CCN WTF

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

CCN WTF

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:39 am

Just finished my first year at a New York CCN and ended up with a GPA that puts me in about the top 40%. Only problem is that my transcript contains both the lowest grade possible (bottom 10%-ish) and the highest grade possible (top 10%-ish), both from this past semester.

Mainly wondering if firms will look at this just as a relatively ok GPA, no questions asked, or if they will look at my whole transcript, as I am, and be like wtf. Am I more likely to be seen as the dumb kid who got lucky or the smart-enough kid who just [understandably, forgivably] dropped the ball on one exam (is there a stigma to be overcome from the bad grade)?

The other thing I'm wondering is how top 40% at a CCN stacks up at OCI - would this be considered part of a distinct "above median" strata, or am I basically starting with the same burden of proof that I'm awesome as everyone who was ever in the neighborhood of median? Personally, I don't think there's much of a difference in terms of intelligence/lawyering ability between myself and, say, a person slightly below median, but I'm not sure how firms look at these things.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:11 am

I think people will look at your transcript and ask you, "WTF?"

What are you going to say in answer?

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:22 am

GPA.

Grade Point Average.

Average: a single value (as a mean, mode, or median) that summarizes or represents the general significance of a set of unequal values.

A peculiar mix of grades in law school is far more common than getting grades within even a modestly wide band. Don't discuss your grades in an interview, if you have to move on quickly, and assume that employers will look at the average of your grades when making decisions about your academic credentials.

Law school isn't like undergrad. Bad and poor grades reflect a single exam for which you were not given meaningful preparatory feedback. Every year brilliant and hard working people get poor grades. Law firms - and the lawyers working there - understand this intimately.

Law firms aren't law schools. They need some way to thin the heard of hundreds of applicants for every spot they have to offer. As a very, very rough tool they use law school grades. In that respect, your GPA is a rough proxy for your intelligence, work ethic, pain tolerance, and luck. Nothing more profound. Your gold-star in legal writing won't land you a job for being meticulous, your C+ in contracts won't get you laughed out of town by anybody whose practice touches the UCC.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:26 am

I don't entirely agree. As far as screening, your GPA is all that matters for not getting your resume thrown in the trash. But once you get past that hurdle, someone will look at your transcript and may very well ask you what was different between A+ class and C- class. It would be prudent to have an answer on hand for this sort of question. Just because it's relatively common doesn't mean you won't be asked about it.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby timbs4339 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Just finished my first year at a New York CCN and ended up with a GPA that puts me in about the top 40%. Only problem is that my transcript contains both the lowest grade possible (bottom 10%-ish) and the highest grade possible (top 10%-ish), both from this past semester.

Mainly wondering if firms will look at this just as a relatively ok GPA, no questions asked, or if they will look at my whole transcript, as I am, and be like wtf. Am I more likely to be seen as the dumb kid who got lucky or the smart-enough kid who just [understandably, forgivably] dropped the ball on one exam (is there a stigma to be overcome from the bad grade)?

The other thing I'm wondering is how top 40% at a CCN stacks up at OCI - would this be considered part of a distinct "above median" strata, or am I basically starting with the same burden of proof that I'm awesome as everyone who was ever in the neighborhood of median? Personally, I don't think there's much of a difference in terms of intelligence/lawyering ability between myself and, say, a person slightly below median, but I'm not sure how firms look at these things.



I assume the grades are A/B- and not A+/C. You probably won't be asked about it then.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:31 pm

NYU's transcript doesn't state a GPA FYI, so really interviewers actually do take a lot at them grades.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:NYU's transcript doesn't state a GPA FYI, so really interviewers actually do take a lot at them grades.


A lot of top schools don't put GPA on transcripts in an effort to be sneaky. Recruiters and law firms, being large and possessing substantial intellectual and human capital resources, manage to calculate your GPA anyway.

seriouslyinformative
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby seriouslyinformative » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:39 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:NYU's transcript doesn't state a GPA FYI, so really interviewers actually do take a lot at them grades.


A lot of top schools don't put GPA on transcripts in an effort to be sneaky. Recruiters and law firms, being large and possessing substantial intellectual and human capital resources, manage to calculate your GPA anyway.


