2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

(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: 273398
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:10 am

I'm a 2L at a T20 school with median grades. Let's assume I don't get anything from OCI/mass mails/etc this fall.

Will grades from here on out really be a factor in getting a job? I'm not competitive for biglawl or a clerkship, and to raise my GPA significantly, I'd have to nail every class from here till graduation, and I don't think I have the will power to do so.

Should I coast through the rest of school only focusing on jobs/networking while taking fun and easy classes, such as Law and X, loading up on the max pass fail credits allowed, etc

or should I take serious classes and work hard?

User avatar
Bosque
Posts: 1585
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:14 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Bosque » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L at a T20 school with median grades. Let's assume I don't get anything from OCI/mass mails/etc this fall.

Will grades from here on out really be a factor in getting a job? I'm not competitive for biglawl or a clerkship, and to raise my GPA significantly, I'd have to nail every class from here till graduation, and I don't think I have the will power to do so.

Should I coast through the rest of school only focusing on jobs/networking while taking fun and easy classes, such as Law and X, loading up on the max pass fail credits allowed, etc

or should I take serious classes and work hard?


How about take fun and easy classes and work hard?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273398
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:45 pm

What if you already have an offer? Do grades still matter if you are not planning on doing a clerkship? Will employers look at that in the future?

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L at a T20 school with median grades. Let's assume I don't get anything from OCI/mass mails/etc this fall.

Will grades from here on out really be a factor in getting a job? I'm not competitive for biglawl or a clerkship, and to raise my GPA significantly, I'd have to nail every class from here till graduation, and I don't think I have the will power to do so.

Should I coast through the rest of school only focusing on jobs/networking while taking fun and easy classes, such as Law and X, loading up on the max pass fail credits allowed, etc

or should I take serious classes and work hard?


Why are you still in school then? What are you trying to do w/your law degree?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273398
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:38 pm

Get a job and practice law, durr man. You need to graduate to be able to take barzam. Some people might suggest dropping out after striking out, but thats kind of silly.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273398
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Get a job and practice law, durr man. You need to graduate to be able to take barzam. Some people might suggest dropping out after striking out, but thats kind of silly.


i disagree with the bolded. i think op should be thinking very seriously about dropping out. particularly if he hasnt paid for this semester yet. median t25 without any initiative to improve hardly suggests that he or she be able to make law school worthwhile.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273398
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What if you already have an offer? Do grades still matter if you are not planning on doing a clerkship? Will employers look at that in the future?


This depends upon at least two things: (1) whether your firm will request transcripts and/or grades and (2) your career aspirations.

If you just want to work at that firm and they have no policy on transcript request, then I don't see why cruising through 3L is such a big deal. OTOH, if you're interested in trading up firms or lateralling into any competitive industry within a few years of graduation, you might want to keep the grades up.

My firm doesn't request transcripts, but I want to keep my options open. Thus, I'm going to at least maintain my grades (e.g. try). It's fucking tough to care much about 3L when you've got an offer in hand and no interest in clerking.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11725
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby kalvano » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:22 pm

A lot of firms have cut summer programs. Not necessarily the TLS idealized huge firms, but smaller and more mid-size firms. They have indicated that they are going to focus on hiring graduating 3L's. If that is something that appeals, then grades will still be important.

Also, lulz at people who are serious about dropping out.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273398
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Get a job and practice law, durr man. You need to graduate to be able to take barzam. Some people might suggest dropping out after striking out, but thats kind of silly.


i disagree with the bolded. i think op should be thinking very seriously about dropping out. particularly if he hasnt paid for this semester yet. median t25 without any initiative to improve hardly suggests that he or she be able to make law school worthwhile.


What if I'm at a T20-T30 school with a decent scholarship, but I really enjoy law and want to be a lawyer, how does realizing grades no longer matter mean law school wont be worthwhile. Knowledge of subjection does not in my experience directly correlate with with grades. I can enjoy law school and learn well and still get medianish grades the rest of my time here. I'd rather spend time focusing on finding a job then getting an A in corporations.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273398
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:14 pm

As a 3L who did not summer and just got my 4th CB, I think 2L grades can matter a lot. I go to a T14 and am top 10%, so maybe the only matter at the very high end, but still the notion that grades after 1L don't matter is a serious mistake.

User avatar
Julio_El_Chavo
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:17 pm

They matter in certain contexts, but 1L grades are much more important for people on the "traditional" T10 track of 2L summer associate biglaw job ----> associate position with big firm. Not many firms are going to ding you if your grades dip, although the chances of being dinged increase (obviously) with the drop in your GPA.

sebastian0622
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby sebastian0622 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Get a job and practice law, durr man. You need to graduate to be able to take barzam. Some people might suggest dropping out after striking out, but thats kind of silly.


i disagree with the bolded. i think op should be thinking very seriously about dropping out. particularly if he hasnt paid for this semester yet. median t25 without any initiative to improve hardly suggests that he or she be able to make law school worthwhile.


