shredderrrrrr wrote: sebastian0622 wrote:
shredderrrrrr wrote:I wish they could do away with stipulations as well. I didn't think they were a big deal until I realized virtually no other schools do them. With that said, however, I understand the point of them and don't think they're extremely ridiculous. Maybe I've just been instilled with the same Iowa values that influence Iowa schools to have stipulations attached to awards? I mean it makes sense to have to prove yourself once in law school to keep being rewarded. It sucks but makes sense (to me at least).
This would actually make a ton of sense if law school grades were more highly correlated with "proving yourself." In other words, if they were less arbitrary and had more do with effort and performance. I actually think stips on undergrad scholarships would be a great idea. Law school? Not so much.
That makes sense. Having not attended law school yet, I can't see/understand how law school grades reflect effort and performance.
On another note though, I gotta ask: If law school grades really aren't very indicative of performance or effort and everyone in the legal field that hires graduates has experienced this ridiculous grade system (having themselves graduated law school), why do firms hire so strictly based on class rank? You would think, assuming this disconnect is true, that they would realize that grades don't indicate the best students. Do they rely so heavily on grades simply due to lack of other measures?
This is a two-part answer.
First, firms don't "hire so strictly based on class rank." The extent to which law firms hire based on grades is vastly overblown on TLS. That's not to say grades are not a factor, because they are. But recent Iowa classes have placed around 12% of their graduates into NLJ250 ("biglaw") firms. Grades matter at those places (more on that later). For the vast majority of the other 88%, grades don't matter nearly as much. I received my 1L gig despite being bottom third at the time. I received my 2L gig despite being median at the time. In addition, I know people below median with good jobs and people above median with nothing. Don't think for a minute that employers take by default the student with the best grades so long as he doesn't have a third eye. All of the normal rules of employment in any other field still apply.
Second, biglaw firms can pick between several hundred applicants for every spot they have, so why NOT pick people with great grades? You can only interview so many people within the time frame of OCI, and you have hundreds of people interested. Even if grades are only 5% of what's important in an applicant, there is no reason NOT to pick the people with high grades to interview. That isn't to say that, for any individual student, grades are highly correlated with intelligence or effort. It's just to say that, at the aggregate, there might be the tiniest of correlations sufficient to justify such a selection process (along with an absence of any countervailing reason not to).
Of course, if someone with lower grades has something else that catches their eye, they just might throw him a bone. I was a pre-select with a few firms during 2L OCI despite being median and the firms asking for top third or higher. I have a few rare things on my resume, and they worked to my advantage. Again...not strict reliance on grades. In addition, both jobs I got were through lottery interview slots. These firms didn't eliminate me based on my grades/being a lottery, and I was able to work that into an offer. In other words, once you're in front of a hiring partner, grades aren't particularly important. They only use them to screen because they have virtually NOTHING else to screen by, because the majority of law students have nearly identical resumes. It makes at least some sense from the perspective of a hiring partner, but none of this suggests that grades are more than a very weak and minimally-reliable indicator of performance.