Do firms care about grades at the CB?

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Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:42 pm

Got a CB from a firm a really like and honestly am quite surprised because they tend to hire folks from my school with grades a few points higher than mine.

Will my interviewers/the hiring committee/whatever powers are making decisions be looking at my grades when they make their final decision, or does the fact that I've received a CB mean I don't have to sweat being a little below their norm?

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bnssweeney

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby bnssweeney » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:47 pm

Just went through something very similar. PM me if you'd like.

redsox550

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby redsox550 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:11 pm

Yes.
1. there is usually a hiring committee meeting that will discuss all candidates before an offer is extended. They usually will discuss all qualities of candidate including grades as relevant factors.

2. in a few years you will be working in a law firm. You will interview someone. Before you interview someone you will receive their resume and transcript. You most likely will look at transcript and form some type of opinion based on it - if its all A's you probably will be inclined to think the person is smarter etc.

However, if you got a callback that means your grades will most likely not preclude you from getting an offer. It would make no sense for a firm to give you a CB if your grades wernt good enough for an offer.

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby silenttimer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:31 pm

redsox550 wrote:Yes.
1. there is usually a hiring committee meeting that will discuss all candidates before an offer is extended. They usually will discuss all qualities of candidate including grades as relevant factors.

2. in a few years you will be working in a law firm. You will interview someone. Before you interview someone you will receive their resume and transcript. You most likely will look at transcript and form some type of opinion based on it - if its all A's you probably will be inclined to think the person is smarter etc.

However, if you got a callback that means your grades will most likely not preclude you from getting an offer. It would make no sense for a firm to give you a CB if your grades wernt good enough for an offer.


This.

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glitched

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby glitched » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm

If you're at the callback stage, your grades are good enough so don't let it get to you. Yes, it still has an impact on the final decision. I'd prepare a response in case someone asks about it, but don't plan on weaving it into your answers or bringing it up.

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:12 pm

glitched wrote:If you're at the callback stage, your grades are good enough so don't let it get to you. Yes, it still has an impact on the final decision. I'd prepare a response in case someone asks about it, but don't plan on weaving it into your answers or bringing it up.

thoughts on best way to respond if it does come up?

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:31 pm

I hate to be the debbie downer in the group, but your grades still matter. They may not always be the controlling factor as to whether you get an offer or not, but they still matter. For example, I have terrible grades. Like, bottom 25% or something, all because of some medical setbacks my family experienced throughout the year (it's complicated). Anyway, I'm a pretty great interviewer (I would say top 2% in interviewing skills). My softs are also off the charts. To my surprise, I still got a couple of call backs at V100 firms. I went in and killed. that. shit. I even connected really well with a Partner at one particular firm. When I got dinged, however, I received a phone call from that same Partner. He told me everyone loved me and that I had the most "captivating" interviews the office has experienced in a while. He ultimately told me I wasn't extended an offer because of my GPA. We're still in touch and check in regularly. What I would come to learn from our subsequent conversations is that V100 firms have a lot of bureaucracy to go through when hiring someone, especially for those with lower GPAs. I was eventually told that exceptions are only made for those with no more than a .2 difference than what's already advertised as the bottom for my school.

This all becomes a little more flexible if the firm is only based in the U.S. or when the firm has a more niche practice (i.e. employment). But yeah, that's my take.

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby SmokeytheBear » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:(I would say top 2% in interviewing modesty skills).

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby UVA2B » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I hate to be the debbie downer in the group, but your grades still matter. They may not always be the controlling factor as to whether you get an offer or not, but they still matter. For example, I have terrible grades. Like, bottom 25% or something, all because of some medical setbacks my family experienced throughout the year (it's complicated). Anyway, I'm a pretty great interviewer (I would say top 2% in interviewing skills). My softs are also off the charts. To my surprise, I still got a couple of call backs at V100 firms. I went in and killed. that. shit. I even connected really well with a Partner at one particular firm. When I got dinged, however, I received a phone call from that same Partner. He told me everyone loved me and that I had the most "captivating" interviews the office has experienced in a while. He ultimately told me I wasn't extended an offer because of my GPA. We're still in touch and check in regularly. What I would come to learn from our subsequent conversations is that V100 firms have a lot of bureaucracy to go through when hiring someone, especially for those with lower GPAs. I was eventually told that exceptions are only made for those with no more than a .2 difference than what's already advertised as the bottom for my school.

This all becomes a little more flexible if the firm is only based in the U.S. or when the firm has a more niche practice (i.e. employment). But yeah, that's my take.


This is a bit of projecting based on your anecdotal experience going through CB interviews, and frankly it's not all that helpful. Some people will get a CB and will overcome GPA because of the reasons you thought you had. Others will get a CB because firms generally bring in more than they plan to offer, and they use the GPA to differentiate between their candidates.

