Law review - writing on without grades

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Anonymous User
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Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:30 pm

People in the Vale thread are kinda discussing this. I wanted to know how ppl in the T30 range do when they have median grades but get on law review by writing on, does that save thier ass? How bout if you T14 with awful gradeS?

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patrickd139
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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:People in the Vale thread are kinda discussing this. I wanted to know how ppl in the T30 range do when they have median grades but get on law review by writing on, does that save thier ass? How bout if you T14 with awful gradeS?

It almost assuredly will not 'save your ass' if you have really poor grades, but it will almost assuredly help at the margins when comparing you with another student with comparable grades.

Now, whether the work you'd have to put in is worth the bump is another question. Actually being on LR is awful.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:02 pm

I agree that it's not going to make up for really bad grades. My LR was almost entirely write-on (grades provided only a very very small bump) and I think the employment outcomes for LR folk were pretty commensurate with grades rather than LR membership. Outcomes were overall very good for the LR folk (everyone had at least decent grades, I think), but a few people definitely struggled and took longer to find something. But it is one more box you can check off - if you're looking at employers who care (generally firms, clerkships), you don't want to give them one more reason to ding you if you're borderline.

To be honest, though, I don't know anyone who made it onto law review who I'd say had really awful grades. I would say it was probably people mostly around top-third (maybe 40%?) and up. There is often some correlation between the skills necessary to do well on exams and to do well on the write-on - at least, at my lower T1. This may be less true as you go up the rankings.

(I am also one of those sick puppies who actually enjoyed LR. Twisted, I know.)

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cinephile
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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby cinephile » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:45 pm

I don't have first-hand experience, but have several friends on LR who were outside the top-quarter/top-third who managed to write on. I doubt their grades are awful, they're probably just median. But at a T30, even with law review, that means you'll probably strike out.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:06 pm

At end of 1L year I was at %34 (i was one slot from top third); wrote on to LR, received highest write-on score so my case note was published, got onto LR, received some recognition, etc.

Didn't help at all for 2L oci; sure, I looked better than another student in my percentile, but firms generally stuck to top 20% and under. I'd give up the publication and the LR position if it meant being top 10% on secondary journal

Cliffs: winning a write on competition doesn't replace better grades

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:28 pm

I am a 2L at a T30. I was below median after my first year. I wrote-on to law review. No firms at OCI wanted to interview with me. I mass mailed a bunch of mid-sized firms (my list is very long) in several markets and attended several job fairs. I got one sole call back which translated into my summer job.

In my interview, when asked about grades, I was being honest about what happened and that I was still learning how to take law school exams. But I was still able to write on to law review, which showed how hard I was willing to work for something (however they want to take it).

The bottom line is: it's better if you have great grades. Great grades trumps LR, moot courts, etc. However, at the end of your first year, when your grades are bad to mediocre, having things like LR or moot courts is better than not having those things.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:18 pm

2L at Vanderbilt/UT/UCLA with grades slightly above median who wrote on to Law Review. Didn't seem to help me at all. Out of 15 interviews, only one firm even mentioned it. Struck out at OCI and just barely managed to get an SA at a midlaw firm (180 attorneys) after mass mailing 600+ apps. Firm is planning on offering only 2/6 summers, so I'm probably screwed either way. Law Review has been a huge waste of time.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby rad lulz » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:46 pm

,
Last edited by rad lulz on Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TTH
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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby TTH » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L at Vanderbilt/UT/UCLA with grades slightly above median who wrote on to Law Review. Didn't seem to help me at all. Out of 15 interviews, only one firm even mentioned it. Struck out at OCI and just barely managed to get an SA at a midlaw firm (180 attorneys) after mass mailing 600+ apps. Firm is planning on offering only 2/6 summers, so I'm probably screwed either way. Law Review has been a huge waste of time.


How did you learn this? Historical offer rate or inside tip?

That seems like it's going to be the worst, most toxic summer experience ever. Good luck breh and watch your ass.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby cinephile » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:02 am

TTH wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L at Vanderbilt/UT/UCLA with grades slightly above median who wrote on to Law Review. Didn't seem to help me at all. Out of 15 interviews, only one firm even mentioned it. Struck out at OCI and just barely managed to get an SA at a midlaw firm (180 attorneys) after mass mailing 600+ apps. Firm is planning on offering only 2/6 summers, so I'm probably screwed either way. Law Review has been a huge waste of time.


How did you learn this? Historical offer rate or inside tip?

That seems like it's going to be the worst, most toxic summer experience ever. Good luck breh and watch your ass.


I wasn't the anon above, but I had a callback at a firm that explicitly told me they were hiring 4 SAs, but would only make 2 offers. So it wouldn't surprise me if firms were upfront about this sort of thing.

