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angel133

how good are these grades to lateral onto a midsize/small bay st. firm?

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Here's a hypothetical person. She's currently counsel at Crown Law Office (Civil) (less than 3 years). She's thinking about trying to lateral into a midsize or small bay street firm. How much importance would be put on her grades? Her grades are: 3 B's, 6 B+'s, 9 A's, 5 A+'s. 

Edited by angel133

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16 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

grades would be irrelevant

Agree. Doubt they'll even ask for a transcript.

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56 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

grades would be irrelevant

Does this have something to do with the fact these are midsize or small bay st. firms? What if she was thinking of lateraling into a large bay st. firm that does a lot of public law like BLG? 

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Just now, angel133 said:

Does this have something to do with the fact these are midsize or small bay st. firms? What if she was thinking of lateraling into a large bay st. firm that does a lot of public law like BLG? 

All of the big firms and most of the mid-size firms in Toronto, as well as any small firms with particularly good reputations will ask for transcripts. However, the weight it will be afforded exponentially diminishes as you practise. But, do keep in mind, big firms will generally consider grades for even mid-level and senior associates. 

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21 minutes ago, leafs_law said:

All of the big firms and most of the mid-size firms in Toronto, as well as any small firms with particularly good reputations will ask for transcripts. However, the weight it will be afforded exponentially diminishes as you practise. But, do keep in mind, big firms will generally consider grades for even mid-level and senior associates. 

So next question: are those grades good enough to lateral into a big firm like BLG? (she's not depending on her grades alone to get the job, obviously). 

Edited by angel133

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1 hour ago, angel133 said:

Does this have something to do with the fact these are midsize or small bay st. firms? What if she was thinking of lateraling into a large bay st. firm that does a lot of public law like BLG? 

I would be surprised to see any law job anywhere ask or care about grades for anyone with more than a modicum of working experience as a lawyer, let alone three years.

Maybe for pretty new calls some employers might care about major awards? I dunno. It seems to just really not matter shortly after school ends. Grades are part of the equation that puts you on whatever track, but then your actual work experiences are very quickly all that matter.

I see someone above has contradicted this post. Look, I might be wrong, but that seems bonkers. Transcripts for a senior associate?

Edited by BringBackCrunchBerries

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Would B grades in certain courses effectively bar you from practicing in those areas on a large bay st. firm? 

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13 minutes ago, angel133 said:

Would B grades in certain courses effectively bar you from practicing in those areas on a large bay st. firm? 

B grades (and lower) haven't stopped people from getting through the OCI recruit and getting hired. Why would it be more harmful later on in a career where you have more practical skills and experience to point to?

Edited by pzabbythesecond
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1 hour ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

Look, I might be wrong, but that seems bonkers. Transcripts for a senior associate?

Yeah I agree. I mean I don’t have a lot (read: any) of practice in the hiring of mid-level or senior associates but I can’t imagine it would matter at that stage. It literally says nothing about you as a practitioner that your experience couldn’t say 10x over. But I mean, what do I know?

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I’ll clarify my above post to say that grades really do matter a lot less as you go. In some cases they probably don’t end up mattering at all.  But if you look at the postings in the Ontario Reports and on LinkedIn, Toronto firms are still requesting transcripts for mid-senior associates. Maybe they look closely at them, maybe they don’t, but they do request them and I know some firms are still very strict on grades years into practice. In my experience, at my firm, we do request transcripts for experienced laterals, but I’ve never heard them come up in interviews or deliberations, unless someone was very well decorated academically, in which case they would be given pretty significant preference. 

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On 9/7/2019 at 12:34 PM, angel133 said:

Here's a hypothetical person. She's currently counsel at Crown Law Office (Civil) (less than 3 years). She's thinking about trying to lateral into a midsize or small bay street firm. How much importance would be put on her grades? Her grades are: 3 B's, 6 B+'s, 9 A's, 5 A+'s. 

