Is gunning for honors worth it?

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Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:58 pm

I am a 2L at a T14. My school gives out honors at the end of every academic year instead of at graduation. I have a SA with a 100% firm that has a history of axing junior lawyers when economy tanks.

With the way my grades were last semester, I have a shot at getting our equivalent of Order of the Coif if I absolutely kill this semester. Assuming my grades would be otherwise respectable, is it worth it for me to kill myself to get honors? Do honors provide a tangible boost in lateral hiring over someone with good grades who barely missed the cutoff?

I'm pretty paranoid about the economy and want to make sure my bases are covered.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby h2go » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at a T14. My school gives out honors at the end of every academic year instead of at graduation. I have a SA with a 100% firm that has a history of axing junior lawyers when economy tanks.

With the way my grades were last semester, I have a shot at getting our equivalent of Order of the Coif if I absolutely kill this semester. Assuming my grades would be otherwise respectable, is it worth it for me to kill myself to get honors? Do honors provide a tangible boost in lateral hiring over someone with good grades who barely missed the cutoff?

I'm pretty paranoid about the economy and want to make sure my bases are covered.


I wouldn't bother if you are interested in transactional work. I would consider doing it if you are considering clerking down the road.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:46 pm

Not considering clerking at all. Honors don't really make any appreciable difference in lateral hiring then?

run26.2

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby run26.2 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:01 pm

If you are looking to coast, why are you going into this profession? Seriously, it is not a profession that rewards people who do the minimum amount to get by.

If you are paranoid, why are you asking the question? The answer is probably that latin honors aren't the single-most important factor, but they help.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:13 pm

run26.2 wrote:If you are looking to coast, why are you going into this profession? Seriously, it is not a profession that rewards people who do the minimum amount to get by.


Ew.

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TLSModBot

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby TLSModBot » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:19 pm

If you're not clerking, then it doesn't matter

No firm is gonna decide whether to axe someone based on their law school grades. Once you SA grades are mostly meaningless; your work performance and general fit will control.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:21 pm

I was more concerned wrt finding a job once I get axed. I'm guessing if the economy is that fucked up no GPA is going to help me?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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TLSModBot

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby TLSModBot » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:24 pm

I think it's more what firm you are coming from and your experience than your law school grades

but I'll let you know once I get axed in the next economic downturn and report back

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Milksteak » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:49 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
run26.2 wrote:If you are looking to coast, why are you going into this profession? Seriously, it is not a profession that rewards people who do the minimum amount to get by.


Ew.


+1. What was the point of this comment?

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby run26.2 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:30 am

Milksteak wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
run26.2 wrote:If you are looking to coast, why are you going into this profession? Seriously, it is not a profession that rewards people who do the minimum amount to get by.


Ew.


+1. What was the point of this comment?

It probably provides a small benefit. If OP is worried and honors can help, then why not do it? I'm also willing to accept the fact that it actually doesn't help at all (though I doubt it), in which case, I retract my comment.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Nebby » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:02 am

run26.2 wrote:
Milksteak wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
run26.2 wrote:If you are looking to coast, why are you going into this profession? Seriously, it is not a profession that rewards people who do the minimum amount to get by.


Ew.


+1. What was the point of this comment?

It probably provides a small benefit. If OP is worried and honors can help, then why not do it? I'm also willing to accept the fact that it actually doesn't help at all (though I doubt it), in which case, I retract my comment.

This doesn't appear to resolve the issue. Your comment had nothing to do with this, and everything to do with being an unprovoked ass to OP.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby gregfootball2001 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at a T14. My school gives out honors at the end of every academic year instead of at graduation. I have a SA with a 100% firm that has a history of axing junior lawyers when economy tanks.

With the way my grades were last semester, I have a shot at getting our equivalent of Order of the Coif if I absolutely kill this semester. Assuming my grades would be otherwise respectable, is it worth it for me to kill myself to get honors? Do honors provide a tangible boost in lateral hiring over someone with good grades who barely missed the cutoff?

I'm pretty paranoid about the economy and want to make sure my bases are covered.


I think the better question is why not gun for it? It's a few months of your life (or less), and it's a title you can put on your resume/bio for the rest of your professional life. Who knows if it helps you lateral (probably firm-specific, but there are certainly firms that care, especially if you want to lateral early), but it certainly won't hurt. And if there's another downturn and you're looking for work, it'll help you stand out that little bit.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:53 am

I'm more interested in this whole honors every year thing? Is that common? And if you get it annually, do folks put on their resume:

Joe Blow
Order of the Coif (x3)
Summa Cum Laude (x2)
Magna Cum Laude (x1 ... :( )

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:00 am

RaceJudicata wrote:I'm more interested in this whole honors every year thing? Is that common? And if you get it annually, do folks put on their resume:

Joe Blow
Order of the Coif (x3)
Summa Cum Laude (x2)
Magna Cum Laude (x1 ... :( )

People just put the highest honor they receive during their academic career. Getting our equivalent of Order of the Coif 1 year is the same as getting it all 3 years.

I think it's a stupid system because it makes it more likely for a single median grade to kill your chances of getting the higher honors. Meanwhile, it makes it really easy to get our equivalent of Cum Laude, which makes it basically not exist.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:18 pm

Yes I think it is. At least get cum laude. When you lateral, firms do look at your grades, especially if you are junior. Even if you are a mid level, they still look at your grades. Your grades may not determine your future, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't subconsciously affect what people think of you.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby elendinel » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:16 pm

run26.2 wrote:If you are looking to coast, why are you going into this profession? Seriously, it is not a profession that rewards people who do the minimum amount to get by.


