What GPA Considered "Untouchable" For Firm Job?

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What GPA Considered "Untouchable" For Firm Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:44 am

I'm just curious as to what is considered too-low a GPA to have no realistic shot at a big firm job in NYC. I'm worried that, with my 3.15 (median at my lower T-14 is 3.3), I won't have a realistic option down the road (i.e. big firm job to pay off my loans), and should consider dropping out. I'm a 1L, so I still have one more semester to go. However, if I end up with a similar result, I wonder how much of a long-shot I'll be at OCI. Not URM, no engineering background. Thoughts?

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Re: What GPA Considered "Untouchable" For Firm Job?

Postby Nebby » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:42 am

Eh untouchable is probably more like sub-3.0

Your interview skills will help you land a SA. Practice interviewing

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Re: What GPA Considered "Untouchable" For Firm Job?

Postby Glasseyes » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:45 am

The GPA "floor" for any given firm depends on your school more than anything. If you're at Cornell, you probably have much less to worry about regarding NY firms than you do at GULC. By the tone of this post I'm guessing you're at GULC. Most importantly, do everything you can to course correct now. Talk to profs about your exams and ways to improve; figure out if it was a semester long study problem, misuse of time during the exam period (I.e., failure to effectively use practice exams), or if it was a test day foible. Ultimately, GPA definitely matters the most when getting interviews, but it also may matter more than we can ever know when the firm is deciding which of its callback candidates to hire, as the final distinguishing factor (or as the ultimate, quantifiable tiebreaker). The more mitigating factors you have the better off you'll be. Meaning you'll need to excel in interviewers, hustle at firm receptions and reach out to firm alumni now and all through 1L summer. If you have significant work experience, that can be a major plus offsetting gpa as well, or if you have connections or ridiculous softs. Without any of those peripheral things, it becomes a contest of grades and interview performance.

Shorter answer to your question: assuming you're at GULC, based on past years it seems like almost all firms cut off around median, with a handful of exceptions. Hollingsworth has dipped down to 3.0, but who knows how impeccably qualified that candidate was. They're a below-market lit boutique/midsize, and they look for different things than true biglaw anyway. A couple of other firms like Venable, Foley, and Holland and Knight will take a few below or around median, but they also hire almost exclusively based on fit, which is harder to game than it sounds. Those firms also get more bids than any others, for obvious reasons.

As for what you should actually do: if you actually want to be a lawyer, stick it out and pull those grades up. You should still reconcile yourself to the outcome that biglaw may not happen, and ask if you're OK landing a smaller firm job or some kind of less competitive government job. If you're not OK with that path, or if you don't really want to be a lawyer, then this is where you drop out and save yourself a semester's tuition (assuming it's not too late for a tuition refund). Best of luck out there.

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Re: What GPA Considered "Untouchable" For Firm Job?

Postby Serett » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:58 pm

And if you're not at GULC, I'm guessing Duke. Stick with it. 70% got Biglaw or a federal clerkship per the most recent LST data, and based on the 2L summer employment list for the current 3Ls, I'm pretty sure it was even better for their year (no data on the current 2L class yet). Some degree of the rest are self-selection to other preferred options, and the vast majority of the class ends up with at least something decent. You're only halfway to grades actually mattering, and even then, it's worth it to at least tough out OCI before dropping out if it goes poorly and you're still so inclined.

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Re: What GPA Considered "Untouchable" For Firm Job?

Postby BmoreOrLess » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:00 pm

If you're at GULC, plenty of time to get your grades up. You have 18 or 19 credits of grades coming this semester. B+'s with one A- puts you right back around a 3.3.

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Re: What GPA Considered "Untouchable" For Firm Job?

Postby gaddockteeg » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:08 pm

There isn't one. Like someone mentioned, good interviewing will go a long way.

One of my close friends was bottom 10% at GULC. Landed v100 midway through 3L.

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Re: What GPA Considered "Untouchable" For Firm Job?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:09 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys! Where would 3.15 put me at a ~3.3 median? Bottom 20%? 10%? I have no idea. And yes, I'm at one of those aforementioned schools :D

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