Course Withdrawal Forum

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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2023 9:18 pm

Course Withdrawal

Post by Owl2023! » Sat May 11, 2024 10:40 am

I'd like to hear your opinion on how a withdrawal on my law school transcript compares to a lower letter grade. Specifically, how would an interviewer or employer perceive a "W"?

I enrolled in the maximum credits/courses allowed this semester (and every semester before) and I missed the drop deadline. My school is giving me the option to withdraw from Evidence, so long as I request to withdraw before I sit down to take the exam. I should've dropped the class before the drop deadline, but I honestly didn't realize how much work my two Health Law seminars and Patent Law would require. Patent Law though fantastically useful and a great course was an extremely heavy lift.

For context, I am interested in IP and/or Life Sciences & Healthcare Regulatory work. I enrolled in Evidence to build familiarity with the topic—but not out of a desire to be a first-chair trial lawyer​​. I am working at a firm this summer but might need to keep options open to re-recruit as a 3L.

I can withdraw from Evidence and still exceed the minimum credits required for full-time status. Without Evidence, I will have 4 letter grades on my transcript. With Evidence, that would be 5 letter grades.

Pros: I could enroll in the course next year and be able to actually give it the attention it deserves. I might scrape by with a B- or maybe even a B this year, but I could also get a C or C+, which I'm told by Career Services and the Dean of Academic Affairs would look pretty bad whereas a W appears more neutral. Having 4 letter grades is still a "full" transcript. Also, my school said employers are less skeptical of W(s) since Covid-19.

Cons: Dropping a class, especially a doctrinal looks bad. It could demonstrate poor time management, not setting realistic expectations.

Below is my schedule (with the credits earned and grades in parenthesis and work product counting towards my grade below):

(2) Health Law Seminar (A)
(15-page midterm double-spaced and 15-page final exam single-spaced)

(3) Med. School Course (A anticipated)
(weekly 750-word essays and a final exam, with a page count TBD)

(4) Patent Law (B or B+ anticipated)
(weekly oral arguments/presentations (13 in total), weekly quizzes, and a 6-hour final with 4 whole memos)

(3) Health Law Seminar (B+, A-, or A anticipated)
(35-page single-spaced research paper that is publishing quality and will count for my senior writing requirement)

(1) Journal (Credit)

(4) Evidence (???)
The exam has 80 questions (multiple choice and true/false) and 1 issue-spotter essay question. I have 6 hours to complete the exam. It's open note/outline (so I can search my outline and the Federal Rules of Evidence) but without internet access. I have 2 days (including today) to learn the material, and I have to let my school know by tomorrow if I am dropping the course.

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