Grades-question for biglaw employers

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Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:22 am

Are law school grades more predictive of biglaw success than LSAT score+undergraduate GPA?
Overall, T6 law students in the bottom 1/4 of the class probably had better LSAT+undergrad GPAs than law students in the top 1/4 of the class at lower ranked school (T20 and beyond). Do biglaw firms prefer students who are in the top 1/4 of their law school classes at lower ranked schools or students in the bottom 1/4 at T6, and why?

RedPurpleBlue
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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:05 am

If I were running an engineering firm, I'd rather hire the a student in the top 25% of Ohio State's class than in the bottom 25% of MIT's class. It's great that the MIT kid had a stellar SAT (=LSAT) and HS GPA (=uGPA), but she showed up to college and didn't perform. She consistently got Bs and Cs with A-s and Ds sprinkled in here and there. Sure, she's a MechE major at MIT, but some kid with likely worse predictive stats (=SAT/HS GPA) at Ohio State showed up to class, studied hard, learned the material, and performed well in her MechE courses, getting mostly A/A-s with a B here or there. I might hire the kid in the bottom of MIT's class to do some top notch work, because I know they have the base level of "smarts," but I'm taking a risk that she might not have the work ethic or ability to understand the concepts. If I hire the OSU gal, she likely already knows the concepts she'd be working with decently. At the very least, she has a record of learning difficult concepts well. There are far fewer risks associated with hiring her. I imagine the same general thought process would apply to law firms. Now, the somewhat arbitrary cutoffs dictating whether a company would rather have top X% at [insert lower ranked school] or bottom X% at [insert higher ranked school] is always going to shift from firm to firm, person to person, school to school, and from year to year.

To directly answer your question, law school grades are probably predictive of BL success to the extent that if you have crappy grades you don't get BL and thus have no success in BL. Once you get into BL, there are many more factors that come with your personality and temperament in professional situations, the uniqueness of the BL workplace, and the particular type of work you do that will dictate your success.

I also don't think you should be using the anon feature to make this post.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:49 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:If I were running an engineering firm, I'd rather hire the a student in the top 25% of Ohio State's class than in the bottom 25% of MIT's class. It's great that the MIT kid had a stellar SAT (=LSAT) and HS GPA (=uGPA), but she showed up to college and didn't perform. She consistently got Bs and Cs with A-s and Ds sprinkled in here and there. Sure, she's a MechE major at MIT, but some kid with likely worse predictive stats (=SAT/HS GPA) at Ohio State showed up to class, studied hard, learned the material, and performed well in her MechE courses, getting mostly A/A-s with a B here or there. I might hire the kid in the bottom of MIT's class to do some top notch work, because I know they have the base level of "smarts," but I'm taking a risk that she might not have the work ethic or ability to understand the concepts. If I hire the OSU gal, she likely already knows the concepts she'd be working with decently. At the very least, she has a record of learning difficult concepts well. There are far fewer risks associated with hiring her. I imagine the same general thought process would apply to law firms. Now, the somewhat arbitrary cutoffs dictating whether a company would rather have top X% at [insert lower ranked school] or bottom X% at [insert higher ranked school] is always going to shift from firm to firm, person to person, school to school, and from year to year.

To directly answer your question, law school grades are probably predictive of BL success to the extent that if you have crappy grades you don't get BL and thus have no success in BL. Once you get into BL, there are many more factors that come with your personality and temperament in professional situations, the uniqueness of the BL workplace, and the particular type of work you do that will dictate your success.

I also don't think you should be using the anon feature to make this post.


I think the fact that law school is graded on a curve kind of negates the bare competency argument. Everyone at my T14 worked incredibly hard, understood the concepts
and were roughly at the same level of intelligence. The whole law firm obsession with grades (including the sliding scale for school/rank) doesn't make much sense if you think about it too much. Grades just give them an objective sense of order

RaceJudicata
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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:06 am

Lol not everyone at your t14 worked hard. Plenty of folks slacked off - like they do at every law school. Those folks are prob in bottom half or third of class. Sure, they have natural intelligence... but I'd much rather hire the kid from the lower ranked school who busted his or her ass to get top grades.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby nick417 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:Are law school grades more predictive of biglaw success than LSAT score+undergraduate GPA?
Overall, T6 law students in the bottom 1/4 of the class probably had better LSAT+undergrad GPAs than law students in the top 1/4 of the class at lower ranked school (T20 and beyond). Do biglaw firms prefer students who are in the top 1/4 of their law school classes at lower ranked schools or students in the bottom 1/4 at T6, and why?


