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Author Topic: Bad First Semester, What Now?  (Read 2844 times)

ls2010

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Bad First Semester, What Now?
« on: March 15, 2008, 01:04:22 PM »
*Sorry for the duplicate posts*

Well obviously, the first step is to do better this semester.  After going over my exams I don't think this will be hard to do.  My professors were impressed by my issue spotting and analysis but said that my organization is what really hurt my grades. Last semester my grades were C+, C+, and B-.

I go to a top tier school although it's currently ranked 31.  I thankfully already had a job for my 1L summer prior to receiving my grades so I am not worried about this summer but I am worried about 2L and beyond.

Seeing as how the job hunt will begin my 2L year, is there any constructive advice to be given?  I am very confident that my grades will be drastically higher this semester but I am just wondering how much first semester is going to hurt me.  I am interested in working at a mid-size-large sized firm although I'm not specifically trying to have Biglaw...(I'm not even positive I know what that means)

thorc954

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2008, 01:25:05 PM »
get your grades up as much as you can.  Start coming to grip with the fact that it will be very difficult to get a mid size firm if you are at the bottom of your class, so start looking into alternatives for your 2L summer.  Also, not sure when your journal competition was, but take it very seriously.  In addition, be trying out as often as possible for mock trial/moot court.  Try a clinic. 

Basically, get your grades up the best you can, and work on getting a decent resume together cause that might save you.  If you cant get the grades up (i take it you are bottom 25% of the class, at least if you are near a 3.2 curve), start looking at other options where grades are less of a concern. 

good luck though and realize that only 10% of the class can be top 10% of the class, so you are within good company where you fall right now.

grades go up or down significantly as people become complacent after first semester.  In addition, second year expect a shift up as transfers come in and are unable to perform and the top 5-10% loses a number of people to t14 schools.  Its no the end of the world yet. 

ls2010

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2008, 01:07:38 PM »
OK worst possible spring semester ever imaginable....this makes me seriously wonder if I will be able to get a job.....or moreso, if I would be able to keep a job in the legal field...obviously this first year has showed me that maybe law just isn't my strong point.  I scored considerably high on the lsat and did well in UG and studied my ass off for finals and I still seem to be the dumbest in all my classes:

Property: C-
Con Law: B
Contracts: C+

Don't forget Fall Semester:
Torts: B-
Civil Procedure: C+
Criminal Law: C+

At this point I really don't know what I am doing wrong. I don't know if this is just the most I am capable of or what.

In terms of a job search, what would anyone suggest?  Are there any opportunities for me that OCI won't list?  I'm thinking that OCI will be too competitive for me since I will be bottom of class.  My school is ranked 30; where do Tier 3 and 4 students work?  I am wondering if I will find success in that area.

Please keep the taunting and rude comments to a minimum, as my feelings are already bruised enough and I am fragile at this point.

ls2010

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2008, 01:08:15 PM »
I have no idea why I keep posting in two seperate areas.  Sorry about that!

jacy85

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2008, 10:16:56 PM »
OK worst possible spring semester ever imaginable....this makes me seriously wonder if I will be able to get a job.....or moreso, if I would be able to keep a job in the legal field...obviously this first year has showed me that maybe law just isn't my strong point.  I scored considerably high on the lsat and did well in UG and studied my ass off for finals and I still seem to be the dumbest in all my classes:

Property: C-
Con Law: B
Contracts: C+

Don't forget Fall Semester:
Torts: B-
Civil Procedure: C+
Criminal Law: C+

At this point I really don't know what I am doing wrong. I don't know if this is just the most I am capable of or what.

In terms of a job search, what would anyone suggest?  Are there any opportunities for me that OCI won't list?  I'm thinking that OCI will be too competitive for me since I will be bottom of class.  My school is ranked 30; where do Tier 3 and 4 students work?  I am wondering if I will find success in that area.

Please keep the taunting and rude comments to a minimum, as my feelings are already bruised enough and I am fragile at this point.

You don't say what you did differently from last semester, or what you even did to try to figure out where you went wrong.  What did you do to improve organization?  How did you approach things differently?  Did you just study harder?

