Do employers really think people with first class degrees have no social life? Watch

Cheesus69
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#21
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(Original post by marinade)
Large datasets suggest that those with 2.1s and 2.2s outearn those with 1sts. However initially those with 1sts do do better (under 30).

https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...hem-in-england
correlation is not necessarily causation
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angelike1
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Even if they do, would they really give a ****?
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
You're not very well-acquainted with what these sort of employers are looking for

This 'experience' you're referring to is a joke

My own 'work experience' at an MC involved 2-hour lunch breaks and lots of free stuff

And it wasn't even assessed properly
Work experience is subjective, that is true. My point was that if one achieved a 3rd, but then have had clear and relevant experience, they should get through.
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marinade
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(Original post by Cheesus69)
correlation is not necessarily causation
Yep, cheers, next caller.
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
Work experience is subjective, that is true. My point was that if one achieved a 3rd, but then have had clear and relevant experience, they should get through.
They shouldn't. They're evidently crap at doing some very basic functions (like producing work under time pressure, understanding abstract concepts, discussing an idea from perspectives, being able to express themselves clearly) that are vital for lawyers. Hence why law firms ask for 2:1s

(not sure how strictly the no 2:2 policy is abided by btw, I do know a gent at Linklaters with 59.6% average across three years, but he worked in some Belarussian oil extraction company for a while and probably has personal ties to half of that county's underworld)
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Scotney
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Son has Oxford Ist has been offered everything he has applied for.Load of old rubbish!Stop fretting and enjoy your achievements!
(Original post by Kimber2222)
Recently got a first class degree in English Literature and read numerous forums stating that those with a first class degree are less likely to be employed. To me, it seems ridiculous. I worked part time, went out 3 times a week and did everything every other student does. Worried that just because I got a 1:1 employers will look at me differently and will think I’m socially awkward etc. Interested in other people’s opinions.
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Scotney
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Phd's and academic careers are not well paid.
(Original post by marinade)
Large datasets suggest that those with 2.1s and 2.2s outearn those with 1sts. However initially those with 1sts do do better (under 30).

https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...hem-in-england
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
They shouldn't. They're evidently crap at doing some very basic functions (like producing work under time pressure, understanding abstract concepts, discussing an idea from perspectives, being able to express themselves clearly) that are vital for lawyers. Hence why law firms ask for 2:1s

(not sure how strictly the no 2:2 policy is abided by btw, I do know a gent at Linklaters with 59.6% average across three years, but he worked in some Belarussian oil extraction company for a while and probably has personal ties to half of that county's underworld)
That is fair, but the assumption that the person is incapable of producing good work is too much. I think if the recruiter interviews the applicant and investigates more, they may like the applicant. Besides, nobody knows what a 1st or 2.1 candidate can do without relevant experience.

I’d rather take someone with relevant experience than one without esp one with experience in the top firms. Also, after a couple of years, the degree classification wont matter anymore.
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
That is fair, but the assumption that the person is incapable of producing good work is too much. I think if the recruiter interviews the applicant and investigates more, they may like the applicant. Besides, nobody knows what a 1st or 2.1 candidate can do without relevant experience.

I’d rather take someone with relevant experience than one without esp one with experience in the top firms. Also, after a couple of years, the degree classification wont matter anymore.
The problem with this is that you're assuming that recruiters face this sort of difficult decision in the first place

Getting a 3rd requires you to have produced substandard work for 3 years...
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
The problem with this is that you're assuming that recruiters face this sort of difficult decision in the first place

Getting a 3rd requires you to have produced substandard work for 3 years...
Yes, i understand that part. I am stating that having a 3rd but with relevant experience should not be rubbished, when after a few years your degree classification does not matter.

It will be foolish to me for a recruiter to pass over such a candidate without first trying to at least interview the candidate. If I was the Chief Executive and my recruiter passed on a such a candidate without an interview, who then goes to do great things for our competitors, I would sack the recruiter for being stupid.

In my opinion, you should look at the whole candidate. Not making arbitrary decisions based on a degree classification that is no standardised across the board and is very subjective. E.g. is a 2.1 at Oxford or Manchester the same as a 2.1 at London Met or Leeds Beckett Uni?
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by J-SP)
In 15+ years of legal recruitment, I can’t think I have ever seen someone with a third even apply.

I once had to careers coach someone who had achieved a third, and their attitude was pretty poor and so I had to explain they had absolutely no chance of getting in the front door, but that would have been the case if they also had a first.
That case was down to attitude and not performance. If a person with a 3rd has a good attitude, gone out to bag strong work experience in MC firms, performs well in interviews and growing their network. It is unfair to deny them of an equal opportunity based on an attribute that wont matter in the next 3-5 years.
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Themysticalegg
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It might depend on the degree. I had a life, I had a job and I did extra-curriculars but some regard 'Business' as a soft subject.
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Themysticalegg
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Although I'm not a law person J-SP surely many MC firms place a minimum entry requirement of a 2,1 or a 2,2 otherwise they would be sifting through a ridiculous amount of CVs and applications?
(Original post by Wired_1800)
That case was down to attitude and not performance. If a person with a 3rd has a good attitude, gone out to bag strong work experience in MC firms, performs well in interviews and growing their network. It is unfair to deny them of an equal opportunity based on an attribute that wont matter in the next 3-5 years.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by Themysticalegg)
Although I'm not a law person J-SP surely many MC firms place a minimum entry requirement of a 2,1 or a 2,2 otherwise they would be sifting through a ridiculous amount of CVs and applications?
Maybe J-SP can confirm, but I doubt many recruiters physically review those CVs like years ago. Several companies now use online assessments to sieve out the low performers. Then focus on the strong performers.

