Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

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Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Poll ended at Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:07 pm

Yes
34
72%
No
13
28%
 
Total votes: 47

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Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:00 pm

2L at T6 with V10 this summer. I'm in the process of selecting courses for next semester and wondering how to balance harder classes like secured transactions, corporate finance, p-ship tax, etc. with a few seminars to buoy GPA. Does cum laude (top 25%) matter at all for firm lateral ops, don't see myself getting magna/coif? Want to do corp and stay at a big firm as long as possible. No interest in clerking. Curious because I don't want to close any doors down the line and have heard that grades still matter at big firms for a long time: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=193268 I used search function and can't seem to get a clear answer on this.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:38 pm

I've heard people say that grades may matter if you are trying to lateral down to another firm as a mid level or senior associate because latin honors are something that the firm can put on your bio.

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thesealocust
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:21 am

It's easy to dismiss the argument "grades/Latin honors would be irrelevant in all cases" but it's also very true that your career is going to be built on reputation, connections, serendipity and skill substantially more than resume line items from here on out.

You'll never see a clear answer because a lot of people cling to grades like a life preserver in a sea of reality, and because somebody always knows a friend's brother's cousin who ran up against Gibson Dunn's Iron Clad GPA Wall of Not Hiring Below Ever after being a partner for 20 years and then a federal judge.

It's probably generally true that grades and resume line items will be more relevant if you're doing a buck-shot job search (i.e. using a head hunter, trying to get out to any other firm, trying to get to any firm in a new market, etc.) rather than if you're doing a more 'natural' career hop (moving inhouse to a client, following friends/colleagues, shifting to a regulatory in an industry you worked in, etc.)

anon168
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby anon168 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:30 am

It matters.

It just does.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:40 am

I respect anon's opinion and input greatly, but I must respectfully defer. I think there are some firms that will care about your credentials, and they're the usual suspects (i.e., WLRK (but even then...), W&C, MTO and a few others).

But aside from a select few firms, I just don't think grades matter. I'm at a V10 and graduated with very mediocre grades, but from a top law school. I've received lateral offers to join firms that I'd have had no shot at as a rising 2L at OCI (and I mean laughable shot). Think firms like S&C, Skadden, Davis Polk, Clear, etc. Those kinds of firms.

It could have been because I went to a good law school that the firms didn't look any further. But I think what matters most is your experience and your personality. If you can get those two factors nailed down, you're probably looking at an offer.

It could also be different for corporate vs. litigation positions. I could very easily see firms being stingy when it comes to hiring litigators, just because it seems like that practice is so much more credential oriented (i.e., the benefits of law review, clerking, etc. are more easily translatable to litigation practice, etc.).

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:15 am

anon168 wrote:It matters.

It just does.


Not always. The problem is that you never know who is judging you by your grades and who isn't. Some hiring partners care about grades. Some don't. Hell, I think there are even some Article III judges who will overlook mediocre grades. All things being equal, yes, it's better to have honors and high grades at graduation. But there's no black and white rule about this.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:17 am

People who lateral into top firms usually have high grades because they needed those grades to get into the firm they're lateraling from. No one will care if you're median at NYU or UVA or whatever. What might hold you back from the big-time lit firms is no clerkship though - but if you're transaction, just relax.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby kalvano » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:01 am

The better question is will it hurt? No. Can it only help? Yes.

So I wouldn't gun hard, but why not make an effort since it can only help you?

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:48 am

kalvano wrote:The better question is will it hurt? No. Can it only help? Yes.

So I wouldn't gun hard, but why not make an effort since it can only help you?


Alcohol, softball, music festivals, hobbies, friends, family, NetFlix, naps, fitness, meditation, not spending time in or around the law school / with or near law students, sanity

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kalvano
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby kalvano » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:16 am

I did most of those and still managed to do well 2L and 3L. It's much easier to do well, so why not put forth some effort and get decent grades.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:24 am

kalvano wrote:I did most of those and still managed to do well 2L and 3L. It's much easier to do well, so why not put forth some effort and get decent grades.


OP goes to a T6 though...

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kalvano
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby kalvano » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:37 am

zweitbester wrote:
kalvano wrote:I did most of those and still managed to do well 2L and 3L. It's much easier to do well, so why not put forth some effort and get decent grades.


OP goes to a T6 though...



OK. And? It doesn't change anything I said.

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northwood
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby northwood » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:25 pm

zweitbester wrote:
kalvano wrote:I did most of those and still managed to do well 2L and 3L. It's much easier to do well, so why not put forth some effort and get decent grades.


OP goes to a T6 though...



its not about the difficulty of matriculating into a T6, but rather choosing the best classes to achieve your desired results with minimal effort.... but you still have to put in the effort.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:40 pm

northwood wrote:
zweitbester wrote:
kalvano wrote:I did most of those and still managed to do well 2L and 3L. It's much easier to do well, so why not put forth some effort and get decent grades.


OP goes to a T6 though...



its not about the difficulty of matriculating into a T6, but rather choosing the best classes to achieve your desired results with minimal effort.... but you still have to put in the effort.


