freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

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omgomg
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freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby omgomg » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:20 pm

I am at lower top-14 school and I think I should dropout.

I went to law school because I did well on the LSAT and I got into a top school for free. I studied hard. I know there may have been an issue with quality but I studied about 8 hours a day, everyday, outside of school. I have no idea what happened. I don't know if I am just missing some basic skills that will allow me to do well. I got above a 175 on the LSAT and I thought I did well in my classes.

I have debt from undergrad and I am having to pay for cost-of-living while in law school.

Maybe I should just get a job and continue school. I don't know.

Long story short, I don't want more debt with poor job prospects. I think I am around the 40th percentile GPA wise. I am a URM with some non-legal work experience.

Please let me know what you guys think.

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stillwater
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby stillwater » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:22 pm

uhhhhh how did you actually do?

EDIT: okay, i get it now. where do you go to school? you still have a semester to vault above median.

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ph14
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:24 pm

stillwater wrote:uhhhhh how did you actually do?


omgomg wrote:I think I am around the 40th percentile GPA wise.


To OP: Your grades aren't that bad, just a bit below median. You can certainly bring that up to median or even significantly higher with a strong second semester. Read some model exam answers and compare them to yours. Also, you're on a full scholarship, so even if you have some debt from undergrad (how much exactly?) and have to pay cost of living, you probably should at least finish out the year and see how OCI goes.

omgomg
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby omgomg » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:27 pm

I have a lot of debt from undergrad. I have a total of 50,000 now including the first year of law school.

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ph14
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:29 pm

omgomg wrote:I have a lot of debt from undergrad. I have a total of 50,000 now including the first year of law school.


Just finish out your 1L year and see how OCI goes.

ze2151
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby ze2151 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:29 pm

do the first year, try to make a journal or moot court, and do oci. if you don't get a gig that pays for 2L summer then yeah, cut your losses.

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courtneylove
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby courtneylove » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:07 pm

omgomg wrote: I got into a top school for free. I studied hard.


so you aren't paying tuition? just cost of living? and you're at a t14?

your grades are not that bad, first of all. try talking to an academic counselor at your school and figure out what you were doing wrong. a lot of people do badly their first semester; it isn't easy for everyone to adapt to law school learning and test format. if you are at the 40th% that's only a few points away from median. personally, my grades were in the toilet after the first round of exams, but i made a lot of progress over the course of the year. 1L year is rough and beats everyone down... just keep working at it. honestly, you are better off with a free t14 degree than a wasted year of your life. aren't your undergrad loans deferred until you get out of law school? how high is your cost of living right now?

maybe you can come up with a plan for the summers to work a second (non-legal) job that earns a little money, rather than working during school? in the alternative, if you dropped out now would you be able to get a job to pay down your debt?

as far as studying, eight hours a day seems like a lot. you might be fatigued and burning yourself out doing all that extra work. try to figure out what works best for you in terms of studying smart rather than studying the way others study. at my law school lots of people are into taking multiple practice exams before an exam, but any time i've done that i have been so mentally and emotionally drained by exam-time i would crash. just try working with an academic counselor or 3L at your school to talk through your methods.

09042014
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:09 pm

You are basically median at a t14 with a full ride. No you shouldn't drop out.

uvabro
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby uvabro » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:14 pm

even if u were bottom 10% i would at least stick it through oci. it would be worth the 10k bet for COL to have a small shot of hitting it off with an interviewer or legal contact. the risk reward assessment just is too crazy.

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manofjustice
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby manofjustice » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:16 pm

Desert Fox wrote:You are basically median at a t14 with a full ride. No you shouldn't drop out.


This.

In your OP, you said "I know there may have been an issue with quality."

How was your word count? How did you feel about the exams?

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Shmoopy
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby Shmoopy » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:21 pm

How much will another semester cost? If it's just cost of living, it's probably worth it to see if you can bring your grades up, but only because you are at a T14. If you ace everything next semester, you could hypothetically bring your grades up to top 1/3rd. I'd say drop out if you can't get a paying job for the summer. Not finding a paying summer job is probably a better indication of your career prospects than 1st semester grades.

