Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

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Anonymous User
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Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 13, 2013 10:36 pm

1L at lower T1, top 30-40% first semester but I think that my GPA will be lower this semester for a variety of reasons - classes were harder, applying to jobs/extracurriculars, got sick at the beginning of the semester. I scored an A both semesters in legal writing but don't feel confident about the rest of my classes. I have a great paid position in-house legal department... super rare for 1Ls so my question is, in terms of OCI, will I be able to stand out because of my summer experience if I end up only slightly above median? I keep hearing that your summer experience won't matter but it's likely that I will have awesome exposure to business related legal issues and networking opportunities so I do want it to matter. Advice please.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon May 13, 2013 10:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I keep hearing that your summer experience won't matter but it's likely that I will have awesome exposure to business related legal issues and networking opportunities so I do want it to matter. Advice please.

I mean this in the nicest possible way, but wanting your summer experience to matter doesn't have any effect on whether it does matter.

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thesealocust
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 13, 2013 11:01 pm

Can summer work make up for medianish grades?


No.

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Ded Precedent
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby Ded Precedent » Mon May 13, 2013 11:03 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Can summer work make up for medianish grades?


No.

Wouldn't it depend on the school?

Anonymous User
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 13, 2013 11:20 pm

I was in a very similar position as you. T30, with top-10% grades after Fall 1L, but down to barely top 20% after second semester. I got a paid in-house gig at a major corporation for my 1L summer. Not only did it not help me during Fall OCI, but I feel like it hurt me. I received so many questions about the position indicative of the fact that firms saw the corporation as competition as far as retaining me in the future. It was very clear that firms were concerned that I would either work for this company out of law school, or would practice for a few years before returning to the company.

Also, I don't know what interesting legal issues you hope to see. I basically summarized contracts and surfed the web for the summer. Not really sure why they hired me in the first place.

My advice would be to make it clear in your interviews in the Fall that this was a definite one-summer opportunity and say something like "they made it clear to me that there was no expectation of future employment" or something to that effect.

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thesealocust
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 13, 2013 11:41 pm

Ded Precedent wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Can summer work make up for medianish grades?


No.

Wouldn't it depend on the school?


No.

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Ded Precedent
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby Ded Precedent » Mon May 13, 2013 11:54 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Ded Precedent wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Can summer work make up for medianish grades?


No.

Wouldn't it depend on the school?


No.

Image

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Cavalier
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby Cavalier » Tue May 14, 2013 6:42 am

thesealocust wrote:
Ded Precedent wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Can summer work make up for medianish grades?


No.

Wouldn't it depend on the school?


No.

What if it's a really prestigious summer job?

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thesealocust
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby thesealocust » Tue May 14, 2013 9:46 am

You should have made it easier to reply as a yes or no question. For example, "wouldn't it help if it were a really prestigious job?"

I award you no points.

Anonymous User
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 14, 2013 10:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:Advice please.


Don't stress yourself out with these hypotheticals until you actually get your grades.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Tue May 14, 2013 10:02 am

Cavalier wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Ded Precedent wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
No.

Wouldn't it depend on the school?


No.

What if it's a really prestigious summer job?


Did you get nominated for the Supreme Court for the summer?

If not, then still no.

nouseforaname123
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby nouseforaname123 » Tue May 14, 2013 10:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:1L at lower T1, top 30-40% first semester but I think that my GPA will be lower this semester for a variety of reasons - classes were harder, applying to jobs/extracurriculars, got sick at the beginning of the semester. I scored an A both semesters in legal writing but don't feel confident about the rest of my classes. I have a great paid position in-house legal department... super rare for 1Ls so my question is, in terms of OCI, will I be able to stand out because of my summer experience if I end up only slightly above median? I keep hearing that your summer experience won't matter but it's likely that I will have awesome exposure to business related legal issues and networking opportunities so I do want it to matter. Advice please.


No.

