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"1L Blues": Advice and Encouragement for 1L's

I am posting some advice from three OSU professors for 1L’s who recently received their grades. It’s called “1L Blues.” This advice should be regarded as student notes from an informal lecture, rather than a document created by the professors. I have received permission from the professors to post this, but it is not formal or official advice. These are student notes of informal advice spoken to a group of 1L’s at an optional lunch time gathering.

I would like to thank Professors Berman, Cohen, and Greenbaum for allowing me to do this. I would also like to thank 1L’s Pamela Bridgeport for taking these notes, and Larry Lanham for arranging this at the last minute. 

Here is a brief introduction to “1L Blues,” after which the entire document is available for downloading.


This is an annual event at Moritz after 1L grades come out, which was started by Prof. Doug Whaley about 25 years ago. 

The goal of this time is to:

1.   Put your grades in perspective.

2.   Consider how to improve exam performance.

3.   Recognize there are other keys to success if grades aren’t your “golden ticket.” 

4.    Talk a bit about how to maintain a balance between life and work in law school.

Download 1L Blues 

Update: If any 1L's at other schools know of other online resources similar to this one, especially from your own schools, please let me know and I will link to them here.

February 12, 2006 in Advice for Law Students | Permalink


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Great advice! As a 1l, I def. took that to heart. I did well in some exams, and other exams I didn't get the "A", so I said: hmm, what did I do wrong? The best thing I did was go talk to the Prof. and he gave me some great tips to focusing on work next semester

Posted by: Blogger | Feb 12, 2006 2:48:02 PM

Thanks for the comment, Blogger. I'm glad the advice was helpful to you. I thought it was excellent advice as well.
By the way, I'm not certain, but from your blog it looks like you're at UVA. I grew up in Charlottesville. It's a great place.

Posted by: 3L Epiphany | Feb 12, 2006 3:54:39 PM

Unfortunately, the 'advice' gives students false hope. If you're not in the top 10% after your 1st year (or very close to it with an Ivy summa degree), your BigLaw chances are as close to 0 as they could be with you still having a pulse. It doesn't matter if you get 100 in every class thereafter--it's all based on the 1st year grades.

Posted by: Judge Smales | Feb 13, 2006 11:49:35 AM

Not so fast. BigLaw is not all about grades. Certainly the Skaddens, Clearys and Sullivans of the world will have a cow if your 1L grades aren't stellar, but many of the big firms don't care that much, especially if you bring other experience to the table (e.g. finance experience, languages, etc).

Certainly, grades are how most people get into big firms, but there's still some hope for those who screw up their first year, if they're willing to do more legwork (and stay out of NYC).

Posted by: Joe | Feb 15, 2006 2:36:05 AM

I just want to congratulate my friend Ian on a wonderful blog. I also want to encourage those 1Ls who are a little down about grades to remember that they all had a distinct purpose in life before they came to law school, and that grades will not and cannot change that purpose!

Posted by: Spensation | Feb 15, 2006 9:32:26 AM

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