This is probably right. Probably the best middle ground between completely slacking off and trying to ace Fed Courts.

kalvano wrote:
zweitbester wrote:
kalvano wrote:I did most of those and still managed to do well 2L and 3L. It's much easier to do well, so why not put forth some effort and get decent grades.


OP goes to a T6 though...



OK. And? It doesn't change anything I said.


I don't think it's much easier to do well as a 2L and 3L, especially at a T6 (unless you're gaming it like other poster said above). If you think I'm being elitist about it, I'm perfectly fine with you drawing that implication, though I am not going to debate the merits of that perspective in this thread.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Liam » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:56 pm

thesealocust wrote:
kalvano wrote:The better question is will it hurt? No. Can it only help? Yes.

So I wouldn't gun hard, but why not make an effort since it can only help you?


Alcohol, softball, music festivals, hobbies, friends, family, NetFlix, naps, fitness, meditation, not spending time in or around the law school / with or near law students, sanity


Assuming arguendo that OP is already in position for latin honors (and doesn't need to bust ass to leapfrog people), if OP can't balance a pleasant 3L life with the effort to maintain his GPA/class rank after half his classmates have checked out (which they absolutely do, even at T6), I doubt he's going to last long enough in Biglaw to worry about lateral options.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby kalvano » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:01 pm

zweitbester wrote:
northwood wrote:
zweitbester wrote:
kalvano wrote:I did most of those and still managed to do well 2L and 3L. It's much easier to do well, so why not put forth some effort and get decent grades.


OP goes to a T6 though...



its not about the difficulty of matriculating into a T6, but rather choosing the best classes to achieve your desired results with minimal effort.... but you still have to put in the effort.


This is probably right. Probably the best middle ground between completely slacking off and trying to ace Fed Courts.

kalvano wrote:
zweitbester wrote:
kalvano wrote:I did most of those and still managed to do well 2L and 3L. It's much easier to do well, so why not put forth some effort and get decent grades.


OP goes to a T6 though...



OK. And? It doesn't change anything I said.


I don't think it's much easier to do well as a 2L and 3L, especially at a T6 (unless you're gaming it like other poster said above). If you think I'm being elitist about it, I'm perfectly fine with you drawing that implication, though I am not going to debate the merits of that perspective in this thread.



It's easier everywhere because not 100% of the class is gunning for top spots. People will drop out, be happy with where they are, be resigned to where they are, etc.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:11 pm

Liam wrote:Assuming arguendo


Stopped reading there.

I hate everyone and everything on this earth.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:17 pm

It's easier everywhere because not 100% of the class is gunning for top spots. People will drop out, be happy with where they are, be resigned to where they are, etc.


I'm glad you think that, but wasn't the case at my T6 and I'm sure is not the case at OPs T6. There are a multitude of reasons why which I won't debate here, because I'm too lazy to post them.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby kalvano » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:20 pm

zweitbester wrote:
It's easier everywhere because not 100% of the class is gunning for top spots. People will drop out, be happy with where they are, be resigned to where they are, etc.


I'm glad you think that, but wasn't the case at my T6 and I'm sure is not the case at OPs T6. There are a multitude of reasons why which I won't debate here, because I'm too lazy to post them.


So everyone in your class never stopped trying to get to the top of the class? Bullshit.

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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:28 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Liam wrote:Assuming arguendo


Stopped reading there.

I hate everyone and everything on this earth.


Oh come on. I love working with people who talk like this. They're usually the ones in meetings jumping on every assignment and billing 2500/year - allows me coast by at 2000 and make the exact same amount of money.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:35 pm

kalvano wrote:
zweitbester wrote:
It's easier everywhere because not 100% of the class is gunning for top spots. People will drop out, be happy with where they are, be resigned to where they are, etc.


I'm glad you think that, but wasn't the case at my T6 and I'm sure is not the case at OPs T6. There are a multitude of reasons why which I won't debate here, because I'm too lazy to post them.


So everyone in your class never stopped trying to get to the top of the class? Bullshit.


You're proceeding from a false premise. But keep going. I'm not going to argue, but I will enjoy watching you squirm.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:36 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
Liam wrote:Assuming arguendo


Stopped reading there.

I hate everyone and everything on this earth.


Oh come on. I love working with people who talk like this. They're usually the ones in meetings jumping on every assignment and billing 2500/year - allows me coast by at 2000 and make the exact same amount of money.


Even better when the person says "ad nauseum."

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thesealocust
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby thesealocust » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:36 pm

Can't we all just get along :(

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Old Gregg
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby Old Gregg » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:41 pm

thesealocust wrote:Can't we all just get along :(


I'm just having fun. I'll stop now.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Does Cum Laude Matter at All for Firm Lateral Ops

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:43 pm

Look, if you're being interviewed by a self-worshiping, pompous dickhead (like, perhaps, some of the people ITT), he/she might care about your grades and you might get dinged if they're low. It's just one of those things that goes into an interviewer's calculus. If, however, you're interviewed by someone who actually works with other people who don't have latin honors and knows they are still capable of doing good work, he/she may not care as much about latin honors. It just depends on the interviewer. Some firms are full of aspie, TLS-like elitists. Others are full of chill, fratty bros who pwn the Brooklyn bar scene.




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