Withdraw Advice

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interalia504
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Withdraw Advice

Postby interalia504 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:28 am

Hey Guys. What are your thoughts on a "W" on a law school transcript? [I know there have been a plethora of threads pertaining to "Ws" on undergrad transcripts, but not law school transcripts]. How do you think employers view them? I am currently signed up for 16 credits, Law Review, Clinic, and working 20 hours per week, and it is just too much. I am currently a 3L, and will be able to graduate on time if I drop one of my courses. Thanks!

Gorki
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Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby Gorki » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:42 am

Well I can only assume it will not be very positive. It will probably be brought up in interviews. Employers will probe into: why you dropped that class in particular, why you took on more than you could chew ---> because of this, could you even handle all your responsibilities as a firm associate?

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sunynp
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Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby sunynp » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:54 am

interalia504 wrote:Hey Guys. What are your thoughts on a "W" on a law school transcript? [I know there have been a plethora of threads pertaining to "Ws" on undergrad transcripts, but not law school transcripts]. How do you think employers view them? I am currently signed up for 16 credits, Law Review, Clinic, and working 20 hours per week, and it is just too much. I am currently a 3L, and will be able to graduate on time if I drop one of my courses. Thanks!


I would drop one if you can't manage all this work. It doesn't matter what it looks like to firms. It is more important that you do all the stuff you have remaining extremely well.

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howell
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Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby howell » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:04 am

I have seen threads on here regarding Ws on law school transcripts, but I don't recall seeing a lot of responses from people that have had a W and gotten/not gotten a job. All I can offer are my personal experiences and guesses.

I considered withdrawing from a course in law school. It was my second year of part-time law school, and I was working full-time. I was taking two 1L courses, one required post-1L course, and an elective. Work was blowing up (50, 60, 70 hours a week and high-stress), I hated the elective subject matter and already knew I never wanted to practice in that area, and the readings for the elective class were about the heaviest I faced in law school. The class was also filled with people who had a lot of experience in that area of law - one student even taught a portion of one of our classes. In a normal semester, that might not be a problem, but we all know how important 1L grades are, and this class was competing with my already limited attention to those classes.

I ultimately did not drop the course, because I thought I might want the hours to be able to graduate in 3.5 years instead of 4. As it turns out, I took 4 years anyway to pursue certain post-law school work. I ended up getting my lowest grade of law school in the elective class. I also soon quit the job that had been working me so much. In hindsight, I would certainly have dropped the elective class, but that's just for that one situation. I at least had the explanation that I realized I was never going to practice in that area of law and that it would be more useful for me to take electives in other areas.

I went full-time my 4th year and faced a schedule similar to what you're facing. I would first rethink everything to make sure you can't make it work. How important/changeable are grades for you now? You might also be able to find other reasons for withdrawing, such as knowing that you didn't need the credits and would rather take a class with a certain professor in the spring. Being able to show that you're a workhorse (either during that semester or other semesters) would help quell any fears that you can't handle a heavy workload. My guess is that it's not a huge deal as long as you have a plausible, non-whiny reason for dropping the class and that most of the time it won't come up. But I am not a legal recruiter nor have I faced applying for jobs with a W.

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northwood
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Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby northwood » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:04 am

better than a C-, D or F

interalia504
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby interalia504 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:39 am

Thanks for the input, guys. The clinic is just more time consuming than I thought and Tax is more mind-numbing than I could have imagined. Might have to bite the bullet on this one.

thelibear
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Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby thelibear » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:12 am

Could you take one of the courses pass/fail? That might alleviate some of the stress without having a W on your transcript.

interalia504
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby interalia504 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:05 am

thelibear wrote:Could you take one of the courses pass/fail? That might alleviate some of the stress without having a W on your transcript.


I tried that to no avail. I talked to a couple people in the Career Services office and they said one "W" shouldn't raise any flags. It's when students have more than 2 or 3 where it becomes an issue.

zomginternets
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Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby zomginternets » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:11 pm

I recall a thread in the employment section on W's in law school transcripts. An (alleged) recruiter said that it would require some explanation, and a simple "I bit off more than I could chew" might not suffice (shows poor planning skills). I do agree though that dropping the course is better than a low grade in it, and which might drag your other grades down (and thus your overall GPA).

interalia504
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Re: Withdraw Advice

Postby interalia504 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:14 pm

Thanks for the input, guys. After gathering information from various sources -- Career Services, professors, and local attorneys -- I ended up withdrawing it, and it is a relief. If an employer views it in a bad light, shame on me for poor planning. Certainly won't be the last time.




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