I am hoping to find some people here on the forum that went through a similar experience as I did, or at least to get some advice.
I am currently a 3L with a terrible GPA in law school. In 1L, I began law school full of ambition while gloating over my 3.9 GPA from my undergrad. I had every intention to secure a Bay Street job in the first summer after 1L (which rarely happens to begin with, I know that now), and wasn't going to settle for anything less.
Needless to say, things did not go as I planned. I had to move away from home for law school, and during that year I was dealing with a multitude of personal issues that affected my performance (health issues of a family member that required me to travel back and forth few times a week, accompanying financial issue, and resulting pressure on my overall mental health). In other words... I was a wreck.
I ended up with a solid C average (ranging between Cs and B, but more heavily weighted on the Cs).
Some of these issues were resolved by my second year, and I did better (B average), until the pandemic began and I ended up with pass grades for my second term (which did not work to my advantage, as it left my GPA right where it was).
Naturally, I did not get a single interview during the OCIs or the recent Toronto articling recruitment. Despite my best efforts, I don't expect this to change, as employers tend to look at 1L for the obvious reason that these are foundational courses (even if I have an A in securities, it's hard to overlook a C in contracts, I understand that). The rest of my application is pretty strong (law school involvement, internships, great reference letters etc..), but that does not seem enough for employers to disregard my previous grades. I have tried pretty much everything at this point, including approaching the school and asking if I can re-do 1L - yes, I would be willing to do that all over again as my circumstances are completely different now, but apparently it is not an option like it was in undergrad.
I am also having difficulties speaking with my peers about that, as most have successfully found articling positions. I don't have any connections to people who work at more senior positions at firms, and networking opportunities are somewhat limited this year. I am open to start my own practice eventually, but I am not looking to do that straight out of law school, as I don't think it will be beneficial.
I am sure that there are other people on this forum who have had a similar experience. I was hoping that someone could advise on how they still managed to get an articling position, and later, a job in law that they like, despite the odds being against them?
I love the law and everything about it, and don't want to give it up as I can't imagine doing anything else. But I am also extremely stressed about the prospect of wasting the next 2-3 years of my life frantically looking for a job.
My worst nightmare is to end up at a banking job and keep telling everyone for the rest of my life that I actually have a law degree. 😕
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.