GPA Drop to No-Offer

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GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:52 pm

Hi friends,

As a 2L with a summer offer at biglaw, I was wondering how much of a drop is acceptable to not get no-offered. I know some firms don't look at your transcript but mine does. Have any of you heard of anecdotes or know GPAs that dropped significantly but still got offered?

Thanks. Obviously I'm worried about finals coming up soon and my semester's worth of slacking.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby c3pO4 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:57 pm

There are some good threads about this already.

Basically, the rule of thumb is don't drop below median (don't get a C average). I think B average and above and you are fine, providing that you do A++ work during the summer and make them want to hire you.

Obviously, it's different for people who were hired with top 5-10% GPA during 1L and people who got V100 offers with median to begin with.

My situation is a median biglaw offer, so I'm just trying to stay at median. A drop for me would mean basically failing out, so hopefully that won't happen.

A very small percentage of firms care more I think and will ding you if you fall to median. I think only two or three firms in the V20 do this though.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Morgan12Oak » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:01 pm

This is a silly question since it will always depend on your firm, your market, and your GPA to start. There is no estimate or approximate answer either. If you're just looking for reassurance, stop worrying and study.

That being said, I've heard of a cumulative GPA drop of .25 from 1L to 2L be fine but then also a cumulative GPA drop of less than .1 resulting in a no-offer (though it is always difficult to tell whether the no offer is strictly a result of grades or whether it was a combination of that and work product; most likely it is a birfurcation of the two)

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby c3pO4 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:02 pm

Morgan12Oak wrote:This is a silly question since it will always depend on your firm, your market, and your GPA to start. There is no estimate or approximate answer either. If you're just looking for reassurance, stop worrying and study.

That being said, I've heard of a cumulative GPA drop of .25 from 1L to 2L be fine but then also a cumulative GPA drop of less than .1 resulting in a no-offer (though it is always difficult to tell whether the no offer is strictly a result of grades or whether it was a combination of that and work product; most likely it is a birfurcation of the two)


These threads always turn into a few people claiming they've heard of a .1 GPA drop resulting in a no-offer. I'm sorry but I have to call BS. It was something other than the GPA.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Morgan12Oak » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:11 pm

That was partly my point that it's impossible to separate whether the no offer is strictly due to grades or whether its a combination of things. I also don't think a .1 drop is too far fetched to be a reason, I mean say for example someone who was at a 3.3 for 1L year, if they pull their entire 2L year at a 3.1 clip, I don't think it's crazy to say that would be a large factor in the firm's decision.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby c3pO4 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:21 pm

Morgan12Oak wrote:That was partly my point that it's impossible to separate whether the no offer is strictly due to grades or whether its a combination of things. I also don't think a .1 drop is too far fetched to be a reason, I mean say for example someone who was at a 3.3 for 1L year, if they pull their entire 2L year at a 3.1 clip, I don't think it's crazy to say that would be a large factor in the firm's decision.


I guess we can agree to disagree. 1L 3.3 and 2L 3.1 will not register on the firm's radar. If somebody is majorly screwing up over the summer and the firm is leaning towards no-offer, then a slight grade dip isn't going to get anybody any points, but if a SA does good work, GPA will never factor in unless there are C's, D's, and F's. Since nobody has ever posted on TLS about being no-offered due to grades (seriously you can check this via search), I think I'm right

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:29 pm

I'm not sure about GPA, but I know a guy who lost his summer offer because they found out he had a less-than-perfect credit score as he forgot to pay a bill on time.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby NinerFan » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not sure about GPA, but I know a guy who lost his summer offer because they found out he had a less-than-perfect credit score as he forgot to pay a bill on time.


Right. And I heard about someone who lost their offer because they found out he preferred Pepsi over Coke.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:43 pm

I'm a 3L at a T14. Summered at a V5 in NYC. Knew and know shit loads of law students. I don't know anybody at my firm or any other firm who was no offered because of grades this year or last year.

ITT: Fear mongering.

Firms really don't care about grades, it's just a proxy since everyone looks the same. They will evaluate your work product and (almost more importantly since you're a shit-for-brains law student on a 2-3 month booze cruise) your fit with the firm's culture.

In before: relentless fear mongering about Gibson Dunn, because everybody heard from a friend that read online that somebody's cousin was once no offered there due to grades, lengthy discussion on the relationship between law school performance and firm performance, naive 2Ls whose self worth is so tied up in their GPA that they can't comprehend why a firm would judge them on anything else, and people who don't understand the credit score meme and get legitimately concerned about their records.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby c3pO4 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 3L at a T14. Summered at a V5 in NYC. Knew and know shit loads of law students. I don't know anybody at my firm or any other firm who was no offered because of grades this year or last year.

