Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:20 pm

DelDad wrote:
Question Everything wrote:
Start looking for small personal injury firm jobs, if you are interested in that type of work, like litigation, and are at least somewhat of a people person.These firms don't care much about grades and the environment is quite similar to that of a startup. If you really posses the entrepreneurial mindset you've mentioned, and are willing to work hard and hustle your ass off, you could end up out earning the BigLaw bound assholes on here that are telling you to drop out.


This is better and more realistic advice if OP intends to finish school and take the bar. Still tough to get in the door with those grades, but you'd be better off working for a firm like this for a few years then going off on your own than starting out on your own.


DelDad (and others), how about my scenario? I am not OP, but the T30 bumper in similarly dire straits.

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DelDad
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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby DelDad » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DelDad (and others), how about my scenario? I am not OP, but the T30 bumper in similarly dire straits.


Your internships in PI, as well as a rising GPA will help; the fact that you have a job lined up for this summer is especially important (In the PI world, 2 summers of PI work shows commitment employers are looking for, and it means the employer has already seen your grades and decided to take a chance on you anyway). Get as much practical experience as possible and build the personal connections. Do you ultimately want to be in the same city/agency as you will be working in this summer? Assuming so, a good performance over the summer that gives the impression that you can hit the ground running and that you are not a jerk will be much more important than that one failed/retaken class.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:31 pm

Thanks, DelDad and others. Very surprised; considering this is TLS, I was expecting a chorus of drop-out.

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hichvichwoh
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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby hichvichwoh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks, DelDad and others. Very surprised; considering this is TLS, I was expecting a chorus of drop-out.

simply put, your situation is not as dire as OP's

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:38 pm

hichvichwoh wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks, DelDad and others. Very surprised; considering this is TLS, I was expecting a chorus of drop-out.

simply put, your situation is not as dire as OP's


true true, i attend a solid t30 and have PI experience for 1L summer, 2L summer, and during the school year as well. we're just similar in having incredibly shitty grades and being super depressed about it. i still cannot get over the inferiority to my classmates, even though i beat most of them my 2L fall.

thank GOD my 2L summer employer did not ask for my transcript.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:21 pm

bdubs wrote:No one in a start up is going to care about your grades in law school, but you won't be a lawyer. If you can find a group of people who think you're smart and add value to their team, you will have some opportunities.

Do you go to school in an area with much of a startup scene (Bay Area, NYC, PNW, Chicago, LA, etc..)? Go to some entrepreneurial events and talk to people.

The main thing that you need to understand is that you'll probably need other substantive experience outside of law to be valuable to a startup. You aren't really capable, nor should they trust you, to do all of their legal work. A startup also won't have much legal needs in the early stages either.

Sounds like UG was not the place for you to develop marketable skills (English degrees aren't highly sought after) but if you have some other talents, areas of interest, or experience you can build on those.


Thank you, I found this most helpful. I can confidently say I know more about vcs, angel investors, series A rounds, term sheets, valuations, metrics, earn-outs, and board meetings, than 95% of my 2L cohorts. I'm banking on this specialized knowledge base to click with the right person. I'll be doing my best to leverage this as well as work my ass off and improve my grades to change the trajectory, thank you!

To everyone else, I really appreciate the candid feedback. I'll be happy to update this thread with my progress in May.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:58 pm

DelDad wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:DelDad (and others), how about my scenario? I am not OP, but the T30 bumper in similarly dire straits.


Your internships in PI, as well as a rising GPA will help; the fact that you have a job lined up for this summer is especially important (In the PI world, 2 summers of PI work shows commitment employers are looking for, and it means the employer has already seen your grades and decided to take a chance on you anyway). Get as much practical experience as possible and build the personal connections. Do you ultimately want to be in the same city/agency as you will be working in this summer? Assuming so, a good performance over the summer that gives the impression that you can hit the ground running and that you are not a jerk will be much more important than that one failed/retaken class.


yes, i ultimately want to be in the same city where i did my 1L summer and will do my 2L summer. Also, volunteered in the same city over winter and spring breaks at an immigration gig.

tryna do my best to overcompensate for the shitty grades. :|

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:14 pm

bump. what to do going fwd to prevent myself from being forever ensconced in the Vale?

