Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

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HeavenWood
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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:50 pm

Nelson wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:B- is on the curve at Penn, right? Maybe a truly discretionary grade, i.e., C or F would raise flags, but if your own the curve it doesnt even necessarily indicate you did anything gravely wrong. You just didnt earn as many pts, or failed to include as much what the prof was looking for than the other extraordinarily intelligent and accomplished people in your class. Don't let this get you that far down: you're not a moron by a long shot.

Anon probably thought B- was a discretionary low grade.

It's on the curve. A C would be worse. But I think either is going to take you out of consideration (or at least really hurt you) for most grade sensitive employers.

It all depends on how high up the food chain you're looking. IIRC, for most of the lower- mid-tier NYC vault firms, B-'s make up enough of the pie chart that as long as you have the cumulative average to put you in play, one bad individual grade won't take you out of the running.

Anonymous User
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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:42 pm

Penn 2l here. Got a B- first semester, my other grades were not as bad but were not good either. Did well in the spring. Bid lower V100 in NY. No SA for me. No options at all at this point. Did really really well this past semester. But that first semester will forever drag my GPA down. Looking out at mountains of debt and no sign of employment. It is not for the faint of heart.

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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:19 am

Penn 2L who got a B- first semester and had multiple V100 offers. It's not the end of the world. Multiple B-s, maybe. One is far from it though.

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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:Penn 2L who got a B- first semester and had multiple V100 offers. It's not the end of the world. Multiple B-s, maybe. One is far from it though.


Comments like these bother me. You are very very lucky. Do not make it sound like its no big deal. Obv. if the rest of your grades are A or A-s you will be fine, but if you have b- and a B your in trouble. I had those grades first semester. Second semester got As and B+s. Did not even come close to getting an offer.

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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:11 am

Look, I'm sorry if people thought I was unfairly harsh. I'm at one of the decent New York firms. (I refuse to dignify Vault by citing to it.) Here, a B- is a problem in recruiting. I don't know how they recruit at [insert other interchangeable NY firm here], and maybe it's no biggie there. My suspicion, though, is that everyone has my reaction, and it's just a question of whether folks are willing to hold their nose. So taking the approach of "better safe than sorry", start constructing your narrative to get past this in OCI. Step one is owning that grade and recognizing that it reflects not on your intelligence, but on some element of preparation that you just fucked up. Chalking it off to a "bad day" is kiddie crap. Everyone has bad days; if you have a bad day down the road and you happen to have to mark up a big agreement that day, are you going to blow that markup, too? You have to persuade your interviewer that it would never happen. That's why responding to the grade is so important.

The world is harsh and competitive. Your job doesn't begin when you start getting paid, it starts now.

Also, remember that thinking that "15% of the class got this" isn't quite accurate; it ignores the folks with legitimate excuses. You've got the kids who were number one in their class at South Dakota State, who show up at a top tier law school like Penn with the same look on their face as those uncontacted indigenous peoples the Brazilians whisked out of the jungle into the streets of Sao Paolo. You've got your AA admits who haven't caught up yet. You've got the kids with real excuses - Mom got cancer that semester. If you got a B- as a regular admit from a good undergrad and no pathos, you're not bottom 15%, you're bottom whatever-is-left-after-we-subtract-the-hard-cases-out.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:18 am

I'm a 2L at Penn. Had a B-. Otherwise solid grades. No problem at OCI.

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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Penn 2L who got a B- first semester and had multiple V100 offers. It's not the end of the world. Multiple B-s, maybe. One is far from it though.


Comments like these bother me. You are very very lucky. Do not make it sound like its no big deal. Obv. if the rest of your grades are A or A-s you will be fine, but if you have b- and a B your in trouble. I had those grades first semester. Second semester got As and B+s. Did not even come close to getting an offer.


I had far more B range grades than A range grades, and know many others who were in this situation and were equally as lucky at OCI. I also know some with far superior grades who got nothing at OCI. Getting OP to unnecessarily freak out will only make matters worse. They know they need to improve, but they should by no means be convinced they're ALREADY screwed when they're far from it. Yea reality is important, but the reality simply is not that they're already irreparably damaged (except for at a very small number of firms).

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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Penn 2L who got a B- first semester and had multiple V100 offers. It's not the end of the world. Multiple B-s, maybe. One is far from it though.


Comments like these bother me. You are very very lucky. Do not make it sound like its no big deal. Obv. if the rest of your grades are A or A-s you will be fine, but if you have b- and a B your in trouble. I had those grades first semester. Second semester got As and B+s. Did not even come close to getting an offer.


