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Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:11 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm a 1L. I accidentally missed an exam, the date was changed an I relied on the old one. I get to take the exam next spring, but in the meantime will have an incomplete, including at OCI.

Any thoughts on how this will impact OCI (otherwise have grades/school where biglaw would be expected)? How should I address this in interviews?

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:13 pm
by 09042014
Why didn't they just make you take it after you missed?

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:32 pm
by Anonymous User
Wish I knew.

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:36 pm
by cinephile
Your school is generous, I get the feeling that if that happened here you'd get a zero.

You don't have to say you accidentally missed it, you can just explain that you were unable to take the exam on that date and the school has arranged for you to take it next spring. That way you don't look forgetful. Hopefully they'll just infer that you were ill or something.

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:37 pm
by Anonymous User
How big of a deal will this be?

I can honestly say I was excused by the dean and will take the exam at a later date.

If my GPA is otherwise competitive, will this have a significant or marginal impact?

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:54 pm
by sambeber
Worrying about it isn't going to do you any good.

Some firms (really, interviewers) may care, some may not. It's impossible to predict. Just be ready to answer the question when it's asked, smile, and move the conversation on. I would suspect the impact will be binary at a high-level: either the interviewer will care, or s/he won't. Within those who care, again, it's impossible to predict just how much. OCI is less logical than you would think.

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:05 pm
by 09042014
There was a scheduling issue and they refused to let me take the same test for cheating fears so I have to wait until next year.

that's what you say.

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:18 pm
by sambeber
Desert Fox wrote:There was a scheduling issue and they refused to let me take the same test for cheating fears so I have to wait until next year.

that's what you say.

This.

Except maybe try not to associate yourself with "cheating fears," so choose some other language. :)

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:18 pm
by Anonymous User
sambeber wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:There was a scheduling issue and they refused to let me take the same test for cheating fears so I have to wait until next year.

that's what you say.

This.

Except maybe try not to associate yourself with "cheating fears," so choose some other language. :)


" . . . to preserve the integrity of the exam procedures . . . "

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:06 am
by Anonymous User
Whatever you do, DO NOT bring this up during interviews. Interviewers will often glance at your GPA and not look closely at your transcript. Make your interviews amazing. Depending on your luck and your personability, you may be able to make it work.

I had an incomplete, with median grades. 2/16 callbacks. (No pre-select, of course, or I probably wouldn't even have been considered.) Didn't end up with an offer, but did better than friends with higher grades and complete transcripts.

Don't hold your breath, but give it a try. If asked, you better have a damn good reason for that incomplete.

Edit: Transcript was a complete non-issue for the public interest positions I applied for. But I did have a solid first semester of 2L + a relevant fall internship by that hiring timeline.

Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:59 am
by mlblaw
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Re: Explaining an Incomplete at OCI

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:25 pm
by Anonymous User
mlblaw wrote:What do you expect your results would have been with otherwise above median grades (currently 5% at a T20)?


Impossible to know. I'm at a T7-14, and I am told I can be charming. Also didn't have strong ties to any big secondary market. Any of those factors (school rank/strength of OCI program, personality/interview ability, external ties) can make a big difference. (Not to mention significant work experience, science/tech background, non-traditional student, URM status, whatever.) Plus, my school doesn't preselect, which is a huge plus if you have less than perfect grades/transcript.