UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

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showNprove
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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby showNprove » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:11 am

desertlaw wrote:I'm not sure I see the utility of this thread. The poster did everything that anyone on TLS would recommend for low-median grades: find secondary markets or smaller firms, play up your personality or any strengths that don't come from the grades, and hustle hustle hustle.

Congrats to the Origposter for getting your job. I'm glad when any other UVa student has success. I'm just not sure how this thread will benefit anyone in the future. Yes, it's possible to get a solid SA position without good grades if you're at a good school. But I thought we knew this. The OP's story might be more against the odds than typical, but it's not completely shocking.

Also, it needs to be said again that personality plays a HUGE factor in BigLaw NYC/DC/Cali firms. Grades open the door, but firms still have to sort through a bunch of different people. Talk to the people that are in the top 10-20% of the class, trying to get to DC, and have struggled mightily.

You would think this isn't shocking, but then you see threads on TLS about whether below-median students at UVa will ever find gainful employment.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:29 am

desertlaw wrote:I'm not sure I see the utility of this thread. The poster did everything that anyone on TLS would recommend for low-median grades: find secondary markets or smaller firms, play up your personality or any strengths that don't come from the grades, and hustle hustle hustle.

Congrats to the Origposter for getting your job. I'm glad when any other UVa student has success. I'm just not sure how this thread will benefit anyone in the future. Yes, it's possible to get a solid SA position without good grades if you're at a good school. But I thought we knew this. The OP's story might be more against the odds than typical, but it's not completely shocking.

Also, it needs to be said again that personality plays a HUGE factor in BigLaw NYC/DC/Cali firms. Grades open the door, but firms still have to sort through a bunch of different people. Talk to the people that are in the top 10-20% of the class, trying to get to DC, and have struggled mightily.



I don't know about all that. I've seen countless threads where many claim that one's best shot at biglaw is NYC; I've even seen many where people go so far as to say that it is "stupid, foolish, and 0L-esque" to think that one can get a job in a secondary market. Quite frankly I found this to be the exact opposite of reality. People who are willing to go to their secondary markets, especially if that market is in the South tend to do MUCH better than those targeting NYC and or only willing to work in NYC/DC here at UVA. My friends from secondary markets, even with worse grades, who targeted those markets did better than the one's I know who were heavily NYC and DC focused.

Maybe the majority of the people on this site are from NYC/DC/Cali and thus are having trouble breaking into secondary markets, but for those students who are from secondary markets, they are often your best shot at a firm job. And the thing with NYC/DC/Cali firms is that personality only matters AFTER the door is opened. If you don't have the grades the firms in those cities simply don't give a damn how great your personality is. The door is shut to you before you even have a chance to display your personality because of their harsh grade cutoffs. That's not the case for the secondary markets. Often your ties plus your top school get you in the door and then your personality can seal the deal. If you have my grades but target NYC firms you are likely to come up empty handed. Frankly, I ignored much of the rhetoric I heard on this website when it comes to the hiring process, and I'm glad I did.

One thing I would recommend to 0L's is going to a top 14 that is strong in your home market if you are not from NYC/DC. That can really save the day for you because it gives you a big stick to swing when you go into interviews. Frankly, if you're from NYC and going into interviews with my grades from UVA you're in deep trouble. But if you are a Boalt student from Cali going into Cali interviews, a UVA student from Florida going into Fl firm interviews, or a Michigan student from Cincinnati going into Ohio firm interviews, you have a lot of tools to fight for employment with. Especially when most of your competition is coming from Hastings, Florida State, and Ohio State. Going into a NYC firm with UVA degree and bad grades is hella rough when you're fighting against tons of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, Penn and Cornell grads--especially when some of them have better grades than you.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:are you a urm?


Like I said originally I have given all of the background info that I am willing to reveal in the first post. But I will say this, of my friends that are URM, I would say that they are actually doing WORSE than the class as a whole. As the previous poster stated, it is borderline irrelevant for hiring purposes. Basically I'm gathering that it works the same way as it does in other traditional white collar corporate fields.


Um. URM matters A LOT. Do you not understand that? I am a URM at a t10 school. It makes a difference.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:10 am

I am a URM at a t10 school. It makes a difference.


