1L bad grades (advice)

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
11law01

New
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:01 pm

1L bad grades (advice)

Postby 11law01 » Sat May 06, 2017 8:29 am

delete
Last edited by 11law01 on Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Pokemon

Gold
Posts: 3528
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:58 pm

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby Pokemon » Sat May 06, 2017 8:34 am

Wait you do not even have your grades yet? You have no debt either? You are months away from oci?
You need to chill for at least a few weeks, maybe longer. Then starting July you need to mass mail biglaw and then do oci, and hope for the best. Your grades do not mean you cannot get biglaw f that is your target.

User avatar
Nagster5

Silver
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:28 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby Nagster5 » Sat May 06, 2017 8:48 am

Talk to OCS about bidding smart, and really work on your interview skills. Biglaw is not out, but you will have to be realistic about the markets/firms you target. OCS will know more about what the path forward is for students in your position than anyone on here. They know which firms have taken students in your position in the past, and hiring now is better than it was in the recent past. Also, echoing the clam down advice, law school is on a curve. If you hit median first semester, it's a good chance you'll be close this semester. If you did poorly on the test, there's a good chance others did as well, because it might have just been hard/out of left field/tricky. Also, keep in mind: one of the nice things about law school is that if you miss the OCI boat, there are still 2 years to find a job, biglaw or not. That's not to say you should be casual about it, but coming off as desperate or spinning into neurosis can be counterproductive. Good luck.

ND2018

New
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:08 pm

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby ND2018 » Sat May 06, 2017 9:03 am

11law01 wrote:I go to a T-14 (on 10-14 side of the scale.) Finished first semester exactly at the median. Studied twice has hard for second semester, but came in a just straight up bombed 2 of my 4 exams. (read and answered a question completely wrong on one and just froze up on another). I did not do super well on the other 2 either.

This summer I have a good gov. internship. I put a lot of eggs in the OCI basket, which door seems closed. (You need to be at the median at my school to really have a chance.) If I do end up in the bottom 25%, bottom 15%, what are my options? When picking a law schools TLS gave me some harsh, but truthful advice... this could help. What do bottom 15% law students from good law schools do? Am I really that screwed already?

To make things a little better, I am on a big scholarship. I pay about 16k a year to go to law school, so I'll be in 75k ish hole after law school, not 200k.

PS I am not just crying about my performance. I really did so terrible on these 2 exams, no chance I will hit the median on either of them. I'm just praying I don't get hit with an extra punitive bad performance grade at this point. My GPA will be below the median, probably by a good amount.


Dude, I basically had the same thing happen to me last semester. You need to take a couple weeks off and not even think about LS. Also, don't write yourself off from OCI. Was median at a T-20; got a market paying big law job.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3466
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby UVA2B » Sat May 06, 2017 9:03 am

This seems incredibly premature, and I hope you're able to distance yourself from these exams soon. Although 1L grades are pretty determinative of outcomes at OCI, there really is more to getting a Biglaw offer than just meeting a grade cutoff. Are you going to have to work harder and bid at OCI more strategically? Absolutely. Will you have to look at markets outside those with more selective hiring? Yup. Will you need to mass mail every firm in every market that potentially interests you? Of course. But keep this in mind: let's say you end up below median after all of your 1L grades come out. You'll be shut out from some firms, but most Biglaw firms seem to have more or less "soft" floors, meaning they traditionally only take students above a set GPA, but have also given CBs to applicants below that number if they felt the fit/resume/everything else was right. So sharpen your interview skills, hone your resume to every job you apply for, and just present yourself as a polished product despite your below median grades.

Law firms are hiring based on more than law school admissions would consider: your GPA matters a ton, but only insomuch as you let it determine your professional fate. You'll want to work extensively with your OCS to refine your OCI bids, and on top of that you'll want to figure out every firm in every market that interests you that isn't coming to your OCI for mass mailing.

