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

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:07 pm

OP here. I got my grades, and I'm actually thankful I asked this withdrawal question in the first place because my worst fears were confirmed: I have a ~2.9 GPA at a T10 (MVP range).

A reminder about my personal situation:

K-JD. Liberal arts degree. Projected debt upon LS graduation: No UG debt, about $27-31K from LS (mix of scholarship and personal savings). Lifelong resident of my law school's state, but not the city/town it's in, so possibly some ties to the state's legal market.

Career Goals: BigLaw is not necessary (and it seems not likely at this point), but I'm willing to pursue midlaw, Big 4, state/local government, and am open to quasi-legal jobs (compliance, etc.) if any of those are legitimate options for me at this point.

Feelings about law school: I'm not averse to staying. I even secured a 1L summer internship with a district judge in hometown (not even a secondary market - more like a quaternary, if that's a thing). However, given my grades, I have become less enthusiastic with the prospect of staying, and if there is little to no chance of finding a job making at least $60K after graduation, I will gladly leave. I have absolutely no hesitation about withdrawing/taking a leave of absence, but if I choose that option, I'd like to do so within the next few weeks for a tuition refund and due to aversion of squandering the rest of savings. I do have a job lined up if I leave school, but I would also likely be pursuing an MS in Accounting or an MPP/MPA while working.

Thoughts about my academic performance: I had little to no practice exams available, and none of the exams were traditional issue spotters so I wasn't as certain how to proceed in studying. I tried a bunch of different tactics - none of them successful, obviously. I'd like to think I can improve my GPA at this point, but at this moment (after receiving my last grade on Friday), I am really not confident about that possibility.

Thanks for any insight or opinion anyone has on this matter.

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

Postby banjo » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I got my grades, and I'm actually thankful I asked this withdrawal question in the first place because my worst fears were confirmed: I have a ~2.9 GPA at a T10 (MVP range).

A reminder about my personal situation:

K-JD. Liberal arts degree. Projected debt upon LS graduation: No UG debt, about $27-31K from LS (mix of scholarship and personal savings). Lifelong resident of my law school's state, but not the city/town it's in, so possibly some ties to the state's legal market.

Career Goals: BigLaw is not necessary (and it seems not likely at this point), but I'm willing to pursue midlaw, Big 4, state/local government, and am open to quasi-legal jobs (compliance, etc.) if any of those are legitimate options for me at this point.

Feelings about law school: I'm not averse to staying. I even secured a 1L summer internship with a district judge in hometown (not even a secondary market - more like a quaternary, if that's a thing). However, given my grades, I have become less enthusiastic with the prospect of staying, and if there is little to no chance of finding a job making at least $60K after graduation, I will gladly leave. I have absolutely no hesitation about withdrawing/taking a leave of absence, but if I choose that option, I'd like to do so within the next few weeks for a tuition refund and due to aversion of squandering the rest of savings. I do have a job lined up if I leave school, but I would also likely be pursuing an MS in Accounting or an MPP/MPA while working.

Thoughts about my academic performance: I had little to no practice exams available, and none of the exams were traditional issue spotters so I wasn't as certain how to proceed in studying. I tried a bunch of different tactics - none of them successful, obviously. I'd like to think I can improve my GPA at this point, but at this moment (after receiving my last grade on Friday), I am really not confident about that possibility.

Thanks for any insight or opinion anyone has on this matter.


If you want to be in a legal role for your career, stay. You have low debt, modest goals, and you seem like a hustler.

mvp99
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Re: What 1L GPA/Class Rank to Withdraw from T10?

Postby mvp99 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:31 pm

"Midlaw" is probably more difficult to obtain than big law, just sayin.

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


Did you get CBs or offers from firms without meeting their GPA cutoff (per statistics)? Because if that occurred, then I could say that you might be right. If not, then you could be attributing your success to being URM when in reality you were simply qualified like everyone else and then it (almost) all comes down to fit. At least we can agree that like everyone else URMs need good grades to stay in the game.

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

Postby AReasonableMan » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:41 pm

even with no practice exams there's an e and e. You can also ask professors how they test, and what makes a good exam. many exam banks are open to the public. it's not as good but it's something. if you know something is helpful to your final product it is foolish don't end the discussion with "oh well."

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

Postby UVAIce » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:13 pm

There is a lot of good advice in this thread, but one thing to understand is what exactly goes into your shot at employment.

Think of dropping out as a function of your grades, geographic ties, job opportunities from your school, undergraduate degree (IP/no IP. I've also heard that IP is cooling off, but that is all anecdotal), work experience, personality, opportunity cost of attending law school, and what you want to do (litigation vs. corporate). For example, a low debt load coming out of law school coupled with no job prospects out of undergrad might keep someone in law school.

I will say that grade requirements at law firms and different offices can be difficult to figure out. For example, the firm that I am going to work for has its main office in a Southern city, but the grade cut off for that office is much higher than for the firm's NYC office. Often the leading regional firms or boutiques can be extremely picky with who they take since they have only a handful of summer associate positions to fill. Depending on how many hometown products are trying to get back home you could be dealing with a top graduate from HLS or "just" the top graduates from the top local law school. For example, a friend of mine was the managing editor of the Law Review and decided to practice in Idaho. I'd hate to have had to compete with him for a spot at that firm.
Last edited by UVAIce on Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:35 pm

IP is cooling off, and there's more than anecdotal evidence out there: https://lexmachina.com/2014/10/septembe ... mber-2013/

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I got my grades, and I'm actually thankful I asked this withdrawal question in the first place because my worst fears were confirmed: I have a ~2.9 GPA at a T10 (MVP range).

