Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

(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.
User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby dingbat » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:39 pm

bk1 wrote:
ruski wrote:lol at guy who says they put 'dean's list' on law firm bios. do they also put perfect attendance awards from 3rd grade?

I've seen plenty of firm bios that have dean's list...

And I've seen plenty of firm bios that list TTTs.

Truth: for your first several years out, grades matter. Once you hit the 10+ year mark, they shouldn't - your resume should speak for itself. (note that, at this point, most people will either have made partner, have reached the point where they'll never make partner, or will have already bailed lateraled out - not to mention the fact that most lawlyers will never even have made it out of the starting gate)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273234
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:19 am

dingbat wrote:
bk1 wrote:
ruski wrote:lol at guy who says they put 'dean's list' on law firm bios. do they also put perfect attendance awards from 3rd grade?

I've seen plenty of firm bios that have dean's list...

And I've seen plenty of firm bios that list TTTs.

Truth: for your first several years out, grades matter. Once you hit the 10+ year mark, they shouldn't - your resume should speak for itself. (note that, at this point, most people will either have made partner, have reached the point where they'll never make partner, or will have already bailed lateraled out - not to mention the fact that most lawlyers will never even have made it out of the starting gate)


When you look at graduating year around 08 those TTTs are a lot fewer and farther between

User avatar
FattyMcFatFat
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:16 pm

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:20 am

This thread is pure evil. Make it stop.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273234
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:24 am

Know plenty of associates who have lateraled into V5s and whose grades, even after 3L year, would never, ever have been competitive for those firms straight out of law school.

Yeah, I do think your grades matter, but not nearly as much as your firm and your experience at that firm.

wildhaggis
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:47 pm

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby wildhaggis » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:03 pm

Watch out, guys. Bolded large font is REALLY SERIOUS.

Come on, obviously it's generally a good idea to not bomb your classes - I really don't think anyone would dispute that. That said, using the accolades Vault firms list on their attorney bios as evidence that good 2L/3L grades are key for lateral/partner/other future legal employment is absolutely hilarious logic.

Again, your good grades will make you look good in general. But firms need people who can perform, people who can do great legal work in a timely manner for their clients. Experience will let them know whether or not you can deliver this.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273234
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:56 pm

Been out 10-12 years. T14 (and not necessarily the bottom half of that) with cum laude/honors/Stone, AIII clerkship, 5 or so years at a V20, 5 or so years at a reasonably prestigious government gig with multiple first chair assignments (resulting in a half dozen or so published decisions), well-published (5-10 publications, including multiple law review articles (one in the top 25)).

First, I've been asked for my law school transcript multiple times in the past few years. Most of those were law schools thinking about hiring me. At least one (tenure-track) job I was told I didn't get because my grades were too low. And looking at the faculty there, they probably were.

Second, I've been on the other side of the hiring table many times, including at that government agency (where I did mostly appellate work). What I would say about grades is this: If the person's resume looked right -- decent clerkship, T14 school, some honors designation (aside from the YLS and SLS people), some journal -- we didn't really look into the grades. If it didn't, we did, and they were dispositive. I distinctly remember lawyers 5+ years out with mediocre grades from T14 schools or less-than-top grades from a second tier school that we decided not to hire because we didn't think they were smart enough. I also remember lawyers with good grades who had a sufficient explanation for why they weren't on a journal (stupidly didn't participate in the writing competition) or didn't clerk (wanted to do corporate stuff out of law school) who we did hire. The point is that the grades told the story in both cases.

User avatar
Old Gregg
Posts: 5413
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:01 pm

Don't think anyone disputes that grades are pretty huge for teaching positions or even prestigious governmental agencies.

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby dresden doll » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:08 pm

I've never seen non-profits ask for grades, and I'll be working for one of NYC's largest non-profits. Same goes for my similarly situated friends.

nyf
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:50 pm

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby nyf » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:07 pm

I am not claiming that this explains every instance in which a potential employer asks for your transcript, but often they ask bc they want to verify that 1. you went to the school you claimed you did, 2. you graduated, and 3. yes, you performed as you said you did (if you indicate that on resume or anywhere). This is true for undergrad transcripts too. They want these things to make sure you are not some big hoax. And yes, some places, perhaps several, may look heavily into your grades but just bc they ask for transcript does not MEAN BY DEFINITION that grades are an enormous factor.

I worked at a prestigious gov gig and I can say that they wanted to make sure you were not at bottom of class but grades were just not huge. They cared much more about what you know at work AND why you wanted to work at this agency.

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:29 am

wildhaggis wrote:Watch out, guys. Bolded large font is REALLY SERIOUS.

Come on, obviously it's generally a good idea to not bomb your classes - I really don't think anyone would dispute that. That said, using the accolades Vault firms list on their attorney bios as evidence that good 2L/3L grades are key for lateral/partner/other future legal employment is absolutely hilarious logic.

Again, your good grades will make you look good in general. But firms need people who can perform, people who can do great legal work in a timely manner for their clients. Experience will let them know whether or not you can deliver this.


LOL no. Legal search firms and firms in general post lateral opportunities. Many of the specifically say things like "must be top 25 percent of class no exceptions." Hope that helps. Also notice the number of people actually involved in the lateral market are saying about the subject in the thread.

dresden doll wrote:I've never seen non-profits ask for grades, and I'll be working for one of NYC's largest non-profits. Same goes for my similarly situated friends.


This is very true, but I wasn't talking about those type of jobs. They often don't even ask for grades from law students.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby anon168 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:38 am

BruceWayne wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I've never seen non-profits ask for grades, and I'll be working for one of NYC's largest non-profits. Same goes for my similarly situated friends.


This is very true, but I wasn't talking about those type of jobs. They often don't even ask for grades from law students.


ACLU, for managment positions, does ask for transcripts. Same for Public Counsel and NLADA.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18414
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby bk1 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:42 am

BruceWayne wrote:LOL no. Legal search firms and firms in general post lateral opportunities. Many of the specifically say things like "must be top 25 percent of class no exceptions." Hope that helps.


I mean I know nothing of lateral hiring, but firms make similar claims at OCI and they are largely a flame. I'm skeptical of them and see no reason to take them at face value until the cutoffs are actually substantiated.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: Your Grades Almost NEVER STOP Mattering

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:30 am

Grades continue to matter for academia and some "prestigious" positions. Other than that, they generally only matter if you have nothing else to speak for you. Recruiters like top grades because it makes their job easier and scares off otherwise bad candidates (and some good ones who believe that they actually matter). But, if you have an otherwise strong resume, no one cares. They may ask for grades, just because it is a standard question, but if your grades ding you after you are a couple of years out of law school, you were never really in the running for the job (grades just become an excuse to follow through with a gut instinct).

Sadly, for some, school tends to matter more than grades. Many HR departments screen on school (this is one area where grades can help). To get around this, figure out who is actually doing the hiring and bypass HR.

Before someone goes for the extreme -- yes, if you tanked law school, you may have issues, but as long as someone doesn't cringe when they see your grades, it generally won't be a problem.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.