Worried Columbia 2L

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Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 24, 2012 10:29 am

Rising 2L, I had a very mediocre first year first semester (2.9), waiting for second semester grades to come in, what do I need to prevent myself from striking out at eip? Anyone know what the Columbia median is? If I ended up with around a 3.1/3.2 am I completely shut out, even from Columbia, for a V100?

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 24, 2012 12:34 pm

This is relevant to my and one of my friend's interests as well. So I'm giving your post a bump.

MrAnon
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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby MrAnon » Thu May 24, 2012 12:53 pm

It is incorrect to categorize 2.9 as "mediocre". Its a bit worse than that.

azntwice
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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby azntwice » Thu May 24, 2012 1:06 pm

I was in the same situation last year -- i had a 3.1 after first semester, which was pulled up to a 3.2, and I did end up with multiple V100 offers. Median last year was 3.25 or so, but I've heard that the school changed the 1L curve so that there are more A-s, which means that the median has probably moved up to about 3.3, maybe higher.

You're not necessarily doomed, although your GPA isn't going to do you many favors. Start trying to build your personal brand -- why should the firm hire you? You must have some niche expertise; work experience and extracurriculars may help. Bid conservatively, for firms in New York, and choose firms that have large summer classes. Research the firms extensively, make sure you can deliver a good "why XYZ firm" spiel, and get out and network this summer -- meet partners and senior associates who might be able to put in a good word for you.

Otherwise, it may be time to start considering public interest work. Look into LRAP and develop a very strong interest in a particular area of PI work. You can still find legal employment without worrying about your loans, thanks to CLS's very generous LRAP program.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby jkpolk » Thu May 24, 2012 1:08 pm

MrAnon wrote:It is incorrect to categorize 2.9 as "mediocre". Its a bit worse than that.


lol :roll:

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 24, 2012 1:44 pm

I just finished 2L at CLS. It's hard to answer your question without more info about you, which you understandably don't want to give out on here. If you went straight through from undergrad to law school, that GPA could really screw you over (not going to sugar coat it...the economy has improved recently & will hopefully continue to do so, but I know multiple people from my class who still didn't get any offers from EIP, & GPA had something to do with it for most of them). On the other hand, if you have other things going for you, like significant or relevant work experience before law school, a specialized background (like a STEM field), or anything else that's going to make you more marketable to law firms, you could do just fine at EIP. Just to give you some perspective, I didn't have a great 1L GPA (around median) & still ended up with a bunch of callbacks & offers because I had relevant pre-law school work experience.

Also, with regard to azntwice's post, I'm not sure you should rely much on getting a public interest job as a backup to biglaw. In my experience, it's true that public interest employers don't place as much emphasis on grades as the private sector, but it might even be more difficult (depending on your background, of course) to get a public interest job than biglaw, because those employers look for candidates with a significant track record of public interest work, which people at law school tend not to have.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby ExAnt3 » Thu May 24, 2012 11:06 pm

How many B minuses did you end up with? I know of several of my 2L friends who ended up with SAs after one B-, but I dont know anyone with two of them. Do you have any work experience that you can help use to market yourself?

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Renzo » Thu May 24, 2012 11:22 pm

polkij333 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is incorrect to categorize 2.9 as "mediocre". Its a bit worse than that.


lol :roll:


While the comment was tactless, it wasn't inaccurate, and it's germane to the OP's question. CLS's first-year curve gives 85% to 93% of students in each class a B or above, so 2.9 is not mediocre in the sense of middling or average; it's low.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 7:58 am

what about getting a 3.7 the first semester and then a 3.0 the second semester? has anyone been in that situation, and how did you spin it? i know someone in this situation...

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 9:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:what about getting a 3.7 the first semester and then a 3.0 the second semester? has anyone been in that situation, and how did you spin it? i know someone in this situation...


why do you say that when most grades are not back yet?

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby swc65 » Fri May 25, 2012 10:05 am

Renzo wrote:
polkij333 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is incorrect to categorize 2.9 as "mediocre". Its a bit worse than that.


lol :roll:


While the comment was tactless, it wasn't inaccurate, and it's germane to the OP's question. CLS's first-year curve gives 85% to 93% of students in each class a B or above, so 2.9 is not mediocre in the sense of middling or average; it's low.



CLS also raised the curve this year (without telling anyone, I might add). So that GPA is not the same as that GPA would ahve been for previous classes.

