Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

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AntiHuman
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Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby AntiHuman » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:19 pm

3L at T30, Bottom 20 percent...maybe even bottom 15 percent after this semester. No D's or F's..but getting several C's. No loans. No debt.

Low SAT/ACT, high high school GPA
Low LSAT, high ugrad GPA

Horrible test taker.

Got at least a B+ in all law classes that required a paper(which I could take my time). When it comes to strict time conditions on exams, I either get irritable bowel or can't focus/get freaked out.

Luckily, I have a few connections job wise and a few attorneys said I can come work for them after the Bar in small law firms (It could be anything from an unpaid intern to a full associate..I have no idea what is in store. Very vague). They didn't ask my grades. Any general job/career advice is greatly appreciated.

1. All I need to focus on my final semester is preparing all semester for the July 2013 Bar Exam and just graduating? No point in trying to salvage my grades at the expense of bar studying? I think I might need to start super early due to my test taking ability. Taking Barbri. Any tips or suggestions on what material or what to do starting January 2013?

2. Can bad grades really haunt me my entire career? Connections probably won't ask my grades so hopefully my foot gets in the door there. After that it is just mainly resume and experience? At a T30...isn't it top 15-20 percent or bust? Isnt the rest of the 80 percent of the class just screwed together? It's not like bottom 15 percent is in a MUCH worse position than bottom 40 percent...etc.

3. Very broad question: Any other job/career advice is greatly appreciated. However, what other things some lawyers do to make money on the side? Maybe some stock market/real estate? I feel my actual salary coming out won't be very high(maybe 30-40k). Law school is an investment and I feel I just fooled around too much and treated it like undergrad at times. Gotta kick myself in the foot for that.

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typ3
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby typ3 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:33 pm

Grades mean nothing once you have your first job. Your success will be determined by your clientbase and ability to rainmake. Anecdotal, but I know of several attorneys who make mid 6- low 7 figures as plaintiff personal injury trial lawyers. They were nowhere near the top of their class, they came from TTTT schools, but they hustle like hell. Your success as a lawyer will be determined by your ability to get clients and complete the legal work. Real life =\ law school exams. Just make sure you can actually pass the bar though.

Your professional reputation will be built by the quality of your work and reputation among peers- not what you wrote in 1L contracts.

Also look for advice outside of this forum and lawyers at big shops. Get advice from business owners and successful lawyers at smaller shops who know how to bring in work and don't get legal files plopped on their lap. Find practitioners with a track record and 20+ or more years in the game. You'll learn a lot more from them than young pups. People on TLS are primarily biglaw prestige and big city seekers. Go to a small metro or rural metro market. 100-300k The competition is less stiff and you can make 6 figures if you have reasonable business savvy and can build a client base. Check merger network etc for real and small town lawyers selling practices. Many of them net over 6 figures and their quality of life is infinitely better than that in big firms and big cities.

FWIW the firm I am working at is in a small metro city. The owner works 30hrs a week. The work is almost entirely done by highschool degree legal assistants and paralegals. Just this week we settled 3 PI cases and netted over 150k. Case volume is around 250-400 chapter 7 bankruptcies a year and 160-230 PI cases a year. Everything from 1m+ product liability to 5k slip and falls. Advertising and overhead are minimal. Bankruptcy and high volume consumer work feeds the PI practice through cross selling. The thing about plaintiff work is that the cases are primarily determined by the facts. Writing an insurance demand is 9000% easier than a brief or motion. It is like writing a story. Filling out bankruptcy schedules is done with software. Why the hell would anyone not run this model? Why screw around at a defense mill or big law? Sure it isn't "glamorous", but when you're making 500k+ in a market where COL is significantly lower than the major cities who gives a shit.

There are lots of opportunities like these in states with people wanting a succession plan and way to retire. Troll plaintiff and trial lawyer associations for older mentors and lawyers close to retirement.

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Nova
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby Nova » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:32 pm

Great post typ3. Thanks!

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kalvano
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby kalvano » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:05 am

Grades always matter, they just matter a bit less once you have experience.

