Anonymous User wrote:Just wanted to drop you a line here because I was in a similar situation and neurotically googled for information from other people.
I go to a T14 and I "failed" legal writing. My school doesn't give letter grades but I got what amounts to an F, a not passing grade. It was a disaster and I didn't even have as good of an excuse as you did. I just blundered through the work and drank way too much near the deadline, so what I did turn in was a huge mess.
I was completely fucked when OCI came around. I had a few interviews, but none of the big firms wanted anything to do with me, even though I worked really hard second semester and my professor submitted a letter describing how much I improved and how impressed she was by how I had bounced back from my lacking grade first semester. Didn't matter. Big firms don't want anything to do with someone with that kind of mark on their transcript, no matter how good their grades were after that or how positive a professor's recommendation was.
BUT -- All is not lost. I hustled hard and found a job at a small firm in the place where I go to law school, worked for them part time over the next two years and got a badass job offer out of it. Among my group of friends at law school, I am among the most satisfied and excited to be doing the type of work I am doing, and I am compensated more than fairly for it. My present employers never even asked for my grades.
You can come back from it, but it isn't easy, and my story is atypical, I would imagine. It's just impossible to explain a failing grade in legal writing in interviews. I wanted to focus on writing as one of my strengths (English background), so it was doubly damaging to my interview spiel. I worked with our career office on it, I did tons of practice interviews and practiced introducing the grade in different ways, and I even avoided mentioning it at all in some interviews, just to see if maybe they would overlook it. Nothing doing.
I am in good shape, fairly good looking, very articulate, and had top half grades. 10+ screeners, no callbacks. Failing legal writing is the kiss of death for the conveyor belt of legal jobs, so be prepared to do something outside the box or else drop out. One assignment shouldn't define you or your potential.
Yeah. If good law students were scarce......but they are not. I've interviewed a number of OCI call backs in my position as an associate (I agree to do them because I look forward to the expensive food, so if you impress me, bonus for my day and for you), and I look for ONE THING to ding them on, and I usually find it. Put a fail grade on there, you won't even get to me. Goddamn, sometimes I write this shit and its amazing that this is how it is.