One Bad Grade Question

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Anonymous User
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One Bad Grade Question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:35 pm

So, overall I have a decent GPA but one (low) grade stands out. I've been asked about it twice in screening interviews (and both times missed out on a callback, although correlation isn't necessarily causation). I had been saying something along the lines of having one mistake snake through the entire exam/know the mistake now and won't make it again (even though this is, as you will see, BS).

My teacher refuses to meet with me to go over the exam (actually thinking about writing to the dean on this one), and her model answer is not super helpful in terms of getting to the bottom of the crash and burn, so I have nothing for the "why" when it comes. My question is what might be a good answer if asked again, particularly given that callbacks are coming up and I want to have a good deflecting move in my back pocket. The class was criminal law, so it's not at all relevant to my future, but the question has come before so I want to be ready if it comes again.

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daesonesb
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Re: One Bad Grade Question

Postby daesonesb » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:So, overall I have a decent GPA but one (low) grade stands out. I've been asked about it twice in screening interviews (and both times missed out on a callback, although correlation isn't necessarily causation). I had been saying something along the lines of having one mistake snake through the entire exam/know the mistake now and won't make it again (even though this is, as you will see, BS).

My teacher refuses to meet with me to go over the exam (actually thinking about writing to the dean on this one), and her model answer is not super helpful in terms of getting to the bottom of the crash and burn, so I have nothing for the "why" when it comes. My question is what might be a good answer if asked again, particularly given that callbacks are coming up and I want to have a good deflecting move in my back pocket. The class was criminal law, so it's not at all relevant to my future, but the question has come before so I want to be ready if it comes again.


I would just say that criminal law wasn't for me. Id also mention that I'd love to find out a little more about what went wrong there, because the grade is so different than my others, but that it's been challenging to figure it out because that teacher doesn't meet to go over tests. Don't bash the teacher, but if you mention that she isn't meeting students to go over their grade with them, I think the interviewer will get their own ideas about the teacher.

Just say that you considered it to be an outlier, but also a reminder that you need to push yourself at all times and not get comfortable.

Anonymous User
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Re: One Bad Grade Question

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:03 am

Yes, I would say that that subject is just not your thing - although if it's a really bad grade, you might want to try the mistake that snaked through thing. By the way, along the same lines, I've been thinking about how to explain (if anyone asks) my two B+'s in clerkship interviews, one of which unfortunately came in Fed Courts - what do people think of "Property's not my thing (and the professor was a law and economics type, which also isn't my thing)" and "I wrote a decent exam in Fed Courts but the class was essentially comprised of the entire law review, so the curve was tough"?

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Dignan
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Re: One Bad Grade Question

Postby Dignan » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yes, I would say that that subject is just not your thing - although if it's a really bad grade, you might want to try the mistake that snaked through thing. By the way, along the same lines, I've been thinking about how to explain (if anyone asks) my two B+'s in clerkship interviews, one of which unfortunately came in Fed Courts - what do people think of "Property's not my thing (and the professor was a law and economics type, which also isn't my thing)" and "I wrote a decent exam in Fed Courts but the class was essentially comprised of the entire law review, so the curve was tough"?

Your "Fed Courts" explanation seems like a bad idea. I don't doubt that your class included plenty of law review students. But guess what? The pool of qualified clerkship applicants consists largely of law review students, at your school and elsewhere. Your explanation implicitly reveals that, even when you do a decent job, you aren't on the same level as the competition. You are basically saying: "I did a good job but I just didn't measure up well against top students."

I think a better approach would be to say that you had a bad day, or that you screwed up an answer to a particular question. Judges were students too, and most of them had the experience of making a mess of a law school exam or two.
Last edited by Dignan on Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: One Bad Grade Question

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:36 am

Dignan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yes, I would say that that subject is just not your thing - although if it's a really bad grade, you might want to try the mistake that snaked through thing. By the way, along the same lines, I've been thinking about how to explain (if anyone asks) my two B+'s in clerkship interviews, one of which unfortunately came in Fed Courts - what do people think of "Property's not my thing (and the professor was a law and economics type, which also isn't my thing)" and "I wrote a decent exam in Fed Courts but the class was essentially comprised of the entire law review, so the curve was tough"?

Your "Fed Courts" explanation seems like a bad idea. I don't doubt that your class included plenty of law review students. But guess what? The pool of qualified clerkship applicants consists largely of law review students, at your school and elsewhere. Your explanation implicitly reveals that, even when you do a decent job, you aren't on the same level as the competition. You are basically saying: "I did a good job but I just didn't measure up well against top students."

I think a better approach would be to say that you had a bad day, or that you screwed up an answer to a particular question. Judges were students do, and most of them had the experience of screwing up a law school exam or two.


I think my 3.9 GPA negates that as a general matter, but yeah, I agree with you. Honestly though, I didn't have a bad day, or at least I really didn't think so. I guess I could always say I missed a couple of abstention doctrines.

Anonymous User
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Re: One Bad Grade Question

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think my 3.9 GPA negates that as a general matter, but yeah, I agree with you. Honestly though, I didn't have a bad day, or at least I really didn't think so. I guess I could always say I missed a couple of abstention doctrines.


Congrats on your 3.9 bro :roll:

As a fellow student with a 3.9 GPA, I still agree with what the other person said. I doubt many people will ask you why you got a B+ in Fed Courts; if they do, don't turn into a pile of jelly with excuses; even more so, don't give them a reason to think your 3.9 wasn't as hard to get as it was. Saying the competition was fierce is admitting the competition WASN'T fierce in your other classes.

Excuse the grandiose analogy, but Alexander the Great wouldn't stop fighting to explain why he received a small cut in a battle; he'd keep cutting heads off.




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