One-Ls, we’re feeling for you. First-semester exams are looming, and you’re stressed. You know that the stakes are really pretty high. A mediocre performance won’t relegate you to a life of penury and misery, but it will keep you from joining — at least initially — that gilded echelon of the profession.

With nothing less than a slate of A’s (or something close to that), you throw away any chance you ever had of clerking for the Supreme Court or high-profile federal appellate judge. You will probably not become a law-school professor. You will not make law review and you will probably not get a job at Cravath. Even worse, in the short term, is that come January, you’ll find out that the dude who slept through Contracts or the woman who completely flubbed it every time she was called on in Civil Procedure or, worst of all, the guy who wore a freakin’ tie to your 8:30 a.m. Torts class, absolutely killed it. Each got A’s and A-pluses to your B’s and B-pluses. Those people will suddenly walk with a slightly different air, as if they’re better than you. And you’ll have to live with this new reality for the next 2+ years.