Bottom 7% how is this possible?

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Insanity
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Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby Insanity » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:59 pm

Thank you all for your contribution, and for not quoting my original post as requested.
Especially those of you who PM'ed me, shared personal experiences, dropped by to give words of encouragement--those were extremely helpful and encouraging, thank you.

On the other hand, it seems like this thread is turning into an extremist gpa vs. network battle contrary to my purpose so I'm taking this down. Also my undergrad degree is not a worthless humanities degree and 50k is close to what i used to/still can make (hopefully). but i really enjoyed law that's what made my situation so difficult.

Anyway i got flagged for using an alt so this will be taken down soon (sorry mod, and thanks for the discreet PM).
I hope to stay in touch with some of you via my real one.
Last edited by Insanity on Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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gdane
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby gdane » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:05 pm

Sorry dude. It happens. At least you tried.

Could you figure out why you did poorly? Have you gone over your past exams? Looked at your mistakes?

If you have no debt I'd say stick with it. You have another semester to go. Figure out what happened and try to improve. Good luck.

NYstate
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby NYstate » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:08 pm

What I would do? Drop out. You will never recover from where you are and are likely to never practice law.


The curve does this to people. It's a mistake to assume you will do well in law school based on your LSAT. I'm not sure why URM or WE are relevant.

What should you do? What are your goals and your debt?
I think you should drop out unless you have a family who can give you a job.

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Bikeflip
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby Bikeflip » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:39 pm

Sucks dude, but you'd need to absolutely kill it this semester (top 10%) to even be near median. Even near median, OCI probably won't be kind to you. It's a long-hard road, and dropping out would actually put you on an easier road.

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PepperJack
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby PepperJack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:50 pm

What were the issues? Many people have focus issues, in fact most do. Many still pull top 10 percent. In fact, not having any ADD-like symptoms is the rarity.

If your debt is under 50k to get a t-20 JD, staying can be worth it but coming back for OCI is a longshot.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:52 pm

You can talk to your law school administration about securing accommodations for this semester's exams, but I'd put the odds of them somehow changing last semester's grades at about a thousand to one.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:02 pm

The above posters suggesting dropping out probably have the most rational response, especially assuming you want biglaw. They are absolutely correct that anything grades-sensitive (which is most legal positions) is likely forever closed to you. People with bad grades can get legal jobs - either by going into a field that doesn't care as much about grades (most PDs I know have never had to show anyone a transcript, for instance), or knowing the right people in the right places, or hustling like crazy to make connections, or all three - but obviously doing so is MUCH much harder and banking on a good job is MUCH riskier, especially depending on what you want to do.

However, if you really really really do want to be a lawyer (and aren't just scared of the unknown/unsure of what else you would/could do - which would be completely natural, but is not a good reason to continue with law school), is withdrawing and starting over next fall (with appropriate accommodations) a possibility? Someone from my law school class did that - I don't know what happened with their grades, but they redid all of 1L year, and they're now a PD. You'd have to talk to your school to find out if this is an option, and what happens with your grades (I have no idea whether the person I know withdrew because they were doing terribly or if there was something else going on).

Also, if you do seriously consider continuing (which everyone else will, probably rightly, tell you not to do), are you sure you'd do any better? I'm not asking you to tell us about the issues that might have affected your performance, but are they issues that can get resolved sufficiently that you'd do better next semester? If you are seriously thinking of continuing, how realistic is it that those issues won't cause you problems again? (That is, are there accommodations that would really make a difference in your performance, and do you know that with accommodations you'd excel? Or were the issues purely situational and now resolved? Again, not asking you to answer this here, just things to think about.)

Finally, you mention no debt - would you have any debt at the end of the year? If you wouldn't, you could maybe try a second semester and see what happens (again, everyone is probably right to tell you not to do this). That is, if it's not going to cost you any money, I don't think one year of law school is going to hurt you any more than one semester of law school, although you may not end up in any better position and you may be facing the same decision in May. If the next semester would put you in debt, though, that's a harder argument to make.

Insanity
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby Insanity » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:05 pm

bye bye
Last edited by Insanity on Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby SemperLegal » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:14 pm

When is your last day to drop without having to pay some amount? If you already owe a decent chunk of money (10%> of tuition, you might has well give it another semester and try to see if you can either (a) raise your grade, or (b) network your way into a nonlawyer career (e.g. if your "purpose" was to help undocumented workers, try to go to has many events in that field as possible and try to build contacts and referrals to be a caseworker/paralegal/investigator/organizer or whatever will give you the same, or greater, sense of accomplishment than merely talking about the issue.)

