NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

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NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:39 pm

My GPA dipped below a 3.0 with my second semester grades. URM with strong softs and a government 1L internship. What are my chances? How do I find which firms are most likely to accept me?

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Cavalier
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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:45 pm

Bid on the least selective firms and mail every NY firm listed on NALP?

firemed
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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby firemed » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:51 pm

Could you use the internship to maybe get a job there... or with one of your mentors friends? Something like that?

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:08 pm

What kind of URM? I think it matters.

MBeezy11
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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby MBeezy11 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:27 pm

Only Bid on firms that are known not to have a specific grade cutoff. It will be useless to waste your bids on any firm that is V50 or higher. No matter how well you inteview, your interviewer will have a difficult time selling you to the committee.

Seekout all the NJ and Connecticut firms. Make sure they know you really want to work there.

Submit a writing sample with your resume in all your mailings.

Develop a credible story for your academic performance.

See if you can work for the Fall at your current job or obtain a fall position somewhere. You need to be able to say my grades are not impressive but I'm very effective in practice.

strokes788
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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby strokes788 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:31 pm

Isn't it true that a lot of the firms from Vault 50-100 actually have higher GPA cutoffs and are more selective due to smaller class sizes? As someone with sub-median grades as well from a T14, wouldn't bidding on firms below V50 with 10 person classes be far worse than say a V30 or V40 firm with say, a 75 person class?

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Moxie » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:37 pm

strokes788 wrote:Isn't it true that a lot of the firms from Vault 50-100 actually have higher GPA cutoffs and are more selective due to smaller class sizes? As someone with sub-median grades as well from a T14, wouldn't bidding on firms below V50 with 10 person classes be far worse than say a V30 or V40 firm with say, a 75 person class?


There are firms in the V50-V100 range with larger class sizes (ex: Schulte Roth, Cahill Gordon, Chadbourne, Hughes Hubbard, Dechert, all have 40+ person classes). When bidding with less than top grades, it's important to do your research and find out what firms offer the best combination of lower grade requirements and larger class size. Do NALP research at a minimum for every firm you're considering.

In my experience, the firms from V50-V100 don't have higher GPA cutoffs, but since they're only filling a small class it can be disproportionally harder to get a job there than at Skadden like firms.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby strokes788 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:43 pm

That's what I mean, having looked through the NALP directory, I've seen a lot of V50 firms with huge (relatively speaking, nothing like '08 or earlier class sizes), but still, in the 40-90 class size range, but I've also seen sub V50 firms that have class sizes that are large (i.e. the ones you mentioned), but I've found it really hard to find which one's are the least grade sensitive. My school only offers the median/lowest/highest gpa for offers, and has no data or so they claim on callbacks, and I've found it hard, even using vault/chambers etc to figure out the least grade sensitive firms to hit that lower gpa/bigger class sweetspot. Any recommendations on that?

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby MBeezy11 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:56 am

strokes788 wrote:That's what I mean, having looked through the NALP directory, I've seen a lot of V50 firms with huge (relatively speaking, nothing like '08 or earlier class sizes), but still, in the 40-90 class size range, but I've also seen sub V50 firms that have class sizes that are large (i.e. the ones you mentioned), but I've found it really hard to find which one's are the least grade sensitive. My school only offers the median/lowest/highest gpa for offers, and has no data or so they claim on callbacks, and I've found it hard, even using vault/chambers etc to figure out the least grade sensitive firms to hit that lower gpa/bigger class sweetspot. Any recommendations on that?


Large class sizes at grade conscious firms do not help someone with a below median GPA. It is true that V100 firms may have smaller classes but its also unlikely that the people composing those classes will be above median candidates from your law school. So you might be competing for less spots in the V50-V100 range but you're competing against people closer in grades than if you interview at Skadden. I would much rather be a 2.96 competing with a 3.21 at a V100 rather a 2.96 competting against multiple 3.4s at a V20.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:14 pm

URM status doesn't matter at all?

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby booboo » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:19 pm

Depends on what kind of URM and how well you interview. Obviously you aren't as screwed as non-URM's, but you will have to work.

