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Careers Counsel: Why is CGPA all important?


A first year student at a National Law School asks: Why do recruiting law firms feel that cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is the "be-all-and-end-all"?

Question: What strikes me is why should so much importance be given to grades, knowing the fact that they are not the best indicator of a person's ability. Most of us know how exactly students manage to get high grades - they resort to cramming up all the stuff and it helps them manage good grades.

I feel that if gaining knowledge and refining your skill sets to survive in the competitive world is the goal, then aspiring for good grades would not help a student much. Things like mooting, focussing on quality reading and good article writing will be of much more help.

Still recruiters look out for CGPA which is something I dont understand. This is not to say that no importance is given to these co-curricular activities by recruiters. What disapponts me is that more often than not, law firms and corporate houses perceive CGPA to be the ultimate indicator.

JSA-Nitin_Potdar_library_thAnswer: I don’t think all Law Firms consider CGPA as seriously as it is being made out.

You must appreciate that for the person taking the interview he has no choice but to look at the written CV in front of him and to ask a few questions.

I agree that knowledge, skills-sets and attitude are much more important then the mark-sheet/ grades obtained.

But how does one find out in maybe 30 to 45 minutes of the interview that he/she posses all these qualities? Therefore, the first impression is created by your academic achievements which include CGPA and I guess rightly so!

But I also agree that CGPA cannot be the ultimate indicator. Hence it is important for the students to write a simple but yet detailed CV to demonstrate their abilities without any adjectives.

You have to be professional in all respects during your interview.

You should deserve not demand!

I find students coming out of law schools these days are much more focused and hardworking but the moot question is whether they all are really geared to commence their career seriously?

Hence considering the quality of legal education that is available today in our country, I think it is important for law firms to have a set process for considering applications, and give meaningful hearing to at least select candidates so that at the end of the day they are not demoralised.

Even while rejecting a candidate he/she must get some guidance of how he/she should be pursuing his/her career in future.
Nitin Potdar (pictured) is a partner at J Sagar Associates (JSA) in Mumbai

Please send us your career-related queries () and we will try to find the right Careers Counsel panellist to answer them.

Photo by Scarleth White

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