January 29, 2008
Bad Grades? Don't Despair
Below is a great write up on how to react to and respond to 'bad' grades. This article is a must read. It's not so much a feel-good article but rather a call to action. Don't fall into the trap of being paralyzed by 'bad' grades. There is plenty you can do!
I'd like to thank Carolyn Spencer who graciously shared this article with the rest of us!
Bad Grades? Don't Despair
Linda E. Laufer
New York Law Journal
Q: I attend a top-tier school, and my first-year grades were bad. I was able to get some legal experience this summer, but I have avoided all job searches for next summer because of my grades. What should I do?
A: Dear Ostrich:
Get your head out of the sand and start to develop a strategy. Your inquiry focuses on only your grades. You give no indication of the type of firm or practice in which you have an interest, or the nature of the legal experience that you obtained during the summer. Nevertheless, since this is the season for large law firm recruitment and you "have avoided all job searches," it appears that you had an interest in pursuing positions with those firms. Reading further into your inquiry, one can surmise that either you were so disappointed with your academic performance that you removed yourself from the fall recruitment process without considering whether any firms would look beyond your grades, or you performed so poorly that you did not meet the qualifications required by any of the large firms, even for candidates from a "top tier school."
The first step is to examine your grades issue. How "bad" were they? Were they "bad" on an objective scale, or just worse than you expected? Do they preclude you from all large firms, or just the firms on which you had your heart set? What caused your grades to suffer? What are you doing to improve your grades? Did you obtain a good grade in any course?
January 22, 2008
Everyone's a Winner at These Five Law Firms
From the legal blog Abovethelaw.com, http://www.abovethelaw.com/2008/01/everyones_a_winner_at_these_fi_1.php#more a post on five law firms that made it into Fortune magazine's annual list of the 100 Best Companies to work for:
19. Arnold & Porter: "Staffers get 12 weeks paid maternity leave and profit sharing of 7.5% of salary. The less you make, the less you pay for health-insurance premiums."
Actually, a correction: 18 weeks (as of January 1, 2008).
31. Alston & Bird: "Both the legal and nonlegal staff get super benefits, including 90 days of paid maternity leave, coverage of fertility treatments, and concierge services."
Concierge services? Fabulous. Atlantans, stop yer whining!
41. Bingham McCutchen: "They're proud of their elite grads: 72 from nearby Harvard Law, 24 from Yale, and 20 from Stanford. They all start at $160,000 a year."
55. Perkins Coie: "They value fun at this law firm. At 2007's Lawyerpalooza battle of the bands, the Perkins Coie rock & rollers brought down the house (and took home the top prize)."
See also Nixon Peabody: "Fun is not prohibited here." Speaking of which...
66. Nixon Peabody: "The law firm excels on policies for GLBT employees (a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign); it targets 3% of billable hours annually for pro bono work."
Please send us any theme songs that are composed to commemorate these honors. Thank you.
100 Best Companies To Work For (2008) [Fortune]
Earlier: Bingham McCutchen: Land of the Amazons?