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3L who has not been offered a single interview throughout law school

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28 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

The elephant in the room, which no one is addressing, is OP's sub 3.0 law school GPA. I assume that amounts to a C+ average. I hate to be blunt but you can't be surprised that you're not getting interviews when you're not even hitting the average level of performance. 

1) you’re probably assuming wrong. I think that would be an F at Osgoode and a B at Queens, so it’s school dependant. They use different scales.

2) even if it is below average, so what? The  vast majority of below average law students get interviews and jobs. I know a bunch of people who got poor law school grades and they are all working and doing fine.

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10 hours ago, harveyspecter993 said:

The elephant in the room, which no one is addressing, is OP's sub 3.0 law school GPA. I assume that amounts to a C+ average. I hate to be blunt but you can't be surprised that you're not getting interviews when you're not even hitting the average level of performance. 

C+ is 2.3. B- is 2.7. 

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15 hours ago, harveyspecter993 said:

The elephant in the room, which no one is addressing, is OP's sub 3.0 law school GPA. I assume that amounts to a C+ average. I hate to be blunt but you can't be surprised that you're not getting interviews when you're not even hitting the average level of performance. 

The OP said they applied to virtually every position they came across. 
 

Obviously half of law students will be bellow median and, last I checked, the majority of them, at a Canadian school, will get a job. 
 

I also personally know people with atrocious grades, meaning bottom of the class, albeit from a good school, and their careers appear to be fine. 

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38 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

The OP said they applied to virtually every position they came across. 
 

 

The people I know with below average grades who have jobs either cold-emailed or got their jobs through family/friend connections. Applying to publicly advertized jobs with below average grades is not a viable strategy imo because one would struggle to look good on paper compared to the other applicants.  

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1 minute ago, harveyspecter993 said:

The people I know with below average grades who have jobs either cold-emailed or got their jobs through family/friend connections. Applying to publicly advertized jobs with below average grades is not a viable strategy imo because one would struggle to look good on paper compared to the other applicants.  

I got a publicly posted articling position with below average grades. And I had other offers, also from publicly posted positions. 

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9 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

I got a publicly posted articling position with below average grades. And I had other offers, also from publicly posted positions. 

Well you've obviously had more luck than OP then. 

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I agree with Deadpool -- a scattershot approach isn't effective at this point. Limiting your applications probably feels counterintuitive now. But it's what you should do. Specialize. 

In crafting cold emails and cover letters, be smart. Look at your experience. Look at your prospective employers. What do you have to offer them? Have you interviewed clients? All lawyers do that. Having an articling student who can get basic information out of clients without infringing on the human rights code is good. Have you done research? Articling students must research. Highlight what you've done there. Did you do any drafting? Did you provide legal information? 

As others have said, demonstrable interest is important now. You'll be hard-pressed to convince employers that they should hire you for your talent alone (not that you aren't talented, but without good grades or remarkable extracurricular achievements, you can't really show that off in an application). Commitment and passion has value. Your interest suggests that you'll engage seriously with your work -- that you care, and will be motivated as a result. 

Do some soul searching here. You need a concise, clearly articulated reason here. Disingenuous or generic reasons (e.g., I just love social justice and can't get enough of it, hire me now!) will probably ring false to someone actually practicing in that area all day, everyday. Don't be that person. Think about what you might enjoy doing based upon what you've done. Do you want to go to Court / were there oral advocacy experiences you enjoyed? Do you want to serve specific types of clients?  Do you like advising, dealing with complexity [insert examples of positives about solicitor work -- I can't think of them because I'm not interested in this stuff]. What cases/legal issues are you interested in?  

Show that you (a) have some experience, which will allow you to do some basic things without extensive training and (b) like what they do and want to do it. 

Good luck. 

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On 2/15/2020 at 1:44 PM, harveyspecter993 said:

The people I know with below average grades who have jobs either cold-emailed or got their jobs through family/friend connections. Applying to publicly advertized jobs with below average grades is not a viable strategy imo because one would struggle to look good on paper compared to the other applicants.  

