Importance of grades in callbacks Forum

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sleepyzombie

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Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by sleepyzombie » Wed Jul 03, 2024 8:09 pm

I’ve been lucky to get callbacks from a few firms in NYC and DC that afaik typically want people with way higher grades than mine. I do have good WE + law review + I guess I’m personable in interviews? How worried should I be about my grades killing the chances of an offer? They’re not bad (median at my T6) but I’m still paranoid. If asked to explain them, I wouldn’t know how to answer (especially since they’ve trended downward).

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 03, 2024 9:12 pm

You have no control over this situation, so just come up with some canned response if they ask about your grades like, "I did my best and it was what it was. I look forward to continuing to improve my analytical skills during the rest of law school." There's no point in thinking about whether you should be worried or not.

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 03, 2024 9:29 pm

If you've made it past the screener, grades are generally not dispositive at this stage and it should be more of a "fit" interview.

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 03, 2024 10:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2024 9:12 pm
You have no control over this situation, so just come up with some canned response if they ask about your grades like, "I did my best and it was what it was. I look forward to continuing to improve my analytical skills during the rest of law school." There's no point in thinking about whether you should be worried or not.
Rationally you’re right, but I still feel like I need an exceptional interview; a merely good one wouldn’t be enough. The poster above said CBs are just about fit and I guess making sure you’re not a weirdo, and while that might be true for the average CB candidate, wouldn’t I have to go to extra lengths to prove myself as a good fit? Idk how to stand out that way.

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 03, 2024 11:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2024 10:26 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2024 9:12 pm
You have no control over this situation, so just come up with some canned response if they ask about your grades like, "I did my best and it was what it was. I look forward to continuing to improve my analytical skills during the rest of law school." There's no point in thinking about whether you should be worried or not.
Rationally you’re right, but I still feel like I need an exceptional interview; a merely good one wouldn’t be enough. The poster above said CBs are just about fit and I guess making sure you’re not a weirdo, and while that might be true for the average CB candidate, wouldn’t I have to go to extra lengths to prove myself as a good fit? Idk how to stand out that way.
Biglaw partner. Generally, if you receive a callback, the firm thinks you are someone who satisfies its "hard" standards that it uses to screen for competence and analytical ability. At the callback stage, it is all about making sure that you are more or less likable and relatable, confirming that you have a good reason for wanting to work at the firm, and watching out for red flags that sometimes emerge in conversation. (This is not a high bar, but you would be shocked by how many people lack basic social skills or cannot hold a conversation for 20 minutes.). At the margins, it's possible that people on the hiring committee would take a second look at your credentials/grades, but at this stage we're making gut judgments about who we'd like to work with, who has a more compelling story for why he/she wants to work at our firm, and who we think has the soft skills and grit to thrive in the job long term.

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 04, 2024 9:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2024 11:42 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2024 10:26 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2024 9:12 pm
You have no control over this situation, so just come up with some canned response if they ask about your grades like, "I did my best and it was what it was. I look forward to continuing to improve my analytical skills during the rest of law school." There's no point in thinking about whether you should be worried or not.
Rationally you’re right, but I still feel like I need an exceptional interview; a merely good one wouldn’t be enough. The poster above said CBs are just about fit and I guess making sure you’re not a weirdo, and while that might be true for the average CB candidate, wouldn’t I have to go to extra lengths to prove myself as a good fit? Idk how to stand out that way.
Biglaw partner. Generally, if you receive a callback, the firm thinks you are someone who satisfies its "hard" standards that it uses to screen for competence and analytical ability. At the callback stage, it is all about making sure that you are more or less likable and relatable, confirming that you have a good reason for wanting to work at the firm, and watching out for red flags that sometimes emerge in conversation. (This is not a high bar, but you would be shocked by how many people lack basic social skills or cannot hold a conversation for 20 minutes.). At the margins, it's possible that people on the hiring committee would take a second look at your credentials/grades, but at this stage we're making gut judgments about who we'd like to work with, who has a more compelling story for why he/she wants to work at our firm, and who we think has the soft skills and grit to thrive in the job long term.
That’s reassuring, thanks!

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 04, 2024 1:05 pm

Just to give a different perspective, at my firm grades still matter when deciding offers post-callback, and even more so if you’re coming from a non-T-14 school. Someone might have strong reviews and background, but if we only have a limited number of spots for that school then they can lose out compared to a similar candidate profile with better grades.

sleepyzombie

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by sleepyzombie » Thu Jul 04, 2024 1:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2024 1:05 pm
Just to give a different perspective, at my firm grades still matter when deciding offers post-callback, and even more so if you’re coming from a non-T-14 school. Someone might have strong reviews and background, but if we only have a limited number of spots for that school then they can lose out compared to a similar candidate profile with better grades.
Which firm is this? If you don’t want to say that here, mind DMing me?

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 04, 2024 11:06 pm

T6 median almost guarantees a biglaw offer, since you've already established in the screeners that you are not a weird dude a nd you can handle normal conversations. And you have law review. No need to worry. Seriously.

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 05, 2024 8:40 am

My take as a Biglaw junior associate is in the middle of they still matter a lot and they don't matter. I don't believe that grades are merely to get past the screener stage, of course they still are somewhat considered in callback. But, the the difference between a screener and a callback when it comes to grades is grades can practically bar you completely in a screener no matter how well you do. Whereas in callbacks you know that your grades are not so bad as to make you a waste of time.

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Re: Importance of grades in callbacks

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 05, 2024 10:38 am

On the hiring committee at a DC firm. Grades play a much stronger role at the screener stage. Once you've come in for a callback, we'll double-check your grades when making an offer to make sure we don't need to discuss them, but median at a T6 would not give pause. If for some reason there was something in your callback that was concerning then we might pay closer attention to them but I don't think your particular situation would be concerning.

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