Your OCI is probably preselect and the vast majority of OCI interviews will go to the top 10-15% of your class.

rad lulz
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby rad lulz » Tue May 14, 2013 10:50 am

Cavalier wrote:What if it's a really prestigious summer job?

>0L summer
>prestige

KidStuddi
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby KidStuddi » Tue May 14, 2013 10:54 am

Cavalier wrote:What if it's a really prestigious summer job?


This is like asking if taking a summer class at Harvard during undergrad will make up for a weak GPA. It won't.

There is no such thing as a prestigious summer job. Especially for a 1L. Spending 8-12 weeks doing piecemeal research and writing assignments will not materially improve your chances of getting a job through OCI. The only way your 1L summer is anything but a talking point during an OCI interview is if your 1L firm gives you an offer to come back.

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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue May 14, 2013 2:49 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
Cavalier wrote:What if it's a really prestigious summer job?


This is like asking if taking a summer class at Harvard during undergrad will make up for a weak GPA. It won't.

There is no such thing as a prestigious summer job. Especially for a 1L. Spending 8-12 weeks doing piecemeal research and writing assignments will not materially improve your chances of getting a job through OCI. The only way your 1L summer is anything but a talking point during an OCI interview is if your 1L firm gives you an offer to come back.


This isn't true at all. If you have good enough grades, having a firm job will help you out more than almost anything besides law review or EE/CS. It signals to firms that another firm did enough diligence on you and gave you an offer. This is especially true if the firm is a vault firm/equivalent non-midlaw boutique and in the market you want to practice. Nothing says hire me than already having a return summer offer from the firm's competitors.

You might even want to grease the wheels more by saying "would you split with XYZ?"** This signals that you don't need the interviewing firm. Additionally, if you aren't a URM, it is yet another boost because firms know that only like 6 white/Asian people get biglaw as 1Ls.

This doesn't apply to OPs situation though. It won't help him at OCI-- he isn't getting a job through OCI unless his grades improve. It might help with in-house hiring, which is another monster altogether.

**Only do this in Texas, California, and other markets which are actually open to splits, or you will probably get rejected.

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thesealocust
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby thesealocust » Tue May 14, 2013 2:57 pm

I really never noticed prior firm work being a bump in and of itself. Most of those jobs go through connections any way.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue May 14, 2013 3:13 pm

A 1L with a rare 1L summer job implies the job was obtained through a family or friend connection. Even if you never say that, they will think it. Therefore, no bump.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue May 14, 2013 4:01 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:A 1L with a rare 1L summer job implies the job was obtained through a family or friend connection. Even if you never say that, they will think it. Therefore, no bump.


This is dumb. Its not like Skadden is like "lets pay someone randomly 30k because their uncle is a client." It occurs more at top schools, in markets where there is a demand for you (native Texans, IP jobs, foreign languages, etc.) Pre ITE, firms did more 1L hiring.

09042014
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 14, 2013 4:35 pm

In-house at a corporation isn't prestigious though. It's a decent gig, but kids with median grades pull that shit on the reg.

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Pete Venkman
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby Pete Venkman » Tue May 14, 2013 4:59 pm

tryin' to find encouragement on TLS, or even a glass-half-full take on things, is like tryin' to drink whiskey, ohhhh, from a bottle o' wine.

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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 14, 2013 5:04 pm

OPhere. No family connections, I don't have a single attorney in my family and I'd be lucky to get something through a connection.. it was all my own hard work and hustle that got me this job. Especially because our school is not known for placing students in-house like this. Thanks for the responses. I'm going to do a hell of a lot networking this summer and meet the law firm clients and see what it takes me.

09042014
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 14, 2013 5:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OPhere. No family connections, I don't have a single attorney in my family and I'd be lucky to get something through a connection.. it was all my own hard work and hustle that got me this job. Especially because our school is not known for placing students in-house like this. Thanks for the responses. I'm going to do a hell of a lot networking this summer and meet the law firm clients and see what it takes me.


