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Megbean123

McGill grading curve & future impact

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Hi all, so I saw and have heard from many people that the class average at McGill in the first year is always no exceptions a B-. They even have a letter to include when you are applying to stuff to say how rigorous it is. I had the fortune of being able to look at a spreadsheet where I saw the grades of many students from other schools around Montreal, applying to a firm - like Uqam, UdeM, USherbrooke, etc. The grades at other schools were much higher - 3.7, 3.8, etc. I ultimately want to work in Toronto. Looking at the grade distributions it is likely I will end up with some sort of abysmal GPA (easily under 3.0). 

Do firms in Toronto understand that this is the way McGill marks? Are people generally successful in moving on to Toronto from McGill? Even with 3.0 and 2.98 GPAs? Or, does this really stifle all opportunity unless you are the gold medalist of your class? 

I really need an answer because if this is the case, I may choose U of T instead. 

FYI - I understand that maybe if you are an excellent student you will have a 3.8 or 4.0 and tough shit for everyone else BUT is this really the case? I know some excellent, brilliant students with 3.0s or 3.3s as of now. 

Edited by Megbean123

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No one gets a 3.8 or 4.0

Toronto understands McGill's grading and you won't be hurt by it. In fact they go deeper into the class than say, Oz, from what I've heard. This is also true for NY if that's your thing.

Firms focus on how you've done compared to your peers. 

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It's a B curve, not B-. All of my 1L classes had a b average.

And it is pretty strict. McGill is a very old law school and we continue placing around the country/world despite the grades. FWIW, a colleague of mine ended up at the Supreme Court with like a 3.4-3.5. Clearly, the Supreme Court didn't mind that she did not have a 3.8.

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49 minutes ago, artsydork said:

It's a B curve, not B-. All of my 1L classes had a b average.

And it is pretty strict. McGill is a very old law school and we continue placing around the country/world despite the grades. FWIW, a colleague of mine ended up at the Supreme Court with like a 3.4-3.5. Clearly, the Supreme Court didn't mind that she did not have a 3.8.

Again, it's about class ranking.

 

The SCC cares about more than just grades, with high grades being a cut off. A 3.4/3.5 is at the DL of McGill, and given the strength of the class, it makes sense that the SCC would look at her. That's what I was trying to get across to Megbean.

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@pzabbythesecond @artsydork What happened to your colleagues who did not place high in the class rank? In the spreadsheet for course aux stages I saw candidates were sorted by GPA only, perhaps because the firm is newer to course aux stages. Also whats DL?

Edited by Megbean123

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14 minutes ago, Megbean123 said:

@pzabbythesecond @artsydork What happened to your colleagues who did not place high in the class rank? In the spreadsheet for course aux stages I saw candidates were sorted by GPA only, perhaps because the firm is newer to course aux stages. Also whats DL?

DL = Dean's List

Not placing high in the class rank does not necessarily correlate to not getting a placement through the recruitment processes. I know of colleagues with GPAs not even within the top 50% who got placements and individuals with higher grades who did not. It really comes down to a mix of your interviewing skills, networking and sheer luck. 

Putting that aside, regarding what happens if you do not get a placement through the recruitment processes, I think most of our class ends up somewhere by the time articling comes around. Whether or not its their first choice is hard to tell. The CDO is still working on building the data to be able to give us numbers. However, I haven't heard of it being a problem...

Edit: also, if you look through the course aux stage thread in civil schools on this website you can get a sense of average GPAs that individuals who get interviews from McGill have.

Edited by Nayaab02

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11 minutes ago, Megbean123 said:

@pzabbythesecond @artsydork What happened to your colleagues who did not place high in the class rank? In the spreadsheet for course aux stages I saw candidates were sorted by GPA only, perhaps because the firm is newer to course aux stages. Also whats DL?

I'll answer you but before I do, I need to warn you of something that you've been warned about before:

 

You need to learn to calm down and stop trying to predict the future. Life isn't fair, and is unpredictable. You could come to McGill and get a 3.7. Or a 2.7. You'll need to be able to deal with that and move forward. Planning is good until it becomes poison. This will help you in law school.

McGill candidates have done fairly well in a lot of processes regardless of GPA. I've seen a trend of firms interviewing our students deeper into the class rank than what I've heard about other schools. Some of my friends got jobs with high ranking bay street firms, or clerkships at prestigious international courts in Europe, with GPAs close to 3.0. 