Below median (if you end up there) is an unfortunate place to be, but it also isn't a strict number or a go-no go type of switch. Employers will see the person with a 3.34 and the person with a 3.21 GPA and have an entering preference for the 3.34 person, but if you can impress in the interview, you'll make that GPA difference seem every bit as arbitrary as it might end up being (because law firms generally understand that the intellectual and analytical reasoning between a person with a 3.34 and a 3.21 is pretty slim when evidenced by law school grading).

Your GPA might end up being lackluster, but even if you're at GULC (which is the only T-14 where there might be a presumed need to be median to get Biglaw), the median is more appropriately described as an amorphous glut of students that are within a standard deviation of the median GPA. As long as your GPA is near that mob of mediocrity, how you bid and how you present yourself and how hard you're willing to hustle can change your fate and get you the Biglaw job you want.

Edit: early morning idiotic mistakes
Last edited by UVA2B on Sat May 06, 2017 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

11law01

New
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:01 pm

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby 11law01 » Sat May 06, 2017 9:12 am

I appreciate all the advice so far ^^^

User avatar
existentialcrisis

Bronze
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:23 pm

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby existentialcrisis » Sat May 06, 2017 10:45 am

Mass mail like crazy. Also practice interviewing with people that will actually give you constructive feedback and help you get better.

User avatar
lymenheimer

Gold
Posts: 3979
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:54 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby lymenheimer » Sat May 06, 2017 11:30 am

Also, wait until you get grades back. You're not the only one who read the fact pattern wrong. You may have picked up something that others didnt as well. You never know until you know

dabigchina

Silver
Posts: 1429
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby dabigchina » Sat May 06, 2017 12:01 pm

I once whiffed half of an exam (like I wrote about the wrong issue) and I wound up getting a B+. Professors said I was like 1 point away from a A-.

Wait until you get your grade before you start writing things off.

andythefir

Silver
Posts: 590
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby andythefir » Sat May 06, 2017 12:07 pm

No matter how your grades come out, start playing the long game. Do the write on, try to get law review, do a journal either way. Start palling around with connected professors. Keep pushing to get top grades. Start applying to clerkships in a few months.

Very few people retire from biglaw. What would you do post biglaw, even if you got it? If USAO, in house, or whatever, each of those have alternative on ramps that you can start arranging.

GoneSouth

Bronze
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:00 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby GoneSouth » Sat May 06, 2017 2:05 pm

andythefir wrote:No matter how your grades come out, start playing the long game. Do the write on, try to get law review, do a journal either way. Start palling around with connected professors. Keep pushing to get top grades. Start applying to clerkships in a few months.

Very few people retire from biglaw. What would you do post biglaw, even if you got it? If USAO, in house, or whatever, each of those have alternative on ramps that you can start arranging.


??

It would be pretty tough to get a clerkship with one year of below median grades at a lower T14.

guyindfw

New
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:32 pm

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby guyindfw » Sat May 06, 2017 2:09 pm

You have good clerkship. Build up your contacts. Connect with alumni and get opportunities outside OCI.

User avatar
Mickfromgm

Bronze
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:40 pm

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby Mickfromgm » Sat May 06, 2017 3:06 pm

1. What is your school's "median"? Most T14 schools have B+ or B curve, no? But the point is that if the numerical grade is good enough, many employers don't bother to see what the grading curve is. In other words, if you have a 3.2 at a school with a B+ curve, you are below median but with a very respectable GPA from a numerical standpoint, particularly when combined with the fact that it is a T14. To overgeneralize a bit, I know that most interviewers (even those on the recruiting committee) have no clue about any given school's grading curve, unless it is a local school or s/he attended that school. So unless you are sporting a 2.2 or something, you definitely have a chance going forward.

2. Definitely write on a journal -- try to write onto law review, but I am talking about ANY journal. It could be the Annual Survey of American Indian Law in Northern Florida, or whatever, but having a "journal experience" is very important to larger employers, and that's something that should be entirely within your control if you are not picky. Being on two journals, like some people do, is most likely fruitless from an employment point of view, if you are wondering.

