How long do mediocre grades matter?

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How long do mediocre grades matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:46 pm

I graduated from a lower T14 right around the median. I've been lucky enough to land a two-year Article III clerkship and am wondering whether or how much post-clerkship employers will factor grades in their hiring consideration. To what extent does the importance of law school GPA diminish over time?

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Re: How long do mediocre grades matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:48 pm

Real question is, how did you land an A3 clerkship with mediocre grades.

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Re: How long do mediocre grades matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Real question is, how did you land an A3 clerkship with mediocre grades.


Anonymous User wrote:Real question is, how did you land an A3 clerkship with mediocre grades.


+1

This is relevant to my interests as well.

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Re: How long do mediocre grades matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Real question is, how did you land an A3 clerkship with mediocre grades.


Without outing myself by sharing too many details, mainly through networking like crazy and getting partners who worked with me during my SA to call judges and vauch for me. I learned first hand that the process really is a crapshoot.

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Re: How long do mediocre grades matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:44 pm

My experiences has been that it will depend a lot on where you want to go and, to some lesser extent, who the specific people with hiring authority are.

The broad overview (and consensus, from a large number of conversations on this topic) is as follows: (1) For biglaw, you're going to see grades follow you any time you apply for an associate-to-partner-track position. If you want to go laterally as of counsel, grades are less of an issue. Grades irrelevant if you've got a book of business that follows you (duh). (2) For government, grades will matter for ballpark a decade or until you have serious litigation chops. (Particularly for merit positions where grades/other law school activities might convert directly into points.) At the point where you have dozens of jury trials or a wheelbarrow of appellate work under your belt, grades are not going to matter at all for lateral-ing within or into government. (3) Public interest (e.g. nonprofit work) is real hit or miss. Some of the organizations are prestige whores through and through. Some aren't. This is going to vary dramatically based on where you want to go. (4) In-house is almost impossible to predict. Varies a lot based on the hiring party, but they will look harder at experience than government will.

In your case, the A3 clerkship is going to make a difference on the margins. If I were you, though, I'd work your judge hard toward the end of the clerkship and see what strings he/she is willing to pull and what calls he/she will make. Depends a lot on the judge, but I've seen people with craptastic grades from TTT schools work their way into top firms (and, with some political connections, government spots) seemingly solely on the strength of their judge.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: How long do mediocre grades matter?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:28 pm

Anecdotal from XO, listings on headhunter sites, and convos I've had with attorneys: top 1/3 at a T20 is absolutely mandatory for most of the lateral opportunities at FIRMS. You can get around this with a CS/EE degree or, of course, connections. I'm not sure if an AIII clerkship is really going to give you that much of a bump.

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Re: How long do mediocre grades matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:13 am

depends 100% on the firm. gibson will always ask for grades. other firms could not give a shit (and rightfully so).




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