Grades-question for biglaw employers

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RaceJudicata

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


Of course they do. They have the most people in big law (along w/ other t14 schools). The better analysis would be to determine what percent of folks from T1/2 schools make partner vs. percent from T14. I think those numbers would surprise people.

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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 7:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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

How is what you call "gaming" exams different from studying for them?

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84651846190

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby 84651846190 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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.


Someone did a quick study on this a while back (too lazy to look it up), but the bottom line conclusion was that people with great grades from lower-ranked schools who made it to biglaw (obviously relatively few compared to the top schools on a per-graduate basis) were MUCH more likely to make partner. T14 types were much more likely to leave biglaw, either because their credentials gave them better exit options or because they just couldn't compete with the grinders from lower-ranked schools (or some other reason).

Hutz_and_Goodman

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:39 pm

Anyone in biglaw who feels like they have received a fortunate opportunity to be able to make low-mid six figures and to work on major deals/cases has a much better chance of making partner than the average associate. High achievers (top 10% or higher) from lower ranked schools are more likely to fit into this category imo.

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Iwanttolawschool

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Iwanttolawschool » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:18 pm

Interviewers are not trying to find the next Harvey Specter or something. All the interviewer cares about is if you seem like you'd be okay to work with. If you pass some arbitrary GPA cutoff that the firm sets for each school, all that matters is not being weird/boring. I get that this discussion relates to my previous sentence, but I think many are putting the cart before the horse.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:03 pm

It really depends on the person interviewing. From personal experience, I've noticed that people from T14 schools interviewing me are less likely to care about my grades than people not from T14s. I had a tough 1L year (at a T14), and recently an interviewer from a very low ranked local law school (no law review, no honors) just shat on me the entire interview over my 1L grades. I'm not sure why he did this but I suspected he derived from joy out of it.

Honestly, I know a lot of people in my T14 who worked really hard but were below median. That includes me 1L year. Of course there were slackers at my T14, but almost everyone i knew worked pretty hard.

I don't typically think someone is less intelligent or less hard working if they went to a lower ranked law school. People have plenty of reasons for going to different law schools (e.g. location, scholarships, affinity for a program or professor, etc.). However, I have noticed some cum laude grads and law review editors from lower ranked law schools who have produced pretty poor quality work...

I think it really comes down to perspective of the person interviewing you and what their impressions about various schools and their graduates are.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:13 pm

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.


Actually, it is, so long as your "choice of DC firms" didn't include W&C and Covington or whatever. People from my T20 got excellent DC firms. Some were in the top 10%, some weren't.

Given the choice, I'd go to OCI as top 10% at a T20 over below median at Duke/UVA/Penn every time.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:13 pm

I'm below median at a T6 school, and my cousin is on law review at a T80 school. He made it to a better law firm than I did (he's at a top 10 am100 firm, and i'm at a firm that pays $160k). I'm sure there are other factors too, but I have 5 years of solid work experience and he has none. I think it is better to get a higher GPA at a lower ranked school if it's within T20ish.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm below median at a T6 school, and my cousin is on law review at a T80 school. He made it to a better law firm than I did (he's at a top 10 am100 firm, and i'm at a firm that pays $160k). I'm sure there are other factors too, but I have 5 years of solid work experience and he has none. I think it is better to get a higher GPA at a lower ranked school if it's within T20ish.


YES! I'm below median at a T6 and there's no way I'm getting a V10 firm. I probably would have focused more on grades at a lower ranked school, so that's my error. I didn't try out for law review. I drank the Koolaid that grades don't matter if you don't want ___ clerkship or ___ firm. I've had some great interviews that were a waste of everyone's time because my grades fall below some threshold that is not disclosed. I followed the advice of the career advisors re: bidding, as did many of my similarly situated classmates.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby runinthefront » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:20 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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

How is what you call "gaming" exams different from studying for them?

:lol:
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:57 am

runinthefront wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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

How is what you call "gaming" exams different from studying for them?

:lol:

hahahah valid.
I guess I'm not sure that test performance translates into issue spotting/learning/performance on the job? lawyers need to be able process massive amounts of new information quickly and respond. at my summer job, I'm pretty sure legal research and writing and civ pro were the only relevant law school courses.

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glitched

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby glitched » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:30 pm

I would hope that law firms have the data to back up their grade curves. But that may be giving too much credit to upper management.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby emkay625 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:40 pm

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.


This is just not correct. Source: I was a top 10% kid at a T20 school. I had my choice of DC firms. So did all of my friends with good grades/on law review who wanted DC.

What are you basing this off of?

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:33 am

This is completely anecdotal from a rising 3L coming out of a biglaw SA position. Small sample size, and ymmv.

I think firms want the tippy top schools, because being able to say X people from HYS looks great for them. Being able to recruit a large amount of ivy kids seems to look great on paper.

