Law School Discussion

grades-how screwed?

grades-how screwed?
« on: February 19, 2005, 03:48:23 PM »
Student at a Top-20 school, and just got all my grades back.  Long story short, I bombed...3 C+'s and a B at a school with a B+ curve.  My hope coming in was that I would do well enough to land a firm job to pay back some of my debt for a few years before moving into a field I found more it looks like that dream has died.  I really, really don't know what to do now.  I will be $160,000 in the hole at the end of this, with no real shot at a job that will allow me to pay it back.  Add to this the fact that I really despise the material and the thought of being one of the minions of miserable lawyers makes me want to kill myself.  Should I drop out now?  Any advice would be appreciated....

Re: grades-how screwed?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2005, 04:35:06 PM »
perhaps drop out now.  depends what school you mean by t20.


  • ****
  • 1280
    • AOL Instant Messenger - jimaxony
    • View Profile
Re: grades-how screwed?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2005, 05:22:03 PM »
don't freak out dude.. worst case scenario is that you get one of those gov't jobs and your debt will be least partially.

im sorry this is happening, it's scary. what do you think went wrong?

Re: grades-how screwed?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2005, 06:38:07 PM »
Sorry to hear about the grade situation.  If you are at a top 20 school however, there may be hope for you afterall.  You may be able to land a firm job with a smaller office or a large office in a city other than NY or LA who recognize the name of your school.  There are too many factors to throw in the towel just yet. 

If you're like many of us, motivation is really low for this spring semester.  use that to your advantage and kick ass this semester while everybody else is struggling to crack a book.  If you understand the material then you can get better grades this semester and show improvement on your transcript.  Employers know that our first semester is the roughest.  Worse case scenario a C+ can be explained away during an interview.

Re: grades-how screwed?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2005, 11:24:20 PM »
True story...a guy from my school graduated 3 years ago.  He said that at the end of his first year he had a 2.5.  He graduated and he only made 48K at his first job out of law school.  He didn't tell us exactly how much he makes now, but he said that it is what a 7th year associate at a big firm would make.  In Chicago, that's about 250-300K.

Bottomline, your future is in your hands.  If I had based my success on my grades in the past, I never would have made it to law school.

Just make sure you dominate in other areas.  Moot Court, one of the journals, SBA, etc.

Re: grades-how screwed?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2005, 08:35:29 AM »
Hey guys, Thanks for the replies....I'm at a well-respected school, but definitely on the regional side.  As for what went wrong, I really couldn't say.  I'm a decent writer and I felt that I had a pretty good grasp of the material, so my guess is that I was weak in the analysis part of the exam.  I did look at practice exams beforehand, so I assume i just didn't put into practice what I knew, or at any rate, not as well as my classmates.  What scares me most is that I will also be supporting my mom in a few years, so as far as taking a job paying in the $40,000's, after taxes, loan payments and helping her out, I would actually be in *worse* shape than I was before law school when I was making $30,000.  If I were looking to work at a firm long-term I know the possibility of making a lateral move would be there.  Maybe I was stupid to put such stock in it, but my hope was that I could put in 3-4 years at a firm and then move into a government job, or the non-profit area.  The thought of being at a firm and struggling to bill every second makes me ill, although I thought I could do it for a few years and then move on...I guess dropping out now would be stupid, so I'll probably wait until after 2nd semester to do anything drastic. Anyway, thank again for the responses.

Re: grades-how screwed?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2005, 10:58:56 AM »
I know it is a lot of debt.  However, your long term prospects with even more debt and your JD are probably better than some debt and no degree.  When you get out of school you will consolidate your loans, and you can put then on a payment plan which is lowest in the first few years.  From what I have heard, salaries at mid-level and small firms catch up to the bigfirm salaries after a few years.  You will have to make the decision about whether you'd rather work in a job you dread for more money, or a job you feel better about on a tighter budget, but regardless of whether you pay the debt of in 7 years or 2, you will make a good life for yourself with this degree.

Go talk to your profs.  You have to figure out what about your exam preparation you are going to materially change to get better results.

Good luck.  Try not to get distracted by this blow, you have 5 semesters left to improve and you are coming out of a top20 school.  Maybe you could go talk to career services.  Share your concerns, they will tell you what you can expect in the job market.