3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

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3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:53 pm

Finished off 1L with a 3.1 GPA at one of MVDN.

Just couldn't get it together. Was battling serious depression first semester. Improved second semester and accordingly did marginally better, but far from great (still below median grades in most classes).

Had dreams of clerking ---> biglaw coming in, but obviously won't go down that way. Now worried that I won't even be able to snag a biglaw gig.

Any advice on this? Already gearing up to mass mail and will hit it hard. Also attending job fairs, will do resume collects, and of course try to bid smart at OCI. Didn't initially want NYC but totally open to it now if its my best shot. Tips/success stories/anecdotes about low gpa to biglaw welcome.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:04 pm

No groundbreaking advice for you. Target less grade-sensitive firms. Also, apply to any mid-law/boutique firms you aware of. Lots of those places will be happy just to land someone from your school, irrespective of your performance.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:58 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:No groundbreaking advice for you. Target less grade-sensitive firms. Also, apply to any mid-law/boutique firms you aware of. Lots of those places will be happy just to land someone from your school, irrespective of your performance.


Any advice on how to find decent midlaw firms/boutiques that are less selective? From what I've seen, so many are ex-biglaw types that are somehow even more selective.

Also, I know most people say to speak to career services, but are there any biglaw firms that are especially known to be less grade selective across the board?

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:21 pm

If you're flexible geographically (which you should be), apply to the big 4 in Delaware (RLF, MNAT, PAC, YCST). They don't get a ton of T14 apps and it'll be less competitive for you there. You should have a real shot.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby eastcoast_iub » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:22 pm

Did not mean to post anon, above post is me.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:46 am

Do you have ties to secondary markets? If you have ties to say, STL, it should be pretty easy to get a big firm job there, since those firms don't even get T10 apps really.

Low col, decent pay, better hours, seems like a good deal.

You need good ties though. Really good ties.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:01 am

eastcoast_iub wrote:Did not mean to post anon, above post is me.


Been researching DE this morning - thanks for the great lead.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:02 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:Do you have ties to secondary markets? If you have ties to say, STL, it should be pretty easy to get a big firm job there, since those firms don't even get T10 apps really.

Low col, decent pay, better hours, seems like a good deal.

You need good ties though. Really good ties.


Regrettably my only real ties are to an incredibly competitive market.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Mickfromgm » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Do you have ties to secondary markets? If you have ties to say, STL, it should be pretty easy to get a big firm job there, since those firms don't even get T10 apps really.

Low col, decent pay, better hours, seems like a good deal.

You need good ties though. Really good ties.


Regrettably my only real ties are to an incredibly competitive market.


How about convincing your parents to move to a target city, or ditching your significant other and marrying a local man/woman? Voila!

No? Alright then.

I wouldn't sell yourself so short . . . . thousands of law students wish they were in your academic situation, trust me. I believe that if you MM, network and just outright hustle, you would get a solid job with your T13/3.1 cred. Moreover, you can boost your GPA significantly over the next two years. So, for example, if you graduate with a 3.5 (let's say) overall from a T13, you would have a lot of opportunities. Because you are only a 1/3 of the way through, if you get 3.7 during your 2L and 3L (assuming same number of credits each year), you would end up with 3.5. Most students lose interest, develop other interests, concentrate on job search, etc., etc., after 1L, so your competition should soften up. The notion that employers don't look at post-1L grades is a myth.

Try to write onto law review.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:04 am

Was in your exact situation, same schools range. Ended up with multiple V100 NYC offers and ended up at a V50. I would target NYC only at OCI then mass mail any other market you're interested in. My advice would be to have a good why NYC story--you'll most likely be fine assuming you interview well. Definitely do a bunch of mock interviews with career services and alumni. Reach out to alumni to do informational interviews at any firms you gets bids at so you can name drop them in your screener interviews and callbacks

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby anon_burner » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Was in your exact situation, same schools range. Ended up with multiple V100 NYC offers and ended up at a V50. I would target NYC only at OCI then mass mail any other market you're interested in. My advice would be to have a good why NYC story--you'll most likely be fine assuming you interview well. Definitely do a bunch of mock interviews with career services and alumni. Reach out to alumni to do informational interviews at any firms you gets bids at so you can name drop them in your screener interviews and callbacks


This is OP, please PM if you see this and don't mind!

