Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

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Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:39 pm

I was a Chemical Engineer out of undergrad and graduated with high honors (Patent Bar eligible through list A). During my time, I spent 4 semesters at a top manufacturing company working in R&D, and then worked as an engineer for 1 year after graduation before law school. I'm at a top 25 school. Grades are rolling in, and after 2 B+'s and 2 B's, I'm starting to freak out. The only grade I'm waiting on was for an exam with 50% of points allocated for policy questions (so no idea). Our median is usually around a B+, so a 3.33, I'm looking between a 3.1 and a 3.3 barring a miracle.

Clearly grades need to be fixed, but I need to roll with what I have. Whatever I lost points on or didn't get was not from not knowing the law, it was exam writing so I've already set meetings with professors to go over exams when I get back so I can start righting the ship immediately.

I was wondering how I should promote myself as an IP candidate if my grades are poor, especially in the 1L summer. It seems there just isn't a lot of IP work out there. I am confident that if someone lets me in the door, I can bust through it during an interview, especially because then the numbers off the resume are all likely tossed and only the actual experience and interview matters to them in the pool of candidates. My writing sample, which I proofread again after finals, had some typos that I fixed, mostly just spelling errors in an all-caps section, but still not too great.

I have 1 interview at an IP firm in my home market (not the same as my school market). It is a callback at the firm which I've studied for, but I fear if I don't get this, I'm absolutely stuck if my grades stay around the median. Does anyone know anything more about the general IP market and what they look for grade-wise to screen for associates?

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby joshua tree » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:01 pm

You're not going to want to hear this but if you can't write exams (and getting a B is pretty indicative of this), you're probably not a good legal thinker, unless you just completely blew off the class entirely. Exams really do capture the type of thinking and organization required to demonstrate sound legal analysis. If you are a talented engineer you should drop out of law school and put your talents to use elsewhere.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You're not going to want to hear this but if you can't write exams (and getting a B is pretty indicative of this), you're probably not a good legal thinker, unless you just completely blew off the class entirely. Exams really do capture the type of thinking and organization required to demonstrate sound legal analysis. If you are a talented engineer you should drop out of law school and put your talents to use elsewhere.


Slightly below median and "not a good legal thinker?" GTFO

Cowardly anon, too. Mods pls.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You're not going to want to hear this but if you can't write exams (and getting a B is pretty indicative of this), you're probably not a good legal thinker, unless you just completely blew off the class entirely. Exams really do capture the type of thinking and organization required to demonstrate sound legal analysis. If you are a talented engineer you should drop out of law school and put your talents to use elsewhere.


That's harsh and probably not true. Had a good friend in law school that was an engineer and performed similarly first semester, probably a bit better. He finished on law review and works for Cravath.

His problem was that in engineering, from what he told me, the problems have a solution. In law and especially on law school exams, there usually is no right answer. Once he realized that he crushed law school. I think you can took. Really evaluate where you wrong with professors. I bet if you really hunker down and read the advice threads on here you could do well.

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elendinel

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby elendinel » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:30 pm

IP what? Pros/lit/transactions/anything?

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby JenDarby » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:31 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You're not going to want to hear this but if you can't write exams (and getting a B is pretty indicative of this), you're probably not a good legal thinker, unless you just completely blew off the class entirely. Exams really do capture the type of thinking and organization required to demonstrate sound legal analysis. If you are a talented engineer you should drop out of law school and put your talents to use elsewhere.


Slightly below median and "not a good legal thinker?" GTFO

Cowardly anon, too. Mods pls.

Lol, yes, mods please. Are you even a practicing lawyer? A good deal of it has zero to do with being "a good legal thinker" and even more is nothing like writing a law school exam.

Not every school has Northwestern level grade inflation so people at and above median will have Bs.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You're not going to want to hear this but if you can't write exams (and getting a B is pretty indicative of this), you're probably not a good legal thinker, unless you just completely blew off the class entirely. Exams really do capture the type of thinking and organization required to demonstrate sound legal analysis. If you are a talented engineer you should drop out of law school and put your talents to use elsewhere.


This is hilarious. OP - please, please laugh at this. you're fine. I am (as many are here on this forum) a practicing attorney and law school exams are nothing like the real world.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:48 pm

Honestly bro this all depends on what school you are at.