Lololol

Thanks, I needed a laugh today.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L at a T14. My school gives out honors at the end of every academic year instead of at graduation. I have a SA with a 100% firm that has a history of axing junior lawyers when economy tanks.

With the way my grades were last semester, I have a shot at getting our equivalent of Order of the Coif if I absolutely kill this semester. Assuming my grades would be otherwise respectable, is it worth it for me to kill myself to get honors? Do honors provide a tangible boost in lateral hiring over someone with good grades who barely missed the cutoff?

I'm pretty paranoid about the economy and want to make sure my bases are covered.


Will honors keep you warm at night or help keep a roof over your head, probably not - that degree is a small piece of paper and has little insulation factor. At best honors is a marginal benefit and that might not factor into much when all is said and done. Yes grades/etc matters to a degree when lateraling, but it all depends who you're looking at and when you're looking to do it. 6 months after graduation, 3 months after just starting your big-law job - yeah, it'll probably help; 2-3 years after grad, meh - likely a footnote to everything else you have and at this point they want to know your contacts/your competency in the workplace, not the ivory tower of grad school.

More importantly, how are your competencies in other areas that help your practice? are you going to be in corporate - do you have a general understanding of finance/accounting/marketing/management - want to be valuable, take classes like that and be able to "talk the talk" so to speak to your clients. The fact I worked in finance, can read and understand a balance sheet, understand GAAP, and have business skills is a major reason I landed a big-law job w/ below median grades from a T25 while all my classmates at my firm and all laterals have been CL/MCL at T14 schools. Are you working IP - study up on areas, take some science classes if you want, do some work with the tech-transfer office at your Uni, maybe look at some STEM programs to work in/take classes in during your last year. Do something that ads value.

Beyond all of that, you say you're worried about the economy and that your bases are covered, do something to prepare for the worst. let's say you are laid off and things do hit the shitter once again. Well, if your firm is firing my guess is so are most of the other ones. Why are these other firms going to take you just b/c your school with likely a generous curve put a rubber stamp on your diploma saying you gamed the system better than your classmates. They won't and it really won't help you out all too much (see anyone laid off in 2007). What will help you out is doing some of the things I just said above that may help you in a different industry. You know some finance? Nice, you might be a fit for an audit/compliance/finance job at a major corporation - is it big law, no, but it will pay the bills. Do you have a competence in science? Perfect, maybe you can join a pharma/engineering team and/or do some work in house in legal/compliance/dev/etc and transfer your skills there.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby run26.2 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:52 pm

Nebby wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
Milksteak wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
run26.2 wrote:If you are looking to coast, why are you going into this profession? Seriously, it is not a profession that rewards people who do the minimum amount to get by.


Ew.


+1. What was the point of this comment?

It probably provides a small benefit. If OP is worried and honors can help, then why not do it? I'm also willing to accept the fact that it actually doesn't help at all (though I doubt it), in which case, I retract my comment.

This doesn't appear to resolve the issue. Your comment had nothing to do with this, and everything to do with being an unprovoked ass to OP.

The quoted is half of my original comment. I could have phrased it better, and for that I apologize to OP. I answered the question at the end of my first comment and I elaborated on it in my second. If OP is paranoid and wants to cover all the basis, it seems likely worth it to him/her if there is a marginal benefit.

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby zot1 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:10 pm

If you're not gunning, you're failing.

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MCFC

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby MCFC » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:21 pm

How hard do you really have to kill yourself to get honors?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:26 pm

MCFC wrote:How hard do you really have to kill yourself to get honors?

Conversely, how does anyone know that working harder is going to get better grades?

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby haus » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:29 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
MCFC wrote:How hard do you really have to kill yourself to get honors?

Conversely, how does anyone know that working harder is going to get better grades?

Yet again, this semester my guesses on how my grades would turn out backwards. My best grade was in a class I thought I had bombed, and the course I felt reasonably OK about turned out to be one of the worst grades I have received so far...

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby Yukos » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:47 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
MCFC wrote:How hard do you really have to kill yourself to get honors?

Conversely, how does anyone know that working harder is going to get better grades?


Working hard won't get you good grades, but doing no work is likely to lead to not good grades (not saying it's impossible to get good grades without effort, but it lowers the probability).

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby MCFC » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:50 pm

Yukos wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
MCFC wrote:How hard do you really have to kill yourself to get honors?

Conversely, how does anyone know that working harder is going to get better grades?


Working hard won't get you good grades, but doing no work is likely to lead to not good grades (not saying it's impossible to get good grades without effort, but it lowers the probability).

I was just to trying to get at the idea that OP may be underestimating how much his/her classmates have checked out.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Is gunning for honors worth it?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:01 am

Yukos wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
MCFC wrote:How hard do you really have to kill yourself to get honors?

Conversely, how does anyone know that working harder is going to get better grades?


Working hard won't get you good grades, but doing no work is likely to lead to not good grades (not saying it's impossible to get good grades without effort, but it lowers the probability).

Sure, but they didn't say the alternative was doing no work. They just said that if they killed themselves they could make honors. I'm not convinced that killing yourself is actually an effective guarantee of getting higher grades (though to be fair I suppose it depend what they haven't been doing so far).



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