Jump to content
Jdean1023

1L Grades and 2L Recruitment Advice

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, 

I have a specific question (why I'm not simply referring to previous threads). Based on my 1L transcript, how detrimental are the two B-s if I aspire to summer on Bay? While a B-, regardless of subject, is not good, are B-s in crim and public that bad? Phrased differently, will firms see "B-" and not care what subject it came from or will they take into account that they're pub and crim (areas I won't be practicing in at all). I posted the rest of my grades just to provide some context. Again, I know grades as a collective matter and a B-, especially 2, are not good any way you spin it. I'm just looking to see how deep of a hole I'm in. Thanks! 

 

Property: A-

Torts: B+

Intro to Legal Skills: B+

Contracts: B

Constitutional: B

Criminal: B-

Public law: B-

GPA: 3.12 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Search "lawstudents.ca" and "Bay" and "Grades" - and you'll likely find some useful stuff. 

Not my market so I can't give you any real feedback. But from I recall reading on forums you should be able to land some interviews. I seem to recall the "rules" being either

  • B+ average or higher, OR
  • Something like one A and No Cs = Good enough

But your grades aren't doing you any favors. Regardless there is nothing you can do about it now, your 1L grades are your 1L grades. Look to this summer to bolster what you can on your resume. Do some volunteering, pick your upper year classes carefully and if you didn't get a 1L job try to find work that has some legal relevance. 

Chin up, your life isn't over. Just think about where your successes and failures were, and prepare accordingly for next year. It is more important you end up in the right firm after graduation than it is getting a summer placement. 

Edited by Dreamer89
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Dreamer89 said:

Search "lawstudents.ca" and "Bay" and "Grades" - and you'll likely find some useful stuff. 

Not my market so I can't give you any real feedback. But from I recall reading on forums you should be able to land some interviews. I seem to recall the "rules" being either

  • B+ average or higher, OR
  • Something like one A and No Cs = Good enough

But your grades aren't doing you any favors. Regardless there is nothing you can do about it now, your 1L grades are your 1L grades. Look to this summer to bolster what you can on your resume. Do some volunteering, pick your upper year classes carefully and if you didn't get a 1L job try to find work that has some legal relevance. 

Chin up, your life isn't over. Just think about where your successes and failures were, and prepare accordingly for next year. It is more important you end up in the right firm after graduation than it is getting a summer placement. 

Thanks I appreciate that! Yeah, I mean it is what is, I can't change the grades. But I did manage to land a 1L summer job at a smaller law firm in Southwest Ontario (about 25 lawyers) so I'm hoping that experience plus being president of a club/member of 2 committee's can help me out a bit! but you're right, I think now I should just focus on bolstering my resume. I think in part what I also meant to ask, is will firms even look at my resume given my transcript? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Dreamer89 said:

Chin up, your life isn't over. Just think about where your successes and failures were, and prepare accordingly for next year. It is more important you end up in the right firm after graduation than it is getting a summer placement. 

For the most part, I agree with Dreamer89, except that if you are dead set on working in one of the big firms on Bay, make sure to get a 2L summer position. Typically, the firms hire the summer students as their articling students, and then articling students get hired as associates. To improve your chances, focus on bringing up your grades, apply widely and network. That being said, there are reputable firms that don't participate in the formal hiring process. If there's a particular area of law that interests you, don't be shy to cold call lawyers and ask them to go for coffee to learn more about what they do.

 

EDIT: Saw your response. Try not to think about what the firms will and won't do when they look at applications. It's a black box. Law students start speculating about what happens in the firms and things get out of hand. Instead, focus on the things that are within your control and try to forget about everything else. The stress will eat you up.

Edited by Turkeytime
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jdean1023 said:

Hey everyone, 

I have a specific question (why I'm not simply referring to previous threads). Based on my 1L transcript, how detrimental are the two B-s if I aspire to summer on Bay? While a B-, regardless of subject, is not good, are B-s in crim and public that bad? Phrased differently, will firms see "B-" and not care what subject it came from or will they take into account that they're pub and crim (areas I won't be practicing in at all). I posted the rest of my grades just to provide some context. Again, I know grades as a collective matter and a B-, especially 2, are not good any way you spin it. I'm just looking to see how deep of a hole I'm in. Thanks! 

 

Property: A-

Torts: B+

Intro to Legal Skills: B+

Contracts: B

Constitutional: B

Criminal: B-

Public law: B-

GPA: 3.12 

Nothing you can do about your grades. They are ok. 

I would focus on what you can still do something about - summer work/volunteering, writing a great cover letter and resume, extracurriculars / reading for fun, researching the firms, etc. - all the non-grade parts of your application. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, providence said:

Nothing you can do about your grades. They are ok. 

I would focus on what you can still do something about - summer work/volunteering, writing a great cover letter and resume, extracurriculars / reading for fun, researching the firms, etc. - all the non-grade parts of your application. 

