Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: here4 on June 02, 2014, 02:23:14 PM

Title: Academic Dismissal
Post by: here4 on June 02, 2014, 02:23:14 PM
I started law school January of this year in a spring start program. I just received my first semester grades and got a 1.93 GPA. I need a 2.0 in order to be in good standing so I am one letter grade away from being able to stay in school. This semester has been very difficult for me as I have had A LOT of family issues and was homeless the first week of finals. I want to write a petition to the law school admissions committee because I really want to be in law school. Has anyone else been through this process and been successful with remaining in school? Do any of you have good advice or dos/do nots for my written petition? Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: barprephero on June 02, 2014, 03:45:36 PM
Different schools have different policies. Was this a "part time" program by chance? Which college?

I'd overall say ask to "take a year off". That can help you with your personal time needed for your personal affairs plus time to signup for 1L aid courses (Kaplan,etc) to help get better prepeared to repeat.
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: Citylaw on June 02, 2014, 07:59:00 PM
Do they not allow you to take the second semester?

It seems like you should have a full year.

If you are in California I know one girl who was dismissed, but she was reinstated after passing the California Baby Bar.

I would not make excuses in your Petition, but come up with ideas to prove that you are capable i.e. you are willing to take the baby bar exam, enroll in additional tutoring etc. Excuses do not go very far in the legal profession, but creative solutions do. Prove to them you are capable, smart and dedicated.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: barprephero on June 02, 2014, 08:58:34 PM
I suspect this many be Whittier. I am told they dismiss without AP if you fall below a 2.5 your first year
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 03, 2014, 01:37:23 PM
I started law school January of this year in a spring start program. I just received my first semester grades and got a 1.93 GPA. I need a 2.0 in order to be in good standing so I am one letter grade away from being able to stay in school. This semester has been very difficult for me as I have had A LOT of family issues and was homeless the first week of finals. I want to write a petition to the law school admissions committee because I really want to be in law school. Has anyone else been through this process and been successful with remaining in school? Do any of you have good advice or dos/do nots for my written petition? Thanks in advance.

Unless you have overcome the obstacles which held you back last semester, you may want to consider taking some time off anyway. There's no point in returning to law school unless you are in a position to succeed. I don't know enough about your situation to say what you should do, so you're going to have to do a critical self-evaluation and determine whether or not this is the right time to continue with law school.

Good Luck with whatever you decide!
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: barprephero on June 03, 2014, 02:08:16 PM
Also consider transferring. I am not sure how many credits would transfer (if any) but some of the bottom ABA schools would still let you restart if nothing else.  (cooley comes to mind)
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: here4 on June 05, 2014, 10:47:21 PM
This was a full time program. I started in the Spring under a special "Spring Start" program. I was thrown into second semester classes with other 1L's who started in the fall. I (and the other spring starters) was expected to perform at a second semester 1L level. I received very little preparation for final exams and knowing how to take the test is 70% of the grade. Maybe 2 of my teachers had old exams on file but all were more than seven years old. The week before finals was when I was introduced to IRAC and CIRIP and don't get me started on outlining. I was graded against all of the other experienced IL's on a curve. If I had started in the fall I would have had another semester to fix my grade. In my opinion I wasn't set up to succeed. As far as my personal struggles go I was homeless with three kids in a new city the week of finals. I have a stable place to stay now and I am much wiser about exams. I am enrolled in summer classes and doing great. I don't believe they will let me sit for my exams though. I already uprooted my family to a different state and I really want to finish. I have a lot more resources to succeed now and I don't doubt that I can do better. I just need to know what to say to an admission council to convince them as well without sounding like I am making excuses.
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 05, 2014, 11:07:58 PM
I think the most important thing is to demonstrate changed circumstances. If they (the council) think that you're still experiencing the same problems, they may not want to let you continue. But if you can convince them that those problems are in the past, and you now know what it takes to succeed in law school, well...you may have a shot.

You should be as specific as possible, don't speak in generalities. Say exactly what has changed which makes you confident that you can succeed. Give specific examples, and be positive. I wouldn't spend any time at all blaming a lack of IRAC instruction, or the curve, or spring admissions.

