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Advice on my 1L Grades

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Hey guys,

I just finished 1L at Queens and got my final grades this morning.  They are as follows:

Constitutional (4 credits): B

Public (4 credits): B

Criminal (6 credits): B

Property (6 credits): B

ILS (4 credits): B +

Contracts (6 credits): B +

Torts (6 credits): A

Overall GPA: 3.25

How do my grades look for OCI's? I should note that I do not have a bay street or bust attitude, and want to apply to both bay street and non bay street jobs for my 2L summer.

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From my understanding of the Queen's curve, you are an average, maybe slightly above average, student. You'll get some interviews, but after that, your grades won't make much of a difference either way. 

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I think Queen’s curves a bit higher, more like a B+ average from what I’ve seen of their grade distribution, so OP would be below the average.

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9 minutes ago, providence said:

I think Queen’s curves a bit higher, more like a B+ average from what I’ve seen of their grade distribution, so OP would be below the average.

Only B+ average courses are contracts and ILS if that helps at all.

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6 minutes ago, Bart said:

Only B+ average courses are contracts and ILS if that helps at all.

Does Queen's law no longer provide mark distributions? Or doesn't the SOLUS system allow students to generate mark distributions for their courses, or is that not for law school?

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21 minutes ago, Bart said:

Only B+ average courses are contracts and ILS if that helps at all.

Sorry to pop your bubble mate, that's just median. The average is in the B+ range because the A-B+ range outweigh the B- to C grades.

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1 hour ago, Mal said:

From my understanding of the Queen's curve, you are an average, maybe slightly above average, student. You'll get some interviews, but after that, your grades won't make much of a difference either way. 

This is a bit of a myth - I've yet to hear of a firm that ignores grades after the initial interview stage. Grades matter through the process. The gold medalist only needs to behave like a human to get hired. The further down the curve you go, the more you need to impress in both interview stages. 

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Anyways - last year about a third of Queen's students got OCI jobs: http://ultravires.ca/2018/11/toronto-2l-hiring-numbers/.

That number was a bit higher than Queen's historical average, so we may see regression this year. 


That does not mean that you get a job if you come in the top third and are otherwise unemployed, because:

i) Some Queen's students won't want or take a job in this recruit, because they a) already got a 1L job (rare), got /want a job in another market than Toronto (e.g. Vancouver, Calgary, NY), or want to work in an area of the law that does not recruit heavily during the 2L process, such as crim defence and family; and

ii) Grades are not the only factor. Experience, personality, connections, diversity, etc. also get thrown into the mix. And just plain luck of connecting with a partner at the right time.

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41 minutes ago, Ambit said:

This is a bit of a myth - I've yet to hear of a firm that ignores grades after the initial interview stage. Grades matter through the process. The gold medalist only needs to behave like a human to get hired. The further down the curve you go, the more you need to impress in both interview stages. 

On the contrary, after a candidate makes their way to in firms, grades are not that big a factor. Most of the people evaluating the candidates aren't paying strict attention to the grades and likely aren't making any decisions based on them. I typically glance at a candidate's transcript but by the time I make my thoughts known, there is a 0% chance I even remember what their grades were - they are irrelevant to me if the gatekeepers have already let you into the in firm process. If you're a bubble candidate could the student/hiring committee pull the grades back out to split the difference? Sure, that's a possibility, but if you do well in interviews, they aren't looking at your grades again and saying "well gee, we really liked Sam with the B average, but Terry who kinda sucked had a B+, guess we're picking Terry".

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rashabon said:

On the contrary, after a candidate makes their way to in firms, grades are not that big a factor. Most of the people evaluating the candidates aren't paying strict attention to the grades and likely aren't making any decisions based on them. I typically glance at a candidate's transcript but by the time I make my thoughts known, there is a 0% chance I even remember what their grades were - they are irrelevant to me if the gatekeepers have already let you into the in firm process. If you're a bubble candidate could the student/hiring committee pull the grades back out to split the difference? Sure, that's a possibility, but if you do well in interviews, they aren't looking at your grades again and saying "well gee, we really liked Sam with the B average, but Terry who kinda sucked had a B+, guess we're picking Terry".

