Grades complete panic mode

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dell
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:10 pm

Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Wed May 29, 2013 12:44 pm

in panic mode just got 2nd semester grades back completely bombed

first semester i hit just below median with a 3.27

2nd semester 2.6

no clue how this happened i prepared and studied equal to first semester and thought I had a better grasp of material

i go to a school ranked in the t-30

before i had dreams of biglaw but recently before grades i was thinking more of a mid size firm but still doing lit/corporate work

I know im completely dead for biglaw but am i completly dead for mid size firms in either texas (have extreme ties) or dc

also if anyone has any advice on how to spin such a horrible drop in grades during oci or minority fair programs (im a male AA if that makes any difference ) i doubt ill get any interviews now but any advice would be appreciated

dell
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Wed May 29, 2013 1:56 pm

also i already submitted my applications to the SEMJF program with only my first semester grades so i might barely be able to scrape up a few interviews but how in the world do i explain the horrible drop once i get into the interviews

mr.hands
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby mr.hands » Wed May 29, 2013 2:09 pm

dell wrote:also i already submitted my applications to the SEMJF program with only my first semester grades so i might barely be able to scrape up a few interviews but how in the world do i explain the horrible drop once i get into the interviews


What's the real reason for the drop in your grades (not your interview answer)?

dell
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Wed May 29, 2013 2:13 pm

mr.hands wrote:
dell wrote:also i already submitted my applications to the SEMJF program with only my first semester grades so i might barely be able to scrape up a few interviews but how in the world do i explain the horrible drop once i get into the interviews


What's the real reason for the drop in your grades (not your interview answer)?


Thats the thing i honestly dont know..im not gonna bullshit a forum of people trying to give me advice

i prepared almost exactly like i did first semester outlined the same way, same study techniques first semester i was on my way to top 25 percent but one bad grade sank me so i told myself to to prepare the same way. I actually thought i had a better grasp on the material just because i was more familiar with how to study and the relevant info to pull out of the cases ..i just dont know what happened (its really frustating too just to not know what went wrong)

09042014
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 29, 2013 2:28 pm

dell wrote:
mr.hands wrote:
dell wrote:also i already submitted my applications to the SEMJF program with only my first semester grades so i might barely be able to scrape up a few interviews but how in the world do i explain the horrible drop once i get into the interviews


What's the real reason for the drop in your grades (not your interview answer)?


Thats the thing i honestly dont know..im not gonna bullshit a forum of people trying to give me advice

i prepared almost exactly like i did first semester outlined the same way, same study techniques first semester i was on my way to top 25 percent but one bad grade sank me so i told myself to to prepare the same way. I actually thought i had a better grasp on the material just because i was more familiar with how to study and the relevant info to pull out of the cases ..i just dont know what happened (its really frustating too just to not know what went wrong)


Was it one or two really bad grades that sunk you, or did you do uniformly c+ ?

dell
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Wed May 29, 2013 2:34 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
dell wrote:
mr.hands wrote:
dell wrote:also i already submitted my applications to the SEMJF program with only my first semester grades so i might barely be able to scrape up a few interviews but how in the world do i explain the horrible drop once i get into the interviews


What's the real reason for the drop in your grades (not your interview answer)?


Thats the thing i honestly dont know..im not gonna bullshit a forum of people trying to give me advice

i prepared almost exactly like i did first semester outlined the same way, same study techniques first semester i was on my way to top 25 percent but one bad grade sank me so i told myself to to prepare the same way. I actually thought i had a better grasp on the material just because i was more familiar with how to study and the relevant info to pull out of the cases ..i just dont know what happened (its really frustating too just to not know what went wrong)


Was it one or two really bad grades that sunk you, or did you do uniformly c+ ?



not straight c+ but it was pretty bad accross the board

c+
c
b
b-
b

09042014
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 29, 2013 2:46 pm

dell wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
dell wrote:
mr.hands wrote:
What's the real reason for the drop in your grades (not your interview answer)?


