Undergraduate Transcripts

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Anonymous User
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Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:43 pm

A decent number of judges require undergraduate transcripts. My undergraduate gpa was a 2.75. Should I just apply anyways or apply but not send the undergraduate transcript?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:44 pm

If they specifically ask for UG transcripts, and you don't send one, you'll look like you can't follow directions.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:47 pm

I hate when the undergrad record follows me around too. I just don't apply to any job that asks for one. Figure I probably would hate those uptight fuckers anyway.

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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:14 pm

Any idea on how damning bad undergrad transcripts tend to be for someone with otherwise good credentials?

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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:06 pm

OP here. It seems like we are in a bad situation with the UG transcript thin. If we don't send it, it looks like we can't follow directions. If we do send it, the low GPA makes it easier to throw us out of the pile for similarly credentialed folks with good undergrad gpa. Which is worse?

ClerkAdvisor
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A decent number of judges require undergraduate transcripts. My undergraduate gpa was a 2.75. Should I just apply anyways or apply but not send the undergraduate transcript?


If the judge requires it, you need to send it.

Basically, it will play out one of three ways:
-The judge won't interview you because of your undergraduate transcript,
-The judge will grill you on your undergraduate transcript and then move on, or
-The judge will laugh it off or not care, and only really cares about your law school transcript.

At this point, the only thing you can do about a bad undergraduate transcript is to make sure your recommenders know about it. That way, they can address it in the letter/phone call if they think its necessary.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:59 pm

ClerkAdvisor wrote:At this point, the only thing you can do about a bad undergraduate transcript is to make sure your recommenders know about it. That way, they can address it in the letter/phone call if they think its necessary.


Could you explain why informing your recommenders of your atrocious undergrad record is a good idea? What could they say to address it? I'm worried that my UG GPA will cause my recommenders to think twice about recommending me, beyond anything they could say to mitigate it.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:05 am

I forgot to include my UG transcript for one judge who asked for it (whoops), but I still got an interview. For all I know, the judge didn't even notice. I think it just depends on the judge; I'm sure some care, but I also bet others just see the box on OSCAR and think "yeah, sure," and click it. Maybe they think it will give them one more thing to talk about in an interview, or one more way to split hairs between two similar candidates.

Overall, I'd say you should definitely include it, but not to worry much about it. What's done is done, and if certain judges really care how well you did in college, there's nothing you can do at this point to change that. As with other aspects of the clerkship application process, it's best to be as zen as you can about it. I certainly would not avoid applying to judges who ask, though; for all you know, they really won't care (or won't even look).

Also, to the above point, I don't think you should even tell your recommenders about it unless they ask. Seems irrelevant to me. Plus, what will they say to help? "He/She may have done not so great in undergrad, but they did great in law school"? The judge will be able to see that from looking at the transcripts.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby TatteredDignity » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:25 am

Tangerine Gleam wrote:I forgot to include my UG transcript for one judge who asked for it (whoops), but I still got an interview. For all I know, the judge didn't even notice. I think it just depends on the judge; I'm sure some care, but I also bet others just see the box on OSCAR and think "yeah, sure," and click it. Maybe they think it will give them one more thing to talk about in an interview, or one more way to split hairs between two similar candidates.

Overall, I'd say you should definitely include it, but not to worry much about it. What's done is done, and if certain judges really care how well you did in college, there's nothing you can do at this point to change that. As with other aspects of the clerkship application process, it's best to be as zen as you can about it. I certainly would not avoid applying to judges who ask, though; for all you know, they really won't care (or won't even look).

Also, to the above point, I don't think you should even tell your recommenders about it unless they ask. Seems irrelevant to me. Plus, what will they say to help? "He/She may have done not so great in undergrad, but they did great in law school"? The judge will be able to see that from looking at the transcripts.


All good points. Thanks for your input.

ClerkAdvisor
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:14 am

TatteredDignity wrote:
ClerkAdvisor wrote:At this point, the only thing you can do about a bad undergraduate transcript is to make sure your recommenders know about it. That way, they can address it in the letter/phone call if they think its necessary.


Could you explain why informing your recommenders of your atrocious undergrad record is a good idea? What could they say to address it? I'm worried that my UG GPA will cause my recommenders to think twice about recommending me, beyond anything they could say to mitigate it.


Two reasons:

-Your recommenders should know about your weaknesses so that they can address them as needed. For example, if a recommender thinks that you would be a good fit with a judge who is known to look at undergraduate transcripts, she can address the bad undergraduate record head on. This is especially important when a recommender is making calls for you and when a recommender knows a judge. It can make the difference between getting and not getting an interview.

-Perhaps more important, you always want to avoid surprises. Your recommenders should know about the undergraduate transcripts so that they don't find out about them from a judge. If a recommender calls a judge for you (and generally, a judge should already have your application when the call is made) and starts singing your praises, you don't want that recommender to be put in an uncomfortable situation by the judge asking about a poor undergraduate record that the recommender doesn't know about.

A recommender isn't going to choose not to recommend you just because you have a poor undergraduate record. Recommenders want you to succeed and have formed their opinion of you based on your performance in law school. They know, like many judges know, that some people don't find success until law school (or that life gets in the way of the undergrad years). The more a recommender knows about you, the better recommendation they can give.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:43 am

Thanks for your perspective, clerk advisor. What is your response to this?

Tangerine Gleam wrote:Also, to the above point, I don't think you should even tell your recommenders about it unless they ask. Seems irrelevant to me. Plus, what will they say to help? "He/She may have done not so great in undergrad, but they did great in law school"? The judge will be able to see that from looking at the transcripts.

clerker
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Re: Undergraduate Transcripts

Postby clerker » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:08 pm

I would submit it. In that case, the worst that could happen is that the judge would take one look at your app and throw it in the discard pile. Those judges aren't hiring you regardless. However, if your law school record is superb, it may pique the curiosity of the judge. How did this kid pull off getting into Stanford Law and making top 10% even though she pulled a C+ average during undergrad?

I can say from experience that failing to submit a UG transcript is obvious because when we (the law clerks reviewed applications in my chambers) compare across different candidates, we'd be missing materials to compare. You could probably get away with it with some judges, but if your law school record is strong, it's a small risk to throw in your UG grades, even if they suck.




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