Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

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frid3v

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Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby frid3v » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:41 pm

I recently graduated from a T-15 law school, but with a pretty terrible GPA. I don't have any excuses and I did actually try hard throughout law school, but I obviously struggled in comparison to my peers. What do you think the chances are for a T-15 graduate with a 2.8 GPA who wants to work for a medium sized firm in a medium sized city? I know Biglaw is probably forever out of my reach.

Any serious insight or advice is greatly appreciated.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby NYSprague » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:45 pm

Where do you want to work? Do you have any experience, clinics? What do you want to do?
What did you do 2L summer?

frid3v

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby frid3v » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:53 pm

I want to work in Ohio since I have a lot of family and friends there, and that's where I'm taking the bar soon. I want to work in labor and employment and have some experience there. Last summer I worked with a civil rights state agency and the agency's administrative law judge. I worked on issues concerning employment discrimination, race, sex, things of that matter. My best grades were in corporate classes and labor and employment classes as well.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby Nomo » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:11 am

Most medium sized firms don't do a lot of entry level hiring. But they do hire laterals. The best thing you can do is start your career in a practice area that mid sized firms in your area specialize in.

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RCSOB657

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby RCSOB657 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:02 am

Does Ohio's State Dept of Labor hire attorneys to work in their department? If so, look there?

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:16 am

frid3v wrote:I recently graduated from a T-15 law school, but with a pretty terrible GPA. I don't have any excuses and I did actually try hard throughout law school, but I obviously struggled in comparison to my peers. What do you think the chances are for a T-15 graduate with a 2.8 GPA who wants to work for a medium sized firm in a medium sized city? I know Biglaw is probably forever out of my reach.

Any serious insight or advice is greatly appreciated.


What is a 2.8 from your school? Bottom 15%?

I don't mean to be a downer, but I'd say your chances are fairly slim. I worked in a mid sized firm in a mid sized city last summer and the other summers were from top schools or did very well in local schools.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:31 am

My gpa was lower than yours from a T-10 school and I got a job at an NLJ-250 firm. I agree with the previous poster that your chances are slim, but they aren't zero. You have to get out there, hustle and play up the strengths you do have.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby frid3v » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:06 am

Are the chances still fairly slim if I try to lateral in after doing state level work?

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby frid3v » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:My gpa was lower than yours from a T-10 school and I got a job at an NLJ-250 firm. I agree with the previous poster that your chances are slim, but they aren't zero. You have to get out there, hustle and play up the strengths you do have.


Did you network your butt off meeting people in order to get that job? Do you mind sharing some of the things you did that you think were helpful for you?

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:39 am

When your grades are bad and you went to a top school (assuming you don't have an engineering ugrad degree) getting a job is mostly about luck. No one can really give you a blueprint for getting a job. The best you can do is to contact alums, go to local bar events, and apply constantly. There's really no rhyme or reason behind it beyond focusing on areas where you have connections and where your school is more known/respected. Even then there are no guarantees. The reality is that law is primarily a grade focused career field when you are talking entry level hiring. And like the anon said, mid sized firms don't like entry levels. That being said, In a lot of ways when you step outside of the big firm world, lack of experience is going to be your biggest problem--as opposed to your grades. Mid and small sized firms just don't get anything, other than the ability to get away with paying a pitiful salary, from hiring recent grads.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby smallfirmassociate » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:04 am

The career path I've seen from people with that type of academic record involves clerking for a state district court judge or serving as a prosecutor in a rural county. If the prosecuting work is part-time, you may be able to latch on to a firm doing some part-time work. After 2-3 years of that, you should be able to get into the types of positions that your peers got right after law school.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby timmyd » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:41 am

Because you are saying t15 I am assuming you went to UT. Hook em! I think that gpa puts you in the bottom of class but, as other posters have recognized, 1) nothing you can do about it now and 2) mid law firms are less grade focused it seems. I am clerking for a couple of mid sized firms this summer. They LOVE ties. anything you can do to show them you would be there for the long haul would go a long way. A lot of times it seems, from talking to the hiring attorneys here, that they are scared of people that are not from the area or have no connection to it, like a spouse or something. The firm I am working for is not dead set against hiring straight from law school, but it seems they prefer clerks (either state or fed) or some type of legal job. I don't think you are sunk by any means. You need to apply everywhere but recognize your best shots will be the places you have ties. Also, just get real legal experience and pass the bar. It might take a couple of years but you can get there.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby melmoththewanderer » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:43 am

OP did you have a scholarship or did you pay sticker or near it?