ETA: Why not ask upperclassmen that are URM? You don't have to be specific about yourself, but you could definitely glean which firms take whatever URMs they can get.
Last edited by booboo on Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:22 pm

Let's say: AA female.

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rayiner
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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby rayiner » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:07 pm

MBeezy11 wrote:
strokes788 wrote:That's what I mean, having looked through the NALP directory, I've seen a lot of V50 firms with huge (relatively speaking, nothing like '08 or earlier class sizes), but still, in the 40-90 class size range, but I've also seen sub V50 firms that have class sizes that are large (i.e. the ones you mentioned), but I've found it really hard to find which one's are the least grade sensitive. My school only offers the median/lowest/highest gpa for offers, and has no data or so they claim on callbacks, and I've found it hard, even using vault/chambers etc to figure out the least grade sensitive firms to hit that lower gpa/bigger class sweetspot. Any recommendations on that?


Large class sizes at grade conscious firms do not help someone with a below median GPA. It is true that V100 firms may have smaller classes but its also unlikely that the people composing those classes will be above median candidates from your law school. So you might be competing for less spots in the V50-V100 range but you're competing against people closer in grades than if you interview at Skadden. I would much rather be a 2.96 competing with a 3.21 at a V100 rather a 2.96 competting against multiple 3.4s at a V20.


Sure. But in reality at the top schools, there are really only 3 categories of firms as far as "grade consciousness" goes:

1) Comically selective (W&C, Wachtell, etc)
2) Selective (Skadden, S&C, etc)
3) Relatively unselective (everyone else)

It's not like V40s, having resigned themselves to not getting top 25% people, are splitting hairs between top 45% and top 55% people. Once you're outside the set of firms that really care about grades, it really comes down to other factors.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:18 pm

rayiner wrote:
MBeezy11 wrote:
strokes788 wrote:That's what I mean, having looked through the NALP directory, I've seen a lot of V50 firms with huge (relatively speaking, nothing like '08 or earlier class sizes), but still, in the 40-90 class size range, but I've also seen sub V50 firms that have class sizes that are large (i.e. the ones you mentioned), but I've found it really hard to find which one's are the least grade sensitive. My school only offers the median/lowest/highest gpa for offers, and has no data or so they claim on callbacks, and I've found it hard, even using vault/chambers etc to figure out the least grade sensitive firms to hit that lower gpa/bigger class sweetspot. Any recommendations on that?


Large class sizes at grade conscious firms do not help someone with a below median GPA. It is true that V100 firms may have smaller classes but its also unlikely that the people composing those classes will be above median candidates from your law school. So you might be competing for less spots in the V50-V100 range but you're competing against people closer in grades than if you interview at Skadden. I would much rather be a 2.96 competing with a 3.21 at a V100 rather a 2.96 competting against multiple 3.4s at a V20.


Sure. But in reality at the top schools, there are really only 3 categories of firms as far as "grade consciousness" goes:

1) Comically selective (W&C, Wachtell, etc)
2) Selective (Skadden, S&C, etc)
3) Relatively unselective (everyone else)

It's not like V40s, having resigned themselves to not getting top 25% people, are splitting hairs between top 45% and top 55% people. Once you're outside the set of firms that really care about grades, it really comes down to other factors.


But even these firms care about grades; just not to the same extent. For example, a sub 3.0 GPA is going to be a hard sell for any firm correct?

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:34 pm

I would think that's the case, but at the same time, given that a 3.1/3.15/3.2 is all veering toward's bottom 3rd, and say a 3.0/2.9 is bottom quarter, I know it's hard to sell sub-3.0 to firms or I'd guess it is, but do they really think that there's HUGE differences between candidates in this 2.9-3.15 grade range?

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Aston2412 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:35 pm

One tip that someone gave me for applying as URM is to look at the firm's NALP data and see how many attorneys of your URM there are. If there are no present attorneys in your URM, that makes it that much stronger for you.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:39 pm

Isn't sub 3.0 at NYU around bottom 15%?

