Law school is hard. Anyone who has been a 1L (a first year law student) will tell you that the initial attempt at grappling with legal jargon and legal nuances made them feel like a complete dullard during the first year of law school.
But – for most – law school gets progressively easier as time goes on. 2L year brings a better understanding of how this social machine works, and 3L's (frequently with a post-graduation job in hand) are old hands at this game.
At my school, graduating 3L's benefit not only from their experience, but from student rules that are designed to make failure all but impossible. A friend alerts me to the following passage from the Columbia Law School Academic Rules (.pdf link):
188.8.131.52.1 If the student receives only one grade of Fail in any term, he or she shall have the following options:O lackluster 3L, please leave the building, take your diploma, and begin donating posthaste!
. . .
184.108.40.206.1.3 only with the consent of the instructor, to undertake remedial instruction and submit to re-examination out-of-course, in which case if the student performs satisfactorily on the reexamination, the grade of Fail will be changed to C.
. . .
220.127.116.11.2.2 it is the faculty's understanding that 18.104.22.168.1.3 will be the usual device where impending graduation or delay in grading fifth term students, together with a want of other credits toward graduation, foreclose the use of others within the usual period of the student's law school career.