Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

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Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:46 pm

Finished .3 below median first semester as 1L at T14. Haven't gotten grades back from this semester, but studied 10x harder this spring. Do I have a chance at a firm/private sector? I'm working in public interest this summer and would like to avoid going back into it... If the goal is biglaw is there any chance, even if grades are better this semester? Besides mass-mailing firms, are there any other things I should look into? Feeling a bit hopeless...

LawIdiot86
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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Finished .3 below median first semester as 1L at T14. Haven't gotten grades back from this semester, but studied 10x harder this spring. Do I have a chance at a firm/private sector? I'm working in public interest this summer and would like to avoid going back into it... If the goal is biglaw is there any chance, even if grades are better this semester? Besides mass-mailing firms, are there any other things I should look into? Feeling a bit hopeless...


Don't feel hopeless until you have your grades back. If you get up to median at Penn/Northwestern/UVA, you have a chance at a firm job. .3 below median at the lower T14 would be a bad place to stay if you wanted a firm job. Median at GULC/Mich/Duke would also be a bad place to stay.

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Finished .3 below median first semester as 1L at T14. Haven't gotten grades back from this semester, but studied 10x harder this spring. Do I have a chance at a firm/private sector? I'm working in public interest this summer and would like to avoid going back into it... If the goal is biglaw is there any chance, even if grades are better this semester? Besides mass-mailing firms, are there any other things I should look into? Feeling a bit hopeless...



1. What's median? If median is a 3.0 and you have 2.7 that's a lot different than if median is a 3.3 and you have a 3.0.
A 3.0 on a resume looks decent if you're mass mailing especially coming from a T14.

2. If you really want to do biglaw you're not only going to have to explain away your abismal GPA but also why your background is full of public interest work and all of a sudden you want to work in biglaw. Obviously, your interviewer will know the answer (he'll see the dollar signs in your eyes and smell the desperation on your clothes). But he'll still want to hear your version of the story.

I'm assuming you picked this T14 because somewhere along the way you came on this board and people convinced you that attending this school was far better than what ever other options you had because it "placed well" or had "lay prestige" or some other nonsense. So...for all the reasons you picked your school does any of that seem to be helping? Where's your career services office? What do they say? Anecdotally, do you know of any students that have gotten jobs in biglaw with sub-median GPAs from your school? What do the employment statistics look like at your school for the last couple of year's graduating classes? If more than 50% of people were employed by firms then chances are people with GPAs below the median found jobs in big law. If the statistics are more like 20-25% chances are they were at least in the top half of the classes and probably the top 1/4 in order to get interviews.

3. How does your school do OCI bidding? Is it all lottery or are you guaranteed any interviews?
If you have at least a few guaranteed interviews then that's half the battle. You just have to be a good interviewer in order to get a callback and your grades may not be that big of a deal. If you have a straight lottery then chances are you're really just going to have to rely on the name brand of your school in order to get some interviews.

4. Do you want to remain in the region where you school is located? If you're at a school like Northwestern for example and you had really high hopes of working in NYC or Silicon Valley, perhaps that isn't going to happen. But, maybe staying in Chicago is now a better option. Since you're at a T14 your school likely has a large alumni network. You should consider attending events and networking and getting a feel for the hiring needs. Associates at firms in the area may know if the firm is actually hiring or if they're struggling to get their current associates to generate enough billables.

Most of the people on this board are under the flawed impression that as long as you attend a T14 all you need to do is continue to inhale and exhale at appropriate times and you're guaranteed a job. Perhaps you can shed some light on why that may or may not necessarily be the case. You seem to be in a bit of a panic and you're only slightly below the median. What about the people that are in the bottom 10% of the class? What's your overall impression of your chances?

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:20 pm

Yes, I got a 3.0...I did public interest because I wasn't able to land a firm or judge for this summer so I just wanted to do something; the school is lower T14. Hoping to work in NYC after graduation.