With a 2.9 first semester, EIP/OCI are going to be tough even if you raise it this semester. You will not be able to rely on your grades at CLS. So, you will have to highlight whatever other pluses you have on your record. For you, bidding strategy is going to be very important. A few of my friends at CLS who had similar grades went through this last year. PM and I may be able to connect you all.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 11:43 am

swc65 wrote:
Renzo wrote:
polkij333 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is incorrect to categorize 2.9 as "mediocre". Its a bit worse than that.


lol :roll:


While the comment was tactless, it wasn't inaccurate, and it's germane to the OP's question. CLS's first-year curve gives 85% to 93% of students in each class a B or above, so 2.9 is not mediocre in the sense of middling or average; it's low.



CLS also raised the curve this year (without telling anyone, I might add). So that GPA is not the same as that GPA would ahve been for previous classes.

With a 2.9 first semester, EIP/OCI are going to be tough even if you raise it this semester. You will not be able to rely on your grades at CLS. So, you will have to highlight whatever other pluses you have on your record. For you, bidding strategy is going to be very important. A few of my friends at CLS who had similar grades went through this last year. PM and I may be able to connect you all.

That curve only applied to the second semester as far as I know. But yeah, it's alarming for us. The worst part is that I got a grade back that's a B on an exam that I thought I killed. Like a day or two ago. It was graded incredibly fast somehow. But besides all that, I can't think of much that I did wrong. Grades just seem so random.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby swc65 » Fri May 25, 2012 11:55 am

it only applied to one semester? so even within the same class year, your grades from one semester aren't comparable to the grades from the previous semester? That just sounds odd.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 12:01 pm

swc65 wrote:it only applied to one semester? so even within the same class year, your grades from one semester aren't comparable to the grades from the previous semester? That just sounds odd.


that's the way I understood it too. While it will dilute good grades, I'm inclined to think it will be a net gain for the class. Employers will see some slice of the class, and on average they will think that are just seeing a higher quality slice than in previous years. Obviously this is predicated on the idea that they don't know about the new curve. Am I incorrect in this assessment?

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 12:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:what about getting a 3.7 the first semester and then a 3.0 the second semester? has anyone been in that situation, and how did you spin it? i know someone in this situation...

I had similar grades 2 years ago. Not cls, but similar school. Top 10% grades to below median grades. Overall I think it put me around top 1/3. Only one interviewer mentioned it. Didn't get a cb there. I seemed to perform to my overall gpa. I mean, you only have three grades each semester, logically the distribution amongst the semesters shouldn't matter

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby swc65 » Fri May 25, 2012 12:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
swc65 wrote:it only applied to one semester? so even within the same class year, your grades from one semester aren't comparable to the grades from the previous semester? That just sounds odd.


that's the way I understood it too. While it will dilute good grades, I'm inclined to think it will be a net gain for the class. Employers will see some slice of the class, and on average they will think that are just seeing a higher quality slice than in previous years. Obviously this is predicated on the idea that they don't know about the new curve. Am I incorrect in this assessment?



I think the idea was to keep it secret. They will find out. If they do, they may not trust anyone's grades and it may hurt the class as a whole. I doubt employers are just going to think that they are getting a crop of higher quality students in one year, especially the employers who interview half of the class.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 12:19 pm

swc65 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
swc65 wrote:it only applied to one semester? so even within the same class year, your grades from one semester aren't comparable to the grades from the previous semester? That just sounds odd.


that's the way I understood it too. While it will dilute good grades, I'm inclined to think it will be a net gain for the class. Employers will see some slice of the class, and on average they will think that are just seeing a higher quality slice than in previous years. Obviously this is predicated on the idea that they don't know about the new curve. Am I incorrect in this assessment?



I think the idea was to keep it secret. They will find out. If they do, they may not trust anyone's grades and it may hurt the class as a whole. I doubt employers are just going to think that they are getting a crop of higher quality students in one year, especially the employers who interview half of the class.


all good points. Hopefully they don't figure it out for 12 more weeks, lol. Also, fair to say that employers who interview 20-40 might be duped?

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby DontGetIt » Fri May 25, 2012 4:03 pm

Renzo wrote:
polkij333 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is incorrect to categorize 2.9 as "mediocre". Its a bit worse than that.


lol :roll:


While the comment was tactless, it wasn't inaccurate, and it's germane to the OP's question. CLS's first-year curve gives 85% to 93% of students in each class a B or above, so 2.9 is not mediocre in the sense of middling or average; it's low.

The problem is that CLS' grading has no rhyme or reason most of the time. I've seen people who know the material like the back of their hand do poorly and people who study at the last minute do well. It all comes down to the way you write and whether the professor likes the way you all basically say the same thing. It's especially frustrating when half of them don't teach anything. ANYTHING. Or they'll test you on things that they say are not supposed to be on the exam and others know it just because they read an entire supplement on the course or the test. It's ridiculous really.

