One Bad Grade

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Anonymous User
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One Bad Grade

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:22 pm

So, I had generally good grades 1st year, and then 3 very good grades and 1 very low grade 1st semester of 2L. I believe there was an error made in grading, but, that will not pan out in my favor, does anyone have a sense of how this will affect clerkship or permanent offers at firm?

I guess I distinguish this question from others about 2L grades, because it was not a pattern of worse performance, just an outlier. I am most concerned with what judges will think? It was not in a core course, but was substantive (e.g., takeovers, bankruptcy, copyright).

My GPA dropped by about .05

Thanks.

Anonymous User
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:20 pm

Bump...

More info, my grades were: A, A-, A-, C; no "easy" seminar courses.

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Bosque
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Bosque » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:30 am

From what I understand, the impact will most likely be minimal. Don't worry too much.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:Bump...

More info, my grades were: A, A-, A-, C; no "easy" seminar courses.


I had straight A's and a then pulled a C in Ethics. Partners loved it, it was a great conversation starter when I joined my 2L SA firm. My GPA dropped .03 as a result. I have no interest whatsoever in pursuing a clerkship, so I don't know what a judge might make of my transcript, nor do I care.

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megaTTTron
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby megaTTTron » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:12 am

Bosque wrote:From what I understand, the impact will most likely be minimal. Don't worry too much.


This. Everyone gets a bad grade now and then (usually crazy profs). Didn't hurt me in OCI, although my other grades minimized its effect.

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Unitas
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Unitas » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:17 am

megaTTTron wrote:
Bosque wrote:From what I understand, the impact will most likely be minimal. Don't worry too much.


This. Everyone gets a bad grade now and then (usually crazy profs). Didn't hurt me in OCI, although my other grades minimized its effect.


+1 based on what I've read on here.

And, this is very important, do not mention that you think it was graded wrong or blame the professor for the grade. A firm, judge, or whoever may ask you what happened and just talk about how you thought you did your best and it must not have come together on test day or something . Do not blame anyone else....

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megaTTTron
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby megaTTTron » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:20 am

Unitas wrote:
megaTTTron wrote:
Bosque wrote:From what I understand, the impact will most likely be minimal. Don't worry too much.


This. Everyone gets a bad grade now and then (usually crazy profs). Didn't hurt me in OCI, although my other grades minimized its effect.


+1 based on what I've read on here.

And, this is very important, do not mention that you think it was graded wrong or blame the professor for the grade. A firm, judge, or whoever may ask you what happened and just talk about how you thought you did your best and it must not have come together on test day or something . Do not blame anyone else....


YES. Very important point.

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BunkMoreland
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby BunkMoreland » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:59 am

Agreed with above. It can be a good conversation point to joke about, so long as you are sufficiently self-deprecating without being overly critical of yourself.

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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:30 am

Thanks all. I just feel kind of like an idiot.

Do you think a letter from the professor, saying I am not an idiot would help with judges? I am going to meet with him and he thought I was one of the better students in the class. The grade, I (and he) think, was some sort of fluke.

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Unitas
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Unitas » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks all. I just feel kind of like an idiot.

Do you think a letter from the professor, saying I am not an idiot would help with judges? I am going to meet with him and he thought I was one of the better students in the class. The grade, I (and he) think, was some sort of fluke.


Talking about for clerkships, right? Not 100% sure and probably need G.T.L. to tell you; since he is one of the few I know on here that has gone through that process. However, a letter of recommendation (not a letter of not being an idiot) from the professor that is sincere would be great regardless. So if you go talk to him and he seems like he wants to write you one or responds positively to the idea you may think of getting him too, but be wary of telling him this is a fluke like you are to us. If he has said fluke he likely means a fluke you messed up on the exam, not a fluke in his grading or how it was graded.

Again though, one bad grade in a sea of good isn’t going to hurt you, unless you don’t take responsibility for it. If you go into an interview with the same “attitude” that I have gotten reading your posts, the interviewer will pick up on it and be discouraged.

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ggocat
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby ggocat » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks all. I just feel kind of like an idiot.

Do you think a letter from the professor, saying I am not an idiot would help with judges? I am going to meet with him and he thought I was one of the better students in the class. The grade, I (and he) think, was some sort of fluke.

Sounds like a bad idea. Just get the best recs possible.

Judges (and clerks) care more about overall GPA unless it is a substantive course useful for that particular job (e.g., appellate practice for appellate judges, federal courts for federal judges, or bankruptcy for bankruptcy judges). Be prepared for a question in the interview (e.g., "What happened in X class?"), but realize that they care more about how you answer the question rather than the actual reason. Take it with stride, don't make yourself look too bad, and certainly don't blame the prof.

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megaTTTron
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby megaTTTron » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:03 pm

ggocat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks all. I just feel kind of like an idiot.

Do you think a letter from the professor, saying I am not an idiot would help with judges? I am going to meet with him and he thought I was one of the better students in the class. The grade, I (and he) think, was some sort of fluke.

Sounds like a bad idea. Just get the best recs possible.

