Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

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addie1412

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by addie1412 » Thu May 14, 2020 11:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:02 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 9:05 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 4:48 pm
OP, my overarching guidance here is to lean heavily on your institution to help you out and to do your best to speak with empathetic and compassionate people who can see past your "bad" semester and help you out. This is not an easy task, but I think it is doable.

First, it's critical that you take stock of and are able to persuasively explain what happened your 1L fall, so that you build a narrative that makes clear that while your first-semester grades are disappointing, they don't define you and don't detract from your strengths. I would start by meeting with several career counselors - not just your assigned counselor, but a variety of them. I would pool together advice on what you should do and plan to meet regularly with the counselor who offers you the best advice and is most empathetic.

Many times, someone has a bad semester because something has happened. If that's the case for you, then I definitely would craft your narrative based on that. But not every "bad" semester is caused by a single, identifiable issue. And that's where a narrative comes into play.

Second, I think you should meet with or discuss these issues with a professor that you had during the second semester of your 1L year. I would try to pick a professor in class where you performed the best in and, ideally, a class where you were able to secure a good grade. Explain to them what happened to you during your first semester and ask them for advice on how to improve. Good professors tend to give good advice. But, ideally, you will be able to build a relationship with this professor who likely can be a resource for you in the future. The professor will be able to serve as a reference and help to explain that your first-semester grades don't define you, or they will write you that letter of recommendation in the future that will contextualize your first semester. When you can't lean on your grades, you have to lean on other things and create a holistic picture that makes clear that your grades don't define you.

Third, it is very important that you work to identify the issues that tripped you up during your first semester and pick a curriculum for your 2L year that gives you the opportunity to take classes you can excel in but also remains rigorous. Again, here's where an academic counselor or a career counselor can help you.

If you are able to improve considerably your 2L year (or even the first semester of your 2L year), your cumulative GPA will not be so important. What will be important is the upward trajectory. Then you can add to your narrative so you can say, "I had a really bad first semester. Here's what happened to me. Here's how I worked to fix it. And as you can see from my subsequent grades, here's how I improved over time. It shows my tenacity, my eagerness to work hard, and my ability to overcome problems."

I had low grades during my 1L year (and actually did even worse my second semester than I did during my first) and this is how I was able to break through and land the job of my dreams. It is not going to be easy, but nothing really is, and it's going to take a lot of work and energy. But, if you want to be a lawyer and you are committed to practicing law, then it is worth fighting for. Now is not the time to give up, or to let naysayers tell you about how hard it is and that they've never seen someone do it before.

Best of luck to you, OP.
Completely disagree with this post - not one word about student debt, and as someone that was similar to OP after 1L (about 3.0 GPA at T14), I would not recommend someone continuing to take on student loans in this situation. OP - if you are taking on substantial loans, you should absolutely drop out. I have friends that dropped out of college with that kind of GPA, let alone law school. Do not waste another dime on a legal education if you are using debt. If not, then that is a whole different story, and the previous post makes more sense. But the fact is, your financial situation should be the number one consideration here and there will not be many doors open to you, especially with the economy in the shape that it is in. I knew of plenty of people from my law school with low grades that ended up fine after a few years of struggle, but none of them had below a 3.0, let alone a 2.0 and the economy was on the upswing, not on the verge of a recession.

OP - drop out and be thankful you'll never be a lawyer.
This is ridiculous and as elitist as it comes. The vast majority of law students pay for law school with student loans. The vast majority of law students do not get into biglaw. To say that a law student with debt who cannot get into biglaw should drop out of law school is plainly wrong. The OP is a t14 law student who will get a job as a lawyer (assuming he passes the bar), even if that job is a $60,000/year job with a small ten person law firm. A t14 graduate who starts at a small 10 person law firm will make partner after ~10 years and then will be billing $350-$550/hour and have a better lifestyle than most biglaw lawyers.