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typ3
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby typ3 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:29 pm

kalvano wrote:Grades always matter, they just matter a bit less once you have experience.



I disagree. Who in practice after 10 years asks what your grades were other than a senate confirmation committee? This is sort of like when after 10 years of working someone asks what your high school grades were. No one cares and those who do probably aren't worth your time. There are plenty of highly pedigreed lawyers who are unemployed and in no demand because they cannot bring in work. There are few unemployed TTT/TTTT lawyers who can rain make. Business =/ school. FWIW one of the salesman at my family's company brought home over 240k last year and he has only a high school degree. One of our salesman who has a masters degree from a Ivy school only made 65k. Who do you think would be the first to go and is less employable. It is the same thing in law. If you get the work and bring in work to a firm you are VALUABLE. If you just have grades and are a worker bee a firm or anyone can hire those people for 45-50k thanks to market saturation.

I'm probably not going to win any arguments here on TLS because people are bull headed. You can go to a rural area in the Dakotas and make 6 figures doing small town work and farm trust work, but no one here would believe that or probably even want to do it. Instead people will go to the most saturated markets and think that is the best way to get ahead.

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kalvano
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby kalvano » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:14 pm

There are many firms that will ask for transcripts even several years out. And Latin honors matter too.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:44 pm

From what I've seen the key to this question is whether you are seeking to work at a large firm or one that hires based off of the large firm model. To a lesser extent this applies to in house counsel positions as well. For those jobs grades NEVER stop mattering. They matter somewhat less as time goes on, but they never stop mattering entirely. Another aspect of this is that a lot of those jobs require you to have worked jobs prior that would have required high grades anyway.

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typ3
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby typ3 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:30 pm

If you are only making 30-40k you would make more money in the legal trust department at a large bank or in a legal position with a title company or real estate company.

Also regarding grades, it is not what you know, it is who you know for getting good legal jobs and in house positions. Nothing has changed in the practice or in life for 100 years.

If you want honest career advice, take whatever job you can to pay your bills and try to get on as many boards and organizations as you can to network and find a better job. Keep picking up new skills along the way and learn to market yourself to people in person.

The CEO of my state's largest healthcare network graduated with a 2.7 in college from a TTTT university. The head of one my state's largest bank's corporate finance department has a biology masters with a 3.1 GPA. The president of a large low voltage and security integrator company based in my hometown that does national work for manufacturing plants has a masters degree in interior decorating and design from a TTTT local community college. These people got places not being on TLS and talking and networking with normal people. Just be humble and be a normal person and ignore 99% of what they teach you in law school and you'll be successful.

Likewise, a local lawyer of 29 years who graduated first in his class and was editor of his law review couldn't make it anymore in law who is now selling cars. I know of an insurance defense lawyer who practiced for 24 years and graduated first in his class and has a trial record of 49-0 that is in-house for a large top-3 insurance company who is now forced to try cases on flat fees, works 70h a week and is scrapping by at around 60k. For comparisons median nurse salaries are 65k for 40h a week of work.

FWIW career services told our class 1L year that the top earners from the class graduating before us 1. owned a cupcake bakery 2. sold online wedding veils 3. was an online gambler.

In sum, get skills that people will pay you money for or get into a profession where there is a greater demand that also isn't subject to hollowing out because of technology.

schweitziro
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby schweitziro » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:42 pm

Lol at grades mattering 10 years out. I'm not trolling here; but that claim is nearly patently false.

Gorki
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby Gorki » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:46 pm

typ3 wrote:FWIW career services told our class 1L year that the top earners from the class graduating before us 1. owned a cupcake bakery 2. sold online wedding veils 3. was an online gambler.


+1

Gooses
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby Gooses » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:48 pm

typ3 wrote:Grades mean nothing once you have your first job.


No. Just no.

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typ3
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby typ3 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:01 pm

Gooses wrote:
typ3 wrote:Grades mean nothing once you have your first job.


No. Just no.