ITT: Fear mongering.

Firms really don't care about grades, it's just a proxy since everyone looks the same. They will evaluate your work product and (almost more importantly since you're a shit-for-brains law student on a 2-3 month booze cruise) your fit with the firm's culture.

In before: relentless fear mongering about Gibson Dunn, because everybody heard from a friend that read online that somebody's cousin was once no offered there due to grades, lengthy discussion on the relationship between law school performance and firm performance, naive 2Ls whose self worth is so tied up in their GPA that they can't comprehend why a firm would judge them on anything else, and people who don't understand the credit score meme and get legitimately concerned about their records.


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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby RMstratosphere » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 3L at a T14. Summered at a V5 in NYC. Knew and know shit loads of law students. I don't know anybody at my firm or any other firm who was no offered because of grades this year or last year.

ITT: Fear mongering.

Firms really don't care about grades, it's just a proxy since everyone looks the same. They will evaluate your work product and (almost more importantly since you're a shit-for-brains law student on a 2-3 month booze cruise) your fit with the firm's culture.

In before: relentless fear mongering about Gibson Dunn, because everybody heard from a friend that read online that somebody's cousin was once no offered there due to grades, lengthy discussion on the relationship between law school performance and firm performance, naive 2Ls whose self worth is so tied up in their GPA that they can't comprehend why a firm would judge them on anything else, and people who don't understand the credit score meme and get legitimately concerned about their records.


/thread

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Veyron » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 3L at a T14. Summered at a V5 in NYC. Knew and know shit loads of law students. I don't know anybody at my firm or any other firm who was no offered because of grades this year or last year.

ITT: Fear mongering.

Firms really don't care about grades, it's just a proxy since everyone looks the same. They will evaluate your work product and (almost more importantly since you're a shit-for-brains law student on a 2-3 month booze cruise) your fit with the firm's culture.

In before: relentless fear mongering about Gibson Dunn, because everybody heard from a friend that read online that somebody's cousin was once no offered there due to grades, lengthy discussion on the relationship between law school performance and firm performance, naive 2Ls whose self worth is so tied up in their GPA that they can't comprehend why a firm would judge them on anything else, and people who don't understand the credit score meme and get legitimately concerned about their records.


You mean Gibson DOOM, don't you?

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:17 pm

Gibson Dunn always seems to be pointed out when no-offers due to grades are discussed. Do any of you know why? Do you know or have you heard of any people being no-offered by GDC due to GPA drop?

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:27 pm

*Goes back to watching Inception instead of studying*

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:32 pm

In a prior post, I wrote:In before: relentless fear mongering about Gibson Dunn, because everybody heard from a friend that read online that somebody's cousin was once no offered there due to grades



A different anonymous User wrote:Gibson Dunn always seems to be pointed out when no-offers due to grades are discussed. Do any of you know why? Do you know or have you heard of any people being no-offered by GDC due to GPA drop?


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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:04 pm

If the economy tanks, then firms will have to make distinctions among summer associates when deciding whom to give an offer to. When having to distinguish between summer associates, grades will enter the equation.

Just preparing you for the worst, and the way things are going in Europe, the worst doesn't seem like a distant possibility. You can hold off on the Lord of the Rings marathon for another semester and a half, I'm sure.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby c3pO4 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:07 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:If the economy tanks, then firms will have to make distinctions among summer associates when deciding whom to give an offer to. When having to distinguish between summer associates, grades will enter the equation.

Just preparing you for the worst, and the way things are going in Europe, the worst doesn't seem like a distant possibility. You can hold off on the Lord of the Rings marathon for another semester and a half, I'm sure.


Wow. So blatantly and unreasonably wrong.

Then why isn't there even 1 story of somebody being no offered due to grades when the economy already tanked and no-offer rates approached 50% in 2009??????

I didn't want to jump down the other posters throat, but you are clearly just fear mongering (you admit as much in your post).

If the economy tanks and firms have to decide who to no-offer, they will have PLENTY of information after an entire summer of working and interacting with their summers. Nobody is going to cross-check grades.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:12 pm

Then why isn't there even 1 story of somebody being no offered due to grades when the economy already tanked and no-offer rates approached 50% in 2009??????


My bad. I should have been clearer...

...all things being equal, when deciding between two summer associates, grades will enter the picture.

