Badly Need Advice!

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eeps
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Badly Need Advice!

Postby eeps » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:15 am

Hello all,

Long time reader, but this is my first post. Looking for some solid advice.

I am a 1L at a T25 and am really distraught with my first semester grades.
I believe my school curves to about 3.2.

My GPA came out to a 2.99 (if only it were a 3.0, even being below median, would be so much better!)
Grades were B-, B, B, and A- in legal writing

So obviously I know I'm at the bottom of the class. I need advice as to what others would do in my shoes and what people think my best options are....just please dont say "drop out" without giving me a justification.

1. I know I did not study as well as I should have. Basically only did practice tests a couple of days before the exam.
At the same time, I feel like i did struggle all semester and this wasn't a matter of being overly confident or something.

2. I waited to outline mostly during the reading period. By that I mean i unsuccessfully attempted to create a real outline several times throughout the semester and then kept restarting. While I was doing the outlines so late though, I couldn't help but think my system was somehow better in that I was actually forced to absorb the info more by that point.

3. I have no debt. I am fortunate enough to not have to take out any loans. I also am on a half scholarship that I believe I can still keep regardless of grades. (I hope?)

So this is not a situation where I absolutely need to get biglaw in order to survive after law school and pay my debts.

4. ....But i still kind of want Big Law. At least, going into law school i definitely wanted the option and if I had done well, I would definitely have pursued it.

But I can see myself doing other things as a lawyer too.

5. I don't really like law school at all. I'm not really sure I want to be a lawyer, but I also wouldn't say that I don't see myself as a lawyer either. I am interested in a really specific field and think that being a lawyer will help me get there. One thing I do know is that i might not be giving law school 100% because I'm so unsure how I feel about practicing law in general if i can not find work in the specific field im interested in.

6. I came straight from undergrad with a liberal arts degree so I have absolutely nothing to fall back on. AT ALL. that's why im scared to just drop out too even though I really don't like my life right now. (but that's mostly because ive lost a lot of confidence in being a lawyer due to my shitty grades)



So should I drop out now? Like I said, no money lost. I'm thinking I'd be stupid to not at least put in some more effort for one more semester and then re-evaluate.

But i'm just not confident that I will somehow manage to beat out all my classmates this semester!!

What do you think I need as grades for this semester to even stand a chance at OCI? Or am I already out of luck in terms of big law?

WHERE DOES THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE CLASS AT A T25 GO??

thank you all

MrAnon
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby MrAnon » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:37 am

Give up on biglaw. You won't get into a prestigious area of law but you can find something more local to do. I would focus on looking for such jobs now and not worry so much about school because even if you pull a 3.5 for the spring you would still be below median so trying to bust ass in school at this point is just like spinning your wheels- you wont get anywhere with it. If you get a taste of local law and can't see yourself in shitlaw type gigs for the longterm then get out of law school and spend what would have been your second and third year of law school doing something that makes money and gives you some basis to understand and do well in a different industry. Saying you dont know what to do with yourself outside of law is silly. You get out there and just start doing. Think you'll feel confident with your law degree and middling grades in 2 years? That ain't a pretty picture either. At least now you aren't boxed into law jobs, you can still do anything.

nnnnnn-threadin'
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby nnnnnn-threadin' » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:47 am

eeps wrote: am I already out of luck in terms of big law?


yes, absolutely.

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RUQRU
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby RUQRU » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:50 pm


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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:51 pm

MrAnon wrote:even if you pull a 3.5 for the spring you would still be below median

I'm not an expert at math, and I didn't see anything about the taking more credits first semester than second. However, I'm fairly certain a 3.5 would put OP above a 3.2 median.

So OP: You're on a scholarship and will be able to finish this year debt-free, you're interested in but not set on biglaw, and you're slightly below median after first semester grades? All this TLS drop-out hysteria simply over sub-median grades is bordering on ridiculous*. If the only reason you're now unsure whether you want to be a lawyer is because your grades are making you doubt your confidence and abilities, stick it out.

However, if you do decide that you're not interested in being a lawyer, this is credited:
MrAnon wrote:Saying you dont know what to do with yourself outside of law is silly. You get out there and just start doing.




*If somebody doesn't want to be a lawyer, he/she should drop out. But sub-median first semester grades at a T25 while incurring no debt is hardly a reason to drop out if you still want to be a lawyer.


