3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:32 pm

Yeah I realize I did terrible, which is incredibly frustrating given that everyone I studied with got substantially higher grades than me (currently in the process of speaking with profs regarding what I did wrong). Have roughly a 3.1ish gpa after 1L with so-so work experience, but good UG grades from a top university. My ties are to NYC, and that is where I hope to work. What are my options for next summer, and if firms are out, what are some good back up options (in house?)/how on earth do I find a job after 2l? Am I totally screwed? I realize I should go to career services, but they seem to be backed up right now...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:41 pm

Relevant to my situation...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:19 pm

Rising 3L at Duke, similar grade situation to yours. What I can tell you is that at least at this past OCI, it seemed firmed had some pretty hard cutoffs, and that most were unwilling to dip below a 3.2-3.3 for callbacks, with a few exceptions. If I were you, I would bid less selective firms with bigger classes, really work on your interviewing skills, I mean, really, be exceptional, practice practice practice, network this summer not just to of course build your network and make connections to help in your job search this fall and beyond but also because the more you get used to talking to attorneys, especially alum and attorneys that you don't know, have to reach out to, and setup informational interviews with, the more you'll be used to it by the time OCI goes around. Start mass-mailing in mid-late July, hit your home market or markets and any other markets you are tied to hard, and hit them early, before they start recruiting from the local talent or at least, at the same time as they hit the local talent, but DEFINITELY not after I repeat DEFINITELY not after.

Try to get career services to give you a list of firms you should be bidding on, talk to current 3Ls and students who have just graduated about their experience, their tips, what they know about certain firms they worked at. Try to find students with similar ish grades to yours who managed to snag something at a firm (or government, so that you have that base covered in case firms don't work out for you). It is for sure doable, and hopefully firms won't scale things back a bit in anticipation of a default in Europe/other global economic woes and will hopefully continue the trend of slowly but steadily increasing class sizes, the number of callbacks, etc.

Do NOT delay, I promise you it will only hurt you in the end. Don't wait until after OCI to start sending targeted mails and reaching out to alum. Make that your priority this summer in addition to doing well and making good impressions at your summer internship. Go into OCI more prepared than anybody else, be aggressive, sign up for interview slots that open up, hit the hospitality suites, get your name out there.

You can definitely snag something with a 3.1, even biglaw for sure, but it won't be easy and you'll have to do a lot of legwork yourself, however I know people with grades in your range or lower who got something, and those with grades that ranged from higher than yours to much higher who struck out. So while grades are important, remember that they don't define you and that you aren't at some place like a 2.7 where getting past grades is a near impossibility. That's about the best advice I can give you but if you have some more questions, feel free to post again in this thread

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:48 pm

Thanks for the advice. Is it possible to switch firms (or go from gov to firm if I don't get a firm next summer) if I can get the grades up for 2L and 3L? I am spending the summer figuring out where I went wrong, but I am hoping that 1L grades truly don't define the rest of my career...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:51 pm

isnt it true that duke only count 2nd or 3rd year classes for graduating honors?
if so, someone who bombed first year could graduate cum laude/magna even.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:56 pm

2L and 3L grades matter very little. Know someone who is at a V5 and didn't graduate with any honors. Just start mass mailing. OCI is going to be an uphill climb.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:58 pm

i know. however, i've also not seen a duke cum laude or magna who is without a decent job.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i know. however, i've also not seen a duke cum laude or magna who is without a decent job.


What is decent? Genuinely curious.

And while I made the above example, I would think many of the honor graduates also did well during 1L. Thus their 1L grades got them a job then they just continued to do well. The honors did not get them the job.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:04 pm

do you think graduating with honors from duke could salvage bad 1L grades?its a T14 after all.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:do you think graduating with honors from duke could salvage bad 1L grades?its a T14 after all.


Once again, define salvage.

While OCI only relates to your 1L grades, it does make sense. I agree that it is pretty weird that only one of three years' grades ultimately matter but 1L is the only year where everyone takes the same classes and are curved strictly. If someone who was well below median 1L and graduated with honors is probably without a big law offer.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:17 pm

So the consensus is that 1L GPA = Life Destiny...i.e. if I don't get an offer for next summer I should look for other career paths? No chance of breaking in later?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So the consensus is that 1L GPA = Life Destiny...i.e. if I don't get an offer for next summer I should look for other career paths? No chance of breaking in later?


Someone else can weigh in but it seems like that is fairly correct regarding big law. I bet you would be able to find some legal employment though.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:26 pm

Rising 3L who posted earlier. Based on what I heard from members of the class of 2011/2012, it IS always best to try to get your grades higher your 2L and 3L year, and occasionally people to get mid or biglaw as 3Ls, even close to graduation, (both classes mentioned this happening), however it is nothing close to a guarantee and is still quite uncommon.

As for the point about graduating with honors, on the assumption that 1L year grades don't count towards honors (I honestly didn't know that was a policy), the point about people with cum laude or magna having decent jobs honestly is probably a result of those students having been good students 1L year, or at least having high enough grades to get jobs from OCI or mass mailing.

