Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

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Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:37 pm

At a T10 (MVPB). One exam went very, very badly, and I've got a lone PC/C+ on my transcript like an ugly-ass bruise (hurts like one, too).

However, my overall GPA is probably somewhere b/t bottom 30th and 40th percentile (i.e. 60-70% of my classmates are in better shape) - not a very good place to be, but not in the "irredeemably screwed" category (I hope) according to TLS wisdom/anecdotes.

For mailings and OCI, will people still see the T10 and an overall mediocre-but-not-terrible GPA? (I'm assuming that many interviewers got at least one crappy grade during LS...)
Or is a C+/PC just so hopeless that the rest of my application winds up in the trash instantly?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawgod
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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby lawgod » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:40 pm

I think you'll do fine. 30-40% should be well within the range for a good job.
And I'll assume you must have some really good grades in there if you are able to balance out that C+.

I'd say to talk about being interested in things that are more in line with your better grades. (Like if you did well in Civ Pro talk about litigation. If you got the C+ in Civ Pro, don't.)

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thesealocust
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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:03 pm

The average is what matters. Lawgod is wrong about specific classes your 1L year having any bearing whatsoever on the practice areas you express interest in.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby lawgod » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:07 pm

thesealocust wrote:Lawgod is wrong.


Strange thing to say.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:38 pm

lawgod wrote:I think you'll do fine. 30-40% should be well within the range for a good job.
And I'll assume you must have some really good grades in there if you are able to balance out that C+.

I'd say to talk about being interested in things that are more in line with your better grades. (Like if you did well in Civ Pro talk about litigation. If you got the C+ in Civ Pro, don't.)


Is this correct or are you misreading the OP? OP said he is BOTTOM 30-40%.... is that within range for biglaw at MVBP? I was under the impression that this wasn't even too good for CCN.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby lawgod » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawgod wrote:I think you'll do fine. 30-40% should be well within the range for a good job.
And I'll assume you must have some really good grades in there if you are able to balance out that C+.

I'd say to talk about being interested in things that are more in line with your better grades. (Like if you did well in Civ Pro talk about litigation. If you got the C+ in Civ Pro, don't.)


Is this correct or are you misreading the OP? OP said he is BOTTOM 30-40%.... is that within range for biglaw at MVBP? I was under the impression that this wasn't even too good for CCN.


Oops.
Sorry OP. I thought it said top.
Still, it's about the average, not each grade. (Although I still maintain that it makes a difference for which field you express interest in.)

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thesealocust
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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:42 pm

lawgod wrote:(Although I still maintain that it makes a difference for which field you express interest in.)


How much recruiting have you been through again?

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby lawgod » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:44 pm

Only personal experience counts? How many cycles have you been through?

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:46 pm

thesealocust wrote:The average is what matters. Lawgod is wrong about specific classes your 1L year having any bearing whatsoever on the practice areas you express interest in.


Interesting. So even if we did dramatically better in a couple classes (which happen to be more relevant to certain practice areas than others), we shouldn't try to explain those grades and tie it to our potential strengths in certain practice areas?

E.g., I thought getting a bad grade in crim was better than getting a bad grade in civ pro as far as big law was concerned.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is this correct or are you misreading the OP? OP said he is BOTTOM 30-40%.... is that within range for biglaw at MVBP? I was under the impression that this wasn't even too good for CCN.


Although I feel like a broken record saying this, I'm just going to repeat it anyway. This whole idea of CCN is way, way overblown. Frankly, after seeing grade information for a lot of these firms, unless you're talking about NYC firms (and obviously Chicago firms for UChicago)they are generally looking for the same grades from these schools. Sorry, but it's really HYS vs. everyone else in the top 14, with adjustments for each school in their respective home market (and even then it's frequently not that different).

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:50 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this correct or are you misreading the OP? OP said he is BOTTOM 30-40%.... is that within range for biglaw at MVBP? I was under the impression that this wasn't even too good for CCN.


Although I feel like a broken record saying this, I'm just going to repeat it anyway. This whole idea of CCN is way, way overblown. Frankly, after seeing grade information for a lot of these firms, unless you're talking about NYC firms (and obviously Chicago firms for UChicago)they are generally looking for the same grades from these schools. Sorry, but it's really HYS vs. everyone else in the top 14, with adjustments for each school in their respective home market (and even then it's frequently not that different).


I don't want to turn this thread into a CCN war, but M and B are definitely not performing at the level of CCN in recent years...

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:56 pm

lawgod wrote:Only personal experience counts? How many cycles have you been through?


Two cycles myself. And personal experience isn't all that counts, but (a) you pick up a lot by osmosis and (b) I've talked to a shit ton of hiring attorneys and recruiters.
Anonymous User wrote:Interesting. So even if we did dramatically better in a couple classes (which happen to be more relevant to certain practice areas than others), we shouldn't try to explain those grades and tie it to our potential strengths in certain practice areas?

E.g., I thought getting a bad grade in crim was better than getting a bad grade in civ pro as far as big law was concerned.


That's a very intuitive way to think about things, but it's not correct. Recruiters and hiring partners know that your grade in each class is not a perfect reflection of your mastery of the material. Even law professors realize that they often give low grades to people with strong intellect and grasp of the material. It all comes down to how well you apply it to a very narrow fact pattern under time pressure.