Why would they matter? An employer hires you because of your experience and skills. This is the same reason why K-JD graduates on this thread cannot find jobs whereas those who went straight from high school to tech school with a 2 year associates degree in IT security, plumbing, or mechanical repair are employed.

FWIW at my family's business we are now starting installers and technicians in our rural market at 60k + OT + full benefits (401k, health, dental, optical, + phone / laptop/ipad / auto) because we cannot find people who can pull wire, use a drill, and know the basics of electric circuits. The funny thing is, the high school/trade school graduates we are now employing are more worthwhile in the market than a lot of people on this forum. Grades =/ skills.
Last edited by typ3 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bronx Bum
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby Bronx Bum » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:03 pm

In shitlaw, which op is most likely talking about, no...you're grades absolutely do not matter. You will be lucky if you are ever asked for a transcript.

Can anyone see that this dude is not asking for an in-house position at GE?

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Bronx Bum
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby Bronx Bum » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:07 pm

typ3 wrote:
Gooses wrote:
typ3 wrote:Grades mean nothing once you have your first job.


No. Just no.


Why would they matter? An employer hires you because of your experience and skills. This is the same reason why K-12 graduates on this thread cannot find jobs whereas those who went straight from high school to tech school with a 2 year associates degree in IT security or plumbing are employed.



180

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typ3
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby typ3 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:21 pm

Bronx Bum wrote:In shitlaw, which op is most likely talking about, no...you're grades absolutely do not matter. You will be lucky if you are ever asked for a transcript.

Can anyone see that this dude is not asking for an in-house position at GE?


This. Outside of biglaw firms grades don't matter. With that being said, I do have offers for in-house positions at a few NYSE/NASDAQ companies, two Fortune 500 companies (rural food processing and manufacturing), and a health care network.

The offers were entirely through connections and talking to people at social functions / business connections. What I am saying is that most of these in-house positions are closed to connections of the elite and wealthy. People should just wake up on this thread that this is how business and the world works. You are likely to get further by hustling, networking, and moving up the food chain than thinking a business owner / corporation really gives a shit whether you were order of the coif or not.

You are more likely to land a job by impressing someone with your hustle than the fact you can read books and take tests. There are a lot of these book readers already and they have priced themselves at $10 h/r -- unemployed. Why should anyone pay you anymore than that? If you really think a big firm or an in-house position is going to pay you an inflated wage for long you are mistaken. There is downward pressure for pricing and QOL demands in in-house as well.
Last edited by typ3 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gorki
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby Gorki » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:33 pm

I think that the TLS mentality reflects the fact most are top students at top schools. For everyone else, myself included, the strategy is gonna have very diminished returns.

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typ3
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby typ3 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:42 pm

Gorki wrote:I think that the TLS mentality reflects the fact most are top students at top schools. For everyone else, myself included, the strategy is gonna have very diminished returns.

This doesn't mean that they are special snowflakes that defy the rules of business or the realms of reality. Who you know > what you know.

AntiHuman
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby AntiHuman » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:14 am

So what exactly is shitlaw? Grades don't matter at all for shitlaw? What's the minimum salary I can expect from a standard shitlaw job? 20-25/hour doing doc review?

See biglaw was never in the question for me because I will have no debt coming out. Maybe this is why I didn't try as hard in law school as I should have. I would be thrilled with 25/hour or 40K+ coming out of law school(IF I can pass the bar exam). I can't see myself working 70+ hour weeks. I might have to change this perception of hours/week especially if I want to "hussle".

I really want upward mobility...income wise...even though my first job might be shit. Government jobs/PI jobs are out too then?

