What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:24 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'm going to disagree with some of the people in this thread and say that anything below a 3.0 just looks bad. My experience may be skewed by the selectivity of my firm, however. I really don't know who other law firms are hiring.


Does this also hold true for URM law students after just one semester worth of grades?

Would love to know this as well.
T10. Was offered at V20 pre-grades. Now freaking out about ending up below median.

This sounds like a pretty awesome spot to be in. I would rather be in your position than be a 4.0 who strikes out next year. Assuming you miss out on prestige markers (cum laude, law review, etc.), grades are really only relevant in how they predict work product. Just do good work. You have an opportunity where short of terrible luck you can dictate your end result.

Yeah, I won't be able to take part in law review for family reasons--need to go spend time with ailing parent---so, with the disappointing first semester performance, my remaining hopes are to improve my grades in the spring and do a great job over the summer.
I feel horrible about my current grades. I hope the firm won't have buyer's remorse :(. They'll obviously not rescind the offer, but it is pathetic to fall so short of the standard and confidence they obviously had in my abilities.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby AReasonableMan » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Yeah, I won't be able to take part in law review for family reasons--need to go spend time with ailing parent---so, with the disappointing first semester performance, my remaining hopes are to improve my grades in the spring and do a great job over the summer.
I feel horrible about my current grades. I hope the firm won't have buyer's remorse :(. They'll obviously not rescind the offer, but it is pathetic to fall so short of the standard and confidence they obviously had in my abilities.

How far below median are you? It seems unlikely they expected you to be top 10% or something crazy. They probably anticipated, if anything, median.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:48 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Yeah, I won't be able to take part in law review for family reasons--need to go spend time with ailing parent---so, with the disappointing first semester performance, my remaining hopes are to improve my grades in the spring and do a great job over the summer.
I feel horrible about my current grades. I hope the firm won't have buyer's remorse :(. They'll obviously not rescind the offer, but it is pathetic to fall so short of the standard and confidence they obviously had in my abilities.

How far below median are you? It seems unlikely they expected you to be top 10% or something crazy. They probably anticipated, if anything, median.



PM'ing you. Can't give you exact range without outing myself.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby AReasonableMan » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
AReasonableMan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Yeah, I won't be able to take part in law review for family reasons--need to go spend time with ailing parent---so, with the disappointing first semester performance, my remaining hopes are to improve my grades in the spring and do a great job over the summer.
I feel horrible about my current grades. I hope the firm won't have buyer's remorse :(. They'll obviously not rescind the offer, but it is pathetic to fall so short of the standard and confidence they obviously had in my abilities.

How far below median are you? It seems unlikely they expected you to be top 10% or something crazy. They probably anticipated, if anything, median.



PM'ing you. Can't give you exact range without outing myself.

Grades in and of themselves are always going to be somewhat arbitrary. Their value is in generating employment opportunities. If you already have an employment opportunity then the notion of dropping out over grades is silly unless you really have no idea what the hell negligence means or don't want to practice.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:50 pm

Once again, it's important to distinguish between biglaw prospects and prospects in general. Sub-3.0 is going to make biglaw pretty difficult (but probably not outright impossible) from a lower T10. Your chances really do improve dramatically, though, if you're willing to consider quasi-legal jobs, jobs paying between $50,000-100,000, and jobs in a diverse geographic range of markets (especially if you have a connection to one of them). Your chances of getting a legal or a quasi-legal job paying $60,000 in Detroit if you went to Michigan and are from Detroit (or a nearby suburb) are very strong, for example--and will be pretty much no matter where you finish in the class at Michigan. I think dropping out would be foolish if you (a) like it enough, and (b) are considering accounting as an alternative: I think your chances of getting some semi-interesting $50-100k job will be much higher as a bottom quarter T10-er than as a median accounting graduate from a comparable school (and let's be honest with ourselves -- the skills necessary to do well in accounting school aren't all that different than those necessary to do well in law school, so chances are you're not going to be bottom quarter at Michigan Law and top quarter of a comparable accounting school).

I also want to add my voice to the voice of others in saying that your chances of anything (biglaw or just some other adequate employment) are going to be pretty substantially influenced by your charisma and somewhat influenced by your race. If you're a charismatic URM, my guess is that biglaw is a real option even with a sub-3.0 first-year GPA (even more so if you have impressive pre-law credentials -- a 3.9 from Princeton, for example). How you interview, and the rest of your resume, really is going to factor into your chances in a situation in which your grades aren't up to snuff. Biglaw hiring is mostly grade- and school- based (and for some firms, that's all they are), but most firms will make exceptions to their informal grade cutoffs every year for the right candidates. (And I don't mean to discourage you if you're a pretty average white dude: I still think your chances of *some* quasi-legal $50k-100k job *somewhere* in the country are really pretty good.)

