T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

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Anonymous User
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T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:28 pm

Terrified 1L here, just want to make sure that I'm still SOL if I finish at the median. some good connections with lawyers who would maybe get me a job, but would they even give me one if I finished at the median?

c3pO4
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Terrified 1L here, just want to make sure that I'm still SOL if I finish at the median. some good connections with lawyers who would maybe get me a job, but would they even give me one if I finished at the median?


Come back when you have a GPA.

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Veyron
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby Veyron » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Terrified 1L here, just want to make sure that I'm still SOL if I finish at the median. some good connections with lawyers who would maybe get me a job, but would they even give me one if I finished at the median?


Depends on how good the connections are, duh.

admisionquestion
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby admisionquestion » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:42 pm

Why... If your going to know the answer given his GPA, why cannot you answer his question assuming his GPA is median...

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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby traehekat » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:45 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Why... If your going to know the answer given his GPA, why cannot you answer his question assuming his GPA is median...


because its just hypothetical and a waste of time. OP shouldn't worry about what might happen if he/she ends up at median - just study hard/smart and worry about jobs after 1L.

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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:56 pm

My advice: don't listen to some people on this board that grades after 1L do not matter. They do.

Two tracks:

1. Focusing on getting as many good internships as possible and continue to do a reasonable job in law school. Network.

or

2. Work your ass off in your second and third years, depending on what works for you. Try all methods to get your grades up. Internships become less important - if they interfere with your performances then don't do any. You may be able to swing honors if you are successful.

I took the second route - I was in bottom 25% in the first year. My grades went up tremendously and I finished close to the top quarter of the class. I was able to put cum laude next to my JD at a rather reputable T25 with good placement.

Of course, by the time you graduate there will be very few job openings. However, 1-2 people will likely be impressed by your T30 degree and the fact that you graduated with honors. It only takes very few people to like you and to give you a chance.

I end up with a decent law job with a relatively new, ambitious firm - no shitlaw at all. A year later, I lateraled to a better firm while keeping ties with the first firm that gave me a chance. Things got a lot easier after I got my first job and therefore avoided any blanks in my resume.

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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:18 pm

I can speak directly to this based on my experience.

How is your personality? Are you a good interviewer? Prior work experience? These things are particularly relevant if you're median. I'm median at T-30, owing to the fact that I had some brutal personal events during 1L (including welcoming a daughter first semester, which is really cool for life but not cool for grades). During 2L OCI, I scored an interview with a firm b/c someone else canceled last minute and I was the first to respond to an email solicitation from CSO to accept the slot. I bid on the firm but they probably never considered me for pre-select since nearly all of the atty's there graduated with honors from my school and they have that kind of a reputation. The interview went really well, and I got a call back and offer within a week. The point is that it can be done, but it's an uphill battle and you'll need to bring a certain 'wow' factor to the table to overcome the grades. In my case, prior work experience/overall strength of resume, 1L SA, and personality fit were what made the difference based on things they said to me during the callback. I think the biggest factor was that my 1L SA firm offered me, and my 2L SA firm knows that if I was good enough for my 1L firm, I'm probably good enough for them since they do similar work. However, there was no way during the bidding process to put MY 1L FIRM OFFERED ME BECAUSE I'M AWESOME AND SHIT on my resume.

(As an aside, I scored my 1L SA during OCI while I was bottom third of the class after first semester of 1L / new baby. And 1L OCI is a joke here, so they had their pick of a lot of good candidates. Again, personality/maturity, prior work experience, and--in that case--growing up in that area are what landed it.)

All you can do right now is do as well as you can on the grades and absolutely beg, borrow, and steal to get quality 1L summer experience. That will set you up in the best possible way. But you might still need a good heaping dose of luck (like me having to pounce on an OCI interview last minute) to land something.

I firmly believe that if you are a talented person with a good personality, a willingness to network, and have some unique characteristics (e.g. aren't the same boring person that 75% of law students are), then grades are definitely overrated. If you're boring and bring nothing unique to the table, then grades are all you have, and they are extremely important. Good luck.

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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:17 am

Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.