Thats the thing i honestly dont know..im not gonna bullshit a forum of people trying to give me advice

i prepared almost exactly like i did first semester outlined the same way, same study techniques first semester i was on my way to top 25 percent but one bad grade sank me so i told myself to to prepare the same way. I actually thought i had a better grasp on the material just because i was more familiar with how to study and the relevant info to pull out of the cases ..i just dont know what happened (its really frustating too just to not know what went wrong)


Was it one or two really bad grades that sunk you, or did you do uniformly c+ ?



not straight c+ but it was pretty bad accross the board

c+
c
b
b-
b


I think you might have more luck reaching out to career services and other upper classmen African Americans to see what they say about what what type of job you can get with those grades. I'd have to guess you got no real shot with a high paying firm, but maybe a midsize firm would consider that.

As for explaining the grades, I think most grads know grades can be sort of crazy. Saying "I studied the same and had worse results" isn't as stupid as it sounds. Maybe talk to your professors about the grades and see what they say.

mr.hands
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby mr.hands » Wed May 29, 2013 2:57 pm

I agree with the above. Talk to your CSO, mass mail, and go to minority job fairs.

Getting the screener will be the toughest, once you get to a callback stage (or something similar), you know that the employer is willing to look past this semester.

dell
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Wed May 29, 2013 2:58 pm

What's the real reason for the drop in your grades (not your interview answer)?[/quote]

Thats the thing i honestly dont know..im not gonna bullshit a forum of people trying to give me advice

i prepared almost exactly like i did first semester outlined the same way, same study techniques first semester i was on my way to top 25 percent but one bad grade sank me so i told myself to to prepare the same way. I actually thought i had a better grasp on the material just because i was more familiar with how to study and the relevant info to pull out of the cases ..i just dont know what happened (its really frustating too just to not know what went wrong)[/quote]

Was it one or two really bad grades that sunk you, or did you do uniformly c+ ?[/quote]


not straight c+ but it was pretty bad accross the board

c+
c
b
b-
b[/quote]

I think you might have more luck reaching out to career services and other upper classmen African Americans to see what they say about what what type of job you can get with those grades. I'd have to guess you got no real shot with a high paying firm, but maybe a midsize firm would consider that.

As for explaining the grades, I think most grads know grades can be sort of crazy. Saying "I studied the same and had worse results" isn't as stupid as it sounds. Maybe talk to your professors about the grades and see what they say.[/quote]

Thank you i definately plan on doing that i just need to let the panic subside and then take it from there

I have a few connections down in texas ..my old boss is very good friends with a parnter at a midsize firm in texas who she aslo shares the name of the founding partner so i m going to reach out to him and my cousin is a partner at a biglaw firm that is headquartered intexas but is international ill see what he has to say

I just havent reached out to them yet mainly becasue im slightly embarased to tell them

but thanks again for your advice

rmorris87
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby rmorris87 » Wed May 29, 2013 3:01 pm

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that you're completely and totally fucked. No, but actually. You're completely fucked.

09042014
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 29, 2013 3:02 pm

rmorris87 wrote:I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that you're completely and totally fucked. No, but actually. You're completely fucked.


I think being AA might mitigate this a bit. But smaller firms probably do less diversity hiring.

dell
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Thu May 30, 2013 8:28 am

As mentioned above I sent in buds for the semjf minority job fair the final bids aren't due until this Friday should I update my apps with my current grades or just keep my first semester only hope I can get interviews and then try to explain to interviewers what happened?

mr.hands
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby mr.hands » Thu May 30, 2013 12:11 pm

dell wrote:As mentioned above I sent in buds for the semjf minority job fair the final bids aren't due until this Friday should I update my apps with my current grades or just keep my first semester only hope I can get interviews and then try to explain to interviewers what happened?


I think you'll have to update it. You risk pissing off employers if they find out that you didn't update, especially if they suspect that it was an intentional attempt to mislead them

dell
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Thu May 30, 2013 12:16 pm

mr.hands wrote:
dell wrote:As mentioned above I sent in buds for the semjf minority job fair the final bids aren't due until this Friday should I update my apps with my current grades or just keep my first semester only hope I can get interviews and then try to explain to interviewers what happened?


