gottago wrote:I'm hoping someone else offers their view on this too, but:
Since by OCI (or whatever it's called), YLS will have only 1 semester of grades, and even then the grades don't really distinguish anyone besides the top 10% who collects all the HPs, doesn't this just mean that getting a job is more reliant on good interviewing skills @ YLS than at anywhere else?
I'm a K-JD so it's not like I've survived McKinsey's 50-round interview. Not a master interviewer.
Would I be better served distinguishing myself via HLS's abundantly clear and unambiguous grading system?
or do interviewers give YLS kids a "pass" on this too?
YLS either makes it easier for me because it can get me to a callback that I'd need 6Hs @ HLS to get but then it's all up to my interviewing skills, or it may make it harder because then it's all up to my interviewing skills--once YLS takes me to the callback stage, I'm on my own.
(Disclaimer: I'm a 1L so I haven't yet personally gone through FIP or the clerkship process. I do believe I have a good understanding of these processes based on many conversations with 2L's and 3L's, but I encourage you to ask people like Elston Gunn who have more experience than me.)
As you suggest, law school meritocracies are hydraulic. If you squeeze one part of the system, another part bulges. Grades matter less here, so things like interview skills (and professor recommendations for clerkships) matter more.
But here's the thing: It's really, really easy to get a law firm job out of Yale. Because there are so few Yalies, even people with straight P's can get an SA at a V10 or V15 at the very worst. Seriously. If you take a look at the Harvard OCI treads, this is simply not the case there. So yes, interviewing skills matter "more" here relative to other schools. But they don't matter much.
I am a K-JD who has not gone through any McKinsey-type interviews before, and I have talked with many 2L and 3L K-JD's. None of them had any trouble whatsoever getting jobs at the very best firms, and they didn't feel they needed to be interview ninjas to get Big Law.
I also want to emphasize to you that there is no way you can predict how you will do on law school exams. One of the smartest and most impressive people I've met here has terrible grades (although not to this person's detriment -- this person is so impressive that he/she was literally approached unsolicited by a feeder judge with a clerkship offer).