Terrible grades. What to do?

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FunRon
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Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby FunRon » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:18 am

I'm a 1L at a T-50, and got my grades today and I almost died. I did terribly bad, and I mean really bad. My GPA for Fall 2009 was 2.80. The curve in my school is between 3.1- 3.3. To be honest, I feel like calling it quits (regarding law school), and not even finish my 1L year.

Regarding my studying habits:
About halfway through the semester, I stopped doing the heavy duty case briefing, and limited by briefs to only a couple of sentences per case. I heavy relied on study guides, and went over the E&E for all classes about 2 times over. I also had bought a copy of the hornbooks for each class, and read all relevant chapters as the semester progressed. Throughout the semester, I used the Emanuel outlines to help me elaborate on my notes, and used all 3 study aids in the completion of my final outline I used for the test. I kept my final outlines brief, to no more than 15 pages each, and believed that I had a good grasp of the material. I even did practice tests, which I had the professors grade and give me feedback on.

I did all of my studying all throughout the semester, and intensified my studying as finals came.

So there is my issue. I feel that I gave it my all last semester, and can't possibly think of going through another semester if I'm going to get shitty grades. I had always thought of duing some sort of tax or corporate law, my background being one of economics, but I assume that's out the window. I kinda feel that if I go back to my last semester professors, they might point out the mistakes I did during the test, and avoid those this semester, but I'm not sure of whether that will be enough. A part of me feels that I can bring my GPA above a 3.0 by next semester, but also feel that it will be almost impossible for me to find any type of summer internship.

Any advice/ comments will be appreciated.
Last edited by FunRon on Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

sperry
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby sperry » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:21 am

At least you got yours before you start the semester. I would leave if I did badly, but I won't find out until weeks into the semester, coincidentally after I've already paid for a significant portion of it.

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thesealocust
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:25 am

n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Black-Blue
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby Black-Blue » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:38 am

What is your cost of attendance?

Transferwannabe
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby Transferwannabe » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:45 am

thesealocust wrote:You probably did fine on learning the law. Unfortunately, despite the fact that you have to know the law cold, it won't get you any point son an exam - the name of the game is all about how you do your analysis. There are a zillion reasons why the analysis on your exams may not have been up to snuff (overly conclusory, too little, missing major issues,/facts, only looking at one side of the issue, etc.). If you stick with it, you'll really have to focus on how to take a law school exam rather than just cramming as much law into your head as possible.

Nothing is out the window right now. Nothing. Round 2 can catapult you to a respectable position in the class if you put in the work to talk to profs, see where you went wrong, and find advice to set yourself straight.

Of course, it'll be hard work, it'll be expensive, and there are no guarantees. There's no shame in dropping out, but you're not doomed. Introspect, poke around threads on TLS (if you haven't) about exam taking / exam prep.

bad law school grades don't mean you're dumb or that you studied poorly. It's much more likely you just didn't approach exams properly the first time out of the gate - and there's no shame in that.


This.

I'm 99% sure you knew more about the law than most taking the exam. Where you messed up is probably in how you took the exam. If you decide to stick with it talk with the professors, read getting to maybe, consider taking the LEEWS course (CDs - Buy them cheap on ebay and read threads here about them before purchasing to see if they are for you), read forums here on how to take an exam. Good luck, nothing is over yet, but your amount of risk just went way up.

(PS just realized I posted under my other name I just created... I actually post here quite a bit and this is not my 2nd post...)

awesomepossum
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby awesomepossum » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:48 am

I'm 99% sure you knew more about the law than most taking the exam.


What makes you so sure? Clearly most people knew better how to take the exam so doesn't it follow that it's more likely that more people knew the law as well?

thesealocust wrote:bad law school grades don't mean you're dumb or that you studied poorly. It's much more likely you just didn't approach exams properly the first time out of the gate - and there's no shame in that.


I just wanted to point out that this leaves the possibility that he's dumb.

Just kidding. Sorta. No, I'm kidding.

You will be able to find a 1L internship...that doesn't pay anything. The question is if you will be able to find a job after that. Unless you do significantly better, the odds are that you won't.

Talking to the profs is a good place to start. I also really recommend seeing if your school offers tutoring or you can find a study group that you can argue stuff out over. I've found that to be pretty helpful. Practice exams WITH SAMPLE ANSWERS are useful as well, or in the alternative, essay Q&A books like Siegels are awesome.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:53 am

Transferwannabe wrote:I'm 99% sure you knew more about the law than most taking the exam.