ETA: Mods, please forgive the burner account

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:10 pm

Bump. Any firm specific advice?

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Was in your exact situation, same schools range. Ended up with multiple V100 NYC offers and ended up at a V50. I would target NYC only at OCI then mass mail any other market you're interested in. My advice would be to have a good why NYC story--you'll most likely be fine assuming you interview well. Definitely do a bunch of mock interviews with career services and alumni. Reach out to alumni to do informational interviews at any firms you gets bids at so you can name drop them in your screener interviews and callbacks


I also had the same GPA from the same type of school. I networked my ass off and focused on interviewing, but I didn't get anything in NY. Although it is technically possible to get a V50 NY biglaw SA with your grades, it is NOT guaranteed. V100 firms have smaller summer classes, and you're facing fierce competition from every other bottom-third kid from the T14. You need to be sending out 100s of apps, and can't afford to be picky. Your interviewing also needs to be perfect.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Was in your exact situation, same schools range. Ended up with multiple V100 NYC offers and ended up at a V50. I would target NYC only at OCI then mass mail any other market you're interested in. My advice would be to have a good why NYC story--you'll most likely be fine assuming you interview well. Definitely do a bunch of mock interviews with career services and alumni. Reach out to alumni to do informational interviews at any firms you gets bids at so you can name drop them in your screener interviews and callbacks


I also had the same GPA from the same type of school. I networked my ass off and focused on interviewing, but I didn't get anything in NY. Although it is technically possible to get a V50 NY biglaw SA with your grades, it is NOT guaranteed. V100 firms have smaller summer classes, and you're facing fierce competition from every other bottom-third kid from the T14. You need to be sending out 100s of apps, and can't afford to be picky. Your interviewing also needs to be perfect.


Thank you - definitely will not be picky. I don't have my heart set on NYC tbh. I just want a respectable enough job that will allow my career to recover from grades. Mind sharing where you ended up (regionally)?

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby runinthefront » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:07 pm

I can't stress enough how important your interview skills will be. Every year, some students with bottom-of-the-class GPAs at my lower t13 pick up 8-10 callbacks in NYC just by dedicating hours and hours of practicing their interviewing skills, having friends they trust & respect review their resumes and cover letters, practice interviewing some more, having more eyes look over their resumes, making sure they're interview clothes are on point, etc.

Most NYC biglaw firms couldn't fill their rosters without bottom-third T13ers. So it's not like you're shut out of the market. You just have to differentiate yourself from the other competition.

As long as your GPA starts with a 3, you're still in the ballgame
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:08 pm

I had worse grades than you (think barely above a 3) and got 10 callbacks and 10 offers. In this situation, It is about how you interview. Dress well. Look interviewers in the eye. Make small talk before the interview starts to show you are at ease. Anticipate why x grades question and have a good answer depending on what your reason is.

Also at lower t13 now working at a v20.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:17 pm

runinthefront wrote:I can't stress enough how important your interview skills will be. Every year, some students with bottom-of-the-class GPAs at my lower t13 pick up 8-10 callbacks in NYC just by dedicating hours and hours of practicing their interviewing skills, having friends they trust & respect review their resumes and cover letters, practice interviewing some more, having more eyes look over their resumes, making sure they're interview clothes are on point, etc.

Most NYC biglaw firms couldn't fill their rosters without bottom-third T13ers. So it's not like you're shut out of the market. You just have to differentiate yourself from the other competition.

As long as your GPA starts with a 3, you're still in the ballgame


Great advice - my school offers alumni interviews... will take advantage

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby anon_burner » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I had worse grades than you (think barely above a 3) and got 10 callbacks and 10 offers. In this situation, It is about how you interview. Dress well. Look interviewers in the eye. Make small talk before the interview starts to show you are at ease. Anticipate why x grades question and have a good answer depending on what your reason is.

Also at lower t13 now working at a v20.


