Bad grade in 2L

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Anonymous User
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Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:40 pm

I'm at CCN, I want to be a litigator, and I just got a B- in Evidence. I had a very bad day on the exam for personal reasons. I have a summer offer at a V20, and my other grades are holding up just fine, though I'm definitely not at the top of my class. I'd estimate that overall, I'm median or slightly above median.

Any TLS wisdom on how badly this fuck-up endangers my chances of getting a full-time job offer? Are any firms particularly likely to no-offer people because of a bad grade in 2L?

Thanks so much, guys. Don't know what I'd do without TLS.

arklaw13
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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby arklaw13 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:49 pm

Do you know if your firm even asks for updated transcripts? Some don't.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:56 pm

Similar situation here. There's a ton of stuff if you search for this on the forums, but the common wisdom (or at least the advice that made the most sense to me) was that if your firm is a 100% offer firm, they're likely not going to sacrifice their reputation for a grade.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Similar situation here. There's a ton of stuff if you search for this on the forums, but the common wisdom (or at least the advice that made the most sense to me) was that if your firm is a 100% offer firm, they're likely not going to sacrifice their reputation for a grade.

I think it has more to do with the knowledge 2L's with offers dgaf and having 10 partner reviews on your work (i.e. the actual people you're working for) than their reputation.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Similar situation here. There's a ton of stuff if you search for this on the forums, but the common wisdom (or at least the advice that made the most sense to me) was that if your firm is a 100% offer firm, they're likely not going to sacrifice their reputation for a grade.

I think it has more to do with the knowledge 2L's with offers dgaf and having 10 partner reviews on your work (i.e. the actual people you're working for) than their reputation.

I'm sure it's a blend of both. But yeah, if I get no offered and they cite my one bad grade, it's probably actually something else.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Similar situation here. There's a ton of stuff if you search for this on the forums, but the common wisdom (or at least the advice that made the most sense to me) was that if your firm is a 100% offer firm, they're likely not going to sacrifice their reputation for a grade.

I think it has more to do with the knowledge 2L's with offers dgaf and having 10 partner reviews on your work (i.e. the actual people you're working for) than their reputation.

I'm sure it's a blend of both. But yeah, if I get no offered and they cite my one bad grade, it's probably actually something else.

Idk I was told by a partner they still prioritize 1L grades even for laterals. Not trying hard after 1L doesn't mean you're lazy. The incentives aren't there to keep superb grades. I'm sure if hiring didn't happen till after 3L you'd see smaller fluctuations.

KM2016
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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby KM2016 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm at CCN, I want to be a litigator, and I just got a B- in Evidence. I had a very bad day on the exam for personal reasons. I have a summer offer at a V20, and my other grades are holding up just fine, though I'm definitely not at the top of my class. I'd estimate that overall, I'm median or slightly above median.

Any TLS wisdom on how badly this fuck-up endangers my chances of getting a full-time job offer? Are any firms particularly likely to no-offer people because of a bad grade in 2L?

Thanks so much, guys. Don't know what I'd do without TLS.


One B-, with otherwise decent grades, will almost certainly have no effect on whether you get an offer or not. Some firms don't even ask for grades.

As long as you don't bomb 2L, I wouldn't even think twice.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby brick_wall » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:08 pm

KM2016 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at CCN, I want to be a litigator, and I just got a B- in Evidence. I had a very bad day on the exam for personal reasons. I have a summer offer at a V20, and my other grades are holding up just fine, though I'm definitely not at the top of my class. I'd estimate that overall, I'm median or slightly above median.

Any TLS wisdom on how badly this fuck-up endangers my chances of getting a full-time job offer? Are any firms particularly likely to no-offer people because of a bad grade in 2L?

Thanks so much, guys. Don't know what I'd do without TLS.


One B-, with otherwise decent grades, will almost certainly have no effect on whether you get an offer or not. Some firms don't even ask for grades.

As long as you don't bomb 2L, I wouldn't even think twice.


What this guy said.

If you slack off entirely then I wouldn't feel as confident. But if you have one B- and otherwise solid grades, I really wouldn't sweat it. This is especially true if (1) you are still in the grade range from which the firm hires at your school and/or (2) you ensure you do good work and get good reviews during your summer.