This isn't about optimism or pessimism honestly. Sometimes GPA will be the deciding factor in getting/not getting a job. You don't have any control over that. But if you get a CB at a firm, it means they're still interested despite already considering your transcript. It might not be enough, and your transcript could be the death-knell for you, but there's no value in trying to divine what part of your application process resulted in not getting an offer. But if they gave you a CB, it's because they at least wanted to consider employing you.

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby upsidedown234 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:10 pm

Based on my experience this is highly firm dependent. For most firms, .2 below their average callback will not disqualify you (I was around this range for the firm I'm at). Two things I'd note.

1) regardless of the firm, grades will still matter but a strong candidate that interviews well would not be foreclosed from receiving an offer.

2) there are a few firms where I doubt a .2 grade deferential could be overcome. These firms have a hard gpa cutoff. When I interviewed I know for a fact two firms had this arrangement and have heard of a few others. At one of these places I received a callback but still was denied an offer. Generally, the firms are who you'd expect.

Good luck.

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:42 pm

The posts in this thread are generally good. Here's my advice: forget about this question; forget about your grades. You aren't going to know how much (or whether) a particular firm cares about grades during a CB. And even if you did know, what could you do about it? Your grades are your grades. If you approach these interviews worried about how people view your grades, then you're more likely to come off as insecure and defensive. You don't want that.

You asked what you should say if you're asked about your grades. First, it's unusual for anyone to ask about grades during an interview. Yes, I know it happens, but it's not the norm. Do not go into interviews expecting to discuss your grades, and do NOT bring them up in the absence of a direct question about them.

If an interviewer does bring up your grades, a good answer depends on the actual question asked. If the question is something like "your grades are somewhat below those of our typical associate; why do you think you're qualified to work here?," then give an answer about your strengths—organization, writing, communication, or anything else that wouldn't be captured by your performance on an issue-spotter exam. If the question is "why did you get a B- in Contracts?," then say something truthful that shows that you understand the mistakes you made on the exam. Don't get defensive.

But, again, I think it's highly unlikely that you'll get questions like the ones I just bothered to type. Be real. Be confident. Be honest. If you can do those three things, you'll have 90% of the candidates beat. Good luck!

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:40 am

rpupkin wrote:The posts in this thread are generally good. Here's my advice: forget about this question; forget about your grades. You aren't going to know how much (or whether) a particular firm cares about grades during a CB. And even if you did know, what could you do about it? Your grades are your grades. If you approach these interviews worried about how people view your grades, then you're more likely to come off as insecure and defensive. You don't want that.

You asked what you should say if you're asked about your grades. First, it's unusual for anyone to ask about grades during an interview. Yes, I know it happens, but it's not the norm. Do not go into interviews expecting to discuss your grades, and do NOT bring them up in the absence of a direct question about them.

If an interviewer does bring up your grades, a good answer depends on the actual question asked. If the question is something like "your grades are somewhat below those of our typical associate; why do you think you're qualified to work here?," then give an answer about your strengths—organization, writing, communication, or anything else that wouldn't be captured by your performance on an issue-spotter exam. If the question is "why did you get a B- in Contracts?," then say something truthful that shows that you understand the mistakes you made on the exam. Don't get defensive.

But, again, I think it's highly unlikely that you'll get questions like the ones I just bothered to type. Be real. Be confident. Be honest. If you can do those three things, you'll have 90% of the candidates beat. Good luck!


This is great advise. Grades are what they are and you can't change them now. I'm on the recruiting committee at my firm and I'll say grades don't usually hurt anybody at a callback but if a person has exceptionally high grades then we are more likely to look over a bad interview or two.

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby sublime » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:14 am

Fwiw, we are explicitly told not to bring up grades. The only time I do is if they are exceptionally good.

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:18 am

Thanks everybody, I think this has been tremendously helpful.

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glitched

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Re: Do firms care about grades at the CB?

Postby glitched » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
glitched wrote:If you're at the callback stage, your grades are good enough so don't let it get to you. Yes, it still has an impact on the final decision. I'd prepare a response in case someone asks about it, but don't plan on weaving it into your answers or bringing it up.

thoughts on best way to respond if it does come up?


I believe the thread is over since rpupkin's response is pretty much spot on, but I'll add a little bit more. Unless the interviewer is a total ass, I would suspect that one reason this question comes up (which again, as people have said, is really rare and should be reserved only for very senior people, if even) is to see how you deal with past mistakes and tough situations/questions. It's a way to see how you would deal with a situation at work when you make a mistake (which trust me, will happen). The best thing to do is acknowledge your mistake, identify the cause, have a plan moving forward, and express that you're going to learn from them. Good luck! You got this!



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