T6-no callbacks? grades

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T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:03 pm

I have low grades and 0 callbacks after 3 days of interviews with lower ranked NYC firms. At what point do I start the mass mailing? Has anyone else been in this situation and found ways to overcome the grades hurdle at on campus interviews?

It's disheartening to get feedback like "we'd love to have you come join us," followed by radio silence. Any pointers on how to deal?

GoneSouth

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby GoneSouth » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:13 pm

Pretty sure the conventional wisdom is to be mass mailing now. Nothing to gain and lots to lose by waiting.

RaceJudicata

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:16 pm

Like a month ago.

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:19 pm

Do we need to send writing samples, transcripts, the whole deal? Will a cover letter and resume suffice?

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UVA2B

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby UVA2B » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Do we need to send writing samples, transcripts, the whole deal? Will a cover letter and resume suffice?


Start with the resume and cover letter, and be ready to provide everything else promptly if asked.

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:56 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do we need to send writing samples, transcripts, the whole deal? Will a cover letter and resume suffice?


Start with the resume and cover letter, and be ready to provide everything else promptly if asked.


Thanks. My guess is my grades put me in bottom 10% of the class, if not lower, but I have no way of knowing for sure. The whole "grades don't matter at ___ school" may be true for some careers, but grades below a certain threshold seem to matter a great deal for most (all?) large law firms.

How do you explain away low grades when the reason is something that only raises more questions (e.g., "oh, I had cancer recurrence, but I'm clear now!" "oh, I was violently gang raped before finals and then had to serve as a key witness in a drug bust/investigation, so it took some time to recover")?

My grades sucked because I did no work because of circumstances beyond my control. The circumstances have resolved, but how can I convince firms to take a chance on me? Is it safer to simply say that I did no work because of circumstances beyond my control (truth)?

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UVA2B

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby UVA2B » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do we need to send writing samples, transcripts, the whole deal? Will a cover letter and resume suffice?


Start with the resume and cover letter, and be ready to provide everything else promptly if asked.


Thanks. My guess is my grades put me in bottom 10% of the class, if not lower, but I have no way of knowing for sure. The whole "grades don't matter at ___ school" may be true for some careers, but grades below a certain threshold seem to matter a great deal for most (all?) large law firms.

How do you explain away low grades when the reason is something that only raises more questions (e.g., "oh, I had cancer recurrence, but I'm clear now!" "oh, I was violently gang raped before finals and then had to serve as a key witness in a drug bust/investigation, so it took some time to recover")?

My grades sucked because I did no work because of circumstances beyond my control. The circumstances have resolved, but how can I convince firms to take a chance on me? Is it safer to simply say that I did no work because of circumstances beyond my control (truth)?


Obviously you had extenuating circumstances that affected your performance, and while you want to acknowledge that, your focus should be on driving an interviewer's focus away from the reality of your GPA. You can mention the difficulties you had that were beyond your control briefly, but make sure the shift and focus of the interview is based in why you can add value to the firm and how you'll be a great person to work with in the future. There is intrinsic value in being from a T6 and being someone the interviewer connects with on a personal level. It might not be enough some of the time, but all you're shooting for is a single interviewer who understands your performance was hindered by reasons outside your control and sees you for the quality of work you could produce in the future.

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby anonymous117 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do we need to send writing samples, transcripts, the whole deal? Will a cover letter and resume suffice?


Start with the resume and cover letter, and be ready to provide everything else promptly if asked.


Thanks. My guess is my grades put me in bottom 10% of the class, if not lower, but I have no way of knowing for sure. The whole "grades don't matter at ___ school" may be true for some careers, but grades below a certain threshold seem to matter a great deal for most (all?) large law firms.

How do you explain away low grades when the reason is something that only raises more questions (e.g., "oh, I had cancer recurrence, but I'm clear now!" "oh, I was violently gang raped before finals and then had to serve as a key witness in a drug bust/investigation, so it took some time to recover")?

My grades sucked because I did no work because of circumstances beyond my control. The circumstances have resolved, but how can I convince firms to take a chance on me? Is it safer to simply say that I did no work because of circumstances beyond my control (truth)?


I would not say that because it will lead an employer to think "okay, the next time something happens in this kid's personal life, he's going to do no work." You need to frame it in a way that shows you're working to improve. So if asked about your grades, say that there were things going on in your personal life that took time away from school, but the whole experience really helped you learn to be better at balancing different responsibilities or something along those lines.

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:45 am

I think grades matters but its not anything you can't overcome ( at a T6). My close friend has a 3.1 at Northwestern Law and hes got 5+ callbacks including v20s in non-NY major offices (CHI, LA, TX). If you know anything about Northwestern, they have ridiculous grade inflation. so 3.1 is probably close to bottom 10% and likely even below that.

