Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

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Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:43 am

How do firms at Boalt's EIW/OCI actually evaluate students' grades?

-I've seen many threads that show how to calculate a GPA, (HH=5, H=3, P=2) often in the context of clerkships/Order of the Coif. But do firms actually evaluate students that way, or do they do something like "H" or "HH" count (maybe HH's are worth 2?)

-If so, what 'number' of Hs does one need to be competitive for 1) BigLaw generally, 2) semi-selective firms/markets (say SF), and 3) the most competitive firm jobs? (Keeping in mind that this year 1Ls had 7 graded classes including WOA).

Thanks!

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:How do firms at Boalt's EIW/OCI actually evaluate students' grades?

-I've seen many threads that show how to calculate a GPA, (HH=5, H=3, P=2) often in the context of clerkships/Order of the Coif. But do firms actually evaluate students that way, or do they do something like "H" or "HH" count (maybe HH's are worth 2?)

-If so, what 'number' of Hs does one need to be competitive for 1) BigLaw generally, 2) semi-selective firms/markets (say SF), and 3) the most competitive firm jobs? (Keeping in mind that this year 1Ls had 7 graded classes including WOA).

Thanks!


I can speak based on what I knew from a partner alum. He graduated from Boalt with coif. When he looked at my transcripts (after 2L, about 8Hs, 5Ps and 3HHs), he thought that I did extremely well. But on our curve, I think I was only around median. That suggests that no one is gonna to the stupid weighting and calculate your weighted GPA, even an alum with good grades. Firms only count how many H/HH you have.

Another example: some elite OCI firms expressly tell you that their ideal candidates must have more HHs than Ps, at least two HHs or something similar.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How do firms at Boalt's EIW/OCI actually evaluate students' grades?

-I've seen many threads that show how to calculate a GPA, (HH=5, H=3, P=2) often in the context of clerkships/Order of the Coif. But do firms actually evaluate students that way, or do they do something like "H" or "HH" count (maybe HH's are worth 2?)

-If so, what 'number' of Hs does one need to be competitive for 1) BigLaw generally, 2) semi-selective firms/markets (say SF), and 3) the most competitive firm jobs? (Keeping in mind that this year 1Ls had 7 graded classes including WOA).

Thanks!


I can speak based on what I knew from a partner alum. He graduated from Boalt with coif. When he looked at my transcripts (after 2L, about 8Hs, 5Ps and 3HHs), he thought that I did extremely well. But on our curve, I think I was only around median. That suggests that no one is gonna to the stupid weighting and calculate your weighted GPA, even an alum with good grades. Firms only count how many H/HH you have.

Another example: some elite OCI firms expressly tell you that their ideal candidates must have more HHs than Ps, at least two HHs or something similar.


With your grade distribution, you were probably top 40%, not median.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Dignan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:How do firms at Boalt's EIW/OCI actually evaluate students' grades?

I think it varies widely.


-I've seen many threads that show how to calculate a GPA, (HH=5, H=3, P=2) often in the context of clerkships/Order of the Coif. But do firms actually evaluate students that way, or do they do something like "H" or "HH" count (maybe HH's are worth 2?)

I've never heard of a firm calculating a GPA in the way that the law school itself does for Coif and clerkships. I've heard that some firms will—as you suggest—count up the total number of Hs, with each HH counting as 2 Hs. Those firms might have a cutoff where they only callback students with more Hs than Ps. Other firms, I've heard, want to see at least one HH in a doctrinal class. Some firms seem to put disproportionate weight on your WOA grade, while others firms seem to not really care about it. Some firms focus more on personality and fit, and will consider students will all or nearly all Ps. Some firms really value professional work experience, while other firms don't care all that much.

The conventional wisdom is that litigation-oriented firms care more about grades, while transactional-oriented firms (and practice groups) care more about personality. I'm not sure if that is really true, but that's the general impression I have.


-If so, what 'number' of Hs does one need to be competitive for 1) BigLaw generally, 2) semi-selective firms/markets (say SF), and 3) the most competitive firm jobs? (Keeping in mind that this year 1Ls had 7 graded classes including WOA).

As I indicated above, it really varies from firm to firm. (By the way, last year's 1Ls also had 7 graded classes, including WOA.) As for "BigLaw generally," you can be competitive with all Ps if you have solid work experience, good interviewing skills, and a willingness to apply in markets where there are lots of jobs (e.g., NYC, LA).

As for the "semi-selective" SF market, you'll have a solid shot at landing something with an even mix of Hs and Ps on your transcript. There are no guarantees—and there are people with good grades who get shut out of the competitive SF market—but you'd at least be competitive at many firms with, say, 4 Hs and 3 Ps. And I know several students with mostly Ps who got jobs with good firms in the SF Bay Area.

