Fall 2L massive grade drop.

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Anonymous User
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Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:58 am

I go to a second-tier school. Cumulative first-year GPA was a 3.7, which placed me at the top of the class. I was hired at a V100 with that GPA and law review. Just got Fall 2L grades in and got a B+ B+ B C+ and C+. My cumulative is now a 3.4 something.

Needless to say, I'm stunned, and am trying to figure out what happened. I definitely worked a bit less, but not enough to account for such a massive drop. I was also not studying for at least the first month because of mass-mailing, screeners, and OCI.

Advice?

Edit: I didn't take any "padding" courses, which might also account for the drop.

09042014
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby 09042014 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I go to a second-tier school. Cumulative first-year GPA was a 3.7, which placed me at the top of the class. I was hired at a V100 with that GPA and law review. Just got Fall 2L grades in and got a B+ B+ B C+ and C+. My cumulative is now a 3.4 something.

Needless to say, I'm stunned, and am trying to figure out what happened. I definitely worked a bit less, but not enough to account for such a massive drop. I was also not studying for at least the first month because of mass-mailing, screeners, and OCI.

Advice?

Edit: I didn't take any "padding" courses, which might also account for the drop.


1) Try to do better next time, including taking padding classes. If you can manage another 3.7, it'll mitigate the damage.

2) Nobody knows if this will piss off your firm. If you do good work, and everyone likes you, I'm pretty sure you will be fine. But if you are weird, or do sloppy work, this may be the straw that breaks the camels back.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby BeenDidThat » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:22 pm

Probably won't matter. I'll echo the above poster: take padding courses. No shame in it.

Just work hard next semester and go into your SA with a good attitude. You're surely intelligent and hard working, so don't stress it too much. I saw a few people who I SAed with who came from second tier schools and they worried too much and tried too hard to please people.

Get your head right: this is probably just statistical noise in your grades, and your true mean is probably in the 3.6 range. Go analyze where you went wrong/what you did differently from 1L year, set it right, do well next semester, and go in and be a hard-working, normal person during your SA.

Control what you can. Fuck everything else.

You'll be fine.

Talar
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:56 pm

Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby Talar » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:19 pm

I'll echo what has been said already.

It's difficult for anyone to guess how important 2L grades are to your law firm. At one firm I worked, after my grades had gone up after 2L, they commented positively on it. The good news is that you have one more semester to pull them up (because they'll probably ask for your transcript during the summer, which will be after spring 2013 grades). Having said that, there is a small chance they'll ask for your transcript again right before the summer starts, before spring grades, and then you just have to suck it up and send it in.

However, you need to focus on what you can control. Your summer is experience is a lot more important than your 2L grades, but they can help hurt/help you. If you can impress all of the associates and partners for whom you work, then you will still get an offer, even with that 3.4 GPA from a second tier school. In fact, I would argue that with your new (worse) grades, not much has changed - how you perform during the summer will determine whether or not you get a job, just like it would have before.

I can also give a little advice on how you can do well this summer. Talk to your CSO about events they have for doing well as a summer associate. I would also recommend picking up a copy of Kimm Alayne Walton's book, What Law School Doesn't Teach You ... But You Really Need to Know. It's pretty useful and might make the difference for you.

Best of luck.

Myself
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

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Postby Myself » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:23 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:37 pm

It's a problem. Especially for someone who got a big firm from a lower ranked school. Do your best to bring your grades back up. Take the spring VERY seriously.

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EvilClinton
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Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby EvilClinton » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:39 pm

Get better grades and impress the shit out of people this summer. When there is a minor issue about an SA (grades, one bad assignment, blown deadline) it usually only takes one partner advocating for that person in order for them to still get an offer. Find someone to advocate for you and you will be fine. Firms want to give 100% offers.

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kalvano
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Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby kalvano » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:28 pm

Also, take shit course that you can get A's in. It won't make any ultimate difference what courses you take, and the good grades are more important.

Anonymous User
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Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:48 pm

OP: I have a similar concern myself, and after asking a bunch of people at my school, this what helpful information I received.

Since I'm assuming you don't want to name the firm here, do a little research yourself on their traditional offer rates/reputation when it comes to 2L grades. As some of the above posters have noted, some firms truly do not care as long as you don't fail and always have 100% offer rates or close to it. Others factor them in more. If there is a 3L at your school who SA'ed at your firm last year, it can't hurt to reach out to them for more information if it will ease your mind. If it makes you feel any better, CSO at my school (T30) told me that they have never heard of anyone getting no-offered solely b/c of their grades (or even having grades be a significant factor in a no-offer), even during the height of the recession, and I'm sure that you are not the only person ever to get a few B/C+ level grades 2L year.

One other possible avenue of mitigation (besides working harder/taking easier classes next semester which is definitely TCR), did you have any noteworthy extracurricular achievements this semester (published law review work, moot court recognition, internships, etc)? This will not totally excuse lower grades if your firm is one that cares, but if it comes up, be sure to mention anything law-related that you accomplished outside of classes that shows that you were not just sitting on your butt this semester. "My grades fell, however, I put a lot of energy into writing a publishable note" might sound better than "my grades fell, I have no idea why".

Hope everything works out for you!

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koalatriste
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Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby koalatriste » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:05 pm

Talar wrote:There is a small chance they'll ask for your transcript again right before the summer starts, before spring grades, and then you just have to suck it up and send it in.


Just taking issue with this statement. I think this is wildly unlikely. I have never heard of a firm asking for just first semester 2L grades. Is this based on any actual factual circumstances? My firm made us sign a "we can pull your transcript waiver" during like the first week of the summer. Every other NYC firm that I've heard of has something similar to that.

Also, on the actual topic, nobody here can give you a definitive answer. The common thread seems to be do well next semester - take easy classes and get A's. Then crush your SA.

de5igual
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Re: Fall 2L massive grade drop.

Postby de5igual » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:45 pm

koalatriste wrote:
Talar wrote:There is a small chance they'll ask for your transcript again right before the summer starts, before spring grades, and then you just have to suck it up and send it in.


Just taking issue with this statement. I think this is wildly unlikely. I have never heard of a firm asking for just first semester 2L grades. Is this based on any actual factual circumstances? My firm made us sign a "we can pull your transcript waiver" during like the first week of the summer. Every other NYC firm that I've heard of has something similar to that.

Also, on the actual topic, nobody here can give you a definitive answer. The common thread seems to be do well next semester - take easy classes and get A's. Then crush your SA.


Just because you've never heard of it doesn't make it wildly unlikely. A sizable number of firms do in fact ask for your first semester transcript sometime in January. Look at last year's 2L freakout threads.




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