And because the "bar" is set so low for summer associates, pretty much everything will be equal.

Now, to address your question:

Then why isn't there even 1 story of somebody being no offered due to grades when the economy already tanked and no-offer rates approached 50% in 2009??????


(1) Because when one is no offered, one is almost always unaware of the true reason behind it.
(2) Back then, this sub-forum didn't exist.
(3) When you're no offered "en masse," you're less likely to think that you were no offered because of grades.

I can think of other reasons too. Those are the ones that are immediately apparent. I'm not saying that the no offers two years ago were because of grades, or even that the majority of them were. What I am saying is that they do become a more significant factor and that summer associates were definitely no offered because of them. They are a factor now, though their weighted very lightly. This summer, they could be weighted more heavily.

Ultimately, the decision not to care about your grades is (usually) a (well) calculated gamble. I'm just warning that if the economy hits the fan, you might want to adjust your appetite for risk accordingly.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby c3pO4 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:17 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Then why isn't there even 1 story of somebody being no offered due to grades when the economy already tanked and no-offer rates approached 50% in 2009??????


My bad. I should have been clearer...

...all things being equal, when deciding between two summer associates, grades will enter the picture.

And because the "bar" is set so low for summer associates, pretty much everything will be equal.

Now, to address your question:

Then why isn't there even 1 story of somebody being no offered due to grades when the economy already tanked and no-offer rates approached 50% in 2009??????


(1) Because when one is no offered, one is almost always unaware of the true reason behind it.
(2) Back then, this sub-forum didn't exist.
(3) When you're no offered "en masse," you're less likely to think that you were no offered because of grades.

I can think of other reasons too. Those are the ones that are immediately apparent. I'm not saying that the no offers two years ago were because of grades, or even that the majority of them were. What I am saying is that they do become a factor. They are a factor now, though their weighted very lightly. This summer, they could be weighted more heavily.


But you have literally 0 evidence to support your claim, while my claim is supported by all the evidence that exists.

Your entire argument hinges on the assumption that

"...all things being equal, when deciding between two summer associates, grades will enter the picture.

And because the "bar" is set so low for summer associates, pretty much everything will be equal."

All things will never be equal. Like I said firms will have plenty of information vastly more important than the ability to do well in a law school class (which has literally no correlation past a certain threshold (that they already screened for) to successful firm practice) to differentiate among SA's.

I'm sorry, but on a scale of 1 to 100, your arguments are a 1.

Anon above characterized it correctly -- people want to believe grades as a 2L matter to validate an obsession with GPA. Anybody who has worked in the real world knows marginal GPA differences are meaningless (as in, have no meaning) to whether an employee will be a good fit.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:22 pm

But you have literally 0 evidence to support your claim


I work at a top law firm and know about our hiring practices.

Like I said firms will have plenty of information vastly more important than the ability to do well in a law school class (which has literally no correlation past a certain threshold (that they already screened for) to successful firm practice) to differentiate among SA's.


That information is useless for the purpose of differentiating among summer associates. Without being as rude as you are, I'll demonstrate in simple terms:

To get an offer, each summer's work must exceed a 2 out of 10. Suppose you have 5 summers, and they each score 3, 7, 10, 4, and 5 respectively. Yes, you can "distinguish" between them, but they all exceed the basic level of competence that a firm requires from a summer associate. Thus, you move to grades. No one is pretending that they mean anything or that are indicative of much. It's just another way of trying to draw a distinction when it's tough to make one.

And yes I purposefully removed the "social" aspect of the evaluation for the purposes of simplicity. I just really didn't want to overload you with complicated concepts.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Agent » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:26 pm

Last edited by Agent on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:19 am, edited 21 times in total.


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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby c3pO4 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:43 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
But you have literally 0 evidence to support your claim


I work at a top law firm and know about our hiring practices.

Like I said firms will have plenty of information vastly more important than the ability to do well in a law school class (which has literally no correlation past a certain threshold (that they already screened for) to successful firm practice) to differentiate among SA's.


That information is useless for the purpose of differentiating among summer associates. Without being as rude as you are, I'll demonstrate in simple terms:

To get an offer, each summer's work must exceed a 2 out of 10. Suppose you have 5 summers, and they each score 3, 7, 10, 4, and 5 respectively. Yes, you can "distinguish" between them, but they all exceed the basic level of competence that a firm requires from a summer associate. Thus, you move to grades. No one is pretending that they mean anything or that are indicative of much. It's just another way of trying to draw a distinction when it's tough to make one.

