Poor grades and lateraling

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Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:54 pm

Have a lateral CB lined up (invited after a screener interview). Junior associate in a major market at a v50, looking to go to another v50.

I have pretty bad grades from law school (bottom 10-20%), but went to a t10 law school. How much should this matter at the CB interview stage for lateral interviews? The firms all see my transcripts up front when I submit my materials. Was dinged from a different lateral opportunity after a CB a few weeks ago, and they didn't say it was because of grades, but I always suspect my grades as the culprit (have been told I interview well by a handful of different people).

Any thoughts to how this affects the CB stage, or how long these shitty grades will follow me through my career?

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:23 pm

Yup, grades still carry weight. Why are lateralling so soon?

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby JohnnieSockran » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yup, grades still carry weight. Why are lateralling so soon?


I always wonder why a firm would bring someone in for a callback, when you are going to ding them for grades anyway, even if they do everything right in the interviews (when you could've just not brought them in and saved everyone time, since you saw the grades before the screener stage)?
Last edited by QContinuum on Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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ronaldo09

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby ronaldo09 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yup, grades still carry weight. Why are lateralling so soon?


I always wonder why a firm would bring someone in for a callback, when you are going to ding them for grades anyway, even if they do everything right in the interviews (when you could've just not brought them in and saved everyone time, since you saw the grades before the screener stage)?


They probably interview multiple candidates and when choosing between two relatively close candidates that interviewed well, they choose the one with the better grades.

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yup, grades still carry weight. Why are lateralling so soon?


I always wonder why a firm would bring someone in for a callback, when you are going to ding them for grades anyway, even if they do everything right in the interviews (when you could've just not brought them in and saved everyone time, since you saw the grades before the screener stage)?


I am on the hiring committee at my firm and, generally speaking, this doesn’t happen. If you’re in for a callback, you’ve passed whatever grade threshold we have and they won’t disqualify you. My previous firm was similar.

That said, grades still influence decisions at the callback level. Someone who just squeaked by our threshold at the local T20 is going to be at a disadvantage compared to someone at the top of HYS. We can and have hired both types of candidates, but the top HYS candidate is starting the interview off on third base and only needs a decent performance to get the offer compared to other candidates, who need to shine. Depending on the interview lineup you draw, those advantages and disadvantages can be greatly enhanced (though that can be true for any factor).

To OP: grades absolutely matter when lateraling as a junior. But, bottom at a T10 law school isn’t disqualifying for all V50 firms (it wasn’t for your first one). Firms will generally ask for transcripts at least through your midlevel years. Once you get real marketable experience, your law school performance will decline in importance. If you can get into a niche or in demand group, you’ll also find the importance of grades declines more quickly.

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:Have a lateral CB lined up (invited after a screener interview). Junior associate in a major market at a v50, looking to go to another v50.

I have pretty bad grades from law school (bottom 10-20%), but went to a t10 law school. How much should this matter at the CB interview stage for lateral interviews? The firms all see my transcripts up front when I submit my materials. Was dinged from a different lateral opportunity after a CB a few weeks ago, and they didn't say it was because of grades, but I always suspect my grades as the culprit (have been told I interview well by a handful of different people).

Any thoughts to how this affects the CB stage, or how long these shitty grades will follow me through my career?


In short, every firm, market, and practice is different for how much of an impact grades will be a factor (if any) for hiring. No firm will explicitly say it was because of your grades. Grades will always improve (but not exclusively determine) your chances for an offer until you’re a mid-level.

But, there is nothing you can do now to change your grades. Instead, present yourself as a good lawyer. Sell how you have been successful at a V50 and went to a top 10 law school. That’s all you can control.

You’re already eliminating yourself by worrying about your “shitty grades.” Let the firm eliminate you. If I interviewed you at a CB, all I would want to know is if you can you do the work.

Lastly, some perspective to keep in mind. Say, X firm doesnt hire you solely for your transcript. Why would you want to work at that firm? They see no value in what you bring to the table. Go to the firm that wants you.

