gnuwheels wrote: somewhatwayward wrote: gnuwheels wrote:
bartleby wrote: I don't think my "improved grades" got me anywhere. You'll just have to 1.) give up the big law dream if that was even a dream, 2.) not be picky with what you can get - hopefully paid but if not, it's okay too
So even if I do much better this semester i'm pretty screwed in terms of getting a job? Are employers going to ignore good grades this semester and just focus on the bad ones?
What type of job are you aiming for? Bartleby is right that big law is probably out of the question even with a 4.0 this semester. If that is what you really wanted, then of course you should apply but you realistically need a backup. During 2L and 3L (if you decide not to drop out), you should work various jobs during the school year to make connections and get experience.
It is not that employers look only at the bad grades and not the (hypothetical) good ones; it is that in this market employers are inundated with resumes from people who did well both semesters of 1L, so why should they hire the person who only had one good semester? This is only applicable to grade-conscious employers, though (grade-conscious = big law, federal government, clerkship, prestigious PI).
But, say I fixed whatever my problem is and got hypothetically A-, A-, A, i'd be just above median, which I thought didn't make big law out of the question. I have heard from some that employers are concerned more with the actual GPA than the individual grades, and surely having the better semester second rather than first should help, or am i just being naive?
Or, put succinctly, if i manage to pull myself above median could I have a shot at a job, even with these current grades?
The answer to your first question depends (sort of) on the school. Median at a T14 (especially upper T14) has a good chance at big law. Median at T50...not so much. The caveat, though, is that even for CCN, some firms have absolute no B- policies or, at the very least, they are skeptical of B-s, and you have a B- and a C+. I am not sure how a firm would handle someone who got a 2.7 first semester and a 3.7 the next semester. I have known people making big jumps like 3.1 to 3.7 or 3.3 to 3.8, and they were more or less treated as their overall GPA as you suggest. But at least at T14 a 3.1 is worlds away from a 2.7 because a 2.7 is rock-bottom of the class (this may not be true on your curve if you are not at a T14), and I think you would have some obstacles overcoming it. Is a C+ discretionary at your school? If so, most people won't have them, which can make you stick out. This is not to say that you shouldn't apply to big law if big law is what you want, but you better have a backup.
The good news is the answer to your second question (whether you can get a
job). I sort of already said this but once you get outside the grade-conscious jobs, as implied by the name, your grades will matter less. Relevant experience and connections will matter more. That is why working during the school year (in addition to during the summer) is crucial: you get extra experience and connections as compared to the people who only work during the summer. There is a poster named Matthies who has posted a lot about how to get a job through networking. You should look for his posts (not now! now you should be studying like crazy) and follow the advice he has. There is also a book called Guerilla Tactics for Getting a Legal Job (or something like that) which should be helpful to you.
I can't remember if I already recommended going to all your professors and going through your exams in painstaking detail, but do that. You need to figure out what the A person did right and you did wrong on the actual exam-taking. Also, the person who recommended memorizing your outline is on the money. You should barely be referring to it at all.