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TTH
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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby TTH » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:11 am

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:29 am

My school has a formula for law review writing where it is 50% grades and 50% score on the brief. How does this work? The only thing I can imagine is to put the briefs on the same curve as our grades and then average. Also would be interested in hearing thoughts/evidence on whether its possible to have top 20% grades write a so so brief and get on.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:45 pm

I am a 2L that will run the law review competition at my school next month. We force all of the write-on scores onto a curve and then give each one a corresponding number out of 4.0. That way, it's easy to balance with your actual GPA.

If you're #1 in your class, you can get on with a lower write-on score than if you're #30 in your class and vice versa. Pretty straight forward.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:46 pm

FWIW, an AUSA told me in an interview last year that they prefer someone who wrote on to law review to someone who graded on to law review. In their minds, it's a better reflection of overall skill as a writer, an attribute they highly prize.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby ph14 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, an AUSA told me in an interview last year that they prefer someone who wrote on to law review to someone who graded on to law review. In their minds, it's a better reflection of overall skill as a writer, an attribute they highly prize.


If you believe this, I have some oceanfront property in Idaho I want to sell you.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby zomginternets » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, an AUSA told me in an interview last year that they prefer someone who wrote on to law review to someone who graded on to law review. In their minds, it's a better reflection of overall skill as a writer, an attribute they highly prize.


While I agree that writing-on may demonstrate good writing skills, it's kind of a moot point as it's not like they would choose the median student who wrote on vs. the top 10% student who graded on.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, an AUSA told me in an interview last year that they prefer someone who wrote on to law review to someone who graded on to law review. In their minds, it's a better reflection of overall skill as a writer, an attribute they highly prize.

Your AUSA's view maybe makes sense when comparing equally ranked students from two different schools: one where some students can grade on and one where everyone writes on. I would be beyond shocked if a lower ranked student could grade onto law review and out jerb a student ranked high enough to grade on.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:02 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, an AUSA told me in an interview last year that they prefer someone who wrote on to law review to someone who graded on to law review. In their minds, it's a better reflection of overall skill as a writer, an attribute they highly prize.

Your AUSA's view maybe makes sense when comparing equally ranked students from two different schools: one where some students can grade on and one where everyone writes on. I would be beyond shocked if a lower ranked student could grade onto law review and out jerb a student ranked high enough to grade on.


I guess "FWIW" insufficiently qualified my point. I totally agree with you. It's not going to invert the class rankings. That said, I do think it could be a good talking point to highlight in interviews that could make a small difference. So much of hiring comes down to small distinctions; trying to stand out in a large pile. It's just one more way to try to do that.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby DwightSchruteFarms » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:10 pm

FWIW, during one of my interviews, the interviewer went through my resume and noted "Oo, you are on LR. That's always good." I wrote on and def didn't have the grades for it. It also happened to be the job I got offered after the Bar.

I'm not saying that LR without grades carries substantial weight, but as the poster above said, it definitely won't hurt your chances...and in some cases, such as mine, it can help.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, an AUSA told me in an interview last year that they prefer someone who wrote on to law review to someone who graded on to law review. In their minds, it's a better reflection of overall skill as a writer, an attribute they highly prize.

Your AUSA's view maybe makes sense when comparing equally ranked students from two different schools: one where some students can grade on and one where everyone writes on. I would be beyond shocked if a lower ranked student could grade onto law review and out jerb a student ranked high enough to grade on.


I guess "FWIW" insufficiently qualified my point. I totally agree with you. It's not going to invert the class rankings. That said, I do think it could be a good talking point to highlight in interviews that could make a small difference. So much of hiring comes down to small distinctions; trying to stand out in a large pile. It's just one more way to try to do that.

I agree with this right up until the very last sentence. If there's a way for you to grade onto LR at your school and you had to write on, there's a very real possibility that writing on could be viewed as a negative. To avoid that, I'd just prominently list that you're on LR. Full stop.

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Re: Law review - writing on without grades

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:07 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:FWIW, an AUSA told me in an interview last year that they prefer someone who wrote on to law review to someone who graded on to law review. In their minds, it's a better reflection of overall skill as a writer, an attribute they highly prize.

Your AUSA's view maybe makes sense when comparing equally ranked students from two different schools: one where some students can grade on and one where everyone writes on. I would be beyond shocked if a lower ranked student could grade onto law review and out jerb a student ranked high enough to grade on.


I guess "FWIW" insufficiently qualified my point. I totally agree with you. It's not going to invert the class rankings. That said, I do think it could be a good talking point to highlight in interviews that could make a small difference. So much of hiring comes down to small distinctions; trying to stand out in a large pile. It's just one more way to try to do that.

I agree with this right up until the very last sentence. If there's a way for you to grade onto LR at your school and you had to write on, there's a very real possibility that writing on could be viewed as a negative. To avoid that, I'd just prominently list that you're on LR. Full stop.

Look, I think we basically agree. But if you have a 3.5 and you're on law review, no one will think you graded on.* I don't think you give much up by making the point that you can write at a very high level under extreme time pressure.

*Unless there is just much more variance in curves and LR policies than I would imagine.




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