Judges (and clerks) care more about overall GPA unless it is a substantive course useful for that particular job (e.g., appellate practice for appellate judges, federal courts for federal judges, or bankruptcy for bankruptcy judges). Be prepared for a question in the interview (e.g., "What happened in X class?"), but realize that they care more about how you answer the question rather than the actual reason. Take it with stride, don't make yourself look too bad, and certainly don't blame the prof.


This. Don't draw attention to it. Just be prepared to shake it off in an interview and move on.

HowdyYall
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby HowdyYall » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:16 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Bump...

More info, my grades were: A, A-, A-, C; no "easy" seminar courses.


I had straight A's and a then pulled a C in Ethics.


haha that is awesome!!!

spock
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby spock » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:40 am

question for the OP (and anyone who wants to weigh in) - does going to the prof and asking him to bump the grade (cuz you worked hard all semester) ever work? any reason not to at least try?



i ask bc i bombed an exam and am meeting with the prof- any tips on how to approach this discussion?

2LLLL
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby 2LLLL » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:56 am

question for the OP (and anyone who wants to weigh in) - does going to the prof and asking him to bump the grade (cuz you worked hard all semester) ever work? any reason not to at least try?



i ask bc i bombed an exam and am meeting with the prof- any tips on how to approach this discussion?





NO- don't do this, really bad idea.

Sup Kid
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Sup Kid » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:05 am

spock wrote:question for the OP (and anyone who wants to weigh in) - does going to the prof and asking him to bump the grade (cuz you worked hard all semester) ever work? any reason not to at least try?

I don't think professors can even do this if they wanted to. At my school (T20), only clerical or mathematical errors can cause a grade to be changed, in order to a) protect anonymous grading and b) avoid making professors deal with these requests ALL THE TIME, since if they can change one person's grade than EVERYONE WILL ASK

Rule11
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Rule11 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:52 am

Sorry to be contrary, but I don't think you're getting realistic advice from the people who say this doesn't matter. Having a C probably will negatively impact your clerkship chances in a real way. Remember that most judges get a huge volume of applications, and that current clerks do the preliminary sorting, often with only minimal guidelines from the judge. A C on your transcript is a huge red flag--it might prevent your application from ever getting to the stage of recommendations being read. C's are discretionary at most schools--it sounds like it was a fluke in your case, but the clerks reviewing your applications won't know that. They'll wonder what happened--and that uncertainty is likely to keep you out of the "interview" pile.

Certainly a clerkship is still possible with a grade like that, but clerkships are extremely competitive these days. You're lucky at least that it wasn't in a core 1L class, but you still have an uphill battle. I would focus on publishing a strong note (with a provocative title) so that you can highlight that on your resume, in hopes of inducing the clerks to scrutinize your application more carefully. You'll also want to consider trying a more risky, interesting cover letter than the standard form letter that clerkship advisors often recommend.

Sup Kid
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Sup Kid » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:09 pm

Rule11 wrote:C's are discretionary at most schools

Maybe at a few of the top schools they are discretionary, but most have a curve of around 3.15 and require professors to give 10-15% Cs for any non-seminar class. I think that is definitely more common than not having to give any Cs...

Anonymous User
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:43 pm

OP here.

So, I think that I agree with the assessment regarding clerkships: that it is actually more negative, especially where I would be applying.

But, is the consensus, as to firms, that it will not be a huge deal? If it is an exception to an otherwise good performance record?

Is the clerkship process a couple of years after working the same? Would this be the same red flag after a couple years of practice as it is in a direct application?

Thanks.

spock
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby spock » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:30 pm

update - i went to the prof, he couldnt do anything about the grade, and overall it was pretty embarrassing. take from tht what you will

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ChattTNdt
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby ChattTNdt » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:24 pm

spock wrote:update - i went to the prof, he couldnt do anything about the grade, and overall it was pretty embarrassing. take from tht what you will



:lol: hate to laugh at the misfortune of others, but you really couldn't take the solid advice offered here and HAD to learn the lesson the hard way? :lol:

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Kohinoor
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:40 pm

ChattTNdt wrote:
spock wrote:update - i went to the prof, he couldnt do anything about the grade, and overall it was pretty embarrassing. take from tht what you will



:lol: hate to laugh at the misfortune of others, but you really couldn't take the solid advice offered here and HAD to learn the lesson the hard way? :lol:

Still, I wish I could have sat in on that conversation.

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ChattTNdt
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby ChattTNdt » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:57 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
ChattTNdt wrote:
spock wrote:update - i went to the prof, he couldnt do anything about the grade, and overall it was pretty embarrassing. take from tht what you will



:lol: hate to laugh at the misfortune of others, but you really couldn't take the solid advice offered here and HAD to learn the lesson the hard way? :lol:

Still, I wish I could have sat in on that conversation.



+1. Imagining it with various professors from your school is an entertaining substitute

spock
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby spock » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:05 pm

glad to amuse a bunch of assholes

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JazzOne
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Re: One Bad Grade

Postby JazzOne » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:09 pm

spock wrote:glad to amuse a bunch of assholes

Yeah, the same bunch of assholes who were nice enough to tell you it was stupid in the first place.




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