3.1 GPA at T13 ... Advice please?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:59 pm

To add to the pile: I am currently a big law associate and also had a similar GPA at N. I struck out. BUT I did not bid NY at all, contrary to all kinds of logic. I ended up at a big tech company my 2L summer and was able to swing a V20 in the market I wanted to be in during 3L OCI anyway. Like others have said, the best thing you can do is work on your interviewing skills and NETWORK. I knew people in similar circumstances who networked themselves into positions at other market paying big law firms as well. Good luck!

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

Postby xjustyoursmile » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:09 am

Hi OP

I graduated T14 with a 3.16 and am now going into Big Law in NYC in the field of my choice.

The way I got here and what I would love for you to consider is doing a year long fellowship after graduating. You don't have to go straight into BigLaw or luck out during OCI to get in there. You just have to be smart about how you carve your path there. I did a lot of internships at corporations and non-profits and one big law firm (in a foreign country) during law school, but ended up taking a fellowship at a nonprofit through my school's fellowship program because I knew that particular organization was well connected. Through that job, I had the opportunity to go to several conferences and I networked at each one, getting several interviews with a variety of companies including going in house for policy work. I hustled and networked with a NYC partner of my future firm specializing in my field and that led to a job offer.

I was worried when they asked for my transcript but they didn't even bat an eyelash.

It is possible. You just might need to consider paths usually not taken by others. PM me if you want more details.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:48 am

OP here with an update for future TLSers;

I got my first offer last week from a V50 in NYC. It was my first of 6-8 cbs, so that was encouraging. Now targeting a smaller market that I would prefer, but I at least have a good gig lined up.

Tl;dr: Advice on this thread is 180. Got a job early on. Interviewing is mega important.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:47 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.


dont follow this advice. i go to a t10 school same GPA as above , extremely attractive, AMAZING interviews (50 screeners) & insane amount of networking, was specifically told by V100 interviewers how amazing i interviewed and how personable and impressive i was yet only 2 V100 callbacks and dings from some of my top interviews with personalized notes that basically said my grades screwed me

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

Postby zhenders » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:50 am

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.


Congrats OP!

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

Postby runinthefront » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


dont follow this advice. i go to a t10 school same GPA as above , extremely attractive, AMAZING interviews (50 screeners) & insane amount of networking, was specifically told by V100 interviewers how amazing i interviewed and how personable and impressive i was yet only 2 V100 callbacks and dings from some of my top interviews with personalized notes that basically said my grades screwed me

What exactly is the advice you are telling people to disregard?
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Lavitz » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:22 am

runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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.


dont follow this advice. i go to a t10 school same GPA as above , extremely attractive, AMAZING interviews (50 screeners) & insane amount of networking, was specifically told by V100 interviewers how amazing i interviewed and how personable and impressive i was yet only 2 V100 callbacks and dings from some of my top interviews with personalized notes that basically said my grades screwed me

What exactly is the advice you are telling people to disregard?

Clearly, second anon is saying that OP should not bother trying to interview well and should instead give up and drop out of law school. Unfortunately, OP instead followed this terrible, awful advice of "interview well" and got a job. Such a shame.

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

Postby QContinuum » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:11 am

runinthefront wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
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.


dont follow this advice. i go to a t10 school same GPA as above , extremely attractive, AMAZING interviews (50 screeners) & insane amount of networking, was specifically told by V100 interviewers how amazing i interviewed and how personable and impressive i was yet only 2 V100 callbacks and dings from some of my top interviews with personalized notes that basically said my grades screwed me

What exactly is the advice you are telling people to disregard?


My take is the poster doesn't want OP to be overconfident and expect to cruise to 10 CBs with 100% conversion rate merely by dressing well and looking interviewers in the eye. Of course interviewing well is critical, but interviewing well doesn't necessarily translate to having an OCI season as smooth as the previous poster's.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:14 pm

I think and I may be wrong is that the specific grades matter - having too many B- hurts more than having straight B's - so while the end GPA is the same when they are looking at your transcript and see 2 or 3 B-'s it's tough to overcome - I think if someone has straight B's the firm may think you are below average but when they see a few B-'s they think you are at the bottom of the class.