I just don't want my grades to haunt me for my entire career. It's kind of like I just dropped 200K for the degree and to become a lawyer. Still feel bad that my grades are low. Nothing I can do now, but to focus on the bar.

interests: criminal defense, personal injury, real estate law, TWE, family law(which my first job will most likely be in)

long term dream lawyer job: sports/entertainment/media
Last edited by AntiHuman on Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

MinEMorris
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby MinEMorris » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:18 am

I realize most people won't identify with this and I don't think it's a way that people should feel, but I personally never wanted to "network" or "hustle" even if it meant better jobs or opportunities because I feel it almost inevitably leads to situations that really aren't worth it for me. Primarily, it puts you in a position of being beholden to other people. Say you're a top 30%er at a T2 that networks his way into a V10. At your new job, you're going to feel more like you can't screw up because people essentially "pulled strings" for you. If you hate your job and want to quit, it would also be a much more difficult position since, again, someone pulled strings for you to get that job. Also what if the guy/gal that hooked you up calls you and wants you to play golf with him on the weekends-- you pretty much can't say no. Basically these things end up winding up in such a way that your freedom is significantly curtailed if you feel any moral obligation for having been helped out. While it may mean I'll never be wildly successful and my tenure at a firm will always be more precarious, I like feeling like I owe my position to nobody but myself, and that things like poor work performance, quitting, etc. will only reflect poorly on me and nobody else.

Also, maybe that ridiculous Kant class I took in undergrad poisoned my mind, but something also just feels really bizarre and dirty about socializing with people and developing relationships almost exclusively as a means to an end. Maybe I'm just really weird, but I guess I take personal interaction pretty seriously, and I have a really hard time going to events, talking with people, etc. with the express purpose of trying to use my good impression to leverage their power to get my life in a better spot.

I realize that most people are just after the best job they can get, by whatever means necessary. If that's the case, I certainly agree that networking and aggressive hustling cannot be ignored. There's a great thread in legal employment about a T30 top 30% guy who hustled his way into V10 and V20 offers.

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Bronx Bum
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby Bronx Bum » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:26 am

MinEMorris wrote:I realize most people won't identify with this and I don't think it's a way that people should feel, but I personally never wanted to "network" or "hustle" even if it meant better jobs or opportunities because I feel it almost inevitably leads to situations that really aren't worth it for me. Primarily, it puts you in a position of being beholden to other people. Say you're a top 30%er at a T2 that networks his way into a V10. At your new job, you're going to feel more like you can't screw up because people essentially "pulled strings" for you. If you hate your job and want to quit, it would also be a much more difficult position since, again, someone pulled strings for you to get that job. Also what if the guy/gal that hooked you up calls you and wants you to play golf with him on the weekends-- you pretty much can't say no. Basically these things end up winding up in such a way that your freedom is significantly curtailed if you feel any moral obligation for having been helped out. While it may mean I'll never be wildly successful and my tenure at a firm will always be more precarious, I like feeling like I owe my position to nobody but myself, and that things like poor work performance, quitting, etc. will only reflect poorly on me and nobody else.

Also, maybe that ridiculous Kant class I took in undergrad poisoned my mind, but something also just feels really bizarre and dirty about socializing with people and developing relationships almost exclusively as a means to an end. Maybe I'm just really weird, but I guess I take personal interaction pretty seriously, and I have a really hard time going to events, talking with people, etc. with the express purpose of trying to use my good impression to leverage their power to get my life in a better spot.

I realize that most people are just after the best job they can get, by whatever means necessary. If that's the case, I certainly agree that networking and aggressive hustling cannot be ignored. There's a great thread in legal employment about a T30 top 30% guy who hustled his way into V10 and V20 offers.


Like anything else in life (jobs, sports, finding a mate, etc.) there are some (very few) people that can get by purely on their talents and coast along like you describe. For everyone else, it's IRL and you have to do whatever it takes (hustle, network, favors) to survive.

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IAFG
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:30 am

MinEMorris wrote:I realize most people won't identify with this and I don't think it's a way that people should feel, but I personally never wanted to "network" or "hustle" even if it meant better jobs or opportunities because I feel it almost inevitably leads to situations that really aren't worth it for me. Primarily, it puts you in a position of being beholden to other people. Say you're a top 30%er at a T2 that networks his way into a V10. At your new job, you're going to feel more like you can't screw up because people essentially "pulled strings" for you. If you hate your job and want to quit, it would also be a much more difficult position since, again, someone pulled strings for you to get that job. Also what if the guy/gal that hooked you up calls you and wants you to play golf with him on the weekends-- you pretty much can't say no. Basically these things end up winding up in such a way that your freedom is significantly curtailed if you feel any moral obligation for having been helped out. While it may mean I'll never be wildly successful and my tenure at a firm will always be more precarious, I like feeling like I owe my position to nobody but myself, and that things like poor work performance, quitting, etc. will only reflect poorly on me and nobody else.