I find it a bit unfair that someone who passes the initial stages of an MC firm’s online tests, gets to the interview and does well, shows they have relevant experience, then gets rejected because they got a 3rd Class. To me, it is ridiculous.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by J-SP)
Exactly - it will near on impossible for someone with a third to “bag” strong work experience in MC firms given they got a third.

For TCs most firms will have a minimum 2.1 requirement. If you can’t train, you can’t qualify, you can’t get 3-5 years of relevant work experience.
I am saying a kid who got experience during his undergraduate days. Here is a scenario:

Jacob is an Oxford student. Before his first year, he took a gap year and interned in an MC firm, just learning about law. During his first year’s summer vacation, he joins another MC firm as an intern. He interns in other firms during his undergraduate career. At the time of graduation, he has almost 2 years of relevant work experience across MC firms. He also has good references. Unfortunately he bags a 3rd class.

He then applies for a job, the recruiter sees the 3rd class in his CV, interviews him anyway and sees that he performed really well. Then she rejects him because he got a 3rd class from Oxford.

Isn't that unfair?? Should that be allowed?
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by J-SP)
In 15+ years of legal recruitment, I can’t think I have ever seen someone with a third even apply.

I once had to careers coach someone who had achieved a third, and their attitude was pretty poor and so I had to explain they had absolutely no chance of getting in the front door, but that would have been the case if they also had a first.
Not surprising haha - I've never heard of or seen someone graduate with a Third in any discipline, let alone in law

(Original post by Wired_1800)
I am saying a kid who got experience during his undergraduate days. Here is a scenario:

Jacob is an Oxford student. Before his first year, he took a gap year and interned in an MC firm, just learning about law. During his first year’s summer vacation, he joins another MC firm as an intern. He interns in other firms during his undergraduate career. At the time of graduation, he has almost 2 years of relevant work experience across MC firms. He also has good references. Unfortunately he bags a 3rd class.

He then applies for a job, the recruiter sees the 3rd class in his CV, interviews him anyway and sees that he performed really well. Then she rejects him because he got a 3rd class from Oxford.

Isn't that unfair?? Should that be allowed?
Questionable assumptions here:

1. People actually get unstructured/informal year-long internships through contacts in this firms of this calibre AND are trusted with meaningful work that they can shout about AND this work isn't in a support department
2. The Oxford student has a posh name
3. The recruiter is a woman
4. The Oxford student would be invited to interview with a Third even after passing the assessment (these assessments are cut-offs, you can't do "really well" in them, you either pass them or you don't)
5. The Oxford student just happened to get a Third (why did he get a Third? why did he mess up all ten of his exams? what may that suggest about his personal traits? do these personal traits make him more or less likely to end up being a good lawyer? etc.)

Re the second point: If you talk to recruiters, you'll see that it's all a prediction/indication game. They're looking for things that are likely to make a candidate good at the job (and these things vary from communication skills to raw brainpower). Jacob may end up being a pretty good lawyer but the indications suggest otherwise at this point in time. And there's no reason to take a risk when so much is at stake (a lot of money spent in salaries and training/development, the very future of the firm!! etc), and when there are plenty of safe Oxonians with Firsts or high 2:1s who are also looking for the job.
Last edited by JohanGRK; 1 month ago
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
Not surprising haha - I've never heard of or seen someone graduate with a Third in any discipline, let alone in law


Questionable assumptions here:

1. People actually get unstructured/informal year-long internships through contacts in this firms of this calibre AND are trusted with meaningful work that they can shout about AND this work isn't in a support department
2. The Oxford student has a posh name
3. The recruiter is a woman
4. The Oxford student would be invited to interview with a Third even after passing the assessment (these assessments are cut-offs, you can't do "really well" in them, you either pass them or you don't)
5. The Oxford student just happened to get a Third (why did he get a Third? why did he mess up all ten of his exams? what may that suggest about his personal traits? do these personal traits make him more or less likely to end up being a good lawyer? etc.)
1. Not all internships are the same. Some may be more useful than serving tea or photocopying documents.

2. The name was random and does not have to be male. It can be a Jacob, Phillipa, Olivia or George.

3. I tried to balance the gender with a male student and female recruiter. It can be the other way round as well.

4. Ok, Jacob passed the online assessments. The reviewer of his CV may have been influenced to invite him to an interview based on his experience. You look at the whole application and not just the degree classification.

