My question goes as follows: I read a recent post that B students at tier-2 schools will surely fall through the large-firm cracks. Not to be an asshole, but I’m not surprised. What about B+ to A- students at tier-1 schools?
If I go to a top-15 law school and have around a 3.5 GPA coming out of my first year, am I going to get a job during early interviews this September in a city like New York or DC? Or is everyone who isn’t a 3.7+ GPA student from a top school screwed?
Yes, only people will 3.7 GPAs from Harvard, Yale or Stanford will get jobs in 2009. No one else has a shot. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with a 3.65 from Columbia will have absolutely no chance.
Your question, while understandable, is nonetheless ridiculous! Think about it. How many 2Ls actually have 3.7s from top-ten schools? 300? Despite the recession, New York is still a big city with lots of law jobs. So is DC. Not to mention Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago. So relax, there are still plenty of opportunities out there.
Having said that, the legal landscape has definitely changed. The number of jobs has decreased. So have the salaries. Things will definitely revert back to “normal” at some point, but for now, life as a young lawyer/law student is tough. Competition for associate/summer associate jobs is more competitive than ever—and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. So get used to it.
As for your specific question: Will you get a job in NY or DC? Answer: I have no idea. I’ve never met you. My guess is… If you interview well and “present” like a normal, diligent, professional woman (and the anxiety-ridden question you submitted isn’t representative of an overall neurotic disorder), you have a good chance (better than 50%) of landing a job in the city of your choice.
Your stats are solid (relative to top NY firms’ criteria), so that won’t be an issue. Firms will definitely want to interview you. Getting the job, however, is up to you. Not your GPA or law school ranking. Believe it or not, firms look at more than just numbers. Personality actually matters. I’ve interviewed hundreds of top-tier candidates in my life, and the simple truth is, the hiring decision usually comes down to the following question: Is he or she likable? If the answer is yes, the odds of getting a job go up. If the answer’s no, the odds go down. Way down.