in short: you need a good GPA, a good LSAT, to go to a good school, not mind ridiculous amounts of debt, and be willing to be at the mercy of possible (but imo unlikely) changes to immigration law entirely disrupting your career.
Oh no I completely agree with you and did keep my grades up for the reasons you’ve cited. There is no guarantee of anything past articles and employers will ask for a transcript in the earlier years of practice. I don’t think people should stop caring once they land a 2L summer, and I honestly don’t think people do. Like sure, law students love to brag about how little they’re studying or how little they now care. But make no mistake, they still care lol