Law Firm hiring managers: why the hang up over academic grades?

by Chris Tang in Blog

DatePosted on December 06, 2017 at 07:25 PM
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We live in the age of bitcoin, Uber and other disruptors to every conceivable industry, teenage millionaire startup founders, diversity and inclusion policies being rolled out across companies, and…the cronut.

So why do some law firm partners still insist that candidates must have a 2:1/GPA 3.50 or above?

In my former life as a corporate M&A lawyer, one of the best lawyers I had ever worked with didn’t hit the so-called magic grade.

He got what is commonly known in the UK, “a Desmond” (2:2, as in Desmond Tutu).

As a lawyer, he was technically brilliant.

He won jobs and tenders, he networked left right and centre whilst raising a young family. His clients loved him because he made complex deals seem effortless.  They kept on giving him more business. He has charm and charisma, and is a brilliant (and funny) conversationalist. His colleagues admired and looked up to him. At no time has he ever been defined by his academic grade.

So, does anyone have any valid and legitimate reasons that apply today (in the age of D&I, hint hint) as to why lawyers must have a 2:1 grade or above?

I’d gladly hear them. Whilst you’re at it, have a read of what the people at the mighty google think about that


About the Author

Chris Tang

Chris is a co-Managing Director of Star Anise and a former practising corporate lawyer. He is a regular post contributor on LinkedIn and you can connect with him here:

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