Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

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GFox345

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Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

Postby GFox345 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:41 am

So I've been consulting the GPA cutoffs at my school (a T-14), and it seems like most firms in my target city have taken students with a median GPA north of a 3.4. These credentials are specifically for the 2L Summer. I have multiple questions about how I should interpret this data:

(1) How important are these statistics?

(2) Do these figures likely include just 1L grades, or do they factor in 2L grades as well?

(3) What determines a person's ability to get a job at a firm when their GPA is below the firm's median? One of the more prestigious firms in the city had a median GPA of offered students north of a 3.6, but their 25th percentile was below a 3.2. What accounts for this difference? Seeing as the firm gave out so many offers (there were more than 10 people below the 25th percentile line), I doubt that all of the lower offers were URMS, but I put it to you.

(4) How much should the single lowest GPA of an offered student be interpreted as a hard minimum? I have no GPA yet, but if I get a GPA below their lowest offer last year, should I not even try?

(5) Most generally, what factors matter most in getting a job at a firm? Grades? Connections to the area/ specific firm? Not being socially retarded?

I appreciate the advice!

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Re: Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:05 pm

I got hired at a V30 with a GPA well below median at MVP. If I recall correctly, they said their cutoff was like top 1/3 and that they preferred LR. Lol.

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Re: Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:06 pm

As a newly minted 2L about to go into OCI, let me give you the best piece of advice one can offer: focus on nothing in law school but (a) getting the best grades you can and (b) networking for where you would like to work.

You honestly shouldn't even be looking at OCI data until you get your first semester grades. That data represents 1L grades for people that received offers and I'm assuming you're a summer starter if you're looking at this data so early. I say this in the nicest way possible, but don't concern yourself with anything that doesn't involve you doing well on your final exam. There will come a time during second semester (perhaps winter break as well) where you need to look at getting employed for next summer, but until then, enjoy your empty schedule and just worry about getting the best grades you possibly can.

Besides, even if that data showed you something valuable at this point, are you just going to not try as hard in school because you have some GPA cushion in the market you want to be in?

Trust me, there are a million things to concern yourself with in law school (especially 1L) that won't affect you actually getting a job and the more you focus on the one thing that really matters (i.e. grades) then the better set up you will be to succeed at finding the job you want.

yay

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Re: Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

Postby yay » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:07 pm

From my exp they only consider 1L grades. However remember the stats you listed are median not average, which means there could be many people who have GPS far below that. My friends who had 3.2s ended up at a large firm while i was in school.

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Re: Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

Postby yay » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I got hired at a V30 with a GPA well below median at MVP. If I recall correctly, they said their cutoff was like top 1/3 and that they preferred LR. Lol.


What were your stats?

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Re: Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

Postby Lexaholik » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:27 pm

I spent a lot of time going over GPA stats at my T14 years ago and had the same questions. I had the lowest GPA of anyone who received a summer offer at my V5 firm for the previous 5 years. When I was a summer associate, I was told that the firm's minimum GPA for my T14 was at least two tenths higher than my actual GPA.

GFox345 wrote:(1) How important are these statistics?


They're important in a broader sense. So a firm with a GPA median over the past few years of 3.6 is more selective than one with 3.3. But if the difference is like 3.4 vs. 3.5 for one given year, it's probably noise.

GFox345 wrote:(2) Do these figures likely include just 1L grades, or do they factor in 2L grades as well?


Just 1L.

GFox345 wrote:(3) What determines a person's ability to get a job at a firm when their GPA is below the firm's median? One of the more prestigious firms in the city had a median GPA of offered students north of a 3.6, but their 25th percentile was below a 3.2. What accounts for this difference? Seeing as the firm gave out so many offers (there were more than 10 people below the 25th percentile line), I doubt that all of the lower offers were URMS, but I put it to you.


Nobody really knows. Sometimes it's URM or someone with an engineering degree (for IP law). Other times it's because that 3.2 did a lot better 2nd semester (2.8 then 3.6) combined with strong interviewing ability. In most cases of outperforming your numbers it comes down to interviewing skills and how prepared you are. If you're at a lottery school (which you probably are cuz you're T14) interviews matter A LOT. It's less important at schools with preselect.

GFox345 wrote:(4) How much should the single lowest GPA of an offered student be interpreted as a hard minimum? I have no GPA yet, but if I get a GPA below their lowest offer last year, should I not even try?


It's pretty important, but not insurmountable. Sample size also matters. If 40 callbacks are given every year, the minimums are pretty telling. But if a firm gives out 2-3 callbacks each year, there's a chance the minimum isn't the actual floor. In any case you should try because you'll never know if you're the one who's going to set the new minimum GPA.

GFox345 wrote:(5) Most generally, what factors matter most in getting a job at a firm? Grades? Connections to the area/ specific firm? Not being socially retarded?


Grades. Then Law Review. Then interviewing--which encompasses everything else, like how you spin wanting to be in that geographic market, that specific law practice, etc. Not being socially retarded is a given--I've seen people with high grades get zero offers because of this.

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Re: Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

Postby 2014 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:32 pm

There's usually some statistical gamesmanship with schools (perhaps unintentionally) because inevitably whatever numbers they give you are going to be skewed higher by the people who have great grades and clean up on call backs or offers. If all of the 3.8+ LR kids have 20 callbacks and 20 offers, it's going to make firms look more competitive than they are since those same people can only ultimately choose one firm but they are dragging up the numbers on all.

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Re: Interpretting School GPA Guidelines for Firm Hiring

Postby Clemenceau » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I got hired at a V30 with a GPA well below median at MVP. If I recall correctly, they said their cutoff was like top 1/3 and that they preferred LR. Lol.


Yeah but this is different than your school's actual data.



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