That's a good attitude to have. You'll be fine long term.

KidStuddi
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby KidStuddi » Tue May 14, 2013 6:41 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
Cavalier wrote:What if it's a really prestigious summer job?


This is like asking if taking a summer class at Harvard during undergrad will make up for a weak GPA. It won't.

There is no such thing as a prestigious summer job. Especially for a 1L. Spending 8-12 weeks doing piecemeal research and writing assignments will not materially improve your chances of getting a job through OCI. The only way your 1L summer is anything but a talking point during an OCI interview is if your 1L firm gives you an offer to come back.


This isn't true at all. If you have good enough grades, having a firm job will help you out more than almost anything besides law review or EE/CS. It signals to firms that another firm did enough diligence on you and gave you an offer. This is especially true if the firm is a vault firm/equivalent non-midlaw boutique and in the market you want to practice. Nothing says hire me than already having a return summer offer from the firm's competitors.

You might even want to grease the wheels more by saying "would you split with XYZ?"** This signals that you don't need the interviewing firm. Additionally, if you aren't a URM, it is yet another boost because firms know that only like 6 white/Asian people get biglaw as 1Ls.

This doesn't apply to OPs situation though. It won't help him at OCI-- he isn't getting a job through OCI unless his grades improve. It might help with in-house hiring, which is another monster altogether.

**Only do this in Texas, California, and other markets which are actually open to splits, or you will probably get rejected.



This is all off topic now since OP's summer job is an in-house gig, but you've got it wrong. Take it from somebody who did a 1L SA and then went through OCI last fall, it did not help. All it did was turn me into a potential flight risk. Nobody wants to pay someone way too much money only to have them go back to their 1L firm anyway (unless their hiring model is based on hiring more summers then they actually need). You started to make this point in your asterisks about firms being wary about splitting summers, but them you somehow concluded that having an open offer from another firm is some great boost in general. Every interviewer that asked about my previous summer asked if I had an offer to return to my 1L firm. If the answer had been no, that obviously would have sucked to explain. The answer being yes invariably led to a discussion of why I was interviewing with other firms with the opportunity to go back in hand.

It's like being asked the "why our firm" question but taken to the next level by adding "why our firm over firm X". It's not an easy question to answer after 8-12 weeks of SA work without seeming disingenuous, naive, or flighty. You haven't done enough work to give a substantive reason, so they pretty much assume it's a personal reason. Especially when the firms are in the same city. The answer I ended up giving most times was geography, and that was a pretty easy sell, but it was still one more thing I had to sell. When I was interviewing in the same city, my answer was usually some incoherent BS about wanting to see what else was out there. Quite a few people jumped on this and asked if I didn't like the people, which was true but I wasn't trying to make myself seem picky or difficult to get along with (or bad mouth my 1L firm in case I struck out) so I just had to keep the bs going. It wasn't fun.

Now don't get me wrong, I did very well at OCI despite this, but I had the grades and resume to support it and I almost certainly would have done as well had I just interned for a judge or worked for a PI org. The point is this isn't lateral hiring where the name of your previous firm might translate to quality of work, training, know-how etc. Discussing my 1L SA at OCI was never a "shining moment" in the interview. No one was sitting there fawning over the name of my 1L firm. If and when it came up, they were just grilling me on we I would want to leave it.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue May 14, 2013 8:36 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
Cavalier wrote:What if it's a really prestigious summer job?


This is like asking if taking a summer class at Harvard during undergrad will make up for a weak GPA. It won't.

There is no such thing as a prestigious summer job. Especially for a 1L. Spending 8-12 weeks doing piecemeal research and writing assignments will not materially improve your chances of getting a job through OCI. The only way your 1L summer is anything but a talking point during an OCI interview is if your 1L firm gives you an offer to come back.