If you are at a T-14 with strong biglaw/corporate law feeding, then being slightly below median really isn't a problem. Myself and my buddies were all bottom 35% and did fine.

With that said, I think having practical/targeted work experience is extremely helpful during interviews. It demonstrates interest and I think if you are at a good enough school, firms may disregard median grades for your experience and science background.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:49 pm

Also previous anon here.

The way above poster commenting about median=not good legal thinking is a troll. Do not feed him.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby trebekismyhero » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:36 pm

OP, if you are at a T25, patent eligible and plan on doing patent law you are not in bad shape. I did not attend a t14, had several classmates that had median or even slightly below median grades and all got offers at the patent fair or OCI. Just figure out what you did wrong this semester and improve your grades next semester to improve your odds and options at OCI and the fair.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Bluem_11 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:I was a Chemical Engineer out of undergrad and graduated with high honors (Patent Bar eligible through list A). During my time, I spent 4 semesters at a top manufacturing company working in R&D, and then worked as an engineer for 1 year after graduation before law school. I'm at a top 25 school. Grades are rolling in, and after 2 B+'s and 2 B's, I'm starting to freak out. The only grade I'm waiting on was for an exam with 50% of points allocated for policy questions (so no idea). Our median is usually around a B+, so a 3.33, I'm looking between a 3.1 and a 3.3 barring a miracle.

Clearly grades need to be fixed, but I need to roll with what I have. Whatever I lost points on or didn't get was not from not knowing the law, it was exam writing so I've already set meetings with professors to go over exams when I get back so I can start righting the ship immediately.

I was wondering how I should promote myself as an IP candidate if my grades are poor, especially in the 1L summer. It seems there just isn't a lot of IP work out there. I am confident that if someone lets me in the door, I can bust through it during an interview, especially because then the numbers off the resume are all likely tossed and only the actual experience and interview matters to them in the pool of candidates. My writing sample, which I proofread again after finals, had some typos that I fixed, mostly just spelling errors in an all-caps section, but still not too great.

I have 1 interview at an IP firm in my home market (not the same as my school market). It is a callback at the firm which I've studied for, but I fear if I don't get this, I'm absolutely stuck if my grades stay around the median. Does anyone know anything more about the general IP market and what they look for grade-wise to screen for associates?


IP lawyer here.

ignore the anon who trolled you. They're ignorant and clearly never looked at a patent before.

Here's what your grades will limit you from doing. You likely (but not guaranteed) won't be a IP litigator at a top firm. They like other biglaw litigation jobs, highly stress law school grades instead of your science grades/experience, which prosecutors jobs will care about more. One of my prosecutors interviews literally asked me 0 questions about the law/law school. They instead opened with "We can teach you the law and how to write. It's not a big deal. Tell me about projects you've worked on. What technological areas interest you the most?"

I went to a 50-100 range school, abv avg but not elite LS grades, mediocre science grades. Got 20+ interviews just for IP including a couple at elite firms.

Get your Loyola Chicago fair stuff ready soon, that is a great opportunity for someone with your credentials. You may still get litigation job interviews, but if really suck at law school (which by the way you haven't yet, don't compare your grades to non IP LS grades, the curves are different). Keep in mind that while law jobs are still a buyer's market for firms in IP, it is substantially less so that with non IP jobs (in my experience, others may vary). Chem engineering is in demand in my experience.

That being said I am not promising you a job. There is still competition and it is possible to strike out. Sharpen your patent prosecution skills if possible during your LS years, that's a big plus. The first job in IP is a hurdle if you don't get in through traditional manners like a job fair or OCI but I don't think you are at red alarm stage yet on that front.

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:38 pm

I might be out of my depth here but I wouldn't beat yourself up too much about doing something non-IP related this summer. During OCI and other job interviews you can always say you planned to do IP but figured 1L summer was a good time to try something a little different.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby misterjames » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:04 pm

joshua tree wrote:You're not going to want to hear this but if you can't write exams (and getting a B is pretty indicative of this), you're probably not a good legal thinker, unless you just completely blew off the class entirely. Exams really do capture the type of thinking and organization required to demonstrate sound legal analysis. If you are a talented engineer you should drop out of law school and put your talents to use elsewhere.


hahahaha holy shit I'm gunna pass this around to a few people, how absolutely absurd. in my torts class however many years ago, the difference between the "highest" B+ and the "lowest" A was 7 points, which as our professor showed us, was about 3 or 4 extra sentences of writing. so basically you think there's like 10-15 people in every school's graduating class that should be lawyers and everyone else can forget it?