If you owe nothing now and are going to be in debt at the end of the year, I say this is exactly when you are supposed to drop. If you truly were working your ass off, its hard to imagine how you will move up in rank, since everyone else will be stepping up their game. Some people just don't have the innate thinking process for law, its nothing to be ashamed of anymore than it makes sense to beat yourself up for not being Kobe. Many people are too analytical or retentive for law school, because professors prefer imitation and adherence to group think over true creativity and analysis.

Sorry this happened.

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Cicero76
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby Cicero76 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:14 pm

Law school exams are a dumb concept. This sucks.

That said, if you can get through LS with little debt (is your scholly gone now?), then maybe dropping out is not the answer. High flying legal jobs Most legal jobs are now closed to you for a long time, but there's no reason to think you couldn't still have a career sometime, 10-15 years down the road, that involves your JD. A T20 is not a TTT. Even right after graduation, working something with your JD is possible, and maybe that's better than the backup plan you have available if you drop out. Depends on your situation though.

09042014
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:15 pm

Insanity wrote:reasons



Those things are fairly serious, but if you honestly did all the things you said you did in your first post, they shouldn't really impact your game day performance. If your issues caused you to not study hard enough, that would explain things. But it sounds like you studied hard anyway.

The most likely cause is that you just aren't very good at law school exams. No shame in it, everyone in your class is qualified to be there and somebody has to be dead fucking last.

Drop out.

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gdane
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby gdane » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:15 pm

I give you mad props for recognizing your shortcomings and being self-aware. Just remember, it's not the end of the world just cause you didn't do well first semester. I'm sure you'll be fine if you decide to not continue with law school.
Good luck.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby SemperLegal » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:18 pm

"Gov" is really to broad to give input, however my limited experience is:

1. State prosecutors/PDs/AGs, less grade sensitive. If you get decent grades and can craft a narrative next semester, you might have a chance, depending on ties and market.
2. Federal Prosc. and PDs, more grade sensitive, might have a chance if you get top grades next semester.
3. Honors/Clerk/DoJ/CFPB/SEC/etc. most grade sensitive. Door is probs closed.
4. In house for an obscure agency, requires biglaw experience

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sd5289
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby sd5289 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:20 pm

NYstate wrote:The curve does this to people. It's a mistake to assume you will do well in law school based on your LSAT. I'm not sure why URM or WE are relevant.


Dunno about URM (I am not one), but everyone I know who had somewhat substantial WE tended to do better over those who didn't, myself included. I won't speak as to the actual effect of being an URM, but WE generally (but not always) denotes a more nuanced view of how law actually plays out as opposed to how it looks in the pretty little casebook.

And OP: your first post reminded me of a good friend of mine who was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder during 2L year (similarly situated in a T-30 school). She said the same thing you did, which was everyone seemed to be having problems and she didn't see why hers was any different and why she couldn't pull it together. Well, having a debilitating panic attack every day that resulted from a chemical imbalance in your brain will do that to you. Thankfully she went into the student health center and got help. She was pretty much median after 1L year, but her grades noticeably improved after she sought help. I still don't know how she got as far as she did without bombing out. Law school's been hard / time-consuming enough, and I couldn't imagine trying to go through it with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder.

I don't know if that's part of what you're dealing with, but PTSD is certainly a big deal. It has the same debilitative capacity as severe anxiety does. I can understand why the hole you're in is pretty terrifying (I'd be freaked at that too), but one silver line is that it's still very early in your law school career. I won't pretend that you won't need to pull out some pretty stellar grades for at least the next couple of semester, which may not be possible, and should NOT be something you attempt if it's going to throw you into significant debt. The suggestion that A. Nony Mouse made is a good option to if your school will allow you do to that. However, regardless of what you do (with the exception of dropping out), your first priority should be getting yourself taken care of. Trying to blunder through without these issues resolved will only make things worse.

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LexLeon
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby LexLeon » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:32 pm

Employers might be more impressed by a shift from the bottom 10% to the top 10% than they would be by merely good, but consistent, grades. (I've heard an advisor say that before; maybe other advisors or knowledgeable hiring attorneys would agree.) A note of the improvement could actually be a highlight in a cover letter.

(Remember that employers aren't being ranked according to the GPA's of the people they hire. If you can demonstrate that you're intelligent and capable of doing they work they'd require of you, why would they care about a set of poor first semester grades, which demonstrably fail to indicate your potential as an attorney?)

Have you ever learned of someone who was able to pull off an improvement of that magnitude? I'd be willing to bet things ended up favorably for him or her.