Some people haven't gotten anything yet even though they've been well above average. This also happens at other schools. You need to learn to do well with uncertainty.

You're not disadvantaged in recruits because of McGill's grading scheme. Firms don't look at us and compare our 3.1 with a 3.5 at Osgoode and automatically say the 3.5 at Osgoode is better because that doesn't control for factors which matter. Firms aren't stupid.

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1 minute ago, pzabbythesecond said:

I'll answer you but before I do, I need to warn you of something that you've been warned about before:

 

You need to learn to calm down and stop trying to predict the future. Life isn't fair, and is unpredictable. You could come to McGill and get a 3.7. Or a 2.7. You'll need to be able to deal with that and move forward. Planning is good until it becomes poison. This will help you in law school.

McGill candidates have done fairly well in a lot of processes regardless of GPA. I've seen a trend of firms interviewing our students deeper into the class rank than what I've heard about other schools. Some of my friends got jobs with high ranking bay street firms, or clerkships at prestigious international courts in Europe, with GPAs close to 3.0. 

Some people haven't gotten anything yet even though they've been well above average. This also happens at other schools. You need to learn to do well with uncertainty.

You're not disadvantaged in recruits because of McGill's grading scheme. Firms don't look at us and compare our 3.1 with a 3.5 at Osgoode and automatically say the 3.5 at Osgoode is better because that doesn't control for factors which matter. Firms aren't stupid.

Thanks, I totally understand. I'm not trying to predict but it is something that I felt I needed to factor into my decision. Wasn't really freaking out or anything!

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7 minutes ago, Nayaab02 said:

DL = Dean's List

Not placing high in the class rank does not necessarily correlate to not getting a placement through the recruitment processes. I know of colleagues with GPAs not even within the top 50% who got placements and individuals with higher grades who did not. It really comes down to a mix of your interviewing skills, networking and sheer luck. 

Putting that aside, regarding what happens if you do not get a placement through the recruitment processes, I think most of our class ends up somewhere by the time articling comes around. Whether or not its their first choice is hard to tell. The CDO is still working on building the data to be able to give us numbers. However, I haven't heard of it being a problem...

Edit: also, if you look through the course aux stage thread in civil schools on this website you can get a sense of average GPAs that individuals who get interviews from McGill have.

Thanks! 

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15 minutes ago, Megbean123 said:

Thanks, I totally understand. I'm not trying to predict but it is something that I felt I needed to factor into my decision. Wasn't really freaking out or anything!

You might not have been freaking out internally, but that's how you come across (for example, in saying "I really need an answer because if this is the case, I may choose U of T instead").  This is probably something that you want to get a handle on before you go to law school and especially before you interview for law jobs.  You seem to want to pick a law school based on an attempt to predict your grades, both here and in another post.  There is absolutely no reason that you should take a law school's grading system into account into selecting a school.  As someone else pointed out, employers are aware of these things.

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You know, there is a McGill grading impact. It doesn't relate to the nature of the curve in the way you're thinking it will, but it is an impact.

 

It's a dirty little secret of the faculty which, in my opinion, gives an unfair advantage to those who take advantage of this issue compared to those who don't. People, in a sense, "game" their grades. 

 

I have been planning a post on this issue for a while now, and have been unsure whether or not to make it public. But I think it's important that students such as yourself are aware of it, so they don't get hurt by it (as I did). I'll do so in the coming weeks. I'll make a separate thread on it, and possibly it will be stickied if the mods find it of sufficient value.

Stay tuned.

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10 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

You know, there is a McGill grading impact. It doesn't relate to the nature of the curve in the way you're thinking it will, but it is an impact.

 

It's a dirty little secret of the faculty which, in my opinion, gives an unfair advantage to those who take advantage of this issue compared to those who don't. People, in a sense, "game" their grades. 

 

I have been planning a post on this issue for a while now, and have been unsure whether or not to make it public. But I think it's important that students such as yourself are aware of it, so they don't get hurt by it (as I did). I'll do so in the coming weeks. I'll make a separate thread on it, and possibly it will be stickied if the mods find it of sufficient value.

Stay tuned.

Thanks! I have a meeting with the dean next wed is it possible to pm me in brief what you're thinking about

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I'd rather not. This is a delicate issue, and I want to be careful in how I write about it. I'll write it when I have time. That shouldn't impact your decision since as I understand it you have some time before you have to decide.

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