I'm not sure how the former proves the latter...

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:12 am

Op a few q's:

1.) Do you feel like other students share your fortune? Is UVa placing even lower ranked students in gainful employment or are you a strong exception?

2.) how'd you get your interviews?

3) what did you talk about if you had no w/e?

4.) if you weren't from the south but wanted it, what would you have done? Do you think it would've worked?

Thanks and congrats!!

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:are you a urm?


Like I said originally I have given all of the background info that I am willing to reveal in the first post. But I will say this, of my friends that are URM, I would say that they are actually doing WORSE than the class as a whole. As the previous poster stated, it is borderline irrelevant for hiring purposes. Basically I'm gathering that it works the same way as it does in other traditional white collar corporate fields.


Um. URM matters A LOT. Do you not understand that? I am a URM at a t10 school. It makes a difference.


URM helps to get a 1L summer internship. and the 1L urm's i know that got one got offers from that firm for 2L.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:41 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
I am a URM at a t10 school. It makes a difference.


I'm not sure how the former proves the latter...


URM matters. I am a URM with good grades at a T14 for background. URMs can go to job fairs which can lead to dozens of additional interviews. I don't know about a URM with bad grades, but if you have good grades and are some type of brown that firms care about you will crush.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
I am a URM at a t10 school. It makes a difference.


I'm not sure how the former proves the latter...


URM matters. I am a URM with good grades at a T14 for background. URMs can go to job fairs which can lead to dozens of additional interviews. I don't know about a URM with bad grades, but if you have good grades and are some type of brown that firms care about you will crush.


But that example really isn't illuminating. Caucasians with god grades tend to "crush" as well.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:13 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
But that example really isn't illuminating. Caucasians with god grades tend to "crush" as well.


Yeah I was about to point this out as well but it was so obvious that you beat me to it...Like I said earlier everyone who I know with good grades--regardless of their background--does well. The URMs I know with good grades are doing great just like the non URMs I know that have good grades are doing great. Grades are immensely important to firms. Especially to the mega vault firms that most people talk about online. Those firms often hire 40+ summer associates per year and with that sort of hiring model soft factors just don't come into play very much.


AriGoldButNicer wrote:Op a few q's:

1.) Do you feel like other students share your fortune? Is UVa placing even lower ranked students in gainful employment or are you a strong exception?

2.) how'd you get your interviews?

3) what did you talk about if you had no w/e?

4.) if you weren't from the south but wanted it, what would you have done? Do you think it would've worked?

Thanks and congrats!!


1) As I was discussing in one of my earlier posts, this is heavily dependent on the student's expectations and ties. Students who are willing to go back to their secondary markets (assuming that they are from a secondary market), especially if that market is in the South, seem to be finding gainful employment even with poor grades. However, a significant number of people come to UVA who are either from NYC/DC/Cali etc. and/or are obsessed with working with those areas even if they are from a secondary market. These people struggle if they do not earn strong grades.

2) OGI, mass mail, symplicity resume drop etc.

3) My 1L summer internship. This is HUGE. I notice that a lot of people say that that doesn't matter--THIS IS DEAD WRONG if you are interviewing at non vault mega firms. Yes, the giant vault firms don't care, but many of the other one's do. This is why you should try to get a strong legal 1L summer internship and preferably in the market where you want to work. This can be critical. Discuss, in depth, the assignments that you worked on during your 1L summer and explain how they were applicable/similar to work done in a law firm. I also discussed my ties to the region, moot court experience, and the undergraduate experiences (ec activities etc.) that I did that would prepare me to work in a law firm.

4) To be frank--no. If you do not have good grades, targeting secondary markets where you do not have ties is probably going to be a losing battle. This is another reason why I HIGHLY suggest going to a top 14 school that is strong in your region--even if it means going to a "lower" ranked top 14 (with the exception of HYS--go there no matter what). If you are from NC and are interested in working in Charlotte, go to Duke over NYU.

Good luck!

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:38 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Fresh Prince wrote:
I am a URM at a t10 school. It makes a difference.


I'm not sure how the former proves the latter...


URM matters. I am a URM with good grades at a T14 for background. URMs can go to job fairs which can lead to dozens of additional interviews. I don't know about a URM with bad grades, but if you have good grades and are some type of brown that firms care about you will crush.