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

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


dont follow this advice. i go to a t10 school same GPA as above , extremely attractive, AMAZING interviews (50 screeners) & insane amount of networking, was specifically told by V100 interviewers how amazing i interviewed and how personable and impressive i was yet only 2 V100 callbacks and dings from some of my top interviews with personalized notes that basically said my grades screwed me


You don't suppose that your interviewers may have noticed just the teensiest personality flaw, do you?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think and I may be wrong is that the specific grades matter - having too many B- hurts more than having straight B's - so while the end GPA is the same when they are looking at your transcript and see 2 or 3 B-'s it's tough to overcome - I think if someone has straight B's the firm may think you are below average but when they see a few B-'s they think you are at the bottom of the class.


Totally anecdotal but this is in line with what I've heard at my (T14) school. Basically a B-, because it's off the curve, will raise eyebrows, and you def don't want to have anything on there that might raise someone's eyebrows unless it's an A+.

On a related note, I doubt this is a big factor but it can also help if your second semester grades are better than your first semester grades. TLS wisdom is that GPA is GPA and firms couldn't care less about an uptick in second semester - and maybe this is generally true - but I've been in at least one screener where the partner made a point of emphasizing that he was glad to see my uptick in the spring (saying that my fall grades were good, but spring grades were great, which he said was a "great sign" of my ability to adapt/improve).

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think and I may be wrong is that the specific grades matter - having too many B- hurts more than having straight B's - so while the end GPA is the same when they are looking at your transcript and see 2 or 3 B-'s it's tough to overcome - I think if someone has straight B's the firm may think you are below average but when they see a few B-'s they think you are at the bottom of the class.


Totally anecdotal but this is in line with what I've heard at my (T14) school. Basically a B-, because it's off the curve, will raise eyebrows, and you def don't want to have anything on there that might raise someone's eyebrows unless it's an A+.

On a related note, I doubt this is a big factor but it can also help if your second semester grades are better than your first semester grades. TLS wisdom is that GPA is GPA and firms couldn't care less about an uptick in second semester - and maybe this is generally true - but I've been in at least one screener where the partner made a point of emphasizing that he was glad to see my uptick in the spring (saying that my fall grades were good, but spring grades were great, which he said was a "great sign" of my ability to adapt/improve).


I can second this. Had a 3.4 first semester, a 3.6 the second, and a partner who interviewed me said it was great that I had improved due to what you said. Probably varies by interviewer like everything else, but it never hurts.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can second this. Had a 3.4 first semester, a 3.6 the second, and a partner who interviewed me said it was great that I had improved due to what you said. Probably varies by interviewer like everything else, but it never hurts.


Previous anon - glad to hear someone else has also experienced this!

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:09 am

OP here again;

Ended up with a total of four big law offers; including two in my preferred secondary market (known as very tough to crack -- only had weak ties).

Wanted to share for future TLSers because, consistent w/ the advice on this thread, networking played a HUGE role in this.

Had cold-emailed an alum partner a couple months ago just asking for an informational phone call. When my screener rolled around, s/he had already put in a good word for me with the interviewer, which made it that much easier to snag the CB. i was obviously on my own for the CB, and luckily did well enough, but not sure I would have gotten to that phase without having reached out/expressed interest early on.

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

Postby missie » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:28 am

xjustyoursmile wrote:Hi OP

I graduated T14 with a 3.16 and am now going into Big Law in NYC in the field of my choice.

The way I got here and what I would love for you to consider is doing a year long fellowship after graduating. You don't have to go straight into BigLaw or luck out during OCI to get in there. You just have to be smart about how you carve your path there. I did a lot of internships at corporations and non-profits and one big law firm (in a foreign country) during law school, but ended up taking a fellowship at a nonprofit through my school's fellowship program because I knew that particular organization was well connected. Through that job, I had the opportunity to go to several conferences and I networked at each one, getting several interviews with a variety of companies including going in house for policy work. I hustled and networked with a NYC partner of my future firm specializing in my field and that led to a job offer.