What do you mean by big law success; that term has no meaning. Do you mean being "competent" to work at a law firm?

Second, LSAT/GPA is a poor way to base law school admissions and general practice in law. Undergrad GPA is usually inflated from taking useless courses in undergrad. The LSAT does not test legal concepts and thus shows very poor predictive ability (although there is a correlation between people who score 155+ have a much greater chance of passing the bar than people below 155). Also, the LSAT is tailored to more privileged individuals who can pay the most for prep courses.

Third, firms usually hire 1-2 students from the local schools and then 1 student from random prestigious law schools that a partner went to (at least that is my experience).

Fourth, students at T14 schools can be median and land a summer associate position. Median at a T2 school is next to impossible. So T14 gives you lots of leeway where T2 does not (frankly having one bad class at a T2 school can sink any shot at a summer associate position).

Fifth, grades only serve a person for OCI. Once you have a callback, I am pretty sure grades are eliminated from the equation and hiring decisions are based on the applicant's experience, personality, and performance during the interviews. Thus I would think that it is rare that a firm would be like: "median at T14 v. top of class T2, who do we pick based on grades?" The assumption is they are both "qualified" academically or they wouldn't have been asked for a callback interview.

I could be wrong. I am not a hiring partner at a firm. But my experience and basic logic tell me that your concern is not a reality in hiring decisions.

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zhenders
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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby zhenders » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:34 am

nick417 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are law school grades more predictive of biglaw success than LSAT score+undergraduate GPA?
Overall, T6 law students in the bottom 1/4 of the class probably had better LSAT+undergrad GPAs than law students in the top 1/4 of the class at lower ranked school (T20 and beyond). Do biglaw firms prefer students who are in the top 1/4 of their law school classes at lower ranked schools or students in the bottom 1/4 at T6, and why?


What do you mean by big law success; that term has no meaning. Do you mean being "competent" to work at a law firm?

Second, LSAT/GPA is a poor way to base law school admissions and general practice in law. Undergrad GPA is usually inflated from taking useless courses in undergrad. The LSAT does not test legal concepts and thus shows very poor predictive ability (although there is a correlation between people who score 155+ have a much greater chance of passing the bar than people below 155). Also, the LSAT is tailored to more privileged individuals who can pay the most for prep courses.

Third, firms usually hire 1-2 students from the local schools and then 1 student from random prestigious law schools that a partner went to (at least that is my experience).

Fourth, students at T14 schools can be median and land a summer associate position. Median at a T2 school is next to impossible. So T14 gives you lots of leeway where T2 does not (frankly having one bad class at a T2 school can sink any shot at a summer associate position).

Fifth, grades only serve a person for OCI. Once you have a callback, I am pretty sure grades are eliminated from the equation and hiring decisions are based on the applicant's experience, personality, and performance during the interviews. Thus I would think that it is rare that a firm would be like: "median at T14 v. top of class T2, who do we pick based on grades?" The assumption is they are both "qualified" academically or they wouldn't have been asked for a callback interview.

I could be wrong. I am not a hiring partner at a firm. But my experience and basic logic tell me that your concern is not a reality in hiring decisions.


Hold on there, sparky. This is a whole lot of advice about OCI and the inner workings of law firms for a law student with no firm experience -- let alone a 0L -- to be dishing out. All respect friend, but "in my experience" is what you say when you actually have experience upon which to base a claim.

I mean also some of the stuff you just said is straight up not true. Don't do this anymore. It's really uncool and very very unhelpful, and you could fuck someone's life up if they assume you actually know what the hell youre talking about.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby nick417 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:52 am

zhenders wrote:
nick417 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are law school grades more predictive of biglaw success than LSAT score+undergraduate GPA?
Overall, T6 law students in the bottom 1/4 of the class probably had better LSAT+undergrad GPAs than law students in the top 1/4 of the class at lower ranked school (T20 and beyond). Do biglaw firms prefer students who are in the top 1/4 of their law school classes at lower ranked schools or students in the bottom 1/4 at T6, and why?