I think that's really where I'm trying to place my disappointment, focus those energies on trying to perfect the non-graded part of my application.  Key is to avoid being discouraged, I mean I can't/shouldn't be disappointed yet, Thanks for the advice! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jdean1023 said:

I think that's really where I'm trying to place my disappointment, focus those energies on trying to perfect the non-graded part of my application.  Key is to avoid being discouraged, I mean I can't/shouldn't be disappointed yet, Thanks for the advice! 

I mean, some doors are closed to you now because of your grades - that's reality - but they're not so bad that every job on Bay is out of reach, and if you can bolster everything else, you will maximize your chances. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Turkeytime said:

For the most part, I agree with Dreamer89, except that if you are dead set on working in one of the big firms on Bay, make sure to get a 2L summer position. Typically, the firms hire the summer students as their articling students, and then articling students get hired as associates. To improve your chances, focus on bringing up your grades, apply widely and network. That being said, there are reputable firms that don't participate in the formal hiring process. If there's a particular area of law that interests you, don't be shy to cold call lawyers and ask them to go for coffee to learn more about what they do.

 

EDIT: Saw your response. Try not to think about what the firms will and won't do when they look at applications. It's a black box. Law students start speculating about what happens in the firms and things get out of hand. Instead, focus on the things that are within your control and try to forget about everything else. The stress will eat you up.

Coffee's, cold calls, firm tours, etc. how influential would you say that is? Obviously it can't hurt but would doing these things be worthwhile if it comes at the cost of taking days off at my Sumer job?  I've looked into all the open houses and what not and they all take place during the week. Though I don't plan on staying at the firm I'm at now long term, I also want to be somewhat professional/respectful and not take days off working there to go to firm tours/networking events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Jdean1023 said:

Thanks I appreciate that! Yeah, I mean it is what is, I can't change the grades. But I did manage to land a 1L summer job at a smaller law firm in Southwest Ontario (about 25 lawyers) so I'm hoping that experience plus being president of a club/member of 2 committee's can help me out a bit! but you're right, I think now I should just focus on bolstering my resume. I think in part what I also meant to ask, is will firms even look at my resume given my transcript? 

Just want to comment on this, particularly in light of subsequent advice to focus on, among other things, extracurriculars. You note that you're going to be president of a club and on some committees, but don't give any indication of what they are or if they're at all related to your areas of interest (not that you necessarily should, anonymity and all, but I can only go off of what you say). This isn't like law school applications, where it simply matters that you have extracurriculars. It matters what those extracurriculars are. Firms generally won't place much weight just on the fact that you're president of a club / on committees - they'll care if you're involved in extracurriculars which signal an interest in their area(s) of law. If I'm interviewing for students at my litigation firm, and I see someone is president of the business law or IP law club, it's not going to be a point in their favour - in fact, it may make me question whether they're actually interested in what my firm does. It's a different story if the person is on the moot court committee and president of the litigation society.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, barelylegal said:

Just want to comment on this, particularly in light of subsequent advice to focus on, among other things, extracurriculars. You note that you're going to be president of a club and on some committees, but don't give any indication of what they are or if they're at all related to your areas of interest (not that you necessarily should, anonymity and all, but I can only go off of what you say). This isn't like law school applications, where it simply matters that you have extracurriculars. It matters what those extracurriculars are. Firms generally won't place much weight just on the fact that you're president of a club / on committees - they'll care if you're involved in extracurriculars which signal an interest in their area(s) of law. If I'm interviewing for students at my litigation firm, and I see someone is president of the business law or IP law club, it's not going to be a point in their favour - in fact, it may make me question whether they're actually interested in what my firm does. It's a different story if the person is on the moot court committee and president of the litigation society.

Perfectly valid point, I refrained from specifying which club and committees for the reason you stated, it'd be pretty clear who I was if I did hahah but I will say they are applicable to my interests of law, they compliment my resume and I was cognizant of that when choosing my extracurriculars. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Jdean1023 said:

Coffee's, cold calls, firm tours, etc. how influential would you say that is? Obviously it can't hurt but would doing these things be worthwhile if it comes at the cost of taking days off at my Sumer job?  I've looked into all the open houses and what not and they all take place during the week. Though I don't plan on staying at the firm I'm at now long term, I also want to be somewhat professional/respectful and not take days off working there to go to firm tours/networking events.

I don't know if open houses and firm tours are influential in getting people jobs - I think it would be pretty hard to do or say anything memorable enough to stick in most peoples' minds for months between now and interviews. I think the purpose of the open houses is for you to learn more about the firms, to get some familiarity with the type of environment they are, and to decide where you want to work and to perhaps give you some talking points or intelligent questions for interviews. In other words, it can be important to go, but not because you're trying to impress people into hiring you.  Likewise, if you are able to pick the brains of the current articling students/first years a bit over coffee, that can give you valuable information about the firms that can help you prepare good applications. I wouldn't recommend trying to cold call random senior partners or other people who are the most influential in the hiring process. 

