Knock wrote:How common are LPs and how damaging are they at OCI?
The short answer is really uncommon, but quite damaging.
Though I believe the official curve recommends that the bottom 10% of the class receives LPs, it seems that professors are actually discouraged from giving them. How the administration views LPs is a bit hidden from us, but most professors understand them to be discretionary. When asked, every professor I had this year basically said something along the lines of "to get an LP, you have to earn it." In other words, unless you really blow it (i.e. not study, not complete the test, never go to class), you will pass. That seems to be most professors' approach, though there may be a few outliers who more strictly conform to the curve or believe in giving LPs on principle. One of my professors said he "didn't like" to give them. Others just said not to worry about it. What that translates to is probably 1-2 LPs handed out in most large classes...they'd be even more rare in seminars.
One of the reasons professors are so reluctant to dole out LPs - and this gets to the second part of your question - is because they really do screw you over. I haven't gone through EIP (the early interview program in August) but what I've picked up from others makes it sound like an LP is a really serious blot on your resume that is difficult to overcome. My sense is that it will likely kill your chances at a top-tier firm and generally make the job search significantly tougher. It's a red flag, plain and simple. That said, as long as you have some other stuff going for you or an otherwise decent transcript, you'd almost certainly still be able to get a BigLaw job. And if your transcript is otherwise filled with H's, it would do significantly less harm. All of that assumes one LP. If someone had multiple LPs. I'd imagine it would be basically impossible to get a BigLaw job unless you're a fantastic interview or are otherwise extremely impressive.
But yeah, as noted above, it's really not a serious concern, even for classes you might struggle in. It's scary first semester when you haven't taken any law school exams yet, but then you realize it's not much to worry about it.
This is such an irresponsible post (based, btw, exclusively on rumors it appears) that it makes me sick. I got 1 LP first semester and almost dropped out because of stupid shit like this. Ended up sticking with it, got only 1 H second semester and at EIP ended up w/ 11 callbacks at BigLaw firms that pay scale including 1 V10, 3 V20, 2 V30, and a lit boutique. Ended up going V20.
We go to Harvard, we are all in the running for virtually every firm with a medium to large summer class size. Is an LP a red flag? Sure. But so is being socially awkward or not knowing about the firm or arriving two minutes late or not having any work experience before law school, or applying to a city you've never lived in that's not NYC. And if you look at the statistics OCS provides, a lot of V10 firms are calling back 65-80% of HLS students, and I guarantee more than one in five HLS students has ONE of those other red flags. I had one interviewer at a V40 firm notice my LP and literally ask me my LSAT score to prove that I was smart and when I told him, he gave me an in room CB. And I'm not a spectacular interviewer, I just didn't let posts like this affect my confidence or bid strategy.