I know several lawyers (in my home state) who went to unranked law schools and have never worked in firms larger than 10 people. All of those lawyers (now in their 50s+) make $500,000-$1,000,000/year working less hours than biglaw associates. Indeed, I worked for a firm my 1L summer that had about a dozen lawyers. I worked with one of the named partners (who is a long time family friend). He worked half a day on Wednesdays in the summer and didn't work summer Fridays so he could golf. He had two full time paralegals and a few associates. He once told me that over the past 12 years (at the time), he has never had a year in which he made under $1,000,000 (although he's the exception, everyone else I know like him make closer to $350,000-$500,000). He does commercial real estate and land use. He never worked in biglaw, never clerked for an Art. III judge, and did not graduate from a t14.

A second example: another long time family friend went to a lower ranked law school (Penn State Law, I think). He joined a small PI firm out of law school. Although he is now in his 50s, he is now one of the area's best and most respected PI lawyer. He lives in a multimillion dollar home, has several vacation homes, and each of his 4 kids went to private highschools and private universities. He lives a great life despite not being a t14 graduate.

OP can have a great career if he wants to work for a small firm. He will work hard and make partner and have a great life, even if he is not working at Cravath on the world's biggest deals. He will pay back his debt even if it takes longer than his classmates who work in biglaw.

If your examples are 50+ years old, they established their practices in a completely different era from the one we're living in. The time when you could go to any law school with whatever grades and still work your way to a lucrative legal career is long gone. Not to mention: take a look at what law school cost then versus now. The tuition at HLS, for example, was $22,054 in 2000, around the time when Gen Xers were in law school. Today it's $65,875. There is a very real possibility OP is burying themselves in insurmountable debt.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Another1 » Thu May 14, 2020 11:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:21 am
It’s laughable that people think small law firm partners regularly make $500k+. Many do, of course, but there are far more that barely get by. A lot of these posts are overly optimistic.

OP had a 2.08 and will conceivably graduate with a sub-2.5 GPA. I’ve never seen a GPA that low in my life. I personally had a 3.1 my first year (non-T-14 but a firm that places around 40-50% into biglaw) and struck out. This was during a booming economy. There is weight given to a T-14, but nothing can outweigh that 2.08 (more so if that T-14 is Georgetown). I worked my ass off the next two years and still barely managed to get a around a 3.4.

OP should consider dropping out. I personally only know of one person who had a very low GPA (2.7) who got a job at an AmLaw firm. They were fired within a few months because they just couldn’t grasp basic concepts no matter how hard they tried.

The problem is that OP may end up being a terrible lawyer. We regularly hear stories of mediocre law students becoming amazing lawyers, but I doubt they are talking about people who were at the very bottom of their class. OP is probably the lowest GPA in their class by a large margin.

OP needs to reevaluate what they want to do and strongly consider dropping out if they will have a significant amount of debt.
If the OP can get into a t-14, they can grasp concepts of work assignments at a law firm. Junior work is about how much someone is willing to work, not intelligence.
Last edited by QContinuum on Thu May 14, 2020 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

LBJ's Hair

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by LBJ's Hair » Thu May 14, 2020 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 11:43 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:21 am
It’s laughable that people think small law firm partners regularly make $500k+. Many do, of course, but there are far more that barely get by. A lot of these posts are overly optimistic.

OP had a 2.08 and will conceivably graduate with a sub-2.5 GPA. I’ve never seen a GPA that low in my life. I personally had a 3.1 my first year (non-T-14 but a firm that places around 40-50% into biglaw) and struck out. This was during a booming economy. There is weight given to a T-14, but nothing can outweigh that 2.08 (more so if that T-14 is Georgetown). I worked my ass off the next two years and still barely managed to get a around a 3.4.

OP should consider dropping out. I personally only know of one person who had a very low GPA (2.7) who got a job at an AmLaw firm. They were fired within a few months because they just couldn’t grasp basic concepts no matter how hard they tried.

The problem is that OP may end up being a terrible lawyer. We regularly hear stories of mediocre law students becoming amazing lawyers, but I doubt they are talking about people who were at the very bottom of their class. OP is probably the lowest GPA in their class by a large margin.

OP needs to reevaluate what they want to do and strongly consider dropping out if they will have a significant amount of debt.
If the OP can get into a t-14, they can grasp concepts of work assignments at a law firm. Junior work is about how much someone is willing to work, not intelligence.
I disagree to some extent, but just to be clear: OP's not going to start out working at a large law firm. S/he has the lowest GPA any of us have ever seen at a T14, and is going into the worst summer hiring environment since like, 2008/2009.