And yes I purposefully removed the "social" aspect of the evaluation for the purposes of simplicity. I just really didn't want to overload you with complicated concepts.


U mad? My problem is with your arguments not with you.

If you work at a firm that no-offers due to grades, it would help us if you said the firm. Otherwise, again, your logic is really weak and there is still not a single example of this happening.

To get an offer in a normal case, a summer's work might only have to exceed a 2 out of 10 because almost all summers get permanent offers. In a collapsing economy, differences in work such as those you described would factor more. Grades will be meaningless compared to the fact that two of the SA's in your hypo did excellent work, two did mediocre, and one did below par. That's all you would need to know.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:50 pm

If you work at a firm that no-offers due to grades, it would help us if you said the firm. Otherwise, again, your logic is really weak and there is still not a single example of this happening.


I never said my firm no-offers based on grades. And even if they did, I wouldn't out my firm for obvious reasons. Now you're just being unreasonable.

In a collapsing economy, differences in work such as those you described would factor more.


An admittedly reasonable assumption for someone who doesn't know much. But it's false. The bar will not be raised. There are a ton of reasons for that, but here are a few:

(1) Beyond a certain level (say, 2 out of 10), an associate's review of a summer associate's work product can be subjective.
(2) Some associates are harsher on summer associates than other associates are when it comes to evaluation.
(3) It's difficult to compare the experiences of summers beyond "2," because they've all been doing dramatically different things. One summer might have gotten 9/10 doing doc review, while the other might have gotten a 3/10 drafting a term sheet for a deal. The former is far easier for the latter, so how can you compare the two tasks and commensurate the ratings between them?

On top of that, you're assuming that "raising the bar" would give you enough summer associates to no offer, which is also not necessarily the case. While the bar has been set low, let me tell you that the past few summer associate classes have been doing superlative work. It is not unreasonable or unfathomable that they all scored, say, and 8 out of 10. In that case, adjusting the bar won't do much for you.

And, in that case, you look at... grades.

Just drop the whole tough guy routine, bro. It's OK to be wrong.

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Re: GPA Drop to No-Offer

Postby c3pO4 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:57 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
If you work at a firm that no-offers due to grades, it would help us if you said the firm. Otherwise, again, your logic is really weak and there is still not a single example of this happening.


I never said my firm no-offers based on grades. And even if they did, I wouldn't out my firm for obvious reasons. Now you're just being unreasonable.

In a collapsing economy, differences in work such as those you described would factor more.


An admittedly reasonable assumption for someone who doesn't know much. But it's false. The bar will not be raised. There are a ton of reasons for that, but here are a few:

(1) Beyond a certain level (say, 2 out of 10), an associate's review of a summer associate's work product can be subjective.
(2) Some associates are harsher on summer associates than other associates are when it comes to evaluation.
(3) It's difficult to compare the experiences of summers beyond "2," because they've all been doing dramatically different things. One summer might have gotten 9/10 doing doc review, while the other might have gotten a 3/10 drafting a term sheet for a deal. The former is far easier for the latter, so how can you compare the two tasks and commensurate the ratings between them?

Just drop the whole tough guy routine, bro. It's OK to be wrong.


Still not convinced. There are equally as many reasons why differences in GPA are meaningless. Every numbered claim you are making has a parallel for performance in a law school class. For example:

"(1) Beyond a certain level (say, 2 out of 10), an associate's review of a summer associate's work product can be subjective."

Beyond a certain level, final exam grading can be subjective.

(2) Some associates are harsher on summer associates than other associates are when it comes to evaluation.

Different professors and schools grade on different curves.

(3) It's difficult to compare the experiences of summers beyond "2," because they've all been doing dramatically different things. One summer might have gotten 9/10 doing doc review, while the other might have gotten a 3/10 drafting a term sheet for a deal. The former is far easier for the latter, so how can you compare the two tasks and commensurate the ratings between them?

One 2L might be on law review, moot court, and do a worthwhile externship which led to their grades being lower than another, who only had exam classes. How can you compare the two and commensurate the ratings between them.

We're all smart enough to go back and forth forever. The bottom line is --- to the extent that people know why they are being no-offered, not a single case of grade drop has ever been reported here. This forum may not have been around forever, but others have, and everyone on here knows shitloads of lawyers and law students including people who went through in 2009.

I'm sticking with my story. Get a B average or above and grades will not factor into an offer. Get C's, D's, or F's and it might.

Another thing to consider -- in other threads people have said they've been no-offered due to lack of ties. This is yet another differentiating factor that would come before grades.
Last edited by c3pO4 on Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.




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