All of this said, it is hard to keep your motivation up when your chips are down, you've struck out at OCI, you've struck out on getting a firm job, big, mid, or possibly even small, for your 2L summer, and while it's said that the motivation of having a job, not being unemployed, student loans are enough to keep you motivated 2L/3L year, even that sometimes isn't enough because it really does suck to strike out. However, only good can come of having higher grades, and even if that chance is small, that person who is the class of 2014's anecdote about someone who got biglaw as a 3L could be you.

Keep pushing, even though the T14 doesn't carry quite the same weight as it used to in terms of being a guaranteed job in biglaw if you could write your name and say hello, in this economy, it still easily has the highest pull among all the law schools and if anything, firms seem more inclined to want what they see as the best quality students, pushing firms towards sticking to the T14, it's just that there are far less summer associate/entry level associate positions available, so despite the continued love for the T14, it can't be jobs for everyone like the boom years. Still, you go to Duke, and they have an incredibly strong alumni base, and a sense of loyalty that is very strong for their fellow alumni and current students, and even if you struggle initially finding your first job, either during 3L or after the bar, don't discount the power of the school's name, it's alumni base, and it's pull in the field of law. So you might start out working in-house at the lowest level and work your way up, maybe that'll be better and you'll end up happier than a lot of your classmates and making similar money a few years down the line, just not right away.

Keep your head up, keep your grades up, try to do as well as you can. Some biglaw firms randomly put out posts (not always via symplicity, some were discrete and through career services) in the spring looking to fill a few spots, and if you're that person who say had a 3.1, didn't do so hot at OCI/mass mailing, but got a 3.7 fall of your 2L year and that firm interviews you, even if they don't say it outright, their first thought will probably be, so this guy struggled a bit 1L year, but damn, he/she took a strong course load and killed it this past fall, definitely capable of doing the work. It's gonna be a long road ahead, and I'm not even close to finished with that road, I'm only a 3L, but keep pushing

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So the consensus is that 1L GPA = Life Destiny...i.e. if I don't get an offer for next summer I should look for other career paths? No chance of breaking in later?


Someone else can weigh in but it seems like that is fairly correct regarding big law. I bet you would be able to find some legal employment though.


that is absolutely ridiculous and sickening if that's how it works. besides, if your school does winter OCI then 2L first semester grades also count, no?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So the consensus is that 1L GPA = Life Destiny...i.e. if I don't get an offer for next summer I should look for other career paths? No chance of breaking in later?


Someone else can weigh in but it seems like that is fairly correct regarding big law. I bet you would be able to find some legal employment though.


that is absolutely ridiculous and sickening if that's how it works. besides, if your school does winter OCI then 2L first semester grades also count, no?


OCI is before 2L even starts. And see explanation above. While arguably not perfect it is much better than counting all three years equally.

You also should have known this before attending law school.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:33 pm

OCI starts in mid-August not winter...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:39 pm

OP here. Yes, I was aware 1L grades were everything before coming. However, this didn't stop me from faceplanting this year as my problem seems to be in exam-taking, not comprehension. Totally sucks because no way of redeeming yourself though. Are strong comebacks even possible? Also, though I don't want more schooling, should an LLM be an option to improve prospects or a waste of money?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Yes, I was aware 1L grades were everything before coming. However, this didn't stop me from faceplanting this year as my problem seems to be in exam-taking, not comprehension. Totally sucks because no way of redeeming yourself though. Are strong comebacks even possible? Also, though I don't want more schooling, should an LLM be an option to improve prospects or a waste of money?


Generally consensus is a waste of money. I wouldn't give up btw. I would bet you'll get a job if you hustle. I don't know where 3.1 puts you but your job search is gunna be an up hill climb grade wise.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby sparty99 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:44 pm

3.1 gpa at Duke, a great university. You seem in decent shape. I'm below that gpa at a lower ranked school and landed a Summer Associate gig my first summer.

Apply to a lot of jobs, you'll be good.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:46 pm

sparty99 wrote:3.1 gpa at Duke, a great university. You seem in decent shape. I'm below that gpa at a lower ranked school and landed a Summer Associate gig my first summer.

Apply to a lot of jobs, you'll be good.


3.1 at a lower ranked school may be a decent rank. It is probably bottom third to bottom quarter at duke.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby sparty99 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:52 pm

I would kill for a bottom one third rank. I'm below median...

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby kwais » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:01 am

sparty99 wrote:I would kill for a bottom one third rank. I'm below median...


wut

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby sparty99 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:04 am

kwais wrote:
sparty99 wrote:I would kill for a bottom one third rank. I'm below median...


wut


Nevermind. I misspoke. Bottom 1/3 is horrific. I'm in the same situation. But whatever. Just apply to jobs, what else would you do.

User avatar
DallasCowboy
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:47 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby DallasCowboy » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:51 am

Do you like NC or can at least BS that you do? Mail some local firms now for feelers. You would have a chance at plenty of midlaw firms just for going to school here.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273385
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.1 GPA at Duke-- What do I do now?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:22 am

OP here. Honestly, I would rather not work in NC if I could avoid it. I realize though the strategy should be just to get a firm somewhere. I hope to move closer to home, so is there any chance of moving firms later? Also, what are other less selective markets I should be looking at (besides those with ties, etc)?




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.