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BabyYoda

Blew it in 2L - how do I recover?

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I need advice on how to recover from a blunder involving my grades, and how it affects recruitment.

In 1L I came out with a B average. I got a C, a C+, and the rest were a mixture of B/B+. Then, I made the massive mistake in 2L of taking Evidence, Business Associations, and Con Law in my first semester. I took 16 credits (17 is the max allowed), and 12 of those were spread between those three courses. I ended up with two C's and a C+. I read pretty much everything and worked my tail off, but it was just too much to absorb for three 100% exams. It didn't help that all of my exams were in the first 6 days of the exam period. Now, I'm trying for recruitment and I think my grades are seriously affecting me and will continue to do so. I do have one OCI lined up, but they looked at my undergraduate grades which were pretty sweet (humble brag) so I think that helped me.

My question is this: how do I recover from this bad situation? I'm taking a lighter course load now and I will definitely plan my workload better next year as well. However, I am afraid that this is going to be a permanent drag on my ability to get good jobs. Am I over-reacting? Can I salvage this situation?

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Diplock has many posts on this topic. You are permanently out of the running for grade-sensitive jobs. You can still get jobs that are "subject sensitive", but you need to signal some real interest in that area - a good grade in the relevant black letter course, relevant clinics+mooting+externship, actually working for a practitioner, or having some truly marketable skill like a language.

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It probably won't affect recruitment that much, you were already not competitive for firms that are looking for academically strong students. On the other hand, there are quite a few firms that care far more about fit and drive than about grades. 

 

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3 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

Where do you go to school where the OCIs are in the second term of 2L?

London and Ottawa recruit in the winter semester. 

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What do you want to do? Find an area of law that you do not only/primarily practice in large full-service firms and MILK it. 

e.g. family, criminal, labour and employment, wills and estates, immigration, civil litigation (this is a big one), etc.

There are lots of articling opportunities in personal injury and insurance law areas if it interests you. 

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2 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

What do you want to do? Find an area of law that you do not only/primarily practice in large full-service firms and MILK it. 

e.g. family, criminal, labour and employment, wills and estates, immigration, civil litigation (this is a big one), etc.

There are lots of articling opportunities in personal injury and insurance law areas if it interests you. 

I can't speak to the others, but I can tell you that many (maybe even most) firms that are primarily L&E participate in OCI recruitment and do not in the articling recruit. Also, grades are often/always the first cut-off for interviews.

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1 minute ago, erinl2 said:

I can't speak to the others, but I can tell you that many (maybe even most) firms that are primarily L&E participate in OCI recruitment and do not in the articling recruit. Also, grades are often/always the first cut-off for interviews.

I agree. There are lots of union/labour law positions in the articling recruit that look for demonstrated interest and are not so grades heavy. This is more what I was leaning towards. 

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Why do you think your course selection was a mistake? At least at my schooI  I don't think "easy" courses exist.  I suppose you could load up on seminars but that would be a very transparent strategy.

Edited by harveyspecter993
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8 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

Why do you think your course selection was a mistake? At least my schooI don't think "easy" courses exist.  I suppose you could load up on seminars but that would be a very transparent strategy.

It's not that there are easy courses, but the sheer volume of work from those three in particular was just too much to really keep up with. If you want good grades you have to be able to synthesize what you're learning, not just regurgitate it. Like I said, I read almost everything and studied like crazy but it didn't pay off because I didn't spread out my workload enough. Loading up on seminars is not the way to go either. You're right that it would be transparent strategy, and I don't even think my school allows it anyways. My question is not about how to fix my grades. My question is about strategies for finding articles that are less grade-dependent than the OCI process.

Edited by BabyYoda

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2 hours ago, Deadpool said:

I agree. There are lots of union/labour law positions in the articling recruit that look for demonstrated interest and are not so grades heavy. This is more what I was leaning towards. 

I don't know about lots. I work at a union side boutique and grades are the first thing we look at.  Although we hire in the 2L recruit, not articling.

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3 hours ago, BabyYoda said:

I need advice on how to recover from a blunder involving my grades, and how it affects recruitment.

In 1L I came out with a B average. I got a C, a C+, and the rest were a mixture of B/B+. Then, I made the massive mistake in 2L of taking Evidence, Business Associations, and Con Law in my first semester. I took 16 credits (17 is the max allowed), and 12 of those were spread between those three courses. I ended up with two C's and a C+. I read pretty much everything and worked my tail off, but it was just too much to absorb for three 100% exams. It didn't help that all of my exams were in the first 6 days of the exam period. Now, I'm trying for recruitment and I think my grades are seriously affecting me and will continue to do so. I do have one OCI lined up, but they looked at my undergraduate grades which were pretty sweet (humble brag) so I think that helped me.

My question is this: how do I recover from this bad situation? I'm taking a lighter course load now and I will definitely plan my workload better next year as well. However, I am afraid that this is going to be a permanent drag on my ability to get good jobs. Am I over-reacting? Can I salvage this situation?

Are you OZ? 

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3 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

Are you OZ? 

OZ? As in Australian? No, I'm not Australian.

Edited by BabyYoda
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3 minutes ago, BabyYoda said:

OZ? As in Australian? No, I'm not Australian.

I would imagine that Lucky is asking if you are at Osgoode.  

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Just now, erinl2 said:

I would imagine that Lucky is asking if you are at Osgoode.  

No, not at Osgoode.

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15 hours ago, erinl2 said:

I don't know about lots. I work at a union side boutique and grades are the first thing we look at.  Although we hire in the 2L recruit, not articling.

I can't speak about other markets. Toronto has the following employers doing the articling recruit (summer before 3L and during 3L):

Caley Wray, Cavalluzzo, Dewart Gleason, Goldblatt, Koskie Minsky, MAG - Ministry of Labour, Ontario Nurses’ Association, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic, Unifor, United Steelworkers, Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, Toronto District School Board, etc. 

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14 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

I can't speak about other markets. Toronto has the following employers doing the articling recruit (summer before 3L and during 3L):

Caley Wray, Cavalluzzo, Dewart Gleason, Goldblatt, Koskie Minsky, MAG - Ministry of Labour, Ontario Nurses’ Association, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic, Unifor, United Steelworkers, Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, Toronto District School Board, etc. 

My point about "lots" was referring not simply to the number but rather your claim that they are not "grades heavy".  If by grades heavy you mean that grades aren't the first thing assessed,  I know that not to be true for several of the employers you've listed, as I have friends and colleagues at many of them.  A student certainly doesn't need all A grades but I wouldn't want prospectives to get the idea that grades are not important.  They are. And demonstrated interest would be the next area of assessment.

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7 minutes ago, erinl2 said:

My point about "lots" was referring not simply to the number but rather your claim that they are not "grades heavy".  If by grades heavy you mean that grades aren't the first thing assessed,  I know that not to be true for several of the employers you've listed, as I have friends and colleagues at many of them.  A student certainly doesn't need all A grades but I wouldn't want prospectives to get the idea that grades are not important.  They are. And demonstrated interest would be the next area of assessment.

I didn't mean to insinuate that grades are not important. They are. I just meant that these employers are more forgiving if you have a couple B's on your transcript than traditional full-service firms because they also look at demonstrated interest. A couple of my peers articled with these employers in my year and they had lots of social justice involvement, clinical experience, heavy labour-focued courseloads, some had lots of prior union experience before coming to law school, etc. 

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