1L grades? (Law school)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ravenvii, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #1
    I'm just wondering, with your experiences in law school, are 1L grades as important as they try to make it out to be?

    I see people freaking out about grades, etc. I was thinking, what's the point? You can slack off and get C's and you won't flunk out or anything.

    Sure, you won't get a job at a big-ass firm making six figures, but what if I don't want to do that anyway? I know I don't want to be a lawyer for long (just long enough to pay off the debt, and that won't be long at all even if I make 60,000 a year or something modest like that). Law review? Nah, not for me.

    And moreover, a graduate at the bottom of his class, who passes the Bar, is still a lawyer, just like the valedictorian (who passed the Bar, obviously).

    Really, if I'm fine with C's or whatever, should I really be freaking out? I know there's the curve, but a C is at the bottom of the curve (the median is a B, so most people will get a grade in the B range). Only thing I'd like to get is a GPA of 2.4 or above, cuz if I get anything below 2.4 but above 2.0, I will be put on academic supervision. (Below 2.0 and you "flunk out" so to speak).
     
  2. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #2
    I had a bad 1L, and I never really recovered. There is a correlative relationship between 1L performance and bar passage. My law school was worried that I wouldn't pass the bar...

    Anyway, I did pass and so on and so forth.

    As for getting a job, the biggest factor is getting something that can translate into permanent after you graduate. When your grades are bad like mine were, nobody responds. My law school work couldn't translate into perm work for various reasons (funding, isolated student programs), so I'm stuck in the temp world with no way out. It sucks.

    But, if you don't plan on doing this long term, the temp thing can work for you. I can make pretty good money without the hassle of meeting the billables that my friends do.

    Edit - I graduated with a 2.71
     
  3. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #3
    Cool, thanks... I'm wondering... how did you get a bad 1L year? If it's straight C's, can you enlighten me on what amount of work leads to C's?
     
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #4
    I do not think it is the amount of work, I think it is the lack of work.
     
  5. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #5
    It's not a lack of work.

    One of the most important lessons that a 1L needs to learn is that legal writing is like no other writing. When you learn to write papers, you are taught that research is important, but your paper needs to have your ideas. The research supports you. Legal writing is all about abandoning yourself. If you can write a cohesive paper without a single original thought, you are likely to do well. Not being willing to make that change will burn you.

    Remember that outside of your legal writing class, your grades will be solely based on your exam. That makes understanding your professor and what he/she wants essential. You need to learn how to write like they think, supporting what they want supported, identifying issues that they think need to be identified. I'm too lazy to look for a transcript, but I'd venture that I had somewhere around a 2.2 my first semester.

    To end up with a C, you need to go to class, understand the material, and make it your own. When you can abandon ownership of your understanding, that's when you can do better (at least 1L - later, it just depends on the subjects you take). To do worse than the C, it takes skipping class, and actively trying not to do well. C is just the default.
     
  6. jesuscheese macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    #6
    Hey man, I got a question for ya.. I just finished my first year, and I did real bad.. I go to a really good school but I got the flu 2 weeks prior to exams. I did B average in the fall semester (which weights 33 percent), but i failed 3 exams in the spring (the last two weeks, which weights 66%).. Part of it was because of my illness, but I would not have done any better than a B average without the illness, which is good in my opinion... But here's the thing.. I'm probably looking at an GPA of 2.0-2.3 because of my poor performance.. Since I was extremely ill, I have the option of re-doing my first year. Normally, if i fall between 1.5-1.9, I will be allowed to repeat. I defintely made over that therefore, I normally dont have the option to renew.. However, since I was extremely ill, the school will allow it if I decide to do so. I actually don't mind this option because my school will expunge my current grades for my new grades.. Therefore, if I decide to repeat, then only those grades will be on my transcript. However, I dont know if I should do this... It will be very expensive and cost me an additional year. Do you think, if I chose not to repeat, and If I made better grades the next two years (mostly A's and B's which I can do and I have done), will I be able to get a good job? I have huge loans. by the time I finish, I will be between 80K and 100K in debt. The way I understand your mentality, If you graduate at the bottom of your class (like you), then you have no chance at a job that pays well.... If this is true, then I want to re-do my first year.. If I did, it is very probably that I would be in the top 10% (trust that)... So what do you think I should do? Will I be able to get a job even at the bottom of my class?
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #7
    The law field is saturated, you need to graduate somewhere in the top of our class to get a decent job. I have heard that the summer of your 2L year is the most important, if you don't land an internship worth a damn you are on the bad track.

    You could always study bankruptcy law, I imagine there is going to be a rise in demand.
     
  8. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #8
    I don't think that's really so true. Right now it might be tough to find a job (what field hasn't become tougher to find a job in that last year?), but most of the lawyers I know had no higher than a 2.5 (usually closer to 2.0) at 3rd tier schools and they've all done pretty damn good. If you want a $160k starting job with a big firm then, yeah, you have to be top of your class and you need to summer as a 2L (preferably at the firm you want to work at), but remember, most attorneys don't work at big firms. The 50 attorney firm I worked at paid about $100k for their new attorneys and barely had any attorneys from 1st tier schools, but hey, they made a name for themselves as good attorneys and clients like them, that's really all that matters in the end.
     
  9. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #9
    WTF @ this old-ass thread. I'm just mere days away from finishing my 2L year.

    Yeah, my GPA sucks ass, and I get to slack off this summer thanks to the economy. But what the hell, right?
     
  10. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #10
    Yeah, too bad you weren't graduating this year with a big firm job, a nice $70k to just do nothing for the year would be nice.
     

Share This Page