Bombing first semester: is there hope?

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Tree
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Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby Tree » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:58 pm

I have a 1L friend who did poorly at a T14 this semester, as in bottom-third. He is beside himself with grief but I have assured him that there is hope and he can use second semester to rectify his sorry situation. I also passed on news I heard about the curve getting "softer" second semester as people start to slack off.

What do you think? Does anyone here have experience with this? Is dramatic improvement possible semester 2?

Please share your thoughts!

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:01 pm

People who consistently bomb their classes are doing something very wrong. There's certainly hope, but it requires him spending this entire semester studying his exams from last semester, what he did wrong, and what needs to change.

Dramatic improvement is possible with a hell of a lot of work, if it's done smart.

270910
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby 270910 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:25 pm

I mean, that's the problem with the curve - who is he/she going to beat? It's certainly possible, but it's going to be an uphill battle. Lots of people walk into second semester aiming high and planning to atone for the sins of the first semester. But lots of people also give up part way through, or else never figure out what to do.

Tell your friend to focus on learning how to take a law school exam, and not to give up.

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nealric
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby nealric » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:15 pm

There's always hope. 3.0 1st semester + 3.8 second semester is still a respectable 3.4.

sperry
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby sperry » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:44 pm

The old "for a friend" question?


Anyway, it's obviously theoretically possible, but not likely. I can see moving from bottom of the class first semester to above median second semester, but bottom first semester to top of the class second semester (which is what you would need to salvage a decent GPA) seems really unlikely.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:55 pm

nealric wrote:There's always hope. 3.0 1st semester + 3.8 second semester is still a respectable 3.4.

This. He won't make top of the class, but he's a T14 so he doesn't need to climb that high to have worthwhile job opportunities. If he can do great this semester he can still have an above-median overall GPA, he just needs to work smart and focus on exam-taking so he knows what he's doing better next time.

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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby 270910 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:19 am

vanwinkle wrote:just needs to work smart and focus on exam-taking so he knows what he's doing better next time.


To get a 3.8? If you just have to work smart and focus on exam taking to get a 3.8, why can't 90%+ of the people at T14s (or any other law school for that matter) do it?

I don't want to make it out to be impossible, but I think the odds are much longer than some in this thread are making them out to be...

270910
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby 270910 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:24 am

betasteve wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:just needs to work smart and focus on exam-taking so he knows what he's doing better next time.


To get a 3.8? If you just have to work smart and focus on exam taking to get a 3.8, why can't 90%+ of the people at T14s (or any other law school for that matter) do it?

I don't want to make it out to be impossible, but I think the odds are much longer than some in this thread are making them out to be...

I think what they are saying is that this is the necessary condition, but will not definitely lead to it.


Right, fair enough. There is definitely still hope, which is what's important for OP's friend I'm sure. Even if the odds are against you being the guy that pulls it off, maybe that's just extra motivation at the end of the day?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:25 am

disco_barred wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:just needs to work smart and focus on exam-taking so he knows what he's doing better next time.


To get a 3.8? If you just have to work smart and focus on exam taking to get a 3.8, why can't 90%+ of the people at T14s (or any other law school for that matter) do it?

I don't want to make it out to be impossible, but I think the odds are much longer than some in this thread are making them out to be...

Exam-taking is learnable just like the LSAT is. It's an issue-spotter; if you're not doing well you're either 1) not properly issue-spotting or 2) not properly responding to those issues.

I'm assuming he studied the hell out of the material and knew it fairly well. Almost everyone does, but what separates people is knowing how to apply that material on an exam and learning to do it quickly and effectively.

I saw someone on TLS not long ago quote their professor saying on the first day of class essentially, "If you take any one piece of advice for the final, then apply law to facts. 60% of you will not do this, it never fails."

Most people don't know what they're doing on a law school exam, which gives those who actually do a huge advantage. I'm not saying he will do it, but I'm saying he can.

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superserial
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby superserial » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:25 am

idk about the curve getting softer... I think that people are working smarter.

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sawwaverunner
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby sawwaverunner » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:26 am

How do grades from your second and third year factor into your total law school grade point average?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:26 am

sawwaverunner wrote:How do grades from your second and third year factor into your total law school grade point average?

Just like you'd normally expect. The rub is that interviews for 3L summer jobs happen at the start of your 2L year, so only your 1L grades are available at the time.

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mbw
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Re: Bombing first semester: is there hope?

Postby mbw » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:49 am

vanwinkle wrote:
sawwaverunner wrote:How do grades from your second and third year factor into your total law school grade point average?

Just like you'd normally expect. The rub is that interviews for 3L summer jobs happen at the start of your 2L year, so only your 1L grades are available at the time.


Unless, of course, you're not doing OCI. For students who are seeking jobs through networking and connections, either for private firms or PI/Gov't, 1L and 2L grades are key.

To be honest, I don't know anything about OCI, as I won't be doing it. But I know that a lot of my friends would probably fare better anyway seeking out their contacts, or the contacts of friends. I'm clearly not properly enamored with OCI, and should be properly reprogrammed. I guess I don't think it's a reason to kill self. We also know the Kagan story by now...




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