Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

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Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:34 pm

Isn't the whole point of lottery-only to allow great interviews to overcome poor grades?

Why bother with the charade if no amount of interviewing or (legit) explanation for the grades can undo the decision that the interviewer reached in the first 5secs upon scanning your transcript?

If the interviewer's reaction reads that way, is it worth it to ask straight up: "I know my transcript blows; is there anything I can do to allay your concerns?"

Because if the answer to that is no, then it's the same as saying nothing. But if there was a miniscule chance that there was something that could've been said had the interview been allowed to proceed "naturally," then the very act of naming the elephant in the room might be considered "gauche" and would supply an independent reason for the interviewer to deflate you

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:41 pm

I never understood the lottery only bids either. It isnt like the firm is going to hire someone with shitty grades just because there werent any other candidates available.

But having said that if we did just all merit based resume collection screening, you have even less chance of landing an interview.

So if you have bad grades, you are fucked either way and makes no difference.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby swampman » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:46 pm

The point isn't to allow great interviews to overcome poor grades, it's to allow great interviews to overcome grades that are slightly worse than what the firm would normally take. Say a firm wants to hire people with a 3.7. If they are strictly picking interviews based on GPA, they probably won't interview someone with a 3.65 or 3.6. But if they interview that person through the lottery and are really impressed, they're not likely to reject them based on a .05 GPA difference.

If you have below-median grades, you shouldn't be bidding on or accepting a lottery interview with Williams and Connolly, it's a waste of everyone's time.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby swampman » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If the interviewer's reaction reads that way, is it worth it to ask straight up: "I know my transcript blows; is there anything I can do to allay your concerns?"

Also, this question would majorly piss me off if I was an interviewer. What do you expect the answer to be? It's not their job to tell you how to overcome your bad grades. If your bad grades really don't reflect how you'll perform as a lawyer, you better have some evidence to back that up and start selling yourself. The interviewer isn't going to do it for you.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:15 am

swampman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If the interviewer's reaction reads that way, is it worth it to ask straight up: "I know my transcript blows; is there anything I can do to allay your concerns?"

Also, this question would majorly piss me off if I was an interviewer. What do you expect the answer to be? It's not their job to tell you how to overcome your bad grades. If your bad grades really don't reflect how you'll perform as a lawyer, you better have some evidence to back that up and start selling yourself. The interviewer isn't going to do it for you.

Sorry by that I didnt mean to make sound like I was asking the interviewer for protips. It was more of a way to get him to see if he'd like to hear what happened.

The answer i'd hope for would be "sure, why don't you tell me about."

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby runinthefront » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:31 am

swampman wrote:The point isn't to allow great interviews to overcome poor grades, it's to allow great interviews to overcome grades that are slightly worse than what the firm would normally take. Say a firm wants to hire people with a 3.7. If they are strictly picking interviews based on GPA, they probably won't interview someone with a 3.65 or 3.6. But if they interview that person through the lottery and are really impressed, they're not likely to reject them based on a .05 GPA difference.

If you have below-median grades, you shouldn't be bidding on or accepting a lottery interview with Williams and Connolly, it's a waste of everyone's time.


This sums it up. Lottery-only process is great in the aggregate.
Last edited by runinthefront on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
swampman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If the interviewer's reaction reads that way, is it worth it to ask straight up: "I know my transcript blows; is there anything I can do to allay your concerns?"

Also, this question would majorly piss me off if I was an interviewer. What do you expect the answer to be? It's not their job to tell you how to overcome your bad grades. If your bad grades really don't reflect how you'll perform as a lawyer, you better have some evidence to back that up and start selling yourself. The interviewer isn't going to do it for you.

Sorry by that I didnt mean to make sound like I was asking the interviewer for protips. It was more of a way to get him to see if he'd like to hear what happened.

The answer i'd hope for would be "sure, why don't you tell me about."

No don't do this.

Go in and present yourself the best that you can. It's 20 minutes of your life, don't spend them dwelling on your grades, or how unfair it is that you might get rejected for them, or trying to justify them. Everyone in the room knows what your grades are. The interview should be about everything else. 99% of the time, the reasons that people articulate for doing poorly 1L year don't help, or hurt them more, anyway.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby dabigchina » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:00 am

At least with lottery you get the opportunity to wow them. With all preselects you would get nothing.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby Nebby » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:02 am

swampman wrote:The point isn't to allow great interviews to overcome poor grades, it's to allow great interviews to overcome grades that are slightly worse than what the firm would normally take. Say a firm wants to hire people with a 3.7. If they are strictly picking interviews based on GPA, they probably won't interview someone with a 3.65 or 3.6. But if they interview that person through the lottery and are really impressed, they're not likely to reject them based on a .05 GPA difference.

