Law School Discussion

Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?

Re: Disappointing grades in this economy = drop out?
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2009, 12:31:21 AM »
I have a similar situation, but in regards to biglaw firms. 

i have a 3.1'ish GPA at an HYSCC law school... i landed a summer job that has undoubtedly catapulted my legal research, writing, and analytical skills to a level far beyond what I ever acquired as a 1L. despite the amazing, incredibly educating experience, i have this awful gpa hanging over my head.  same question as the OP minus the drop-out consideration: am i totally screwed for biglaw firms in this economy, with this gpa???

Aloha, Mallow -

Um, totally?   = :  )

Not quite.  One of the paradoxes of BigLaw (and all other offices of law) is the unique nature of each passage.  In essence, each passageway (LSAT, Law School, First Year, Clerkship, Bar, Job) opens to a new chamber.  In that new chamber, in most respects everything that happened before entering is irrelevant.  There's a sort of collective amnesia at every new step.  (This is one reason so many so often so badly misconstrue the LSAT.)

So, once you've clerked, to a large extent THAT determines your future.  The key is to absolutely shine.  If you've not read any of the books I suggest on practice as a new associate, I *strongly* recommend them, if not *all* of them.  Why?  Because, to a large extent, the partners and senior associates (and senior secretaries and staff) will rely upon your performance, not your resume, to decide upon the final hire decision.  If it's a judicial or other job, the same rule applies...a single sentence (or even a single word, pronouced a certain way) uttered by your judge or other employer will, to a large extent, determine your fate.

Clearly, in this market, the total number of slots is likely to be smaller, and thus the odds are increasingly stacked against any individual.  But please don't put too much stock in your past.  (This applies to all.)  Focus instead on your future, including on every aspect of what you do in the office.  I cannot stress this enough:  avoid the mistakes that nearly all new associates make, and read ALL of the four practice books.  If you pick up even one tip from each, that might be enough to make the difference.  Chances are, based on the mistakes nearly all associates make (including me, way back when), this will make the difference.

I hope this helps,