3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 326496
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:03 am

Hi Everyone,
I’m a 1L at a Top 10 school and have a 3.05 GPA after first semester. Thought I did better than that, and put in a ton of effort during the semester. It’s really discouraging. I can’t say I’m surprised, though. I was fortunate enough to get into such a great school to begin with, and a 3.05 (B average) is probably where I rank in my class. Looking back, I can’t say I have any regrets. Yes, I probably didn’t study efficiently, but which 1L does?
First thing I plan on doing is talking with my professors and trying to figure out what I can do to improve. I have already set up meetings with all of them to go over my exams.
But, I’m really dejected right now and it’s really hard to motivate myself after the amount of work I put in last semester. I was really hoping for BigLaw, and I still want to have something to work towards. But, looking at previous threads, it seems like I’m doomed. Is it really over?
Before someone asks, I got a small scholarship, and will be around 90K in debt once (if) I graduate.

champloo

Bronze
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:09 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby champloo » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:17 am

2L oci is based off 1L grades not 1L first semester grades. If you're at median t10 and bid smart, you should have a few options in nyc big law.

mcmand

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:24 am

You're not doomed. Which threads are convincing you you're doomed??

Your plan to address your mistakes is a solid one. Live and learn. You're in a good position to improve, and even if you don't improve a ton, you can bid right at OCI and still get something. And barring that, you've got time to network and do other stuff to ensure you get a job.

Don't let hopelessness cripple you. It won't help.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 326496
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:26 am

champloo wrote:2L oci is based off 1L grades not 1L first semester grades. If you're at median t10 and bid smart, you should have a few options in nyc big law.


Median at t10 will have plenty of options in nyc biglaw and elsewhere, but a 3.05 is probably not median at t10. Median is typically curved to 3.3ish, depending on the school.

OP is not doomed for biglaw, but will have to rely substantially on mass mailing, hustle, networking, and kickass interviewing.

mcmand

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:
champloo wrote:2L oci is based off 1L grades not 1L first semester grades. If you're at median t10 and bid smart, you should have a few options in nyc big law.


Median at t10 will have plenty of options in nyc biglaw and elsewhere, but a 3.05 is probably not median at t10. Median is typically curved to 3.3ish, depending on the school.

OP is not doomed for biglaw, but will have to rely substantially on mass mailing, hustle, networking, and kickass interviewing.


Why are you anon???
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

champloo

Bronze
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:09 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby champloo » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
champloo wrote:2L oci is based off 1L grades not 1L first semester grades. If you're at median t10 and bid smart, you should have a few options in nyc big law.


Median at t10 will have plenty of options in nyc biglaw and elsewhere, but a 3.05 is probably not median at t10. Median is typically curved to 3.3ish, depending on the school.

OP is not doomed for biglaw, but will have to rely substantially on mass mailing, hustle, networking, and kickass interviewing.


op's not anything right now. there's still one more semester left. get a 3.5 this semester and that gets him right under a 3.3

Anonymous User
Posts: 326496
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:23 am

Op here, thanks everyone.
So based on the replies, it’s not completely over, but it’ll take a lot of work. I understand that. Really hoping my professors can help me out with what I have to do to improve.
What sucks is that I’m with the same people. I really have to find ways to study smarter, not harder. That’s what I’m going to try and work on these next few weeks. I’m also hoping that maybe those who did well get a little cocky and don’t study as hard this semester? Wishful thinking?
And just a few other points: definitely want to practice in NYC, and median at my school (as a previous poster mentioned) is around 3.3
And it also sucks when all my friends who got median+ keep asking me how I did. Having to tell them what I got ain’t fun.

mcmand

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:Op here, thanks everyone.
So based on the replies, it’s not completely over, but it’ll take a lot of work. I understand that. Really hoping my professors can help me out with what I have to do to improve.
What sucks is that I’m with the same people. I really have to find ways to study smarter, not harder. That’s what I’m going to try and work on these next few weeks. I’m also hoping that maybe those who did well get a little cocky and don’t study as hard this semester? Wishful thinking?
And just a few other points: definitely want to practice in NYC, and median at my school (as a previous poster mentioned) is around 3.3
And it also sucks when all my friends who got median+ keep asking me how I did. Having to tell them what I got ain’t fun.


Don't tell them. Say you don't want to talk about grades. It would be a healthy choice to model for others, and hopefully they follow suit.

There is usually some change in performance second semester, where some people move up and some people move down. Cockiness, change of subject matter, any variable really, can cause this. If you figure out what will work better for you and find more efficient ways to learn the material and perform on exam day, you'll probably do better.

When you're talking to profs and looking back at your work, try to figure out what you were strongest on, and then look at the reasons why you really were good at it. What made the BLL stick? What caused you to add the nuance and organization to that part of your exam as opposed to other parts? Do a thorough retrospective.

It won't be as horrible as you think. It may just be challenging as you tinker with your approach.