He gets auto-dinged all the time for grades but he's a strong interviewer and very likeable (former NCAA bench warmer, fratty, etc). He doens't address grades at all unless asked

All this to say, I think you may be focusing too much on grades and basically defeating yourself before you even get in there.

runinthefront

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby runinthefront » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:41 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
My guess is my grades put me in bottom 10% of the class, if not lower, but I have no way of knowing for sure. The whole "grades don't matter at ___ school" may be true for some careers, but grades below a certain threshold seem to matter a great deal for most (all?) large law firms.

How do you explain away low grades when the reason is something that only raises more questions (e.g., "oh, I had cancer recurrence, but I'm clear now!" "oh, I was violently gang raped before finals and then had to serve as a key witness in a drug bust/investigation, so it took some time to recover")?

My grades sucked because I did no work because of circumstances beyond my control. The circumstances have resolved, but how can I convince firms to take a chance on me? Is it safer to simply say that I did no work because of circumstances beyond my control (truth)?


Obviously you had extenuating circumstances that affected your performance, and while you want to acknowledge that, your focus should be on driving an interviewer's focus away from the reality of your GPA. You can mention the difficulties you had that were beyond your control briefly, but make sure the shift and focus of the interview is based in why you can add value to the firm and how you'll be a great person to work with in the future. There is intrinsic value in being from a T6 and being someone the interviewer connects with on a personal level. It might not be enough some of the time, but all you're shooting for is a single interviewer who understands your performance was hindered by reasons outside your control and sees you for the quality of work you could produce in the future.


This is good advice. I think you can acknowledge your grades briefly, but you want to practice pivoting into your strengths.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:34 pm

I am a T-6 student, and I did not receive my summer associate offer from OCI. A better strategy I found was to mail partners from your school in the offices/locations you are looking at. I searched for partners, who then personally sent my application materials to recruiting. Best of luck!

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think grades matters but its not anything you can't overcome ( at a T6). My close friend has a 3.1 at Northwestern Law and hes got 5+ callbacks including v20s in non-NY major offices (CHI, LA, TX). If you know anything about Northwestern, they have ridiculous grade inflation. so 3.1 is probably close to bottom 10% and likely even below that.

He gets auto-dinged all the time for grades but he's a strong interviewer and very likeable (former NCAA bench warmer, fratty, etc). He doens't address grades at all unless asked

All this to say, I think you may be focusing too much on grades and basically defeating yourself before you even get in there.


Where are the stats to show that NU has ridiculous grade inflation for 1Ls? All the courses are on a B/B+ curve. The median for every 1L class is between a 3.2/3.3. It just doesn't follow, unless a 3.2-3.3 median is ridiculous grade inflation.

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elendinel

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby elendinel » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:51 pm

anonymous117 wrote:I would not say that because it will lead an employer to think "okay, the next time something happens in this kid's personal life, he's going to do no work." You need to frame it in a way that shows you're working to improve. So if asked about your grades, say that there were things going on in your personal life that took time away from school, but the whole experience really helped you learn to be better at balancing different responsibilities or something along those lines.


I agree with this. In general you need to learn how to twist every weakness into a strength that makes you a prime candidate for the job. The best way to do this, arguably, is to show that you learned from whatever happened, and that this won't happen in the future, while highlighting the skills/strengths you developed as a result of the experience.

E.g., "I had cancer and at first dealing with the treatments and school was overwhelming, which is why my grades fell. But as you can see, my grades got better as time went on; I started learning better time management skills and learning how to better schedule when I'm working and when I'm getting treatment so that the two did not affect each other, and generally learning how to better balance the two. I also started being clearer with my professors about what was going on and why my assignments were late/why I needed extensions on things. My experience taught me a lot of things, such as being more vocal about when I can complete work and why I may need a little extra time when I have a lot going on, before it becomes a problem; managing my time more efficiently so that my personal life doesn't negatively affect the quality of my work; etc." Basically you're taking the bad thing and explaining why Firm A won't see a similar dip in work quality, even if the bad thing happens again, and pivoting to positive traits you earned that will serve you well at Firm A. If you didn't learn anything/your grades didn't improve, you need to think about what you would have done differently, and say that.

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby zhenders » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:18 pm

Fully agree with all advice above. Fully recognizing that it's crazy and unfair to ask someone to do great work when they're going through impossibly difficult personal stuff, that is in a way exactly what you are expected to do in many practices at large firms. For purposes of hiring, no matter how understandable, there's simply no way for any explanation of why your GPA was low to come across as anything but an excuse. Put differently, the more you talk about why you got bad grades, the less likely anyone will want to take a risk on you. Conversely, the more you can play up your strengths, the less offering you feels like a risk at all.

Hence, the great advice from others: focus on how you can add value--not why you failed to in the past.

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Re: T6-no callbacks? grades

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:00 am

Thanks for all the excellent feedback. I've been advised to write an explanation for my grades by career services, but I think doing so may harm rather than help. I really appreciate people taking time to respond and help me problem solve. Thank you!



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