Grades or experience?

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salix
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Grades or experience?

Postby salix » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:38 pm

This morning I saw a listing for a fellowship for Spring semester for which I think I'd be perfect. It is in an area that I'm interested in, and they listed skills that I have in spades. If I were a second year, I'd jump at it. But as a first year, I wonder if sacrificing the study time is worth it.

Factors to consider:
1) They list 15 hours a week, but with transportation/mission creep, I'm guessing that by finals time I'd be putting in 4.5 hours a day, M-F.

2) I already have some non-negotiable time pressures (kids, work in family business).

3) I'm an A/B student now, but it took a LOT of effort last semester to pull those grades. I'm worried that if I do less, I'll get median pwned - or worse, considering everyone around me who seems to be gunning harder than ever this semeseter.

4) I'm not exactly sure of my career path, so I don't want to do anything that precludes biglaw from my T2.

All advice appreciated.

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Ludo!
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Re: Grades or experience?

Postby Ludo! » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:43 pm

What's your class rank? "A/B student" is a pretty wide range. If you're in the top 5-10% I'd say don't risk any blow to your grades. Lower than that I'd take the fellowship.

RPK34
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Re: Grades or experience?

Postby RPK34 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:48 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:What's your class rank? "A/B student" is a pretty wide range. If you're in the top 5-10% I'd say don't risk any blow to your grades. Lower than that I'd take the fellowship.


I was going to say grades, but this is correct to the extent that if you're like top 30% or something right now, you're pretty much dead to big law. If your grades have a realistic shot at top 5-10%, then concentrate on them. If not really, a job like this might actually help you when you're inevitably searching desperately for a job 3L year (or later).

Of course, if it's a T2, you're probably not getting big law in the first place (unless it's a really strong regional), so top 5-10% probably is a long shot anyways

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salix
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Re: Grades or experience?

Postby salix » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:56 pm

As a 1L, I don't have an official rank yet, but looking at last year's graduation data, I'm right at 10%.

I know most biglaw is a reach from my school. That's part of why I'm considering this. Just don't want to shoot myself in the foot.

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Ludo!
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Re: Grades or experience?

Postby Ludo! » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:08 pm

At 10% I think I'd pass on the fellowship. Even 15 hours a week would be a lot during finals time and especially with kids and other responsibilities I think it's too distracting. I'd do whatever I could to keep at the top of the class, I think that's gonna be more important for employment than a semester fellowship

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Grades or experience?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:11 pm

I'd probably do it. Biglaw is probably unlikely for you, and I would not sacrifice a good fellowship opportunity if you think it might lead to a more realistic career path. If you're an A-/B+ student already I just don't think the upside to continuing to focus entirely on your studies is there.

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TTRansfer
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Re: Grades or experience?

Postby TTRansfer » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:14 pm

BIg pass. No need if you are top 10%. Focus solely on getting into the top 5-8%. Put the effort you would into the fellowship into your grades.

Your grades are exponentially more important.

I mean, shit. Get your grades up and get to a school where biglaw is more likely.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Grades or experience?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:47 pm

Is it the kind of fellowship that repeats annually? You might be able to apply for it next year.

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salix
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Re: Grades or experience?

Postby salix » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:44 pm

Thanks for the advice, everyone.


A. Nony Mouse wrote:Is it the kind of fellowship that repeats annually? You might be able to apply for it next year.



This sums it up for me. I think I'll just double down on grades for now and hope that there will be a similar listing next year.

(Maybe I'll try to contact them for an 'informational interview' now, to see what they would want in an ideal candidate. And also start to rearrange my life so that this kind of thing will be easier to fit in next year.)

Back to the GRIND!




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