If there’s one thing you absolutely need to understand before starting law school, it’s the importance of 1L grades. Your first-year grades have a huge impact on everything from academic honors to your future legal career. It’s no wonder why professors and deans across the country agree that your first-year grades are the most important grades you’ll receive in all three years of law school.
Your 1L grades usually boil down to one singular exam. That’s right, you’ll spend an entire semester reading thousands of pages, making hundreds of notes and outlines, all to come down to one final exam. Nobody said it was easy! (Cue the sad music). Some professors may take midterm exams or class participation into account when it comes to your final grades, but that’s rare.
Here are a few reasons why getting to the top of the class in 1L is so important.
Top 1L grades will lead to academic honors
Law school is all about competition. Getting to the top of your class is important, but once you’re at the top how else do you stand out from your peers? Landing academic honors like Law Review not only help you stand out from the crowd but are also important if you’re planning on applying for a judicial clerkship or going into academia in the future. How do you land on Law Review? Your first-year grades, plus your performance on the write-on competition will get you there.
Top 1L grades will get you a killer internship
Your summer internship shapes your future legal career. In fact, most law firms fill their future full-time positions with students that participate in their summer associate program. Which means you could land guaranteed employment before you even graduate from law school if you play your cards right.
But here’s the thing, when you start applying for summer internships, the only grades you have to show for yourself are your first-year grades. And if you start applying in the Spring (which you should), the only grades you have are your Fall semester grades. That means that in order to land a killer internship you have no other option but to ace your first semester exams.
Top 1L grades will help you land the dream job
Three years will pass by before you know it, and soon you’ll be sitting for the bar exam, never wanting to read another book again. There are moments in law school that make it all not feel worth it, that is until you finally pass the bar. By then, your first-year grades will have landed you stellar employment opportunities that will set you up for success for the rest of your legal career.
Top 1L grades will help you transfer schools
Didn’t get into your dream law school? You still have one more chance. Transferring schools can impact your future career greatly, and the only way to do that is to get to the top in 1L. In fact, in order to transfer after 1L, you typically need to be in the top 5%-10% of your class. So, before you throw yourself a pity party, focus all of your energy on conquering your 1L year.
How do you get to the top?
Learn the skills and knowledge you need to become a top law student by taking a Law Preview 1L prep course this summer. In only six days, you’ll learn core 1L material, exam taking strategies, outlining skills and so much more from the nation’s top law school professors.
Don’t risk falling behind in the most crucial year of law school. Sign up for a Law Preview prep course today.