How important are 2L grades?

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Anonymous User
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How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:40 pm

If you're NOT planning on a clerkship and you have accepted a good (firm) offer for 2L summer?

Unfortunately, with Law Review, Moot Court, and endless interviewing I've fallen behind in my coursework. I'm currently in the top 5% of my class so it wouldn't take much for my GPA to drop. I have two months until finals roll around, but I'm worried sick about grades because there's so much other stuff to do -- I missed so much class for interviewing and I just haven't paid as much attention in class as I usually do.

Is the likely GPA drop going to hurt my chances at an offer at the end of 2L summer? Do they even look at grades -- should I be really worried? This firm has a history of giving offers to over 90% of SAs. I asked them why they no-offered two people *this year and they said it was because of poor writing skills.

What's the standard practice?

Thanks in advance.

*Changed "last year" to "this year" -- summer 2009.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:18 pm

If you got your job based on your grades (either a firm that is very picky on grades or you have a high rank from mediocre school), your grades matter.

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nealric
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby nealric » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:11 pm

Your firm probably won't drop you unless your GPA drops significantly. However, your grades could become an issue if/when you lateral from your firm down the line.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:01 pm

i would slack on the law review and moot court, not on classes

firms aren't going to drop you for "average" law review work or moot court performance, but they might drop you if you go from being a top student to an average student

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TTT-LS
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby TTT-LS » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:00 pm

.
Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:53 pm

I felt the same way last year. I thought I was screwed for fall exams, but 2L is different. I slacked and fell behind during the fall for the same reasons. Somehow I improved my grades. Maybe I got lucky, but I think you can get by with less work 2L so it feels like you are slacking big time. Everyone slacks a bit 2L and 3L.

You should keep up with your grades just because they are always part of your record. You don't want to bomb. You really don't need to stress and try your hardest to stay top 5% though. Firms who ask for grades just want to make sure you didn't bomb 2L or fail any classes. Most firms ask for a transcript before you start work, but that is mostly just to make sure you graduated.

Don't stress about it.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:12 am

Typically, you just wouldn't want to bomb so badly as to raise a red flag. In today's hiring environment, with 50% offer rates in some offices, and people getting no-offered regardless of performance in other offices, I would take nothing for granted and do everything possible to keep my 2L grades up.

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Corsair
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Corsair » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:40 am

..

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:26 pm

nealric wrote:Your firm probably won't drop you unless your GPA drops significantly. However, your grades could become an issue if/when you lateral from your firm down the line.


I disagree. The further you are in your career, the less grades will matter. Grades play a significant role in determining where you start..... After that, work experience, reputation, references, etc. will matter more. Having said this, I think 2L grades do matter, especially in this economy. If you're summering for a firm, you don't want to give them an excuse to no-offer you simply because of your grades! I summered at a V10 firm last summer, and they requested updated transcripts after each semester of 2L year....

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:Your firm probably won't drop you unless your GPA drops significantly. However, your grades could become an issue if/when you lateral from your firm down the line.


I disagree. The further you are in your career, the less grades will matter. Grades play a significant role in determining where you start..... After that, work experience, reputation, references, etc. will matter more. Having said this, I think 2L grades do matter, especially in this economy. If you're summering for a firm, you don't want to give them an excuse to no-offer you simply because of your grades! I summered at a V10 firm last summer, and they requested updated transcripts after each semester of 2L year....


While a lateral 4ish years after graduation probably won't hinge on grades, if you find yourself looking for a new position after 2 or 3 years, you might be asked for transcripts (several laid off associates I know were in this boat). This will also be the case if you end up applying for clerkships after practicing for a few years (it might not be part of your plan now, but that's no reason to close doors). It also might be an issue if you're on pace for magna and end up with cum laude (or miss out on graduation honors entirely).

I wouldn't freak out about grades, but neither would I ignore them.

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nealric
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby nealric » Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:16 pm

I disagree. The further you are in your career, the less grades will matter.


I was answering from a biglaw perspective because the OP was coming from that perspective. Oudside of biglaw, grades won't matter too much after your first job. However, Biglaw firms WILL look at your grades if you are a lateral associate (I know this from talking to hiring partners and associates who have lateraled).

