Law School Discussion

Do firms hire post grade for people who didn't work as 2Ls?

I actually had a few questions related to this:

I just got on Law Review and IP Moot Court, but my gpa is around a 3.25 (which is top half for sure, prob top 40%) at a top 20 law school. I had a fairly good first semester, but my second semester dropped a bit (still trying to figure out what the hell happened). I'm working as a summer associate at a law firm this summer.

Anyhoo, I'm doing OCI as well as regional job fairs this fall.

(1) Should I contact law firms ahead of time in preparation for this?

(2) Do I have a good chance for a lot of these firms? Do they even look at the 1st semester grades for 2L year?

(3) Do they have this stuff wrapped up by a certain date (i.e. can I also apply later on in the year/do they monitor your progress)?

(4) If I don't get the 2L firm job I want (and continue where I'm at this summer) but show a marked improvement in the 2L year in terms of my grades, do firms still hire you after school? (E.g. let's say i wanted to work for Fish & Richardson but don't get offered for 2L summer, when they're recruiting at the beginning of 3L year, do people in my position still have a good chance or are hirings drawn solely from previous summer associates?).

Basically, am I screwed from getting a job I want even if I improve?

Thanks in advance.