cookiejar1 wrote:You only have half of your 1L cumulative GPA. You can - and will - do better. You cannot make the same mistakes again. This will be tough but you have to go back and examine what you did wrong in your previous exams. You need to spend a lot of time doing this even though it's tough to revisit bad exams. You probably need to do something different and change around what obviously worked for you in the past (presumably your old strategy has failed you). Talk to professors and try to identify what tactical errors you made (not arguing in the alternative; too many conclusory statements; not identifying enough issues, etc.) and talk to a mentor about the strategical errors that you may have also made (have someone look over your outline, talk about your study habits, have someone look over your classnotes - are you focusing on the right thing? Are you preparing for exams in the right way?).
You have to - really have to - take a proactive approach and adapt to the law school game. These exams are very learnable. Worst thing you can do right now is make the same mistakes. You're not someone with "below-median" intelligence. Law school exams are a game and nothing more. Learn the rules and practice them!
I echo this and would also suggest asking a couple of your professors for permission to see an example of an exam that received an A grade (not an A+ because that's setting the bar really high and could be intimidating, just an A). You can compare your exam answer with the A exam and see what that student was doing that you were not. This is most helpful for a class where you felt like you knew the material more or less and it was more of an issue of exam writing. And definitely ask your professors to see copies of your exam and read the comments they wrote and talk to them about how you can do better. Or, if you feel intimidated talking to a professor, ask them for permission to go over your exam with a TA or with Susie Spies Roth (I'm not sure if permission is needed but there could be Honor Code issues with showing your exam answer to others if you don't have permission). Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more specifically about your situation and exam tips. Good luck this semester!
As a note, 1L professors are particularly likely to sit down and talk to you about what to do better. Just reach out to them and ask if you can make an appointment to see your exam and speak to them about how to improve in the future (clarify in the email you're not looking for a grade change, but just looking to improve your exam-taking for the future, and they'll be exponentially more likely to respond positively). After 1L fall, I think all my professors proactively emailed our whole section offering this, but even if not, as long as it's clear that you're looking to improve your abilities, almost all professors would be willing to do so.
And 1L fall grades are by no means determinative of your law school grades. As all the others said before me, as long as you improve next semester, it can be a great talking point during OCI, and many firms would take the improvement into consideration.