OCI is going to be out for you, although you shouldn't not apply if you see something you like.  And if you haven't already, you need to pick up Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams for help.  You need to learn about networking, other job options besides what they hand you on a platter in OCI, etc, and that book will help you approach the job search, application and interview process, no matter what your grades.  You should have started doing this last semester, since your grades weren't great.  Even so, it's not too late to start now.

rainyday

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2008, 10:53:16 PM »
hi...everyone disappoints themselves a few times in their life.  you should use this 1L experience to figure out where your strengths might lie.  one of my law profs this semester told us a story about one of her colleagues who did horrible on his exams but spent the rest of his law school doing only classes where you could write papers.  so you do need to figure something out academically...but in the meantime:

(this is coming from a fellow 1L, so i'm by no means an expert, but this would I do)  network your ass off.  try and meet people, friends of friends.  if your UG gpa is stellar, maybe sneak it back on your resume so ppl will see your academic talents even if they don't lie in the 3-hr, law school exam area.  (and I think a lot of current lawyers, if they're merciful, can empathize with having had a rough time 1L year...)

i say go for OCI - you have nothing to lose...you could go in and wow the pants off of them in the interview.  make sure you get a LOT out of this year's job and establish some strong recs for your future prospects.

and don't beat yourself up.  i also did crappy 1st semester, and i think the best advice was to give yourself a day, two maybe to feel like crap, eat pints of ice cream (what do guys do in these situations?), and move on. you can only go up from here.

good luck!!! : )

confusedatquinnipiac

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2008, 07:40:58 AM »
I scored considerably high on the lsat and did well in UG and studied my ass off for finals and I still seem to be the dumbest in all my classes:

Property: C-
Con Law: B
Contracts: C+

Don't forget Fall Semester:
Torts: B-
Civil Procedure: C+
Criminal Law: C+

At this point I really don't know what I am doing wrong. I don't know if this is just the most I am capable of or what.

My school is ranked 30; where do Tier 3 and 4 students work?  I am wondering if I will find success in that area.

Please keep the taunting and rude comments to a minimum, as my feelings are already bruised enough and I am fragile at this point.

I won't insult you even though i find it a tad demeaning your idea that you can get the best of what tier 3 or tier 4 school students can get even if they are at the top of their class.... I know that students from lower ranked schools are less likely to get jobs at the big firms etc. but I highly doubt that a C/C+ student from a higher ranked school would have as many opportunities as someone who goes to a lower ranked school but has a 4.0 GPA, law review, etc. Granted I am neither of those, but I just dont appreciate your view of lower ranked schools which seems to be in line with many other views on this board.

Regardless, someone has to be near the bottom of the class but just consider you are only 1/3 of the way done and many things could happen to push you up. I think the ultimate issue of whether you should continue in or not should be based on whether you like it. If you find it dull then you will do badly and are probably meant to do something else. IF you find the material interesting, then keep pushing along regardless of your grades.

I agree that you should network as much as you can and try to get involved with extracurriculars that would bump you up a little..... as far as summer jobs, might want to start with trying to work for the government since (at least from what I have heard) they care less about grades than private sector jobs. If you start working for the govt. now and get some contacts, etc. it will probably help you in the long run.

Also, it didn't really help me too much (seems like the cd version only bumped my grades up half a grade but still...) might look into LEEWS as a guide

Goodluck

DCLabor25

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2008, 11:33:47 AM »
I'm not in school yet, so I can't give you much advice about how to bring up your grades.  I am really sorry. 

I can however offer a few words about life in general.  I don't know if you are straight from undergrad or if you have worked for a few years.  But if you are straight from undergrad, I would strongly suggest thinking about whether you really want to keep on going.  Law school is very expensive and I bet you are going to drop another $75-$100K or so over the next two years, maybe even more.  Is it really worth it at this point?  Do you still want to even be a lawyer?  Is there some other career field you might want to explore for a few years?

I know most of us have been conditioned never to give up, just keep fighting, etc.  But sometimes things just don't work out and there is nothing wrong with cutting your losses and moving onto something else in life.  Your LSAT score and GPA demonstrate that you are intelligent and I am sure if you tried your hand at something else, you might be wildly successful at it. 

I also would add that I think most employers understand these types of situation.  All you would have to say is that you gave it a try and didn't really like it.  You don't have to go into everything about your grades, etc.  Lawyers are not particuarly well-liked in the real world and you might be surprised at the number of people who are actually happy when somebody decides not to go to law school or drop out and try other stuff. 

Of course, if you were going to law school because you absolutely under any and all circumstances want to be a lawyer, that's a different case.  There are probably reasonable arguements then to keep pressing on.  But if you were going because you didn't know what to do for a career/the money/the prestige/etc. -- or all of the normal reasons that people go to law school -- you are better off at this point analyzing things again and figuring out if it's really worth your time and money.  I can tell you that there are a lot of great jobs out there that also make great money and do not require a JD -- or even a graduate degree.....