OP here. Congrats - that is pretty amazing. You probably out-performed a bunch of the 3.5+ types. Would you mind PMing me please? I'd love to learn more about your approach.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby BulletTooth » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Was in your exact situation, same schools range. Ended up with multiple V100 NYC offers and ended up at a V50. I would target NYC only at OCI then mass mail any other market you're interested in. My advice would be to have a good why NYC story--you'll most likely be fine assuming you interview well. Definitely do a bunch of mock interviews with career services and alumni. Reach out to alumni to do informational interviews at any firms you gets bids at so you can name drop them in your screener interviews and callbacks


I also had the same GPA from the same type of school. I networked my ass off and focused on interviewing, but I didn't get anything in NY. Although it is technically possible to get a V50 NY biglaw SA with your grades, it is NOT guaranteed. V100 firms have smaller summer classes, and you're facing fierce competition from every other bottom-third kid from the T14. You need to be sending out 100s of apps, and can't afford to be picky. Your interviewing also needs to be perfect.


Great advice. A number of 1Ls underestimate the power of networking. If you're in an interview and you can say that spoken with a number of associates from that firm about their experience, the interviewer is most likely going to move you to the top of the pile. Start reaching out to your school's alumni at firms you are targeting and asking them to coffee, lunch etc. Connections at a firm can make all the difference; especially when these firms are interviewing 1000s of candidates

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby rpupkin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:51 pm

OP,

The advice in this thread is good. A few additional observations:

1. In general, corporate/trans groups care less about grades than lit groups. If you're ambivalent about whether you want to do lit or corporate, now is probably the time to decide that you see yourself as a corporate lawyer.

2. Definitely bid heavily on NYC firms/offices. Connected to point #1, corporate big-law in NYC was basically invented for median and below-median T14 students with good personalities.

3. Don't get too hung up on Vault ranking. The difference between a V10 and a V50 is not like the difference between Penn and American. You should be happy if you get a job with a market-paying firm where you feel like you fit well. Your experiences/opportunities will be roughly the same out of any such firm.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:36 pm

I was in exactly your situation and struck out. I'm not very good at being social though. I think everything everyone else has said so far is credible advice.

Job search is obviously your number 1 priority right now, but I would also seriously encourage you to get treatment for depression. The good news is that there are still things you can do that can help with the firm search, and you'll be in a better position if your head is in a place where you can put in the work.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:44 pm

I had the same GPA at N and struck out at OCI. I did informational interviews in the run-up to OCI with alumni at nearly every firm and tried to weave that into my actual interviews. I eventually got a biglaw offer through MM in a secondary market in October.

You can do it if you apply everywhere feasible. I am not kidding. Open up the NALP directory for each city and just start applying. I applied to DE but those apps went absolutely nowhere. I applied everywhere in NYC but mostly got the cold shoulder. Don't buy into the NYC-is-a-gimme narrative — it's actually very difficult if you're below median. (But, obviously, you should still try.)

I had the most luck in secondaries to which I had somewhat demonstrable ties. They don't obsess over ties as much as people claim, but you'll still be expected to have a story.

And forget Vault. The goal is to get a six figure job.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:17 am

^YMMV.

I also had the same gpa at N, and ended up with 10 callbacks and multiple offers (3-4, canceled like half of my call backs or it couldv'e been more). Really depends on your social skills and your pre law school resume too. I bid smartly and only did NY. I also picked up some open slots during OCI to get extra screeners and ended up getting a DE offer too.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby pml87 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Finished off 1L with a 3.1 GPA at one of MVDN.

Just couldn't get it together. Was battling serious depression first semester. Improved second semester and accordingly did marginally better, but far from great (still below median grades in most classes).

Had dreams of clerking ---> biglaw coming in, but obviously won't go down that way. Now worried that I won't even be able to snag a biglaw gig.

Any advice on this? Already gearing up to mass mail and will hit it hard. Also attending job fairs, will do resume collects, and of course try to bid smart at OCI. Didn't initially want NYC but totally open to it now if its my best shot. Tips/success stories/anecdotes about low gpa to biglaw welcome.


I have friends with your exact GPA and are social butterflies . They have no issue scoring CBs and multiple offers from V20-50. So definitely get your depression treated and bring your A-game to interviews. Grades matter a lot less (if not an outright impediment) than social skills for these firms.

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Re: 3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I had worse grades than you (think barely above a 3) and got 10 callbacks and 10 offers. In this situation, It is about how you interview. Dress well. Look interviewers in the eye. Make small talk before the interview starts to show you are at ease. Anticipate why x grades question and have a good answer depending on what your reason is.

Also at lower t13 now working at a v20.


This is amazing!!!!
How the f**k did you do that???? You must either be a very good interviewer or have amazing credentials besides grades.



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