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:20 pm

Question Everything wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm going to keep this short and to the point:
1L year sucked. I did very poorly. A smattering of Bs/Cs/Ds. My GPA was 2.1 at the end of the year. Anything less than 2.0 gets you kicked out of law school, whew.

--I was extremely depressed and didn't do anything in the summer.

2L year - I'm in the second semester of my 2L year. Better mental health. Grades were B/Cs in the fall. But I have a new strategy and I'm projecting A/Bs for this spring semester.

What are my options for work? I'm basically really interested in startups and M&A. How do I land some kind of unpaid internship for the summer? How do I pitch my story and account for my grades? I'm really nervous. I know I'm smart, can work hard, and I think I've found my stride this semester.

Not here for negativity and bashing. Just be helpful if you can. Thanks.


Start looking for small personal injury firm jobs, if you are interested in that type of work, like litigation, and are at least somewhat of a people person.These firms don't care much about grades and the environment is quite similar to that of a startup. If you really posses the entrepreneurial mindset you've mentioned, and are willing to work hard and hustle your ass off, you could end up out earning the BigLaw bound assholes on here that are telling you to drop out.


And for an additional cynical point on this, you don't have to be a good lawyer to be successful in PI. Shit the worst cases to deal with are usually dealing with the most incompetent lawyer. You spend more time figuring out how to answer an idiots allegations than you might think because you can't just write "Come on Judge, this is dumb as hell." You actually have to spend time disecting their terrible arguments, and that runs up bills, and THAT is exactly what a PI attorney wants to do - run up the tab in a war of attrition and get the parties to settle.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Danger Zone » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:bump. what to do going fwd to prevent myself from being forever ensconced in the Vale?

Are you the T30 anon or OP (who I still really think should drop out)? The two of you are in markedly different situations, not sure why T30 decided to hijack.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:11 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:bump. what to do going fwd to prevent myself from being forever ensconced in the Vale?

Are you the T30 anon or OP (who I still really think should drop out)? The two of you are in markedly different situations, not sure why T30 decided to hijack.


oh sorry for not specifying--i am the T30 bumper, not OP.

i guess OP and I are alike in that we got sub-3.0 grades and are hella depressed. Even tho last semester I made an A- average, I still feel so lowly compared to my classmates. :oops: :cry: I cannot get over the inferiority complex!

only thing that is keeping me going is my upward trend, the fact that i actually enjoy the practice of law (thru my internships) and that i have 0 debt.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:13 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
Question Everything wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm going to keep this short and to the point:
1L year sucked. I did very poorly. A smattering of Bs/Cs/Ds. My GPA was 2.1 at the end of the year. Anything less than 2.0 gets you kicked out of law school, whew.

--I was extremely depressed and didn't do anything in the summer.

2L year - I'm in the second semester of my 2L year. Better mental health. Grades were B/Cs in the fall. But I have a new strategy and I'm projecting A/Bs for this spring semester.

What are my options for work? I'm basically really interested in startups and M&A. How do I land some kind of unpaid internship for the summer? How do I pitch my story and account for my grades? I'm really nervous. I know I'm smart, can work hard, and I think I've found my stride this semester.

Not here for negativity and bashing. Just be helpful if you can. Thanks.


Start looking for small personal injury firm jobs, if you are interested in that type of work, like litigation, and are at least somewhat of a people person.These firms don't care much about grades and the environment is quite similar to that of a startup. If you really posses the entrepreneurial mindset you've mentioned, and are willing to work hard and hustle your ass off, you could end up out earning the BigLaw bound assholes on here that are telling you to drop out.


And for an additional cynical point on this, you don't have to be a good lawyer to be successful in PI. Shit the worst cases to deal with are usually dealing with the most incompetent lawyer. You spend more time figuring out how to answer an idiots allegations than you might think because you can't just write "Come on Judge, this is dumb as hell." You actually have to spend time disecting their terrible arguments, and that runs up bills, and THAT is exactly what a PI attorney wants to do - run up the tab in a war of attrition and get the parties to settle.


T30 bumper again--by PI do you mean Public Interest, or Personal Injury? I was aiming for the former.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:31 pm

OP, how are you going to explain to 2L summer employers at interviews why you were not employed last summer? Even for less-grades conscious employers, this will be a significant hurdle.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby ckelly85 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:09 pm

@OP

It may be difficult to hide your lack of experience 1L summer, but it's certainly not impossible. Leave your GPA off the resume and focus on less competitive public interest intern positions (usually Public Defender, legal aid, etc., if not in a major metropolitan area). Look into school sponsored externships for Fall, since they are usually slightly less competitive than summer, and with any luck you can get your resume into shape by graduation.