In college, an A in bio probably meant, amongst other things, a solid command of biology. While an A in civ pro might be similarly reflective, a B- doesn't mean you were lazy, or knew the material poorly. That's understood.

Beyond the fact that it's poorly correlated, it's widely understood - and often joked about in interviews -that 1L courses don't prepare you in any way for the practice of law, outside of perhaps training you to think in terms of case law. You just aren't learning relevant stuff your 1L year. Nobody falls back on their Civ Pro knowledge when they litigate, and nobody expects any particular set of information to come out of a 1L doctrinal course. Screw ball professors notoriously underemphasize wide swaths of doctrine.

On top of all of that, a course like 'contracts' is really teaching you contracts from a litigators point of view, and probably not even of the body of law relevant to any given employer. Fine distinctions don't stand up.

In short, individual grades are really not scrutinized in big firm hiring. They use your average to asses a rough sense of your intellect, drive, and pain tolerance -and they really only even do that because there's little else to go on at that stage. No big law hiring partner is happy about using grades to make decisions.

These are all generalities, so there may be some partner somewhere who hunts for people who got A+s in torts to become personal injury lawyers. It's not how the field operates in general though, and you can only prepare yourself for the usual, not for every quirk you come across.

BruceWayne wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this correct or are you misreading the OP? OP said he is BOTTOM 30-40%.... is that within range for biglaw at MVBP? I was under the impression that this wasn't even too good for CCN.


Although I feel like a broken record saying this, I'm just going to repeat it anyway. This whole idea of CCN is way, way overblown. Frankly, after seeing grade information for a lot of these firms, unless you're talking about NYC firms (and obviously Chicago firms for UChicago)they are generally looking for the same grades from these schools. Sorry, but it's really HYS vs. everyone else in the top 14, with adjustments for each school in their respective home market (and even then it's frequently not that different).


I agree with you, but the problem is what you have as one small caveat ("unless you're talking about NYC firms") is actually enormously important to the law student population due to the concentration of jobs in New York City. To a student who wants -any- big firm job their 2L year, CCN (even Chicago) present a real advantage. I come to this conclusion by looking at both public and non-public information about how firms hire from various classes. It's been debated at length before, so I'm throwing this out there for anyone who happens to be reading, I know you and I don't see eye to eye on this (and that's fine, we're both operating on relatively limited information).

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BruceWayne
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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:58 am

thesealocust wrote: agree with you, but the problem is what you have as one small caveat ("unless you're talking about NYC firms") is actually enormously important to the law student population due to the concentration of jobs in New York City. To a student who wants -any- big firm job their 2L year, CCN (even Chicago) present a real advantage.


But even this is screwed up by Penn. Apparently, the NYC firms look for similiar grades from Penn as they do "CCN". Basically you need good grades no matter where you are in the top 14, with minor 5-10 percent rankings adjustments based on market and school. HYS are really the only schools where the firms are digging significantly deeper.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby rayiner » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:01 am

thesealocust wrote:The average is what matters. Lawgod is wrong about specific classes your 1L year having any bearing whatsoever on the practice areas you express interest in.


Got dinged at a DC firm entirely for my con law grade, when partner noted that con law is extremely important for those who want to do government litigation/regulatory work.

Agree with the point generally though.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby rayiner » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:03 am

BruceWayne wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is this correct or are you misreading the OP? OP said he is BOTTOM 30-40%.... is that within range for biglaw at MVBP? I was under the impression that this wasn't even too good for CCN.


Although I feel like a broken record saying this, I'm just going to repeat it anyway. This whole idea of CCN is way, way overblown. Frankly, after seeing grade information for a lot of these firms, unless you're talking about NYC firms (and obviously Chicago firms for UChicago)they are generally looking for the same grades from these schools. Sorry, but it's really HYS vs. everyone else in the top 14, with adjustments for each school in their respective home market (and even then it's frequently not that different).


I agree that CCN only really matters in NYC and to a much lesser extent DC. However, if your goal is about just getting biglaw somewhere, those NYC firms you discount are about half the available pool of jobs.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:20 am

Also probably worth noting that, at least at my CCN, there is no pre-screening on interviews. Wouldn't mind seeing a list of how OCI attendance compares among schools, either. Access is a big deal. And at least in NYC, firms don't really have to pay anything (flight, hotel, etc.) to give a CLS/NYU student a callback.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:33 pm

rayiner wrote:I agree that CCN only really matters in NYC and to a much lesser extent DC. However, if your goal is about just getting biglaw somewhere, those NYC firms you discount are about half the available pool of jobs.


Note what I said about Penn above.


Can you explain the logic behind the partner's statement about Con Law and government/regulatory work? I'm missing something there. Wouldn't that be more like Admin law?

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rayiner
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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby rayiner » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:18 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
rayiner wrote:I agree that CCN only really matters in NYC and to a much lesser extent DC. However, if your goal is about just getting biglaw somewhere, those NYC firms you discount are about half the available pool of jobs.


Can you explain the logic behind the partner's statement about Con Law and government/regulatory work? I'm missing something there. Wouldn't that be more like Admin law?


Admin Law is heavily Constitutional. It's all about separation of powers and deference to the legislature and whatnot.

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Re: Will one bad grade f*** an entire transcript/application?

Postby protein » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:55 am

As long as we're on the whole "tiers within the T14" thing, T10 is such a meaningless distinction to make




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