How can you be 99% sure about anything concerning a guy you don't know, who competed against classmates you dont know, at a school you dont know, with professors whose eccentricities you dont know? :?:

desperate4lawschool
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby desperate4lawschool » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:53 am

Chillax dude - you still have 5 semesters to bring up your GPA. Don't quit unless you really lost interest in the law (or you found out that law isn't for you). Like me, your problem is probably not about knowing the law, but rather how to take an exam. Three hours went by in a flash for me, in fact, i wrote 2 sentences for the third and last question and got a B-. Not the best grade I've received, but it sort of taught me that I need to type/think faster. Law school is really about how fast/coherent you can put the most info down. Not about what you know. Hang in there, I did....and my gpa is even lower than yours :lol:

FunRon
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby FunRon » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:28 am

Thanks for all of your replies.

I have been using TLS since even before taking the LSAT, and have read every there is here about ranking high within your class. I know the types that are out there, I obviously failed to apply them in my test taking skills.

Black-blue-> My tuiton costs are very low, since I pay in-state at a public univ.

VincentChase
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby VincentChase » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:31 am

desperate4lawschool wrote:Chillax dude - you still have 5 semesters to bring up your GPA.


Yes and no. True he has five semesters, technically. But for OCI, he has one semester to pull it up.

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apper123
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby apper123 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:23 am

VincentChase wrote:
desperate4lawschool wrote:Chillax dude - you still have 5 semesters to bring up your GPA.


Yes and no. True he has five semesters, technically. But for OCI, he has one semester to pull it up.


This assumes it's biglaw or bust for him, as well.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:34 am

FunRon wrote: My tuiton costs are very low, since I pay in-state at a public univ.

That's good, at least you won't be saddled with a ton of loans. The answer to your question depends on some other answers, most importantly: 1 - what do you want to do with your law degree, and 2 - where do you want to do it? The following are some (by no means all) things that should be weighed in favor of each respective course of action.

Stay in school: you know you want to be a lawyer, are open to working in a less prestigious area of law (I don't mean contract doc review, but small firms, plaintiff's stuff, small-time crim defense like DUI, etc), your market is not bursting at the seams with lawyers and law students, you are personable and good at networking, COL is low, you have no decent job prospects even if you drop out

Drop out: you only went to law school because you wanted financial stability, have your heart set on biglaw or one particular kind of public interest, are in a really difficult market with lots of competition, have high COL, don't really care to be a lawyer, are socially awkward, have appealing job prospects available upon dropping out

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RVP11
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby RVP11 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:21 am

apper123 wrote:
VincentChase wrote:
desperate4lawschool wrote:Chillax dude - you still have 5 semesters to bring up your GPA.


Yes and no. True he has five semesters, technically. But for OCI, he has one semester to pull it up.


This assumes it's biglaw or bust for him, as well.


Yeah, a fault assumption. That ship has sailed.

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ddp
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby ddp » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:06 pm

OP, perhaps you relied on study aids too much and didn't emphasize what prof wanted in his exact words on the exam?

FunRon
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby FunRon » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:45 pm

ddp wrote:OP, perhaps you relied on study aids too much and didn't emphasize what prof wanted in his exact words on the exam?


I don't think that's the case. I made sure throughout the semester to understand the professor's reasoning and the matter they did things. I used study aids to help me understand the material, but always went with what the professor said.

To be honest, I'm guessing that I need to re-evaluate the way I approach IRAC. I made a very concerted effort throughout the semester to get IRAC down, and to avoid all the mistakes many students do. It seems that I messed up in a big way.

Considering the relatively low cost of tuition, I'm going to stick it out until the end of the year. If I don't see a significant improvement in my grades, I will have to re-evaluate whether or not law school is for me.

TwanBeezy
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Re: Terrible grades. What to do?

Postby TwanBeezy » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:07 pm

To be honest, I'm guessing that I need to re-evaluate the way I approach IRAC. I made a very concerted effort throughout the semester to get IRAC down, and to avoid all the mistakes many students do. It seems that I messed up in a big way.


Just out of curiosity, did your professors tell you to use IRAC when you write the exam? The reason I ask is because in my 1L first semester, this guy raised his hand in torts and was like, "Should we write the exam in IRAC format?" The professor was like, "I don't care what you do. Just write an answer that's legible."

I have had many other teachers tell us similar things. My constitutional law professor said, "I just want to see that you can evaluate these concepts intelligently." My property professor said, "Write the exam like your a judge writing an opinion." Of course, I didn't write my exam exactly like a judge would write an opinion and still got an A.

My contracts professor wanted the conclusion first. My criminal law guy was a little more particular, but he did not want IRAC or any of that. He just wanted a paragraph arguing for or against why the act requirements were fulfilled, and an argument for or against why the mens rea requirements were fulfilled.

The point is, instead of evaulating the way you use IRAC, you should evaluate whether using IRAC in itself is the problem.




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