Edit: Changed some words and forgot to correct subject/verb agreement. Nice.
Last edited by FlightoftheEarls on Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MrAnon
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby MrAnon » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:21 pm

Not slightly below median. Not slightly below median. This is a case of solidly below median. The view of this board seems to be that students are above median, at median, or around median. No no no. This just perpetuates that view that everyone should stick it out. There is median, above, and below. And it is kind of crazy to think that someone with a B- average first semester is going to pull a 3.5 A average next semester when there hasnt been any hint of grades like that to come.

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby bilbobaggins » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:27 pm



Hardly enlightening. Doesn't describe the experience in most small law firms, although it's unfortunate that individual worked for a cheat.

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tallboone
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby tallboone » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:41 pm

Based on his statements, Mr. Anon is a blathering moron. "The view of this board..."? Who the fuck cares? A bunch of pre-law students and other idiots who spend way too much time on this site? Really, people. TLS has become a cesspool of groupthink and ill-informed opinions. Not everyone in law school should be here, but not everyone who has a sub-median GPA should drop out.

I used to go on TLS to get some interesting and seemingly good advice about law school applications. It is the reason I took a prep class, which I'm very thankful for. But this site has become TTT because of the same 10 people posting stupid shit and because of the dispensing of stupid advice like that of Mr. Anon.

As for the OP, you have a 3.0. It isn't ideal. It also isn't the worst position to be in. It will be hard to earn a biglaw-worthy GPA at this point. But you have no debt. And you can still get a lot of quality jobs coming out of a T25 school, even in the bottom-half of the class. Stick it out for a semester, and get a real legal job this summer where you see what real lawyers do. If you like your summer job, stick with law school. If you hate it, and your GPA hasn't improved, and you have something else you would rather do than law school, then consider dropping out.

End of rant.

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby bilbobaggins » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:41 pm

tallboone wrote:Based on his statements, Mr. Anon is a blathering moron. "The view of this board..."? Who the fuck cares? A bunch of pre-law students and other idiots who spend way too much time on this site? Really, people. TLS has become a cesspool of groupthink and ill-informed opinions. Not everyone in law school should be here, but not everyone who has a sub-median GPA should drop out.

I used to go on TLS to get some interesting and seemingly good advice about law school applications. It is the reason I took a prep class, which I'm very thankful for. But this site has become TTT because of the same 10 people posting stupid shit and because of the dispensing of stupid advice like that of Mr. Anon.

As for the OP, you have a 3.0. It isn't ideal. It also isn't the worst position to be in. It will be hard to earn a biglaw-worthy GPA at this point. But you have no debt. And you can still get a lot of quality jobs coming out of a T25 school, even in the bottom-half of the class. Stick it out for a semester, and get a real legal job this summer where you see what real lawyers do. If you like your summer job, stick with law school. If you hate it, and your GPA hasn't improved, and you have something else you would rather do than law school, then consider dropping out.

End of rant.


TITCR

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:50 pm

MrAnon wrote:Not slightly below median. Not slightly below median. This is a case of solidly below median. The view of this board seems to be that students are above median, at median, or around median. No no no. This just perpetuates that view that everyone should stick it out. There is median, above, and below. And it is kind of crazy to think that someone with a B- average first semester is going to pull a 3.5 A average next semester when there hasnt been any hint of grades like that to come.

Don't get me wrong - I agree it's an uphill battle. But what post are you reading? OP's grades, while not great, are not a B- average. OP has one B-, two Bs, and an A- in LW. Obviously not ideal grades (especially in the substantive classes), but that's hardly the 2.7 (or 2.67) you make it out to be.

MrAnon wrote:The view of this board seems to be that students are above median, at median, or around median. No no no.

Ok, I haven't the slightest idea where you're getting this from. I'm getting my perspective from my experience at a school where I've watched GPAs make significant climbs. I'm getting my perspective as somebody who is capable of doing math and recognizing that a 2.99 and 3.5 semester would easily bring OP above a 3.2 median. I'm saying this from the perspective of someone who thinks that people who presumably actually want to be attorneys, who are getting degrees from reputable schools without incurring any debt, who are only .2 below median after first semester, and who recognize that they made certain strategic errors in their approach to their finals should not so quickly give up on themselves without finishing the first year.

