Horrible Legal Writing Grade. Should I Drop?

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404

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Horrible Legal Writing Grade. Should I Drop?

Postby 404 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:24 pm

First semester grades came back and I am right at median at a low tier 1 school located in a city with a fairly strong legal market (compared to other cities). Big Law has never appealed to me as I would much rather work in the public sector. I also have a scholarship but it does not cover full tuition so I will have some pretty substantial debt by the end of law school. I am familiar with the horrendous employment rates for law school graduates and do not think I will be the exception to the statistics. However, I really like law school and genuinely want to become an attorney. I am wondering if it would be more beneficial for me to just cut my losses and drop out though since I have no shot at being in the top 10% by the end of semester 2; it is mathematically impossible.

I feel like I should add that had it not been for my legal writing grade, I would have been top 25% and very close to top 10%. For some reason I did horrible in legal writing and it tanked my gpa. I am dumbfounded by it too because on all of my practice papers I received A's or A-'s. Of all classes to do bad in, I feel like that class is the worst since its the only skills class law students take and is the most indicative of the work I would produce as an attorney.

Thoughts? Advice?

mcmand

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Re: Horrible Legal Writing Grade. Should I Drop?

Postby mcmand » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:32 pm

Without knowing your specific school it's hard to say more about your employment chances, but if you're T1, you probably have a greater than 50% chance of being employed as an attorney. You should look at your school's numbers to confirm. Also, providing your GPA here would be helpful. We can't assess how bad things are without it. For all we know, you're freaking out because you have a 3.0 or 3.3, which while not great are not career ending.

Your post reads like you've backed yourself into a corner. It sounds like you went to law school expecting to be top 10%, yet 90% of people won't be in that lucky group. Now that you're not, you're freaking out.

If you don't want biglaw, your GPA is not going to be the driver of your employment anyway. Your networking and your work product during your internships will speak for themselves.

I suggest you stop freaking out, talk to your legal writing proof, see where things went well, and reapply yourself this term. You'll be fine.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

albanach

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Re: Horrible Legal Writing Grade. Should I Drop?

Postby albanach » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:04 pm

mcmand wrote:Without knowing your specific school it's hard to say more about your employment chances, but if you're T1, you probably have a greater than 50% chance of being employed as an attorney. You should look at your school's numbers to confirm. Also, providing your GPA here would be helpful. We can't assess how bad things are without it. For all we know, you're freaking out because you have a 3.0 or 3.3, which while not great are not career ending.

Your post reads like you've backed yourself into a corner. It sounds like you went to law school expecting to be top 10%, yet 90% of people won't be in that lucky group. Now that you're not, you're freaking out.

If you don't want biglaw, your GPA is not going to be the driver of your employment anyway. Your networking and your work product during your internships will speak for themselves.

I suggest you stop freaking out, talk to your legal writing proof, see where things went well, and reapply yourself this term. You'll be fine.


Presumably you have another semester of legal writing to go. Go talk with your professor about what went wrong and make sure you fix it this time around. In hiring - even for summers - I'm always looking at writing grades and I usually read some or all of the writing sample too. And if it's awful, I'll let others in the office know to take a look.

However, if you go from a C to a B+, and your writing sample is well written, without stupid typos on the first page or a sentence that lasts for 634 words, I'm going to put the C down as an aberration and not worry about it.

If you're already at median, fixing this should be a good way to get yourself up above it.

404

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Re: Horrible Legal Writing Grade. Should I Drop?

Postby 404 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:47 am

Thanks for the advice.
My gpa is a 3.2 but I thought percentiles were what counted since so many law schools artificially inflate GPAs?
As far as my school's employment goes: according to ABA employment stats 88% found a job 10 mo post grad but only 72% were full time JD jobs.
I am definitely going to meet with my legal writing professor but for some reason my school won't let its students meet to discuss grades in legal writing for another two weeks. So until then, all I can do is wonder.

mcmand

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Re: Horrible Legal Writing Grade. Should I Drop?

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:13 am

72% full time bar passage required jobs is actually not bad at all.

A 3.2 is not going to consign you to a horrible legal career. Even if it never went up, I expect you will hustle and network and probably make things work out. Class ranking matters yes, but once you're outside of top 25 percent/top third of the class the employers are not going to weigh it much, if at all. At that point, it's everything else about you that's being assessed, like your work product and your interest in the job, and who recommended you.

If this doesn't improve, switch gears to just networking like crazy. And FYI, profs sometimes are still willing to be a reference even if you only got a B or B+. If they felt you were a good student or you have a good relationship with them, or the reason your grade is low is you just missed some issues and your exam was well written and demonstrated a good grasp of the material, they'll still help you out. Build relationships with them. They can help.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lavarman84

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Re: Horrible Legal Writing Grade. Should I Drop?

Postby lavarman84 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:56 am

Relax. You'll be fine. You want to do government work anyways. Grades aren't unimportant, but internships, networking, and a resume that reflects your interest are more important.



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