But that example really isn't illuminating. Caucasians with god grades tend to "crush" as well.


What I meant was they "crush" even better than caucassians with better grades. So a black guy who is top 1/4 may (in fact I'd say probably will) perform like a white guy who is top 10%. Obviously this is based on anecdotes and my limited experience talking with fellow URMs but this is a trend that I have seen. It is hard to believe that firms, which spend money to attend various minority job fairs, specifically reach out to diverse groups on campus, and play up how diverse they are, don't care at all that you are a URM. This has not been my experience, nor the experience of the URMs that I know. Maybe you know people who have had different experiences but I think that if you are a URM who (1) attends a top school and (2) has decent grades (above median) you are going to significantly outperform similarly situated white students.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:07 pm

What I meant was they "crush" even better than caucassians with better grades. So a black guy who is top 1/4 may (in fact I'd say probably will) perform like a white guy who is top 10%. Obviously this is based on anecdotes and my limited experience talking with fellow URMs but this is a trend that I have seen. It is hard to believe that firms, which spend money to attend various minority job fairs, specifically reach out to diverse groups on campus, and play up how diverse they are, don't care at all that you are a URM. This has not been my experience, nor the experience of the URMs that I know. Maybe you know people who have had different experiences but I think that if you are a URM who (1) attends a top school and (2) has decent grades (above median) you are going to significantly outperform similarly situated white students.


I think this is true.

But still, you haven't really shown that people of color with bad grades fare better. I think that's the more important question here. Whether one ends up at a V10 rather than a V50 is a dumb argument to have.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:15 pm

To say that soft factors don't matter much to the big-time Vault firms (or however OP put it) is ridiculous. Yes, you need certain grades to get the interview, but I know plenty of examples of top 1/3 students out-performing top 10% students because of personality, WE, and other soft factors.

Yes, big NYC/DC firms have grade cut-offs, but then your personality/fit still matters a lot because there is still a HUGE pool of applicants that the firms are interviewing. OP has a good point that the secondary market firms just might not have as big of a pool from top schools, so they can be less picky about grades and more picky about school prestige or personality.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To say that soft factors don't matter much to the big-time Vault firms (or however OP put it) is ridiculous. Yes, you need certain grades to get the interview, but I know plenty of examples of top 1/3 students out-performing top 10% students because of personality, WE, and other soft factors.

Yes, big NYC/DC firms have grade cut-offs, but then your personality/fit still matters a lot because there is still a HUGE pool of applicants that the firms are interviewing. OP has a good point that the secondary market firms just might not have as big of a pool from top schools, so they can be less picky about grades and more picky about school prestige or personality.


Geez I know that you probably attend an elite law school, went to an elite undergrad, and are accustomed to a certain way of thinking, but you need to gain some perspective/a reality check. Someone with grades as high or higher than 70 percent of the class beating out someone with grades at the 90th percentile because of personality is NOT, even in the slightest, a good way of saying/proving that personality matters significantly to those firms.

Honestly, because I'm accustomed to the type of people who attend top schools I know that you are dead serious, but sit back and think about what you are saying for a second. Your claim is like someone saying that personality is a big factor to a guy who picks Beyonce over Halle Berry. As I said, and ironically enough as you are saying yourself, just with a different spin on it, the big time NYC/DC vault firms have extremely harsh cutoffs (often very high,with grades like you mentioned, top 30 percent etc.) below which personality and softs are borderline irrelevant. For students who don't pull off the excellent grades that you mentioned (top 30 percent etc.) they are out of luck even with a good personality etc.. Thankfully secondary markets are often truly willing to overlook grades. In other words willing to give a bottom 10, 20, 30, below median etc. student a chance.

Giving a "lowly" top 30 percent student a job over a top 10 percent one because of soft factors isn't some great sign that a firm is heavily focused on non grade factors. For goodness sake the top 1/3 person might have spotted 5 fewer issues on two exams and thus gotten two B+s whereas the top 10 percent guy spotted those extra 5 on one exam and got an A-. Even many elite firms know that it's ridiculous to pick the latter over the former purely based on that. Particulary when you throw in something as strong as significant full time WE.