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:18 am

This is also practice area specific. I’m in a field that’s hard to fill, so firms have brought me in for callbacks without even seeing my grades. They just assume I have decent grades given where I am, I guess.

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:This is also practice area specific. I’m in a field that’s hard to fill, so firms have brought me in for callbacks without even seeing my grades. They just assume I have decent grades given where I am, I guess.


I think this is correct and I am not sure firms (outside of a few very prestigious firms) are really looking intensively at grades for lateral candidates who have a school and current firm that the lateral firm respects. If you were bottom 10% at UVA and you work at Goodwin, I do not think Willkie is going to care about your grades, but S&C likely would.

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:57 am

When I was lateraling as a mid-level with poor grades from a T10, I was never clear if the firms that I applied to just looked at my transcript and immediately tossed my application in the trash, or if they just weren't really interested in hiring someone (perhaps put out a listing because they might need someone in the future at some point), or if they had a candidate they liked who got to them first. I suspect that some of the firms just have strict GPA cutoffs and weren't desperate enough to give me a look. But for firms that were interested (did a screener), grades weren't an issue - especially those who were eager to hire someone - if you have too much work and you need an associate asap, you aren't going to care as much if your perfect candidate with the right experience happened to do poorly in criminal law their first year of law school.

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is also practice area specific. I’m in a field that’s hard to fill, so firms have brought me in for callbacks without even seeing my grades. They just assume I have decent grades given where I am, I guess.


I think this is correct and I am not sure firms (outside of a few very prestigious firms) are really looking intensively at grades for lateral candidates who have a school and current firm that the lateral firm respects. If you were bottom 10% at UVA and you work at Goodwin, I do not think Willkie is going to care about your grades, but S&C likely would.


I’m the quoted anon. I agree that most firms won’t care. For example, I finished median at my t40 and received callbacks from V20 firms solely based on my school and practice area. HR asked for my transcript before one of my offers, but I don’t think the interviewers ever saw my grades. It doesn’t even have to be a t14 depending on which practice you’re considering (and these are Chambers ranked practice groups, for those wondering).

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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is also practice area specific. I’m in a field that’s hard to fill, so firms have brought me in for callbacks without even seeing my grades. They just assume I have decent grades given where I am, I guess.


I think this is correct and I am not sure firms (outside of a few very prestigious firms) are really looking intensively at grades for lateral candidates who have a school and current firm that the lateral firm respects. If you were bottom 10% at UVA and you work at Goodwin, I do not think Willkie is going to care about your grades, but S&C likely would.


I’m the quoted anon. I agree that most firms won’t care. For example, I finished median at my t40 and received callbacks from V20 firms solely based on my school and practice area. HR asked for my transcript before one of my offers, but I don’t think the interviewers ever saw my grades. It doesn’t even have to be a t14 depending on which practice you’re considering (and these are Chambers ranked practice groups, for those wondering).


What is your practice area?

Anonymous User
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Re: Poor grades and lateraling

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This is also practice area specific. I’m in a field that’s hard to fill, so firms have brought me in for callbacks without even seeing my grades. They just assume I have decent grades given where I am, I guess.


I think this is correct and I am not sure firms (outside of a few very prestigious firms) are really looking intensively at grades for lateral candidates who have a school and current firm that the lateral firm respects. If you were bottom 10% at UVA and you work at Goodwin, I do not think Willkie is going to care about your grades, but S&C likely would.


I’m the quoted anon. I agree that most firms won’t care. For example, I finished median at my t40 and received callbacks from V20 firms solely based on my school and practice area. HR asked for my transcript before one of my offers, but I don’t think the interviewers ever saw my grades. It doesn’t even have to be a t14 depending on which practice you’re considering (and these are Chambers ranked practice groups, for those wondering).


What is your practice area?


Exec. Comp.

Not many people do it and it seems like there are always a ton of openings. Some firms are willing to train people who want to move, but I think you have to start again as a first year if that happens.



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