What You Have to Know About Law School Final Exams

"Your value as a person is not determined by your performance on this exam or any other exam, your performance in law school nor the bar exam. Your value is inherent and inviolate and nothing can take it away from you."
                                                    - quoting Professor Shelley Cavalieri.

Print this out and hang it above your desk. I promise you will thank me

There is so much pressure to excel on law school exams and that is okay. What is not okay is letting the need to excel, the need to beat the curve and the need to get that A becomes your benchmark on how you determine your value as a law student, as a lawyer or as a human being. A grade is just a grade. It is just one piece of the puzzle. It is not the end all be all.

A bad grade is not the end of the world. A few bad grades are not the end of the world. Let it push you and drive you to do better but do NOT let it defeat you.

Speaking from personal experience, there is nothing more defeating and heartbreaking than failing a class in law school or getting a grade lower than you wanted. I remember sitting in my bed at 2am when my Property I grade was released bawling my eyes out because I got a C- and that meant I had failed and would have to retake the class. It was one of the most crushing moments of my life. But, I picked myself up and decided I was never failing a class again and pushed myself harder until my law school GPA and grades were something I could be proud of. Now, I am getting ready to graduate. I have cords and medals to wear on graduation day. I have gotten A's, I have gotten the highest grade in a class, I have excelled in Moot Court and I have a resume full of honors and awards from my time in law school. I am not longer that girl who failed Property I... I am 2 weeks away from being a Juris Doctor and the highest educated person in my family.

My law schools grades, both the good and the bad, do not define me. Your grades do not define you. Please do not let anyone ever let you think otherwise and please don't let yourself start to believe that it is true.

You got into law school for a reason- you are good enough, you are smart enough and you can do this. If you remember nothing else from everything I have typed into this little blog, please remember this.

Good luck to all this exam season!


  1. This is a very helpful post. Thanks for this and thank you for your honesty. They way you were able to overcome your property class is amazing. But I have too admit..I now feel more nervous about law school exams �� can you explain why a C- was a failing grade?

    1. That is just the way the grades work at my school. I cannot speak for passing/failing grades at every law school. Law School exams are HARD- you should be nervous and trying to do your best. My point is simply that you can't let grades become the main thing of your life.