I'm taking a total stab in the dark here because I don't know what your studying entails, but if you're studying for 8 hours a day you are probably doing something ineffective with your studying. I'd suggest practicing writing exams more. But I don't know if you're already doing that...

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manofjustice
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby manofjustice » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:24 pm

I mean, I know how you must feel doing so well on the LSAT and doing so poorly with your grades, especially after working so hard. But being a smart guy, you must have some idea of what went wrong. Of course, there is the theoretical possibility that it was just the realization of tail-risk. There is some chance that a smart person doing everything right gets 4 bad grades in one semester. There might only be two such people per year. One such person would probably post on TLS. That you posted does not confirm that you're such a person, but it's something to keep in mind. Where you such a person, the chances of a repeat next semester are practically nil. Now, if you have an idea what went wrong, that's another story.

How did you do on your midterm?

09042014
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:33 pm

And bottom 40% + URM probably gets your a job.

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Lwoods
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby Lwoods » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:39 pm

You may not feel great about your grades, but you're still in a position to potentially gain a $160k/year Biglaw job. Considering you only have COL expenses, it makes some financial sense to stay through OCI.

However, you say you're only in law school because you did well on the LSAT. Do you actually want up practice law (or hold some other JD-preferred job)? A lot of practicing attorneys who like their jobs didn't care for law school (and vice versa), so maybe liking or disliking law school isn't the best measure, but if you think about the stuff attorneys do (lots of research and writing), does that seem like something you want to do? Did you like your pre-law school job(s)? Any reason you do or don't want to do that?

If you want to pursue law, don't be discouraged by your grades. You can definitely pull them up using tips mentioned in this thread and others. If you definitely don't want to do law, it's totally find to walk away. But, don't think that Biglaw doors will necessarily be closed to you because of your first semester grades. It may also be helpful to chat with an attorney mentor (or a professor who just switched over from private practice).

gman1978
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby gman1978 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:49 pm

I think the law school scam movement has almost gone too far. There is a Berkeley 1L on jdunderground asking if he should drop out with median grades, where his parents are paying what's leftover from scholarship. That's a closer call because he doesn't want to be a lawyer and basically just wants to make $$$. If you have a full ride it would be insane to drop out before fall OCI, since no matter what your grades the risk/reward makes it a good decision (unless you have some great non-law job offer, or other strong reason for not continuing). The legal market is bad, but the economy is so weak overall that you would almost definitely be in a worse position dropping out than continuing.

uvabro
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby uvabro » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:54 pm

to be serious, the fact that > half the graduates the top 14 schools in the country get good jerbs inherently makes law a better field than most.

Pokemon
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby Pokemon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:36 pm

Consider yourself lucky. You have a good chance at big law (URM+top 60%), and you have a full ride... the only thing that you should do is consider alternatives to biglaw and try to keep your total debt below 100k.

09042014
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:44 pm

uvabro wrote:to be serious, the fact that > half the graduates the top 14 schools in the country get good jerbs inherently makes law a better field than most.


This part is actually pretty true. Most fields churn out twice as many grads as there are jobs.

The real problem is the amount of debt. But once you remove it (like OP), it's a good choice.

Brysia
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby Brysia » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:53 pm

Don't worry about the debt. Upon graduation take a public interest job and get your loans repaid. Just make sure from now on to only borrow Federal IBR qualified loans for all your school related expenses. Is your undergrad debt federal or private? If it is federal it will qualify. Check with your school what their policy is for loan repayment for public interest law.

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worldtraveler
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:25 am

Brysia wrote:Don't worry about the debt. Upon graduation take a public interest job and get your loans repaid. Just make sure from now on to only borrow Federal IBR qualified loans for all your school related expenses. Is your undergrad debt federal or private? If it is federal it will qualify. Check with your school what their policy is for loan repayment for public interest law.


Do you have any idea how difficult those are to get?

rad lulz
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:14 am

Desert Fox wrote:You are basically median at a t14 with a full ride. No you shouldn't drop out.

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thelawyler
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Re: freaking out. abysmal grades. Should I dropout.

Postby thelawyler » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:04 am

rad lulz wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:You are basically median at a t14 with a full ride. No you shouldn't drop out.


+

Desert Fox wrote:And bottom 40% + URM probably gets your a job.




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