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Buckets123

1L Grade Feedback

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Hi Everyone, 

I just finished first year and would like some feedback on my grades. I will be applying for OCIs, just wanted to know what people that have been through the process think. Currently interested in corporate and commercial law. 

Contracts A+

Criminal A-

Torts A-

Property B+

Legal Research and Writing B-

Constitution C+ 

 

Thank you for your opinion. 

 

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I think you have pretty good grades. As has been mentioned in other threads, the C+ in Constitution may take you out of the running for some firms, but I don't think it will be fatal to most of your applications. Three grades in the A range is no small feat. I'm estimating you will receive around 7-10 OCIs, give or take a few depending on how well put together your application materials are.

You will at the very least receive a few OCIs, and if you only receive a few do not fret. I know people who received <5 OCIs and landed sweet gigs on Bay St and I know people who received 40+ (across jurisdictions) and ended up with zero. Polish up those application materials as much as possible and get out there and socialize because your charm, wit, and general sociability will be what really seals the deal during interviews.

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1 minute ago, tokengoldboy said:

I think you have pretty good grades. As has been mentioned in other threads, the C+ in Constitution may take you out of the running for some firms, but I don't think it will be fatal to most of your applications. Three grades in the A range is no small feat. I'm estimating you will receive around 7-10 OCIs, give or take a few depending on how well put together your application materials are.

You will at the very least receive a few OCIs, and if you only receive a few do not fret. I know people who received <5 OCIs and landed sweet gigs on Bay St and I know people who received 40+ (across jurisdictions) and ended up with zero. Polish up those application materials as much as possible and get out there and socialize because your charm, wit, and general sociability will be what really seals the deal during interviews.

Thank you for the reply! Am I out at Goodman, McCarthys and Davies? Even Stikes? 

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Just now, Buckets123 said:

Thank you for the reply! Am I out at Goodman, McCarthys and Davies? Even Stikes? 

I don't want to presume, though I think it is close to certain you'll be out at Davies.

At the same time, there is no hard and fast rule in my experience. I've seen some highly questionable situations in which people with absolutely brutal grades managed to secure spots at top firms solely on the basis of their relationships/connections (and before someone rebuts with "you don't know the whole story, maybe they were an awesome candidate for X reason", no -- I have extremely unimpeachable evidence that this occurs).

My advice is to enjoy your summer and work on polishing up that application and getting into the right psychological state of mind to deal with the interview process (e.g. talk to upper years, network, read this forum etc etc).

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18 minutes ago, tokengoldboy said:

I don't want to presume, though I think it is close to certain you'll be out at Davies.

At the same time, there is no hard and fast rule in my experience. I've seen some highly questionable situations in which people with absolutely brutal grades managed to secure spots at top firms solely on the basis of their relationships/connections (and before someone rebuts with "you don't know the whole story, maybe they were an awesome candidate for X reason", no -- I have extremely unimpeachable evidence that this occurs).

My advice is to enjoy your summer and work on polishing up that application and getting into the right psychological state of mind to deal with the interview process (e.g. talk to upper years, network, read this forum etc etc).

I agree with tokengoldboy, you're not out of the running and 3 As is awesome, well done! That said, if you can polish off a strong application, resume, letters of reference, and so forth, I think you'll have a decent chance come interview time. Be prepared to answer why you didn't do as well in Con Law (i.e. not a good essay writer, or struggled with xyz concept but this is how I'm improving, etc.). If I were you I'd reach out to current summer/articling students at the firms you're most interested in who are from your school and get some pointers from them. At the very least it shows initiative, and you never know if they have some contacts with the hiring committee. Not to mention they can further help you polish off your application and prepare for your (prospective) interviews. Good luck!

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If those grades are from Osgoode, queens, or western I think you'll get more than 10 OCIs, I'd put you in the 15-20 camp. You did well, congrats! 

As far as what firms you're in or out of I don't actually know that you're automatically out anywhere. Davies is really grade focused but you do have multiple As and I don't actually know how they view a single C on the transcript. In any case if you are auto tossed anywhere it would be Davies and Torys. 

Craft your cover letter and resume well and apply broadly, good luck! 

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Those are excellent grades, and super congrats on the A+ in contracts. It really sucks that you didn't do as well as you hoped in Con but oh well. You will certainly have OCI's but I also agree with the first responder that the C+ in an important course may take you out of the running for a few firms.

Nonetheless, your grades are mostly superb and I'm sure you'll be fine. Congrats!!

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I know people hired at Stikes with lesser grades. Grades aren't going to hold you back.

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1 hour ago, DenningsSkiTrip said:

If those grades are from Osgoode, queens, or western I think you'll get more than 10 OCIs, I'd put you in the 15-20 camp. You did well, congrats! 