This is terrible advice. To lump all "publicly advertised" jobs into one pile and imagine the biggest distinction is between whether a job is publicly posted or not is just absurd. This would treat a job with a sole practitioner that happens to have been submitted to a CDO as the same as a posted position in-house at a major company. The vast differences between those two jobs are far, far, FAR more significant than whether or not they happen to both be posted the same way, or even found at the same place beside each other.

The important advice is to figure out what you actually want to do, focus on those jobs, and don't apply to just everything hoping to get some kind of interview anywhere. There is at least a vague association between this (good) advice, and the (very bad) advice above. If you are just desperate to apply to as many jobs as possible, you will probably be looking at all postings you can find and applying to everything. That's a very bad approach, and the excessive focus at this point on posted positions may lead you to overlook other avenues. What you should do instead is identify what you want to do and apply to all appropriate jobs you can find, as well as creating leads on your own if you can. Again, by concentrating on what you want to do, rather than everything at once.

Again, the distinction isn't between posted and not. Even if you happen to know someone hiring for a position that's totally outside of your interests and background, and no one else knows about it, you're still a bad candidate for that job. Wasting your energy and time trying to pretend you're something you aren't isn't a good approach. Focus on what matters.

 

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I mean, I got my summer and articling gig through posted ads. Actually, articling was through the Outside Toronto organized recruit. My marks were nothing to write home about and I was admittedly somewhere in the top 100% in my class!

I've written about my experience a few times here. As diplock wrote, focus on what matters. Target your applications accordingly. Worked for me.

Now that I work for a small firm, the random CVs we get are enlightening. People writing that they would "settle" for our small town, people saying they are interested in X area that we don't practice, or are looking for Y experience in something that we don't/can't offer, or overselling themselves to us about their abilities (or what would be allowed for an articling student). Others write about gaining experience and then moving on, etc. 

Know your audience. Have a tight package. Temper expectations to fit the market you are applying to. And be humble. 

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On 2/15/2020 at 10:44 AM, harveyspecter993 said:

The people I know with below average grades who have jobs either cold-emailed or got their jobs through family/friend connections. Applying to publicly advertized jobs with below average grades is not a viable strategy imo because one would struggle to look good on paper compared to the other applicants.  

Quoting this again to emphasize how absolutely piss-poor and ignorant this advice is. 
 

It bares no connection to the reality of hiring, and it is difficult to imagine anyone who has practiced law for any length of time giving it. I have to speculate that this poster is probably recently through the formalized 2L Big Law  recruit and is in such a deluded law school bubble that they think any job posted publicly applies a grade cut-off similar to large employers recruiting summer students. 
 

That’s not even remotely true; in one example, a friend of mine, who had the worst law school grades imaginable, secured a position in third year through a school job-board posting. It was, I imagine, on the basis of his personality and presentation, and it was at a small firm with <10 lawyers (he has since moved to mid-sized firm and appears to be progressing well in his career). 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by QuincyWagstaff
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52 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

That’s not even remotely true; in one example, a friend of mine, who had the worst law school grades imaginable, secured a position in third year through a school job-board posting. It was, I imagine, on the basis of his personality and presentation, and it was at a small firm with <10 lawyers (he has since moved to mid-sized firm and appears to be progressing well in his career). 

I am speaking of the 3Ls I know of who told me about how they got their jobs with the grades they had and drawing inferences based on what I've been told.

Edited by harveyspecter993

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I accept that my perspective may be limited to the people I've interacted with and I do see substance to a lot of what's been raised above. What I'm trying to say is that if you're in a situation, like OP is, where you have below average grades, your job search can't be focused exclusively on posted jobs. OP's original post only mentioned applying to jobs they had seen and not other methods that people in their position have used to get jobs.

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17 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

I am speaking of the 3Ls I know of who told me about how they got their jobs with the grades they had and drawing inferences based on what I've been told.