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yes, I got a 3.0...I did public interest because I wasn't able to land a firm or judge for this summer so I just wanted to do something; the school is lower T14. Hoping to work in NYC after graduation.


A 3.0 at GULC (curve is ~3.28) is non-competitive for firms, regardless of city. I'm not sure about the curves at DCN, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_school_GPA_curves indicates it would be equally non-competitive at those schools.

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby beachbum » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:29 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Finished .3 below median first semester as 1L at T14. Haven't gotten grades back from this semester, but studied 10x harder this spring. Do I have a chance at a firm/private sector? I'm working in public interest this summer and would like to avoid going back into it... If the goal is biglaw is there any chance, even if grades are better this semester? Besides mass-mailing firms, are there any other things I should look into? Feeling a bit hopeless...


Don't feel hopeless until you have your grades back. If you get up to median at Penn/Northwestern/UVA, you have a chance at a firm job. .3 below median at the lower T14 would be a bad place to stay if you wanted a firm job. Median at GULC/Mich/Duke would also be a bad place to stay.


Median at any of these schools would give OP a shot at NY. Not sure where you're getting your info.

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:46 pm

beachbum wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Finished .3 below median first semester as 1L at T14. Haven't gotten grades back from this semester, but studied 10x harder this spring. Do I have a chance at a firm/private sector? I'm working in public interest this summer and would like to avoid going back into it... If the goal is biglaw is there any chance, even if grades are better this semester? Besides mass-mailing firms, are there any other things I should look into? Feeling a bit hopeless...


Don't feel hopeless until you have your grades back. If you get up to median at Penn/Northwestern/UVA, you have a chance at a firm job. .3 below median at the lower T14 would be a bad place to stay if you wanted a firm job. Median at GULC/Mich/Duke would also be a bad place to stay.


Median at any of these schools would give OP a shot at NY. Not sure where you're getting your info.


According to the last reported data, GULC/Mich/Duke (and UVA, I forgot their numbers), placed 30-40% of their class in NLJ250 firms. Remembering that some number of median and below people get jobs because of IP/URM/regional ties, that makes it very difficult for the typical median candidate to waltz into a position. OP has a shot at a big market like NY, but it's an outside shot at best from median with no plus factors.

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby rayiner » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:54 pm

This is all pretty misinformed.

Anonymous User wrote:1. What's median? If median is a 3.0 and you have 2.7 that's a lot different than if median is a 3.3 and you have a 3.0.
A 3.0 on a resume looks decent if you're mass mailing especially coming from a T14.


There is no T14 with a 3.0 median.

2. If you really want to do biglaw you're not only going to have to explain away your abismal GPA but also why your background is full of public interest work and all of a sudden you want to work in big law.


Employers don't care if you do PI/Gov 1L summer. It's typical.

If more than 50% of people were employed by firms then chances are people with GPAs below the median found jobs in big law. If the statistics are more like 20-25% chances are they were at least in the top half of the classes and probably the top 1/4 in order to get interviews.


If more than 50% of people got big law, it's certain, not just likely, that people below median found jobs in big law. No T14 placed only 20-25% in big law even in 2011. All regularly place below median people in big law.

How does your school do OCI bidding? Is it all lottery or are you guaranteed any interviews?
If you have at least a few guaranteed interviews then that's half the battle. You just have to be a good interviewer in order to get a callback and your grades may not be that big of a deal. If you have a straight lottery then chances are you're really just going to have to rely on the name brand of your school in order to get some interviews.


"Lottery" means you get interviews regardless of grades. Unless OP bids very poorly, he will get at least 10 interviews, possibly up to 20 if he bids well and is aggressive about picking up open signups, etc.

Do you want to remain in the region where you school is located? If you're at a school like Northwestern for example and you had really high hopes of working in NYC or Silicon Valley, perhaps that isn't going to happen. But, maybe staying in Chicago is now a better option.


New York is easier from NU than Chicago.

You seem to be in a bit of a panic and you're only slightly below the median. What about the people that are in the bottom 10% of the class? What's your overall impression of your chances?