First, this post didn't need to be anon and a mod should consider outing this poster.

Second, the final sentence is vague and seems to suggest that it is not possible for a person to have little interest in improving in law school yet end up being a worthy (and employed) attorney. I don't agree with this position and find it borderline absurd, potentially completely backward. After all, the people who do best in law school tend to go to the biggest firms. The people in the biggest firms are by far the least happy lawyers in practice. This would suggest that doing well in law school might be a bigger factor in failing to make law school "worthwhile," as long as you consider that little "being happy in life" thing to be a decent measure of the utility derived from your education / career.

This isn't an up-is-down doublespeak exercise. Doing well in law school is a good thing. However, OP seems to have some balance in his assessment of things (e.g. effort vs. reward, value of time outside of school/work), and that balance being absent from some top students may be what makes them disproportionately unhappy later in life.

memo2partner
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby memo2partner » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:29 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Get a job and practice law, durr man. You need to graduate to be able to take barzam. Some people might suggest dropping out after striking out, but thats kind of silly.


i disagree with the bolded. i think op should be thinking very seriously about dropping out. particularly if he hasnt paid for this semester yet. median t25 without any initiative to improve hardly suggests that he or she be able to make law school worthwhile.


First, this post didn't need to be anon and a mod should consider outing this poster.

Second, the final sentence is vague and seems to suggest that it is not possible for a person to have little interest in improving in law school yet end up being a worthy (and employed) attorney. I don't agree with this position and find it borderline absurd, potentially completely backward. After all, the people who do best in law school tend to go to the biggest firms. The people in the biggest firms are by far the least happy lawyers in practice. This would suggest that doing well in law school might be a bigger factor in failing to make law school "worthwhile," as long as you consider that little "being happy in life" thing to be a decent measure of the utility derived from your education / career.

This isn't an up-is-down doublespeak exercise. Doing well in law school is a good thing. However, OP seems to have some balance in his assessment of things (e.g. effort vs. reward, value of time outside of school/work), and that balance being absent from some top students may be what makes them disproportionately unhappy later in life.


You have to remember, tho, that the people who do poorly in law school and wind up getting shitlaw are much less happy than those in biglaw:

http://T14 Paradise.blogspot.com/

sebastian0622
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby sebastian0622 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:03 pm

memo2partner wrote:
sebastian0622 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Get a job and practice law, durr man. You need to graduate to be able to take barzam. Some people might suggest dropping out after striking out, but thats kind of silly.


i disagree with the bolded. i think op should be thinking very seriously about dropping out. particularly if he hasnt paid for this semester yet. median t25 without any initiative to improve hardly suggests that he or she be able to make law school worthwhile.


First, this post didn't need to be anon and a mod should consider outing this poster.

Second, the final sentence is vague and seems to suggest that it is not possible for a person to have little interest in improving in law school yet end up being a worthy (and employed) attorney. I don't agree with this position and find it borderline absurd, potentially completely backward. After all, the people who do best in law school tend to go to the biggest firms. The people in the biggest firms are by far the least happy lawyers in practice. This would suggest that doing well in law school might be a bigger factor in failing to make law school "worthwhile," as long as you consider that little "being happy in life" thing to be a decent measure of the utility derived from your education / career.

This isn't an up-is-down doublespeak exercise. Doing well in law school is a good thing. However, OP seems to have some balance in his assessment of things (e.g. effort vs. reward, value of time outside of school/work), and that balance being absent from some top students may be what makes them disproportionately unhappy later in life.


You have to remember, tho, that the people who do poorly in law school and wind up getting shitlaw are much less happy than those in biglaw:

http://T14 Paradise.blogspot.com/


Depends what you mean by shitlaw. The studies I've seen show that the happiest lawyers work in firms with 10-20 or so lawyers. In terms of happiness, biglaw is shitlaw.

luthersloan
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby luthersloan » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:56 pm

Happiness studies tend almost always have serious correlation/causation problems. After all, the only difference between lawyers working in biglaw and lawyers working in small law is not where they work, it is entirely possible that people who work in small law are happier by nature.

sebastian0622
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby sebastian0622 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:05 pm

The studies don't just measure "happiness" in a vacuum. They also measure factors that rationally correlate to happiness, such as number of hours worked and time spent with family. Lawyers at small firms score better on things like that, too.

