Most law students have more in common with Elena Kagan than they thought: she had crappy grades first semester too. The Wall Street Journal reported that Elena Kagan received a few B’s as a 1L. She went on to be a straight A student and make law review, but her grades weren’t at all impressive that first semester.
She received a B- in Torts, a B in Criminal and a B+ in Administrative law. Her letters of recommendation from her professors more than made up for her less than stellar performance:
“She is soft-spoken and delightful to be with, but razor-sharp and iron-hard in intellectual give and take,” wrote the late Prof. Abram Chayes, who had clerked for Justice Felix Frankfurterand served as the top State Department lawyer under President John F. Kennedy. “Her limpid writing ability and keen editorial skills have made her a mainstay at the [Harvard Law] Review,” he added.