Moving Beyond 1L Grades: Words of Wisdom

I think we can all relate to the feeling you get when you walk out of a final thinking you nailed it, only to find out a few weeks later that your grade was not nearly what you expected. When this happens as a 1L, however, I think the stress is even worse. All you have heard about for the months leading up to finals is that only your first-year grades matter and if you fall outside of a firm’s cutoff, you have a very big uphill battle ahead of you.

Well, even if this happened to you, your fellow 2Ls and 3Ls are here to tell you that you don’t need to beat yourself up, it will all work out, and it’s now time to move on with your second semester. Below are their words of wisdom:

“Learning the material and taking the exam are two separate skills. If you want to get better at taking exams, go back and review the tests with your professors. Just remember, your grade does not necessarily reflect how well you mastered the material.”
-Ben Haspel ’20

“Your first semester grades don’t define how well you’ll do in law school or your potential as a lawyer.”
-Cameron Casey ’21

“Take time to reflect on how you did, whether it was bad or good. Think about what worked and what didn’t, and be sure to implement the good habits. Just keep going.”
-Christian Villanueva ’21

“The beginning of second semester is a new opportunity to retool your learning and study strategies. Use your former professors and upperclassmen as resources to figure out what works best for you as a student.”
-Kadie Martin ’21

“Stay focused on what brought you to law school in the first place. Remember, grades don’t matter in the long run.”
-Kyle Tierney ’21

“Even if you didn’t do as well as you wanted, still find time to do things that make you happy. Don’t just focus entirely on school.”
-Karysa Norris ’21

“Meet with your professors, regardless of whether you did well or badly. Figure out what to repeat and what to change. Also remember, grades matter now, but the relationships are what count in the long run.”
-Joyce Lee ’20

“Don’t freak out, don’t ever freak out. Your GPA is a point of comparison. It doesn’t actually reflect what you learned.”
-Kevin O’Sullivan ’21

“Remind yourself that you worked really hard to get here and you belong here. You are in class with some of the smartest people, and you should be proud to be one of them, too.”
-Lexie Pereira ’21

To all the 1Ls, good luck with your second semester; you’ve got this!

Courtney Ruggeri is a second-year BC Law student who loves to hear from readers. Email her at

One thought on “Moving Beyond 1L Grades: Words of Wisdom

  1. Pingback: Exams are Coming; Here’s Our Advice | BC Law: Impact

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