A reminder about my personal situation:

K-JD. Liberal arts degree. Projected debt upon LS graduation: No UG debt, about $27-31K from LS (mix of scholarship and personal savings). Lifelong resident of my law school's state, but not the city/town it's in, so possibly some ties to the state's legal market.

Career Goals: BigLaw is not necessary (and it seems not likely at this point), but I'm willing to pursue midlaw, Big 4, state/local government, and am open to quasi-legal jobs (compliance, etc.) if any of those are legitimate options for me at this point.

Feelings about law school: I'm not averse to staying. I even secured a 1L summer internship with a district judge in hometown (not even a secondary market - more like a quaternary, if that's a thing). However, given my grades, I have become less enthusiastic with the prospect of staying, and if there is little to no chance of finding a job making at least $60K after graduation, I will gladly leave. I have absolutely no hesitation about withdrawing/taking a leave of absence, but if I choose that option, I'd like to do so within the next few weeks for a tuition refund and due to aversion of squandering the rest of savings. I do have a job lined up if I leave school, but I would also likely be pursuing an MS in Accounting or an MPP/MPA while working.

Thoughts about my academic performance: I had little to no practice exams available, and none of the exams were traditional issue spotters so I wasn't as certain how to proceed in studying. I tried a bunch of different tactics - none of them successful, obviously. I'd like to think I can improve my GPA at this point, but at this moment (after receiving my last grade on Friday), I am really not confident about that possibility.

Thanks for any insight or opinion anyone has on this matter.


So I graduated in 2011 from a t10 between the top 1/4 of my class, and I would seriously murder a family of four for a job paying $60k /year. My situation is a little different than yours in that I was a transfer from a tier 3 law school school and did OCI in 2009, and most of the transfers from my class didn't get anything (firms just weren't looking to hire transfers, since they already filled most of their 2011 associate spots up from deferred c/o 2010 grads). The transfer also meant I paid sticker for 2 years, which cost me $130k, which with interest across all these years is now up to just under $170k (I did forbearance for a couple years and am now doing PAYE with LRAP). After law school, I clerked for a year, which was at GS-11, but then was unemployed for about 6 months, and started a job that paid $50k /year starting. (I was actually in the top 10% of my class for my first three semesters, so that got me the clerkship, but my grades dropped off heavily my last semester because I just stopped caring, since it felt like it made no difference for applications to firms--they literally hired something like 20 3Ls nationwide in 2010.) I'm up to about $55k year with 2 years of experience plus my clerkship year. I seriously applied everywhere back when I was looking (between fall of 2009 and winter of 2012), but there was literally nothing available. I remember going into a number of "informational" interviews, where the firms' partners would be shocked by high qualified I was and by the fact that I was interested in their firms, tell me that they were really interested in me but that they simply didn't have the need for an additional attorney.

Things are pretty easy when you can grab a job out of OCI (like most people at t14s are now able to do), but don't underestimate just how fucking difficult it is to find a job outside of OCI when you have zero work experience. I recognize that things have gotten a lot better in terms of legal hiring than it was a few years ago, but I still don't think things are as rosy as people make it seem on this thread. Again, your situation is a bit different than mine in that you're not limited to biglaw or public interest, but basically all the employers that want t14 grads (biglaw, fed government, etc.) are not going to be an option for you with your grades, and other employers (e.g local DA/PD offices, personal injury firms, family law firms, etc) don't give a shit that you went to a t14--they'd rather hire a TTT grad who is genuinely interested in the type of law that they practice.

I'm not saying to drop out of that you won't find anything that pays at least $60k /year, but recognize it's not just going to fall into your lap in the way that people on this thread make it look like. You're going to need to hustle your ass off to demonstrate that you're interested in practicing in whatever area of shitlaw, despite having gone to a t10. If you want to work for a smaller firm, you're probably going to need to do what most TTT grads do and "clerk" for the firm while you're in law school, do really great work, and pray that they hire you at some point after you graduate. The same is true if you want to work at a public interest organization.

Best of luck.

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

Postby AReasonableMan » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:33 pm

At this juncture unless you have a job waiting for you that you'd lose in 6 months it's probably always going to be financially prudent to stay in and go through OCI. Your grades are bad but not so bad that they're unsalvageable. There is also some randomness at play. If a school say places 50% in big law then for every above 3.6 who strikes out there is a sub 3.0 who gets a job. Even if it's under 50/50 for you, it's still probably above 10% and with your debt being pretty low the risk/reward doesn't really make dropping out worthwhile. Just get better at exams. One positive thing about how law school works is that if you are firm focused then you have a chance to jump ship once it looks bleak.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Things are pretty easy when you can grab a job out of OCI (like most people at t14s are now able to do), but don't underestimate just how fucking difficult it is to find a job outside of OCI when you have zero work experience. I recognize that things have gotten a lot better in terms of legal hiring than it was a few years ago, but I still don't think things are as rosy as people make it seem on this thread.


That's my concern exactly. Considering the bimodal distribution of legal salaries and the advantages that regional law schools get for local government positions, and given my grades, I'm worried that I might be shut out of every legal job if I strike out at OCI (which, given my fall grades and lack of work experience, is incredibly likely). If I leave, however, I have enough in personal savings to pay for a masters (accounting, public policy, etc.) without student loans, so it has become a very tempting prospect for me to leave.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:02 am

All my friends who struck out at OCI or were no offered after found jobs at firms or clerkships. One clerking SSC, one midlaw firm making over $100k, and 2 making ~$65k. It's highly unlikely that you get completely shut out if you pass the bar and do an aggressive search.




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