It can seem like fun and games for 1Ls – until get their first set of grades! Spring semester at any law school in the country is palpably more tense than the fall semester. At least half of your 1L class will be shocked and disappointed that they did not perform as well as they had hoped. To make matters worse, their disappointment is often heightened by the fact that these students are used to performing well academically, otherwise, they never would have gotten into law school.
Your Career Development team can make a big difference by focusing the conversation away from grades — and toward career exploration. This is a VIP time for 1Ls to focus on their career search, see it in a new light, and start to build interest in career paths they may not have considered before.
Telling stories about alumni who were disappointed in their 1L grades, yet built successful legal careers, is a great way to ease 1Ls concerns and guide them in the right direction. At this time, 1Ls want assurance that their careers aren’t doomed — just because their first semester grades were not what they had hoped for.
As career services professionals know, the antidote to bad grades is FOCUS. A student with a clear sense of the type of law they want to practice is in a great position to succeed, even without top grades. If a student is dedicated to building her career in tax law, for instance, she can attend tax law conferences where she will meet professionals in the field who can help her advance her career, she can write her journal note about a tax law issue, extern in local offices that practice tax law, intern in tax law offices over the summer, talk with a few alums — and build a resume that screams tax law.
The problem is — few law students have this focus! Many of them don’t know what they want to do.
Offering students the Law Fit Career Assessment is an easy, fast, and effective first step! During 20 minutes of answering questions online, students will delve into their strengths, interests, and learn to think critically about different practice areas. The Millennial generation wants personalized attention and advice: Law Fit provides it, via an instantaneous 30-page custom report!
If you want to get 1Ls engaged with your Career Services office in the spring semester, reach out to them with this concrete tool, add your personalized guidance — and spread the good news that focus and self-knowledge about one’s talents and aptitudes can overcome concern about grades – and help build confidence!