OP, from what I've seen, people with strong technical backgrounds like you will do well in OCI even with median grades. in fact at my school's OCI, firms that were looking for technical people specifically listed lower GPA cutoffs for those individuals. don't sweat it.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:37 pm

You should be fine if you are going after IP. My school's OCI had numerous big firms that only allowed candidates with an engineering or science degree to apply and their law school gpa cutoffs were normally a 3.0. When other "elite" firms gpa cutoffs were 3.5.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:54 pm

I have a friend who was in a similar situation and he ended up with several (4+) offers. Make sure you attend the Loyola Patent Fair in Chicago.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:56 pm

OP here, I want to thank everyone about their responses. I would ideally like to do IP litigation. I have extensive mock trial experience and have the luxury of throwing in a graduation speech sample (the video itself) in my applications. The replies, except for the first, have been very reassuring and I will start to prepare my Loyola applications shortly. I had an interview recently where they were mostly concerned with my ties to the market, as it is the major city my school feeds in to but not at all close to anything else I've done outside of law school.

I honestly don't mind being at a top firm or a boutique. In fact, I've applied mostly to boutiques because the difference in pay to me does not outweigh the quality of life. This is reassuring, and I do think I know where I went wrong in my exam that I got a B in and I've set up a conference with my professor to get a better idea. If anyone has an idea of how to approach the 1L summer away from firms but maybe still in the IP market, please let me know. I'm not sure how I'd be able to find a nonprofit in the IP space except for clinics which from what I've seen are mostly done by schools themselves.

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Roy McAvoy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:36 pm

That first poster doesn't have a clue. I was in pretty much your situation last year and would up with a summer clerkship/internship (whatever you want to call it, I think my official title was intern but it amounts to the same thing) doing patent pros. at a F500 oil and gas company (think Shell, Exxon, BP, Chevron, etc.). It was a great summer, because I enjoyed the work, actually got paid, and now have something solid on my resume. Most of the people that I know of with a STEM background do not do great in the fall of 1L because the thinking is so different from what you're used to. Instead of "solve this problem and give me the answer" you now have to approach issues very differently. So, don't stress it. To get to where you are you obviously are intelligent enough to learn the material, and you're well on your way to correcting your mistakes.

As other posters said, get your stuff ready for Loyola. I didn't get on that quickly enough and I think it hurt me for 2L summer. I don't know what your geographic preferences are, but with Chem E I recommend looking at Houston. They have probably more oil stuff than anywhere else, especially if you're interested in corporate work or boutiques. Most of your corporate work will be more prosecution rather than lit, but I think something IP related like pros would still be better than working at a non-profit. That would at least demonstrate interest.

Feel free to PM me with any questions. Good luck!

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby personofinterest » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:45 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote: In engineering, the problems have a solution. In law and especially on law school exams, there usually is no right answer. Once he realized that he crushed law school. I think you can took. Really evaluate where you wrong with professors. I bet if you really hunker down and read the advice threads on here you could do well.


+1

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Re: Good Engineering Grades - Bad Law School Grades

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:50 am

joshua tree wrote:You're not going to want to hear this but if you can't write exams (and getting a B is pretty indicative of this), you're probably not a good legal thinker, unless you just completely blew off the class entirely. Exams really do capture the type of thinking and organization required to demonstrate sound legal analysis. If you are a talented engineer you should drop out of law school and put your talents to use elsewhere.


I disagree. A lot of lawyers say that the three-hour issue spotting exam format does NOT reflect what lawyers actually do. I sucked at typical 3 hour exams but I got an A in take-home exams and papers. The 1L classes entirely consist of a three hour issue spotting exam and I believe that it does not accurately reflect the op's ability to practice law, assuming the mediocre grade is not due to the lack of misunderstanding law but due to other factors (eg. lack of time).



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