What do you mean by big law success; that term has no meaning. Do you mean being "competent" to work at a law firm?

Second, LSAT/GPA is a poor way to base law school admissions and general practice in law. Undergrad GPA is usually inflated from taking useless courses in undergrad. The LSAT does not test legal concepts and thus shows very poor predictive ability (although there is a correlation between people who score 155+ have a much greater chance of passing the bar than people below 155). Also, the LSAT is tailored to more privileged individuals who can pay the most for prep courses.

Third, firms usually hire 1-2 students from the local schools and then 1 student from random prestigious law schools that a partner went to (at least that is my experience).

Fourth, students at T14 schools can be median and land a summer associate position. Median at a T2 school is next to impossible. So T14 gives you lots of leeway where T2 does not (frankly having one bad class at a T2 school can sink any shot at a summer associate position).

Fifth, grades only serve a person for OCI. Once you have a callback, I am pretty sure grades are eliminated from the equation and hiring decisions are based on the applicant's experience, personality, and performance during the interviews. Thus I would think that it is rare that a firm would be like: "median at T14 v. top of class T2, who do we pick based on grades?" The assumption is they are both "qualified" academically or they wouldn't have been asked for a callback interview.

I could be wrong. I am not a hiring partner at a firm. But my experience and basic logic tell me that your concern is not a reality in hiring decisions.


Hold on there, sparky. This is a whole lot of advice about OCI and the inner workings of law firms for a law student with no firm experience -- let alone a 0L -- to be dishing out. All respect friend, but "in my experience" is what you say when you actually have experience upon which to base a claim.

I mean also some of the stuff you just said is straight up not true. Don't do this anymore. It's really uncool and very very unhelpful, and you could fuck someone's life up if they assume you actually know what the hell youre talking about.


Hahaha, good one. I guess we will just have to wait for the multiple hiring partners who are on this website to offer advice. Warning to future posters, unless you are a hiring partner, this guy/gal will troll you.

By the way, I really didn't offer any advice on making a decision so I am not sure you could say "fuck up someone's life." And if the OP bases a monumental life changing decision off one post from an unknown person online ..... says a lot about the OP. I offered an opinion on the process which I have been through. If I am wrong, so be it. If you have alternate advice, offer it. Ad hominem attacks do not further discussion.

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aspire2esquire
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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby aspire2esquire » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:58 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:If I were running an engineering firm, I'd rather hire the a student in the top 25% of Ohio State's class than in the bottom 25% of MIT's class. It's great that the MIT kid had a stellar SAT (=LSAT) and HS GPA (=uGPA), but she showed up to college and didn't perform. She consistently got Bs and Cs with A-s and Ds sprinkled in here and there. Sure, she's a MechE major at MIT, but some kid with likely worse predictive stats (=SAT/HS GPA) at Ohio State showed up to class, studied hard, learned the material, and performed well in her MechE courses, getting mostly A/A-s with a B here or there. I might hire the kid in the bottom of MIT's class to do some top notch work, because I know they have the base level of "smarts," but I'm taking a risk that she might not have the work ethic or ability to understand the concepts. If I hire the OSU gal, she likely already knows the concepts she'd be working with decently. At the very least, she has a record of learning difficult concepts well. There are far fewer risks associated with hiring her. I imagine the same general thought process would apply to law firms. Now, the somewhat arbitrary cutoffs dictating whether a company would rather have top X% at [insert lower ranked school] or bottom X% at [insert higher ranked school] is always going to shift from firm to firm, person to person, school to school, and from year to year.

To directly answer your question, law school grades are probably predictive of BL success to the extent that if you have crappy grades you don't get BL and thus have no success in BL. Once you get into BL, there are many more factors that come with your personality and temperament in professional situations, the uniqueness of the BL workplace, and the particular type of work you do that will dictate your success.

I also don't think you should be using the anon feature to make this post.


This engineering example is not the best.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:05 am

nick417 wrote:Hahaha, good one. I guess we will just have to wait for the multiple hiring partners who are on this website to offer advice. Warning to future posters, unless you are a hiring partner, this guy/gal will troll you.

By the way, I really didn't offer any advice on making a decision so I am not sure you could say "fuck up someone's life." And if the OP bases a monumental life changing decision off one post from an unknown person online ..... says a lot about the OP. I offered an opinion on the process which I have been through. If I am wrong, so be it. If you have alternate advice, offer it. Ad hominem attacks do not further discussion.


