Poor fall semester 1L grades

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Gay Charizard
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Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby Gay Charizard » Wed May 31, 2017 6:27 pm

I entered law school at a T50 last fall despite major health issues which impacted my ability to study and do well. Fall semester grades put me near the bottom of the class. I'm taking a leave of absence right now. I'd of course really like the option of doing that semester over again, but I'm not sure that's available. Should I re-enroll and try to get my grades up next spring? Can I start over again at another law school? Or should I just drop out? Normally I'd advise a person who gets terrible grades to drop out, but I feel like I didn't even get a chance to perform well. Would like to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:37 am

Honestly, you should probably drop out. Being near the bottom of the class at a T50 school will likely not result in employment as a lawyer. Continuing law school would not be worth the opportunity cost, let alone the tuition. (I am assuming that you don't have a full ride or anything like that.)

ETA: Other posters have noted I'm being a bit overdramatic. So OP, take my recommendation with a grain of salt (or just disregard it altogether).
Last edited by iamgeorgebush on Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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UVA2B
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby UVA2B » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:43 am

Just to be clear, you took the leave of absence prior to starting the spring semester? If so, you should drop out, get your life in order, and decide whether or not a career as an attorney is really for you. If it is, you can reapply to law schools and basically start fresh with law school, which would nullify your fall grades (you'd obviously still have to disclose those fall semester grades if you did this, but you can redo your 1L year so long as you didn't finish it the first time around).

Gay Charizard
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby Gay Charizard » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:24 pm

UVA2B wrote:Just to be clear, you took the leave of absence prior to starting the spring semester? If so, you should drop out, get your life in order, and decide whether or not a career as an attorney is really for you. If it is, you can reapply to law schools and basically start fresh with law school, which would nullify your fall grades (you'd obviously still have to disclose those fall semester grades if you did this, but you can redo your 1L year so long as you didn't finish it the first time around).


Yes, I took the leave of absence before starting the spring semester. Now, if I dropped out, would I be able to reapply to the same law school and start over, or would it have to be a different law school? Or does it vary depending on the school?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:39 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:Being near the bottom of the class at a T50 school will likely not result in employment as a lawyer.

Eh, I went to a T50, and people at the bottom of my class are employed. Once you're out of the biglaw/fedgov realm (which is a small group) grades don't matter much - it's about connections and networking and experience. Now, are they jobs that the OP wants? No idea, I just think the above is an overstatement.

OP, I'm not sure what the best option is for you, but I think if you can document your medical issues, you might have a decent shot at asking your current school to let you start over. You can also try reapplying, but I might try contacting schools you're considering to make sure they would take an app from you if you withdraw from your current school. Despite my comments above, if you have some way to ditch those grades and start over that will certainly be to your advantage.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby iamgeorgebush » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:33 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:Being near the bottom of the class at a T50 school will likely not result in employment as a lawyer.

Eh, I went to a T50, and people at the bottom of my class are employed. Once you're out of the biglaw/fedgov realm (which is a small group) grades don't matter much - it's about connections and networking and experience. Now, are they jobs that the OP wants? No idea, I just think the above is an overstatement.

OP, I'm not sure what the best option is for you, but I think if you can document your medical issues, you might have a decent shot at asking your current school to let you start over. You can also try reapplying, but I might try contacting schools you're considering to make sure they would take an app from you if you withdraw from your current school. Despite my comments above, if you have some way to ditch those grades and start over that will certainly be to your advantage.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for most T50 schools (and I'm guessing OP means toward the bottom of the T50—otherwise he/she would have said T20 or something), the employment rate (that is, employment as lawyers) for graduates is around 50% to begin with, depending on the school. Seems like being at the bottom of the class would, all else being equal, bring the chance of employment as a lawyer below 50% in that case.

ETA: I am wrong!
Last edited by iamgeorgebush on Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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runinthefront
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby runinthefront » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:50 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:Being near the bottom of the class at a T50 school will likely not result in employment as a lawyer.

Eh, I went to a T50, and people at the bottom of my class are employed. Once you're out of the biglaw/fedgov realm (which is a small group) grades don't matter much - it's about connections and networking and experience. Now, are they jobs that the OP wants? No idea, I just think the above is an overstatement.

OP, I'm not sure what the best option is for you, but I think if you can document your medical issues, you might have a decent shot at asking your current school to let you start over. You can also try reapplying, but I might try contacting schools you're considering to make sure they would take an app from you if you withdraw from your current school. Despite my comments above, if you have some way to ditch those grades and start over that will certainly be to your advantage.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for most T50 schools (and I'm guessing OP means toward the bottom of the T50—otherwise he/she would have said T20 or something), the employment rate (that is, employment as lawyers) for graduates is around 50% to begin with, depending on the school. Seems like being at the bottom of the class would, all else being equal, bring the chance of employment as a lawyer below 50% in that case.


