Most of my grades are now in, and things are looking quite a bit brighter than they did at this time last year, to say the least. The main differences:
I learned how to study.
I learned how to write exams.
I'm no longer being graded against my 1L section (which, unlike the rest of the sections, was half composed of law review members).
Two of my classes had 3Ls as well, who apparently no longer care about exams.
I would like to point out to some of you 1Ls who may be disappointed with your grades that the first ever law school grade I received was a (and thankfully my only) C, at which point I began contemplating downing a large antifreeze martini. However, the grades got better as more came in, and second semester I raised my overall GPA two full points (on a scale of 99, not 4.0) to a respectable level. This semester I raised it even more and my class ranking is absurdly higher from the frustrating level at which I started out.
The point is that all the people who tell you your first semester grades "lock you in" to your class ranking for the remainder of law school are WRONG. That's ludicrous--it's ONE semester out of six--you do the math. I raised my ranking nearly 40% (and no more Cs). Law school exams are a learning experience, and it takes a round or two for some folks to get in their groove. Keep your head up!!