Of course, but doesn't mean that the firms won't look at your grades to begin with.

And while I do think the average still dominates, OP should be prepared to answer the, "What on earth happened in [1L course]?" question.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:42 pm

seriouslyinformative wrote:OP should be prepared to answer the, "What on earth happened in [1L course]?" question.


You and Renzo both made this point, and that's fair. I'm mostly responding to OP's questions about how he will be regarded in general, but it's definitely possible there will be a one-off question to this effect.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:57 pm

Welcome to the club. I had three top 5% grades, 2 median grades, and 2 below median grades at a T10. Wondering about the same problem, myself. I didn't get any questions about it at all for my job this summer (1L SA). I think it's just part of only having one exam in each class that's graded on a curve with a bunch of other really smart people

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Welcome to the club. I had three top 5% grades, 2 median grades, and 2 below median grades at a T10. Wondering about the same problem, myself. I didn't get any questions about it at all for my job this summer (1L SA). I think it's just part of only having one exam in each class that's graded on a curve with a bunch of other really smart people


Please realize that your grades are NOT unusual. Most people get a weird mix of grades, and nobody knows that better than recruiters from firms looking at dozens of resumes.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:59 pm

Just graduated from a CCN.

Be prepared to answer "What happened in X class?" Not every firm will ask, but enough will that you should have an answer ready. The reason is probably less important than how you handle the question.

MBeezy11
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 10:40 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby MBeezy11 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just graduated from a CCN.

Be prepared to answer "What happened in X class?" Not every firm will ask, but enough will that you should have an answer ready. The reason is probably less important than how you handle the question.


Agreed. Some firms, especially the more grade conscious firms are going to ask what happened and truly care about your response. Most other firms won't ask and won't care. Also, it will depend on the course and what semester you got the grade. Make sure you tell them you met with the professor and you know why you didn't do well now.

In terms of being in the top 40%, you don't necessarily have a golden ticket but you definitely have a better than average chance of doing well. Make sure you bid on enough firms that are not grade conscious. Most firms actually stick to their grade cutoffs.

goodolgil
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby goodolgil » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:21 pm

Yeah, I have a friend with top grades who got a B- in Property. She was asked about it in interviews, but I got the impression that the questions were more friendly/curious than interrogative/hostile.

She ended up with multiple biglaw offers.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:44 pm

Similar question: what if you're at median, but with a great semester and a terrible semester? What if your terrible semester, most unfortunately, was spring semester? Will they ask what happened, and is there a good answer? If it matters, I think the truth is just that the classes I'm good at were in fall and the classes I'm bad at were in spring. It looks like a meaningful pattern but really it's boring coincidence. I feel like it looks so damning though.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:53 pm

* bangs head against wall *

GPA. Average. AVERAGE.

There's almost no chance it will come up and you are not alone in having weird grades. They do not read deeply into it because everyone - including the people interviewing you - got crazy grades. People work hard and get Bs, it's not like they'll think you go t dumber.

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Cavalier » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:52 pm

Your GPA is all that matters; how you got it doesn't. But if you have anything on your transcript that stands out (e.g. an A+ and a C+, a good semester followed by a bad semester), be prepared to discuss it, as some interviewers will bring it up. You won't be turned away for any grade abnormalities as long as you don't say anything stupid if asked about them. Even though you often can't explain good or bad grades, just try and come up with something to say about how you didn't deliver as hoped on exam day. Certainly don't blame the professor or say you didn't work hard enough or something of that sort.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:48 pm

goodolgil wrote:Yeah, I have a friend with top grades who got a B- in Property. She was asked about it in interviews, but I got the impression that the questions were more friendly/curious than interrogative/hostile.

She ended up with multiple biglaw offers.


What about a B? Not that Bs are at all unusual, but my transcript has one B (in Contracts) and no other grades below A-, and it's also the first grade on my transcript, so it stands out.

Also, what amounts to a good "explanation"? I mean, I never really understood why I did worse in Contracts than everything else. It was the only exam with multiple choice questions, which I feel like would be something of an explanation, but I actually aced the multiple choice and fucked up the rest of the exam.

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Cavalier » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
goodolgil wrote:Yeah, I have a friend with top grades who got a B- in Property. She was asked about it in interviews, but I got the impression that the questions were more friendly/curious than interrogative/hostile.