1. Some biglaw partners actually have done threads in the past, so it's entirely possible to get advice from one of them.

2. Even an associate at a firm who gets involved in the hiring process is in a better position to speak to hiring practices than you are.

3. I'm still a student, and I can tell that your nonsense about a firm hiring 1-2 local students for every T13 student was harmful and completely baseless. A brief glance at any big law firm's hiring practices will directly contradict that.

4. You can find posts on the front page of this forum that talk about how some firms continue to consider grades during the callback process.

So yeah, the other guy is not the only one on the "Don't get in to specifics if you don't know what the fuck you're talking about," boat.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:20 am

It seems that students well below median at Harvard and Columbia (bottom 25%) fare worse at OCI (and only OCI) than students in the top 25% (but not top 10%) at schools like BC/BU/Fordham etc. Why is this?

Assuming no law review and parity with respect to interviewing skills, work experience, etc., what is the basis for this hiring trend?

Given that law school is graded on a curve, is it unreasonable to assume that the lower ranked students at HLS/CLS may actually be better students? It seems there is no good way to standardize grades across schools.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:It seems that students well below median at Harvard and Columbia (bottom 25%) fare worse at OCI (and only OCI) than students in the top 25% (but not top 10%) at schools like BC/BU/Fordham etc. Why is this?

Assuming no law review and parity with respect to interviewing skills, work experience, etc., what is the basis for this hiring trend?

Given that law school is graded on a curve, is it unreasonable to assume that the lower ranked students at HLS/CLS may actually be better students? It seems there is no good way to standardize grades across schools.


But where are you finding this information?

Students at the bottom of HYSCCN still have a shot at biglaw. And students at those schools all have an opportunity to interview with firms that literally do not even go to OCI for lower-ranked schools.

It's completely pointless to discuss whether the students at the bottom of HYS are "better students" than those at the top of Fordham. You seem to be inventing trends out of whole cloth and then asking people to discuss them as though they're objective fact.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby zhenders » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:40 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It seems that students well below median at Harvard and Columbia (bottom 25%) fare worse at OCI (and only OCI) than students in the top 25% (but not top 10%) at schools like BC/BU/Fordham etc. Why is this?

Assuming no law review and parity with respect to interviewing skills, work experience, etc., what is the basis for this hiring trend?

Given that law school is graded on a curve, is it unreasonable to assume that the lower ranked students at HLS/CLS may actually be better students? It seems there is no good way to standardize grades across schools.


But where are you finding this information?

Students at the bottom of HYSCCN still have a shot at biglaw. And students at those schools all have an opportunity to interview with firms that literally do not even go to OCI for lower-ranked schools.

It's completely pointless to discuss whether the students at the bottom of HYS are "better students" than those at the top of Fordham. You seem to be inventing trends out of whole cloth and then asking people to discuss them as though they're objective fact.


This is all pretty much spot on. OCI is different at every school. OCI at CCN vs. OCI at a T20 or T30 school is very different, both in terms of structure (lower-ranked schools tend to put the power to decide who gets interviews in the hands of the law firms through a pre-selection process, either in whole or in part; higher-ranked schools tend to put all of the power in the hands of the students through a bidding process) and in terms of grade cutoffs.

Further, at CCN (for example), practically all of the big firms with large summer classes attend OCI. By contrast, schools in the T20-and-below range see a significant decrease in firm attendance. It isn't uncommon to have 30+ screener interviews at CCN; by contrast, 15+ screeners at many T20-and-below schools would be numerically impossible.

At the end of the day, there are so many factors at play here. Law School Transparency is the best data source available to really nail down the importance of grades across schools.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:44 am

Below median at Duke/UVA/Upenn. Got my choice of DC firms. That isn't happening for top 10% kids at t20 schools.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby UVA2B » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:Below median at Duke/UVA/Upenn. Got my choice of DC firms. That isn't happening for top 10% kids at t20 schools.


While this may be true for you, it's pretty wildly misrepresenting the opportunities available at those ilk of schools. Median at MVP regularly miss out on D.C., while T20 can definitely still get D.C. Let's not overstate things too drastically. Options are generally better at MVP than they are at a T20, but applying anecdotal evidence to establish a rule about opprtunities is just wrong.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:Given that law school is graded on a curve, is it unreasonable to assume that the lower ranked students at HLS/CLS may actually be better students?