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby Holly Golightly » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:48 am

Can you get a fellowship from your school to do an internship at a state agency or prosecutor's office in Ohio? That might be a good stepping stone.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby frid3v » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP did you have a scholarship or did you pay sticker or near it?


Yes, I had a scholarship all 3 years that paid for about 65% tuition or so. Plus, I'll have my family to help out with some of the loans if things become really dire and I can't find a job.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby frid3v » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:10 am

Holly Golightly wrote:Can you get a fellowship from your school to do an internship at a state agency or prosecutor's office in Ohio? That might be a good stepping stone.



That's good you mentioned that. I'll actually be interning for at most a year with a state agency in Ohio writing an ALJ's opinions. So I'm really hoping that helps me meet people and make connections. Unfortunately, there aren't too many alums from my school in Ohio. But I'll be networking all the same.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:19 am

frid3v wrote:I want to work in Ohio since I have a lot of family and friends there, and that's where I'm taking the bar soon. I want to work in labor and employment and have some experience there. Last summer I worked with a civil rights state agency and the agency's administrative law judge. I worked on issues concerning employment discrimination, race, sex, things of that matter. My best grades were in corporate classes and labor and employment classes as well.


Currently in Ohio from a t-14 (rising 2l). Ties seem to be very important here. Local firms are always trying (and I mean like following up with calls, emails, etc.) to hire clerks. From what I've heard (and I've asked directly) it seems people obtain clerkship (at least federal) here because of who they know but they also are very highly qualified (t-14, top 15-20% of class). A local court can get 400-600 applications for just one spot. If I was in your position, I would get an internship, network a ton, get to know everyone at the court house, and in the end express your interest in coming back to work for a judge. I truly think that's the best approach. Mass mailing in Ohio is likely to not work in your situation.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby mirage1287 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:17 pm

smallfirmassociate wrote:The career path I've seen from people with that type of academic record involves clerking for a state district court judge or serving as a prosecutor in a rural county. If the prosecuting work is part-time, you may be able to latch on to a firm doing some part-time work. After 2-3 years of that, you should be able to get into the types of positions that your peers got right after law school.


You can get a district court clerkship with a 2.8 GPA??

*Accidental anon*
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby BigRob » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:27 pm

If you went to a prestigious college you can always search biglaw firms and try to message alumni for coffee (at which point you hand him a resume to pass along). Not sure if anyone will agree or just be bothered, but I'd probably have done it if I had had bad grades.

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby smallfirmassociate » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
smallfirmassociate wrote:The career path I've seen from people with that type of academic record involves clerking for a state district court judge or serving as a prosecutor in a rural county. If the prosecuting work is part-time, you may be able to latch on to a firm doing some part-time work. After 2-3 years of that, you should be able to get into the types of positions that your peers got right after law school.


You can get a district court clerkship with a 2.8 GPA??


Yeah, if you're from Ohio like OP and willing to go to some sparsely-populated shithole underserved area where your talents can shine. I mean, plenty of sparsely-populated areas are not shitholes, but those might be more competitive.

Why so anon?
Last edited by smallfirmassociate on Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nelson

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Re: Law Grad with 2.8 GPA from T-15: Chances at Mid Sized Firms

Postby Nelson » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
smallfirmassociate wrote:The career path I've seen from people with that type of academic record involves clerking for a state district court judge or serving as a prosecutor in a rural county. If the prosecuting work is part-time, you may be able to latch on to a firm doing some part-time work. After 2-3 years of that, you should be able to get into the types of positions that your peers got right after law school.


You can get a district court clerkship with a 2.8 GPA??

State court.



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