Latin honors in cover letter Forum

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sellingsnakeoil

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Latin honors in cover letter

Post by sellingsnakeoil » Thu Jun 06, 2024 12:23 am

Just graduated from HLS and got magna. I feel pompous saying that in the cover letter, but I've gotten two interviews off ~110 COA apps over the last year, and don't have any connections/profs who are calling to get me pulled out of the pile, so I feel like I need to do whatever I can to catch readers' attention / get a serious look at my app going forward. I'd appreciate any advice

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Re: Latin honors in cover letter

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:15 am

It doesn't matter because presumably the "magna cum laude" designation is also on your resume and transcript. Putting it in the cover letter probably won't hurt you, but it also probably won't help you.

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Re: Latin honors in cover letter

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:26 am

sellingsnakeoil wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2024 12:23 am
Just graduated from HLS and got magna. I feel pompous saying that in the cover letter, but I've gotten two interviews off ~110 COA apps over the last year, and don't have any connections/profs who are calling to get me pulled out of the pile, so I feel like I need to do whatever I can to catch readers' attention / get a serious look at my app going forward. I'd appreciate any advice
OCS recommends doing so. E.g. I just graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude.

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Re: Latin honors in cover letter

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:26 am
sellingsnakeoil wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2024 12:23 am
Just graduated from HLS and got magna. I feel pompous saying that in the cover letter, but I've gotten two interviews off ~110 COA apps over the last year, and don't have any connections/profs who are calling to get me pulled out of the pile, so I feel like I need to do whatever I can to catch readers' attention / get a serious look at my app going forward. I'd appreciate any advice
OCS recommends doing so. E.g. I just graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude.
Really? When I was reviewing apps for my judges, the cover letters I found useful were the ones that mentioned something not evident from the rest of the application. Grades/latin honors are very obvious from your transcript and resume, and I would’ve found a cover letter that started with a reference to Latin honors a little obnoxious (not saying I would’ve tossed it out just because of that, but I don’t think that it would’ve helped).

Maybe other judges do things differently, but school + grades were the first things we looked at in making the first cut. We would’ve looked at any HLS transcript before reading the cover letter (to be honest, there were too many apps for us to read the cover letters of people who weren’t competitive grade-wise), and a resume with mostly H’s would’ve definitely made it past that first round of review.

To be fair, the fact that you’ve only gotten 2 interviews from 100+ apps is a bit surprising. But assuming your grades when you submitted your apps were similar to what they are now, I don’t think that your app is getting ignored because chambers don’t know about your grades. And if your writing sample doesn’t have an obvious / embarrassing typo (I was honestly shocked at how often this was the case), perhaps one of your rec letters is not great? We also saw quite a few letters that were very meh (as in they just said “I don’t know this person, but they got an A in my class and it was a hard class so they should be a good clerk”).

All this to say that you could add it, but I’m not sure there will be much upside (and you might annoy a cranky clerk by seeming a bit obnoxious, though I hope that no one is tossing your app just because of that).

sellingsnakeoil

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Re: Latin honors in cover letter

Post by sellingsnakeoil » Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:32 am

Thank you all — really appreciate the feedback. And I think the lack of interest in my app is likely due to weak 1L grades (by COA standards) plus lack of big name recommenders. The extra year of strong grades this year is prob why I'm finally starting to get some bites. But I can't rule out a meh recommendation for the low overall interest so thank you for raising the issue for me to consider

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Re: Latin honors in cover letter

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:50 am

To be fair, the fact that you’ve only gotten 2 interviews from 100+ apps is a bit surprising. But assuming your grades when you submitted your apps were similar to what they are now, I don’t think that your app is getting ignored because chambers don’t know about your grades. And if your writing sample doesn’t have an obvious / embarrassing typo (I was honestly shocked at how often this was the case), perhaps one of your rec letters is not great? We also saw quite a few letters that were very meh (as in they just said “I don’t know this person, but they got an A in my class and it was a hard class so they should be a good clerk”).
Honestly, it's not surprising, having reviewed a multitude of magna-level HLS apps that ultimately just kind of blurred together.

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