Yes. There are just way too many factors that determine who's a "better student" that there's no way of knowing based only on school and class rank. You can have people at the top of the lower-ranked schools who decided to go where they had a full ride rather than pay sticker at a better-ranked school. You can have people at the top of the lower-ranked schools who had poor UGPA/LSAT for a wide variety of reasons that don't really go to their ability to succeed once in law school. I'm sure some bottom-of-the-top-school students are better than some top-of-the-lower-school students, but I don't think you can generalize.

Also people who hire law students come from a lot of different backgrounds and have a lot of different opinions (overall - I'm sure the top schools dominate but they're not the only schools represented). I'm sure there are plenty of biglaw employers who will see the bottom of the class at HYSCCN as more worth hiring than top at BU/Fordham/etc (and as everyone has pointed out, it is much easier to get biglaw much deeper into the class at those schools than at the BU/Fordham tier). There are some who will prefer the top student at the lesser school. You can't know which one is going to be interviewing you/reading your materials, and you also can't change which category you belong to, so there's no real point worrying about it.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby texas1100 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:00 pm

Kind of. Is a proxy for ability to work hard and be neurotic about mindless, unmeaningful things

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:11 pm

If you have great 2L grades, is there hope for SA position at a higher ranked firm as long as you do biglaw summer after 2L?

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:19 pm

Success in biglaw, especially as a junior attorney, has very little to do with having elite intelligence. People with just above average intelligence from lower-ranked law schools but top 1% work ethic regularly beat out HYS folks in terms of the quality of their work and the likelihood that they'll make partner. Biglaw requires endurance, stamina, and work ethic more than elite intelligence. You just have to slog through a whole bunch of incredibly boring shit in a competent way. That's what people hire lawyers to do. You're not applying any complex mathematical principles or anything like that. The ideal biglaw associate, in my opinion, is someone who has developed superior endurance and stamina who works hard and doesn't have the intelligence/pedigree/initiative to leave for a startup, to become a Senator, etc. For example, I know a lot of long-distance runners who do exceptionally well in biglaw because they're just grinders.

That's why I would almost exclusively hire people with exceptional grades rather than people from top law schools, if I were emperor of my own firm.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you have great 2L grades, is there hope for SA position at a higher ranked firm as long as you do biglaw summer after 2L?


Firm rank doesn't matter in a vacuum. Type and quality of work you're going to be doing is the most important thing for you to look for. Find a firm where you can get meaningful work early on. There is some correlation between firm rank and type/quality of work they give to junior attorneys, but it's not a perfect correlation.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:12 pm

aspire2esquire wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:If I were running an engineering firm, I'd rather hire the a student in the top 25% of Ohio State's class than in the bottom 25% of MIT's class. It's great that the MIT kid had a stellar SAT (=LSAT) and HS GPA (=uGPA), but she showed up to college and didn't perform. She consistently got Bs and Cs with A-s and Ds sprinkled in here and there. Sure, she's a MechE major at MIT, but some kid with likely worse predictive stats (=SAT/HS GPA) at Ohio State showed up to class, studied hard, learned the material, and performed well in her MechE courses, getting mostly A/A-s with a B here or there. I might hire the kid in the bottom of MIT's class to do some top notch work, because I know they have the base level of "smarts," but I'm taking a risk that she might not have the work ethic or ability to understand the concepts. If I hire the OSU gal, she likely already knows the concepts she'd be working with decently. At the very least, she has a record of learning difficult concepts well. There are far fewer risks associated with hiring her. I imagine the same general thought process would apply to law firms. Now, the somewhat arbitrary cutoffs dictating whether a company would rather have top X% at [insert lower ranked school] or bottom X% at [insert higher ranked school] is always going to shift from firm to firm, person to person, school to school, and from year to year.

To directly answer your question, law school grades are probably predictive of BL success to the extent that if you have crappy grades you don't get BL and thus have no success in BL. Once you get into BL, there are many more factors that come with your personality and temperament in professional situations, the uniqueness of the BL workplace, and the particular type of work you do that will dictate your success.

I also don't think you should be using the anon feature to make this post.


