- Posts: 8
- Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:34 pm
I'm a prospective law school student. Not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but here goes:
After reviewing the hiring policies of various law firms, a couple of the prestigious firms seek students who receive a gpa of 3.5 or higher, moot court, law review, etc.
I was just wondering how easy (or in this case, how difficult) it is to get a 3.5 in law school. I understand that it is dependent on the school and that law school, in general, is very very difficult. A lot of my seemingly brighter law school friends talk about how they are scrambling to get Bs.
Is getting a 3.5 and above THAT DIFFICULT? What does the top 5% usually graduate with? Does anyone get a 4.0?
Thanks in advance for your help.
- Posts: 5
- Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:52 pm
C or below: 2%
In reality, a lot of the better students will get some As and some Bs making it extremely rare for a person to be getting enough A and A- grades to get up to a 3.7 GPA. For example, a friend of mine got an A, a B, and a B+. The point is, a lot of the A and A- grades go to people who get 3.5 or so GPAs. It is very rare for someone to be in the top 20% of all classes and net a 3.7 or higher. Since 3.7 is top 5% of the class, 3.5 is probably top 20%.
- Posts: 4
- Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:33 pm
a 3.5 is between the top 15-20% at fordham after first year.
- Posts: 4
- Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:40 pm
1. What median grade is the school curved to?
2. What is the overall grade distribution?
Most people only think about #1 and forget about #2. For instance, at a great number of schools the vast majority of people will have grades within 1 or 2 tenths of the median grade (to which the school curves). I think this is true of most of the top of tier 1. The thinking is that everyone's grades will look decent, but there will be few standouts. UT has a 3.3 curve, meaning that the median grade is a B+. To have above a 3.5 at UT means you're in the top-35% of the class.
At other schools the median grade is common, but so are grades on the far ends of the spectrum, i.e. they give several very low grades and several very high grades. I think that's more likely to be true for the lower ranked schools.
The grade distribution is really important to understand, especially because GPA doesn't say everything. A firm will know that if you got all As and maybe 1 C, then you do really good work but ran into a class where you missed an issue on an exam and had to get a lower grade on the curve. Firms will have the info about your school's distribution and know that only 15% (or less) of your class could be getting those As.
That said, a 3.5 is a challenge anywhere, but law firms don't stick rigidly to their grade cutoffs. Once you get yoru foot in the door for your interview, your resume and your personality are what matter.
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