Just my two cents!

 

ls2010

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2008, 02:53:45 PM »
I scored considerably high on the lsat and did well in UG and studied my ass off for finals and I still seem to be the dumbest in all my classes:

Property: C-
Con Law: B
Contracts: C+

Don't forget Fall Semester:
Torts: B-
Civil Procedure: C+
Criminal Law: C+

At this point I really don't know what I am doing wrong. I don't know if this is just the most I am capable of or what.

My school is ranked 30; where do Tier 3 and 4 students work?  I am wondering if I will find success in that area.

Please keep the taunting and rude comments to a minimum, as my feelings are already bruised enough and I am fragile at this point.

I won't insult you even though i find it a tad demeaning your idea that you can get the best of what tier 3 or tier 4 school students can get even if they are at the top of their class.... I know that students from lower ranked schools are less likely to get jobs at the big firms etc. but I highly doubt that a C/C+ student from a higher ranked school would have as many opportunities as someone who goes to a lower ranked school but has a 4.0 GPA, law review, etc. Granted I am neither of those, but I just dont appreciate your view of lower ranked schools which seems to be in line with many other views on this board.

Regardless, someone has to be near the bottom of the class but just consider you are only 1/3 of the way done and many things could happen to push you up. I think the ultimate issue of whether you should continue in or not should be based on whether you like it. If you find it dull then you will do badly and are probably meant to do something else. IF you find the material interesting, then keep pushing along regardless of your grades.

I agree that you should network as much as you can and try to get involved with extracurriculars that would bump you up a little..... as far as summer jobs, might want to start with trying to work for the government since (at least from what I have heard) they care less about grades than private sector jobs. If you start working for the govt. now and get some contacts, etc. it will probably help you in the long run.

Also, it didn't really help me too much (seems like the cd version only bumped my grades up half a grade but still...) might look into LEEWS as a guide

Goodluck

Thanks for your response.  As for the bolded, my apologies.  I didn't realize how much of an a-hole i probably sound like.  I guess what i meant is that many of the employers I have been looking at are all from similar schools and I am not sure what firms or opportunities other schools go out for....my understanding is that most times they go to smaller markets that are less competitive...

confusedatquinnipiac

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Re: Bad First Semester, What Now?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2008, 03:09:00 PM »
I scored considerably high on the lsat and did well in UG and studied my ass off for finals and I still seem to be the dumbest in all my classes:

Property: C-
Con Law: B
Contracts: C+

Don't forget Fall Semester:
Torts: B-
Civil Procedure: C+
Criminal Law: C+

At this point I really don't know what I am doing wrong. I don't know if this is just the most I am capable of or what.

My school is ranked 30; where do Tier 3 and 4 students work?  I am wondering if I will find success in that area.

Please keep the taunting and rude comments to a minimum, as my feelings are already bruised enough and I am fragile at this point.

I won't insult you even though i find it a tad demeaning your idea that you can get the best of what tier 3 or tier 4 school students can get even if they are at the top of their class.... I know that students from lower ranked schools are less likely to get jobs at the big firms etc. but I highly doubt that a C/C+ student from a higher ranked school would have as many opportunities as someone who goes to a lower ranked school but has a 4.0 GPA, law review, etc. Granted I am neither of those, but I just dont appreciate your view of lower ranked schools which seems to be in line with many other views on this board.

Regardless, someone has to be near the bottom of the class but just consider you are only 1/3 of the way done and many things could happen to push you up. I think the ultimate issue of whether you should continue in or not should be based on whether you like it. If you find it dull then you will do badly and are probably meant to do something else. IF you find the material interesting, then keep pushing along regardless of your grades.

I agree that you should network as much as you can and try to get involved with extracurriculars that would bump you up a little..... as far as summer jobs, might want to start with trying to work for the government since (at least from what I have heard) they care less about grades than private sector jobs. If you start working for the govt. now and get some contacts, etc. it will probably help you in the long run.

Also, it didn't really help me too much (seems like the cd version only bumped my grades up half a grade but still...) might look into LEEWS as a guide

Goodluck

Thanks for your response.  As for the bolded, my apologies.  I didn't realize how much of an a-hole i probably sound like.  I guess what i meant is that many of the employers I have been looking at are all from similar schools and I am not sure what firms or opportunities other schools go out for....my understanding is that most times they go to smaller markets that are less competitive...

nah don't worry about it... im sure you didnt mean harm.... im just all around tired of how this board views lower tiered schools and took it out on you... sorry about that