In the same boat as you. Some recruiters mentioned they have over 150 apps for 2-3 spots so I'm not holding my breath personally. I took the whole thing as a good exercise in preparing my CV and cover letter.
No. It's generally not a good idea to waste valuable real estate on your cover letter explaining poor grades.
First, you may draw their attention to that fact that they may not have noticed. Second, it's undergrad... law school grades take precedence over undergrad. If you did well so far in law school, don't worry about your undergrad grades. Third, there's really no good explanation for bad grades apart from some serious external factor, and very few people can make that claim in a credible way.
But again, I wouldn't bother talking about it. Talk about why you would make a good fit for the firm; don't try to explain away why they should overlook bad grades.
Some recruiters may (very rarely) suggest a supplemental letter to explain away why you performed poorly academically, but not many do. Visit your counselor for specific advice.
I can try and ease some anxieties. I’m 20 and a 1L. The ages range so much and nobody really pays attention or cares. If you have other questions you are welcome to PM me and I can try and help. In my 1.5 months in law school though your age (above or below) the median will not help or hurt you.
What do you mean by two waves? Was this over two days or just same day but some received it a bit earlier than others? I wonder if other firms do it in waves too.
No news on IP to the best of my knowledge. My friend heard nothing from Gardiner Roberts too.
The advantage is that if you don’t get in through the IC category you still get a chance at the index category. Also, for IC they don’t put any weight to your GPA or LSAT score — they consider your application as a whole.