The Well-Rounded Lawyer in Jeopardy
Our recent, informal survey of student group leaders has revealed that 1Ls are reacting tepidly to their more experienced counterparts’ extracurricular recruitment efforts. This widespread reaction among 1Ls is unfortunate. It seems that 1Ls’ understandable focus on the economy has led to a less understandable grade myopia. The fact of the matter is that for the vast majority of students, even an extreme dedication to excellent grades will not guarantee a job offer. These days, 90% of students are in the bottom 90% of the class. The vast majority of students have much to gain from using all the tools at their disposal to stand out from the crowd and build their professional connections. Participating in extracurricular activities is a good way to do both.
Further, this extreme dedication to proving oneself through stellar grades comes at the expense of not only networking opportunities and résumé-building, but at the expense of contributing to the Boston College Law School community. When 1Ls sign up for positions in student groups, we all become beneficiaries of their ideas, energy, and innovation. When they don’t sign up, we all are more likely to suffer from the glut of future leaders. Knowledge and experience have a way of disappearing when they’re not passed down.
This is not to say that grades are not important. They are. But a good student do not good grades make. Only when we combine civic participation with academic achievement will our education be complete.
It is disheartening to see that the poor economy has tested our collective resolve to enhance the law school experience by participating in extracurricular activities. We urge our readers to think deeply about this situation, and the loss of the human element that will result if we refuse to participate in civic life.