from guaranteed. I know its early, but I'm starting to worry that if I don't get something paid I won't be able to get something unpaid because I can't get a damn interview. I'm a pretty good interviewer, but there are so few paying jobs that those interviews are few and far between.

Is this rational? Part of it seems like mythical yield protecting in admissions when really they just don't like you. I've had the CSO go over my resume and cover letters multiple times. I'm getting impatient; I just want to have a job in hand so I can concentrate on school.

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dood
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby dood » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:41 am

ur fear is irrational. congrats on ur good grades, the economy sucks and law is in the shitter, not ur fault. just do the best u can. i cant promise u'll get a jorb, but i can promise u its not for getting too high grades. the chick in ur interview prolly was just making small talk.

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underdawg
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby underdawg » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:08 am

was that interview govt or PI? PI has this weird reverse elitism about it sometimes, i think

Renzo
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby Renzo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:34 pm

You're paranoid. If anything, that interviewer was giving you an opportunity to say, "well, I'm glad you did give me an interview, because I really want this job!"

mlloyd
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby mlloyd » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:31 pm

It seems to be a rule of thumb that in legal careers you have public interest and you have everything else. From my understanding, public interest organizations are FAR more interested in your past experiences than your grades. They care more about dedicated people than intelligent people wanting to embellish their resumes. Among two people with identical experience, however, I would have to think grades can be a deciding factor.

Bottom line: if you are actually interested in public interest, get involved in some activities and organizations. If not, then just understand that these groups are likely to turn you down not because of good grades, but because they have no reason to believe you are actually dedicated to public interest.

Nicholas Nickleby
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby Nicholas Nickleby » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:39 pm

mlloyd wrote:It seems to be a rule of thumb that in legal careers you have public interest and you have everything else. From my understanding, public interest organizations are FAR more interested in your past experiences than your grades. They care more about dedicated people than intelligent people wanting to embellish their resumes. Among two people with identical experience, however, I would have to think grades can be a deciding factor.

Bottom line: if you are actually interested in public interest, get involved in some activities and organizations. If not, then just understand that these groups are likely to turn you down not because of good grades, but because they have no reason to believe you are actually dedicated to public interest.


Do you have any evidence of this? I'm hoping this is true, but I remember reading that grades matter even more when it comes to pub interest jobs because so many people want these jobs (even though they're low paying they're supposedly satisfying, not grueling hours, etc.--which obviously varies job to job).

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prezidentv8
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:44 pm

underdawg wrote:was that interview govt or PI? PI has this weird reverse elitism about it sometimes, i think


Seriously.

mlloyd
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby mlloyd » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:31 pm

Nicholas Nickleby wrote:
mlloyd wrote:It seems to be a rule of thumb that in legal careers you have public interest and you have everything else. From my understanding, public interest organizations are FAR more interested in your past experiences than your grades. They care more about dedicated people than intelligent people wanting to embellish their resumes. Among two people with identical experience, however, I would have to think grades can be a deciding factor.

Bottom line: if you are actually interested in public interest, get involved in some activities and organizations. If not, then just understand that these groups are likely to turn you down not because of good grades, but because they have no reason to believe you are actually dedicated to public interest.


Do you have any evidence of this? I'm hoping this is true, but I remember reading that grades matter even more when it comes to pub interest jobs because so many people want these jobs (even though they're low paying they're supposedly satisfying, not grueling hours, etc.--which obviously varies job to job).


No evidence, unfortunately. I got this from my school's Career Services Office. It does corroborate OP's sentiments though. Public service organizations want to hire folks that are committed. A lot of people do seem to want the jobs, but I get the impression a lot of them can't resist following the money, which is another reason public service organizations would shy away from Big Law talent without any public service experience.

Now of those people who can convince such an organization that they are truly interested, I'd guess that grades are one of the first things they use to weed out the top candidates.

PolemisLopez
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby PolemisLopez » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:46 am

From my experience mlloyd is on the money on this one. I worked for some public interest places before law school and was lucky enough to have decent grades as well. I decided to interview for both public interest and big firm jobs. During the interviews, all the public interest places talked exclusively about my experience, while nearly all the big firm interviewers wouldn't acknowledge my experience even if I mentioned it.