As far as what firms you're in or out of I don't actually know that you're automatically out anywhere. Davies is really grade focused but you do have multiple As and I don't actually know how they view a single C on the transcript. In any case if you are auto tossed anywhere it would be Davies and Torys. 

Craft your cover letter and resume well and apply broadly, good luck! 

They aren't from Queen's, as QL doesn't give out A+s !

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1 hour ago, Buckets123 said:

In Windsor 

My buddy is an associate on Bay now and he went there, he told me that a B+ average was sufficient to get a decent number of OCIs from that school, and it looks like you're at a 3.28. I'd think with a good resume and well crafted cover letter you'll get a decent amount, kind of depends on how many OCIs the firms are doing at your school for the purposes of numbers, so if big firms are interviewing 80 people like they do at U of T I'd think you'd get 12+, if they only interview 20 or 40 or whatever obviously the numbers get adjusted. Like most of us I can predict (guess) better for my own school because I've seen it, so maybe one of the Windsor people will have a better idea, but I think you'll be competitive for interviews. 

As far as being "out" at particular firms, you should obviously apply still because I'm just a guy on the internet, but I think Torys and Davies would be really tough. McCarthys (from my interactions with them) seem to emphasize that they don't prioritize any school over another, but that they like people who did very well at whatever school they were at. What that means I don't know, maybe your As would carry you, maybe they want deans listers. As far as goodmans and stikes go I think that goes back to what my buddy said about the B+ average, which you have, so I think if your materials in order you could definitely land interviews there. 

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46 minutes ago, DenningsSkiTrip said:

My buddy is an associate on Bay now and he went there, he told me that a B+ average was sufficient to get a decent number of OCIs from that school, and it looks like you're at a 3.28. I'd think with a good resume and well crafted cover letter you'll get a decent amount, kind of depends on how many OCIs the firms are doing at your school for the purposes of numbers, so if big firms are interviewing 80 people like they do at U of T I'd think you'd get 12+, if they only interview 20 or 40 or whatever obviously the numbers get adjusted. Like most of us I can predict (guess) better for my own school because I've seen it, so maybe one of the Windsor people will have a better idea, but I think you'll be competitive for interviews. 

As far as being "out" at particular firms, you should obviously apply still because I'm just a guy on the internet, but I think Torys and Davies would be really tough. McCarthys (from my interactions with them) seem to emphasize that they don't prioritize any school over another, but that they like people who did very well at whatever school they were at. What that means I don't know, maybe your As would carry you, maybe they want deans listers. As far as goodmans and stikes go I think that goes back to what my buddy said about the B+ average, which you have, so I think if your materials in order you could definitely land interviews there. 

Great Advice

Edited by GoldmanSachs

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You'll be competitive everywhere. Three As makes you a very competitive (and rare) candidate everywhere (even Davies, I know people who had a single A in first year who were hired there) and while a C might raise some eyebrows if it were in, say, contracts, constitutional law isn't exactly a core practice area for biglaw firms.

 

I mean, think about the logic, if you want to hire smart people would you rather hire someone like you, who has achieved high end results in most course, or someone without the accomplishment at the high end, but who got a B in constitutional. The people at Davies didn't get where they are by being rigidly stupid. 

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So on the note of Windsor, I wonder if anyone can say whether or not the grades from Windsor are looked at differently than from other Ontario schools. I was very excited to finish this year with:

Constitutional: A+

Contracts: A

Property: A-

Torts: A-

Crim: A-

Legal Research/Writing: B

I had some people saying to take that success with a grain of salt when applying to OCI's and summer positions because they're from Windsor and not another Ontario school. I'm just wondering how much, if at all, that will effect job prospects and OCI success. I realize this is a difficult question to answer but if any former or current Windsor law students have some insight it would be greatly appreciated.

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2 minutes ago, litigationstation said:

So on the note of Windsor, I wonder if anyone can say whether or not the grades from Windsor are looked at differently than from other Ontario schools. I was very excited to finish this year with:

Constitutional: A+

Contracts: A

Property: A-

Torts: A-

Crim: A-

Legal Research/Writing: B

I had some people saying to take that success with a grain of salt when applying to OCI's and summer positions because they're from Windsor and not another Ontario school. I'm just wondering how much, if at all, that will effect job prospects and OCI success. I realize this is a difficult question to answer but if any former or current Windsor law students have some insight it would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not a Windsor law student, but have friends who went to Windsor and landed Bay st. with a few more B+s than you. Congrats on the great marks!!