Also, maybe that ridiculous Kant class I took in undergrad poisoned my mind, but something also just feels really bizarre and dirty about socializing with people and developing relationships almost exclusively as a means to an end. Maybe I'm just really weird, but I guess I take personal interaction pretty seriously, and I have a really hard time going to events, talking with people, etc. with the express purpose of trying to use my good impression to leverage their power to get my life in a better spot.

I realize that most people are just after the best job they can get, by whatever means necessary. If that's the case, I certainly agree that networking and aggressive hustling cannot be ignored. There's a great thread in legal employment about a T30 top 30% guy who hustled his way into V10 and V20 offers.

I think you are insane.

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kalvano
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:34 am

I had shit grades after my first year. I pulled myself up by a wide margin and it matters.

Put it this way: there is literally no way having good grades can hurt you. If you're spending time, money, whatever to be there, what's the benefit of not trying to do well?

rad lulz
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:46 am

MinEMorris wrote:I realize most people won't identify with this and I don't think it's a way that people should feel, but I personally never wanted to "network" or "hustle" even if it meant better jobs or opportunities because I feel it almost inevitably leads to situations that really aren't worth it for me. Primarily, it puts you in a position of being beholden to other people. Say you're a top 30%er at a T2 that networks his way into a V10. At your new job, you're going to feel more like you can't screw up because people essentially "pulled strings" for you. If you hate your job and want to quit, it would also be a much more difficult position since, again, someone pulled strings for you to get that job. Also what if the guy/gal that hooked you up calls you and wants you to play golf with him on the weekends-- you pretty much can't say no. Basically these things end up winding up in such a way that your freedom is significantly curtailed if you feel any moral obligation for having been helped out. While it may mean I'll never be wildly successful and my tenure at a firm will always be more precarious, I like feeling like I owe my position to nobody but myself, and that things like poor work performance, quitting, etc. will only reflect poorly on me and nobody else.

Also, maybe that ridiculous Kant class I took in undergrad poisoned my mind, but something also just feels really bizarre and dirty about socializing with people and developing relationships almost exclusively as a means to an end. Maybe I'm just really weird, but I guess I take personal interaction pretty seriously, and I have a really hard time going to events, talking with people, etc. with the express purpose of trying to use my good impression to leverage their power to get my life in a better spot.

I realize that most people are just after the best job they can get, by whatever means necessary. If that's the case, I certainly agree that networking and aggressive hustling cannot be ignored. There's a great thread in legal employment about a T30 top 30% guy who hustled his way into V10 and V20 offers.

This is sublime idiocy.

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kalvano
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:53 am

MinEMorris wrote:
Also, maybe that ridiculous Kant class I took in undergrad poisoned my mind, but something also just feels really bizarre and dirty about socializing with people and developing relationships almost exclusively as a means to an end. Maybe I'm just really weird, but I guess I take personal interaction pretty seriously, and I have a really hard time going to events, talking with people, etc. with the express purpose of trying to use my good impression to leverage their power to get my life in a better spot.



This is fucking weird. Not every relationship is some deep personal friendship. You can be business associates and use each other to help each other out. In fact, a lot of people not only expect it, they're happy to help if they like you. Are you not going to ask professors for recommendations?

Gorki
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Re: Do 3L Grades matter if I am already screwed?

Postby Gorki » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:08 am

Come on breh, one of the few things lawl skoo teaches you is "business done at arm's length." Its just business, even if your hustling game is apparent, they know it is JUST BUSINESS. If they hate you for it, its not the right tree to bark up anyway and you should politely move on.




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