I'm not going to get into a discussion with you regarding what constitutes "slightly" below median versus "solidly" below median, but OP can aim to land a 3.4 (roughly top 1/3, I'd guess) after second semester and end up about median after 1L year. Obviously that isn't an easy progression to make after a less-than-ideal first semester, but there are tons of people on here who make significant improvements to their GPAs following first semester. You're sitting here telling somebody who wants to be an attorney, who is incurring no debt to go to a top 25 school, and who is not a lost cause when it comes to ending 1L year above-median that he/she should drop out after one semester? I think that's ridiculous.

MrAnon
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby MrAnon » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:11 pm

Yes, everyone's GPA does climb significantly. but so does the median. at every school.

jarofsoup
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby jarofsoup » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:17 pm

Hang in there and do better next semester. Get some good intern experience. The world does not end if you do not get big law.

eeps
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby eeps » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:01 pm

OP here.

i appreciate all the candid advice.

a couple of questions:

1. From a T25, what is the lowest GPA usually that you need for BigLaw?

2. What kind of GPA does one need to do something In-House?

3. Hypothetically, let's say I'm not at all interested in a law firm job. (hypothetically). Could I get any kind of public interest/non-profit organization type of job?

4. ALso, lets say I do better this semester and there's an improvement, but not like 3.5 gpa good. Let's say I end up with an overall GPA thats just slightly below median like at 3.1ish (if the median is 3.2). Where does that leave me?

Or if i do end up around 3.2, where will that put me?

Do people at median at T25 ever get biglaw?


I know this makes me seem like all i want to do is biglaw. that's not true, but i also don't have it all figured out yet and just want to see what people think.

Thanks again for the replies

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usuaggie
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby usuaggie » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:10 pm

If you don't especially love law school, there is a good chance you won't especially love biglaw. You definitely can find something you enjoy, whether that is public/non-profit or elsewhere. you are in a lucky position to not have debt. I have a LOT of debt and I didn't do very well, but I really enjoy law school and I'm hoping I enjoy my job.

I don't know what you could do to still land a biglaw job, but try out some other things during your summer and find something you like. Your GPA is important for your first job and for biglaw. If you want to do something else, your work history is going to be more important. Your GPA certainly won't hold you back after a few years, especially when you have that big fat top 25 school on your resume.

desperate4lawschool
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby desperate4lawschool » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:17 pm

Many people think that biglaw s the end all, be all situation for all law school grads. You will naturally go throug the "should I stick it out?" phase and truthfully, no one can answer that question but you. I personally don't have a high GPA, but I'm sticking it out b/c I'm the type who chooses not to give up. That may be foolish and unrealistic, but I believe that each sets their own path. Looking at some biglaw attorney profiles, some of them went to crappy law schools, yet made it to partner. Keep in mind that this forum is full of gunners who go to T10 schools, are (allegedly) at the top of their class, and have eyes only for biglaw. Don't compare yourself to them, soo what you can do to improve your odds at employment post-graduation. Get internships, research assistant positions, clerkships, anything that is related to what you want to do....I think that distinguishes you from all the students hovering at the median. There are opportunities outside the biglaw!

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bk1
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Re: Badly Need Advice!

Postby bk1 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:20 pm

desperate4lawschool wrote:Many people think that biglaw s the end all, be all situation for all law school grads. You will naturally go throug the "should I stick it out?" phase and truthfully, no one can answer that question but you. I personally don't have a high GPA, but I'm sticking it out b/c I'm the type who chooses not to give up. That may be foolish and unrealistic, but I believe that each sets their own path. Looking at some biglaw attorney profiles, some of them went to crappy law schools, yet made it to partner. Keep in mind that this forum is full of gunners who go to T10 schools, are (allegedly) at the top of their class, and have eyes only for biglaw. Don't compare yourself to them, soo what you can do to improve your odds at employment post-graduation. Get internships, research assistant positions, clerkships, anything that is related to what you want to do....I think that distinguishes you from all the students hovering at the median. There are opportunities outside the biglaw!


FWIW, there are opportunities outside of biglaw but few of those opportunities can quash 6 figure debt in a reasonable amount of time. Obviously this is irrelevant to OP because they are debt-free but it is what counts for a lot of others.




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