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Subject:  Re: Check-in - some positive thoughts (VERY LONG Date:  1/26/2003  3:37 PM
Author:  PartVeela Number:  6059 of 15012


deb, forgive me for jumping right in without having "talked" with you before. I also went to an Indiana law school as an older student (at 27) with the same history that you describe of building my identity on my intelligence and being expected to make (and making) high grades.

I've been practicing for 8 years now and have the perspective to be able to tell you that grades are *not* the end all and be all they're said to be in law school. Law school tests only measure a couple of skills it takes to be a lawyer, and employers recognize that (IMO, the ability to memorize rules and write fast under pressure). Skills that are also important include general people skills, the ability to be aggressive where necessary (and to know when it's NOT necessary), to be a good oral advocate and explain complicated concepts to people easily, to be well-organized and manage time well, to show confidence even when you're scared to death or on shaky ground, to have a good grasp of the overall picture.... I could go on and on.

I've followed your posts for quite some time and have been impressed with your intelligence and maturity. Xraymond has wonderful advice for you in telling you to focus on why you went to law school. Corporate defense firms *do* look at grades as part of the hiring process and pay well, but the work can be deadly dull, particularly early on, and typically doesn't serve any sort of humanitarian purpose. (Of course, law schools like to push students toward those lucrative jobs so their alumni will give them big checks during fundraising drives). I suspect the employers at the type of job you're looking for will look for demonstrated commitment and caring for people needing help in your practice area first off, along with general intelligence and people skills, with law school grades a far second or third.

Although I'm repeating what you've already said you'll do, my best advice to you is *not* to stress out about your grades. Instead, challenge yourself and learn as many skills and make as many contacts as you can in the area where you want to practice. Have fun with the law.

Feel free to email me if you want to "chat" more.

Part Veela

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