Page 1 of 2

1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:44 pm
by lawschoolgiant
I know I have to do as well as I can 1L, but are there people who do avg 1L then grad top 10% or 15% who ended 1L as top 50 or 40%

Can someone give me a typical scenario as far as grades matter and dont matter through a law school career.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:46 pm
by rayiner
lawschoolgiant wrote:I know I have to do as well as I can 1L, but are there people who do avg 1L then grad top 10% or 15% who ended 1L as top 50 or 40%

Can someone give me a typical scenario as far as grades matter and dont matter through a law school career.


I'm sure there are people. The question is how much it matters. For biglaw it doesn't, hiring is done based off 1L grades. For other jobs, up to 2L grades seem to matter.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:46 pm
by 270910
lawschoolgiant wrote:I know I have to do as well as I can 1L, but are there people who do avg 1L then grad top 10% or 15% who ended 1L as top 50 or 40%

Can someone give me a typical scenario as far as grades matter and dont matter through a law school career.


For big firm hiring, all that matter are 1L grades, period. These are the jobs many (most?) students want - the ones that pay 6 figure starting salaries after 3K/week paid work during the summer between your 2nd and 3rd year.

Everything else is a little different, but 1L grades often still get more weight because they're so standardized. Grades are very important to almost all legal employers.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:47 pm
by mac.empress
Those people are NOT on TLS.

Honestly speaking, this is overachievers central.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:50 pm
by DoubleChecks
disco_barred wrote:
lawschoolgiant wrote:I know I have to do as well as I can 1L, but are there people who do avg 1L then grad top 10% or 15% who ended 1L as top 50 or 40%

Can someone give me a typical scenario as far as grades matter and dont matter through a law school career.


For big firm hiring, all that matter are 1L grades, period. These are the jobs many (most?) students want - the ones that pay 6 figure starting salaries after 3K/week paid work during the summer between your 2nd and 3rd year.

Everything else is a little different, but 1L grades often still get more weight because they're so standardized. Grades are very important to almost all legal employers.


slightly unrelated question, but it just came up:

what happens if you SA for one biglaw company your 2L->3L summer but then get no-offered? i mean, even if a lot of firms were interested in you, you can only SA or one...so does that mean you're up shit creek w/o a paddle as far as getting into biglaw is concerned?

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:56 pm
by 270910
DoubleChecks wrote:what happens if you SA for one biglaw company your 2L->3L summer but then get no-offered? i mean, even if a lot of firms were interested in you, you can only SA or one...so does that mean you're up shit creek w/o a paddle as far as getting into biglaw is concerned?


Then you got a glimpse at your dream and are forever shut out. Being no offered was an unpleasant kiss of death in good times, now it's, erm, an altogether too common kiss of death.

Offer rates are high. A 'bad' big law firm this year would have been in the 80% offer range. Some were down around 50%, which is brutal, but not many - and the best still topped 90%, often topped 95% offers.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:57 pm
by reverendt
DoubleChecks wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
lawschoolgiant wrote:I know I have to do as well as I can 1L, but are there people who do avg 1L then grad top 10% or 15% who ended 1L as top 50 or 40%

Can someone give me a typical scenario as far as grades matter and dont matter through a law school career.


For big firm hiring, all that matter are 1L grades, period. These are the jobs many (most?) students want - the ones that pay 6 figure starting salaries after 3K/week paid work during the summer between your 2nd and 3rd year.

Everything else is a little different, but 1L grades often still get more weight because they're so standardized. Grades are very important to almost all legal employers.


slightly unrelated question, but it just came up:

what happens if you SA for one biglaw company your 2L->3L summer but then get no-offered? i mean, even if a lot of firms were interested in you, you can only SA or one...so does that mean you're up shit creek w/o a paddle as far as getting into biglaw is concerned?

I know quite a few people (who went biglaw) that did NOT stick with the firm they worked with 2L summer. There's seems to be a decent amount of switching around, despite the prevailing "wisdom" on TLS.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:02 pm
by imchuckbass58
lawschoolgiant wrote:I know I have to do as well as I can 1L, but are there people who do avg 1L then grad top 10% or 15% who ended 1L as top 50 or 40%

Can someone give me a typical scenario as far as grades matter and dont matter through a law school career.


I'd guess this would be pretty rare.

Think about it. In order to graduate Top 10%, you probably need a 3.7 at schools with a B+ curve. If you pull a 3.3 1L year, you will roughly need to average a 3.9 your last two years to graduate top 10%.