I have found one key to getting your foot in the door is finding a real person to convince that you are interested in working there. Avoid passing your resume through program administrators and secretaries as much as possible. Snail mail when possible to make sure someone has to make a conscious choice to throw out your resume, rather than hit the trash button in Outlook. You are working on a truncated timeline and it will require some hustle, but you can make it happen.

Good luck!

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:34 am

OP, did you end up staying or dropping out?

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:56 am

Danger Zone wrote:To be as helpful as possible, it would be good to know your school (or school rank or range, if uncomfortable sharing), your debt level (current and projected total at graduation), how much you really want to be a lawyer, and what kind of position you could fall back on if not law (what you studied in undergrad or where you worked before law school). Honestly, it's not looking good for you. There is a big disparity between the number of law school graduates and the number of them employed in long term, full-time legal employment. I would seriously consider dropping out, unless you are going to a very good school for free or close to it, want to be a lawyer in any capacity, and have no other options.

Not sure how true the getting multiple C's means s/he's not cut out for law is. There is a steep learning curve for many people.

I go to a school TLS would consider a very good school. 1L year I was in no way prepared for anything close to like law school. I studied hard, but wasn't getting it. Around November I asked what IRAC was when a professor brought it up, and almost got laughed out of the room. Part of me felt like quitting, but I made myself work harder. I wound up clicking with the crap around December, and was in the top ten percent. Now I get lower but still "good" grades without going to class or reading.

If OP was not mentally healthy, I'm not sure how much you can extract from their grades. All people define potential differently, but it's probably a combination of starting place and peak performance. In this field, it's unfortunate but if you don't get it right away you're at a huge disadvantage. Not only do the people who do well right away get the good jobs with the good pay, but these jobs also have resources that make it much easier to succeed long term. Partners at big firms give real feedback, and tell you when shit is shit. You also have librarians to help you with research, secretaries to make your life easier, and don't have to worry about how you're going to pay rent every month. In addition to this, it's much easier to get hired by other firms once you've proven that another firm didn't find you useless.

The advice should be that OP should drop out if being way behind the 8-ball and has the odds stacked against them makes them unhappy. But it's a leap to say they're not cut out for law. The bottom line is that people who have family members in law, went to a great college, came in with military self-discipline, and are used to reading dense material have an advantage. If OP wasn't working hard because of mental problems then I don't think we can gage their potential. This should be a warning to all incoming 1L's that the best thing to do to prepare yourself for law school is to make sure you're mentally healthy out of the gate. Any depressive, anxious and other symptoms of poor mental health should be attended to and corrected before you start. Because of how law school exams work, having a sharp and fluid mind is much more useful than knowing a lot of law.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:59 am

Way to mow down that straw man.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:28 am

Danger Zone wrote:Way to mow down that straw man.

Sorry. I had only read OP's original post, and a few of the replies. They go to a TTTT. Even if they were hallucinating on mushrooms while taking those finals, they should be above median. I know people who were on law review at TTTT's, and had to rely on favors for 500/week jobs after a year of hustling. Being at the bottom of the class, OP is going to be unhirable unless they develop a War And Peace thick book of business. The only thing they have working in their favor is being a minority. However, if you look at the data on the minorities that benefit from diversity programs and affirmative action, they have all established a baseline level of competency. You don't need to be on law review to be smart enough to do 95% of the crap you will be doing. The minorities benefiting from affirmative action tend to be above median at lower T-1's or outside the bottom quartile at elite schools. No one is going to give you a desk and a salary merely for being a minority. That's not how the system works.

The lack of experience during the 1L isn't impossible to come back from. You were certainly doing something. Even if you were waiting tables, because you needed money, a lot of people won't auto-ding you for not interning for free. It's the recurring C's and D's at a TTTT.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:22 pm

The [lack of] reading comprehension in here made me question my own reading comprehension.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:13 pm

Drop out and go be free.

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Re: Depressed 1L summer - terrible grades, still want to succeed

Postby BlueLotus » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Drop out and go be free.


He's 8 months away from being a J.D. The time to drop out was right after 1L.




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