Law School Discussion

What happens to people with mediocre grades from reasonably good law schools?

gjrmf

how about really bad grades at T10? i'd kill for mediocre right now.

nealric

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Say... somebody with a 3.0 from GULC, Cornell or UT?

Are they worse off than people with a 3.5 from George Mason, Fordham or Hastings?

3.0 at GULC is well below median (3.2ish 1L curve) (probably at Cornell or UT as well) BTW
3.5 at Mason is probably 10%(2.8 curve)

Tough call, but I would probably pick Mason. Frankly, I wouldn't want to be in either situation.

That's harsh, man.  I mean if you just spent $40k on a year's worth of school and ended up with dimmer job prospects than someone who spent less than half that on GMU. 

So do 1Ls with 3.0's (or 3.2's) at GULC get summer internships at all?

What do mediocre students at GULC end up doing? 


goaliechica

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So do 1Ls with 3.0's (or 3.2's) at GULC get summer internships at all?



A lot of summer internships don't even ask to see your grades. So yes, of course they do.

ETA: If you mean a paid summer associate position at a firm, that's a different matter. But they will get a legal internship, yes.

Sorry, I meant associateships.

And what about those who graduate from one of these law schools (GULC, Cornell, UT, etc.) at the bottom of the class?  Are their degrees totally worthless (or worse, since they're worth -$100k)?



And what about those who graduate from one of these law schools (GULC, Cornell, UT, etc.) at the bottom of the class?  Are their degrees totally worthless (or worse, since they're worth -$100k)?




Good question.  The data won't be out until February, but prospective students are asking for complete lists of the graduating class data this year from all the top schools, not just Vandy and Duke.  Your school may be coming forward with a list of where all the grads found work last year, from which you can make all the inferences you'd like about where people were in the class.  They probably have the list for the Class of 2007... it's what they needed to compile to calculate the stats they submit to NALP, so the only reason they wouldn't be able to give it to you would be some school privacy policy.  Vanderbilt's seems to prohibit listing the names of graduates but not the employer/city they go to, so getting the list out last year was relatively easy. 

It won't tell you how it's going this year for 2L OCI, though, which is more important.  At the very least you should be able to go bug your career services people and ask to see the information once they've put it together.  I stopped by ours today to see when they could realistically get employment stats out to prospective (makes it a lot easier to troll when I have some numbers behind me... it also makes it easier to keep 1Ls like UFBold from panicking, one of those unfortunate side effects of law school exam mode).  Vanderbilt publishes all the 1L/2L employment info in a Recruitment Handbook each spring... if your school doesn't do that I'd recommend you nag 'em to death and let them know you're freaking out and want assurances.

And FWIW, people in the bottom of these schools who don't interview well probably have the worst of it, but everyone else should still be faring fine.  I'm below what we think might be the median and I'm very happy about where I'm going next summer.  But for that, I give credit to the school for bringing in the firm last spring on a Climate Change panel and encouraging us to talk to them ... that set me up for the OCI interview this fall, where they fortunately decided to look at my candidacy despite what happened to my gpa last spring.

I think it's worth it to spend at least as much time learning to be sociable (or doing it naturally) as it is trying to keep your head above a median gpa.  Even a high gpa from a top school, when combined with poor social/networking skills, will put you behind everyone else w/ the same gpa and decent to good skills.  The brand of your school is what firms are looking to hire, so it's just a matter of differentiating yourself among your classmates looking at the same employer.

In short, what sort of sweet skills do you have?

Really?  Just the brand of your school?  In that case, why does slightly above median and below median achieve such different results?  Either way, the firm can put "your Law School, J.D." on the associate biography.

UFBoldAsLove

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And what about those who graduate from one of these law schools (GULC, Cornell, UT, etc.) at the bottom of the class?  Are their degrees totally worthless (or worse, since they're worth -$100k)?




Good question.  The data won't be out until February, but prospective students are asking for complete lists of the graduating class data this year from all the top schools, not just Vandy and Duke.  Your school may be coming forward with a list of where all the grads found work last year, from which you can make all the inferences you'd like about where people were in the class.  They probably have the list for the Class of 2007... it's what they needed to compile to calculate the stats they submit to NALP, so the only reason they wouldn't be able to give it to you would be some school privacy policy.  Vanderbilt's seems to prohibit listing the names of graduates but not the employer/city they go to, so getting the list out last year was relatively easy. 

It won't tell you how it's going this year for 2L OCI, though, which is more important.  At the very least you should be able to go bug your career services people and ask to see the information once they've put it together.  I stopped by ours today to see when they could realistically get employment stats out to prospective (makes it a lot easier to troll when I have some numbers behind me... it also makes it easier to keep 1Ls like UFBold from panicking, one of those unfortunate side effects of law school exam mode).  Vanderbilt publishes all the 1L/2L employment info in a Recruitment Handbook each spring... if your school doesn't do that I'd recommend you nag 'em to death and let them know you're freaking out and want assurances.

And FWIW, people in the bottom of these schools who don't interview well probably have the worst of it, but everyone else should still be faring fine.  I'm below what we think might be the median and I'm very happy about where I'm going next summer.  But for that, I give credit to the school for bringing in the firm last spring on a Climate Change panel and encouraging us to talk to them ... that set me up for the OCI interview this fall, where they fortunately decided to look at my candidacy despite what happened to my gpa last spring.

I think it's worth it to spend at least as much time learning to be sociable (or doing it naturally) as it is trying to keep your head above a median gpa.  Even a high gpa from a top school, when combined with poor social/networking skills, will put you behind everyone else w/ the same gpa and decent to good skills.  The brand of your school is what firms are looking to hire, so it's just a matter of differentiating yourself among your classmates looking at the same employer.

In short, what sort of sweet skills do you have?

Lol. I think I, particularly, am more panicked by not knowing what area I want to go into, than the market generally. The only thing I AM sure of is that big law sounds terrible.

And to everyone else - anecdotally, I know another top 60%ish 2L who is doing fine. (S)he had a scary month or so where it wasn't clear if a offer was coming. But now (s)he will be making mid-region market $$$ (not NYC market). So I don't think being around the median at the T25 is a death sentence by any means.

Really?  Just the brand of your school?  In that case, why does slightly above median and below median achieve such different results?  Either way, the firm can put "your Law School, J.D." on the associate biography.

I haven't seen any indication that there's a major difference between slightly above/below median.  It's all the same fat part of the curve... and if there is no published median or rankings then the distinction virtually disappears.  

Ideally, employers want to put Law School, Editor-in-Chief Journal, and probably Order of the Coif on their website, but that's all they're offering up to the outside world, and there's very few candidates from all the top schools combined that have those last two notches next to their name.  Your gpa is just an indicator to the firm of how well you've done in law school.  What they're more concerned about is their school-specific gpa cutoff, but IMO those are flexible.  If you've got a 3.1 and Law Review and there's no capable 3.6 Law Reviews knocking at their door, you're now in the position of selling yourself to the firm.  I think distinguishing yourself and networking can more than make up for mediocre grades from the top schools... in the end, it really is just your school's name and something after it to show why you're the best.  Part of why Vandy's interviewing now is the same reason Northwestern does... you want students that can show some ability to be social and/or interview well.

I just realized that if Vandy pulls in 190 students next year who are all superb schmoozers, it might get rougher at the bottom when they get to OCI.  I'm gonna sleep on this and think about how that would play out.