 

Removed. Not worth it. Someone else will get it.

Edited by Diplock

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4 minutes ago, Diplock said:

You know, you've been hanging around this site for so long that I often forget how new you are as a law student. Still in...what, 2L I think?

Let's make this deal, at least. Confine yourself to giving bad advice to students who are newer than you, and offering absurd opinions about things you have actually experienced personally. Then we'll correct as needed. Offering ignorant-ass opinions about things that you haven't even gone through yet is hubris of the highest order. I'm reminded of the number of times you've expressed the fear that your opinions are greeted badly because you are conservative or somehow outside the mainstream in other ways. I really don't think you allow enough for the fact that no matter what your views are, people probably respond badly to you because you're a ridiculously presumptuous ass.

Seriously, man, I don't think you will ever have enough self-reflection to understand what I'm talking about. But you've asked questions about how to succeed in law school in the past. If some student here who isn't even IN law school yet presumed to give you an answer, no matter what that answer is, wouldn't you treat it like a big fucking joke? And how much worse does that get, when the answer itself is absurd?

Just...stop. Please.

There's nothing controversial about suggesting that someone below the curve can't just rely on what their CDO posts and has to hustle a bit with cold emails and leveraging their network.

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14 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

There's nothing controversial about suggesting that someone below the curve can't just rely on what their CDO posts and has to hustle a bit with cold emails and leveraging their network.

I thought twice about what I wrote after I wrote it, but since you've quoted it I guess I'm stuck now.

Basically, you said something which, taken at face value, was incredibly stupid. I, and others, pointed out how it is stupid, and made a somewhat-related but very different point in its place. I gave you as much credit as I possibly could for saying something that was vaguely in the same universe as the truth. But that credit is still very limited. And now your reply is "there's nothing controversial in saying the thing I never said in the first place, but which far more knowledgeable people than I have since said, to try to turn my mistake into something that's at least true?"

Let me guess. You're that guy who writes something completely wrong in an essay, notes what the TA wrote in reply to correct you, and then goes to argue with them over your grade, saying that their notes are what you meant in the first place. Am I right?

It's this simple. Rather than spouting off in ignorance about things you don't know, how about you just let people who do know provide the answers? Now that you're in 2L or something, there are newer students and applicants you can pop off at - and joking aside, while I may not like your perspective on things, you are far less likely to be factually wrong. The fact remains, in your original post, you genuinely meant (and believed) that applying to any posted job with below average grades is a waste of time. You've been corrected now, which is fine. But seriously man, this isn't complicated advice. Stop presuming to tell people who are further along the path through law school than you are yourself how they should go about things. The obviousness of that advice doesn't really need further defence.

Edited by Diplock

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2 hours ago, harveyspecter993 said:

There's nothing controversial about suggesting that someone below the curve can't just rely on what their CDO posts and has to hustle a bit with cold emails and leveraging their network.

As per Diplock's post above, your original post wasn't that people should apply to both posted positions and also cold call lawyers. It was "applying to publicly advertized jobs with below average grades is not a viable strategy imo because one would struggle to look good on paper compared to the other applicants." Giving bad advice and then moving the goalposts saps your credibility with people reading what you write. It's a bad look.

Look, I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I'm not really responding to harveyspecter993. I'm talking to 3Ls and graduates without articling positions. Don't stop applying to posted positions. Those are more competitive, sure. But those are also the people that are hiring, which means that there is the possibility they will hire you. 

Most lawyers you are cold emailing and calling are not hiring right now. I didn't keep stats. But I contacted a bunch of lawyers when I was looking for an articling position, and the positive response rate is really low. Like much lower than for posted positions. That's not to say you shouldn't be reaching out. You should, because it's not that time-consuming and something might come of it (directly or indirectly -- I had lawyers pass on my information to others who were hiring). And if it works out, great. But you should keep applying to the people who you know are hiring, too.

Edited by realpseudonym

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