At most law schools, 0.3 below the median is probably bottom 10%. Which is really the big problem for OP. His grades are clearly and recognizably at the bottom of the class. His best bet is to spam secondary markets who won't see past the T14 grade inflation. Honestly, OP would also do well to think of alternatives. 3L OCI might be a possibility if he gets his grades up 2L, but he needs to have some good legal work 2L summer.

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:13 pm

What types of alternatives in particular? And is there really a chance for private sector employment after 2L summer? I assumed it was hopeless/does not exist...

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rayiner
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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby rayiner » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What types of alternatives in particular? And is there really a chance for private sector employment after 2L summer? I assumed it was hopeless/does not exist...


Yes, there is a chance for private sector employment. There are lots of small firms out there. They don't necessarily pay very much (the better small firms pay $70-80k) but they do exist. Your CSO can help you out here.

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:29 pm

Thought I'd join this thread. .1 below median first semester probably like .2 below this semester. DCNG neighborhood. Honestly wasn't very interested in big law, still am not really, but would really rather have a job than no job. (so many pi place want you to work for free for a year after you pass the bar OR have other work experience). Down for NYC but would way rather work texas or california. Any tips?

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rayiner
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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby rayiner » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thought I'd join this thread. .1 below median first semester probably like .2 below this semester. DCNG neighborhood. Honestly wasn't very interested in big law, still am not really, but would really rather have a job than no job. (so many pi place want you to work for free for a year after you pass the bar OR have other work experience). Down for NYC but would way rather work texas or california. Any tips?


Are you from Texas or California? Where are you from? With solid bidding in NYC or your home market, 0.1 below median should have a decent chance at big law.

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby shoeshine » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:40 pm

OP, do you have relevant work experience?

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:46 pm

OP here; so, I am wondering what type of grades I will need to make this semester to be competitive at OCI/for firms this fall? I received a 3.3 in legal writing, so that is somewhat encouraging, but the rest of the grades are pretty much a black hole as I have no idea what to expect. I really didn't understand what was going on first semester and understood alot better in the spring, but I guess so did everyone else (and I used study groups, alot of practice tests etc. second semester)?

Although I don't want to drop out, should this be an option or should I give it one more semester etc.? I just keep thinking how hard I worked to get here just to screw up now..

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:48 pm

OP again; my only work experience is 1 year as a legal assistant/paralegal at a law firm, other than that just menial stuff

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:58 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thought I'd join this thread. .1 below median first semester probably like .2 below this semester. DCNG neighborhood. Honestly wasn't very interested in big law, still am not really, but would really rather have a job than no job. (so many pi place want you to work for free for a year after you pass the bar OR have other work experience). Down for NYC but would way rather work texas or california. Any tips?


Are you from Texas or California? Where are you from? With solid bidding in NYC or your home market, 0.1 below median should have a decent chance at big law.


from california strong texas ties (fiancé's family is from there, and they know quite a few big law partners). I've been doing informational interviews and plan on doing more with partners from my hometown. Spending a weekend in texas to do some informational interviews. Not very many texas firms at OCI so I'll probably have to mass mail. Any tips for NYC bidding (I so don't want to work there but like I said earlier job over no job)

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Re: Bad Grades T14- Employment prospects?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:07 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Finished .3 below median first semester as 1L at T14. Haven't gotten grades back from this semester, but studied 10x harder this spring. Do I have a chance at a firm/private sector? I'm working in public interest this summer and would like to avoid going back into it... If the goal is biglaw is there any chance, even if grades are better this semester? Besides mass-mailing firms, are there any other things I should look into? Feeling a bit hopeless...


Don't feel hopeless until you have your grades back. If you get up to median at Penn/Northwestern/UVA, you have a chance at a firm job. .3 below median at the lower T14 would be a bad place to stay if you wanted a firm job. Median at GULC/Mich/Duke would also be a bad place to stay.


At the very least you chose a fitting username.




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