Gwiz- some people work their asses off and don't do as well as others during 1L. That's because there is one type of class and not everyone is equally successful in that type of learning environment. While it's partially a matter of perseverance, it's just as much a matter of luck. In 2L/3L you can pick whether to take a paper class/seminar or lectures so people are better able to improve their grades by picking classes in which they'll do better.
I agree in whole. That "perserverance variable" (which may be a small part of the whole package) starts before classes start. If you begin everything thinking you are in the middle or at the end of the pack, then that is where you will probably be. It is giving up before you have started. I've seen it before. People, who are perfectly capable, destroying thier chances because they never believed they could do it in the first place. It's a psychological challenge too. For alot of people that is the their weakness.
Yes, there is the chance that you could be the worst student in your class. You should prepare for that as well.