Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

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Advice4

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Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby Advice4 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:03 pm

I am a URM, NA and MA if it matters. I go to a t14, think MVP. I have one grade back, a B-. The 2.7 roughly equates to the bottom 5-10% of exams. It was my favorite class last semester. This is the only class where I felt good about the final. I thought I even had a chance at receiving a grade above the curve. However, this course was largely recognized as a crap shoot, sort of a write fest. I'm almost certain I did worse on another exam. I was just happy with answering all of the questions and turning something in. I have no idea what to think about the last exam I took, but I think the best grade I could possibly get is a B+.

My school is curved in the 3.2-3.4 range. My ideal market is Texas. I am not big law or bust, but I was hoping to at least have the option of receiving that pay-level in Texas. Although, I would be ecstatic making $100,000 in that market. I have four years of really good work experience in the public interest sector. I am not against a career in public interest, but I don't think there are many groups I would enjoy working for. I don't think I could stand working for the government.

Personally, I did not think I struggled as much as others do their first semester. I have experienced putting in 80 hour weeks in the past, so I didn't think all the work in law school was that bad. I believe I really put in the work my first semester and I do not think my grades are from a lack of effort. Obviously my gpa does not reflect this though. If I were to decide to continue pursuing a legal education I would discuss my exams with my professors to learn from my mistakes. I am hesitant to do it now. I know it will change nothing and I am currently devastated and in shock right now. Plus, I do not want to be one of those people that come to them complaining about their grade and asking them to change it.

I would like to think that I am a realistic person. My predictions are based on realistic expectations and are almost always correct. I fear they will come true and I will be at the bottom 25% of my class. If that is the case, what do I do? I enjoyed my courses last semester, except for one but I think it was solely because of the professor (I really liked the professor I had for the course I received a poor grade in). I am excited to learn more about my classes this semester. However, the deadline to submit grades is after the last dropout day.

I have a scholarship that covers a little less than half of the institute's costs (including books, materials, etc..). I don't want to graduate with a $100K debt and no job, or a job I hate. I don't know what to do or think

QContinuum

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Re: Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby QContinuum » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:15 pm

You're at a T13, and only have a single grade back so far. I think it'd be foolish to decide to drop out now on that basis. First, even at the bottom of your class, you should be able to secure a solid legal job from a T13, especially with the extra "boost" of being a racial minority. Second, at this point there is no basis for expecting that you'd end up at the bottom of your class. Back in first semester of 1L, I got my worst grade in the class I thought I did the best in, and my best grade in the class I thought I bombed. Grades are simply unpredictable, because they are relative to how your classmates performed. You could objectively bomb a test and end up with an A- because you bombed a bit less than your classmates did. You could objectively ace a test and end up at the bottom of the curve because your classmates also aced the test and did a bit better than you did.

Is a B- an "off-the-curve" grade at your T13? My assumption is that it is simply the lowest grade on the curve. Unless you're getting "off-the-curve" bad grades, I wouldn't worry overly much. Law school grade inflation simply hasn't reached the same levels as undergrad grade inflation - plus, you're competing against peers who also topped the curve back in college. The bottom of the class in college would not have made it in to a T13 law school.

Hang in there and wait for your other grades to come back, then see where you stand.

BasilHallward

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Re: Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby BasilHallward » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:25 pm

(1) Relax, only one grade is back. WAIT to get your other 3 grades back and go from there.
(2) Feeling "good" about a final has little correlation to the final grade, because you have no clue how your peers did. Maybe you actually picked up a lot of points on this final, but your peers classmates also picked up a lot of points. It's still a curve.
(3) You're at MVP. Bottom 1/4 students at these schools routinely get BIgLaw jobs, but yeah, definitely not a sure deal. E.g. if you're at Penn and had ties to Texas market, there's a strong chance you get it, unless you're a poor interviewer
(4) If ALL of your final grades put you in bottom 1/4, rerack and go to your professors and find out what went wrong. It's easier to recover at a T13, because you don't have to be an A+ student all of the sudden (although that's great). You only need to put in a median or better performance to put yourself in a solid, albeit not perfect, situation for OCI.

Best of luck!

sting

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Re: Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby sting » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:40 pm

My first grade back at MVP was also a B-, and I also panicked. The next two were A-. Got an A and an A+ in second semester and entered OCI (also targeting TX) in the top quarter. Also NA. I ended up with 6 callbacks in 2009, when most of my classmates had zero to one, and I was awful at interviews back then. The market will likely be much better for you. I ended up with a federal clerkship and am currently a biglaw senior. Relax. Go have a drink and shelve any thoughts of dropping out at least until you get the rest of your grades.

dabigchina

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Re: Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby dabigchina » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:03 pm

How much you like a class has nothing to do with your grade. My favorite professor during all of 1L gave me my worst grade.

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Yugihoe

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Re: Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby Yugihoe » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:12 pm

Chill out. I had a B+, B, and B- semester one, and A-, B, B+, B second semester and I still had like 9-10 call backs.

QContinuum

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Re: Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby QContinuum » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:18 pm

Yugihoe wrote:Chill out. I had a B+, B, and B- semester one, and A-, B, B+, B second semester and I still had like 9-10 call backs.

Yes, this is the beauty of attending a T13. You can be median - or even below median - and still do just fine on the BigLaw front. Sure, having a 3.6 will give you more options, and get you into a more prestigious firm, but you can still land a market-paying job with a 3.0.

sev

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Re: Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby sev » Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:10 am

Advice4 wrote:I go to a t14, think MVP. (...) My school is curved in the 3.2-3.4 range. (...) My ideal market is Texas. (...) I have four years of really good work experience in the public interest sector. (...)Personally, I did not think I struggled as much as others do their first semester.

You'll be fine. Just talk to people in the Texas market--cold email some alumni or use whatever contacts you have to get short phone conversations with people you think you might want to work with. Or just cold email random people you have no connection with. The name attached to your degree is something few other people have in Texas.

(Virtually?) everyone gets a job coming out of MVP and you'll be no exception.

or a job I hate.

Depending on your professor, the practice of law can be much different than your classroom experience. Try to get involved in the actual practice of law as soon as possible (pro bono work/clinics if they're open to 1Ls) and see if you still enjoy it.

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LSATWiz.com

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Re: Contemplating Dropping Out - All Advice Welcomed

Postby LSATWiz.com » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:30 pm

You’re also a URM. You don’t need the same grades to get the same job offers. If you are within .2 of median, it would be much better than being a non-URM above median. If you median the other classes, you’re fine. Just be anove the bottom 20 percent and interview well.



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