So treat the summer as an extended job interview. Don't stretch the fashion norms. Don't send jokey emails that could get forwarded and misinterpreted. Don't get drunk. Don't say inappropriate things that might make others uncomfortable. Don't complain. Don't miss deadlines (if you have any) or leave work undone at the end. Work hard (to the extent that doing so doesn't make you a stick in the mud). Try to build some genuine relationships with associates and partners. Seek feedback and then try to improve. Treat your fellow summers like your teammates not your competition. Try to observe the practical and social norms of the associates and act accordingly (with a hint more deference without being obsequious). Etc.

It's understandable to be a bit nervous. But it's not rocket science. Just be a mature adult who people enjoy having around and your B- won't matter.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:04 am

B- in evidence probably closes the door on the clerkship game, to the extent you care about that as a future litigator. Other then that, no perceivable impact. Maybe try out a few transactional projects over the summer just to see if you're interested in it, since there will be no pressure at your firm to take a stint in chambers down the line from those departments, but I wouldn't read too much into your performance in a class just because the material is theoretically related to your chosen practice area. I did shitty in corporations but I'm not going to stay away from practicing "corporate" litigation or law.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:49 am

You can only get no-offered as a summer associate by royally fucking up an assignment or being a social retard. The standard to get an offer at the vast majority of firms is hilariously low.

Grades matter if you try to lateral before you have a lot of substantive experience. If you have the right combination of trial, depo, and other experience, your grades mean almost nothing unless the firm interviewing you has an absolute GPA threshold below which they will not hire.

I personally would not give a fuck at all about one B-, as long as you do good work and turn it in on time. If you haven't done enough work to show one way or another how good your are, however, then I will judge you by your grades. Summer associate experience doesn't really count, because a lot of people can put in 110% effort over 10 weeks and put together at least semi-coherent work product. Doing the same thing with more difficult (and voluminous) assignments over a long period of time is an entirely different matter. If you can do the latter at a high-level, your grades mean almost nothing to me. But again, you can't prove this over the course of a few months, and definitely not over the course of a few weeks.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby alicrimson » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:50 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:You can only get no-offered as a summer associate by royally fucking up an assignment or being a social retard. The standard to get an offer at the vast majority of firms is hilariously low.

Grades matter if you try to lateral before you have a lot of substantive experience. If you have the right combination of trial, depo, and other experience, your grades mean almost nothing unless the firm interviewing you has an absolute GPA threshold below which they will not hire.

I personally would not give a fuck at all about one B-, as long as you do good work and turn it in on time. If you haven't done enough work to show one way or another how good your are, however, then I will judge you by your grades. Summer associate experience doesn't really count, because a lot of people can put in 110% effort over 10 weeks and put together at least semi-coherent work product. Doing the same thing with more difficult (and voluminous) assignments over a long period of time is an entirely different matter. If you can do the latter at a high-level, your grades mean almost nothing to me. But again, you can't prove this over the course of a few months, and definitely not over the course of a few weeks.


Sometimes no-offers happen in Vault satellites offices too for reasons you can't control. If you're in a 30-40 person office, slotted for lit, and multiple lit rain makers decide to leave and take their clients with them towards the end of your summer, you're probably getting no-offered for financial reasons. That being said, that's out of your control. Acting like an ass hat and turning in shitty work is in your control. Don't worry, do your best.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:19 pm

jbagelboy wrote:B- in evidence probably closes the door on the clerkship game, to the extent you care about that as a future litigator. Other then that, no perceivable impact. Maybe try out a few transactional projects over the summer just to see if you're interested in it, since there will be no pressure at your firm to take a stint in chambers down the line from those departments, but I wouldn't read too much into your performance in a class just because the material is theoretically related to your chosen practice area. I did shitty in corporations but I'm not going to stay away from practicing "corporate" litigation or law.


is this true? does that B- fuck you up for clerkships for sure?

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:B- in evidence probably closes the door on the clerkship game, to the extent you care about that as a future litigator. Other then that, no perceivable impact. Maybe try out a few transactional projects over the summer just to see if you're interested in it, since there will be no pressure at your firm to take a stint in chambers down the line from those departments, but I wouldn't read too much into your performance in a class just because the material is theoretically related to your chosen practice area. I did shitty in corporations but I'm not going to stay away from practicing "corporate" litigation or law.


is this true? does that B- fuck you up for clerkships for sure?


