1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

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halfpancake
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1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby halfpancake » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:57 pm

My first semester at law school, I--like most--worked/studied harder than I had ever done before. I read all the assigned readings carefully, went to all of my classes, turned to supplements when I thought I needed it, and took practice tests with a study group in advance of finals. When I got back my grades, I--once again, like most--was disappointed: B, B, B+. As a student who had straight-As in high school, and a >3.8 in college, it was a huge blow to receive such average (or perhaps below average) grades--especially since I tried so hard.

Despite my performance, I felt I had done everything correctly. So, despite the niggling feeling that it was for naught, I went into my second semester prepared to try just as hard. And I did. I essentially replicated my study habits from first semester, though I had the benefit of learning from mistakes the first time around. When grades came around, they turned out to be great: A, A, A-.

I wanted to relate this story to those who are feeling hopeless after their performance first semester. You're not destined to receive the same grades your second time around--you can improve!

I know you'll want to know how I was able to turn my grades around. Like I said, I basically replicated my studying style from first semester, so it's hard to pin down exactly what changed. Two things come to mind: 1) know what your professor is looking for--if you have model (student-created) answers, try to replicate the style (the organization especially) of the model answers. If you don't have model answers, I suggest thinking about your professor's teaching style, seeing how they think, and attempt to emulate the teacher's style of analysis in your answer. 2) Really hit the obvious issues. I think I thought you were supposed to hit all of the minor issues and explain their intricacies too. While it's a plus if you do, focus your fire on the issues that the professor wants you to focus on. Don't get stuck on minor details--give them only as much attention as they deserve, and dispose of them quickly.

Anyway, the point of this post was to give a bit of hope to those who tried hard yet didn't perform as well as they would have liked. I hope it did that!

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DoubleChecks
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:00 pm

halfpancake wrote:My first semester at law school, I--like most--worked/studied harder than I had ever done before. I read all the assigned readings carefully, went to all of my classes, turned to supplements when I thought I needed it, and took practice tests with a study group in advance of finals. When I got back my grades, I--once again, like most--was disappointed: B, B, B+. As a student who had straight-As in high school, and a >3.8 in college, it was a huge blow to receive such average (or perhaps below average) grades--especially since I tried so hard.

Despite my performance, I felt I had done everything correctly. So, despite the niggling feeling that it was for naught, I went into my second semester prepared to try just as hard. And I did. I essentially replicated my study habits from first semester, though I had the benefit of learning from mistakes the first time around. When grades came around, they turned out to be great: A, A, A-.

I wanted to relate this story to those who are feeling hopeless after their performance first semester. You're not destined to receive the same grades your second time around--you can improve!

I know you'll want to know how I was able to turn my grades around. Like I said, I basically replicated my studying style from first semester, so it's hard to pin down exactly what changed. Two things come to mind: 1) know what your professor is looking for--if you have model (student-created) answers, try to replicate the style (the organization especially) of the model answers. If you don't have model answers, I suggest thinking about your professor's teaching style, seeing how they think, and attempt to emulate the teacher's style of analysis in your answer. 2) Really hit the obvious issues. I think I thought you were supposed to hit all of the minor issues and explain their intricacies too. While it's a plus if you do, focus your fire on the issues that the professor wants you to focus on. Don't get stuck on minor details--give them only as much attention as they deserve, and dispose of them quickly.

Anyway, the point of this post was to give a bit of hope to those who tried hard yet didn't perform as well as they would have liked. I hope it did that!


wow nice post. the beginning really had me worrying again, like aw another scare story lol, but it turned around quickly. great post -- if my grades are horrible (find out next week), ill be sure to come back to this post to reinspire me haha.

abudaba
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby abudaba » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:18 pm

halfpancake wrote: 2) Really hit the obvious issues. I think I thought you were supposed to hit all of the minor issues and explain their intricacies too. While it's a plus if you do, focus your fire on the issues that the professor wants you to focus on. Don't get stuck on minor details--give them only as much attention as they deserve, and dispose of them quickly.


+1

this cost me the first go around - so, so, so hard yet necessary to perfect imo

dakatz
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby dakatz » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:23 pm

abudaba wrote:
halfpancake wrote: 2) Really hit the obvious issues. I think I thought you were supposed to hit all of the minor issues and explain their intricacies too. While it's a plus if you do, focus your fire on the issues that the professor wants you to focus on. Don't get stuck on minor details--give them only as much attention as they deserve, and dispose of them quickly.