I have never sat on a hiring committee (way too junior) but I have a hard time believing that is reflective of the general experience. Here is the analysis from the most recent editiion of ultravires (other editions have similar results):

From this data, it appears that grades are most important when it comes to securing OCI interviews, with students at the top of the sample receiving offers to attend OCI interviews at significantly higher rates than students at the bottom of the sample. However, when it comes to converting those OCI interviews to in-firm interviews, the importance of grades significantly declines. This confirms that employers use the OCI interview to screen for non-academic qualifications. That said, once students have passed the OCI stage, grades are still important for predicting both the likelihood of receiving at least one offer and the number of offers a successful candidate will receive.

There is a table with the data here: http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/UV-February-2018-Recruitment-Special.pdf

There are at least two caveats. First, maybe people with better grades are just more personable. Second, this data only reflects one school. But I doubt that either of those is particularly confounding. 

To use your example, no firm takes the candidate who "sucked" over the one they "really liked" because of a small difference in average. A candidate that truly sucks is getting dropped. But it's not the case - and the data bears this out - that grades are irrelevant, at least in terms of recruitment at the major firms. The top firms are going to 'like' lots of candidates. But they aren't hiring Sam, who is at the 50th percentile, over Terry, at the 80th, because vaguely they like Sam a bit more. And Joe, who 

One other point. You can see that near the middle, the OCI conversation ratio is almost the same between the two middle quartiles. At U of T, it is usually when you drop below the median that you start losing OCI's with some of the bigger firms, which explains the weaker OCI -application ratio. While I do not have data to show this, I would speculate that the bunching of the OCI-infirm ratio is because students in the 50-75 quartile fail to convert some of their OCI's at the most competitive firms, while students at the 25-50 rate were not offered those OCI's in the first place, and are now converting less competitive firms. 
 

Edited by Ambit

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Ambit said:

I have never sat on a hiring committee (way too junior) but I have a hard time believing that is reflective of the general experience. Here is the analysis from the most recent editiion of ultravires (other editions have similar results):

From this data, it appears that grades are most important when it comes to securing OCI interviews, with students at the top of the sample receiving offers to attend OCI interviews at significantly higher rates than students at the bottom of the sample. However, when it comes to converting those OCI interviews to in-firm interviews, the importance of grades significantly declines. This confirms that employers use the OCI interview to screen for non-academic qualifications. That said, once students have passed the OCI stage, grades are still important for predicting both the likelihood of receiving at least one offer and the number of offers a successful candidate will receive.

There is a table with the data here: http://ultravires.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/UV-February-2018-Recruitment-Special.pdf

There are at least two caveats. First, maybe people with better grades are just more personable. Second, this data only reflects one school. But I doubt that either of those is particularly confounding. 

To use your example, no firm takes the candidate who "sucked" over the one they "really liked" because of a small difference in average. A candidate that truly sucks is getting dropped. But it's not the case - and the data bears this out - that grades are irrelevant, at least in terms of recruitment at the major firms. The top firms are going to 'like' lots of candidates. But they aren't hiring Sam, who is at the 50th percentile, over Terry, at the 80th, because vaguely they like Sam a bit more. And Joe, who 

One other point. You can see that near the middle, the OCI conversation ratio is almost the same between the two middle quartiles. At U of T, it is usually when you drop below the median that you start losing OCI's with some of the bigger firms, which explains the weaker OCI -application ratio. While I do not have data to show this, I would speculate that the bunching of the OCI-infirm ratio is because students in the 50-75 quartile fail to convert some of their OCI's at the most competitive firms, while students at the 25-50 rate were not offered those OCI's in the first place, and are now converting less competitive firms. 
 

That data isn't inconsistent. A candidate with better grades will likely get more OCIs. More OCIs increase your chances of getting in-firms. More in-firms increase your chances of an offer. Therefore, better grades increase your chance of an offer, even if they are never considered as a criterion past the getting OCI stage. 

