Need to explain grades before being asked?

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Anonymous User
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Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:54 pm

I was wondering if I should explain my GPA drop off during my first year. I won't give specifics, but what do you think is a big enough drop that warrants an explanation? Do you think I should explain this in my DOJ application specifically?

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was wondering if I should explain my GPA drop off during my first year. I won't give specifics, but what do you think is a big enough drop that warrants an explanation? Do you think I should explain this in my DOJ application specifically?


You really shouldn't call attention to any weak spots unless you are specifically asked about them during an interview.

If it's REALLY bad, and it puts you below a GPA cutoff, then MAYBE bring it up, but even then probably not. Your materials only get looked at for something like 30 seconds, you don't want a weakness to be seriously considered during that time.

Are you a 3L? If so, do your grades bounce back during 2L? If your grades obviously came back, don't even bring it up, your normal performance will be obvious.

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Re: Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:04 pm

Yes, I am a 3L and my grades did bounce back significantly. There were some personal issues going on my first year. There's no GPA cut-off, but I have improved.

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Re: Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:05 pm

I had two poor grades that stuck out. Only one of my interviews asked about it. No one else did, so I didn't offer any explanation.

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Re: Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:15 pm

Thanks. Would appreciate a few more perspectives.

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Re: Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:45 pm

Had a similar experience with a couple very bad grades second semester of 1L year. If there is a legitimate explanation, offer it. I had one such explanation and have gotten about an average number of callbacks despite low overall GPA.

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Re: Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Had a similar experience with a couple very bad grades second semester of 1L year. If there is a legitimate explanation, offer it. I had one such explanation and have gotten about an average number of callbacks despite low overall GPA.


i'm in the same boat. did you proactively address it during screeners ("oh, X happened and led to very bad grades in Y and Z class") or did you wait 'til asked? screeners didn't ask me so i didn't bring it up. did you address it w/o being asked during a cb? did you weave in the story so interviewers would draw inferences? ehhhhh

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Re: Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:00 pm

What is your guys' definition of "very bad grades". Are we talking like going from A to C or just like some As and Bs, but then going down to B+s?

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Re: Need to explain grades before being asked?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:08 pm

I had some experience with this. My advice is mention it preemptively if you connect with the interviewer and think that it would come across as genuine.

I had median grades and some firms at OCI did ask me. I didn't receive CBs from those firms. I mentioned it preemptively for other firms (who did not ask me) and received CB (and offers) from those firms. There were some firms who did not ask (and I did not preemptively mention it) and I did get CB and an offer from them as well.

Note: on the ones that I preemptively mentioned grades, the conversation was flowing well and I was able to fit it in. I think it just depends on what kind of interviewer you have. For the ones that I didn't discuss grades with, it was clear that it would have been awkward.

More importantly, talk about grades in a confident, "I'm going to make adjustments and bounce back next term" way.

Hope this helps.




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