That's many of us are encouraging him/her, if s/he's taking out debt, to consider dropping out: You don't want to pay off $200K in loans on a five-figure salary. PI offers loan forgiveness, but you have to deal with the debt bomb unless the school has some scheme repayment scheme that'll handle it for you.

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Sackboy

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Sackboy » Thu May 14, 2020 1:02 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:00 pm
That's many of us are encouraging him/her, if s/he's taking out debt, to consider dropping out: You don't want to pay off $200K in loans on a five-figure salary. PI offers loan forgiveness, but you have to deal with the debt bomb unless the school has some scheme repayment scheme that'll handle it for you.
There is no debt bomb for PSLF. Your loans are forgiven after your 120 payments (capped at one a month) while working at a 501c3 or government. That’s the end of the story. Your debt disappears without any adverse financial consequences.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Monochromatic Oeuvre » Thu May 14, 2020 2:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:02 am
This is ridiculous and as elitist as it comes. The vast majority of law students pay for law school with student loans. The vast majority of law students do not get into biglaw. To say that a law student with debt who cannot get into biglaw should drop out of law school is plainly wrong. The OP is a t14 law student who will get a job as a lawyer (assuming he passes the bar), even if that job is a $60,000/year job with a small ten person law firm. A t14 graduate who starts at a small 10 person law firm will make partner after ~10 years and then will be billing $350-$550/hour and have a better lifestyle than most biglaw lawyers.

I know several lawyers (in my home state) who went to unranked law schools and have never worked in firms larger than 10 people. All of those lawyers (now in their 50s+) make $500,000-$1,000,000/year working less hours than biglaw associates. Indeed, I worked for a firm my 1L summer that had about a dozen lawyers. I worked with one of the named partners (who is a long time family friend). He worked half a day on Wednesdays in the summer and didn't work summer Fridays so he could golf. He had two full time paralegals and a few associates. He once told me that over the past 12 years (at the time), he has never had a year in which he made under $1,000,000 (although he's the exception, everyone else I know like him make closer to $350,000-$500,000). He does commercial real estate and land use. He never worked in biglaw, never clerked for an Art. III judge, and did not graduate from a t14.

A second example: another long time family friend went to a lower ranked law school (Penn State Law, I think). He joined a small PI firm out of law school. Although he is now in his 50s, he is now one of the area's best and most respected PI lawyer. He lives in a multimillion dollar home, has several vacation homes, and each of his 4 kids went to private highschools and private universities. He lives a great life despite not being a t14 graduate.

OP can have a great career if he wants to work for a small firm. He will work hard and make partner and have a great life, even if he is not working at Cravath on the world's biggest deals. He will pay back his debt even if it takes longer than his classmates who work in biglaw.
Ah shit, I thought the legions of debtpwned strikeouts and the literally-thousands of unemployed grads each year who take *years* to find a full-time legal job, even in the best of times, were having a rough time, but Anon knows two TTT Boomers living it up!

Because of course, OP will get a job in a hiring market that might be dogshit for years--just ask the T14 grads with way higher GPAs than that hanging out in the Vale!--and will be flush with that sweet $60k salary to service $200k in debt while paying major-metro-area bills. Ten years of that and OP of course makes partner--as long as he works hard! When he finally climbs to a net worth of zero at 45, he can finally thumb his nose at the "ridiculous and elitist" TLS snobs who wanted him to...avoid massive debt he'll never make a dent into.

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Clytemnestra3

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Clytemnestra3 » Thu May 14, 2020 3:13 pm

If OP gets above average grades in their second semester, demand for biglaw work begins to return in a few months, and OP starts working alum connections now, it’s very reasonable to think they will get a biglaw job. No one knows what the world will look like in 4 months. Sticking it out for another semester isn’t costless, but there’s enough upside to make it worthwhile. In the meantime, OP should do everything possible to get those grades changed and improve their grades going forward. It should go without saying that this advice is better the higher up the T14 OP is, but any top school is going to want to see their students succeed and should be open to doing what they can to help.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 14, 2020 3:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:02 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 9:05 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 4:48 pm
OP, my overarching guidance here is to lean heavily on your institution to help you out and to do your best to speak with empathetic and compassionate people who can see past your "bad" semester and help you out. This is not an easy task, but I think it is doable.