In order to establish that grades are a significant factor post-OCI, you would need data showing that students with higher GPAs were more successful at turning in-firms into offers, and you would need to compensate for the small sample sizes for students with fewer in-firms (since for marginal students, the success rate may be a binary 1 or 0, while for students with a full slate of in-firms are unlikely to have a binary outcome). 

Also, lol at the reported data that 71% of respondents received a job offer but only 54% were hired. There's a 0% chance that 17% of students are going through OCIs and in-firms only to turn down their offers at the end. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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25 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Also, lol at the reported data that 71% of respondents received a job offer but only 54% were hired. There's a 0% chance that 17% of students are going through OCIs and in-firms only to turn down their offers at the end. 

I concur. I did it and the whole faculty still speaks in whispers around me ;)

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18 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

That data isn't inconsistent. A candidate with better grades will likely get more OCIs. More OCIs increase your chances of getting in-firms. More in-firms increase your chances of an offer. Therefore, better grades increase your chance of an offer, even if they are never considered as a criterion past the getting OCI stage. 

In order to establish that grades are a significant factor post-OCI, you would need data showing that students with higher GPAs were more successful at turning in-firms into offers, and you would need to compensate for the small sample sizes for students with fewer in-firms (since for marginal students, the success rate may be a binary 1 or 0, while for students with a full slate of in-firms are unlikely to have a binary outcome). 

Also, lol at the reported data that 71% of respondents received a job offer but only 54% were hired. There's a 0% chance that 17% of students are going through OCIs and in-firms only to turn down their offers at the end. 

That's what they did:

Using this data, we computed OCI-Offer-to-Application-Rate (the number of offers to attend an OCI interview received per application sent), and OCI-Conversion-Rate (the number of in-firm offers received per OCI interview attended). In addition, we computed the percentage of students within each percentile grouping who received a job offer. Finally, for students within each grouping who received at least one offer, we computed the average number of job offers received.

The only thing missing is looking at your conversion rate from infirms to offers, but that data would be screwy given that firms drop out when they realize that a student is going elsewhere. 

With respect to the 71/54 gap, I think the 71% refers to participants in the process. 54% is matched against the class size. 

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@Ambit, can't quote you for some reason. 

In-firm conversion rate is vitally important, though, because that's the stage that tells us whether or not grades are important post-OCIs. The mere fact that fewer bad students get offers doesn't tell us anything, because for all we know they struck out of their one in-firm while the top students struck out of 50% of theirs. 

I think you're right re: 71%, which means the ultra vires data is going to be incredibly skewed towards top candidates. 

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11 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

@Ambit, can't quote you for some reason. 

In-firm conversion rate is vitally important, though, because that's the stage that tells us whether or not grades are important post-OCIs. The mere fact that fewer bad students get offers doesn't tell us anything, because for all we know they struck out of their one in-firm while the top students struck out of 50% of theirs. 

I think you're right re: 71%, which means the ultra vires data is going to be incredibly skewed towards top candidates. 

That's possible - what you would need to do is find students who had the same infirms, at the same firms, and compare the results. No way is there a sample size for that. 

I'm not sure how much the data skews upwards - some students who don't participate usually already have a job, which means they got hired in NY or in 1L. Of course, some students don't participate because they are less competitive, but at Toronto even very poor grades does not rule you out. 

 

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52 minutes ago, Ambit said:

That's possible - what you would need to do is find students who had the same infirms, at the same firms, and compare the results. No way is there a sample size for that. 

I'm not sure how much the data skews upwards - some students who don't participate usually already have a job, which means they got hired in NY or in 1L. Of course, some students don't participate because they are less competitive, but at Toronto even very poor grades does not rule you out. 

 

I took it to mean that 71% of respondents to the survey got offers, while only 54% of student overall got hired. That would be a significant skew, and is actually made worse by the student who already had a job. 

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2 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I took it to mean that 71% of respondents to the survey got offers, while only 54% of student overall got hired. That would be a significant skew, and is actually made worse by the student who already had a job. 

If that's the case the data is skewed, but I don't think so. Here is that 54% number, it's based on the entire 1L class. 

http://ultravires.ca/2017/11/summer-2018-recruitment-hiring-trust-not/

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