Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Monday, February 09, 2004

1Ls here get their grades tomorrow at noon, on the new Internet Grade Retrieval System (TM). To any HLS 1Ls who read this (and I know there's at least three of you, maybe more!), good luck. Five thoughts for 1Ls upon receiving their first law school grades:

1. Someone probably did worse. If not in all three classes, probably at least in one. And if not, then you have dozens of new friends, because you've prevented them from being that guy. But in most cases, really, as bad as you did, someone did worse. Someone who did well enough in college, and on their LSAT, and whose parents gave enough money to the school -- someone did worse. So don't worry about it.

2. Yes, maybe you're used to getting all A's and here you didn't. But you've gotten enough grades and taken enough tests and succeeded enough to know you can do this stuff. It's just some tests, it's not your whole self-worth. You post-grades is the same as you pre-grades, just as obnoxiously arrogant and impressed with yourself. Don't let a couple of bad grades change your whole perfect image of how brilliant you are.

3. Lots of people think these grades aren't measuring anything much, and professors can't possibly distinguish between an A-minus and a B-plus, and maybe they're right. At best, your grade is measuring how well you answered the specific questions your professor asked, and they could have asked other questions that you might have done better on, or on a different day you may have included three more of the key words on your professor's checklist, and gotten a higher grade. In any event, maybe you wrote a crappy answer. Maybe you didn't know the answer to the question the professor asked. Doesn't mean you didn't learn the subject, doesn't mean you're not smart, and, good heavens, it doesn't mean your parents won't love you anymore.

4. I know two people's grades. Two people know mine. Not counting family. And any potential employer who bothered to look -- and I don't think they all did. But still, the number of people who are going to know these things is pretty small. Unless you have a weblog and do something stupid like post your grades and proceed to get pelted with raw eggs by your classmates, no one will ever know. Heck, lie to your friends. Who'll ever find out? They're just a couple of letters. WIth mathematical symbols next to some of them. Does any of this really matter?

5. You're still as employable as you were before, basically. Certainly here, everyone gets a job. And at fourth-tier law schools like Stanford, no one gets a job anyway, no matter what grades you have, so you haven't hurt yourself with the 3 C's anyway. Yeah, maybe you won't get the Supreme Court clerkship. But come on, you weren't going to get that anyway, and a couple of years from now when the Supreme Court screws up another election no one'll want to be around those justices anyway.

Once more, good luck!