First, it's critical that you take stock of and are able to persuasively explain what happened your 1L fall, so that you build a narrative that makes clear that while your first-semester grades are disappointing, they don't define you and don't detract from your strengths. I would start by meeting with several career counselors - not just your assigned counselor, but a variety of them. I would pool together advice on what you should do and plan to meet regularly with the counselor who offers you the best advice and is most empathetic.

Many times, someone has a bad semester because something has happened. If that's the case for you, then I definitely would craft your narrative based on that. But not every "bad" semester is caused by a single, identifiable issue. And that's where a narrative comes into play.

Second, I think you should meet with or discuss these issues with a professor that you had during the second semester of your 1L year. I would try to pick a professor in class where you performed the best in and, ideally, a class where you were able to secure a good grade. Explain to them what happened to you during your first semester and ask them for advice on how to improve. Good professors tend to give good advice. But, ideally, you will be able to build a relationship with this professor who likely can be a resource for you in the future. The professor will be able to serve as a reference and help to explain that your first-semester grades don't define you, or they will write you that letter of recommendation in the future that will contextualize your first semester. When you can't lean on your grades, you have to lean on other things and create a holistic picture that makes clear that your grades don't define you.

Third, it is very important that you work to identify the issues that tripped you up during your first semester and pick a curriculum for your 2L year that gives you the opportunity to take classes you can excel in but also remains rigorous. Again, here's where an academic counselor or a career counselor can help you.

If you are able to improve considerably your 2L year (or even the first semester of your 2L year), your cumulative GPA will not be so important. What will be important is the upward trajectory. Then you can add to your narrative so you can say, "I had a really bad first semester. Here's what happened to me. Here's how I worked to fix it. And as you can see from my subsequent grades, here's how I improved over time. It shows my tenacity, my eagerness to work hard, and my ability to overcome problems."

I had low grades during my 1L year (and actually did even worse my second semester than I did during my first) and this is how I was able to break through and land the job of my dreams. It is not going to be easy, but nothing really is, and it's going to take a lot of work and energy. But, if you want to be a lawyer and you are committed to practicing law, then it is worth fighting for. Now is not the time to give up, or to let naysayers tell you about how hard it is and that they've never seen someone do it before.

Best of luck to you, OP.
Completely disagree with this post - not one word about student debt, and as someone that was similar to OP after 1L (about 3.0 GPA at T14), I would not recommend someone continuing to take on student loans in this situation. OP - if you are taking on substantial loans, you should absolutely drop out. I have friends that dropped out of college with that kind of GPA, let alone law school. Do not waste another dime on a legal education if you are using debt. If not, then that is a whole different story, and the previous post makes more sense. But the fact is, your financial situation should be the number one consideration here and there will not be many doors open to you, especially with the economy in the shape that it is in. I knew of plenty of people from my law school with low grades that ended up fine after a few years of struggle, but none of them had below a 3.0, let alone a 2.0 and the economy was on the upswing, not on the verge of a recession.

OP - drop out and be thankful you'll never be a lawyer.
This is ridiculous and as elitist as it comes. The vast majority of law students pay for law school with student loans. The vast majority of law students do not get into biglaw. To say that a law student with debt who cannot get into biglaw should drop out of law school is plainly wrong. The OP is a t14 law student who will get a job as a lawyer (assuming he passes the bar), even if that job is a $60,000/year job with a small ten person law firm. A t14 graduate who starts at a small 10 person law firm will make partner after ~10 years and then will be billing $350-$550/hour and have a better lifestyle than most biglaw lawyers.

I know several lawyers (in my home state) who went to unranked law schools and have never worked in firms larger than 10 people. All of those lawyers (now in their 50s+) make $500,000-$1,000,000/year working less hours than biglaw associates. Indeed, I worked for a firm my 1L summer that had about a dozen lawyers. I worked with one of the named partners (who is a long time family friend). He worked half a day on Wednesdays in the summer and didn't work summer Fridays so he could golf. He had two full time paralegals and a few associates. He once told me that over the past 12 years (at the time), he has never had a year in which he made under $1,000,000 (although he's the exception, everyone else I know like him make closer to $350,000-$500,000). He does commercial real estate and land use. He never worked in biglaw, never clerked for an Art. III judge, and did not graduate from a t14.