This engineering example is not the best.


I work with what I've got in the head. Unfortunately, it's not always a lot :lol: I still stand by the general gist of my argument.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:32 pm

ExBiglawAssociate wrote:Success in biglaw, especially as a junior attorney, has very little to do with having elite intelligence. People with just above average intelligence from lower-ranked law schools but top 1% work ethic regularly beat out HYS folks in terms of the quality of their work and the likelihood that they'll make partner. Biglaw requires endurance, stamina, and work ethic more than elite intelligence. You just have to slog through a whole bunch of incredibly boring shit in a competent way. That's what people hire lawyers to do. You're not applying any complex mathematical principles or anything like that. The ideal biglaw associate, in my opinion, is someone who has developed superior endurance and stamina who works hard and doesn't have the intelligence/pedigree/initiative to leave for a startup, to become a Senator, etc. For example, I know a lot of long-distance runners who do exceptionally well in biglaw because they're just grinders.

That's why I would almost exclusively hire people with exceptional grades rather than people from top law schools, if I were emperor of my own firm.


This applies to transactional and litigation? Why did you leave biglaw? Mind sharing more about your firm

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ExBiglawAssociate wrote:Success in biglaw, especially as a junior attorney, has very little to do with having elite intelligence. People with just above average intelligence from lower-ranked law schools but top 1% work ethic regularly beat out HYS folks in terms of the quality of their work and the likelihood that they'll make partner. Biglaw requires endurance, stamina, and work ethic more than elite intelligence. You just have to slog through a whole bunch of incredibly boring shit in a competent way. That's what people hire lawyers to do. You're not applying any complex mathematical principles or anything like that. The ideal biglaw associate, in my opinion, is someone who has developed superior endurance and stamina who works hard and doesn't have the intelligence/pedigree/initiative to leave for a startup, to become a Senator, etc. For example, I know a lot of long-distance runners who do exceptionally well in biglaw because they're just grinders.

That's why I would almost exclusively hire people with exceptional grades rather than people from top law schools, if I were emperor of my own firm.


This applies to transactional and litigation? Why did you leave biglaw? Mind sharing more about your firm

Look at the top partners at top firms. I think Harvard/Columbia/Penn produce the most partners? I could be wrong.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:35 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Given that law school is graded on a curve, is it unreasonable to assume that the lower ranked students at HLS/CLS may actually be better students?

Yes. There are just way too many factors that determine who's a "better student" that there's no way of knowing based only on school and class rank. You can have people at the top of the lower-ranked schools who decided to go where they had a full ride rather than pay sticker at a better-ranked school. You can have people at the top of the lower-ranked schools who had poor UGPA/LSAT for a wide variety of reasons that don't really go to their ability to succeed once in law school. I'm sure some bottom-of-the-top-school students are better than some top-of-the-lower-school students, but I don't think you can generalize.

Also people who hire law students come from a lot of different backgrounds and have a lot of different opinions (overall - I'm sure the top schools dominate but they're not the only schools represented). I'm sure there are plenty of biglaw employers who will see the bottom of the class at HYSCCN as more worth hiring than top at BU/Fordham/etc (and as everyone has pointed out, it is much easier to get biglaw much deeper into the class at those schools than at the BU/Fordham tier). There are some who will prefer the top student at the lesser school. You can't know which one is going to be interviewing you/reading your materials, and you also can't change which category you belong to, so there's no real point worrying about it.


People choose T14 schools over T3 schools because of scholarship opportunities. In this economy, it is exceptionally unlikely that someone would turn down Harvard for a full ride to BU/BC.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Given that law school is graded on a curve, is it unreasonable to assume that the lower ranked students at HLS/CLS may actually be better students?

Yes. There are just way too many factors that determine who's a "better student" that there's no way of knowing based only on school and class rank. You can have people at the top of the lower-ranked schools who decided to go where they had a full ride rather than pay sticker at a better-ranked school. You can have people at the top of the lower-ranked schools who had poor UGPA/LSAT for a wide variety of reasons that don't really go to their ability to succeed once in law school. I'm sure some bottom-of-the-top-school students are better than some top-of-the-lower-school students, but I don't think you can generalize.

