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harveyspecter993

How much weight is placed on extracurriculars in the 2L recruit?

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I'm looking for a rough weighting, if possible. (Eg. 30% extracurriculars, 70% grades) Moreover, I've been looking at this year's incoming  summer students and almost all of them seem to have worked in clinics or been on mooting teams. Due to the very high proportion of students with these activities, is it fair to say that at least one of the two is expected/'required' on a resume? If not, what are other respectable activities to have on a resume? Thank you.

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I assume you are asking about the Toronto recruit.

With respect to weighting, it depends on the firm, but as a general rule I would say that more emphasis is placed on grades than on extracurriculars. A number of firms have a GPA cut-off.

I think it would be fair to say that some involvement in law school-related extracurriculars is expected. But beyond that, in terms of what activities to have on your resume, it depends on (1) what practice area(s) you think you might be interested in at this point, and (2) what firm(s) you intend on applying to. For example, if in your cover letter to Lenczner you say that all you've ever wanted to do is litigate, but you haven't participated in any advocacy competitions/moots, well, that's probably not going to work out well for you. Similarly, if you say you're primarily interested in business/corporate law, but all of your extra-curricular activities are related to criminal law, that might raise a red flag.

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19 hours ago, Rearden said:

I assume you are asking about the Toronto recruit.

With respect to weighting, it depends on the firm, but as a general rule I would say that more emphasis is placed on grades than on extracurriculars. A number of firms have a GPA cut-off.

I think it would be fair to say that some involvement in law school-related extracurriculars is expected. But beyond that, in terms of what activities to have on your resume, it depends on (1) what practice area(s) you think you might be interested in at this point, and (2) what firm(s) you intend on applying to. For example, if in your cover letter to Lenczner you say that all you've ever wanted to do is litigate, but you haven't participated in any advocacy competitions/moots, well, that's probably not going to work out well for you. Similarly, if you say you're primarily interested in business/corporate law, but all of your extra-curricular activities are related to criminal law, that might raise a red flag.

Yes the Toronto recruit. What's the highest GPA cutoff you've heard of?

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41 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

Yes the Toronto recruit. What's the highest GPA cutoff you've heard of?

I don't think these information are posted any where. I think the cut off (if there is one) may not be the same for every school.

 

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Yes, extracurriculars are important in the 2L recruit, but there aren't specific things that are effectively required in order for someone to be viewed as competitive.

Think about why extracurriculars would be important at that stage. The Toronto 2L recruit takes place at the beginning of 2L. By that time, the only courses you've completed are your 1L courses, which are entirely (or nearly entirely? I can't speak for every school) standardized across 1L students. So, beyond your performance in one class over another, there isn't much to tell employers what you're interested in doing.

Extracurriculars do that. Interested in criminal, corporate, IP law? Join the criminal, corporate, IP law club and actually participate. Interested in advocacy? Do a moot or clinic. Extracurriculars can show employers what your interests are, and also show that you're capable of balancing commitments beyond your coursework (so when you say in a cover letter that you're good at time management and balancing priorities, you can actually point to something that demonstrates it).

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Something else to consider is that those kinds of extracurriculars often require above-average grades. That is not to say that every student with good grades works at a clinic or is on a moot team, but the profile of a student selected to those activities and one hired in the recruit is similar.  

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Are you referring strictly to law-school extracurriculars? I think having a Moot / Clinic / Journal experience can be useful, particularly as talking points in an interview. However grades will almost always be your point of entry to securing that interview - I don't know about cutoffs but most recruiters I know will emphasize grades.

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Extracurriculars generally will not make up for otherwise mediocre/average marks

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On 1/13/2019 at 10:29 AM, harveyspecter993 said:

Yes the Toronto recruit. What's the highest GPA cutoff you've heard of?

I haven't heard of any specific cutoffs and I wouldn't want to speculate beyond saying that the conventional wisdom is that a B+ average is competitive for most Bay St positions, so I would imagine that cutoffs would be lower -- perhaps somewhere in the B to B- range.

That said, I don't think anyone should make decisions about which firm(s) to apply to based on speculation about GPA cutoffs.

On 1/14/2019 at 1:45 PM, easttowest said:

Something else to consider is that those kinds of extracurriculars often require above-average grades. That is not to say that every student with good grades works at a clinic or is on a moot team, but the profile of a student selected to those activities and one hired in the recruit is similar.  

I'm not so sure that there is a correlation. Whether or not grades matter for involvement in extracurriculars depends on the school. At Western, for example, with the possible exception of the Jessup Moot, I don't think grades mattered much, if at all, in terms of getting involved in moots and clinics. Sure, there are some extracurriculars -- e.g. TA/research assistant positions -- for which good 1L grades appear to be a requirement. However, most (perhaps all) of the 1L moots are open to whoever wants to participate, and Western holds an internal advocacy competition -- a tryout of sorts -- to determine who gets to participate in the upper-year external moots. And hiring for clinics (a) typically happens at the beginning of 1L and (b) is usually handled by upper-year students involved in the those clinics, meaning that your 1L grades wouldn't be a factor.

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I talked about ECs a LOT in 2L OCIs and in-firms. However, I rarely talked about the things on my hobbies list. Maybe my hobbies are all just supremely boring (probably) but I do think there's some truth to the idea that law firms are just trying to see what kind of person you are, and ECs can be a good proxy for that. Also, I think it is totally fine to have stuff from undergrad/pre-law school on your resume in the ECs and work history sections. Those experiences came up quite a bit as well and for me at least, they weren't law-related. 

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That balance will look different for everyone. I did a whole bunch of extracurriculars in 1L (did not make Baby Gale) and managed to land a spot in a for credit clinic via lottery this year. Apart from the clinic I've definitely scaled back the extracurricular commitments- basically just doing the law school variety show and tutoring 1Ls. Ended up with a job. 

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This may be a somewhat controversial point of discussion as it relates a lot to fit as well, but I've noticed that the corporate world in general loves varsity athletes. Most of the students that played on the sports teams at my law school and others whom were former athletes all ended up on Bay Street. 

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On 5/31/2019 at 1:59 AM, Deadpool said:

Most of the students that played on the sports teams at my law school

Is there time for varsity spots in law school? (I'm an 0L.) I was thinking of joining one that requires meeting 3x/week and assumed I wouldn't have time, especially if I'm trying to fit in 1-2 non-athletic ECs.

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2 hours ago, SneakySuspect said:

Is there time for varsity spots in law school? (I'm an 0L.) I was thinking of joining one that requires meeting 3x/week and assumed I wouldn't have time, especially if I'm trying to fit in 1-2 non-athletic ECs.

Pretty sure they meant law intramural teams. I did that. It always came up as a positive in interviews, even though it was a one liner on my resume and I had a ton of practical legal experience to talk about.

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