But consistently my experience was the kids at the lower rankest schools outperformed their peers. Maybe its because they were the top 1% at their school. Maybe they were gunning because they felt they had to earn their place. But the students from the TT/TTTs who were in my biglaw class were the harder workers churning out fantastic work product, while the ivy kids were the ones leaving early.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Lacepiece23 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:This is completely anecdotal from a rising 3L coming out of a biglaw SA position. Small sample size, and ymmv.

I think firms want the tippy top schools, because being able to say X people from HYS looks great for them. Being able to recruit a large amount of ivy kids seems to look great on paper.

But consistently my experience was the kids at the lower rankest schools outperformed their peers. Maybe its because they were the top 1% at their school. Maybe they were gunning because they felt they had to earn their place. But the students from the TT/TTTs who were in my biglaw class were the harder workers churning out fantastic work product, while the ivy kids were the ones leaving early.


I don't think you can draw any relevant information from a summer experience. Kids at the T14 kind of expect a summer job and hope it's chill. We understand, mostly, that this won't be the case when we start practicing so we take advantage. I think you really need to wait until everyone starts practicing.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Interficio » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:14 pm

I've literally never run into a partner's profile at a major firm who wasn't from a T14. Where is this anecdotal "kids from podunk u are more likely to make partner because they work hard" stuff coming from?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:21 pm

Interficio wrote:I've literally never run into a partner's profile at a major firm who wasn't from a T14. Where is this anecdotal "kids from podunk u are more likely to make partner because they work hard" stuff coming from?

So, picking one firm totally at random and only making it to schools starting with B, five minutes (not even) found this:
https://m.lw.com/people/vicki-marmorstein
https://m.lw.com/people/benjamin-stern
https://m.lw.com/people/michael-fee

Either you define "major firm" really narrowly or you don't look at firm websites very much.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby existentialcrisis » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:39 pm

Interficio wrote:I've literally never run into a partner's profile at a major firm who wasn't from a T14. Where is this anecdotal "kids from podunk u are more likely to make partner because they work hard" stuff coming from?


You must not have looked very hard.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Sacred Cow » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:58 pm

Interficio wrote:I've literally never run into a partner's profile at a major firm who wasn't from a T14.

Anonymous User wrote:This is completely anecdotal from a rising 3L coming out of a biglaw SA position.

Anonymous User wrote:it's not that hard to game law school exams.


This thread is a disaster.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:02 pm

Interficio wrote:I've literally never run into a partner's profile at a major firm who wasn't from a T14. Where is this anecdotal "kids from podunk u are more likely to make partner because they work hard" stuff coming from?


Partners at my parents' very well known/well regarded Big law Firm (V20) from American, St. John's and Fordham. Most are high level partners, one is the head of Finance globally. The O'Melveny chairman is a Fordham alum as well. You know not of what you speak.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:06 pm

Interficio wrote:I've literally never run into a partner's profile at a major firm who wasn't from a T14. Where is this anecdotal "kids from podunk u are more likely to make partner because they work hard" stuff coming from?


Yeah this is absurd. You have not looked very hard, if AT ALL. I guarantee you outside of maybe Wachtell, this will not ring true at ANY "major firm".

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84651846190

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby 84651846190 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:07 pm

Interficio wrote:I've literally never run into a partner's profile at a major firm who wasn't from a T14. Where is this anecdotal "kids from podunk u are more likely to make partner because they work hard" stuff coming from?


Well you must be pretty fuckin stupid, because I could find a few dozen in about 10 minutes.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Interficio » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:46 pm

Naturally, I was speaking of the dozens upon dozens of partners whose profiles I've run into while researching firms, not asserting that there is NO partner from a non-top school out there. Regardless, I stand by my main contention: the anecdotal tripe that hard-working students from lower ranked schools are more likely to become partner based on some kind of amorphous "grit" is dubious.

First, no one's shown that more than a handful of partners (out of several dozen) at any of these firms comes from a non T-14. Second, even assuming arguendo that that's true, it could be for different reasons (maybe T-14 people are more likely to want their career trajectory to end someplace other than big law, or prioritize things besides partnership, like gov, academic, and in-house positions). Also, the implication seems to be that T-14 students don't "want it" bad enough or are somehow less hard-working because they've gotten into higher-ranked schools, which is equally fallacious.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby Interficio » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:48 pm

ExBiglawAssociate wrote:
Interficio wrote:I've literally never run into a partner's profile at a major firm who wasn't from a T14. Where is this anecdotal "kids from podunk u are more likely to make partner because they work hard" stuff coming from?


Well you must be pretty fuckin stupid, because I could find a few dozen in about 10 minutes.


Nice.

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Re: Grades-question for biglaw employers

Postby EIWIsMyFetish » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:21 pm

nwi
Last edited by EIWIsMyFetish on Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.



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