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lifelearner

Is optional pass/fail prejudical

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Posted (edited)

Does choosing pass/fail this semester due to everything that's going on hurt 2L's  (in comparison to those who choose alphanumeric grades) in the articling recruit if they are at a school that chose optional pass/fail?

Edited by lifelearner

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Posted (edited)

No one can give a definitive answer on this. It is also a waste of time to worry about when you could otherwise be studying for that higher grade you seek. That said, I think employers are justified in drawing an adverse inference if you are only showing As and have 3 Ps, for example.

Edited by Trew
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Trew said:

No one can give a definitive answer on this. It is also a waste of time to worry about when you could otherwise be studying for that higher grade you seek. That said, I think employers are justified in drawing an adverse inference if you are only showing As and have 3 Ps, for example.

At Ottawa, 2L and 3Ls have to choose whether ALL their grades are pass/fail, BEFORE writing exams. I see from OPs post history that's where he's located.

To OP: I'd say that it depends on where your grades currently sit. If you've been a B+ student to date, and take pass/fail, you'll probably still be looked at as a B+ student. If you were on track to have a bunch of great grades, then of course it would benefit you to take the alphanumeric option. But considering like 80% of schools in Canada and the US have gone to mandatory pass/fail, I doubt it will look bad to take that option.

Edited by chaboywb
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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, chaboywb said:

At Ottawa, 2L and 3Ls have to choose whether ALL their grades are pass/fail, BEFORE writing exams. I see from OPs post history that's where he's located.

To OP: I'd say that it depends on where your grades currently sit. If you've been a B+ student to date, and take pass/fail, you'll probably still be looked at as a B+ student. If you were on track to have a bunch of great grades, then of course it would benefit you to take the alphanumeric option. But considering like 80% of schools in Canada and the US have gone to mandatory pass/fail, I doubt it will look bad to take that option.

I see. Then never mind my comment, I am in the boat where you can see all the marks and then select which ones are Ps. The all-or-nothing dilemma is probably going to be a clearer decision based on your current performance this semester and how well you expect to do. 

Edited by Trew
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Posted (edited)

Here's my fear. 1200 apps per firm, maybe a handful of 2L jobs in the market. Fresh crop of hungry Ryerson-ers. Half the battle is just getting your app read. 

 

Let's say you're not affected by COVID at all; PF is merely a matter of choice to you. You are an avg 2.9-3.0 student. Because of P/Fing courses you struggle with, your GPA now says "3.4, top 10%" on ViLawPortal. I'd be damned if your profile doesn't at least get noticed by a number of firms. Once given an interview, it seems that your grades matter less anyways, so I say... why not play it strategically?

Bank those interviews, drive it homeeeee

 

Edited by gorgonzola
Let's not forget to mention you're giving students who have to genuinely resort to P/F (true adverse circs) some more credibility by taking up P/F. 
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I have my doubts that employers would bother to determine which schools gave their students the option to pass/fail before seeing grades and which did not. Especially with most Ontario schools being mandatory pass/fail.

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On 3/30/2020 at 7:43 AM, harveyspecter993 said:

I have my doubts that employers would bother to determine which schools gave their students the option to pass/fail before seeing grades and which did not. Especially with most Ontario schools being mandatory pass/fail.

It'll take them no time to figure it out when two applications from the same school come in, one transcript is all P/F, and one has letter grades

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2 hours ago, advantagepackage said:

It'll take them no time to figure it out when two applications from the same school come in, one transcript is all P/F, and one has letter grades

Yea, but who would look that deeply into it. I bet most employers just look at the overall GPA value on applications. Plus, almost half the schools in the country are mandatory pass/fail,  so if they did look deeply at transcripts, there would be lots of candidates with a missing semester of grades.

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It seems American OCIs are being pushed to January after employers pleaded with schools to do so. 

I suspect Canadian OCIs follow suit soon enough.

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On 3/29/2020 at 11:07 PM, gorgonzola said:

Here's my fear. 1200 apps per firm, maybe a handful of 2L jobs in the market. Fresh crop of hungry Ryerson-ers. Half the battle is just getting your app read. 

