Effects of 'Failing' Legal Writing - ?

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Effects of 'Failing' Legal Writing - ?

Postby mes10d » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:57 am

1L at a top 20 (I know I'm deviating from standard jargon, but it's hard for me to use T1 because it makes no sense to place a school that's 16 (for ex.) in the same category as a school that's 50. But anyway.)

I go to a school that grades Legal Writing, and the grading is done with [seemingly] very little rhyme or reason (for ex: Prof. will like how you've structured something when you meet with him, then tear it apart when he grades it. Maybe that's just 'how' it's graded? Either way, it doesn't seem very instructive.)

I received a 'median' grade on the significantly less important memo that we worked on earlier this semester (15% of the grade). We also had a superfluous assignment that's worth 5%, which I did well on (B+).

We just got grades back for a memo that's worth 80% of our grade, and I was 13.5 points below the median (a 57%), 14.5 points below the mean. I was also 3 points higher than the 'low' end of the range. I understand these are 'raw' scores that don't take into account the other memo, 5% assignment, and curve, but they do present the harsh reality of how terribly you did. I don't like to make excuses, and I can see where some of my writing 'sucked', and I could have put more work into it, but...it is what it is now. The class is curved to a B+/A-, and as someone who has never dealt with curves before, all I can gather from that is that a majority of students will end up with a B+/A-?

Therefore, what kind of grade can be expected from 'below average' results? B-, or would it drop into the C+s? I understand that's not 'failing', but to me, that is.

I feel pretty solid about my exams (maybe 'okay' about my lowest, but confident about one, and 'good' about the others), and especially now am hoping for above average grades to even out this mess. I am wondering how likely this will affect chances for summer internships, and how likely this will affect the possibility of transferring? I realize having the grades of four doctrinal classes would be a lot more helpful in this situation, but I'd like to prepare myself for what is or is not likely to happen. I'm a little less worried about summer internships than I am about my transferring situation. I did not sign up for an above-average neurotic amount of work (just the 'average' amount that pretty much every other school gives their 1Ls), and living in a city where you don't see the sun for a consecutive number of days is really screwing with me. I know everyone is stressed their 1L year, and maybe mildly / situationally depressed, but I already deal with that sh_t full-time. If I can transfer to T14 West Coast, or somewhere on the East Coast that does not have this miserable of weather, then I'd really like to do so. I'd be giving up 'a lot' in terms of $$$$ & friends, but I would really like to not be completely miserable for the next 2.5 years.

Given my below average legal writing performance, it's pretty obvious a transfer to the holy trinity is out of the question, right? Would I have a shot w. Boalt? NYU would probably LAWL, too, I'm assuming.

Additionally, employers probably(?) care a lot about legal writing.... so would they even bother to read the attached writing sample to see if it's anything like the grade reflected, or just throw out the resume? (I'm thinking the latter, but it's always nice to have feedback.)

Thanks guys. Happy Holidays.


Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:00 pm

Re: Effects of 'Failing' Legal Writing - ?

Postby NYCFAN1 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:34 pm

wait until to you get all your grades before deciding whether or not to drop out

you could end up fine if you get As in all your doctrinals

are you gunning for big law? if so, a low grade in legal writing from a non-t14 would drastically reduce your chances of getting something

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