Bounce Back from Rough Law Grades to Get Your Real Dream Job


Joining us today, we have a guest post from Andre Castillo, founder of Career Mavin, a site that offers personal coaching and career training. He is sharing his tips on how to rally back from a less than stellar first semester.

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Disappointing 1L Grades? Four Common Reasons, and How to Fix Them!

Disappointing gradesAs law school classes start back up again, many of you are trying to come to terms with your disappointing 1L grades.

People tend to take one of two approaches when the first year didn’t go so well. Most students just accept the status quo, decide they’re lousy law students, and quit trying. But some students take a different approach: They systematically analyze what went wrong, and embark on a deliberate plan to improve their weak spots and do better in the final years of law school.

It’s up to you which category you want to be in, but — if you’re in the second category and you really want to do better — here are four common places 1Ls go wrong, with some techniques for fixing each problem.

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7 Things to Do Over Spring Break For Better Law School Grades

Spring Break!Unless your law school is on some wacky schedule (I’m looking at you, Stanford) you’ve got Spring Break in the next week or two, and exams starting a month and a bit after that.

What can you do over Spring Break to ensure your exams go well?

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Want Better Law School Grades? Take an Iterative Approach to Learning

LabyrinthIt’s a fresh semester, a new year, and you’ve resolved to get better law school grades. Great! How are you going to do that?

If you’re like most people, you resolve to “work harder.”

For a few days, or maybe even a couple of weeks, you spend extra time in the library, making sure you’re well-prepared for class and don’t fall behind on the reading. Inevitably, however, things get in the way and you start slipping. Maybe your favorite TV show is on, or a big ball game, and your study time gradually drifts back to about what it was before.

There’s nothing really wrong with this approach, except for the fact that it’s unlikely to improve your outcome. What will improve your results is a new approach — iteration.

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Help! My First Semester Law School Grades are Really Bad.

The HustleOkay, you’re getting your first semester law school grades back and they’re — shall we say — not exactly what you’d hoped for. What now?

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Think Everything’s Great Because Your Law School Grades are Good? Wrong.

RainbowIf you did well on your first-semester law school exams, congratulations. That’s fantastic, and you can feel justifiably proud. However, I’m here with some bad news — it may not be smooth sailing from here on out.

The problem with having done well is that there’s now intense pressure to keep doing well. And, if you’re like me, this added pressure might just lead to a second-semester meltdown!

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Law School Truth #2: You Are Not Your Grades

GradesRight about now, misery is descending at law schools around the country. Is it the weather? The darkness? The after-holidays bloat? Nope, it’s the bane of every law student’s existence — GRADES.

Are Grades Inherently Evil?

There’s nothing wrong with grades, in theory. It’s useful to be tested on something and see what you learned.

If law school exams weren’t graded on a curve, higher grades would tend to correlate with greater mastery of the subject matter. If you got an A- in Torts and a B in Property, for example, you could reasonably assume you needed to brush up on your fee simple estates before taking the bar exam (or buying a house). Useful information.

But, sadly, that’s not how law school grades work.

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Law School Truth #1: You Don’t Control Your Grades

StaircaseThis can be difficult to accept, but it’s true:

You do NOT control your law school grades.

Consequently, you might as well not worry about them. Why worry about something you don’t control? It’s a waste of time.

But I Need to Get Good Grades!

I know, you need good grades. So does everybody else.

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