A second example: another long time family friend went to a lower ranked law school (Penn State Law, I think). He joined a small PI firm out of law school. Although he is now in his 50s, he is now one of the area's best and most respected PI lawyer. He lives in a multimillion dollar home, has several vacation homes, and each of his 4 kids went to private highschools and private universities. He lives a great life despite not being a t14 graduate.

OP can have a great career if he wants to work for a small firm. He will work hard and make partner and have a great life, even if he is not working at Cravath on the world's biggest deals. He will pay back his debt even if it takes longer than his classmates who work in biglaw.
Delusional post - I'm not being elitist, I'm telling him what I wish someone told me after 1L year and I was bottom of the class, and I'm someone that made it to big law and had a 3.0, not a 2.0. Even public interest jobs are going to be very hesitant to hire you with a 2.0 GPA. Hell, when I graduated, my school was offering public interest fellowships and even with a 3.2, I was getting rejected for jobs where I'd literally work for free. It took me getting extremely lucky and years of hard work building a resume, to get where I am now (which is just a miserable lawyer that at least no longer has debt and some savings). And the economic landscape moving forward is not looking pretty, plus state/municipal governments have destroyed their budgets. Honestly, if you are going to incur a lot more debt, the only reasonable choice is drop out at this point.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu May 14, 2020 3:29 pm

Clytemnestra3 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:13 pm
If OP gets above average grades in their second semester, demand for biglaw work begins to return in a few months, and OP starts working alum connections now, it’s very reasonable to think they will get a biglaw job. No one knows what the world will look like in 4 months. Sticking it out for another semester isn’t costless, but there’s enough upside to make it worthwhile. In the meantime, OP should do everything possible to get those grades changed and improve their grades going forward. It should go without saying that this advice is better the higher up the T14 OP is, but any top school is going to want to see their students succeed and should be open to doing what they can to help.
Remember that even if OP gets a 4.0 (which seems unlikely), their cumulative GPA would be just about 3.0, which is still not good. But if "improvement" for the OP looks more like getting all Bs, then they're going to have an objectively horrifying GPA.

Under these circumstances (which, as everyone has pointed out, are extreme), I don't think that anyone can give the OP "very reasonable" odds on biglaw, even ignoring the economy.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by nealric » Thu May 14, 2020 3:30 pm

Clytemnestra3 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:13 pm
If OP gets above average grades in their second semester, demand for biglaw work begins to return in a few months, and OP starts working alum connections now, it’s very reasonable to think they will get a biglaw job. No one knows what the world will look like in 4 months. Sticking it out for another semester isn’t costless, but there’s enough upside to make it worthwhile. In the meantime, OP should do everything possible to get those grades changed and improve their grades going forward. It should go without saying that this advice is better the higher up the T14 OP is, but any top school is going to want to see their students succeed and should be open to doing what they can to help.
No grades for second semester as OP's schools is pass fail for second semester. Really unfortunate. I raised my GPA quite a bit from 1st to 2nd semester 1L year- I would have been in bad shape had I had a similar situation arise.

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Clytemnestra3

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Clytemnestra3 » Thu May 14, 2020 3:49 pm

As I mentioned earlier, OP should ask to be graded for this semester. I agree that pass/fail is a huge disadvantage in this situation and given OP’s circumstances, I would think the school should be open to this.

As for the GPA, I agree that the average is going to look bad. But if you are an employer considering an applicant and you see exceptionally shit grades in the first semester and then above average grades the second semester, I think a reasonable person would conclude that the first semester grades were a fluke and not merely average them. This is especially true if you like the applicant personally, see strong recommendations from professors and a good record at whenever OP worked 1L summer.

To be clear: I’m not saying OP should never quit. I’m saying that, based on the information that OP provided us, there are a lot of moves OP can make to have a reasonable shot at biglaw. It’s worth going another semester to see.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by QContinuum » Thu May 14, 2020 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:26 pm
Hell, when I graduated, my [T14] school was offering public interest fellowships and even with a 3.2, I was getting rejected for jobs where I'd literally work for free.
To be fair, with a 3.2 from a T14, I doubt you were getting rejected from state/local PI positions due to your grades. 3.2's not really all that far below median. Heck, I have many T14 friends who landed BigLaw at 2L OCI with a GPA in the 3.0x-3.2x range.