This isn't true at all. If you have good enough grades, having a firm job will help you out more than almost anything besides law review or EE/CS. It signals to firms that another firm did enough diligence on you and gave you an offer. This is especially true if the firm is a vault firm/equivalent non-midlaw boutique and in the market you want to practice. Nothing says hire me than already having a return summer offer from the firm's competitors.

You might even want to grease the wheels more by saying "would you split with XYZ?"** This signals that you don't need the interviewing firm. Additionally, if you aren't a URM, it is yet another boost because firms know that only like 6 white/Asian people get biglaw as 1Ls.

This doesn't apply to OPs situation though. It won't help him at OCI-- he isn't getting a job through OCI unless his grades improve. It might help with in-house hiring, which is another monster altogether.

**Only do this in Texas, California, and other markets which are actually open to splits, or you will probably get rejected.



This is all off topic now since OP's summer job is an in-house gig, but you've got it wrong. Take it from somebody who did a 1L SA and then went through OCI last fall, it did not help. All it did was turn me into a potential flight risk. Nobody wants to pay someone way too much money only to have them go back to their 1L firm anyway (unless their hiring model is based on hiring more summers then they actually need). You started to make this point in your asterisks about firms being wary about splitting summers, but them you somehow concluded that having an open offer from another firm is some great boost in general. Every interviewer that asked about my previous summer asked if I had an offer to return to my 1L firm. If the answer had been no, that obviously would have sucked to explain. The answer being yes invariably led to a discussion of why I was interviewing with other firms with the opportunity to go back in hand.

It's like being asked the "why our firm" question but taken to the next level by adding "why our firm over firm X". It's not an easy question to answer after 8-12 weeks of SA work without seeming disingenuous, naive, or flighty. You haven't done enough work to give a substantive reason, so they pretty much assume it's a personal reason. Especially when the firms are in the same city. The answer I ended up giving most times was geography, and that was a pretty easy sell, but it was still one more thing I had to sell. When I was interviewing in the same city, my answer was usually some incoherent BS about wanting to see what else was out there. Quite a few people jumped on this and asked if I didn't like the people, which was true but I wasn't trying to make myself seem picky or difficult to get along with (or bad mouth my 1L firm in case I struck out) so I just had to keep the bs going. It wasn't fun.

Now don't get me wrong, I did very well at OCI despite this, but I had the grades and resume to support it and I almost certainly would have done as well had I just interned for a judge or worked for a PI org. The point is this isn't lateral hiring where the name of your previous firm might translate to quality of work, training, know-how etc. Discussing my 1L SA at OCI was never a "shining moment" in the interview. No one was sitting there fawning over the name of my 1L firm. If and when it came up, they were just grilling me on we I would want to leave it.


Super good points. I had the same experience, but was able to qualify it almost always on the basis of geography. Firms bought that. I still think it gave me a huge advantage in hiring. I was only a little above median and got firms that I should have been below the cut off for. This might have been a correlation though with other things that got me the 1L SA such as pre-law work experience and good interview skills.

El Dangeroso
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Re: Can summer work make up for medianish grades?

Postby El Dangeroso » Tue May 14, 2013 10:41 pm

You have the right attitude. While you may not be getting a "bump," you still have a nice line on your resume and something worthwhile to talk about during interviews. You're wise to look at this as a networking opportunity. The attorneys in the legal department are a go-to source for getting contacts at the firms in the area -- they're the client of (probably more than one) of these firms, after all. What you want to do while you're working this summer is figure out how you're going to spin your experience during Fall interviews. "I think I might like transactional work because I enjoyed observing the attorneys negotiate contracts with an eye toward avoiding or minimizing the company's exposure to future liability," or "I learned that I would like the faster pace of litigation," or "I'm gaining an interest in XYZ because of my exposure on ABC projects." Things like this but better -- you'll figure it out. You're probably smart. You're certainly not at a disadvantage, although you may want to minimize your interest in going in-house so you don't come off as a flight risk.




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