It's certainly possible for you to pull off an improvement like that. But I think how you should proceed is a matter of the conclusions you'd arrive at after careful reflection and deep prayer or meditation over some time.

Stay strong, brother or sister!

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby brotherdarkness » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:36 pm

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:37 pm

Stop with the top 10% nonsense. It won't happen.

mr.hands
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby mr.hands » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:57 pm

Clearly, there is a gap between how you thought you did and how you actually performed. That's concerning. Talk to your professors and see what's wrong. You probably made the same mistake on every exam.

You say that you have no debt at this point. If you won't incur debt with this semester, obviously keep going and see how the end of 1L looks.

It's A Lion
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby It's A Lion » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:02 pm

OP, what kind of feedback did you get from profs/students about your practice exams?

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PepperJack
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby PepperJack » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:08 pm

This isn't true. Who are you? There are preset cutoffs for every school at every firm. The recruiters choosing who to fly in are going off of a preconceived cutoff list. They aren't looking that deeply into it.

LexLeon wrote:Employers might be more impressed by a shift from the bottom 10% to the top 10% than they would be by merely good, but consistent, grades. (I've heard an advisor say that before; maybe other advisors or knowledgeable hiring attorneys would agree.) A note of the improvement could actually be a highlight in a cover letter.

(Remember that employers aren't being ranked according to the GPA's of the people they hire. If you can demonstrate that you're intelligent and capable of doing they work they'd require of you, why would they care about a set of poor first semester grades, which demonstrably fail to indicate your potential as an attorney?)

Have you ever learned of someone who was able to pull off an improvement of that magnitude? I'd be willing to bet things ended up favorably for him or her.

It's certainly possible for you to pull off an improvement like that. But I think how you should proceed is a matter of the conclusions you'd arrive at after careful reflection and deep prayer or meditation over some time.

Stay strong, brother or sister!

09042014
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:13 pm

PepperJack wrote:This isn't true. Who are you? There are preset cutoffs for every school at every firm. The recruiters choosing who to fly in are going off of a preconceived cutoff list. They aren't looking that deeply into it.

LexLeon wrote:Employers might be more impressed by a shift from the bottom 10% to the top 10% than they would be by merely good, but consistent, grades. (I've heard an advisor say that before; maybe other advisors or knowledgeable hiring attorneys would agree.) A note of the improvement could actually be a highlight in a cover letter.

(Remember that employers aren't being ranked according to the GPA's of the people they hire. If you can demonstrate that you're intelligent and capable of doing they work they'd require of you, why would they care about a set of poor first semester grades, which demonstrably fail to indicate your potential as an attorney?)

Have you ever learned of someone who was able to pull off an improvement of that magnitude? I'd be willing to bet things ended up favorably for him or her.

It's certainly possible for you to pull off an improvement like that. But I think how you should proceed is a matter of the conclusions you'd arrive at after careful reflection and deep prayer or meditation over some time.

Stay strong, brother or sister!



You don't know what you are talking about.

sparty99
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby sparty99 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:15 pm

The people who say you will never be able to practice law are on crack. However, you 99% won't be getting big law. No to government honors programs. You probably won't finish at median. You can leverage your JD degree into another career if you want to stick with a graduate degree. Your chance at a legal job will be legal aid, poverty type jobs. Or if you have work experience, perhaps, a 10 person law firm. You can still become a lawyer, but your employment options are bleak. Just a FYI, I'm below median at a school near T20 and I get legal interviews. It's not robust, but it aint completely dead.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:21 pm

Law school isn't for you, and neither is the practice of law. Another semester is a waste of time, and you're going to be crushed again after second semester. You're not going to end up above median, and more probably will be bottom third despite your best efforts. You want opinions - sorry for the bad news, but time to move on. You're probably not going to find success in the law. And that's ok. I'd be a terrible accountant, so I didn't become one. I suspect there is something else in the world you could study or do and end up being above bottom 7%. Good luck with finding it, but another semester of law school is not worth the lost opportunity cost of your time, let alone any debt you'll accrue.

rad lulz
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:36 pm

m
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minnbills
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Re: Bottom 7% how is this possible?

Postby minnbills » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:40 pm

These people saying you can't be successful as a lawyer are full of shit. Don't let anyone on here tell you what you can or can't do.

That said, the job search is going to be really tough, and dropping out is the safe choice. If you do decide to stay, load up on as much practical experience as possible, and try to game the curve to make your grades more respectable.

Since you have no debt, it is NBD to walk away now.




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