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23 minutes ago, litigationstation said:

So on the note of Windsor, I wonder if anyone can say whether or not the grades from Windsor are looked at differently than from other Ontario schools. I was very excited to finish this year with:

Constitutional: A+

Contracts: A

Property: A-

Torts: A-

Crim: A-

Legal Research/Writing: B

I had some people saying to take that success with a grain of salt when applying to OCI's and summer positions because they're from Windsor and not another Ontario school. I'm just wondering how much, if at all, that will effect job prospects and OCI success. I realize this is a difficult question to answer but if any former or current Windsor law students have some insight it would be greatly appreciated.

Recent Windsor Grad: Can't really judge how the inner workings of firm-specific recruitment work regarding grades across various schools, but I can say that quite a few Dual and Single Windsor students have ended up in most of the major Bay St. firms  in recent years (Blake's, Fasken's, Stike's, Osler, Baker & McKenzie, McCarthy's, BLG, Goodman's, to name a few) if that's your goal, not to mention Crown & other Gov positions, major NY, Chicago, and Michigan firms, and so forth. Some have even gone on to pursue an LLM at Ivy League schools in the US.  I know that the Macleans ranking from a few years ago puts Windsor towards the bottom of the rankings, and certainly any law program has room for growth but in reality, I haven't really heard of any Windsor grad experiencing "negative" recruitment feedback because of the school. Also regarding 'rankings' apparently they look at arbitrary factors like "size of library" which is totally meaningless when ranking a program. From my personal experience, the only feedback I've heard when I mention that I'm from UWindsor is that we're a hardworking and well-appreciated bunch. 

If I were you I'd research the firms you're most interested in and find grads from your particular program, they'd be able to share their first-hand experience with recruitment and better address your concerns. Congrats on finishing up 1L! Sounds like you worked very hard. 

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1 hour ago, litigationstation said:

So on the note of Windsor, I wonder if anyone can say whether or not the grades from Windsor are looked at differently than from other Ontario schools. I was very excited to finish this year with:

Constitutional: A+

Contracts: A

Property: A-

Torts: A-

Crim: A-

Legal Research/Writing: B

I had some people saying to take that success with a grain of salt when applying to OCI's and summer positions because they're from Windsor and not another Ontario school. I'm just wondering how much, if at all, that will effect job prospects and OCI success. I realize this is a difficult question to answer but if any former or current Windsor law students have some insight it would be greatly appreciated.

Dude you must be a medallist with those grades. You will get more OCIs then you will able to do.

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5 hours ago, litigationstation said:

So on the note of Windsor, I wonder if anyone can say whether or not the grades from Windsor are looked at differently than from other Ontario schools. I was very excited to finish this year with:

Constitutional: A+

Contracts: A

Property: A-

Torts: A-

Crim: A-

Legal Research/Writing: B

I had some people saying to take that success with a grain of salt when applying to OCI's and summer positions because they're from Windsor and not another Ontario school. I'm just wondering how much, if at all, that will effect job prospects and OCI success. I realize this is a difficult question to answer but if any former or current Windsor law students have some insight it would be greatly appreciated.

Let's do some level setting here. 

When I used to do interviews a "good" transcript, from any school, was someone with an A, a bunch of B+s and a B (or whichever stupid consonants UofT uses).  With a transcript like that, so long as they were not a troll and were reasonably accomplished in other respects, they would get a shit ton of OCIs and a job offer or two.  Those were my grades at UofT and not only did I get multiple offers, they were offers from "prestigious" (ooohh, aaahhh) firms (that one of those firms, I now know, is filled was trolls and monsters, tells you something about what "prestige" is worth).  And as Wakawaka notes, with grades like yours you are probably one of the top students at Windsor. 

There probably is a "Windsor" discount for students in the middle of the pack, say, relative to someone from UofT or Osgoode (on the basis that the median student at Windsor isn't quite the same as, say, the median student at UofT).  But that's not you.  I like using basketball analogies here.  The median player on the Golden State Warriors starting line-up is a whole lot better than the median player on, say, the Toronto starting line-up.  But the best players on each team are both all-stars (Steph Curry is better than Derozan, but Derozan's pretty damn good).  Law firms like all-stars.   

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6 hours ago, litigationstation said:

So on the note of Windsor, I wonder if anyone can say whether or not the grades from Windsor are looked at differently than from other Ontario schools. I was very excited to finish this year with:

Constitutional: A+

Contracts: A

Property: A-

Torts: A-

Crim: A-

Legal Research/Writing: B

I had some people saying to take that success with a grain of salt when applying to OCI's and summer positions because they're from Windsor and not another Ontario school. I'm just wondering how much, if at all, that will effect job prospects and OCI success. I realize this is a difficult question to answer but if any former or current Windsor law students have some insight it would be greatly appreciated.

I'd be surprised if any firm didn't interview you with grades like that. I can't believe you'd get discounted for going to any school when you're at the literal top of your class. 

Very impressive, congrats! 

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