I had thought that interviewing skills, while always relevant, were factored more heavily (relative to grades) the higher up in school ranking you went (excluding extremes).

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traehekat
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby traehekat » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.


This, especially at the CB stage, obviously.

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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby c3pO4 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:12 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.


I had thought that interviewing skills, while always relevant, were factored more heavily (relative to grades) the higher up in school ranking you went (excluding extremes).


Disagree. Interview skills aren't a differentiator only among elite candidates. In my experience, superior interview skills can overcome median grades at lower ranked schools.

Also, from what I've heard, the higher up you are, the less interview skills matter. I.e. kids at T30 who get jobs from below top 15% will probably have had great interview skills. But kids who get jobs at T14's from top half may or may not.

I define interview skills to mean only one thing: selling yourself.

Selling yourself means conveying the narrative of why the firm needs to hire you in a way that connects with your interviewers, spinning WE on your resume, understanding what interviewers are looking for, etc.

Oh wait a second, why am I responding to a job question thread from a 1L who doesn't even have first semester grades yet?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:29 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.


I had thought that interviewing skills, while always relevant, were factored more heavily (relative to grades) the higher up in school ranking you went (excluding extremes).


Disagree. Interview skills aren't a differentiator only among elite candidates. In my experience, superior interview skills can overcome median grades at lower ranked schools.

Also, from what I've heard, the higher up you are, the less interview skills matter. I.e. kids at T30 who get jobs from below top 15% will probably have had great interview skills. But kids who get jobs at T14's from top half may or may not.


Your first point is not necessarily mutually exclusive with my point. What I meant was, relative to grades, interviewing skills matter less at a T30 than a higher rank. Not that they don't matter at all or having a superior amount is not useful. For example, 10 pts of higher grades > 10 pts of interviewing skills at a T30 than at a T3, where 10 pts in higher grades is negligible while 10 pts of interviewing skills would be very helpful.

Your second point makes sense, however, but I think again the focus is on grades relative to the interviewing skills. For example, at HLS at least, this OCI grades were pretty much irrelevant (except on the extremes or for super selective [read: fewer than 10] firms).

wildhaggis
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby wildhaggis » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:31 pm

If the past OCI season was any indication at all, interview skills mean a great deal more than most previously anticipated.

ChrisRedfield
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby ChrisRedfield » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.


Too bad that you will never get the chance to use your amazing interviewing abilities if you have a median GPA. Big Law firms are all about class rank, and at my school, if you're not top 25%, you can't even sign up to interview with them. OCI is exclusively for the top quartile; everyone else has to look on their own.

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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:22 pm

ChrisRedfield wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.


Too bad that you will never get the chance to use your amazing interviewing abilities if you have a median GPA. Big Law firms are all about class rank, and at my school, if you're not top 25%, you can't even sign up to interview with them. OCI is exclusively for the top quartile; everyone else has to look on their own.


What school do you go to? Thats a really weird bidding system.

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A'nold
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby A'nold » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:56 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
ChrisRedfield wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.


Too bad that you will never get the chance to use your amazing interviewing abilities if you have a median GPA. Big Law firms are all about class rank, and at my school, if you're not top 25%, you can't even sign up to interview with them. OCI is exclusively for the top quartile; everyone else has to look on their own.


What school do you go to? Thats a really weird bidding system.

Dude only knows how to talk using hyperbole.

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IAFG
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby IAFG » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:00 pm

I heard a rumor you can only do OCI at John Marshall in Chicago if you're top 10%. I have no idea if it's true.

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eandy
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Re: T30: Finishing at the Median, screwed or totally screwed?

Postby eandy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:15 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
ChrisRedfield wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Interviewing ability is vastly underrated on TLS. Know that.


Too bad that you will never get the chance to use your amazing interviewing abilities if you have a median GPA. Big Law firms are all about class rank, and at my school, if you're not top 25%, you can't even sign up to interview with them. OCI is exclusively for the top quartile; everyone else has to look on their own.


What school do you go to? Thats a really weird bidding system.

If your school has preselect OCI that's what happens. The fact that you are a good interviewer will never come into play because you will never be selected for an interview.




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