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Author Topic: How difficult can it really be... seriously?  (Read 15649 times)

Alfalfa

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2009, 10:15:25 PM »
Here is the problem:  I did very well in a mediocre undergrad.  3.8 GPA.  My LSAT is in the top 25% for the "tier 1" school I attend.  I made law review.

I am also in the bottom 35% of my class because I can't write a good law school exam.

That means no OCI interviews.
No clerkship possibilities
Passed over for all national public interest positions
No government honors programs will take me
Very few options

And I am well spoken, and generally no one in my school would suspect that this is my position in the class. I got a C- in a 5 credit property class 1L year (the prof said "I probably would have given you a B if I had graded this early, but it must have been one of the last exams I looked at.").  My confidence was shaken by being in the middle of the class (literally a B average) after the first semester, so my grades kept falling. 

I am graduating in 2 months and don't have a job.  I worry all the time.

Before law school, I was reading this forum and wondering how bad could it be?  I feel like the dumbest person in all my classes. Though I do understand what I read, I can't write a good law school exam.  I wish I would have dropped out after my 1L year.  The idiots that are supposed to counsel us at my law school said I should stick it out.  Bad advice.

I am miserable, and my anxiety about all this has made my grades worse. 

That's how difficult it can be.

Oh, and I have over $100,000 in debt.

LawDog3

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2009, 10:35:10 PM »
1L: They scare you to death (so it will be mentally exhausting)
2L: They work you to death (so it will be physically AND mentally exhausting)
3L: They bore you to death (so it will be emotionally exhausting)

Or so I have heard...lol.

That said, I would think about Richard Montauk's suggestion: an LLM program. Do well and get a specialty; that might be a good way to recover. But I could be wrong. You also could look at cutting your chops the hard way, go work pro-bono for some local agency or non-profit.

I also know a guy who started out in the sales department at Microsoft and moved into the marketing department. Then, one day he approached HR with his desire to move into legal, and a spot opened up.

Another way is to look at Goldman Sachs's Legal and Management Controls Department. They hire people who aren't even lawyers yet to work in a legal setting. Maybe with your degree they will connect you with a good mentor and you can get into corporate law that way.

Defer on your loans and do some looking around. Entertainment Law is another way to go. Seek out the production companies, call and write Warner Bros. or Arista Records. Heck, write Bad Boy Records! Entertainment Law is more about WHO you know anyways, and in that area of law, they don't care as much about class rank or grades. It's more of a people business.

Do you have charisma and people skills? Can you schmooze a Beyonce' into signing a soft drink deal? That's what they care about. Make it happen man! You are a graduate from a top-tier law school...nobody can f_ck with you! Have that attitude.

Do some legwork on your own...you can still reach your goals. In fact, now you are in a great position b/c nobody controls you. You're free. No billable hours minimum, no cutthroat law office politics.

I'm not saying it will be easy, but you are three years ahead of most of the grads in your class, do you realize that? Most of them will either be out of a job in three years or looking to switch...and they'll be looking to design their own careers. You're already there, so take advantage of that.

Remember, when one door closes, another one opens. 

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2009, 11:00:57 PM »
Shut up, LawDog.

Why couldn't you write a law school exam, Alfalfa?  Nervousness?  Inability to spot issues?  I don't entirely believe you.

Slumdog Lovebutton

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2009, 11:09:04 PM »
To the OP: before law school starts, spend a lot of time talking to people who really enjoyed their 1L year (there are a bunch of us).  Once you get to school, surround yourself socially with people who seem to be keeping the whole thing in perspective.  You might need to avoid certain friends when finals come around if they have a propensity to freak out.  Law school is a challenge, and I think the right attitude to enter with is not that you will be in the top 10% of your class (90% of people will fail at this), but that you will try your best while still maintaining some degree of balance (much higher success rate).
* Columbia Law, Class of 2011 *

LSN

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2009, 11:19:26 PM »
I co-sign Slumdog's post.  And now back to Richardson and the UCC knock-out rule for battle of the forms.

Alfalfa

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2009, 12:34:37 AM »
Shut up, LawDog.

Why couldn't you write a law school exam, Alfalfa?  Nervousness?  Inability to spot issues?  I don't entirely believe you.

When I have gone to see professors about my exams, I have heard, "This is OK, but just average.  You could have done more analysis." So on the next semester's exams, I tried to do more analysis.  Then I got more average grades and was told, "This is good, there were just others that were more sophisticated in their analysis."  Well, there's not much I can do about that.  However, they never give you an example of what they mean, or an "A" exam to look at.  All I can say, is that I have been really involved in doing internships, and sometimes have been slightly stressed b/c of journal demands, and it seems to have affected my ability to do well. 

I also go to school with those who went to Columbia, Harvard, have PhDs from academically challenging programs, etc and I just don't measure up.  What all of you fail to get is that there ARE people smarter than you are who will be in your law school classes.  Some are just "naturals" at legal reasoning, and can reflect that in their writing, and you may only be below average on 2 or 3 exams and it will put you at the bottom of the class, like I am. 

And if that happens, it really sucks, and you can try and try, and just only be in the middle (or lower half).  That really cuts your prospects. 

Please note as well, that because the economy is in crisis, there are thousands of unemployed experienced lawyers looking for the same jobs I am.  And grades matter, even in public interest and small firms.  Period. 

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2009, 01:06:27 AM »
Odd.  I'm really sorry to hear that.  At my T10, they give us model answers and I use them to study and learn how to write a good exam.

Alfalfa

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2009, 01:16:16 AM »
Odd.  I'm really sorry to hear that.  At my T10, they give us model answers and I use them to study and learn how to write a good exam.

Seriously?  They give you model answers?  Why the heck can't my school do this? 

vap

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2009, 09:52:22 AM »
Odd.  I'm really sorry to hear that.  At my T10, they give us model answers and I use them to study and learn how to write a good exam.

Seriously?  They give you model answers?  Why the heck can't my school do this? 

You should get some exam answers from students who have already taken the course.

LawDog3

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Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2009, 04:17:45 PM »
Shut up, LawDog.

Why couldn't you write a law school exam, Alfalfa?  Nervousness?  Inability to spot issues?  I don't entirely believe you.

I am going to have so much fun creaming you arroggant phonies. Just like I did in undergrad...you are next.

See you in class or Moot Court.  ;)