Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

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jmr62190
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Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby jmr62190 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:03 am

I somehow landed an interview with a T3 law firm in Boston, most likely through networking (although I did not ask my contact to get me in; she did this of her own volition). My grades are above average, but not 25%. I am not on a law review/journal. I was in the top 5% of my undergrad class and have some very good/relevant prior work experience.

Does anyone have any advice about how to impress in an interview? I think I interview fairly well (based on my track record of interviews--> offers), but am always looking for suggestions on how to improve. Do I even stand a chance at getting a call back?

Anonymous User
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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:14 am

I don't think they would waste their time with an interview if they didn't like you.


Cliche advice, but be your self and hopefully your personality is a right fit for their culture.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby JusticeHarlan » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:21 am

Just research the firm as thoroughly as you can and know your own resume backwards and forwards. Nothing to do at this point but put in the work and try to kill the interview.

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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:51 am

jmr62190 wrote:I somehow landed an interview with a T3 law firm in Boston, most likely through networking (although I did not ask my contact to get me in; she did this of her own volition). My grades are above average, but not 25%. I am not on a law review/journal. I was in the top 5% of my undergrad class and have some very good/relevant prior work experience.

Does anyone have any advice about how to impress in an interview? I think I interview fairly well (based on my track record of interviews--> offers), but am always looking for suggestions on how to improve. Do I even stand a chance at getting a call back?


I'm in a very similar situation to you. I figure, rather than spending time trying to figure out why they are interviewing me, I'm just going to go in confidently and try to do my absolute best at the interview.

Good luck!

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20160810
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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby 20160810 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:09 pm

Your qualifications are what they are, and that isn't changing between now and the interview, so why stress out about it? These are busy people whose time is worth a lot of money, so they wouldn't be interviewing you if it was a totally pointless circlejerk. Your mission is to come across as the guy who is so outgoing, funny, and plainly articulate that they don't worry about your grades.

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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't think they would waste their time with an interview if they didn't like you.

This is not true

Through a connection I can get an interview at [V5], guaranteed. However, my grade/school combination means there is no way they'd hire me. At another firm, through active networking I've been given an interview by the partner I dealt with. I also know what the firm's hard cutoffs are, and I'm significantly below it.
If you have good enough connections, firms might give you an interview as a curtesy. Doesn't mean they'll hire you.

(For reference, I'm bottom 1/4 at a T2 in a major market (with 2 top 20 schools). So yeah, I'm fucked and no way no how are those firms hiring me, despite my networking prowess that resulted in a courtesy interview

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Old Gregg
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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:34 am

You can just say Skadden. WRLK has only one office, and Cravath only two (and it ain't in Boston...)

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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:49 am

Pretty sure that the OP is referring to the big 3 Boston firms (Ropes, Wilmer, Goodwin), not the Vault top 3 (also pretty sure Sullivan passed Skadden in the latest)

jmr62190
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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby jmr62190 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:Pretty sure that the OP is referring to the big 3 Boston firms (Ropes, Wilmer, Goodwin), not the Vault top 3 (also pretty sure Sullivan passed Skadden in the latest)


Yes. For the record, I'm talking about Goodwin.

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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:47 am

jmr62190 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Pretty sure that the OP is referring to the big 3 Boston firms (Ropes, Wilmer, Goodwin), not the Vault top 3 (also pretty sure Sullivan passed Skadden in the latest)


Yes. For the record, I'm talking about Goodwin.


You may actually be in range for Goodwin without too much of a networking boost. Rather fair or not, Goodwin has a rep in Boston as being an iffy place to work and that kind of pushes the tippy-top students to Wilmer/Ropes. As an example, Goodwin had like 2 HLS students last year while Ropes/Wilmer both had like 15.

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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:10 am

jmr62190 wrote:I somehow landed an interview with a T3 law firm in Boston, most likely through networking (although I did not ask my contact to get me in; she did this of her own volition). My grades are above average, but not 25%. I am not on a law review/journal. I was in the top 5% of my undergrad class and have some very good/relevant prior work experience.

Does anyone have any advice about how to impress in an interview? I think I interview fairly well (based on my track record of interviews--> offers), but am always looking for suggestions on how to improve. Do I even stand a chance at getting a call back?


I was in a similar situation: average grades at a T14 and some relevant work experience. I got a CB at a V5 through a contact and eventually an offer. Recommendations can mean a lot.

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Longhorn88
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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Longhorn88 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:I don't think they would waste their time with an interview if they didn't like you.


Cliche advice, but be your self and hopefully your personality is a right fit for their culture.


Right on point. Think of it like a step by step process, once you've got in the door for the interview (2nd step), you all are back on the same playing field.

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Re: Interview at Top Firm, but average grades

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:20 am

V10 associate:

Grades are definitely a consideration at the callback stage. There have been times where I've fought for a candidate to receive a callback, secured one, but the hiring committee still dinged after the callback.

There's nothing you can really do about it. I had a callback at a V5 firm with average grades and still got an offer. Just put your best foot forward, don't fret about things out of your control, and be thankful you have 3 hours to showcase your glowing personality and why you should receive an offer as opposed to 20 minutes




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