I think you'll have to update it. You risk pissing off employers if they find out that you didn't update, especially if they suspect that it was an intentional attempt to mislead them


yeah thats what I was thinking, I just emailed my career planning office to get their opinion on it, but you're probably right

dell
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Thu May 30, 2013 2:28 pm

I still havent gotten a hold of my professors yet to see exactly where things went wrong but Thinking back and trying to remember everythng that was goign on during finals the only thing that I can point is that about the last month of the semester (finals inlcuded) I started to suffer severe migraines on and off during finals i didnt think that it affected me all that much. im the kind of person who doesnt like to make excuses and try to just push through stuff thats bothering me but maybe it affected my exam taking more than i thought

will firms even care about this or will they see it as whining...as mentioned before my first semester grades were decent bordering on being pretty good and I know that those grades are more indicitive of my ability than these grades

and even if they do care about this, how do i bring this up (cover letter, supplement to my transcript??)

KamaalTheAbstract
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby KamaalTheAbstract » Thu May 30, 2013 3:06 pm

Had an African American roommate at a slightly better school (ranked 18-25) and about a 3.25. He completely struck out of OCI and ended up with 3 callback interview from the numerous job fairs he participated in and got no offers. You will probably get nothing from oci and while you will get interviews from the job fairs, particularly the one you applied to without spring grades, you're going to have to update them on spring grades before anything happens and that will prevent you from advancing any further. As an AA law school grad I'm pretty confident you will strike out. Best chance will be to look for part time clerk positions. If you do well and they have a need, you could get a job that way. I'm sorry your spring grades were so low but I don't think there is anyway that being an AA male will overcome having a sub 3.0 GPA. Especially with those C's and B's.

KamaalTheAbstract
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby KamaalTheAbstract » Thu May 30, 2013 3:09 pm

dell wrote:I still havent gotten a hold of my professors yet to see exactly where things went wrong but Thinking back and trying to remember everythng that was goign on during finals the only thing that I can point is that about the last month of the semester (finals inlcuded) I started to suffer severe migraines on and off during finals i didnt think that it affected me all that much. im the kind of person who doesnt like to make excuses and try to just push through stuff thats bothering me but maybe it affected my exam taking more than i thought

will firms even care about this or will they see it as whining...as mentioned before my first semester grades were decent bordering on being pretty good and I know that those grades are more indicitive of my ability than these grades

and even if they do care about this, how do i bring this up (cover letter, supplement to my transcript??)


I would normally advise against telling them you had a migraine to explain your performance but like I said I think there's no way you have any success with those grades so it might not hurt.

dell
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Thu May 30, 2013 3:26 pm

KamaalTheAbstract wrote:
dell wrote:I still havent gotten a hold of my professors yet to see exactly where things went wrong but Thinking back and trying to remember everythng that was goign on during finals the only thing that I can point is that about the last month of the semester (finals inlcuded) I started to suffer severe migraines on and off during finals i didnt think that it affected me all that much. im the kind of person who doesnt like to make excuses and try to just push through stuff thats bothering me but maybe it affected my exam taking more than i thought

will firms even care about this or will they see it as whining...as mentioned before my first semester grades were decent bordering on being pretty good and I know that those grades are more indicitive of my ability than these grades

and even if they do care about this, how do i bring this up (cover letter, supplement to my transcript??)


I would normally advise against telling them you had a migraine to explain your performance but like I said I think there's no way you have any success with those grades so it might not hurt.


Thanks for your reply...yeah i know im facing an entirely uphill maybe impossible battle. Biglaw is probably for sure out fo the question but Im mainly focusing on looking at midlaw options. I have a few connections back in texas that might be able to pay dividends so we will see but thanks you agin for your reply

do you happend to know if your roomate had any luck with mass mailing and the like?

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Jsa725
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby Jsa725 » Thu May 30, 2013 3:33 pm

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Last edited by Jsa725 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dell
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Thu May 30, 2013 3:46 pm

Jsa725 wrote:IMO, you gotta hustle starting now...
you are not out of the woods if you network like a BOSS. reach out to as many law firm recruiters as possible (big, mid, small), schedule phone calls, meet for coffee... YOU MUST do everything you can to become a "person" in their eyes... otherwise, you will be known on paper - aka by your resume only.