If you have below-median grades, you shouldn't be bidding on or accepting a lottery interview with Williams and Connolly, it's a waste of everyone's time.

End the thread here, it's done

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby Lexaholik » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:36 am

swampman wrote:The point isn't to allow great interviews to overcome poor grades, it's to allow great interviews to overcome grades that are slightly worse than what the firm would normally take. Say a firm wants to hire people with a 3.7. If they are strictly picking interviews based on GPA, they probably won't interview someone with a 3.65 or 3.6. But if they interview that person through the lottery and are really impressed, they're not likely to reject them based on a .05 GPA difference.

If you have below-median grades, you shouldn't be bidding on or accepting a lottery interview with Williams and Connolly, it's a waste of everyone's time.


I would go even farther than that because firm target GPA ranges are pretty broad. Firms with a median callback of 3.7 or so might be looking at anyone between 3.4 and 4.0. So with the lottery system, you've got a shot even with say, a 3.42. Anecdotally at my T14 if you were a bit above median, nearly every firm in the V20 was in play.

And while I do generally agree with your point about not wasting your time, I've seen below-median GPAs at my school land callbacks with Davis Polk and Simpson. So you may have a better chance than you think.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:38 am

Thread is silly. Don't bid on a firm where you aren't at least ballpark for grades. If your transcript truly "blows," you wouldnt have any interviews anyways and be thankful you have an opportunity to practice interviewing.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:33 pm

Lexaholik wrote:
swampman wrote:The point isn't to allow great interviews to overcome poor grades, it's to allow great interviews to overcome grades that are slightly worse than what the firm would normally take. Say a firm wants to hire people with a 3.7. If they are strictly picking interviews based on GPA, they probably won't interview someone with a 3.65 or 3.6. But if they interview that person through the lottery and are really impressed, they're not likely to reject them based on a .05 GPA difference.

If you have below-median grades, you shouldn't be bidding on or accepting a lottery interview with Williams and Connolly, it's a waste of everyone's time.


I would go even farther than that because firm target GPA ranges are pretty broad. Firms with a median callback of 3.7 or so might be looking at anyone between 3.4 and 4.0. So with the lottery system, you've got a shot even with say, a 3.42. Anecdotally at my T14 if you were a bit above median, nearly every firm in the V20 was in play.

And while I do generally agree with your point about not wasting your time, I've seen below-median GPAs at my school land callbacks with Davis Polk and Simpson. So you may have a better chance than you think.
This. Firms have wider GPA ranges than their numbers would indicate. I am headed to a V10 and had median at one of MVP. I think the median GPA for the firm at my school was around a 3.6x. I was able to beat out people with higher GPAs because I had a great interview and personality and my interviewer later told me during my summer that the others were pretty bland other than their GPA - no personality, no interesting extracurriculars, and they all tried too hard to sell themselves in the interview. Talk to 3Ls and alum at your school to see if the range for a given firm is wider than your CSO’s stats indicate. I think I remember my CSO usually including the lowest GPA that received a callback in addition to the median but I could be wrong on that. My V10 actually preselected me too which I remember as being very odd at the time.

swampman wrote:The point isn't to allow great interviews to overcome poor grades, it's to allow great interviews to overcome grades that are slightly worse than what the firm would normally take. Say a firm wants to hire people with a 3.7. If they are strictly picking interviews based on GPA, they probably won't interview someone with a 3.65 or 3.6. But if they interview that person through the lottery and are really impressed, they're not likely to reject them based on a .05 GPA difference.

If you have below-median grades, you shouldn't be bidding on or accepting a lottery interview with Williams and Connolly, it's a waste of everyone's time.
But also this to a certain extent. While there are some great firms that will dip way lower than normal for a “good fit” candidate, there are definitely some firms that might dip a little but you need to be pretty damn close to the numbers they are looking for. I had some lottery picks that I knew weren’t going to consider me as soon as I stepped into the room.

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Re: Why ban pre-screening if the interview is essentially over after the transcript exchange?

Postby fxb3 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:19 pm

Agree with most everything else that has been said. I would only add that I had always heard that firms would love to pre-screen everywhere; it's the top schools that don't let us. So it's not that Williams & Connolly really wants to spend their time with 3.1 GPAs because they might find a diamond in the rough -- they don't, and they won't -- it's more that top schools don't want to create second-class citizens among their students and want at least a chance at getting more students good jobs. The top schools can force lottery-only on us because we will want to interview at those schools anyways. At lower-ranked schools, my understanding is that they typically allow more pre-screening because otherwise we wouldn't bother interviewing there.



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