For the most competitive firms, you of course need excellent grades. In SF, the most selective firm is probably Keker, which hires only 3-4 summer associates a year. I think they only do OCI at SLS, Boalt, HYS, and YLS. For Keker, you likely need all Hs and HHs, with more of the latter than the former. Altshuler Berzon, another small SF firm, also has a reputation for being highly selective. In Southern California, Munger is probably the most selective, and also probably requires all Hs and HHs. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other California firms that require those sorts of grades. There are, however, many other firms that seem to have hard cut-offs of around top 25% or so, below which they won't even consider you for a callback. I believe (but am not sure) that Gibson Dunn, Boies Schiller, Quinn Emanuel, Latham, Irell, and Covington all fall into this category. There may be others.
Last edited by Dignan on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Dignan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I can speak based on what I knew from a partner alum. He graduated from Boalt with coif. When he looked at my transcripts (after 2L, about 8Hs, 5Ps and 3HHs), he thought that I did extremely well. But on our curve, I think I was only around median. That suggests that no one is gonna to the stupid weighting and calculate your weighted GPA, even an alum with good grades. Firms only count how many H/HH you have.

Another example: some elite OCI firms expressly tell you that their ideal candidates must have more HHs than Ps, at least two HHs or something similar.


With your grade distribution, you were probably top 40%, not median.

Yeah, someone with 8 Hs, 5Ps, and 3 HHs is definitely above median. I actually think top-40% is a low estimate; top-30% seems more accurate. For that student to be near median, all the HHs would have to be in 1-unit and 2-unit classes, with all the Ps in 5-unit and 4-unit classes. And even then, the student would likely be a bit above median with 8 Hs.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:52 am

2 x HH
2 x H
2 x P

What standing?

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Dignan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:2 x HH
2 x H
2 x P

What outcome?

Those are excellent first-year grades. Your grades aren't good enough for the super-selective firms I mentioned above (e.g., Keker, Munger), but you at least have a shot at almost every other big law firm in California. You will likely get several callbacks.

This should go without saying, but interviewing skills and personality play a big role in landing a firm job. This is not like applying to Columbia Law School, where you're 98% sure you'll get in if your GPA and LSAT are above a certain level. Personality and fit really do matter with most firms. You hear stories of people with excellent grades who strike out (or nearly strike out) at EIW. For many firms, good grades are necessary but not sufficient.

But your grades are strong enough that you'd have to have a pretty serious personality problem in order to strike out at EIW. You're likely to receive multiple big law offers.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:11 am

Dignan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2 x HH
2 x H
2 x P

What outcome?

Those are excellent first-year grades. Your grades aren't good enough for the super-selective firms I mentioned above (e.g., Keker, Munger), but you at least have a shot at almost every other big law firm in California. You will likely get several callbacks.

This should go without saying, but interviewing skills and personality play a big role in landing a firm job. This is not like applying to Columbia Law School, where you're 98% sure you'll get in if your GPA and LSAT are above a certain level. Personality and fit really do matter with most firms. You hear stories of people with excellent grades who strike out (or nearly strike out) at EIW. For many firms, good grades are necessary but not sufficient.

But your grades are strong enough that you'd have to have a pretty serious personality problem in order to strike out at EIW. You're likely to receive multiple big law offers.

What class standing, you think?

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Dignan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2 x HH
2 x H
2 x P

What outcome?

Those are excellent first-year grades. Your grades aren't good enough for the super-selective firms I mentioned above (e.g., Keker, Munger), but you at least have a shot at almost every other big law firm in California. You will likely get several callbacks.

This should go without saying, but interviewing skills and personality play a big role in landing a firm job. This is not like applying to Columbia Law School, where you're 98% sure you'll get in if your GPA and LSAT are above a certain level. Personality and fit really do matter with most firms. You hear stories of people with excellent grades who strike out (or nearly strike out) at EIW. For many firms, good grades are necessary but not sufficient.

But your grades are strong enough that you'd have to have a pretty serious personality problem in order to strike out at EIW. You're likely to receive multiple big law offers.

What class standing, you think?

It depends a bit on your unit distribution, but you're very likely top 25% on the 1L curve.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2 x HH
2 x H
2 x P

What standing?

Where is your 7th class?

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:31 am

OP here - thanks a lot Dignan! This is very helpful. It makes sense that interviewing and other soft factors would come into play significantly as well.

My grades are 1HH, 4H, 2P. Super selective firms aside, does this seem strong enough for the SF market generally?

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here - thanks a lot Dignan! This is very helpful. It makes sense that interviewing and other soft factors would come into play significantly as well.

My grades are 1HH, 4H, 2P. Super selective firms aside, does this seem strong enough for the SF market generally?


Those are good grades, somewhere significantly above median but not near the top of class.

Yes the Bay Area is small and competitive, a lot of Boalties want to stay and some of the spots are off the table unless you are an IP person BUT those are solid grades and a lot of Bay area firms and offices take several Boalties. Bid on those, bid widely, and avoid the crazy gunner firms (i.e. Keker, Altshuler Berzon, Munger and Howard Rice).

