Law School Discussion

Power of connections versus GPA in OCI job prospects

Power of connections versus GPA in OCI job prospects
« on: June 10, 2013, 07:55:08 PM »
Basically a few questions regarding OCI. I understand the individual questions probably have been asked in previous threads, but I am having trouble finding a thread that gets at the exact issue I want to know.

1. At a top-20 school, does your GPA even matter anymore if you're below median? That is, does 55% have a better prospect at landing an OCI job than say 80%(however abysmal 55%'s prospects already are)? Are there incremental improvements (75% is better than 80%, 65% is better than 75%, etc)?

I am below median at a t-20. Not going to say how much, but not sure if it even matters once you are in that other half. I am not biglaw or bust, but would like to start out SOMEWHERE not shitlaw. I could see myself pursuing a business job or going back to school for something else because law is not my only interest, but I am really enjoying my summer research assistant work. My only complaint is that I am working alone 8 hrs a day every day, but once I get into the work I can get lost in it, and really enjoy the process.

In sum, I would very much like to stay in the law, but the law is not my ONLY passion, so to speak.

2. Do connections matter in getting a job, and would they override a low GPA if its at least over 3.0? If connections matter, what kind of connections would you have to have and how many? If you have those connections, how would you successfully leverage them to help you find jobs?

I am getting to know two in-house legal department vp's of global corporations. I can't say we're close yet, but the feeling is good on both sides, I'm pretty sure. Other than that, I only know a solo practitioner, who was my internship boss when I worked at his firm before law school. I have been/am going to every networking event under the sun, but haven't really forced myself to follow up with everyone because it didn't feel like we would get along or they practiced something I knew nothing about and had low interest in (eg: a lot of family law). These two guys were just very personable and easy to get along with, and I fell into an informal mentoring relationship with the one/am trying to get there with the other.

Would I have to know like 15-20 associates and people holding law firm power to overcome my piss-poor grades, or would playing up my relationship with these two in-house vp's work out well for me? If so, how? I have been meeting with both on a 1-2 month basis in person for coffee or lunch, and exchanging emails a couple times a week in between, since about March of this year.

3. Should I just drop the f*** out? I honestly want to stay, but I'm leaving this question here for the realists among this forum that will answer it affirmative because of my numbers. Besides my research assistant position(with a globally recognized public health law professor, but public health is a small field, I understand) and pre-law internship I don't have significant other experience I can fall back on.

I suppose the only thing going for me if I drop out is that I'm not closed to the idea of totally retraining and working like a dog. I'd really rather not though. Does liking the work still count for something in the legal field, or am I way behind the times?

Re: Power of connections versus GPA in OCI job prospects
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2013, 09:16:37 PM »
First off realize I along with anyone else posting on this board is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster so take anything I or anyone else on this board says with a grain of salt.

With that said I am an attorney and can tell you law school grades/rank of law school etc doesn't mean all that much. I graduated in the top 10% of my class, but people were not begging to hire me, but I applied places and got offers. Some of my friends in the bottom 25% of the class and went through the same situation and all the grades, U.S. News law school rankings etc seem like a big deal when your in law school, but in the real world they don't matter much.

What really matters is you passing the bar and having a law license once that is done it is up to you what you do with it. Remember you bar card doesn't say what your Contracts grade was and frankly a judge won't care if you got the highest grade in Contracts or not. Just don't over think grades etc there a few firms and federal clerkships that might care about that, but only 2-3% of grads nationwide work in BigLaw or get Federal Clerkships so don't stress there is plenty of legal work out there.

Now in response your question about dropping out I don't see why that is necessary. It sounds like you enjoy the law and if that is the case you will likely enjoy being a lawyer. However, like any other profession out there starting out is tough whether you continue your legal education or go into some other field you will start with an entry level position and have to work your way up, but it sounds like you enjoy law school so stay.

Good luck!