Any suggestions on how to overcome a low JD GPA


judd

I finished my JD from a third tier law school in the Midwest. Unfortunately due to legitimate adverse life circumstances during all the three years of law school, my JD grades suffered. I did pass my state bar and patent bar exam on my first attempt though.  Is there any way I can overcome this low JD GPA by perhaps doing LLM in Intellectual Property Law and getting good grades in the LLM courses or will I be forever  doomed by my JD grades? It has been quite difficult for me because I have always been a 3.9 GPA student until my law school. My JD GPA is below 3. I am assuming more importance will be given to the later LLM law degree grades than the earlier JD grades. Appreciate any advice and suggestions you can offer

<span style="font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Calibri','sans-serif'">I finished my JD from a third tier law school in the Midwest. Unfortunately due to legitimate adverse life circumstances during all the three years of law school, my JD grades suffered. I did pass my state bar and patent bar exam on my first attempt though.<span>  </span>Is there any way I can overcome this low JD GPA by perhaps doing LLM in Intellectual Property Law and getting good grades in the LLM courses or will I be forever <span> </span>doomed by my JD grades? It has been quite difficult for me because I have always been a 3.9 GPA student until my law school. My JD GPA is below 3. I am assuming more importance will be given to the later LLM law degree grades than the earlier JD grades. Appreciate any advice and suggestions you can offer </span>
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Bender

When you say you want to "overcome" your low JD GPA with those in an LLM, do you mean for the purposes of finding a job?

If so, I think the general rule is that for the larger firms the JD grades are the ones that count. LLM grades tend to get brushed aside a little. Large firms are terrible, though, so that's not as bad as it sounds.

If you want to work specifically in Intellectual Property, outside of a large firm, an LLM couldn't possibly hurt, but even with the extra degree you might want to be a little creative in where you look for work. There are probably medium-sized firms that would be looking more for someone they could work with, rather than a walking GPA, and you never know what sort of in-house jobs are available.

In those sorts of cases, I imagine an LLM and a great interview (coupled with genuine interest) will go just as far as a 3.5 in your JD might have.

And for what it's worth, some of the happiest lawyers I know are the ones who a few years ago were in your situation: there was a little tension during the job search, but they're working in much more interesting jobs than those of us that went to international 500-lawyer-office billing machines by default.

Cheer up!

When you say you want to "overcome" your low JD GPA with those in an LLM, do you mean for the purposes of finding a job?

If so, I think the general rule is that for the larger firms the JD grades are the ones that count. LLM grades tend to get brushed aside a little. Large firms are terrible, though, so that's not as bad as it sounds.

If you want to work specifically in Intellectual Property, outside of a large firm, an LLM couldn't possibly hurt, but even with the extra degree you might want to be a little creative in where you look for work. There are probably medium-sized firms that would be looking more for someone they could work with, rather than a walking GPA, and you never know what sort of in-house jobs are available.

In those sorts of cases, I imagine an LLM and a great interview (coupled with genuine interest) will go just as far as a 3.5 in your JD might have.

And for what it's worth, some of the happiest lawyers I know are the ones who a few years ago were in your situation: there was a little tension during the job search, but they're working in much more interesting jobs than those of us that went to international 500-lawyer-office billing machines by default.

Cheer up!
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judd

It is primarily for job search purposes. A secondary purpose is to pacify my intellectual ego. Except for the JD grades I do have a good academic record. Thanks for the suggestions and the encouragement

It is primarily for job search purposes. A secondary purpose is to pacify my intellectual ego. Except for the JD grades I do have a good academic record. Thanks for the suggestions and the encouragement
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I am doing an IP LLM at NYU right now. Further, i am in the middle of job hunt. I certainly believe that the NYU LLM helped me "overcome" my tier 4 JD, but I can say that employers (BigLaw) are completely not interested in my LLM grades and they are very interested in my JD grades. Just today I went to a BigLaw interview and was specifically asked to bring my JD transcripts and I was told to bring my LLM transcripts "if I really wanted to."

As such, I might say that an LLM might help, but I don't think it is going to overcome so-so JD grades. Further (and I'm sorry to say this), I don't even put my undergrad grades on my resume (and it is rarely asked about), so I don't think that pre-JD grades are that important.

I am doing an IP LLM at NYU right now. Further, i am in the middle of job hunt. I certainly believe that the NYU LLM helped me "overcome" my tier 4 JD, but I can say that employers (BigLaw) are completely not interested in my LLM grades and they are very interested in my JD grades. Just today I went to a BigLaw interview and was specifically asked to bring my JD transcripts and I was told to bring my LLM transcripts "if I really wanted to."

As such, I might say that an LLM might help, but I don't think it is going to overcome so-so JD grades. Further (and I'm sorry to say this), I don't even put my undergrad grades on my resume (and it is rarely asked about), so I don't think that pre-JD grades are that important.
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judd

Since you got into NYU LLM. Is it fair to infer that your JD grades are stellar mschuster43?My JD advisor told me that JD grades are all important when it comes to admission into LLM except for admission into some schools like John Marshall. What was your motivation to do LLM though?

Since you got into NYU LLM. Is it fair to infer that your JD grades are stellar mschuster43?My JD advisor told me that JD grades are all important when it comes to admission into LLM except for admission into some schools like John Marshall. What was your motivation to do LLM though?
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