Edit: here's one study that floats around here: --LinkRemoved--

luthersloan
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby luthersloan » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:09 pm

Right, if you work fewer hours you might be happier, so if that is what you prefer you are likely to be happier as a small lawyer. But, if you don't have and don't want a family, or like money a lot, the calculus changes. My point that it is not all that helpful to say small lawyers are happier on average, since that is at best only the roughest approximation of how happy any particular person would be as one, compared to a big law lawyer, or whatever other career path might be open to them.

sebastian0622
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby sebastian0622 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:15 pm

luthersloan wrote:Right, if you work fewer hours you might be happier, so if that is what you prefer you are likely to be happier as a small lawyer. But, if you don't have and don't want a family, or like money a lot, the calculus changes. My point that it is not all that helpful to say small lawyers are happier on average, since that is at best only the roughest approximation of how happy any particular person would be as one, compared to a big law lawyer, or whatever other career path might be open to them.


The point is that very few people are happy working 65 hours a week to line the pockets of partners despite the pay. They just think they will be happy doing that when they are in law school. Just look at the high percentage of people who leave big firms and the low percentage who ever attain partner.

This isn't a matter of "everybody is different, and a lot of people will be happy in biglaw." I suppose that's true anecdotally; it's also true anecdotally that a lot of people like to cut themselves. As an empirical observation, people in biglaw work too much, are unhappy, and leave. That's not to say everyone is like that, but it does say that if you are still in law school and think you're an exception, you're probably wrong.

luthersloan
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby luthersloan » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:21 pm

It is true that most people in big law are unhappy, it does not follow from that however that it is a mistake for them to be there. For example, if you owe a whole bunch of student debt it might make sense to work in big law for a few years to take a big bite out of it and then flee, that is after all seemingly what a lot of people do. Or work in big law for a few years to gain experience/training to go off an do what they really want to do. Even if they are unhappy while they are there, it still might be the best thing to do from the stand point of overall happiness. I go to school where most people plan, and do, spend some time at law firms, but not that many people are even interested in staying in big law long term, mostly because they really want to do something else. Short term happiness is not everything, after all.

sebastian0622
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby sebastian0622 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:01 pm

luthersloan wrote:It is true that most people in big law are unhappy, it does not follow from that however that it is a mistake for them to be there. For example, if you owe a whole bunch of student debt it might make sense to work in big law for a few years to take a big bite out of it and then flee, that is after all seemingly what a lot of people do. Or work in big law for a few years to gain experience/training to go off an do what they really want to do. Even if they are unhappy while they are there, it still might be the best thing to do from the stand point of overall happiness. I go to school where most people plan, and do, spend some time at law firms, but not that many people are even interested in staying in big law long term, mostly because they really want to do something else. Short term happiness is not everything, after all.


I'm not sure you remember the context in which this discussing arose. Someone told OP that he should consider dropping out because he is unlikely to make worthwhile use out of his education if he is unwilling to improve his GPA. One of my points, that led us to here, was that there are worthwhile pursuits that don't require you have great grades, and also a lot of pursuits that do require great grades that, as the data suggest, are not particularly worthwhile.

The argument isn't whether good grades/biglaw is an option, but whether it's the only worthwhile option. I think neither grades nor biglaw are requirements to have a "worthwhile" legal career.

Of course, I will be practicing family law for a relatively small firm, so I'm biased...but that bias is kind of the point. I feel like what I will be doing is what I really want to do, and I got the job back when my grades were pretty mediocre. Now I have other options opening but I don't feel they are any more "worthwhile." Actually, they sound like they'll be exactly like the article I linked and I'll be miserable. I'll make enough at my option to get by and pay off loans.

Again, to keep this in the proper context: you don't have to excel at law school to be a good lawyer or have a worthwhile career. To assert so is ludicrous. There are a lot of successful lawyers out there who couldn't even get accepted at top FIFTY schools, much less be top 10% at Columbia. Academics are as much of a crutch as a door-opener. You have to be a lot better-rounded to maximize your job opportunities and, more importantly, maximize your happiness.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273398
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:06 pm

sorry to hijack, but i have a related although slightly different q.

if you are lucky enough to have gotten an offer thru OCI, how seriously do you have to take the last two years? on one hand, i don't want to completely screw up and get my offer rescinded for bad grades, but on the other hand, i absolutely worked my ass off last year (like most 1Ls) and don't really feel like repeating the experience for no reason. has anyone ever heard of someone getting a SA offer rescinded after 2L grades for academic reasons (or a permanent offer rescinded after 3L grades), & if so, how badly did the person in question have to do in order for that to happen?

itbdvorm
Posts: 1573
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:09 am

Re: 2L/3L Do Grades Matter Anymore?

Postby itbdvorm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:05 pm

Two points:

1) I was legitimately asking the poster what he/she wanted to get out of law school. Not saying "drop out", saying what are you trying to get out of it? The answer to that matters for the answer to the intial question

2) For the last poster - yes, it happens. Don't F up your 2/3L grades that badly. Will going from a 3.7 to a 3.5 kill you? Probably not. 3.7 to 3.0? Maaybe...depending on firm/school. But 2L/3L year classes are easier




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.