Law School Discussion

LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL

Ulty

LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« on: February 15, 2007, 08:41:55 AM »
I know that you have already heard a lot about law school grades, but I want to discuss them from a little bit different point of view. That view is that all law school grades are not of equal importance. This is something you may not have been told yet so let me explain.

Law school consists of basically three years or 6 semesters. A fact you will encounter in law school is that some law students after their second summer, and before entering their third and final year of law school, will have secured a full time job that awaits them upon their graduation. This means that these students' third-year grades are not considered by their future employers.

So these students can get all Cs in their third-year courses and as long as they graduate they will still have a job. This should make it immediately apparent to you that fifth and sixth semester (third-year) law school grades for some students may not be as important as the other four semesters' grades.

Concerning the other four semesters' grades, they are also not of equal importance to each other. Of the grades from the first four semesters of law school, the first semester's grades can be the most important.

First semester grades can be so important because they are the only grades that first summer employers have to assess how a student is doing in law school. The reason first semester grades are often the only grades first summer employers use to make internship decisions is because the interviews and final decisions for internships are made in the spring before the second semester's finals begin.

First-summer internships are important because students are more likely to get prestigious internships after their second-year in law school if they are selected for prestigious internships for their first summer. Furthermore, the more prestigious your internships are, the greater likelihood you will land a prestigious job prior to your third year of law school or upon graduating.

Good luck in law school!

Michael Santana

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Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 08:54:39 AM »
Wow, so some semesters are more important to your GPA?

h2xblive

Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 09:28:55 AM »
I know that you have already heard a lot about law school grades, but I want to discuss them from a little bit different point of view. That view is that all law school grades are not of equal importance. This is something you may not have been told yet so let me explain.

Law school consists of basically three years or 6 semesters. A fact you will encounter in law school is that some law students after their second summer, and before entering their third and final year of law school, will have secured a full time job that awaits them upon their graduation. This means that these students' third-year grades are not considered by their future employers.

So these students can get all Cs in their third-year courses and as long as they graduate they will still have a job. This should make it immediately apparent to you that fifth and sixth semester (third-year) law school grades for some students may not be as important as the other four semesters' grades.

Concerning the other four semesters' grades, they are also not of equal importance to each other. Of the grades from the first four semesters of law school, the first semester's grades can be the most important.

First semester grades can be so important because they are the only grades that first summer employers have to assess how a student is doing in law school. The reason first semester grades are often the only grades first summer employers use to make internship decisions is because the interviews and final decisions for internships are made in the spring before the second semester's finals begin.

First-summer internships are important because students are more likely to get prestigious internships after their second-year in law school if they are selected for prestigious internships for their first summer. Furthermore, the more prestigious your internships are, the greater likelihood you will land a prestigious job prior to your third year of law school or upon graduating.

Good luck in law school!

Michael Santana


I read an article that mentioned how some people want to reduce law school to 2 years.

Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2007, 02:13:11 PM »
I'm a Vandy 1L -

Unless you are trying to get a SCOTUS clerkship or something, it is my impression that only the first year grades matter.

Your first summer job is based on your first semester grades -

Your second summer job, which leads to your full time job, is based on your first and second semester grades.

After that, so long as you don't fail or something, it's all good.

Denny Crane

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Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2007, 02:25:23 PM »
I'm a Vandy 1L -

Unless you are trying to get a SCOTUS clerkship or something, it is my impression that only the first year grades matter.

Your first summer job is based on your first semester grades -

Your second summer job, which leads to your full time job, is based on your first and second semester grades.

After that, so long as you don't fail or something, it's all good.


At some schools your 1L summer job is based on the school itself, not on the grades, considering the fact that many people get offers before firms even see their first semester grades.

Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2007, 07:24:27 PM »
"A fact you will encounter in law school is that some law students after their second summer, and before entering their third and final year of law school, will have secured a full time job that awaits them upon their graduation. This means that these students' third-year grades are not considered by their future employers."

This, of course, assumes that the person spends their entire career at one law firm.

Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2007, 07:27:24 PM »
"A fact you will encounter in law school is that some law students after their second summer, and before entering their third and final year of law school, will have secured a full time job that awaits them upon their graduation. This means that these students' third-year grades are not considered by their future employers."

This, of course, assumes that the person spends their entire career at one law firm.

YEah, I was thinking the same thing when I read that. 

h2xblive

Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2007, 08:20:24 PM »
"A fact you will encounter in law school is that some law students after their second summer, and before entering their third and final year of law school, will have secured a full time job that awaits them upon their graduation. This means that these students' third-year grades are not considered by their future employers."

This, of course, assumes that the person spends their entire career at one law firm.

I've heard that after your first "real" law firm job (assuming one goes that career route), people don't really care about your GPA.  Unless you finished at the bottom of your class or something, the firms mostly care about your performance at your previous job.

Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2007, 09:19:57 PM »
"A fact you will encounter in law school is that some law students after their second summer, and before entering their third and final year of law school, will have secured a full time job that awaits them upon their graduation. This means that these students' third-year grades are not considered by their future employers."

This, of course, assumes that the person spends their entire career at one law firm.

I've heard that after your first "real" law firm job (assuming one goes that career route), people don't really care about your GPA.  Unless you finished at the bottom of your class or something, the firms mostly care about your performance at your previous job.

It's somewhat relative.  The more years you have between you and law school and the more significant experience you've had in between -- i.e. the more important cases or transactions you've handled, etc. -- the less your GPA will be a factor.  But for the average lateral with 2-5 years experience under their belt, being able to say "top 15%" still carries a lot of weight, even more so if you can say "cum laude" and "Order of the Coif".  Those kudos are never irrelevant and will always help open doors for you.  It may be a pro forma inclusion in job listings, but most calls for laterals at regional or national firms include "excellent academic credentials required."

h2xblive

Re: LAW SCHOOL GRADES-NOT ALL ARE EQUAL
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2007, 04:49:22 AM »
"A fact you will encounter in law school is that some law students after their second summer, and before entering their third and final year of law school, will have secured a full time job that awaits them upon their graduation. This means that these students' third-year grades are not considered by their future employers."

This, of course, assumes that the person spends their entire career at one law firm.

I've heard that after your first "real" law firm job (assuming one goes that career route), people don't really care about your GPA.  Unless you finished at the bottom of your class or something, the firms mostly care about your performance at your previous job.

It's somewhat relative.  The more years you have between you and law school and the more significant experience you've had in between -- i.e. the more important cases or transactions you've handled, etc. -- the less your GPA will be a factor.  But for the average lateral with 2-5 years experience under their belt, being able to say "top 15%" still carries a lot of weight, even more so if you can say "cum laude" and "Order of the Coif".  Those kudos are never irrelevant and will always help open doors for you.  It may be a pro forma inclusion in job listings, but most calls for laterals at regional or national firms include "excellent academic credentials required."

Makes sense.