Law School Discussion

How Serious Is My Situation?

How Serious Is My Situation?
« on: January 26, 2015, 08:00:20 PM »
First of all, this is not a flame. I would like to pm someone, if possible. I performed badly in my first semester of law school. Very badly. I have a D average (1.4), but only because I had difficulty focusing on studying and exam taking. I read that this is going prevent me from from getting good employment assuming I do well this semester and in the remainder of law school. I am committed to doing well and working through the stress to make the minimum average to pass. Will I be able to get past this semester for internships and employment, if I do well?

Serious replies only, please.

Re: How Serious Is My Situation?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 11:52:20 PM »
Yes you will still have a ton of options assuming you graduate and pass the bar. Obviously, it is better to have straight A's, but you could have a 4.0 GPA if you don't pass the bar your not a lawyer.

Additionally, a number of my classmates struggled first semester, but went on to do very well once they learned IRAC etc. However, eventually some students did fail out as well. A 1.4 GPA is not good, but you are not the first and you will not be the last person to get their ass kicked by the first semester of law school.

For the time being I would focus on improving academically and do not even worry about internships etc. Step 1 is improving once that is accomplished worry about the bigger picture.

If you want to PM me for more details feel free and good luck next semester.

Re: How Serious Is My Situation?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 08:39:38 AM »
Thank you for your advice. PM sent.

Re: How Serious Is My Situation?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 09:39:06 AM »
Happy to help and for anyone else that may read this do not get to caught up in your grades.

As long as you graduate and pass the bar doors will be open. Obviously, do well in school, but 50% of all law students in America finish in the bottom half of their class, but many go on to be far more successful attorneys than those in the top half of the class.

I was near the top of my class academically and have a good job, but some of my classmates that didn't even pass the bar first time around have gone to be far more successful than me.

Grades are grades they don't make or break you. The purpose of law school should be to get a license to practice law first and foremost the more you do in school the better, but you can get a 2.0 graduate and pass the bar and you are a licensed to practice law and what you do with that license is 100% up to you.

Re: How Serious Is My Situation?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 10:06:43 AM »
I have a D average (1.4), but only because I had difficulty focusing on studying and exam taking.

A couple of points to address:

First, developing effective study and exam taking skills are absolutely crucial to law schools success. I'm not trying to be overly harsh, but when you say "only because I had difficulty" etc etc, it makes me think you're underestimating the problem.

You need to figure out what the obstacle is (anxiety, time pressure, distractions?) and come up with a plan to overcome it. Your law school probably has academic support programs. Look into them, they can be very helpful.

Until you get this figured out there isn't much point in worrying about internships or employment. You need to get a handle on this before the next round of exams and definitely before the bar exam.

Will I be able to get past this semester for internships and employment, if I do well?

This is tougher to answer because it depends on what you mean by "good employment" as well as your personal skills (networking ability, interpersonal skills, etc). If you're talking about big firms, prestigious federal positions and judicial clerkships, then yes, it's going to be a problem. Those jobs are very competitive. If you're talking about small firms, maybe local government offices, then it will be less of an issue as long as it is only one semester of low grades.

As far as post grad employment, one semester of low grades is not going to prevent you from getting a job. However, consistently low grades can be a problem.

As Citylaw said, lots of people stumble during their first semester. I know people who were disappointed with their first year grades and who went on to graduate and are now practicing lawyers. The factor they all had in common was that they went into overdrive to figure out and fix the problem .

Good Luck in your studies!