In a most biglaw practice areas, there is nothing you can really do distinguish yourself that would be apparent to a firm outsider in the first few years. Firms look at grades to fill in the gap. Of course, a very senior associate or Partner will have enough behind them that grades will no longer be relevant.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby linquest » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:53 pm

Keep your grades up. Even if you were offered a position after your summer, you have no guarantee that they'll honor it after graduation (see all those "deferred" associates or recent grads with rescinded offers out there?) or that the firm will even exist for long after you start working. Don't rely on the potential of this (or any) BigLaw job as an opportunity to slack off on your academics.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby NewHere » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:12 pm

[quote]Except that some elite firms don't even ask for 2L grades. Mine didn't. Some of my friends were asked by their firms to provide updated transcripts, however./quote]

My firm did. They didn't really discuss anything grade related with us during reviews, though, so I don't know how much they actually mattered.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Lawguru » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:14 am

A few partners I asked this question to at my firm (before I chose this firm) told me that it plays a minimal role for them. They explained to me that they choose associates based on who will most likely to succeed. This often means students with good grades. beyond the hiring for SAs, they're looking for good work. That said, I'm sure someone who absolutely bombs (drops from top 15 % to top 1/2 for instance) would come off as a bad long-term investment for the firm.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Bosque » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:04 pm

I am curious, did the OP's grades drop? Did he or she still get an offer?

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:15 pm

Had a 3.5+ after 1L.
1st semester of 2L: 3.1.

Despite having a fairly high offer rate (~90%), the V50 I will be a SA at allegedly takes grades into consideration when making offers. How screwed am I?

Aqualibrium
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:17 pm

Every attorney I've talked to recently has warned me that even if your grades don't get you no offered, you should still try to keep them up because they may be important for lateral moves.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:20 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:Every attorney I've talked to recently has warned me that even if your grades don't get you no offered, you should still try to keep them up because they may be important for lateral moves.


I tried to keep them up, but it seems like people actually tried harder during 2L at my school. I spent about the same amount of time studying and preparing for exams. I really don't know what I did wrong.

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Every attorney I've talked to recently has warned me that even if your grades don't get you no offered, you should still try to keep them up because they may be important for lateral moves.


I tried to keep them up, but it seems like people actually tried harder during 2L at my school. I spent about the same amount of time studying and preparing for exams. I really don't know what I did wrong.


I think you'll be fine in the long run. Shit happens. You were just lucky enough first year that no shit happened to you (and yes I said and meant lucky. I firmly believe that the few people in the top 10% of the class are the only ones who don't have to worry about luck or the curve. I know a guy who had his computer crap out in the middle of his exam and still got an A. Those people are just law school exam gods).

You've got a semester to turn in a solid performance. Do what ya gotta do.

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Kohinoor
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Every attorney I've talked to recently has warned me that even if your grades don't get you no offered, you should still try to keep them up because they may be important for lateral moves.


I tried to keep them up, but it seems like people actually tried harder during 2L at my school. I spent about the same amount of time studying and preparing for exams. I really don't know what I did wrong.

Damn transfers.

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dood
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby dood » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Had a 3.5+ after 1L.
1st semester of 2L: 3.1.

Despite having a fairly high offer rate (~90%), the V50 I will be a SA at allegedly takes grades into consideration when making offers. How screwed am I?


THIS is the advantage of having a 3.1 gpa to start with bro.

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Kohinoor
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:24 am

dood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Had a 3.5+ after 1L.
1st semester of 2L: 3.1.

Despite having a fairly high offer rate (~90%), the V50 I will be a SA at allegedly takes grades into consideration when making offers. How screwed am I?


THIS is the advantage of having a 3.1 gpa to start with bro.

Smart people start from a 2.7. Nowhere to go but up up up.

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Tree
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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby Tree » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:04 pm

Kohinoor wrote:Smart people start from a 2.7. Nowhere to go but up up up.


+1

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Re: How important are 2L grades?

Postby edcrane » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:11 pm

It's not going to matter for your current firm, but you should keep up your GPA to preserve exit options/lateral opportunities in the future.

Law review can be a massive waste of time if you're not careful. It's easy to get sucked into hanging out in the office and volunteering for additional work or hard assignments. As it is ungraded and probably exceedingly boring during your 2nd year, I strongly suggest you do everything you can to redirect your efforts from the journal to your classes. Ditto with moot court, though I imagine it might be a little more fun.




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