1L Median @ Duke... now what?

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Anonymous User
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1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:33 pm

Grades came back today - I'm right @ ~3.3.

Obviously, need to bring grades up this semester.

What are the implications for OCI? Am I toast for DC or anything outside NYC?

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beachbum
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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby beachbum » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:44 pm

Need more info. Do you have prior work experience? Strong ties to a secondary market? Anything else that might stand out?

Median is far from a death sentence, and you're certainly still in the running for biglaw. (You'll have to play smart - and DC might be out of the question - but you're still in the running for New York, or possibly other markets with ties.) Also, you still have another semester to go. Before you throw up the white flag, figure out how you can improve your performance this semester, and then act accordingly.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:47 pm

CSO has an OCI offer report on their webpage from 2013. This is a great place to start gauging expectations. 3.3 is not a deal breaker but you will want to aim to be north of 3.5 (cumulative) after Spring.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:04 pm

Could you point me toward the report? I'm not seeing it. Does it give GPA ranges?

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:Could you point me toward the report? I'm not seeing it. Does it give GPA ranges?


CSO doesn't release it until the summer. You don't need to be worrying about it until then. It's a waste of time to try and figure out what you "need" next semester. Do as well as you can. Bid NYC and your home market. That's all the advice you need for now.

beattheodds
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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby beattheodds » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:03 am

Hey I was in your position 1st semester (also a lower T-14 student). First off, don't worry, you are definitely not out of the running for biglaw. Here's what I would recommend:

1. Work hard to improve your 2nd semester grades (duh)
2. Start networking NOW (reach out to alums, just tell them you would love to speak to them over the phone and learn more about their practice) in the city you want to work in.
3. Bid NY, oh for the love of god BID NY!!!! I can't stress this enough. 1Ls NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT AFTER NY SUMMER CLASSES GO WAYYY DOWN.

PM me if you have any questions. Always happy to help :)

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:10 pm

If you have a 3.6 at Duke do you still have to bid NY despite your preferences not to, to be safe? Or only if you are median or below?

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JCougar
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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby JCougar » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Grades came back today - I'm right @ ~3.3.

Obviously, need to bring grades up this semester.

What are the implications for OCI? Am I toast for DC or anything outside NYC?


You're probably pretty close to toast for DC. Don't give up, but don't spend all your time focusing on that market. It's one of the worst these days.

I'd try to get your grades up and focus on NYC (where you're not toast) and definitely your home market (which hopefully isn't Chicago or California, because those markets are in the shitter just as much as DC, it seems).

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:04 pm

I got big law out of a T14 being a hair above median after 1L year. However, I would really make a push to improve your grades. You can absolutely get big law at or below median, and I have several friends who did, but you also might strike out. DC will be a longshot but is still attainable. If you have a limited number of applications, don't waste them on DC.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:40 pm

OP here.

Got it!

I'm not from a major legal market/major metro area - so does it matter if I don't have a home market? The closest thing I have to ties are probably my fiancee's home town which is a major city.

I hear "ties" all the time. What's a good tie vs. a bad tie??

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:10 am

Duke grad here. I had median grades across the board first semester 1L. I got a 3.9 the next semester (and every semester after that). Don't assume that your first semester grades are determinative of your entire law school career. Study smart (not necessarily more) and you can bring them up.

But even if you don't, median grades after 1L are by no means a death sentence. I'm pretty sure there were people in my class at or around median who ended up in DC. But it was definitely harder to get DC, and I agree that you should bid a few big NYC firms if you think you could stand to live there. (NYC is fun. That's where I am.)

Ties really only come into play if you're interviewing somewhere other than NYC or DC. If your fiancee is from a city, that in and of itself is a good tie. You would just tell interviewers that you are looking to move with your fiancee to her home town after graduation.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:28 am

My 1L GPA was a hair above 3.0. But due to my prior work experience in both research and patent prosecution, I was able to have 4 offers from Big Law, two of which are from D.C. firms. Granted, IP is different from other practice areas and I was lucky to have multiple offers. Nonetheless, as law students, we have to give our best shots in exams and during interviews. If we still lose in the end, we will have no regret what-so-ever since we have tried. Just like running a race, do not slow down until you pass the finishing line!

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby JCougar » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:I hear "ties" all the time. What's a good tie vs. a bad tie??


It's impossible to define this, as it depends on each individual interviewer's perception on your willingness to stay in the city long-term, which can vary. Fiance's hometown is probably good enough for most.