This is the last thing I will say about this though. Whatever anon poster this is is detracting from the main point of the thread. I'm not even particularly sure why they're posting here now that I think about it.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:44 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
What I meant was they "crush" even better than caucassians with better grades. So a black guy who is top 1/4 may (in fact I'd say probably will) perform like a white guy who is top 10%. Obviously this is based on anecdotes and my limited experience talking with fellow URMs but this is a trend that I have seen. It is hard to believe that firms, which spend money to attend various minority job fairs, specifically reach out to diverse groups on campus, and play up how diverse they are, don't care at all that you are a URM. This has not been my experience, nor the experience of the URMs that I know. Maybe you know people who have had different experiences but I think that if you are a URM who (1) attends a top school and (2) has decent grades (above median) you are going to significantly outperform similarly situated white students.


I think this is true.

But still, you haven't really shown that people of color with bad grades fare better. I think that's the more important question here. Whether one ends up at a V10 rather than a V50 is a dumb argument to have.




I agree, that I do not know how URMs with bad grades end up. Based on very few data points it seems that the URM "boost" wears off significantly the farther below median you are. So bottom 10% is not a great place to be regardless of your skin color. This is something we can all agree on.

Addition: To respond to the user who just posted above me. Welcome to law school. Firms DO care about you spotting a few more issues and being top 10% as opposed to top 1/3. You may not like it but that is the game we play in law school. Its a curve, you're on it, and if you don't end up high enough your awesome personality and intelligence may not make up for it.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:08 pm

I totally agree with OP/whoever said that it's very hard for someone with ties to a primary market to do well in secondaries. That said, it can be good enough for you to be from a smaller city and then be able to articulate a good reason you want to be in some other secondary or tertiary. For example, I think it would be very hard for someone from Chicago to convince a firm in St. Louis that they want to go there, but for someone from Omaha, NE, it will probably be much easier. And I'd go so far as to say someone from a small town in Colorado or Alabama or whatever could make the same pitch successfully.

Firms want ties because they're afraid you won't accept the offer or won't stay. If you can convince them you're serious about their market, it just won't matter much anymore. It's true that they're going to ask you, and you need to be able to give strong, credible answers, but many firms will give you the chance to do so, and from there, it's yours to lose.

It's worth noting that firms in the same city seem to have different hiring philosophies. Some want a few T14 students and are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on grades & ties just to get a big name school. Other firms are totally content to skim off the top of a local school and won't touch you if you don't have impeccable credentials in addition to ties. You have to cast a wide net or get some inside info about which firms take which approach.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Addition: To respond to the user who just posted above me. Welcome to law school. Firms DO care about you spotting a few more issues and being top 10% as opposed to top 1/3. You may not like it but that is the game we play in law school. Its a curve, you're on it, and if you don't end up high enough your awesome personality and intelligence may not make up for it.


The point of what I said clearly went over your head. In fact, what you are saying basically strengthened the actual point of my post: awesome personality, as you describe it, and other softs are highly unlikely to make up for losing at the law school game (ie the forced curve) at the large vault NYC/DC/etc. firms. But at secondary market firms this is oftentimes not the case for someone from that secondary market, a top 14 in that region, and strong personality/interviewing skills. This is why I recommended in my earlier posts attending a top 14 in your region and targeting your home secondary market for people who have that background. I'm not even sure why you posted that comment.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Addition: To respond to the user who just posted above me. Welcome to law school. Firms DO care about you spotting a few more issues and being top 10% as opposed to top 1/3. You may not like it but that is the game we play in law school. Its a curve, you're on it, and if you don't end up high enough your awesome personality and intelligence may not make up for it.


The point of what I said clearly went over your head. In fact, what you are saying basically strengthened the actual point of my post: awesome personality, as you describe it, and other softs are highly unlikely to make up for losing at the law school game (ie the forced curve) at the large vault NYC/DC/etc. firms. But at secondary market firms this is oftentimes not the case for someone from that secondary market, a top 14 in that region, and strong personality/interviewing skills. This is why I recommended in my earlier posts attending a top 14 in your region and targeting your home secondary market for people who have that background. I'm not even sure why you posted that comment.