You were probably struggling more either (1) due to terrible interviewing skills (not a knock on you, I'm the furthest thing from a good interviewee myself), and/or (2) due to being BigLaw-focused, and not having any previous hint of interest or experience in PI (probably the main reason). State/local PI tends to be very focused on hiring folks who "drink the Kool-Aid". They'll happily hire down to 3.0 at the T14, and they don't really care too much about having a 3.3 vs. a 3.2. But they absolutely want to hire true believers.

Anyway, OP"s in a different situation. State/local PI doesn't tend to be grades-sensitive, but that applies to folks with at least a 3.0 (or close to it). 2.0x is really going to be unusual enough that OP's unfortunately going to have an uphill battle even with state/local PI. And, not to be a Debbie downer, but even if OP improves dramatically and gets a mix of Bs and B+s in fall of 2L, they'd still be in a pretty bad position - they'd end up with a GPA in the 2.4x-2.6x range, still incredibly low.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by 2013 » Thu May 14, 2020 4:06 pm

At what GPA would we tell OP to drop out after two semesters of grades? Let’s say OP gets straight Bs this semester (unlikely). Then OP will have around a 2.55. Does that change anyone’s mind? A 2.55 is still lower than any GPA many of us have ever heard of.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Lacepiece23 » Thu May 14, 2020 4:28 pm

Depending on the financial situation, I wouldn’t drop out. Like yeah, if you’ve going to incur 40k in debt each semester, it makes sense to drop out. But if you’re going to graduate at around 150k, I think sticking it out might make some sense.

I mean you need to be looking at a 2.9ish by time you graduate. Or should be shooting for that. I don’t think you’re dead in the water at a 2.5.

And you have to accept that you won’t be financially stable off your lawyer job for probably five years. It’s going to be a climb, but you can do it.

As others have said there’s always public interest.

On the private side, you WILL have to be strategic, network, and lateral. The love is probably starting ID and getting into employment law, then you go small firm, then you got boutique, then you trade up to biglaw. I’ve seen this happen for TTT grads with middling grades.

The idea is that you pick an in demand practice and lateral. By time you’re a fourth year all anyone will see is T14 and an in demand practice. Not a bad combo.

Sorry if I’m repeating anything, didn’t read the whole thread.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by ohsaycanyousee » Thu May 14, 2020 7:04 pm

OP-- I think you need to chime in here. What's the reason for this outcome? Did you put in the effort, and did not grasp the concepts? Did you experience a personal issue? Health issue? Were you lazy and relying on your natural smarts, thinking you could coast through law school? There are so many reasons why you could be in this situation, and the advice on here could change drastically depending on the additional context.

Without knowing anything about your situation, I won't opine one way or another regarding whether you should drop out or continue.

The one piece of advice I can echo is that of the anon poster that suggested talking to your school. T14 schools care a lot about their employment numbers. Some of them (ahem... UVA... ahem) even create jobs after law school so that their students can reflect as employed for purposes of employment stats. Regardless of whether you intend to drop out or not, talking to your school about your options is absolutely the right move. Good luck.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by galba » Thu May 14, 2020 7:19 pm

Clytemnestra3 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:49 pm
As I mentioned earlier, OP should ask to be graded for this semester. I agree that pass/fail is a huge disadvantage in this situation and given OP’s circumstances, I would think the school should be open to this.
There is absolutely no way a T14 is going to make an exception to its pass/fail policy this semester for just one student.
Clytemnestra3 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 3:49 pm
I’m saying that, based on the information that OP provided us, there are a lot of moves OP can make to have a reasonable shot at biglaw.
OP has no shot whatsoever at biglaw coming out of law school. You could make a good-faith argument that OP might be able to turn it around and get some fulfilling legal employment--I'd disagree, and it seems most others in this thread would as well, but that would at least be vaguely plausible. Telling OP that they have a "reasonable shot at biglaw" with the worst 1L GPA any of us have ever seen is actively harmful advice.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Throwaway5818 » Thu May 14, 2020 7:48 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 9:32 pm
PPL wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 1:12 pm
PM me. I graduated from a t14 a few years back. Knew of at least 3 people in the bottom 20% of class get multiple big law offers. Not that this is the likely result, but I wouldn't write off job prospects just yet.
I mean, if OP just had generic 20 percent grades, depending on the school s/he could still definitely get BigLaw. Not sure I could consistently pick out bottom 20 percent from just generic bottom half at my alma mater.

