Jump to content
Mushroom6

Are my 1L grades a problem for Calgary 2L employment?

Recommended Posts

I am an incoming 2L, I go to law school on the east coast, but live in Calgary. My 1L grades are: B+ B B C C- D. Will my grades hamper me from securing a 2L position? I am not looking to work at some prestigious law firm, or at a big named downtown firm. The first thing I plan on doing is meeting with professors to discuss my exams. I will also try to join moot and get involved in some clubs. I am confident I can improve my grades in 2L. 

Should I look to securing a 2L position outside of Calgary, maybe in a smaller town like Red Deer perhaps? Should I aim towards smaller law firms and or sole practitioners? Are positions at these smaller law firms valuable/even considered 2L summer positions? 

Thanks to all of you. 

 

Edited by Mushroom6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, all legal experience is valuable - particularly in the field you want to practice in. There aren’t one size fits all answers for smaller law firms. Some may care a lot about your grades and others may not care very much at all. The ones that don’t may care much more about a demonstrated interest in the field of law that they practice.  Getting involved with student groups and any other bar organizations that practice in that area of law is a good idea. Make it known you would be interested in summer work in that area. I don’t think you should target one city over another. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You sound like you have a “2L position or bust” attitude.  With your grades, you should probably be thinking more in terms of “what can I do to work towards ultimately being successful in obtaining an articling position”.  

Hiring by smaller offices is more disorganized and haphazard.  Smaller offices often don’t advertise, often don’t hire summer students and, if they do hire an articling student in any given year, often don’t know whether they need one until a few months before a position is filled.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Ptolemy said:

You sound like you have a “2L position or bust” attitude.  With your grades, you should probably be thinking more in terms of “what can I do to work towards ultimately being successful in obtaining an articling position”.  

Hiring by smaller offices is more disorganized and haphazard.  Smaller offices often don’t advertise, often don’t hire summer students and, if they do hire an articling student in any given year, often don’t know whether they need one until a few months before a position is filled.  

Agreed. OP, you may not get a 2L summer position. Refocus your efforts in obtaining an articling position. The goal here is to be called to the bar and become a lawyer.

Start by figuring out what area of law you want to go into. Your grades put you out of the running for most full-service law firms, so you will not have the pleasure of experimenting around. 

You need to invest in creating a profile that will sell you in one or two specific areas of law, because your grades certainly will not do it for you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unsure about how things work outside of Ontario’s market but what does refocusing your mind on getting an articling position even mean? Obviously attempt to land a 2L position. There’s nothing you can do in the interim that will help you land an articling position any more than a 2L position.

Send out applications to anyone and everyone. It’s as simple as that regardless of your grades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, you're definitely starting behind the 8 ball here with those 1L grades. I think you're sitting on a C+ average?

That's going to take you out of most if not all formal 2L recruits, so I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Focus on doing well this year and getting whatever experience you can through clinics and volunteering, and aim to do the same in the summer. Doesn't matter where, so long as it's law related and can boost your resume.

It's been said and I agree, your main focus now should be articling. Don't worry so much about landing a 2L gig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Unsure about how things work outside of Ontario’s market but what does refocusing your mind on getting an articling position even mean? Obviously attempt to land a 2L position. There’s nothing you can do in the interim that will help you land an articling position any more than a 2L position.

Send out applications to anyone and everyone. It’s as simple as that regardless of your grades.

It means accepting that a 2L job probably isn't happening with those grades and so embarking on a strategy to build one's resume with extra curriculars and attainable summer jobs like RAships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Unsure about how things work outside of Ontario’s market but what does refocusing your mind on getting an articling position even mean? Obviously attempt to land a 2L position. There’s nothing you can do in the interim that will help you land an articling position any more than a 2L position.

Send out applications to anyone and everyone. It’s as simple as that regardless of your grades.

I think it means don't be consumed and stressed out about landing a 2L gig. Make peace with the fact that it likely won't happen. Send out resumes, sure. I don't think the message is don't try. But the realistic outlook is that the OP's chances for landing a 2L gig tanked with those grades.

If OP is asking about where to spend significant emotional and mental energy to overcome their 1L grades, the answer is the articling recruit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2L gig doesn’t necessarily mean articling-track summer gig at a full service firm. Those are out. It can also mean small firm that has too much work and needs to pay somebody $15/hour to help out. This is still valuable experience. I don’t see why anybody would give up on this, no matter what their grades are. 

Edited by NYCLawyer
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, harveyspecter993 said:

It means accepting that a 2L job probably isn't happening with those grades and so embarking on a strategy to build one's resume with extra curriculars and attainable summer jobs like RAships.

Accepting that you're out of the running for 2L positions seems to be the worst option. Send applications to small shops. Call up everyone you can. OP may be out of the running for formalized recruiting but IMO it's premature to give up on all applications. If the suggestion is for OP to focus on the articling recruit we can't forget that a 2L position is a very common way to land an articling position. It's not logical to suggest focusing on the articling recruit while simultaneously neglecting a common method of landing an articling position; the 2L summer job.

Wasting time looking for beneficial extra-curricular positions appears even more futile. Employers will hardly be impressed you did an extra-curricular over the summer while other applicants did that same extra curricular over the school year alongside course work. Perhaps landing an RAship would be worth it but how many of those are there to go around if OP doesn't have personal connections with professors and average grades?

To reiterate my advice, as OP is unemployed he or she can submit applications for 2L positions, extra-curriculars, and RAships. Nonetheless, submitting 2L applications is important. I can't stand advocating the "give up and focus your attention elsewhere" theory because it just doesn't add up. It's a cop out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

Accepting that you're out of the running for 2L positions seems to be the worst option. Send applications to small shops. Call up everyone you can. OP may be out of the running for formalized recruiting but IMO it's premature to give up on all applications. If the suggestion is for OP to focus on the articling recruit we can't forget that a 2L position is a very common way to land an articling position. It's not logical to suggest focusing on the articling recruit while simultaneously neglecting a common method of landing an articling position; the 2L summer job.

Wasting time looking for beneficial extra-curricular positions appears even more futile. Employers will hardly be impressed you did an extra-curricular over the summer while other applicants did that same extra curricular over the school year alongside course work. Perhaps landing an RAship would be worth it but how many of those are there to go around if OP doesn't have personal connections with professors and average grades?

To reiterate my advice, as OP is unemployed he or she can submit applications for 2L positions, extra-curriculars, and RAships. Nonetheless, submitting 2L applications is important. I can't stand advocating the "give up and focus your attention elsewhere" theory because it just doesn't add up. It's a cop out. 

I should have specialized that I meant the formal recruit process. Small shops (solos etc) are definitely possible, yes. But honestly, if I was in OPs position I'd rather spend my summer at a clinic than with a small shop. I just think it looks better on a resume. Especially if you can land a prestigious clinic gig.

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.



×
×
  • Create New...