From the Volokh Conspiracy:
It’s important not to let lower-than-expected grades become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Recognize the psychological game going on here: many students expect their fall 1L grades to give them a lightning bolt of insight about their future in the legal profession. Grades don’t do that, though: all they can do is measure how well you did relative to your classmates on a few 3-hour exams taken at a particular place at a particular time. Too many students think that grades are destiny, and begin to take steps to readjust their expectations to what they think is their destiny. Some students react to the sting of lower-than-expected grades by tuning out, by deciding law is dumb, and by concluding that they just aren’t good at it. The problem is that it’s just this kind of attitude that makes it less likely your grades will improve; by tuning out, you’ll only make it more likely that you won’t do as well as you should next time. My advice is to stick with it: get your old exams back, review them, and make sure you know what you did wrong. Then have faith in yourself and your smarts that you can improve your grades in the spring.
P.S. A commenter adds some advice for the “other half”:
There is also substantial risk for any law student who does too well his/her first semester, and fails to learn the appropriate lessons from that good performance. In the curved-law-school-grade game, performance is all relative. If you become complacent, or you think your study methods are sufficient when in fact you’re really just lucky, then you can easily find yourself on the other side of the grading curve in just one semester. This is especially true for 1Ls because you tend to compete against the same section pool during both semesters of the 1L year (at most schools I know, at least). It’s especially important for students with good grades to identify the reasons they got good grades, and to seek even more improvement. As the business gurus say, if you’re not getting better all the time, you’re falling behind.
…I’m not disabling MovableType comments and replacing them with HaloScan comments because I want to. I’m doing it because I have to.
The problem isn’t MT’s “warts.” It’s much bigger than that. If there is another major comment-spam attack, my entire domain could be shut down indefinitely, perhaps permanently. My host simply cannot afford to have my CGI comment scripts repeatedly overwhelming the server I share with dozens of other paying users. And I cannot afford to have BrendanLoy.com completely disappear for days or weeks while I scramble to get set up with a new host.
So this is my stop-gap measure while I try to think of something better. I know HaloScan sucks, but we’re all going to have to deal with it for at least the next few days. Better to have BrendanLoy.com with crappy comments, than to have no BrendanLoy.com at all. :)
The bizarre twists & turns in the Michael Ross capital-punishment case have become positively Byzantine in both their Intricacy & their Weirdness.
No sooner did the United States Supreme Court predictably clear away, we thought, the Last Barrier to the 20-years-in-waiting Execution of the sexual-sadism-afflicted serial rapist/murderer who claims he Wants to Die, than the Federal judge whose prior Stay was thus vacated — in effect Reinstated it via a transcribed & published Conference Call in which Hizzoner bludgeoned Ross’s chosen lawyer for Ill-informedly advocating his client’s right to die .
That call transcript , especially, is my Recommended Reading for all Law students who may frequent This Here Blog. To me anyway, it is utterly Astounding — and, Important. Da Judge, being convinced that the “please kill me” Perp is Nuts, is bloody beDamned if he’s going to let him die — and, being Overturned, he is now putting the Onus on Ross’s client-compliant Lawyer (TOO compliant, sez da Judge), to Prevent it. / Read the whole Call, O thou soon-to-be-Officers-of-the-Court. Amazing.
Tomorrow, Becky and I will leave South Bend for a day and make our first pilgrimage to the promised land that beckons all Notre Dame students who want to, you know, do something fun: Chicago. :)
The occasion for our trip is the “Irish Pub Crawl,” an evening of
undergrad-style binge drinking sophisticated law-school fun sponsored by the Irish Law Society. The “crawl” — basically a night-long migration from one bar to the next — starts at 5:00 PM and ends at 5:00 AM, with stops at Galway Bay, McGee’s, Glascott’s, Halligan’s, John Barleycorn and Beaumont. (The latter is described as “The Backer of Chicago.” Uh-oh.)
Yes, that’s right: six bars (all within walking distance of one another, by the way) over 12 consecutive hours. That’s almost as long as my planned Lord of the Rings “trilogy party” next month! (Almost, but not quite.)
Becky and I will most likely show up late and duck out early, though. We have more planned than just drinking: possible items on our afternoon itinerary include shopping, visiting the Sears Tower, and checking out the aquarium. Then there’s the 6:30 PM Magnificent Mile fireworks show, which should be easily visible from our hotel.
Oh, our hotel! That’s the best part of this whole thing. My friend and fellow 1L Toni tipped us off to an awesome deal on Hotwire: $62 for a room at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, a four-star hotel in the heart of the city, right on the Chicago River. Wow! So yeah, that’s where Becky and I are staying tomorrow night. Indeed, it’s what sold us on this whole Pub Crawl thing in the first place. Who could say no to a deal like that?
So anyway, blogging will be light tomorrow, and primarily or exclusively mobile. Indeed, you might want to stay tuned for possible drunk-moblogging as the evening progresses. :)