I wouldn't burn bridges with the current firm but I would explain diplomatically that I want to learn more about the profession by attending open houses and offer to make up the time, run the dates by them etc. If you are already summering in a firm after 1L, that is very positive and assuming it is in an area of law related to what you want to do on Bay, that should feature prominently in your CV so yes, you want to be professional and do a good job there. They should understand that attending open houses is important and accommodate it if you are otherwise hardworking. 

23 minutes ago, barelylegal said:

Just want to comment on this, particularly in light of subsequent advice to focus on, among other things, extracurriculars. You note that you're going to be president of a club and on some committees, but don't give any indication of what they are or if they're at all related to your areas of interest (not that you necessarily should, anonymity and all, but I can only go off of what you say). This isn't like law school applications, where it simply matters that you have extracurriculars. It matters what those extracurriculars are. Firms generally won't place much weight just on the fact that you're president of a club / on committees - they'll care if you're involved in extracurriculars which signal an interest in their area(s) of law. If I'm interviewing for students at my litigation firm, and I see someone is president of the business law or IP law club, it's not going to be a point in their favour - in fact, it may make me question whether they're actually interested in what my firm does. It's a different story if the person is on the moot court committee and president of the litigation society.

Agreed. My assumption was that the ECs were in the desired practice area. I would say that especially for someone with less than impressive grades, it is important to develop a potential practice focus. "Working on Bay" is not sufficient. A lot of people want to work on Bay. What do you want to do on Bay? Litigation or solicitor work? Which area of law? Don't just say "corporate." Find activities that signal your specific interests, as @barelylegal says above. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least from my experience, open houses are purely for getting a feel of the firm's culture. (Aside: Students throw around these vague terms like "culture" and "fit". I remember thinking I just needed a job and I didn't care at all about whatever "fit" was supposed to mean. It's important! You want to be happy, or least, content, in a job? Don't work in a place where everyone is quiet and keeps to themselves if you're a really outgoing person and vice versa.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Recent Posts

    • Greetings everyone, I completed my Bachelors degree from India last year, And I have a 3.7 GPA With 170 LSAT Score. My Ambition is to work as a Lawyer in Canada, But I'm really afraid to apply as I don't know about the job prospects for International Students in Canada.  I know how risky it is, To come to Canada on a student visa, And expect a job after three years on a post graduation work permit. So is it worth applying, as an international student?
    • It seems to be a recent phenomenon where getting approved without a cosigner with no credit history is the norm. Is it a fairly safe assumption that not much is going to change between now and this time next year? Probably. But why chance it? It's not hard to get a good credit score. If you open a basic student credit card account and make minimum payments on time for a year or so you'll probably have a score of around 700~. You have to be late an entire 30 days before a late payment is reported on your credit report (though banks may increase your interest rate if you're consistently late). You don't even really have to worry about paying off the balance in full each month--though it is good advice to help avoid overspending--as long as you pay down the balance to lower your utilization around a month or so before you apply for credit, as far as your credit score is concerned you're in the exact same position as a person who paid the card off in full each month. If you get a card from your current bank, you can link your credit card and debit card with online banking. Meaning you log into online banking and you'll see both accounts. You can see your credit card minimum payment and due date and transfer whatever amount you want from your debit account to your credit card to make a payment. It only takes a few seconds. Most banks even have features where they will text or email you notice that you have a payment coming up. There's really no hassle at all, it's not much more than a 30 second commitment once a month. As far as rent goes, rent generally doesn't show up on your credit report unless you were missing payments and your landlord took you to the tenancy board and got a judgement against you. Cell phone bills are reported on your credit report, but they don't really help to establish credit--they mostly just hurt you if you miss payments. Utilities like cable/internet/house phone won't show up unless they go to collections. Some cities will also send things like unpaid parking tickets to a collection agency too. Not having a credit card doesn't necessarily mean you have no credit. My girlfriend did a number on her credit score by making a bunch of late cellphone payments during undergrad for example If you want to verify whether you have (or don't have) a credit history you can get a free credit check from Borrowell (Equifax score) or CreditKarma (a Transunion based score). Borrowell updates your score automatically once a month and CreditKarma does it weekly. They're VERY useful.  
    • Waitlisted on May 10. LSAT: 154 Cgpa: 77% (UBC) and 3.01 (OLSAS calculated) due to a bad first year. L2: 88% and L3: 85% (UBC) Excellent EC's and work experience. I'm assuming references were strong.
    • Accepted about a week ago. LSAT: 154 Cgpa: 77% (UBC) and 3.01 (OLSAS calculated) due to a bad first year. L2: 88% and L3: 85% (UBC) Excellent EC's and work experience. I'm assuming references were strong.
    • Congrats! Double congrats for u! Did you get an email or check on website?
×