5. Many examinations esp at places like Oxford, I think, tend to have examinations in the final year that count towards their degree. So it is not a wild assumption to see people perform poorly on their final examinations. It happens during A Levels as well. Also, not everyone is a good test taker.
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
1. Not all internships are the same. Some may be more useful than serving tea or photocopying documents.

2. The name was random and does not have to be male. It can be a Jacob, Phillipa, Olivia or George.

3. I tried to balance the gender with a male student and female recruiter. It can be the other way round as well.

4. Ok, Jacob passed the online assessments. The reviewer of his CV may have been influenced to invite him to an interview based on his experience. You look at the whole application and not just the degree classification.

5. Many examinations esp at places like Oxford, I think, tend to have examinations in the final year that count towards their degree. So it is not a wild assumption to see people perform poorly on their final examinations. It happens during A Levels as well. Also, not everyone is a good test taker.
1. Exactly - there's a big if there. But everything points to the likelihood that he won't be doing meaningful work if he isn't in a paralegal position, and he won't be able to access that until after his degree (and likely the LPC, depending on the firm)

2 and 3 weren't serious

3. A summer internship won't be counted as 'real' professional experience that can offset everything else. Jacob would likely have to spend several years elsewhere before even having a chance (however slim). Case in point: one MC firm made a big deal (when I was applying) of telling us how you definitely don't need a First to work there. The reality? Everyone who got TCs either had achieved Firsts or was on track to achieve a First, and the handful of people who didn't get Firsts either had extenuating circumstances after they got the offer or were much older and had worked in another industry first (e.g. hospitality, the Army). Same with the Bar. An ex-Freshfields arbitration partner may be able to waltz into a top commercial set despite having a Second Class degree from Oxford in the 70s, but that's only because he has 40 years of experience as a solicitor. But the average pupil at that set who doesn't have the benefit of long experience will need an exceptional academic profile. The TL;DR is that the amount of other 'good stuff' you need to offset that Third will be a lot.

4. There's a difference between not getting a First because a couple of exams went badly and getting a Third. Exams are risky and unpredictable and usually unfair (particularly law exams...), but it's down to your fault if you completely and utterly **** them up. And, if you are disadvantaged to the point where you are getting a Third, you're showing really bad judgment in trying to complete your degree in 3 years instead of deferring.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by J-SP)
Jacob is a unicorn....

Year long placements in law are incredibly rare. Where they do happen, it’s not generally for gap year students. Where they do happen, you wouldn’t be working in a billable hours team - at best you’d be in a business support role.

Jacob would have achieved or been on track for a 2.1 in his first year to have got an internship with a MC firm in his first year. If he had been on track for a 2.1 and got a third in his final year, then there’s either extenuating circumstances or Jacob has gone downhill in terms of attitude or approach. The previous means this hypothetical situation is now completely irrelevant to the discussion, the latter means they would never be recruited due to their attitude.

If the recruiter knew there was a T&C in the employment contract that said they needed to have achieved a 2.1, they wouldn’t have brought Jacob through to interview.
For his gap year, he may be in a business support role. Afterwards, he may be doing decent work during his undergraduate summer placements.

There are some unis like Oxford, I think, where they have their examinations in the final year. So Jacob wont need to show that he is on track for a 2.1, as he wont have grades to back it up.

Also, if he performed well during his gap year, there is a good chance that he will be invited back for his first year vacation scheme.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
1. Exactly - there's a big if there. But everything points to the likelihood that he won't be doing meaningful work if he isn't in a paralegal position, and he won't be able to access that until after his degree (and likely the LPC, depending on the firm)

2 and 3 weren't serious

3. A summer internship won't be counted as 'real' professional experience that can offset everything else. Jacob would likely have to spend several years elsewhere before even having a chance (however slim). Case in point: one MC firm made a big deal (when I was applying) of telling us how you definitely don't need a First to work there. The reality? Everyone who got TCs either had achieved Firsts or was on track to achieve a First, and the handful of people who didn't get Firsts either had extenuating circumstances after they got the offer or were much older and had worked in another industry first (e.g. hospitality, the Army). Same with the Bar. An ex-Freshfields arbitration partner may be able to waltz into a top commercial set despite having a Second Class degree from Oxford in the 70s, but that's only because he has 40 years of experience as a solicitor. But the average pupil at that set who doesn't have the benefit of long experience will need an exceptional academic profile. The TL;DR is that the amount of other 'good stuff' you need to offset that Third will be a lot.

4. There's a difference between not getting a First because a couple of exams went badly and getting a Third. Exams are risky and unpredictable and usually unfair (particularly law exams...), but it's down to your fault if you completely and utterly **** them up. And, if you are disadvantaged to the point where you are getting a Third, you're showing really bad judgment in trying to complete your degree in 3 years instead of deferring.
But it still counts as experience over another person with no experience. When you compare those without relevant experience with those with relevant experience. Surely, the relevant experience should count more.

Some universities don't have regular assessments like I pointed out. So yes, your undergraduate degree is down to how lucky you are in two weeks of your final year of study.
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