Alright, my little 1Ls, it’s time for you to get some blog post love. So let’s forget about the LSAT for a week (as you did long ago) and talk about the first law school finals you’ll ever take — the ones that have no doubt already begun to plague your thoughts and dreams (errr…nightmares?).
You’ve already heard enough about how important they are to motivate you to study hard. And if you’re not motivated then you probably chose the wrong course of study. But why are 1L grades so important? Put simply, they can put you on easy street if you do extremely well.
After you do whatever it is you’re going to do during the summer after your 1L year, you are going to return to law school as a 2L and be greeted by a gaggle of law firm recruiters. Your school will generally organize a process by which you can choose with whom you’d like to interview and they can then choose whether they’d like to interview you as well. Much like admissions committees have little to go on but your LSAT score, recruiters have little to go on but your 1L grades. And much like law schools have LSAT floors, recruiters have GPA floors.
Why are these interviews important? If you get a summer job with a larger firm, there is a good chance that firm will offer you a job at the end of that summer which you will theoretically fill post-graduation. If you don’t get good grades, you don’t get interviews. If you don’t get interviews, it’s harder to find a job.
Is it the end of the world if you do poorly? Absolutely not. You have 5 more rounds of examinations to boost your GPA. And generally speaking, GPAs go up as students continue through law school. Will you have to search a bit harder to find the job you want? Most likely.
Safe to say you’ll be studying hard. But study smart, as well. You have a lot of information to internalize, certainly. Whatever method of memorization you used as an undergrad, use it now. It’s not the time to reinvent the wheel. Or, if you’re a Wag the Dog fan, let’s just say you don’t change horses midstream. Break your studying into manageable chunks and stick to your existing routine. You want to be fresh and prepared. With that, I bid you good studying and good luck.