 

how is Ryerson going to affect you if you're already in law school? they have not even started yet

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Yes, in my opinion, employers will almost certainly draw an adverse inference if someone takes a pass in an optional pass/fail system. I was speaking with a colleague today and firms are apparently already strongly recommending to students that they opt to receive their grades.

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2 minutes ago, ProfReader said:

Yes, in my opinion, employers will almost certainly draw an adverse inference if someone takes a pass in an optional pass/fail system. I was speaking with a colleague today and firms are apparently already strongly recommending to students that they opt to receive their grades.

That's very unfortunate considering those with mandatory pass/fail can now just relax and basically pass the course with a D while the rest of us at optional pass/fail schools are pressured to take grades. Pretty shocking that employers would think negatively of a 2L student with a B+ avg who has 1 semester pass/failed. 

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Posted (edited)

" Pretty shocking that employers would think negatively of a 2L student with a B+ avg who has 1 semester pass/failed"

No one can tell. i have a few P/F because of  the 2015 strike. Didn't notice any impact during interviews.

Edited by Luckycharm

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1 hour ago, ProfReader said:

Yes, in my opinion, employers will almost certainly draw an adverse inference if someone takes a pass in an optional pass/fail system. I was speaking with a colleague today and firms are apparently already strongly recommending to students that they opt to receive their grades.

What do think about getting a B+ and opting for a neutral P for the higher GPA. Thanks

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3 minutes ago, Trew said:

What do think about getting a B+ and opting for a neutral P for the higher GPA. Thanks

I'm not a recruiter for a law firm, of course, but a P isn't neutral. At least some people are going to draw a negative inference from a P.

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1 hour ago, lifelearner said:

That's very unfortunate considering those with mandatory pass/fail can now just relax and basically pass the course with a D while the rest of us at optional pass/fail schools are pressured to take grades. Pretty shocking that employers would think negatively of a 2L student with a B+ avg who has 1 semester pass/failed. 

It’s not thinking negatively about a student. If you get one resume from a kid with As or B+s and one from a kid with Ps, you know that kid #1 is strong and you have no idea about kid #2.

You guys are all bananas. I knew law students were insecure, but I had no idea the insecurity reached so deep as to prefer guaranteeing you can’t be assessed over taking a shot at doing well in law school.

Just shoot your shot. The kids at mandatory P/F schools have lost the chance to demonstrate they’re capable. Don’t lament not being in that club. 

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3 hours ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

The kids at mandatory P/F schools have lost the chance to demonstrate they’re capable. Don’t lament not being in that club. 

Completely agree with this.

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3 hours ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

Just shoot your shot. The kids at mandatory P/F schools have lost the chance to demonstrate they’re capable. Don’t lament not being in that club. 

 

13 minutes ago, beyondsection17 said:

Completely agree with this.

What are both your thoughts/predictions on the impact a mandatory pass/fail system would have on a 1L who beat the curve/had a good first semester (assuming their performance would not have changed - which is a big assumption, I know)?

Although I understand the arguments for a pass/fail system, I brought up that having only one semester worth of grades would be disadvantageous for the 2L formal recruit, but an upper-year argued that a good academic student would not have significantly benefited from the additional grades as hiring is mainly based on non-academic factors past the OCI stage (of course, this argument assumes the student would not be hindered getting OCIs). 

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Grades obviously determine a lot of the OCI allotment.

I suspect firms will be pushing to do recruitment after the first semester of 2L. The downside of that - and what everyone will be complaining about then - is that marking for 2L courses is not as consistent nor as competitive. Some classes will be easier to get As in, others won’t, etc. It’s going to be an imperfect system one way or the other. But employers would still look at any 1L marks they do have, so you’ve got that. 

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9 minutes ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

Grades obviously determine a lot of the OCI allotment.

I suspect firms will be pushing to do recruitment after the first semester of 2L. The downside of that - and what everyone will be complaining about then - is that marking for 2L courses is not as consistent nor as competitive. Some classes will be easier to get As in, others won’t, etc. It’s going to be an imperfect system one way or the other. But employers would still look at any 1L marks they do have, so you’ve got that. 

Great point. If they choose a winter recruit I’d be curious to see which kinds of courses students clamour to get into for the fall: black letter courses with an predictable curve, or seminars for the transcript?

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