I don't want to derail this thread anymore but to quickly reply, I was responding to your third paragraph in which you say firms should know its dumb to pick top 10% guy as opposed to top 1/3 guy. I am not disagreeing with your point that the previous poster did not prove that firms care about personality by taking a top 1/3 over a top 10% guy, but responding to:

"For goodness sake the top 1/3 person might have spotted 5 fewer issues on two exams and thus gotten two B+s whereas the top 10 percent guy spotted those extra 5 on one exam and got an A-. Even many elite firms know that it's ridiculous to pick the latter over the former purely based on that. "

My point is that the firms largely DO make selections based on rank (cut-offs and whatnot). I took this section of your post to be you stating that you think its dumb that firms do this. Maybe I misread that part. If I did, we are just talking past each other.

I agree with you that softs do not play a significant role unless you already pass a grade threshold. Once you rise above the firm's floor GPA/rank then softs and whatnot come into play but you have to get the grades to get the interview in the first place.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby showNprove » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:29 pm

From what I can, people from the West Coast--even California--do well. Maybe less so in San Francisco, but I don't think it's correct to pool all of California in with NYC/DC.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:15 pm

I was the poster who started the whole discussion about top 1/3 beating out top 10%. It was in response to the idea/argument that personality doesn't matter that much. I started my argument by saying that certain firms have grade cut-offs that you need to have in order to get the interview (the OP seems to ignore that I said this). I understand that grades are MORE important to those firms than an amazing interview personality, but personality/fit still matters a ton during the callback once you've gotten past the grade threshold.

And more to your point, it should be Halle Berry > Fergie > Beyonce.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby dedede » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was the poster who started the whole discussion about top 1/3 beating out top 10%. It was in response to the idea/argument that personality doesn't matter that much. I started my argument by saying that certain firms have grade cut-offs that you need to have in order to get the interview (the OP seems to ignore that I said this). I understand that grades are MORE important to those firms than an amazing interview personality, but personality/fit still matters a ton during the callback once you've gotten past the grade threshold.

And more to your point, it should be Halle Berry > Fergie > Beyonce.

Egregious Fergie trolling.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:06 pm

showNprove wrote:From what I can, people from the West Coast--even California--do well. Maybe less so in San Francisco, but I don't think it's correct to pool all of California in with NYC/DC.


I think some of my posts are a bit unclear, but I was saying that this is true earlier. If you have ties then things can be different.


Anonymous User wrote:I was the poster who started the whole discussion about top 1/3 beating out top 10%. It was in response to the idea/argument that personality doesn't matter that much. I started my argument by saying that certain firms have grade cut-offs that you need to have in order to get the interview (the OP seems to ignore that I said this). I understand that grades are MORE important to those firms than an amazing interview personality, but personality/fit still matters a ton during the callback once you've gotten past the grade threshold.

And more to your point, it should be Halle Berry > Fergie > Beyonce.


For clarification I am the OP. We are talking past each other. My point is not that personality never matters in any and all circumstances at the big NYC/DC vault firms, but that as you are saying yourself, they have incredibly hard cutoff lines that personality simply cannot make up for. Obviously once you do meet that cutoff other things can come into play. But for those who DO NOT make these cutoffs, who are the people I'm aiming this discussion/thread at, they can often find success at secondary markets where they have ties even though they have grades that would automatically get them rejected at vault NYC/DC firms.

dedede wrote:Egregious Fergie trolling.


So egregious that I'm wondering if Fergie opened a TLS account and posted in this thread! :lol:

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby los blancos » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm from the South, and in the South UVA is looked at as being better than any school but Harvard/Yale.


Disingenuous, if not blatantly false. At least in my experience. And it probably depends on where in the South you are.
Last edited by los blancos on Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:45 pm

What other schools in the south are looked at as better than UVa?

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What other schools in the south are looked at as better than UVa?


Duke has a good reputation, but is more national and also elicits some sports-related hatred at times. Emory is often referred to as the Harvard of the South. If you are in Atlanta, Emory gets ooh's and ah's.

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Re: UVA 2L with firm job lined up taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:52 pm

los blancos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm from the South, and in the South UVA is looked at as being better than any school but Harvard/Yale.


Disingenuous, if not blatantly false.


I worked in a non Atlanta Southern Secondary market this summer and can confirm that this is actually true.




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