Both of your assumptions are faulty.

I picked two schools at random: FSU (ranked #48) and SMU (ranked #46). FSU had 72% employed in full-time, long-term legal jobs. SMU had 75.2%

Also, at lower ranked schools, grades aren't nearly as important for landing a (legitimate) legal job as networking and being personable are. Sure, you're not going to be working at Holland & Knight from FSU or Vinson & Elkins from SMU if you're bottom 20%, but neither will the kid who's 'only' in the top third. Once you're out of "biglaw grades" territory, grades aren't that important.

TLS can be overdramatic at times.

ETA: I posted without reading Nony's actual message. I guess I could've just quoted without comment, as it's on point.

cavalier1138
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:52 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but for most T50 schools (and I'm guessing OP means toward the bottom of the T50—otherwise he/she would have said T20 or something), the employment rate (that is, employment as lawyers) for graduates is around 50% to begin with, depending on the school. Seems like being at the bottom of the class would, all else being equal, bring the chance of employment as a lawyer below 50% in that case.


Just to add on to what was already said, you don't find employment prospects as bleak as 50% of graduates not being employed as lawyers until you start to hit the T3/T4 category. And even T3 schools can usually break 50%.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:21 am

Others already hit the main points, but I also want to emphasize that once employment isn't based on grades, it doesn't matter that much whether you're median or at the bottom. There isn't a clear correlation that bottom of the class = worse options than everyone else with grades too low for biglaw. (You could maybe get all meta and argue that lower grades = lower intelligence = less likely to figure out a way to get a job/not so good at networking etc. But I don't actually think that's true in any way.) I think people mentioned that but I just wanted to highlight it.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby iamgeorgebush » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:53 am

runinthefront wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:Being near the bottom of the class at a T50 school will likely not result in employment as a lawyer.

Eh, I went to a T50, and people at the bottom of my class are employed. Once you're out of the biglaw/fedgov realm (which is a small group) grades don't matter much - it's about connections and networking and experience. Now, are they jobs that the OP wants? No idea, I just think the above is an overstatement.

OP, I'm not sure what the best option is for you, but I think if you can document your medical issues, you might have a decent shot at asking your current school to let you start over. You can also try reapplying, but I might try contacting schools you're considering to make sure they would take an app from you if you withdraw from your current school. Despite my comments above, if you have some way to ditch those grades and start over that will certainly be to your advantage.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for most T50 schools (and I'm guessing OP means toward the bottom of the T50—otherwise he/she would have said T20 or something), the employment rate (that is, employment as lawyers) for graduates is around 50% to begin with, depending on the school. Seems like being at the bottom of the class would, all else being equal, bring the chance of employment as a lawyer below 50% in that case.


Both of your assumptions are faulty.

I picked two schools at random: FSU (ranked #48) and SMU (ranked #46). FSU had 72% employed in full-time, long-term legal jobs. SMU had 75.2%

Also, at lower ranked schools, grades aren't nearly as important for landing a (legitimate) legal job as networking and being personable are. Sure, you're not going to be working at Holland & Knight from FSU or Vinson & Elkins from SMU if you're bottom 20%, but neither will the kid who's 'only' in the top third. Once you're out of "biglaw grades" territory, grades aren't that important.

TLS can be overdramatic at times.

ETA: I posted without reading Nony's actual message. I guess I could've just quoted without comment, as it's on point.

Fair enough! FWIW, I picked a couple at random as well (Utah [#44] and George Mason [#41]) and found slightly lower numbers (58% and 65%, respectively), so I guess it's hard to make generalizations—but it seems my original instinct was off either way, and your point regarding the reduced effect of grades on employment prospects is well taken.

At any rate, OP, should you probably ignore my advice—I definitely don't know what I'm talking about.

notgreat
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Re: Poor fall semester 1L grades

Postby notgreat » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:58 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:Being near the bottom of the class at a T50 school will likely not result in employment as a lawyer.

Eh, I went to a T50, and people at the bottom of my class are employed. Once you're out of the biglaw/fedgov realm (which is a small group) grades don't matter much - it's about connections and networking and experience. Now, are they jobs that the OP wants? No idea, I just think the above is an overstatement.

OP, I'm not sure what the best option is for you, but I think if you can document your medical issues, you might have a decent shot at asking your current school to let you start over. You can also try reapplying, but I might try contacting schools you're considering to make sure they would take an app from you if you withdraw from your current school. Despite my comments above, if you have some way to ditch those grades and start over that will certainly be to your advantage.


I'd kill for the chance to start law school over and go for local government over big law.




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