My guess is that "ties" is vaguely bounded by either 1) having nuclear family living in the area, or 2) having lived there for a significant portion of your life at some point.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby BigZuck » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:16 am

JCougar wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I hear "ties" all the time. What's a good tie vs. a bad tie??


It's impossible to define this, as it depends on each individual interviewer's perception on your willingness to stay in the city long-term, which can vary. Fiance's hometown is probably good enough for most.

My guess is that "ties" is vaguely bounded by either 1) having nuclear family living in the area, or 2) having lived there for a significant portion of your life at some point.


You know more about this stuff than I do Cougs- do you think there is such thing as a bad tie? I was thinking that ties fall on a spectrum from non-existent to super strong, but is there a spectrum from good to bad?

For example, you're from CA and have tenuous ties to Nebraska but want employment in Nebraska. Are your CA ties "bad" in that sense because they would assume you wouldn't want to leave sunny CA for whatever they have in Nebraska? Compared to someone from Wyoming who has similarly tenuous ties to Nebraska are your CA ties "worse" than his Wyoming ties because you leaving CA for a job in Nebraska would be a move that an employer would be suspicious of whereas someone leaving Wyoming for a job in Nebraska is not as much of a head scratcher (I'm trying to say all this so as to not offend any Nebraska or Wyoming bros).

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting when the OP phrased it as good vs bad ties.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby JCougar » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:36 am

Having gone to school in a city with an inferiority complex but still a decent-sized legal market, there definitely are "good ties" vs. "bad ties." If you were from the nearby flyover country states, you could reasonably expect to find a job in the city if you networked. But if you were from the East/West Coasts/Chicago, you were pretty much SOL...no matter whether you were looking for jobs in Biglaw or Shitlaw.

So basically, if you were from a place that the interviewers deemed "cooler" than their own city, they would assume you are just going to use their firm as a launching pad for a year or two and then bolt to your home market when a job looking for 1-2 years of experience popped up.

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beachbum
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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby beachbum » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:18 am

JCougar wrote:Having gone to school in a city with an inferiority complex but still a decent-sized legal market, there definitely are "good ties" vs. "bad ties." If you were from the nearby flyover country states, you could reasonably expect to find a job in the city if you networked. But if you were from the East/West Coasts/Chicago, you were pretty much SOL...no matter whether you were looking for jobs in Biglaw or Shitlaw.

So basically, if you were from a place that the interviewers deemed "cooler" than their own city, they would assume you are just going to use their firm as a launching pad for a year or two and then bolt to your home market when a job looking for 1-2 years of experience popped up.


Honestly, I think it goes farther than that, too. My entire resume/life screams "Midwest." I selected a bunch of NY firms at OCI, as that was the accepted wisdom for maximizing job prospects. Every single NY firm asked me the "Why NY?" question, and a healthy majority asked whether I was also applying to Midwestern firms. In the end, minus a single CB, I struck out with NY - while I was batting something like .750 in the Midwest (including Chicago, which is supposed to be a more difficult market to crack).

So, maybe I'm just an outlier, but it seems to me that if you have heavy ties to a particular area, even major markets like NY will question your intentions.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby franklinlincoln » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:23 pm

I was 3.3 after first semester at Duke, as well (Class of 2013).

I busted my butt and finished the year with a 3.6. I did 24 interviews at OCI, and I got call-backs from Cravath, Skadden, Proskauer, Gibson Dunn, etc. I'm in NY and doing well.

You'll be fine. Be nice to other people, smile, and stay positive. Prospects are good.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:If you have a 3.6 at Duke do you still have to bid NY despite your preferences not to, to be safe? Or only if you are median or below?


I'm also interested in the answer to this. Would a 3.6 w/ strong ties be portable to CA?

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:59 am

I was pretty much median at Duke (c/o '13) and ended up doing pretty well. Bust your ass second semester and try to find out what you can do better, especially if there was a lot of variance in your grades. Biglaw is definitely not out of the question if that's what you want.

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Re: 1L Median @ Duke... now what?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you have a 3.6 at Duke do you still have to bid NY despite your preferences not to, to be safe? Or only if you are median or below?


I'm also interested in the answer to this. Would a 3.6 w/ strong ties be portable to CA?



I went through OCI with around a 3.6 and strong Cali ties. I only bid Cali and it worked out well for me. That being said, I found other avenues for getting into contact with firms before OCI. Work in your desired city over your 1L summer. I participated in job fairs and contacted lawyers at firms I was interested in for informational interviews.




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