I dunno whether or not they'll ask for grades; it will prob depend on the firm. But, in any case, your grades are good. You only have 3 grades that are "average",  the rest are above average, and 60% of them are As...don't you already know you have good grades?

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1 minute ago, conge said:

I dunno whether or not they'll ask for grades; it will prob depend on the firm. But, in any case, your grades are good. You only have 3 grades that are "average",  the rest are above average, and 60% of them are As...don't you already know you have good grades?

whether or not the hypothetical person is the poster or not (I don't want to make assumptions), given the poster's post history, and the current hiring freeze at MAG, I believe it comes from a place of fear and insecurity, combined with the fact that hiring post recruit is a big black box when it comes to law students.

Law school has this awful way of making students feel that the trajectory you are on directly out of law school will shape your career almost entirely. While it can be true, I do believe (some) law students have this overwhelming anxiety about their career ending before it even begins, based on a number of recruits and hiring that happens during law school. So credit to the poster, if it is them, for reaching out, as opposed letting the thoughts fester and have a negative impact on their mental health, personal relationships, etc.

MAG really has done a number to their students with the way their hiring from articling to counsel is designed. The anxiety is real, and can very simply be countered (see: DOJ as an example). Obviously there are other factors at play, but the anxiety is felt across the board with law students who work with the provincial government right now.

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52 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

whether or not the hypothetical person is the poster or not (I don't want to make assumptions), given the poster's post history, and the current hiring freeze at MAG, I believe it comes from a place of fear and insecurity, combined with the fact that hiring post recruit is a big black box when it comes to law students.

Law school has this awful way of making students feel that the trajectory you are on directly out of law school will shape your career almost entirely. While it can be true, I do believe (some) law students have this overwhelming anxiety about their career ending before it even begins, based on a number of recruits and hiring that happens during law school. So credit to the poster, if it is them, for reaching out, as opposed letting the thoughts fester and have a negative impact on their mental health, personal relationships, etc.

MAG really has done a number to their students with the way their hiring from articling to counsel is designed. The anxiety is real, and can very simply be countered (see: DOJ as an example). Obviously there are other factors at play, but the anxiety is felt across the board with law students who work with the provincial government right now.

Fair enough. OP indicates they have 3 years of experience at MAG, and their grades are objectively really good. I think OP will be just fine; probably better than that. 

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I'm virtually certain the OP is creating a hypothetical of herself in the future, which at least is clearly stated for a change. I wish all these law school applicants would be clearer about their hypothetical LSATs.

I think the most important point to make is this. While your grades seem very important right now, they will become progressively less and less important as you progress in your career. I probably shouldn't opine on how likely a big firm is to ask for your law school transcript three years post-call. The truth is I don't really know. But I can state with confidence that whatever you've done in the intervening three years, while practicing as a lawyer, will be of far greater interest to them. And at some point in the not-distant future, the importance of what you've done more recently will so completely eclipse your grades that they become functionally meaningless. There's a reason no one asks "will these grades be good enough to get me appointed to the bench 20 years into my career."

So, this is a good news bad news situation. The bad news is this. Your strong grades in law school don't guarantee you jack shit in the long run. They should guarantee you a reasonable start in the profession, provided you aren't a complete disaster in terms of personal skills. But that's it. The good news is that you can and should start building the sort of resume that will help you get the jobs you want in the future, even if you don't start there immediately. Get experience in useful and transferable areas of law. Litigate as much as you can if you want to litigate in the future - that's virtually all transferable. Get advice from people who are doing what you want to do. Figure out what they value. You can control this stuff.

Law students have such a narrow view of the profession. It's understandable - everything right now seems to be about grades. But in practice, it isn't. Only a few short years ago you were in undergrad. Sure your good grades there meant something, and sometimes people still look at your undergrad transcript with mild interest. A few years from now, your law school transcript will be the same. And a few years after that, the only thing worth talking about will be that novel issue you litigated before the Court of Appeal. And that's as it should be.

Good luck.

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