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Do I have no chance for big city /American law firms if I screw up year 2?

Hey guys... I am super devastated right now. I'm in year two studying a non-law degree (with a year abroad so its four years in total). I plan to start my vacation scheme applications next semester, which is the first semester in my year three, penultimate year.

Being a lawyer is really my dream. But city law firms require good grades (they are very explicit on this, as what they say on open days), and American JD again require good GPA.

However, I really screwed up year 2 grades. I worked extremely hard and yet still did a really bad job on exams and courseworks. I have no one to blame for real.

I'm honestly devastated. Has my 'legal journey' just ended before it even started?

I got good grades in IB diploma (42 total), and a 1st raw average in year one. but now, I am praying for a 2:1 in year 2, and the range I think I'm gonna get is high 2:2 to low 2:1. I've been to several commercial law open days this year, and every firm is super inclusive as long as you have good grade in whatever you study.

Guys please help me out😭 can I still apply for vac scheme this year?
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 1
the amount of leeway regarding grades depends on your university. Is it a top 10?
Original post by Bk4753
the amount of leeway regarding grades depends on your university. Is it a top 10?

It really doesn't lol
Reply 3
Original post by Gmaster1980
It really doesn't lol

"It really" does. You're more likely to get a pass with a 2:1 from Oxbridge than from the same grade from most universities at US firms.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Bk4753
the amount of leeway regarding grades depends on your university. Is it a top 10?

Hey! I study at UCL. Definitely not oxbridge level.... :frown:
Original post by Bk4753
"It really" does. You're more likely to get a pass with a 2:1 from Oxbridge than from the same grade from most universities at US firms.

As if anyone would turn their nose up at a 2:1 even at US firms. I think you really overestimate the value of academics and uni ranking when it comes to TC recruitment. If you tick the boxes and avoid red flag in your app you could get into any firm with a 2:1 from any uni. It depends far more on the rest of your profile.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 6
Original post by azcx666
Hey! I study at UCL. Definitely not oxbridge level.... :frown:

UCL is fine and, especially for law, I wouldn't be so quick to say "definitely not oxbridge level". Have friends there starting at top American law firms. Some had 1sts, some didn't. I won't deny most people I know at top American firms have 1sts, but work hard to get at least a reasonable 2:1 and stay commercially aware, you should be ok, and worst case, you can try other firms.
okay so you screwed up a few grades; you realise you have (assumingly) like 40+ years of employment ahead of you. maybe you don't get hired straight away at a 'big city' firm. maybe you get your qualifying law experience somewhere else, write the SQE and qualify, work for a few years and then get your big glamorous corporate job. maybe that wasn't your original plan but you gotta thing long-term big picture here. a few weak grades in year two isn't the be-all-end-all; bearing in mind you still have year three to pull your average up.

American is a whole nother animal with its own issues unrelated to your grade. can you even do an American JD with a 3 year non law degree? oh sorry, are you doing a 4 year degree? does the extra year count towards your final grade? can you afford to study abroad? do you know the requirements to get a green card or whatever you're looking at upon graduation?

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