Regardless where you attend, your performance will be a factor for future employers. A study published last year in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies shows that grades are "the most important predictor of career success," even more so than your school's reputation. The study, authored by law professors at UCLA and the University of Arizona, states that "... it is well known that judges care greatly about grades in choosing their clerks, professors care about grades in choosing their research assistants, and many employers insist on good grades in choosing new hires."
Harper says that students who can stay above the bottom 25th percentile in GPA have the best shot at landing a job that pays enough to repay student loans.
"You have to be really honest and realistic with yourself about 'how well am I going to stack up against my peers?'" he says. "You have a very hard time convincing anybody, I think, who's entering law school that they'll ever wind up below the median, much less below the 25th percentile in anything, whether it's practicing law or something else, but guess what? That's just mathematics. There's an honest self-reflection that has to happen."