Not for sure. Anecdotal evidence but I know 2 people with a B- get a federal clerkship.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:B- in evidence probably closes the door on the clerkship game, to the extent you care about that as a future litigator. Other then that, no perceivable impact. Maybe try out a few transactional projects over the summer just to see if you're interested in it, since there will be no pressure at your firm to take a stint in chambers down the line from those departments, but I wouldn't read too much into your performance in a class just because the material is theoretically related to your chosen practice area. I did shitty in corporations but I'm not going to stay away from practicing "corporate" litigation or law.


is this true? does that B- fuck you up for clerkships for sure?


Not for sure. Anecdotal evidence but I know 2 people with a B- get a federal clerkship.


Not OP here but similar boat

i'm hoping for a COA clerkship (flyover is fine...i know that B- fucks me for competitive districts)

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jbagelboy
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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:B- in evidence probably closes the door on the clerkship game, to the extent you care about that as a future litigator. Other then that, no perceivable impact. Maybe try out a few transactional projects over the summer just to see if you're interested in it, since there will be no pressure at your firm to take a stint in chambers down the line from those departments, but I wouldn't read too much into your performance in a class just because the material is theoretically related to your chosen practice area. I did shitty in corporations but I'm not going to stay away from practicing "corporate" litigation or law.


is this true? does that B- fuck you up for clerkships for sure?


Not for sure. Anecdotal evidence but I know 2 people with a B- get a federal clerkship.


I mean, it depends on which CCN. B- at NYU is just a low note on the curve. B- at CLS is a discretionary low grade, which, if given in a core lit bar class like Evidence, as a 2L, would be pretty damning--unless you were a strong student otherwise (I'm guessing this OP is at NYU). This puts OP around median, which alone would still be okay down the line, but its definitely not making your life easier in that direction.

Also I'm no authority on this whatsoever, I was just putting out an ancillary consideration given OP was lit-focused

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:07 pm

wow b- sounds like the exception at nyu and other t14s. at mine 10% gets a b- fosure

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:wow b- sounds like the exception at nyu and other t14s. at mine 10% gets a b- fosure


same - i'm at one of MVP and huge classes have to give out 10% B-

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:B- in evidence probably closes the door on the clerkship game, to the extent you care about that as a future litigator. Other then that, no perceivable impact. Maybe try out a few transactional projects over the summer just to see if you're interested in it, since there will be no pressure at your firm to take a stint in chambers down the line from those departments, but I wouldn't read too much into your performance in a class just because the material is theoretically related to your chosen practice area. I did shitty in corporations but I'm not going to stay away from practicing "corporate" litigation or law.


is this true? does that B- fuck you up for clerkships for sure?

I'm pretty sure this will vary by judge anyway (leaving aside curves at various schools). Some judges scrutinize transcripts closely and some don't care except for overall GPA. I mean, I never took Fed Courts and got a clerkship - what I took and specific grades in classes never came up. I'm sure some judges will care, but for most people there's something in your application that some judges will care about and some won't.

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Re: Bad grade in 2L

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:B- in evidence probably closes the door on the clerkship game, to the extent you care about that as a future litigator. Other then that, no perceivable impact. Maybe try out a few transactional projects over the summer just to see if you're interested in it, since there will be no pressure at your firm to take a stint in chambers down the line from those departments, but I wouldn't read too much into your performance in a class just because the material is theoretically related to your chosen practice area. I did shitty in corporations but I'm not going to stay away from practicing "corporate" litigation or law.


is this true? does that B- fuck you up for clerkships for sure?


Not for sure. Anecdotal evidence but I know 2 people with a B- get a federal clerkship.



OP here. I had had clerkship thoughts and I was ready to abandon them, but you give me hope. I'm perfectly happy with a flyover AIII clerkship. Or state supreme court in my home state, which is sorta flyoverish. Any thoughts on whether it would help to knock Fed Courts out of the park this semester?

Thanks everyone for the input and encouragement. I'm feeling a lot better now.




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