Feeling bad about your first-semester results? You’re not alone. Here’s a story from Lee Burgess, one of the founders of the Law School Toolbox, about getting her first grade (and what she did afterwards):
When I got my first law school grade, I sat on the floor and cried. I’m not exaggerating! I was at my aunt’s house for the holidays, and I got my Legal Writing grade. It was bad. Like, really bad. I couldn’t believe it.
I’d given up a prestigious, well-paid consultant job to come to law school. I worked really hard all semester. I gave up time with my friends to do this. Both of my parents are lawyers, and I grew up going to court with them. How could I – of all people – have bombed Legal Writing?!? And what did this mean about what was coming next, when my other grades came in?
Well, luckily, my other grades weren’t as bad. (They weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible.) But there was still the question of what to do about Legal Writing. After stewing and feeling bad about myself for a few days, I decided to swallow my pride and go talk to my professor about what happened.
The answer was actually pretty straightforward. There were things I had been doing badly that I needed to correct to do better. Was this feedback pleasant to hear? No, but at least I knew what to work on.
And work on it I did! I’m happy to report (and was happy to tell every job interviewer who needled me about that terrible first-semester grade) that I CALI’d the class second semester.
My takeaway from the experience was this: Anyone can bomb a class (or even a lot of classes) first semester of their 1L year. The question is what you’re going to do about it. I know from experience that you can turn things around, but it takes humbling yourself to ask for help, then acting on what you learn.
And that’s why I invite you to join the Second Semester ReBoot camp, if your first-semester results weren’t what you hoped. You can do better, I’m sure of it. Read on to learn more.
How to Get Better Law School Grades
If your first-semester grades were disappointing, the path to improvement is actually quite clear. You need to figure out what happened and correct it. Easier said than done, right? Well, we’re here to help.
How ReBoot Works
In the Second Semester ReBoot camp, the expert tutors at the Law School Toolbox will help you figure out what went wrong and what you need to do differently to be more successful in the future. The course is divided into three phases:
- The Diagnostic Phase
- The ReTooling Phase
- The Action Phase
Let’s talk about each one in more detail.
The Diagnostic Phase
The goal of the Diagnostic Phase is simple – to figure out what happened. Were your outlines too long to memorize (or non-existent)? Did you do enough practice problems? Did you run out of time on the exam? Did you just not know the material? Do you need to work on structure and organization in your writing? Do you have an un-diagnosed learning issue that needs attention?
There are lots of reasons 1Ls get disappointing results. Our goal here is to figure out exactly why YOU didn’t get the results you were you looking for.
In the Diagnostic Phase, you’ll watch an introductory video explaining the most common 1L issues that we see all the time on exams. Then you’ll complete a detailed self-analysis – looking at everything from class prep to exam time management and how much you slept. If you have access to any of your exam answers, you’ll go over these carefully, using a checklist we prepared for you to help you really dig in and see what’s going on. Then, you’ll talk with each of your professors about your exams, a process that will be a little less intimidating with the checklist you’ll have of what to talk about.
Finally, you’ll summarize your findings, submit all of your materials, and talk with a Law School Toolbox tutor for 30 minutes about what you learned. At the end of that conversation, you’ll have a clear idea what you need to work on to see improved results second semester.
The ReTooling Phase
The ReTooling Phase is where you’ll start developing the skills you need for better results. It contains a series of helpful videos which really break down the skills you need for law school success: making useful study aids, issue spotting, preparing to write your exam answers, actually writing the answers, handling multiple-choice tests, and so on.
After going through these materials, you’ll have a much better handle on the skills that are most important for good law school grades.
The Action Phase
Finally, the Action Phase, because it’s all well and good to sit around and watch videos about issue spotting. The real question is – how can you put this material to work for you? Can you commit to doing the work, and actually get it done?
Accountability and time management are things many law students struggle with. Despite your best intentions, somehow it seems like the work just never gets done. We get it. It’s hard!
In the Action Phase, you’ll get actionable time management and accountability strategies. You’ll also learn about setting good goals, since “I want to do well” isn’t a goal! (It’s an aspiration.)
At the end of this final phase, you’ll make a Strategic Action Plan for the next semester. This plan incorporates everything you learned about what you personally need to work on in the Diagnostic Phase and asks you to commit to certain targets for starting your study aids, taking practice exams, and so on.
The goal is to give you a roadmap to better results, so you can see when you’re veering off track, before it’s too late to correct course.
You’ll have another 30-minute call with your Law School Toolbox tutor at the conclusion of the Action Phase, to talk about your Strategic Action Plan and get any lingering questions answered. (And, if you decide you’d like to continue with personal tutoring, you’ll receive 10% off any Law School Toolbox tutoring package.)
After completing the Second Semester ReBoot camp, you’ll have a clear path to better law school results. We know you can do better. Are you ready to get started?
Got a questions? Feel free to drop us a line and ask.
We look forward to working with you!