Firms will definitely care. No chance OP gets lumped into the same group as people around median, nor should she be.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby AppsAbound » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:45 pm

Always fascinated when people suggest that URMs look for firms with few minorities, they'll "want you more." Clearly these firms have had the opportunity to diversify themselves, and have passed. Firms that area already diverse are the ones who have made an obvious commitment to continue to hire people of color and will actively be recruiting minorities, more so than a firm that has had year after year of whitewashed summer classes.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:50 pm

AppsAbound wrote:Always fascinated when people suggest that URMs look for firms with few minorities, they'll "want you more." Clearly these firms have had the opportunity to diversify themselves, and have passed. Firms that area already diverse are the ones who have made an obvious commitment to continue to hire people of color and will actively be recruiting minorities, more so than a firm that has had year after year of whitewashed summer classes.


Exactly.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Aston2412 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
AppsAbound wrote:Always fascinated when people suggest that URMs look for firms with few minorities, they'll "want you more." Clearly these firms have had the opportunity to diversify themselves, and have passed. Firms that area already diverse are the ones who have made an obvious commitment to continue to hire people of color and will actively be recruiting minorities, more so than a firm that has had year after year of whitewashed summer classes.


Exactly.


This is true to some extent but if a firm is looking to round out it's diversity and you fill a niche they haven't had, then there is a good chance they will be more likely to take you.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby shmoo597 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:URM status doesn't matter at all?


Your URM status only goes so far. It helps in law school admissions, but not in the real world where performance actually matters.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:47 pm

Aston2412 wrote:One tip that someone gave me for applying as URM is to look at the firm's NALP data and see how many attorneys of your URM there are. If there are no present attorneys in your URM, that makes it that much stronger for you.

I received literally the opposite of this tip. If you have limited bids and have to choose, err on the side of the firm that has hired someone that looks like you before.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby dc1s » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:15 pm

shmoo597 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:URM status doesn't matter at all?


Your URM status only goes so far. It helps in law school admissions, but not in the real world where performance actually matters.


This is incorrect. Big law firms have pressure to diversify their offices, mostly from clients. In fact, some clients require that teams assigned to their projects have a certain amount or percentage of URMs.

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:23 pm

dc1s wrote:
shmoo597 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:URM status doesn't matter at all?


Your URM status only goes so far. It helps in law school admissions, but not in the real world where performance actually matters.


This is incorrect. Big law firms have pressure to diversify their offices, mostly from clients. In fact, some clients require that teams assigned to their projects have a certain amount or percentage of URMs.


This is the one and only reason OP is in discussion for a V50 job. Otherwise a sub-3.0 at NYU would be rattling the bushes for whatever she can get.

Making partner on the other hand...

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Re: NYU rising 2L, bottom of the class. What do I do?

Postby MBeezy11 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:20 pm

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:
dc1s wrote:
shmoo597 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:URM status doesn't matter at all?


Your URM status only goes so far. It helps in law school admissions, but not in the real world where performance actually matters.


This is incorrect. Big law firms have pressure to diversify their offices, mostly from clients. In fact, some clients require that teams assigned to their projects have a certain amount or percentage of URMs.


This is the one and only reason OP is in discussion for a V50 job. Otherwise a sub-3.0 at NYU would be rattling the bushes for whatever she can get.

Making partner on the other hand...



I am an AA male, and I can tell you from experience that URM status will not change how firms feel about a sub -3.0 GPA. Firms may value diversity but they also have their minimum cutoffs. Unless, you have exceptional other factors firms are not going to dip that low into the pool. I was above 3.0 closer to median at T6 and found it difficult to secure a position at a V50 (being class of 2011 probably made it a little more difficult since classes were so much smaller). As someone suggested NALP forms will be the best indicator of a firm's commitment to diversity. If they don't have any AAs, its highly unlikely the OP is going to be their first.
At this point, URM status is the least of what you should be focusing on. You need to identify firms that have taken students with GPAs on the lower end of the scale and concentrate on those firms. Career Services might be able to point you in the right direction. Also, use your friends at other schools as a resource. Some schools have more detailed information about employers. If the schools are in the same range, the data will be helpful in identifying firms to focus on.

It is important for you to recognize that getting BIGLAW is going to be difficult. Wasting your time on firms that have not shown a propensity to either hire URMS or hire at the lower end of the GPA scale is only going to make you lose out on opportunities that better suit your current credentials.




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