3. It's obvious but many people don't realize - boost your GPA during your second and third year. Work hard and/or take easy grading courses. It's a myth that post-1L grades don't count. BS. They count a lot. And they count forever, well beyond your first job; for the rest of your career. You can catch up over the long run.

User avatar
Nagster5

Silver
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:28 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby Nagster5 » Sat May 06, 2017 4:40 pm

GoneSouth wrote:
andythefir wrote:No matter how your grades come out, start playing the long game. Do the write on, try to get law review, do a journal either way. Start palling around with connected professors. Keep pushing to get top grades. Start applying to clerkships in a few months.

Very few people retire from biglaw. What would you do post biglaw, even if you got it? If USAO, in house, or whatever, each of those have alternative on ramps that you can start arranging.


??

It would be pretty tough to get a clerkship with one year of below median grades at a lower T14.


Not if you're very open about where you clerk. Some judges don't even request grades.

andythefir

Silver
Posts: 590
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby andythefir » Sat May 06, 2017 6:22 pm

Nagster5 wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
andythefir wrote:No matter how your grades come out, start playing the long game. Do the write on, try to get law review, do a journal either way. Start palling around with connected professors. Keep pushing to get top grades. Start applying to clerkships in a few months.

Very few people retire from biglaw. What would you do post biglaw, even if you got it? If USAO, in house, or whatever, each of those have alternative on ramps that you can start arranging.


??

It would be pretty tough to get a clerkship with one year of below median grades at a lower T14.


Not if you're very open about where you clerk. Some judges don't even request grades.


The point is to get on the clerk train before all the spots fill up. The clerkship process is arbitrary and capricious at lots of levels.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29306
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat May 06, 2017 7:38 pm

Nagster5 wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
andythefir wrote:No matter how your grades come out, start playing the long game. Do the write on, try to get law review, do a journal either way. Start palling around with connected professors. Keep pushing to get top grades. Start applying to clerkships in a few months.

Very few people retire from biglaw. What would you do post biglaw, even if you got it? If USAO, in house, or whatever, each of those have alternative on ramps that you can start arranging.


??

It would be pretty tough to get a clerkship with one year of below median grades at a lower T14.


Not if you're very open about where you clerk. Some judges don't even request grades.

I'm sure there are a few, but I have never seen judges not request a transcript.

User avatar
mjb447

Silver
Posts: 1280
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:36 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby mjb447 » Sat May 06, 2017 7:48 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
andythefir wrote:No matter how your grades come out, start playing the long game. Do the write on, try to get law review, do a journal either way. Start palling around with connected professors. Keep pushing to get top grades. Start applying to clerkships in a few months.

Very few people retire from biglaw. What would you do post biglaw, even if you got it? If USAO, in house, or whatever, each of those have alternative on ramps that you can start arranging.


??

It would be pretty tough to get a clerkship with one year of below median grades at a lower T14.


Not if you're very open about where you clerk. Some judges don't even request grades.

I'm sure there are a few, but I have never seen judges not request a transcript.

Yeah, I applied pretty broadly and I've never heard of this. Not saying it doesn't happen, but it's got to be a vanishingly small minority.

GoneSouth

Bronze
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:00 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby GoneSouth » Sat May 06, 2017 8:11 pm

Nagster5 wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
andythefir wrote:No matter how your grades come out, start playing the long game. Do the write on, try to get law review, do a journal either way. Start palling around with connected professors. Keep pushing to get top grades. Start applying to clerkships in a few months.

Very few people retire from biglaw. What would you do post biglaw, even if you got it? If USAO, in house, or whatever, each of those have alternative on ramps that you can start arranging.


??

It would be pretty tough to get a clerkship with one year of below median grades at a lower T14.


Not if you're very open about where you clerk. Some judges don't even request grades.


Pretty much the only judges who hire 1Ls two years ahead are somewhat competitive circuit judges and very competitive districts. Most of the less competitive districts (who I would imagine would be the only people who don't care about grades--if they exist at all) are not going to be hiring for 2019 this summer.

andythefir

Silver
Posts: 590
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby andythefir » Sat May 06, 2017 8:52 pm

GoneSouth wrote:Pretty much the only judges who hire 1Ls two years ahead are somewhat competitive circuit judges and very competitive districts. Most of the less competitive districts (who I would imagine would be the only people who don't care about grades--if they exist at all) are not going to be hiring for 2019 this summer.