To the OP, grats on your grades. You're in a good position, and you've still got time. Pick what you want to do, and go for it. If you really want to do public interest stuff after graduation, volunteer or do an externship through your school (if they offer that stuff) over the summer and you should have plenty of options for 2L summer. Good luck!

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Blindmelon
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:01 am

PolemisLopez wrote:During the interviews, all the public interest places talked exclusively about my experience


Thats because most PI organizations want to make sure you're dedicated to their mission and not just interviewing everywhere because the economy sucks.

PolemisLopez wrote:while nearly all the big firm interviewers wouldn't acknowledge my experience even if I mentioned it.


Thats because most of the time its wholly irrelevant to practicing law.

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:46 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
PolemisLopez wrote:During the interviews, all the public interest places talked exclusively about my experience


Thats because most PI organizations want to make sure you're dedicated to their mission and not just interviewing everywhere because the economy sucks.

PolemisLopez wrote:while nearly all the big firm interviewers wouldn't acknowledge my experience even if I mentioned it.


Thats because most of the time its wholly irrelevant to practicing law.

My wholly irrelevant work experience dominated 70% of my interview time.

Man legal hiring is a weird process.

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thexfactor
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby thexfactor » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 1L in the top 1% of my class at a T2. I've applied to a lot of PI and government jobs for this summer, and I'm starting to feel like my grades are a negative to a lot of people. In one interview, the lady said that she only chose me because of something non-law related on my resume that she thought would impress her son. She then went on to say that she normally wouldn't choose me for an interview because I had such good grades that I'd probably have paid summer work.

That would be great if I could actually get a paying summer gig, but that is far from guaranteed. I know its early, but I'm starting to worry that if I don't get something paid I won't be able to get something unpaid because I can't get a damn interview. I'm a pretty good interviewer, but there are so few paying jobs that those interviews are few and far between.

Is this rational? Part of it seems like mythical yield protecting in admissions when really they just don't like you. I've had the CSO go over my resume and cover letters multiple times. I'm getting impatient; I just want to have a job in hand so I can concentrate on school.


Don't worry so much. This is your 1L year. Work on keeping up your grades and then transfer to CCN. Apply to UC ED program if you think your grades will drop below top 5%. If you can keep up your top 1% you will have an outside chance for harvard.

I would do ED to uchicago. You never know what will happen.
Don't worry about jobs right now.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:48 pm

pasteurizedmilk wrote:My wholly irrelevant work experience dominated 70% of my interview time.

Man legal hiring is a weird process.


Cool story.

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:55 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
pasteurizedmilk wrote:My wholly irrelevant work experience dominated 70% of my interview time.

Man legal hiring is a weird process.


Cool story.

....thanks?

Just pointing out that your statement is incorrect.

Anonymous User
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:03 pm

You have to remember that the lawyers interviewing you in PI probably were not at the top of their class like you. Therefore, they do not see being at the top of the class as a pre-req to doing well in PI. I am also in the top of my class and cannot remember how many times I have heard, "How does it feel to be at the top of your class?" To be honest, I do not think that they really care about that, but that's just a common thing to ask.

But really, I would not start panicking. I did not get my one nonpaying and one work-study eligible job until middle/end of March.

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OGR3
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Re: Good grades bad?

Postby OGR3 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 1L in the top 1% of my class at a T2. I've applied to a lot of PI and government jobs for this summer, and I'm starting to feel like my grades are a negative to a lot of people. In one interview, the lady said that she only chose me because of something non-law related on my resume that she thought would impress her son. She then went on to say that she normally wouldn't choose me for an interview because I had such good grades that I'd probably have paid summer work.

That would be great if I could actually get a paying summer gig, but that is far from guaranteed. I know its early, but I'm starting to worry that if I don't get something paid I won't be able to get something unpaid because I can't get a damn interview. I'm a pretty good interviewer, but there are so few paying jobs that those interviews are few and far between.

Is this rational? Part of it seems like mythical yield protecting in admissions when really they just don't like you. I've had the CSO go over my resume and cover letters multiple times. I'm getting impatient; I just want to have a job in hand so I can concentrate on school.


Call up partners or associates who are alums or in practice areas that interest you and ask if you can take them to coffee for an informational interview. You might be able to get some tips on getting your foot in the door, other places you should apply, other people to contact, or if you're lucky, you'll get a job interview or a job offer.




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