I was worried when they asked for my transcript but they didn't even bat an eyelash.

It is possible. You just might need to consider paths usually not taken by others. PM me if you want more details.


Pm'd

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:17 am

I've got a 3.2 from the same grouping of lower T13 (N) who wants to target Chicago. Obviously, I would like to improve my grades second semester, but barring that would it be advisable to split my bids 50/50 between NY and Chicago? For more info, I've lived in the Midwest my ENTIRE life, and I attended a Chicago area school for undergrad (U of C). I'm also looking to do corporate work (not M&A but think securities/tax/cap markets). I'm wondering if wanting corporate, which TLS wisdom says is more GPA friendly, and having strong ties makes it okay to not go full NY. If it's any additional help, my transcript looks like this:

Crim (B)
Torts (B)
Civ Pro (B)
CLR/LRW (B+)
Contracts (A-)

Would anyone recommend any other strategies/guides on TLS to network or just boost my shot at landing a market paying firm (preferably in Chicago)?

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've got a 3.2 from the same grouping of lower T13 (N) who wants to target Chicago. Obviously, I would like to improve my grades second semester, but barring that would it be advisable to split my bids 50/50 between NY and Chicago? For more info, I've lived in the Midwest my ENTIRE life, and I attended a Chicago area school for undergrad (U of C). I'm also looking to do corporate work (not M&A but think securities/tax/cap markets). I'm wondering if wanting corporate, which TLS wisdom says is more GPA friendly, and having strong ties makes it okay to not go full NY. If it's any additional help, my transcript looks like this:

Crim (B)
Torts (B)
Civ Pro (B)
CLR/LRW (B+)
Contracts (A-)

Would anyone recommend any other strategies/guides on TLS to network or just boost my shot at landing a market paying firm (preferably in Chicago)?


Chicago was hard last year for everyone. You aren't precluded with that GPA, but definitely get your grades up, and start networking. Now. Networking will help you come OCI and now is the time to start.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:04 am

I'm at NU. Last year a friend got a 3.2 first semester, got a 3.6 second, ended up with a 3.4. this person ended up at a one of the better chicago firms, and had multiple offers. this is just a single anecdote, but first semester is not the whole story

edit for some advice: absolutely bid NYC. failing to bid new york can be a huge mistake. network as much as you can, go to all the firm events etc. this summer cold email people at any firms you'd consider and get info on the firm and why you'd wanna work there etc. chicago is possible, but cast a wide net.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:24 pm

Ended 1L at roughly the same spot from similar range school. I had 7 callbacks and 2 offers. NYC was actually tougher to crack for me (I also didn't want NYC particularly), but I got a biglaw gig in a market I had ties to.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:13 pm

Had similar grades from a T10. I thought my biggest problems as to why I struck out at OCI were as follows:
1. Grades (had an interviewer send me a ding note telling me I would have had an offer if I met the grade cutoff)
2. Ties (had ties all over the place and not in NY; am from one state, went to undergrad in another state, went to law school in another, had an internship or two in another. Never thought this was bad until law firm recruiting.)
3. Attended wrong law school (would have had an offer if I attended a different school that a firm recruits at or a school in my state; was told about as much by a partner)
4. K-JDness (word of warning to potential K-JDers; 1-3 years of work experience definitely helps and you don't know at the start of LS where you're going to end up on the curve)
5. Interviewing. This had to be a problem. I got some CBs from OCI, so it can't have been that bad. Not sure what went wrong on that front.
6. Accent (have an accent known from being from a potential area; said area does not have a lot of BigLaw, sadly)
NY was not a big fan of mine, but I would absolutely recommend that others apply there, especially if you have some Northeast in your resume somewhere. Overall, I had 8 CBs that didn't pan out (2 with NY firms, 6 from secondary markets I had ties to). I got my job from mass mailing; it is absolutely crucial to mass mail even if you think OCI will pan out.



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