Doable, but pretty friggin hard.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:03 pm
by imchuckbass58
reverendt wrote:I know quite a few people (who went biglaw) that did NOT stick with the firm they worked with 2L summer. There's seems to be a decent amount of switching around, despite the prevailing "wisdom" on TLS.


There used to be a lot of switching in 2006 and 2007. Not anymore.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:09 pm
by lawschoolgiant
say you are top 5% but you have a c+ curve like the school I am going to, do they take that into account, or does a school with a B or B+ curve stand out with a higher GPA but only top 10%, does your transcript reflect class rank?

Sorry if that sounds stupid, I just have no insight.

I know other factors matter, reputation of school, grades in applicable classes, law review... but put the aforementioned question in a vacuum.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:12 pm
by 270910
lawschoolgiant wrote:say you are top 5% but you have a c+ curve like the school I am going to, do they take that into account, or does a school with a B or B+ curve stand out with a higher GPA but only top 10%, does your transcript reflect class rank?

Sorry if that sounds stupid, I just have no insight.

I know other factors matter, reputation of school, grades in applicable classes, law review... but put the aforementioned question in a vacuum.


Class rank is all that matters, GPA number is irrelevant.

Grades in applicable classes are very close to irrelevant.

Law review membership is relevant, but often based on GPA, which means it's just sort of overkill.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:14 pm
by lawschoolgiant
disco_barred wrote:
lawschoolgiant wrote:say you are top 5% but you have a c+ curve like the school I am going to, do they take that into account, or does a school with a B or B+ curve stand out with a higher GPA but only top 10%, does your transcript reflect class rank?

Sorry if that sounds stupid, I just have no insight.

I know other factors matter, reputation of school, grades in applicable classes, law review... but put the aforementioned question in a vacuum.


Class rank is all that matters, GPA number is irrelevant.

Grades in applicable classes are very close to irrelevant.

Law review membership is relevant, but often based on GPA, which means it's just sort of overkill.



so who cares if the curve is B+ or D+? Seems to be pointless to have a curve, obviously the system is smarter than me so I am missing something. You should just be a number 1-xxx. Letter grades seem to be useless.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:18 pm
by vanwinkle
lawschoolgiant wrote:so who cares if the curve is B+ or D+? Seems to be pointless to have a curve, obviously the system is smarter than me so I am missing something. You should just be a number 1-xxx. Letter grades seem to be useless.

There is some truth to this sentiment. It really does not matter where the curve is set as long as it's run properly. However, using something like a B curve makes sense because there's plenty of spaces above and below it for high and low grades. A D+ curve doesn't make much sense unless you want to introduce the concept of "F+" and "F-" grades to people to have the necessary variety of "below median" grades to assign.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:20 pm
by 270910
lawschoolgiant wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
lawschoolgiant wrote:say you are top 5% but you have a c+ curve like the school I am going to, do they take that into account, or does a school with a B or B+ curve stand out with a higher GPA but only top 10%, does your transcript reflect class rank?

Sorry if that sounds stupid, I just have no insight.

I know other factors matter, reputation of school, grades in applicable classes, law review... but put the aforementioned question in a vacuum.


Class rank is all that matters, GPA number is irrelevant.

Grades in applicable classes are very close to irrelevant.

Law review membership is relevant, but often based on GPA, which means it's just sort of overkill.



so who cares if the curve is B+ or D+? Seems to be pointless to have a curve, obviously the system is smarter than me so I am missing something. You should just be a number 1-xxx. Letter grades seem to be useless.


Correct.

People feel better about getting a 3.3 than a 2.7 even if both are considered median, there's a lot of social weight to the grades. Professors at better schools are more likely to be willing to let their curves rise because they'll be more likely to find exams high quality on average.

Fun fact though: Almost every law school gives ~10% straight A range grades. I always found that interesting.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:24 pm
by yeff
Seems like adjusting to the reality of a curved life will be unsettling, unless I end up on top.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:25 pm
by Tautology
What if your school doesn't rank?

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:30 pm
by 270910
Tautology wrote:What if your school doesn't rank?


Few of the top schools give you a class rank. All employers will still know exactly where you stand. It's the bell curve, baby. They see enough applicants and have enough other data (such as cutoff for top 25% or top 10%, cut off to make law review, cut off for deans list, etc.) that everyone - you and employers - will know your rank with sufficient precision whether or not your school chooses to release your ordinal rank.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:35 pm
by Renzo
disco_barred wrote:
Tautology wrote:What if your school doesn't rank?