She ended up with multiple biglaw offers.


What about a B? Not that Bs are at all unusual, but my transcript has one B (in Contracts) and no other grades below A-, and it's also the first grade on my transcript, so it stands out.

Also, what amounts to a good "explanation"? I mean, I never really understood why I did worse in Contracts than everything else. It was the only exam with multiple choice questions, which I feel like would be something of an explanation, but I actually aced the multiple choice and fucked up the rest of the exam.

My transcript looks somewhat similar to yours. Only a handful of interviewers even asked about my B (property), and they did it mostly jokingly. Remember that your interviewers all probably got a B or two at some point in law school, so it's certainly not a big deal. As far as a good explanation goes, just honestly state what went wrong. For example, for your contracts grade, something like "well, the exam involved a challenging UCC 2-207 problem, and I misapplied it in a couple instances which hurt me. But thankfully I learned what I did wrong" or some similar bullshit.

MBeezy11
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 10:40 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby MBeezy11 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:52 pm

Just to add some context. Applicants usually hand their transcript over at the beginning of the interview and one of three things usually happens: The interviewer asks about a specific professor because she also had the professor in law school, she asks about a specific grade/course, or they say nothing at all. Its literally is less than a minute of the actual interview. I wouldn't focus on grades/transcripts too much but like people mentioned earlier have a prepared answer that assumes personal responsibility and also shows you learned something from the experience. You should definitely focus your energy on other questions like why this firm, or how you are enjoying law school, or what practice you might be interested in joining. These questions, which seems like softballs but which your are almost guaranteed to be asked, are where you can separate yourself from other less prepared interviewees.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:59 pm

Not to hijack this thread, but related:

Top 10% at a T20 - All grades are A/A- except for a B+ in Torts and a B in LRW/LW2; I am not worried about torts but how can I realistically explain away LRW?

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Not to hijack this thread, but related:

Top 10% at a T20 - All grades are A/A- except for a B+ in Torts and a B in LRW/LW2; I am not worried about torts but how can I realistically explain away LRW?


By saying, "I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I've learned a lot from the feedback I received, and I feel like my writing has improved from XYZ things I did at my 1L summer job."

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8442
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: CCN WTF

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:09 pm

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not to hijack this thread, but related:

Top 10% at a T20 - All grades are A/A- except for a B+ in Torts and a B in LRW/LW2; I am not worried about torts but how can I realistically explain away LRW?


By saying, "I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I've learned a lot from the feedback I received, and I feel like my writing has improved from XYZ things I did at my 1L summer job."


+1000. By the time your lips start moving, you should be talking about something that has nothing to do with grades. Dragging the conversation to a solid 1L summer job anecdote is brilliant.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:55 am

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not to hijack this thread, but related:

Top 10% at a T20 - All grades are A/A- except for a B+ in Torts and a B in LRW/LW2; I am not worried about torts but how can I realistically explain away LRW?


By saying, "I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I've learned a lot from the feedback I received, and I feel like my writing has improved from XYZ things I did at my 1L summer job."


I also have a mediocre LRW grade, but am doing all research this summer and no legal writing so I can't use this. Would it be useful to mention that I'm taking advanced LRW in during 2L as well as participating in a clinic? Or is this bs considering how it hasn't happened yet..

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: CCN WTF

Postby Renzo » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not to hijack this thread, but related:

Top 10% at a T20 - All grades are A/A- except for a B+ in Torts and a B in LRW/LW2; I am not worried about torts but how can I realistically explain away LRW?


By saying, "I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I've learned a lot from the feedback I received, and I feel like my writing has improved from XYZ things I did at my 1L summer job."


I also have a mediocre LRW grade, but am doing all research this summer and no legal writing so I can't use this. Would it be useful to mention that I'm taking advanced LRW in during 2L as well as participating in a clinic? Or is this bs considering how it hasn't happened yet..


I wasn't trying to provide an actual answer to be used, but rather a model. The point is that you don't want to be talking about a negative point during your interviews; so when you hear a question about something derogatory, you want to use it as an opportunity to talk about something that shows you are, in fact, a good candidate. Don't fall into the trap of "explaining" anything.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.