Sure, but getting the relevant writing samples, letters of rec, and so on takes forever. I screwed myself by waiting until the actual application season to start assembling all of the contents of the packages. It's a good idea to orient oneself to clerkships if it looks like OCI isn't going to pan out.

User avatar
Nagster5

Silver
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:28 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby Nagster5 » Sun May 07, 2017 7:25 am

mjb447 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
andythefir wrote:No matter how your grades come out, start playing the long game. Do the write on, try to get law review, do a journal either way. Start palling around with connected professors. Keep pushing to get top grades. Start applying to clerkships in a few months.

Very few people retire from biglaw. What would you do post biglaw, even if you got it? If USAO, in house, or whatever, each of those have alternative on ramps that you can start arranging.


??

It would be pretty tough to get a clerkship with one year of below median grades at a lower T14.


Not if you're very open about where you clerk. Some judges don't even request grades.

I'm sure there are a few, but I have never seen judges not request a transcript.

Yeah, I applied pretty broadly and I've never heard of this. Not saying it doesn't happen, but it's got to be a vanishingly small minority.


I didn't mean to imply that it was common, or that he could get it now, but it's something he might want to start talking to his clerkship director about. Ours knows which ones don't care about grades, or are very indifferent, and I'm sure his does as well. No to imply that slightly below median at a T13 is "no judge who takes transcripts will accept me" territory, just throwing out info.

GoneSouth

Bronze
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:00 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby GoneSouth » Sun May 07, 2017 11:30 am

andythefir wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:Pretty much the only judges who hire 1Ls two years ahead are somewhat competitive circuit judges and very competitive districts. Most of the less competitive districts (who I would imagine would be the only people who don't care about grades--if they exist at all) are not going to be hiring for 2019 this summer.


Sure, but getting the relevant writing samples, letters of rec, and so on takes forever. I screwed myself by waiting until the actual application season to start assembling all of the contents of the packages. It's a good idea to orient oneself to clerkships if it looks like OCI isn't going to pan out.


This is good advice

Anonymous User
Posts: 327368
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 07, 2017 2:28 pm

Mickfromgm wrote:1. What is your school's "median"? Most T14 schools have B+ or B curve, no? But the point is that if the numerical grade is good enough, many employers don't bother to see what the grading curve is. In other words, if you have a 3.2 at a school with a B+ curve, you are below median but with a very respectable GPA from a numerical standpoint, particularly when combined with the fact that it is a T14. To overgeneralize a bit, I know that most interviewers (even those on the recruiting committee) have no clue about any given school's grading curve, unless it is a local school or s/he attended that school. So unless you are sporting a 2.2 or something, you definitely have a chance going forward.

2. Definitely write on a journal -- try to write onto law review, but I am talking about ANY journal. It could be the Annual Survey of American Indian Law in Northern Florida, or whatever, but having a "journal experience" is very important to larger employers, and that's something that should be entirely within your control if you are not picky. Being on two journals, like some people do, is most likely fruitless from an employment point of view, if you are wondering.

3. It's obvious but many people don't realize - boost your GPA during your second and third year. Work hard and/or take easy grading courses. It's a myth that post-1L grades don't count. BS. They count a lot. And they count forever, well beyond your first job; for the rest of your career. You can catch up over the long run.


I agree that 2L 3L grades do have some values. So the whole 3lol thing is an exaggeration. But I am pretty sure if you are five years into your career, grades begin to lose whatever weight they used to have. Law school grades post 1L matter only to the extent that you could show your improvement if your 1L grades were poor and to the extent that you could show your work ethic. Unless you have some other important personal reasons, it is plain stupid to give up entirely on grades.

loser

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 9:35 am

Re: 1L bad grades (advice)

Postby loser » Mon May 08, 2017 10:49 am




Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.