Small and Midsize firms - GPA

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JD787878

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Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby JD787878 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:10 pm

Hi, so this is my first post on this forum, and the question is very subjective and geared towards people who either have gone through the process, or know people who have gone through the process, of getting legal positions at small and midsize firms, not large or vault firms (which I'm aware I no longer have a shot of getting). I have spoken to a couple of people in person, with extremely varying answers, so I'd like to get some of your thoughts. Note: If you don't feel like reading all of this, you can jump to the bold at the bottom, that is the essential question.

I graduated from a prestigious T14 law school, but was unable to secure employment before graduating. I am only looking at small and midsize firms. My GPA is between a 3.2 and a 3.3, which, at my school, is a GPA I saw people get Vault summer associate positions with during 1L, so I don't feel like it would be especially frowned upon. However, I know that it is below median (we don't have class ranks, but based on what top third is, I am definitely below median, and the top third, if any firm really wanted to look it up, would be well above what I have, I just don't know if small and midsize firms even care to do this based on conversations I've had with people at firms like this). While it is true that all of the large firms ask for transcripts regardless if you're fresh out of school, and GPA must be on resume, I've spoken to many people at small and midsize firms who say their firms don't ask for transcripts, and have even met someone who, without any connections, was hired by a nice midsize firm, post-graduation, without including her GPA on her resume or ever giving her transcript, and her school wasn't even a top 25.

While I know that, for the jobs I'm looking for, the name of my school alone will, to a degree, help me to stand out in a crowd, I just don't know if a GPA like the one I have is one that I should leave off my resume, or keep on. On the one hand, if I leave it off, they might think the worst, but it could also just be something they never think about or care about and ignore (maybe they'll just figure he didn't have extremely impressive grades, so he left it off). On the other hand, if I put it on, there could be the thought "okay, top school, okay grades confirmed, good candidate," but I could also see it being a thing where there are tons of applicants with GPAs above mine from worse schools who want the same position, so the small firm thinks "look at this kid's gpa, we have hard workers from worse schools, but at least they did well." Also, I had a very impressive position for the summer between 2L and 3L which most would only assume I'd get with a pretty good GPA, so that makes me feel like maybe leaving it off is better because it will be assumed I'm not a complete bottom person just a non-honors guy, otherwise I would not have had a position like that.

If you don't feel like reading all of the above, the question comes down to, for a graduate of a T14 school with no honors of any kind, who is applying solely to midsize and small firms, should my GPA, which is between a 3.2 and 3.3 (which is below median) be kept off my resume?

Any opinions or anecdotes are greatly appreciated as long as they pertain to small and midsize firms, not large ones!

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Re: Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:19 pm

Some will pay attention and ask about class rank. Others won't. I think for small and mid-sized firms you should leave it on, and hope they go with their assumptions about ranking based on their experience with local law schools, which usually have much harsher curves.

Source: I work at a small firm, had a GPA similar to yours in school, and I'm fairly certain that the partners here still think I did awesome in law school, because no one ever asked and I'm not volunteering that shit.

JD787878

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Re: Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby JD787878 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:53 pm

Thanks anonymous. Did you also go to a T14?

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kalvano

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Re: Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby kalvano » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:03 am

Just include your GPA. It's virtually certain that someone will ask at some point, and it would suck even more to get almost hired only to get turned down at the last minute once you send them your GPA. If it's on your resume from the start, at least you know they know it and, if you're interviewing, are likely good with it.

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Re: Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:17 am

JD787878 wrote:Thanks anonymous. Did you also go to a T14?


A T20 with rampant grade inflation.

JD787878

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Re: Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby JD787878 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:31 am

kalvano wrote:Just include your GPA. It's virtually certain that someone will ask at some point, and it would suck even more to get almost hired only to get turned down at the last minute once you send them your GPA. If it's on your resume from the start, at least you know they know it and, if you're interviewing, are likely good with it.

I just spoke to someone recently who was hired by a nice firm without putting her GPA on her resume and she was never asked. It also wasn't even a T14, good school though. That's what made me think maybe it is better to not include it for some positions.

JD787878

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Re: Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby JD787878 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:39 am

kalvano wrote:Just include your GPA. It's virtually certain that someone will ask at some point, and it would suck even more to get almost hired only to get turned down at the last minute once you send them your GPA. If it's on your resume from the start, at least you know they know it and, if you're interviewing, are likely good with it.

Just want to know why you believe this is the case for small and medium size firms. Thank you for your input.

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kalvano

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Re: Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby kalvano » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:39 am

JD787878 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Just include your GPA. It's virtually certain that someone will ask at some point, and it would suck even more to get almost hired only to get turned down at the last minute once you send them your GPA. If it's on your resume from the start, at least you know they know it and, if you're interviewing, are likely good with it.

Just want to know why you believe this is the case for small and medium size firms. Thank you for your input.


Because its the legal profession and most employers still care about grades.

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Re: Small and Midsize firms - GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:06 am

I didn't apply to firms so I can't speak specifically to that, but I did not put my GPA on my resume. Graduated without a job right around median at a T14. However, I included my transcript with all of my applications since I was applying to public interest stuff and they almost always want your transcript right off the bat, so it's not like they didn't know my GPA.

Have you asked your career office for advice about this? I'd just shoot someone there an email and ask what they recommend for your situation. You don't necessarily have to take their advice, but they might have something helpful to say.



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