Honestly, I am in no position to give you any kind of advice whatsoever. Rather, I wanted to tell you that I am in a similar situation. I did well in my 1L midterms but it turned out to be P/F cause of the COVID. After the transition, I struggled with my classes. But was lucky enough to get 15 OCIs and 4 In-Firms with no single Top grade. I still think it was a sheer luck to have received so many OCIs given my grades. In retrospect, however, I did ask for feedback/advice on my Resume and cover letter to pretty much EVERYONE I know. Not just my peers but upper years, career office and practicing lawyers.
I still struck out during the OCI. Obviously, I was devastated. It was NOT easy to handle. Just like everyone mentioned in this post, I thought my dream for a corporate law job has sailed. On the other hand, as many pointed out, I decided to redirect myself. If I cannot have it now, I could pave my way to it.
Then, I started applying to every summer opportunity I found - in-house law students, legal intern positions etc. I even started cold-mailing firms, specifically, boutique firms that (a) specialize in areas I am interested in (b) have histories of hiring summer students and retaining them as their articles. I still might not find a summer position through this but I tried. Whatever I learn from this experience will help me get through the articling recruit.
As for the grades, I plan to work my ass off to improve on my grades. I will give myself time to cold-mail for a few more days and start studying my ASS OFF. I have NO idea if this is the right approach or not. But I also know there is no trick. All I can do is just try my best and if it does not work out, reflect then move on.
You are right in that NOT everyone could be TOP students because the system is as is. That also does not make you or me a victim. It happened. PERIOD. Move on. It's good that you are asking around on how to get "Top" grades but if I were you, I would have worded it as "good" grades, not necessarily "Top". I am interested in getting good grades, meaning that I want to know (a) how to actually learn the law (b) find/build upon my interest through this education and (c) show that I have well articulated the lessons I've learned in class with better grades.
I cannot emphasize enough how I am in the same boat as you. You are frustrated as I am. We all feel lost. I simply wanted to tell you that if you look hard, there are more opportunities than you realize. On a similar but a different note, if you find the need for a recommendation letter, why not approach a professor and ask for one? Simple as that. I have asked for a recommendation from a professor whose course I did not do well on and he was more than happy to provide me with one.
Gha I have no idea if this post makes any sense at all but all I am saying is, don't limit your options and instead of complaining, just start your OWN entrepreneurial way to this career of your dream.