If you have a place to store your suits in the office, you could just leave all your stuff there and wear normal clothes into the office, as long as you can get there before the partners... may not be possible.This way, your suits never even have to go outside, though I hear this can cause Vitamin D deficiency in your suits
For myself, as others have mentioned, I have a pair of boots I wear to and from my vehicle, then change into my work shoes. I have a nice long waterproof overcoat, respectable-looking scarf and toque (some people go with ear muffs that wrap around the back of your head but not really necessary for bald folks like myself), and leather-ish gloves (I think they're pleather but nice and warm!). All of my outer gear is some form of grey or black so regardless of my tie and suit colour, it all matches somewhat, not that that's really necessary when trudging through the snow and mud.
Also, just a heads up, some dress shoes don't have grip (is it some or all?? no idea) so the second it snows, it's like being bambie out there. First time I went walking in the snow with my dress shoes, I didn't realise this, stepped off a curb onto a road with a slight angle, and almost did the splits; really messed up my groin for a while. Point being, it's a good idea to have traveling shoes anyways.
Agreed. You certainly can't game your way into a medal, or even Dean's list. Your base level of competency has to be there, and 1L largely tells you where you're at.
But if you're on the edge of either accomplishment, then it can certainly pay dividends. And if you care enough about either, why wouldn't you do it? If you can take a class curved to a B+ instead of a B, or write a term paper with a professor who's never given under an A- to a paper, why would you take the class in 3L which is notoriously curved to a B-?
People with inside information, who are at the margins of some academic goal, and who care about that academic goal, do this all the time. It's certainly not rare, and is often openly discussed by many students.
I would say sign up for January now, and wait to contact schools until after the January exam scores are back if you would like them to consider the new score. If you completely bomb November you could ask them to wait for January scores, but I wouldn't bother contact them now.