Importance of Law School GPA/Latin Honors for Lateraling?

(Deciding to leave, same firm different office, Reference requests)
anonymous2898

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Importance of Law School GPA/Latin Honors for Lateraling?

Post by anonymous2898 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:58 pm

Quick question: How much weight do firms place on law school GPA / Latin Honors for lateral candidates? I imagine it varies depending on how experienced you are (i.e., the closer removed from law school, the more important GPA is), but in general, do firms routinely hire laterals with law school GPAs below what the firm's usual cut-off would be for traditional (i.e. "summer associate to permanent offer" track) hires? Or is the lateral hiring process essentially that for laterals, in addition to having the right experience, you need to be within the firm's GPA cut-off for traditional hires?

I have no real plans of lateraling just yet, but for the sake of the question, let's assume lateraling within NYC, from, say, a V100 to a V50-V25, and let's also assume that I hit GPA cut-offs for V100 firms, but am slightly below V50-V25 cut-offs.

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Re: Importance of Law School GPA/Latin Honors for Lateraling?

Post by QContinuum » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:11 pm

As unsatisfying as this answer will be, it really depends. I can't imagine a firm caring about a 6th year's law school grades, but a grade-selective firm may care a lot about a 3rd or 4th year's grades. If you're targeting a specific practice group (i.e., not general lit/M&A) and have a particular skillset, the firm is less likely to care about law school grades. If you're targeting a specific practice group where the firm's desperate for bodies, the firm is less likely to care about law school grades. And, of course, some firms that are grade-selective when hiring law students won't care about laterals' law school grades at all. At other firms, it varies depending on who your interviewers are. It really runs the gamut.

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Re: Importance of Law School GPA/Latin Honors for Lateraling?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:14 pm

anonymous2898 wrote:Or is the lateral hiring process essentially that for laterals, in addition to having the right experience, you need to be within the firm's GPA cut-off for traditional hires?
I'm class of 2015, and looking to lateral to a different market.
In the past year I've applied to biglaw, midlaw, boutique. Most of the 'big' firms have asked for my transcript, and so have a handful of the boutiques.

At one point I had interviewed with a satellite office of a large and respectable firm, (regional powerhouse in a secondary market) and everyone in the office liked me, but when the head office saw my transcript, they overruled the local office and I got dinged.

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