Also people who hire law students come from a lot of different backgrounds and have a lot of different opinions (overall - I'm sure the top schools dominate but they're not the only schools represented). I'm sure there are plenty of biglaw employers who will see the bottom of the class at HYSCCN as more worth hiring than top at BU/Fordham/etc (and as everyone has pointed out, it is much easier to get biglaw much deeper into the class at those schools than at the BU/Fordham tier). There are some who will prefer the top student at the lesser school. You can't know which one is going to be interviewing you/reading your materials, and you also can't change which category you belong to, so there's no real point worrying about it.


People choose T14 schools over T3 schools because of scholarship opportunities. In this economy, it is exceptionally unlikely that someone would turn down Harvard for a full ride to BU/BC.

I didn't say BU/BC v. Harvard specifically, but it depends on what the BU/BC person wants to do and how debt averse they are. I'm also sure there are people at BU/BC who got a high enough score to get a scholarship, who could have kept studying and retook and got the HLS-worthy LSAT, but chose not to. Are they really "worse" students than the person who retook and got into Harvard? (Obviously these are just random possible scenarios and don't describe everyone - just reasons not to generalize.) But I think you're still way too invested in the idea that the bottom of one school is better than the top of another school. 1) GPA/LSAT are blunt instruments for predicting law school success, whereas actual grades tell you something about someone's abilities, even despite the complication of the curve; also 2) the divide in terms of GPA/LSAT isn't *that* huge (we're not talking Harvard v. Cooley).

And again, it doesn't really matter who's objectively "better," it matters what the person/people making the call on hiring think. Someone who was top at BU/BC is probably likely to hire the top BC/BU student over the bottom HLS student.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:03 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Given that law school is graded on a curve, is it unreasonable to assume that the lower ranked students at HLS/CLS may actually be better students?

Yes. There are just way too many factors that determine who's a "better student" that there's no way of knowing based only on school and class rank. You can have people at the top of the lower-ranked schools who decided to go where they had a full ride rather than pay sticker at a better-ranked school. You can have people at the top of the lower-ranked schools who had poor UGPA/LSAT for a wide variety of reasons that don't really go to their ability to succeed once in law school. I'm sure some bottom-of-the-top-school students are better than some top-of-the-lower-school students, but I don't think you can generalize.

Also people who hire law students come from a lot of different backgrounds and have a lot of different opinions (overall - I'm sure the top schools dominate but they're not the only schools represented). I'm sure there are plenty of biglaw employers who will see the bottom of the class at HYSCCN as more worth hiring than top at BU/Fordham/etc (and as everyone has pointed out, it is much easier to get biglaw much deeper into the class at those schools than at the BU/Fordham tier). There are some who will prefer the top student at the lesser school. You can't know which one is going to be interviewing you/reading your materials, and you also can't change which category you belong to, so there's no real point worrying about it.


People choose T14 schools over T3 schools because of scholarship opportunities. In this economy, it is exceptionally unlikely that someone would turn down Harvard for a full ride to BU/BC.

I didn't say BU/BC v. Harvard specifically, but it depends on what the BU/BC person wants to do and how debt averse they are. I'm also sure there are people at BU/BC who got a high enough score to get a scholarship, who could have kept studying and retook and got the HLS-worthy LSAT, but chose not to. Are they really "worse" students than the person who retook and got into Harvard? (Obviously these are just random possible scenarios and don't describe everyone - just reasons not to generalize.) But I think you're still way too invested in the idea that the bottom of one school is better than the top of another school. 1) GPA/LSAT are blunt instruments for predicting law school success, whereas actual grades tell you something about someone's abilities, even despite the complication of the curve; also 2) the divide in terms of GPA/LSAT isn't *that* huge (we're not talking Harvard v. Cooley).

And again, it doesn't really matter who's objectively "better," it matters what the person/people making the call on hiring think. Someone who was top at BU/BC is probably likely to hire the top BC/BU student over the bottom HLS student.

this is a separate line of discussion. I'm skeptical of law school grades or college grades as a predictive tool of success at a firm. at higher ranked schools, my assumption is grades are even less predictive because you have a stronger pool. it's not that hard to game law school exams. take endless practice exams, see what style the professor prefers, look at old exam answers, etc. the issue spotting is the interesting part, but unfortunately the wide availability of old exams and practice makes it hard to distinguish between students. students often can spot an issue because they recognize it from an old exam




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