Finally, and I think this was to a poster other than the OP, if you scored in the 99th percentile on the LSAT and had a 4.0 GPA, you probably do have most of the skills necessary to do well in law school. Assuming your undergrad was legit and you have some aptitude for the law (you probably have some idea of whether you're just really not getting things, or if you're underperforming your true ability on the tests), then I'm betting your grades will go up as you continue in law school. 1L core classes are a somewhat unique beast, and as you are able to branch out and take a greater diversity of other classes -- trial ad, paper classes, clinic, etc -- I think you'll see whatever it is about 1L classes that is throwing you for a loop become much less of a factor in your grades.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:00 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'm going to disagree with some of the people in this thread and say that anything below a 3.0 just looks bad. My experience may be skewed by the selectivity of my firm, however. I really don't know who other law firms are hiring.


Another V20 associate chiming in to agree. Based on my experience with recruiting at my firm as well as going through the process myself if you are below 3.0 there is no way you can expect to have a reasonable shot at biglaw. I don't care if you are a "charismatic URM" like the poster above me stated. Not sure about non-biglaw but under no circumstances should you make any important decisions (like staying in school) under the assumption you have any kind of a shot at biglaw with a below 3.0 GPA.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'm going to disagree with some of the people in this thread and say that anything below a 3.0 just looks bad. My experience may be skewed by the selectivity of my firm, however. I really don't know who other law firms are hiring.


Another V20 associate chiming in to agree. Based on my experience with recruiting at my firm as well as going through the process myself if you are below 3.0 there is no way you can expect to have a reasonable shot at biglaw. I don't care if you are a "charismatic URM" like the poster above me stated. Not sure about non-biglaw but under no circumstances should you make any important decisions (like staying in school) under the assumption you have any kind of a shot at biglaw with a below 3.0 GPA.

While this is reasonable I wouldn't drop out after one semester with something like B, B, B-

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:03 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:I'm going to disagree with some of the people in this thread and say that anything below a 3.0 just looks bad. My experience may be skewed by the selectivity of my firm, however. I really don't know who other law firms are hiring.


Another V20 associate chiming in to agree. Based on my experience with recruiting at my firm as well as going through the process myself if you are below 3.0 there is no way you can expect to have a reasonable shot at biglaw. I don't care if you are a "charismatic URM" like the poster above me stated. Not sure about non-biglaw but under no circumstances should you make any important decisions (like staying in school) under the assumption you have any kind of a shot at biglaw with a below 3.0 GPA.

While this is reasonable I wouldn't drop out after one semester with something like B, B, B-


I would. Those are really terrible grades at a t10 (where the grade curves are pretty inflated).

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:08 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I wouldn't drop out after one semester with something like B, B, B-


I would. Those are really terrible grades at a t10 (where the grade curves are pretty inflated).

With almost no debt I don't see the point. Almost everyone gets biglaw these days so just scraping back above a 3.0 puts him in a pretty good spot.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:40 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I wouldn't drop out after one semester with something like B, B, B-


I would. Those are really terrible grades at a t10 (where the grade curves are pretty inflated).

With almost no debt I don't see the point. Almost everyone gets biglaw these days so just scraping back above a 3.0 puts him in a pretty good spot.


Good point--I forgot that OP is paying next to nothing for law school. I'd stay as well. Odds are that he'll at least get a $60k /year job, which is better than his other options.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Finally, and I think this was to a poster other than the OP, if you scored in the 99th percentile on the LSAT and had a 4.0 GPA, you probably do have most of the skills necessary to do well in law school. Assuming your undergrad was legit and you have some aptitude for the law (you probably have some idea of whether you're just really not getting things, or if you're underperforming your true ability on the tests), then I'm betting your grades will go up as you continue in law school. 1L core classes are a somewhat unique beast, and as you are able to branch out and take a greater diversity of other classes -- trial ad, paper classes, clinic, etc -- I think you'll see whatever it is about 1L classes that is throwing you for a loop become much less of a factor in your grades.


Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement. I'm not sure I have an aptitude for the law, to be candid. I had trouble learning the BLL. My memory isn't great, and I struggled a bit just to understand and retain basic information. I did fine with cold calls, and my legal writing scores were very high. Flagship public UG, but my major wasn't particularly rigorous (History). I was a disability advocate before LS -- and beat lots of practicing lawyers on individual cases -- so I know I can succeed in at least one quasi-legal context. I just don't think that time-pressured issue spotters play to my strengths; unfortunately, poor performance in 1L will reduce my career options significantly, and the private public interest firms that were my goal before LS are probably out of reach now.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby AReasonableMan » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Finally, and I think this was to a poster other than the OP, if you scored in the 99th percentile on the LSAT and had a 4.0 GPA, you probably do have most of the skills necessary to do well in law school. Assuming your undergrad was legit and you have some aptitude for the law (you probably have some idea of whether you're just really not getting things, or if you're underperforming your true ability on the tests), then I'm betting your grades will go up as you continue in law school. 1L core classes are a somewhat unique beast, and as you are able to branch out and take a greater diversity of other classes -- trial ad, paper classes, clinic, etc -- I think you'll see whatever it is about 1L classes that is throwing you for a loop become much less of a factor in your grades.


Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement. I'm not sure I have an aptitude for the law, to be candid. I had trouble learning the BLL. My memory isn't great, and I struggled a bit just to understand and retain basic information. I did fine with cold calls, and my legal writing scores were very high. Flagship public UG, but my major wasn't particularly rigorous (History). I was a disability advocate before LS -- and beat lots of practicing lawyers on individual cases -- so I know I can succeed in at least one quasi-legal context. I just don't think that time-pressured issue spotters play to my strengths; unfortunately, poor performance in 1L will reduce my career options significantly, and the private public interest firms that were my goal before LS are probably out of reach now.


Have you considered breaking down BLL as formal logic statements? You really don't have to know that much or memorize much to do well. Just the basics. I can't even remember simple stuff day to day, and did well. You just have to be able to understand how to apply the law, be quick witted, recognize what's important to a dispute and have a touch of creativity to do well. If you aren't as good at reading (I'm not), you just have to reshape the syllabus to mold to your strong suits (whether that be learning from videos, hypos or hornbooks).

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:51 pm

Good idea. I'll also work more with supplements and practice exams to strengthen my comprehension of basis concepts. I got lost in the cases a bit last semester. I'm not particularly quick-witted, but there's not much I can do about that!

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:47 am

New anon here.
Bottom 1/3 at T-10.
Big law is the goal but I'm not sure that's a possibility now and considering dropping out instead.
Debt will be somewhere between $70-90 grand upon graduation if I decide to stick it out.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby banjo » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:New anon here.
Bottom 1/3 at T-10.
Big law is the goal but I'm not sure that's a possibility now and considering dropping out instead.
Debt will be somewhere between $70-90 grand upon graduation if I decide to stick it out.


Big law is still a possibility and your debt is relatively low, so stick it out. Improve your grades next semester, bid NYC, and mass mail before, during, and after OCI.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:06 am

banjo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:New anon here.
Bottom 1/3 at T-10.
Big law is the goal but I'm not sure that's a possibility now and considering dropping out instead.
Debt will be somewhere between $70-90 grand upon graduation if I decide to stick it out.


Big law is still a possibility and your debt is relatively low, so stick it out. Improve your grades next semester, bid NYC, and mass mail before, during, and after OCI.


But realize that it's an uphill battle. I was bottom third at CCN, bid NYC, and mass-mailed and struck out. Shit happens. I will have a similar debt-load and will probably not drop out (it's an ongoing internal debate), so I am hardly recommending that you drop out, but be realistic if not pessimistic. For your own sake.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
banjo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:New anon here.
Bottom 1/3 at T-10.
Big law is the goal but I'm not sure that's a possibility now and considering dropping out instead.
Debt will be somewhere between $70-90 grand upon graduation if I decide to stick it out.


Big law is still a possibility and your debt is relatively low, so stick it out. Improve your grades next semester, bid NYC, and mass mail before, during, and after OCI.


But realize that it's an uphill battle. I was bottom third at CCN, bid NYC, and mass-mailed and struck out. Shit happens. I will have a similar debt-load and will probably not drop out (it's an ongoing internal debate), so I am hardly recommending that you drop out, but be realistic if not pessimistic. For your own sake.


Just curious. Did you have any ties to Texas and subsequently bid there? Wondering if the market down there would be more forgiving

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
banjo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:New anon here.
Bottom 1/3 at T-10.
Big law is the goal but I'm not sure that's a possibility now and considering dropping out instead.
Debt will be somewhere between $70-90 grand upon graduation if I decide to stick it out.


Big law is still a possibility and your debt is relatively low, so stick it out. Improve your grades next semester, bid NYC, and mass mail before, during, and after OCI.


But realize that it's an uphill battle. I was bottom third at CCN, bid NYC, and mass-mailed and struck out. Shit happens. I will have a similar debt-load and will probably not drop out (it's an ongoing internal debate), so I am hardly recommending that you drop out, but be realistic if not pessimistic. For your own sake.


Just curious. Did you have any ties to Texas and subsequently bid there? Wondering if the market down there would be more forgiving


Not the anon you are asking but I thought I'd add my 2 cents.