I had far more B range grades than A range grades, and know many others who were in this situation and were equally as lucky at OCI. I also know some with far superior grades who got nothing at OCI. Getting OP to unnecessarily freak out will only make matters worse. They know they need to improve, but they should by no means be convinced they're ALREADY screwed when they're far from it. Yea reality is important, but the reality simply is not that they're already irreparably damaged (except for at a very small number of firms).


All I'm saying is that I was in a very similar situation, did a huge improvement second semester and got nothing. I regret not dropping out because I don't see anything possibly changing. And what really gets me mad is how all of Penn (especially faculty) like to think Penn is above all this. It's not. Legal market sucks, firms are cutting down their SA programs. No one cares if you went to Penn, they want grades and WE. Oh and fit is basically your not an alien.

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rpupkin
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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Look, I'm sorry if people thought I was unfairly harsh.

I don't think your advice is harsh. My problem with your advice is that you presented it as some kind of conventional wisdom in the world of big law hiring when, in fact, your advice appears to reflect your own (and perhaps your firm's) idiosyncratic biases.


Step one is owning that grade and recognizing that it reflects not on your intelligence, but on some element of preparation that you just fucked up. Chalking it off to a "bad day" is kiddie crap. Everyone has bad days; if you have a bad day down the road and you happen to have to mark up a big agreement that day, are you going to blow that markup, too?

This is silly. You can frame your preferred "element of preparation" excuse in the same way. (What if you fail to prepare down the road and screw up your agreement markup due to lack of preparation?)

Look, OP: there are people involved in hiring at law firms--like our friendly Anon poster--who place great importance on a single B- and who would apparently devote a significant part of an interview to asking you for an explanation for your grade. For that reason alone, I suppose you should prepare some BS to say about it if asked. But if you make it past the GPA screening cut-off for a firm--and, frankly, that's where your B- (and your B, for that matter) really hurt you--then you're unlikely to be asked about that grade on your callback interviews.

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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:34 pm

Again I appreciate all the input it really is helpful getting a broad range of both practical and anecdotal advice. Right now I am going to focus on getting this semester's grades into the A range to get me to the right of the curve.

Shifting the topic, I was wondering if there is a list or knowledge regarding the GPA cut-offs for NY Big Law firms hiring at Penn.

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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:02 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Look, I'm sorry if people thought I was unfairly harsh.

I don't think your advice is harsh. My problem with your advice is that you presented it as some kind of conventional wisdom in the world of big law hiring when, in fact, your advice appears to reflect your own (and perhaps your firm's) idiosyncratic biases.


Step one is owning that grade and recognizing that it reflects not on your intelligence, but on some element of preparation that you just fucked up. Chalking it off to a "bad day" is kiddie crap. Everyone has bad days; if you have a bad day down the road and you happen to have to mark up a big agreement that day, are you going to blow that markup, too?

This is silly. You can frame your preferred "element of preparation" excuse in the same way. (What if you fail to prepare down the road and screw up your agreement markup due to lack of preparation?)

Look, OP: there are people involved in hiring at law firms--like our friendly Anon poster--who place great importance on a single B- and who would apparently devote a significant part of an interview to asking you for an explanation for your grade. For that reason alone, I suppose you should prepare some BS to say about it if asked. But if you make it past the GPA screening cut-off for a firm--and, frankly, that's where your B- (and your B, for that matter) really hurt you--then you're unlikely to be asked about that grade on your callback interviews.


+1

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Nelson
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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Nelson » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Again I appreciate all the input it really is helpful getting a broad range of both practical and anecdotal advice. Right now I am going to focus on getting this semester's grades into the A range to get me to the right of the curve.

Shifting the topic, I was wondering if there is a list or knowledge regarding the GPA cut-offs for NY Big Law firms hiring at Penn.

CP&P will give you info on past hiring practices of firms once bidding begins in the summer. Don't worry about it until then.

Anonymous User
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Re: Penn 1L grades: B+, B-, ? How screwed am I?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:20 pm

Nelson wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Again I appreciate all the input it really is helpful getting a broad range of both practical and anecdotal advice. Right now I am going to focus on getting this semester's grades into the A range to get me to the right of the curve.

Shifting the topic, I was wondering if there is a list or knowledge regarding the GPA cut-offs for NY Big Law firms hiring at Penn.

CP&P will give you info on past hiring practices of firms once bidding begins in the summer. Don't worry about it until then.


Ya they give you pie charts and stuff. I remember getting those, the optimism, only to be followed by crushing crushing defeat. Still have not gotten over it yet.




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