My policy was always that if you're a professor, what you teach me in class should be enough. You shouldn't test me on anything you haven't taught. If your class is using supplements then you are not a good professor or you failed to provide guidance in how to study for your exam and what a model answer looks like. So I feel for people who don't score high. Some people are noticeably more intelligent, but otherwise it's a crap shot.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 7:49 pm

Ok, thanks a lot. Another question: barring some miracle in my grades this semester that puts me close to the median, let's say I finish with really really low 1L grades and end up striking out at EIP. If my grades are substantially better in my 2L year, would i have a shot applying for biglaw after my second year? Or would they only be looking at first year grades too?

Renzo
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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Renzo » Fri May 25, 2012 7:57 pm

swc65 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
swc65 wrote:it only applied to one semester? so even within the same class year, your grades from one semester aren't comparable to the grades from the previous semester? That just sounds odd.


that's the way I understood it too. While it will dilute good grades, I'm inclined to think it will be a net gain for the class. Employers will see some slice of the class, and on average they will think that are just seeing a higher quality slice than in previous years. Obviously this is predicated on the idea that they don't know about the new curve. Am I incorrect in this assessment?



I think the idea was to keep it secret. They will find out. If they do, they may not trust anyone's grades and it may hurt the class as a whole. I doubt employers are just going to think that they are getting a crop of higher quality students in one year, especially the employers who interview half of the class.


This is dangerous. When NYU inflated their curve a few years ago it apparently wreaked havoc with the OCI process because they didn't do a good enough job explaining the new curve to firms, and thus firms were over-selective and did not get the yield they wanted, hurting both firms and students.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 25, 2012 9:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok, thanks a lot. Another question: barring some miracle in my grades this semester that puts me close to the median, let's say I finish with really really low 1L grades and end up striking out at EIP. If my grades are substantially better in my 2L year, would i have a shot applying for biglaw after my second year? Or would they only be looking at first year grades too?

Well, I know someone whose roommate was a 3L and he did 3L OCI and was able to get an even better firm than he had initially. So I assume that they keep looking. But this guy was on a journal so I don't know if that helps.

azntwice
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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby azntwice » Fri May 25, 2012 9:25 pm

what i have gleaned from these forums is that striking out at 2L eip pretty much puts you out of the biglaw game. if you get some kind of firm job, even at a small firm, for your 2L summer, you might still be okay, but otherwise, firms at 3L eip will assume that you weren't a good enough candidate to get a 2L offer, and will pass you over for someone who did get a 2L offer and is looking to trade up.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:11 pm

OP here: finished up with a 3.27 1L year. Had one B- (first semester), one A (second semester), and then a combination of B and A- grades. I still don't know what the median is, but does the improvement help me enough to prevent striking out at eip? FYI I came straight through, but did summer at a bulge bracket bank.

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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby MTC87 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: finished up with a 3.27 1L year. Had one B- (first semester), one A (second semester), and then a combination of B and A- grades. I still don't know what the median is, but does the improvement help me enough to prevent striking out at eip? FYI I came straight through, but did summer at a bulge bracket bank.


A 3.27 is very much in play for CLS EIP. Bid well, and I don’t think you’ll have any issues getting your share of CBs/offers. And congrats on the huge improvement between first and second semester!

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swc65
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Re: Worried Columbia 2L

Postby swc65 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:37 pm

MTC87 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here: finished up with a 3.27 1L year. Had one B- (first semester), one A (second semester), and then a combination of B and A- grades. I still don't know what the median is, but does the improvement help me enough to prevent striking out at eip? FYI I came straight through, but did summer at a bulge bracket bank.


A 3.27 is very much in play for CLS EIP. Bid well, and I don’t think you’ll have any issues getting your share of CBs/offers. And congrats on the huge improvement between first and second semester!



From what I can piece together, EIP outcomes highly correlate with top/middle/bottom thirds. You are right in the middle third. You should have a number of options. Be careful with your bidlist (target less selective firms with larger summer class in NYC). Prep for interviews- both your skills and researching the firms. Try to have some idea of what you want to do, but keep your options open. I have had multiple interviewers tell me that being open-minded about your practice interests after only one year of law school is a good thing.

You should really get prepared for mass-mailing now. Make sure your resume is strong (even though it probably won't be read). Do some practice interviews and get started on the bidlist. You are not guaranteed a job with your grades, but you will probably be OK.




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