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Why Your 1L Grades Might Not Have Been Up to Your Expectations

If you’re among the myriad law school students who are disappointed in your 1L grades, you’re likely considering your options right now, as your 2L year draws near. 

Some of you will accept the status quo and eek out a J.D., some will quit, and some will turn things around finish near the top of your class.

You need to be among the latter.

That’s right, you can recover from 1L grades that weren’t up to your expectations but only if you understand why you didn’t do well… and take steps to rectify the issue.

If you’re like most 1Ls with less-than-stellar grades, you performed poorly for one or more of the following reasons:

You drew too many conclusions 
You’ve read before on this blog that, when it comes to law school, there are no “carved in stone” right answers. This is equally true for class lectures and the all-important exams.

Exams are designed to see if you can think critically, like a lawyer. That means being able to see both sides of issue and answer exam questions in a way that shows you’ve considered both your points and the theoretical counterpoints.

Trying to take the easy route 
Every 1L has been there: Taking an exam, struggling, and hating life. When all of a sudden, an easy exam question appears. Alas, an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the chosen subject.

And the rest of the exam time is spent on that question at the expense of the other, more difficult questions.

Don’t do this. Instead, manage your time and get to every question. Give them each the time they need to be answered as well as you can.

You didn’t answer the right question
Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what, exactly, it is your professor is asking on an exam. You will not do well if you can’t quickly get to the nut of a question and answer it clearly and concisely.

This means taking practice exams, slowing down your reading, and working with a law school tutor to make sure you’re tracking with your professors.


About the Author

Sumita Dalal is the Founder and CEO of FindMyLawTutor, the largest and most trusted website and online portal that connects law students with law tutors for success in law school. Whether preparing for the LSAT, are currently a law student or are studying for the bar exam, FindMyLawTutor makes finding a law tutor fast and easy.

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