I am definately going to do this ive started contacing people, the only problem is im doing my internship in florida for the summer which is not my choice market but given my current situtation beggers cant be choosers so if i can make the right connects down here i would be happy to be here. luckily the judge im interningfor used to be managing partner of a firm here so im hoping to ace this internship and hope he'll connect me with people...but im definately picking up the phone and starting to email everybody i can think of

dell
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby dell » Thu May 30, 2013 3:49 pm

Thanks again for everyone's replies they have been very helpful. the last thing i needed after seing my grades was the usual tls opinions of dropout, your screwed go away posts

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hephaestus
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby hephaestus » Thu May 30, 2013 4:19 pm

Jsa725 wrote:IMO, you gotta hustle starting now...
you are not out of the woods if you network like a BOSS. reach out to as many law firm recruiters as possible (big, mid, small), schedule phone calls, meet for coffee... YOU MUST do everything you can to become a "person" in their eyes... otherwise, you will be known on paper - aka by your resume only.

Definitely try to schedule informational interviews. Meet under the guise of trying to learn about the market without even mentioning that you want to shake down a job from the person you meet.

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alicrimson
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby alicrimson » Thu May 30, 2013 7:44 pm

dell wrote:
c+
c
b
b-
b


I know you're concerned about OCI, but there are job possibilities outside of that process. Start reaching out to contacts in Texas. See if you can meet folks for coffee, drinks, whatever. Try to apply early. Friends of mine who had lower grades and secured SA gigs all hustled early. You need to get your resume out early and keep going until something happens---I'd shoot for July.

You didn't ask for grades advice, but the end game is to get a job after graduation. You can still get your gpa up. You should make appointments to speak with your professors as soon as you possibly can. Get them to go over your exam and show you how you can make your answer better. Maybe take LEEWs. Evaluate how you studied: groups, making outlines, using others', supplements, etc. What could improve? There's always something. Maybe it was just confusion about the style of analysis that your profs wanted.

Good luck!

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arkansawyer
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby arkansawyer » Fri May 31, 2013 5:55 pm

Hey dude, sorry to hear about your grades, I know this has got to be a rough way to start the summer. I don't know your situation, but first thing you should do is have a very real talk with OCS about your prospects. Don't let them bullshit you - you need stats on job placement (firms and salary) for AA students with your grades in the markets your looking at.

If those numbers are not good, and they probably will not be, then you should consider dropping out. Maybe the numbers will be better than either of us thinks, or maybe you are on a full ride, but I think you should consider bailing.

That advice isn't popular and you may feel like you've given up a year of your life. But if you double down on a bad bet, you could regret it for the rest of your life.

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Lexaholik
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Re: Grades complete panic mode

Postby Lexaholik » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:00 pm

dell wrote:in panic mode just got 2nd semester grades back completely bombed

first semester i hit just below median with a 3.27

2nd semester 2.6

no clue how this happened i prepared and studied equal to first semester and thought I had a better grasp of material

i go to a school ranked in the t-30

before i had dreams of biglaw but recently before grades i was thinking more of a mid size firm but still doing lit/corporate work

I know im completely dead for biglaw but am i completly dead for mid size firms in either texas (have extreme ties) or dc

also if anyone has any advice on how to spin such a horrible drop in grades during oci or minority fair programs (im a male AA if that makes any difference ) i doubt ill get any interviews now but any advice would be appreciated


i think there's some good advice in this thread on how to move forward. for the more narrow question of how to spin your grades, i'd say take a hard look at your grades and see if there were any patterns. examples:

- did you do better at a certain type of substantive law? (i did better in civil litigation/criminal because i'm intersted in being a prosecutor; i did better in contracts/property because i'm interested in real estate law).

- did you do better at a specific exam type? (i did better at term paper finals rather than exam finals)

- did you do better at legal writing than at your substantive classes? (i'm better when i have more time to complete assignments, i'm good at putting together memos)

there are patterns in your transcript. whether they are true or not, you should use those patterns to your advantage. most employers will likely not even give you a chance given your dip in grades. but remember all you have to do is get to the interview stage, and once you get there, all you have to do is convince one employer to take a chance on you.

as an aside, this is not unlike what litigators do when the caselaw goes against them. if 18 out of the 20 cases out there on the point in issue go against their client's position, they'll find a way to explain why the present case is like the 2 cases and unlike the 18 cases. they don't always win, but sometimes they do.




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