I went to MVP and I knew folks who did quite well in non-TX secondary markets (think Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, etc.) with median-ish grades. Granted, there isn't nearly as much biglaw in those places compared to NYC and median isn't bottom 1/3 but if you can improve your grades and have ties to such places you can secure a solid biglaw-type market paying gig. And by "did well" I mean they had multiple interviews and offers at places that paid market.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I went to MVP and I knew folks who did quite well in non-TX secondary markets (think Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, etc.) with median-ish grades. Granted, there isn't nearly as much biglaw in those places compared to NYC and median isn't bottom 1/3 but if you can improve your grades and have ties to such places you can secure a solid biglaw-type market paying gig. And by "did well" I mean they had multiple interviews and offers at places that paid market.


Probably safer to bid almost exclusively on NYC with bottom 1/3 grades, and mass mail to secondary markets where you have ties. There's just a lot larger of classes at firms in NYC (e.g. 100 in the NYC firm versus 2 in Ohio firm), and I think you have a better chance of sneaking into a large pack relative to being one of the two SAs an Ohio biglaw firm hires. Texas is a little different and I don't know much about the markets there.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:06 am

You're totally fine with under median; just bid NYC.

CA Native Here: 3.1 from P -- 11 callbacks, 3 offers

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:38 am

How far below median does a URM have to be to consider withdrawing from a T-10?
I'm guessing being urm in the bottom 1/3, you will still need luck + hustle to get big law?
From what I've heard at my school, a urm with bottom 1/3 grades managed to snag a V5 while another at bottom quarter was still able to get big law. Is that even possible?

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby banjo » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:How far below median does a URM have to be to consider withdrawing from a T-10?
I'm guessing being urm in the bottom 1/3, you will still need luck + hustle to get big law?
From what I've heard at my school, a urm with bottom 1/3 grades managed to snag a V5 while another at bottom quarter was still able to get big law. Is that even possible?


Of course it's possible. Grades are important, but personality, diversity, and other factors can make a huge difference. Firm hiring is not as mechanical as law school admissions.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby mvp99 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:How far below median does a URM have to be to consider withdrawing from a T-10?
I'm guessing being urm in the bottom 1/3, you will still need luck + hustle to get big law?
From what I've heard at my school, a urm with bottom 1/3 grades managed to snag a V5 while another at bottom quarter was still able to get big law. Is that even possible?


Possible? yes. Likely? No. IMO Firms want people that are qualified (whatever that means to them). Period. I have yet to see an URM boost in 2l hiring. Even URMs I know with low GPAs that managed to get a 1l diversity SA failed to get a 2l job. Maybe... maybe AAs receive a slight boost but they still need good grades..

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:21 am

mvp99 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How far below median does a URM have to be to consider withdrawing from a T-10?
I'm guessing being urm in the bottom 1/3, you will still need luck + hustle to get big law?
From what I've heard at my school, a urm with bottom 1/3 grades managed to snag a V5 while another at bottom quarter was still able to get big law. Is that even possible?


Possible? yes. Likely? No. IMO Firms want people that are qualified (whatever that means to them). Period. I have yet to see an URM boost in 2l hiring. Even URMs I know with low GPAs that managed to get a 1l diversity SA failed to get a 2l job. Maybe... maybe AAs receive a slight boost but they still need good grades..


Ouch. That's basically like getting no offered.
Hmm I wonder if its better then to be a below median urm at schools like CPB where gpa and rankings are not given.

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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:18 am

mvp99 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:How far below median does a URM have to be to consider withdrawing from a T-10?
I'm guessing being urm in the bottom 1/3, you will still need luck + hustle to get big law?
From what I've heard at my school, a urm with bottom 1/3 grades managed to snag a V5 while another at bottom quarter was still able to get big law. Is that even possible?


Possible? yes. Likely? No. IMO Firms want people that are qualified (whatever that means to them). Period. I have yet to see an URM boost in 2l hiring. Even URMs I know with low GPAs that managed to get a 1l diversity SA failed to get a 2l job. Maybe... maybe AAs receive a slight boost but they still need good grades..


URMs with good grades get a substantial boost. I happen to be one of those individuals and know several others. If you leverage this by going to diversity fairs and reaching out to firms through "diversity" channels you'll be treated much more favorably than similarly situated non-URM folks at your school.

URMs with bad grades is another story I believe with the caveat I don't have the same data points here.

I think if you are URM at a T10 that wants biglaw you can swing it at median, no need to drop out. If you are far from median I don't think your URM-ness is going to get you there.

Personally, I was a URM at a T10 and I told myself I was going to drop out if I ended up bottom 1/3 or worse after 1L. The area between bottom 1/3 and median is a gray area and I don't know if there is a hard and fast rule here, it depends on how much you are paying to attend, your backup options, your hustle, etc.




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