Few of the top schools give you a class rank. All employers will still know exactly where you stand. It's the bell curve, baby. They see enough applicants and have enough other data (such as cutoff for top 25% or top 10%, cut off to make law review, cut off for deans list, etc.) that everyone - you and employers - will know your rank with sufficient precision whether or not your school chooses to release your ordinal rank.

This is mostly true. My school doesn't rank, and that basically protects the interquartile. It's still really easy for employers to find the top and bottom students, but it's more difficult for them to tell if a student is at the 60th %ile or the 45th.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:38 pm
by TTT-LS
.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:48 pm
by Renzo
TTT-LS wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
reverendt wrote:I know quite a few people (who went biglaw) that did NOT stick with the firm they worked with 2L summer. There's seems to be a decent amount of switching around, despite the prevailing "wisdom" on TLS.


There used to be a lot of switching in 2006 and 2007. Not anymore.

Correct. The way things are right now, there is basically no opportunity to switch if you don't like your 2L SA firm, UNLESS you switch after doing a clerkship. The way it used to be, circa 2006-07, was that you could always do 3L OCI after your 2L SA program & get hired by someone for after graduation. 3L OCI, however, currently exists on paper but not in practice, as no firms are hiring 3Ls (>3% did last year, IIRC).

According to NALP, historically 25% or so of NALP firms would interview 3Ls at OCI. This year it was 6%. No one is switching firms anymore, at least not before putting in a few years.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 8:01 pm
by DoubleChecks
TTT-LS wrote:The way things are right now, there is basically no opportunity to switch if you don't like your 2L SA firm


Or if they dont like you :S

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:23 pm
by keg411
DoubleChecks wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
lawschoolgiant wrote:I know I have to do as well as I can 1L, but are there people who do avg 1L then grad top 10% or 15% who ended 1L as top 50 or 40%

Can someone give me a typical scenario as far as grades matter and dont matter through a law school career.


For big firm hiring, all that matter are 1L grades, period. These are the jobs many (most?) students want - the ones that pay 6 figure starting salaries after 3K/week paid work during the summer between your 2nd and 3rd year.

Everything else is a little different, but 1L grades often still get more weight because they're so standardized. Grades are very important to almost all legal employers.


slightly unrelated question, but it just came up:

what happens if you SA for one biglaw company your 2L->3L summer but then get no-offered? i mean, even if a lot of firms were interested in you, you can only SA or one...so does that mean you're up shit creek w/o a paddle as far as getting into biglaw is concerned?


You're screwed. Happened to a few friends-of-sis (C/O '10 got killed with no-offers). Multiple offers; picked firms that no-offered over half the class; are looking at graduation with a crapload of debt and no job. Also know a few who got very few initial offers/callbacks for SA's but got offers at the end and are BigLawSecure.

Honestly? It seems like the worst thing ever. At least those that don't get 2L SA's have time to make alternate plans. It's almost like you've likely done everything "right" to this point (top grades, great law school, etc.) and then the world comes crashing down....

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:25 pm
by 270910
keg411 wrote:Honestly? It seems like the worst thing ever. At least those that don't get 2L SA's have time to make alternate plans. It's almost like you've likely done everything "right" to this point (top grades, great law school, etc.) and then the world comes crashing down....


Look on the bright side, maybe some of those who got jobs will just wind up Latham'd.

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:27 pm
by keg411
disco_barred wrote:
keg411 wrote:Honestly? It seems like the worst thing ever. At least those that don't get 2L SA's have time to make alternate plans. It's almost like you've likely done everything "right" to this point (top grades, great law school, etc.) and then the world comes crashing down....


Look on the bright side, maybe some of those who got jobs will just wind up Latham'd.


:lol:

I'm lucky this didn't happen to my sis (I don't want to see her get Lantham'd!; and let's just say the chances of me getting any SA are very-very-slim-to-nonexistent), but the horror stories she tells about her friends... yikes!

Re: 1L grades important I know

Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:49 pm
by samiseaborn
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the situation, but I understood that this year a lot of more 2Ls had to find alternatives to biglaw SAs because of the dismal biglaw hiring. Hypothetically, if firm hiring were to pick up this summer, are those 2Ls (rising 3Ls) still in the running for biglaw and now get to use 2 years worth of grades, or are firms more likely to skip the class of 2011 and pick up hiring of 2Ls instead? I honestly don't know how this works.