But like, if I saw OP's transcript, I'd go "Damn, I didn't even know they gave out those grades at T14s." Not saying this to dump on OP, just like ... a 2.08 is not the same as a 3.08.

OP, if you're looking at substantial debt I would consider dropping out.
This is really it in my opinion. Like, I've never even heard of someone getting a 2.08 in any individual class at a T14, let alone as an aggregate GPA. I thought OP made a typo at first. Not to pile on, but this is well below the normal "bad grades" post.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Clytemnestra3 » Thu May 14, 2020 7:55 pm

We shouldn’t make assumptions about what a school will or won’t do. If OP tries to get graded for the second semester and fails, OP is in no worse a position than now. If OP succeeds, OP is in a better position. This can be done before shelling out for the second semester so why not try?

Also, I suspect there are plenty of other students who’d want to get graded for their second semester so OP wouldn’t have to be alone in asking for this. Frankly, it’s unfair for the school to switch grading schemes in the middle of a three-year program. A person chooses a law school based on where they think they’ll have the most success. The grading scheme is a huge part of that.

I’ll underline my main point more broadly: at a T14, there’s lots of opportunity to make moves to put yourself in a great position regardless of first semester grades. I think it’s worth exploring those opportunities for one more semester.

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galba

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by galba » Thu May 14, 2020 8:23 pm

Clytemnestra3 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 7:55 pm
We shouldn’t make assumptions about what a school will or won’t do. If OP tries to get graded for the second semester and fails, OP is in no worse a position than now. If OP succeeds, OP is in a better position. This can be done before shelling out for the second semester so why not try?

Also, I suspect there are plenty of other students who’d want to get graded for their second semester so OP wouldn’t have to be alone in asking for this. Frankly, it’s unfair for the school to switch grading schemes in the middle of a three-year program. A person chooses a law school based on where they think they’ll have the most success. The grading scheme is a huge part of that.

I’ll underline my main point more broadly: at a T14, there’s lots of opportunity to make moves to put yourself in a great position regardless of first semester grades. I think it’s worth exploring those opportunities for one more semester.
Fair or unfair, the change in grading policy already happened, and exams have presumably already been submitted at pretty much every T14. The time to make that ask (which, again, absolutely would have been denied) was more than a month ago.

I'm all for the "you don't know until you ask" philosophy, but giving ridiculous false hope to someone in a tough spot is super unhelpful.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by notinbiglaw » Fri May 15, 2020 1:40 am

OP, I am in the camp of you should finish degree if you can. But that really is an if in your case.

Devil

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Devil » Fri May 15, 2020 2:30 am

Drop out. Don't go into more debt.

If your goal is biglaw that ship has sailed - by the time you interview you will have only 2 semesters with letter grades and will be unhirable by big law standards. It is nearly impossible to get a biglaw job once you strike out at the main OCI.

If you hope to get a gov job - some of them hire 3L's. at that point, you theoretically can have better grades. It's still an uphill battle.

Here why I think you should drop out. Law is an overrated profession. It's questionable if it's ever worth it to enter the field. in your case given the disadvantages, you are gonna face it's definitely not with it. In the long run, you'll be better off not getting further involved with this mess. ultimately it boils down to what are your alternatives and if those alternatives are better than being unemployed and in serious debt when you graduate. ppl have dropped ut of t-14s after the first year and have gone on to lead successful and productive lives.

Runaway and don't look back.
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Fri May 15, 2020 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

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Re: Bottom of class at T14; 2.08 GPA

Post by Anonymous User » Fri May 15, 2020 2:38 am

I did very poorly by the first semester at a top T14. While I ended up with a great job, I beat the odds. In reality, it will be very difficult for you to find anything. You aren't getting a biglaw job & thus should reevaluate the debt you undertook with the assumption that you will pay it off with a biglaw salary.

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