+1

this cost me the first go around - so, so, so hard yet necessary to perfect imo


I wish I knew this when I took my first set of exams. I'm not complaining about my performance, but it certainly seems like I took the long way around in certain areas. For example, on torts we had to analyze how a duty might have been created. I saw about 4 or 5 plausible ways, with one far better than the rest. But I figured I would list them all to show that I comprehend all the duty analysis we did. I got points only for the first one, and wasn't given a single point for the rest. Prof said I should have just said the first one then moved on. That was a good 20 minutes of typing I could have put to better use, and didn't get a single point out of.
Last edited by dakatz on Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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beach_terror
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby beach_terror » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:27 pm

Good post, and motivating for someone who needs a .3ish gpa increase to make LR next semester.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:31 pm

halfpancake wrote:My first semester at law school, I--like most--worked/studied harder than I had ever done before. I read all the assigned readings carefully, went to all of my classes, turned to supplements when I thought I needed it, and took practice tests with a study group in advance of finals. When I got back my grades, I--once again, like most--was disappointed: B, B, B+. As a student who had straight-As in high school, and a >3.8 in college, it was a huge blow to receive such average (or perhaps below average) grades--especially since I tried so hard.

Despite my performance, I felt I had done everything correctly. So, despite the niggling feeling that it was for naught, I went into my second semester prepared to try just as hard. And I did. I essentially replicated my study habits from first semester, though I had the benefit of learning from mistakes the first time around. When grades came around, they turned out to be great: A, A, A-.

I wanted to relate this story to those who are feeling hopeless after their performance first semester. You're not destined to receive the same grades your second time around--you can improve! ALSO, I WANTED TO BRAG ABOUT MY AMAZING GRADES

I know you'll want to know how I was able to turn my grades around. Like I said, I basically replicated my studying style from first semester, so it's hard to pin down exactly what changed. Two things come to mind: 1) know what your professor is looking for--if you have model (student-created) answers, try to replicate the style (the organization especially) of the model answers. If you don't have model answers, I suggest thinking about your professor's teaching style, seeing how they think, and attempt to emulate the teacher's style of analysis in your answer. 2) Really hit the obvious issues. I think I thought you were supposed to hit all of the minor issues and explain their intricacies too. While it's a plus if you do, focus your fire on the issues that the professor wants you to focus on. Don't get stuck on minor details--give them only as much attention as they deserve, and dispose of them quickly.

Anyway, the point of this post was to give a bit of hope to those who tried hard yet didn't perform as well as they would have liked. I hope it did that!


FTFY :D

In all seriousness though, good job! That is very inspiring to hear! made me feel a lil better during my saturday night study sesh :)

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Helmholtz
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:31 pm

halfpancake wrote:My first semester at law school, I--like most--worked/studied harder than I had ever done before. I read all the assigned readings carefully, went to all of my classes, turned to supplements when I thought I needed it, and took practice tests with a study group in advance of finals. When I got back my grades, I--once again, like most--was disappointed: B, B, B+. As a student who had straight-As in high school, and a >3.8 in college, it was a huge blow to receive such average (or perhaps below average) grades--especially since I tried so hard.

Despite my performance, I felt I had done everything correctly. So, despite the niggling feeling that it was for naught, I went into my second semester prepared to try just as hard. And I did. I essentially replicated my study habits from first semester, though I had the benefit of learning from mistakes the first time around. When grades came around, they turned out to be great: A, A, A-.

I wanted to relate this story to those who are feeling hopeless after their performance first semester. You're not destined to receive the same grades your second time around--you can improve!

I know you'll want to know how I was able to turn my grades around. Like I said, I basically replicated my studying style from first semester, so it's hard to pin down exactly what changed. Two things come to mind: 1) know what your professor is looking for--if you have model (student-created) answers, try to replicate the style (the organization especially) of the model answers. If you don't have model answers, I suggest thinking about your professor's teaching style, seeing how they think, and attempt to emulate the teacher's style of analysis in your answer. 2) Really hit the obvious issues. I think I thought you were supposed to hit all of the minor issues and explain their intricacies too. While it's a plus if you do, focus your fire on the issues that the professor wants you to focus on. Don't get stuck on minor details--give them only as much attention as they deserve, and dispose of them quickly.

Anyway, the point of this post was to give a bit of hope to those who tried hard yet didn't perform as well as they would have liked. I hope it did that!


Image

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kalvano
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:12 pm

This is basically the position I am in. I'm not screwed, but I'm close enough to being quite respectable that I'm a little disappointed in myself. However, I know what I did wrong and what I missed on exams, and I know what to focus on come the last part of the semester. If I can turn one - into a +, keep an A, and take one more from a B to a B+, I should be good.

katjust
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby katjust » Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:26 pm

As long as we are trying to encourage people maybe my story will help a little too. The curve at my school is 3.0

I wasn't really disappointed with my first semester grades during 1L, but I did improve quite a bit in second semester.

