Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

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Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:57 pm

I just finished 1L and got my first year grades. 3.7 first semester. 2.9 second semester. Average is a 3.33 for 1L. I don't know what % I'm in but we curve to a 3.19. I go to a T-10. I won't be on law review, but I'm hoping for a secondary journal. This summer I'm working for a state supreme court justice.

Am I screwed for getting a job? I'd love a job in London, ideally, but if not that, can I get anything? I hear the cut-offs at a lot of firms is a 3.4 and I figure have terrible second semester grades won't help me at all.

As specifically as possible, are there firms that I should totally avoid at OCI? Are there firms that care less about grades or that think a 3.33 is a good gpa? Even further, how do I best sell myself to firms? I don't have pre-law school work experience. I studied abroad and got great grades as an undergrad. I've lived and gone to school essentially in one state and have no real connections to anywhere (or anyone) except to London where I lived growing up.

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blurbz
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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby blurbz » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:01 pm

Before you can talk about what firms will think of a 3.33 you need to be able to answer their first question: What in the hell happened second semester?

09042014
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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby 09042014 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:21 pm

1) You are at median at a T10. You are in a danger zone, but you can still get a job.

2) If anyone asks your girlfriend got cancer during second semester.

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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:27 pm

Desert Fox wrote:1) You are at median at a T10. You are in a danger zone, but you can still get a job.

2) If anyone asks your girlfriend got cancer during second semester.




+1

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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby 2LLLL » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:31 pm

You're above median at a T10 so you're not utterly screwed. Obviously you'll have to lower your sights and hustle a lot harder than you would have if you had continued the trend from the first semester. You may also want to work on a story for having that epic of a drop-off, as that's sure to elicit questions from anyone examining your transcript.

09042014
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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby 09042014 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:32 pm

Do any T10's curve to below a B+?

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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:04 pm

2LLLL wrote:You're above median at a T10 so you're not utterly screwed. Obviously you'll have to lower your sights and hustle a lot harder than you would have if you had continued the trend from the first semester. You may also want to work on a story for having that epic of a drop-off, as that's sure to elicit questions from anyone examining your transcript.

OP here. I'm going to remain anon for this thread...for obvious reasons. The honest truth is, I don't have a CLUE what caused the drop off. I studied just as hard. I think everyone else just caught up with me.

So the next question becomes: what can I say? (I assume most responses to this post will be anon too) How much can I fudge it? I KNOW straight up lying is a terrible idea, but what do I say? I know I'm smarter than a 2.9, but how do I convince an interviewer of that?

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Lawquacious
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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby Lawquacious » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
2LLLL wrote:You're above median at a T10 so you're not utterly screwed. Obviously you'll have to lower your sights and hustle a lot harder than you would have if you had continued the trend from the first semester. You may also want to work on a story for having that epic of a drop-off, as that's sure to elicit questions from anyone examining your transcript.

OP here. I'm going to remain anon for this thread...for obvious reasons. The honest truth is, I don't have a CLUE what caused the drop off. I studied just as hard. I think everyone else just caught up with me.

So the next question becomes: what can I say? (I assume most responses to this post will be anon too) How much can I fudge it? I KNOW straight up lying is a terrible idea, but what do I say? I know I'm smarter than a 2.9, but how do I convince an interviewer of that?



I think I can relate to what you're going through. I had very close to a 3.7 for first semester, and it was looking like my grades could literally drop to a 3.00 for second semester (the first three grades that posted for this semester reporting were B, B, B, and those were the classes I thought I had the best chance at an A in). It turns out I just got a total surprise A that came back, so that will keep my spring GPA from plunging as much as yours, but OTOH you go to a T10 and so your default position is much better than mine for job prospects. I'm still waiting on one grade, which I think will probably be a B; if it is an A then my GPA in spring really won't have dropped too much from first to second semester, but the point is that I totally understand how it could happen (and as it is I think the drop from 1st to 2nd semester could be around .4).

I also feel like I can't [fully] explain it, although I can point out the following factors that I think contributed to a drop:

-Probably more students "caught up" second semester in figuring out how to take exams.
-I actually paid less attention to trying to crack the exam code, so to speak, second semester.
-I had some timing problems on the exams.
-I was somewhat less focused/more distracted second semester (in good and bad ways: I did an extracurricular exercise class which I think helped me stay sane, but it took up time. Additionally I wasted a lot of time online).
-We had WAY more work assigned second semester than first, so my strategy of digging deep into each subject really didn't work well second semester.
-We got graded for legal writing, which is a class that I more or less despised both semesters.
-Grading at my school (at least until next year) is full-letter grades, so if you fall on the line of A/B you could be the next person in line for an A, but get the 3.0 instead of 4.0 for the class because you are one-off.
-The students in my classes changed; I think it is possible I happened to be in classes with more competitive students second semester.

So I think the above factors combined could help to explain why I did have a drop second semester, yet it also isn't like I didn't work hard, and all the other students were also dealing with the increased work load.


TL;DR

That sucks; I think I understand to some extent what you are going through, and may have a similar dilemma of needing to explain a substantial drop without having a cancer-type excuse. I imagine it may not come up in interviews, in which case I obviously wouldn't bring it up. If it does come up, I would be honest and say something like 'I'm not entirely sure' or 'I'm still assessing that.' Anyway, I def don't think you are screwed. Good luck.
Last edited by Lawquacious on Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PDaddy
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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby PDaddy » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:43 pm

Yes, first-year grades are the primary determinant of job prospects, but they are not the only determinant. You are above median at a top-10 school, so you're in decent shape. Just find a way to spin that second semester GPA during interviews.

You are not screwed at all. Just make sure you kick ass for the next two years. Those grades still matter. If you aren't where you want to be at the end, get an MBA or an LLM, or look at working in another sector. Think outside of the box in terms of the type of work you're willing to do. Another thing you can do early and often is utilize your alumni network. Go to every function you can, meet as many attorneys as you can, even if they aren't partners. Be proactive. Work in the legal clinics so you get experience. Your journal idea is also good. You'll be in good shape.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Am I utterly screwed? ( general employment questions)

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:47 pm

edited by mods




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