Feel free to share your study methods if you want here. You may get a huge variation in response, as everyone is different. But comparing methods and seeing what commonly works could help.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dr. Nefario

Gold
Posts: 2865
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:07 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby Dr. Nefario » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:What sucks is that I’m with the same people. I really have to find ways to study smarter, not harder. That’s what I’m going to try and work on these next few weeks. I’m also hoping that maybe those who did well get a little cocky and don’t study as hard this semester? Wishful thinking?


Fwiw, I know a lot of people that had BOTH SIDES of this happen to them. Dropping or gaining 0.3 on your gpa in your second semester is as simple as one awful or one great grade.

joefresh

New
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 9:05 am

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby joefresh » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:30 am

Yes, a 3.05 at a T10 means you're doomed to a career in shit law and will never gain the respect of your peers... dropping out now would save you money you can no longer spare. I knew a guy with a 3.2 from CCN and he works at McDonald's now.


lol seriously bro a 3.05 is fine. You're at a T10.
a) you'll get a big law job even if your grades don't improve or even worsen if you can interview half-decently.
b) it's one semester of grades. The difference between a 3.6 and a 3.05 could be as simple as getting lucky with an essay question on a topic you know really well.

People in law school (and on this forum in particular) need to stop this doom and gloom nonsense. I doubt you apply this attitude to the rest of your life. "My friend didn't text me when they were in town!? Will I never get married!?!?!?"

Read E&Es instead of cases, practice, and make friends with people who have things to talk about other than grades. You're being a sissy.

Anonymous User
Posts: 326496
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:34 am

I went from a 3.8 my first semester to a 3.2 in my second semester. Studied just as hard and did not change my writing style, etc. I think the primary reason for the fall is people in your position after 1L fall figuring out how to take a law school exam and scoring much, much higher. You will be fine.

albanach

Gold
Posts: 1621
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby albanach » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:36 pm

Can you take electives this semester? Be careful not to try and take classes just because with professors that give A+, they're likely stacked with folk trying to make law review. You just need a couple of A-. If you are a decent writer, think about a paper class that would let you get lots of feedback on your work before submitting.

The other advice above is good. Figure out what went wrong in your exams and fix it. Was your legal writing class pass/fail? If so, make sure you put enough effort in to pass, but don't let that distract from graded classes. If it's graded, make sure you're getting a B+ there by engaging with your professor as much as possible in advance.

flashdril

New
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:50 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby flashdril » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:42 pm

Not doomed. Here's an example from my T10 school:

Median is set to a 3.3. 70% of the graduating class goes into biglaw. We, as a school, bat above our average at biglaw but that's not the point. The point is that a bunch of people below the median get biglaw jobs.

Just do your best next semester, try to get to median, and you'll be fine.

User avatar
deepseapartners

Bronze
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:49 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby deepseapartners » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 pm

I'm sorry to hear that you had a less than successful first semester, OP, but as the above posters have indicated, you are not hopeless.

On top of the usual advice to work extremely hard to get your grades up to median and mass-mail, I'd also add that targeting your home market can't hurt. I knew several people at my T13 who were below median and managed to pick up jobs during OCI through smart bidding to NYC and/or mass mailing their home market, and many of them ended up back in their home market.

User avatar
koalatriste

Bronze
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: 3.05 GPA after first semester. Finished?

Postby koalatriste » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:27 pm

obviously this is only half of your grade snapshot (I went from a 4.0 after first semester to a 3.5 on the whole year, so the inverse can happen too).

however, just to assuage your anxiety, let's say for instance that you stay in a similar grade range for your cumulative 1L GPA. at that grade range, your job prospects really depend on every other factor in your application. are you doomed? no. is it an uphill battle? sure, but not an impossible one.

I think it's totally possible that an MVP student with a 3.05 could get a CB/offer (even at a more elite firm, though certain firms are going to be out) if he/she, for example, had either one of: (i) 4 years of relevant work experience; (ii) another graduate degree that shows he/she is really smart/legit; (iii) some diverse quality; (iv) eligible to qualify for the patent bar; or (iv) maybe even a really, really great personality/interview narrative. this is not an exhaustive list of things that can help you. at the end of the day, the job application process is not linear. it's been said 1000 times before but network, mass mail and hustle and a 3.05 is workable. for "non-elite" firms, i do not see the GPA here being a plus, but it's also not a minus. Does [insert lower v100 firm] really care about the difference between a 3.3 and a 3.1 at UVA? Not in a material sense. So for non-elite firms, you'll need something else in your application to make them bite. If it's items (i)-(iv) above, that may be enough to get an elite firm to bite as long as they do not have a dogmatic approach to grades (the most white shoe, of course, do). Cravath is out, but maybe Sidley/Kirkland could be in if you did private equity M&A tax at PwC for four years and then you destroy your interview?

outside of bringing your grades up, here's what I'd do: (i) do everything I could to position myself to be an NYC transactional lawyer (i.e., try to have an in-house job that looks like you are more interested in corporate transactional work - lots of options here for the summer - in house or bankruptcy judge come to mind); (ii) pick some less selective firms, preferably where there is some form of helpful alumni contact and network the s*it out of that contact/that firm; and (iii) become a rockstar interviewer.

FWIW, I was an associate member of the hiring committee at a V10 firm.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.