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:30 pm

What about for LA? Is it significantly easier? I'm even with Hs and Ps.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:08 am

This thread is really helpful, so thanks to the OP & contributors. What kind of grades does a person need to feel semi-confident about the SF market?

4 HH
3 H, including WOA.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:This thread is really helpful, so thanks to the OP & contributors. What kind of grades does a person need to feel semi-confident about the SF market?

4 HH
3 H, including WOA.


I'm curious about this as well. 5 HH, 1 H, 1 P, a few years WE, and moderate ties to SF. I'd like to stay here but am worried about focusing on such a small market. Is it too risky to limit bids to SF/SV?

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Dignan » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here - thanks a lot Dignan! This is very helpful. It makes sense that interviewing and other soft factors would come into play significantly as well.

My grades are 1HH, 4H, 2P. Super selective firms aside, does this seem strong enough for the SF market generally?

Yes, I think those grades will make you competitive at most firms in the SF Bay Area. However, your grades aren't so strong that you can count on getting offers based on your grades alone. Work on your interviewing skills, polish up your writing sample, and make sure that you bid strategically (i.e., don't bid only on highly selective firms).

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Dignan » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:What about for LA? Is it significantly easier? I'm even with Hs and Ps.

Without relevant work experience and/or a tech background, you're borderline for the SF Bay Area. The general perception is that LA is at least a bit easier. For many firms, the summer classes in LA are larger, and LA has fewer jobs that depend on an IP bent.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:45 am

I'm answering these last two posts together, because the posters are in the same situation:

Anonymous User wrote:This thread is really helpful, so thanks to the OP & contributors. What kind of grades does a person need to feel semi-confident about the SF market?

4 HH
3 H, including WOA.

I'm curious about this as well. 5 HH, 1 H, 1 P, a few years WE, and moderate ties to SF. I'd like to stay here but am worried about focusing on such a small market. Is it too risky to limit bids to SF/SV?

Your grades are so good that I'm surprised you're even asking. You are both easily in the top 10% of your class. You are both competitive at any firm that participates in EIW at Boalt. Unless one of you has a social disorder, you are both likely to get multiple offers from SF Bay Area firms. In your cases, it is not risky to limit bids to SF/SV.

Edit: Sorry, this is Dignan...I didn't mean to respond anonymously.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:04 am

Dignan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What about for LA? Is it significantly easier? I'm even with Hs and Ps.

Without relevant work experience and/or a tech background, you're borderline for the SF Bay Area. The general perception is that LA is at least a bit easier. For many firms, the summer classes in LA are larger, and LA has fewer jobs that depend on an IP bent.


Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it. Does it matter that one of those Ps is LRW/WOA? :? Hated that the class--worth one credit and the amount of work was ridiculous.

The two posters above? I'm sorry but it appears to be some humblebragging. "I've got all HHs what are my chances." :roll:
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Dignan » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Does it matter that one of those Ps is LRW/WOA?

It might. Litigation-heavy firms are more likely to care.

This is anecdotal, but people who did really well in WOA (HH and/or AmJur) seemed to overperform last year at EIW—i.e., they did better than one would have expected given their overall grades. I have no idea if the inverse is true.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. I would, though, really focus on your writing sample. You need to show that you can write well; you want firms to think that your "P" In WOA was not reflective of your writing ability.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:22 am

2 HH
4 H
1 P
Not interested in IP.
Is this close to 33%? I'm wanting to bid on DC and SF, but I know those are difficult markets. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:...
The two posters above? I'm sorry but it appears to be some humblebragging. "I've got all HHs what are my chances." :roll:


+1. The first was far more insufferable than the second. Even with our school's reputation of being anti-gunner or whatever, all it really does is force them underground and into the forums.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Hiram Walker » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:30 pm

Dignan, do you agree that bidding New York is the safest move with medianish grades?

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:05 pm

Dignan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Does it matter that one of those Ps is LRW/WOA?

It might. Litigation-heavy firms are more likely to care.

This is anecdotal, but people who did really well in WOA (HH and/or AmJur) seemed to overperform last year at EIW—i.e., they did better than one would have expected given their overall grades. I have no idea if the inverse is true.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. I would, though, really focus on your writing sample. You need to show that you can write well; you want firms to think that your "P" In WOA was not reflective of your writing ability.


Thank you. You've been very helpful. Does an AmJur in a doctrinal class help you think?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Boalt's EIW: How do firms ACTUALLY evaluate grades?

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2 HH
4 H
1 P
Not interested in IP.
Is this close to 33%? I'm wanting to bid on DC and SF, but I know those are difficult markets. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.


How many credits are those HHs? I'd say that is almost certainly top 25%. Probably a little shy of 10% though. Agree, Dignan?




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