First semester I received B, B+, A
Second semester I received, B, A, A, A+

I was just aiming to be top 25% (which my first sem. grades would have been good for if I'd replicated them), but I ended up in top 10%. I didn't really change my studying habits, I just learned how to do the exams better I think./

Eco
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Eco » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:30 pm

The untold story of this post: Getting straight Bs= 3.0 or less. Getting As next semester= you won't raise your GPA high enough to get a decent job.

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kalvano
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:35 pm

katjust wrote:I didn't really change my studying habits, I just learned how to do the exams better I think./



That's the key, I think.

hds2388
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby hds2388 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:35 pm

Eco wrote:The untold story of this post: Getting straight Bs= 3.0 or less. Getting As next semester= you won't raise your GPA high enough to get a decent job.


There's always one.

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Helmholtz
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Helmholtz » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:45 pm

Eco wrote:The untold story of this post: Getting straight Bs= 3.0 or less. Getting As next semester= you won't raise your GPA high enough to get a decent job.


QFGeorgeWashingtonStudent

nice edit, Rand (hah) :wink:

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California Babe
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby California Babe » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:46 pm

Eco wrote:The untold story of this post: Getting straight Bs= 3.0 or less. Getting As next semester= you won't raise your GPA high enough to get a decent job.


This is absurd.

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Rand M.
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Rand M. » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:48 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Eco wrote:The untold story of this post: Getting straight Bs= 3.0 or less. Getting As next semester= you won't raise your GPA high enough to get a decent job.


QFGeorgeWashingtonStudent

nice edit, Rand (hah)


It felt too harsh for someone who may have just been referring to their own prospects.

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Grizz
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Grizz » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:48 pm

California Babe wrote:
Eco wrote:The untold story of this post: Getting straight Bs= 3.0 or less. Getting As next semester= you won't raise your GPA high enough to get a decent job.


This is absurd.


This.

First semester GPA = 3.1.
Second semester GPA = 3.9

Cumulative GPA = 3.5.

Definitely competitive for biglaw at my school. We don't rank, but that's probably just outside top 20%.

Eco
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Eco » Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:27 pm

It's just the reality of the math + economy. lol

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:58 pm

Focusing on exams and what the prof wants from the beginning of the sem. is crucial.

Fall of 1L I took notes on every CB reading, read like 2 supplements for each class, and worked pretty much all day every day.I did okay (~ 3.5, so about top 20-25%).

In spring I cut WAYYY back on supplements (only used E&E for Torts, and then just for the questions) and focused almost entirely on class notes and old exams. I also quit taking notes on casebook readings, and just read them so they could inform the class discussion (which is when you get the good stuff: i.e., what the prof. wants on the exam). Ended up with a 3.8 (top 5% or so).

Now I just take class notes, review old exams and skip CB readings entirely (haven't touched a supp. since 1L). My grades have gone up since I started focusing entirely on exams and the profs opinion on waht the law is.

THE keys to good grades is giving your prof: 1) their opinion on the law in; 2) their own terminology/phrasing.

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Rand M.
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Rand M. » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:13 pm

Eco wrote:It's just the reality of the math + economy. lol


Not at NYU, which is where the OP goes. "lol"

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MTal
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby MTal » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:16 pm

Unfortunately your improvement is going to come at the expense of someone elses, that's just the nature of the law school game.

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Helmholtz
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Helmholtz » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:18 pm

Rand M. wrote:
Eco wrote:It's just the reality of the math + economy. lol


Not at NYU, which is where the OP goes. "lol"


+1

I'm pretty sure straight B's followed by straight A's would equal something like top third. Pretty sure only being top third at a school like NYU isn't going to doom anybody's chances at a decent job.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby D. H2Oman » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:21 pm

tbf straight b's followed by magically fixing your shit and getting straight A's is like 10,000:1. Of course it's possible, but it's not going to happen.

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Helmholtz
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Helmholtz » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:22 pm

MTal wrote:Unfortunately your improvement is going to come at the expense of someone elses, that's just the nature of the law school game.


Do you know who that sonofabitch was who improved at your dreadful expense?

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Amy wineBerry
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Re: 1Ls Dissapointed with Their Grades: Words of Encouragement

Postby Amy wineBerry » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:08 pm

OP, thanks for your words of encouragement. It really helps to know all is not lost if I'm willing to pinpoint where I messed up and adjust.




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