Also, be 100% honest even when it hurts.

Remember, the council wants to be reassured that you're a good bet. Focus on the positive aspects, and show that you have a plan for success.

BTW, I went to law school with kids (and a job) too. It's an unbelievable grind, but it's worth it. I did well the first semester and had good grades. Even so, I considered dropping out because it was so much stress on my family. Now have a job that I love, and am thankful everyday that I stuck it out. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Good Luck!
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: barprephero on June 06, 2014, 06:53:22 PM
What school in gods creation doesn't mention IRAC until week before finals? What school was this?
And there is NO WAY you started Torts2/Contracts2,etc in your first term. What actual classes did you take that were "second term level" and how many credits?

I believe you are an honest person, I am just trying to wrap my mind around the school.

Also, didn't you do any research on your own? I don't mean to sound like a jerk but I knew about stuff like IRAC and socratic BEFORE I took the lsat. I assumed anyone with even dialup internet access at the public library took the five minutes it takes to look that stuff up.
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: barprephero on June 06, 2014, 06:54:53 PM
Do they not allow you to take the second semester?

It seems like you should have a full year.

If you are in California I know one girl who was dismissed, but she was reinstated after passing the California Baby Bar.

I would not make excuses in your Petition, but come up with ideas to prove that you are capable i.e. you are willing to take the baby bar exam, enroll in additional tutoring etc. Excuses do not go very far in the legal profession, but creative solutions do. Prove to them you are capable, smart and dedicated.

Good luck.
I am confused by this. How did she take the exam if she wasn't a student? Don't you have to be a student in good standing to take it?
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: here4 on June 06, 2014, 08:29:12 PM
I think the most important thing is to demonstrate changed circumstances. If they (the council) think that you're still experiencing the same problems, they may not want to let you continue. But if you can convince them that those problems are in the past, and you now know what it takes to succeed in law school, well...you may have a shot.

You should be as specific as possible, don't speak in generalities. Say exactly what has changed which makes you confident that you can succeed. Give specific examples, and be positive. I wouldn't spend any time at all blaming a lack of IRAC instruction, or the curve, or spring admissions.

Also, be 100% honest even when it hurts.

Remember, the council wants to be reassured that you're a good bet. Focus on the positive aspects, and show that you have a plan for success.

BTW, I went to law school with kids (and a job) too. It's an unbelievable grind, but it's worth it. I did well the first semester and had good grades. Even so, I considered dropping out because it was so much stress on my family. Now have a job that I love, and am thankful everyday that I stuck it out. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Good Luck!



That was very helpful and the response that I was looking for. Thank you.
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: here4 on June 06, 2014, 08:45:12 PM
What school in gods creation doesn't mention IRAC until week before finals? What school was this?
And there is NO WAY you started Torts2/Contracts2,etc in your first term. What actual classes did you take that were "second term level" and how many credits?

I believe you are an honest person, I am just trying to wrap my mind around the school.

Also, didn't you do any research on your own? I don't mean to sound like a jerk but I knew about stuff like IRAC and socratic BEFORE I took the lsat. I assumed anyone with even dialup internet access at the public library took the five minutes it takes to look that stuff up.


The school probably didn't mention IRAC because they assumed everyone knew it. That was something that was taught in the Fall semester. You are right. I haven't taken any tort class or contracts class. I took Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure, and a writing class. What I meant to say was that these classes were taught as if I was more advanced than I actually was. There was a lot of reference back to things taught in a tort class or contracts class that I was unaware of because I never took those classes. In total I took 15 credits.

I did a lot of research before entering into law school about what to expect and study tips. Most law school blogs don't talk about IRAC unless you are specifically searching on how to take an exam which I didn't. A lot of people advised not to do too much research in order not to psych myself out before getting there. I was told in the end it would still be a shock and there would still be a learning adjustment no matter how much you try to prepare. I went into school thinking that I would be taught the very crucial things for success and that I would be going through this experience with students who were beginning at the same place. I didn't expect to be thrown into the mix of things to sink or float.

When I write my petition I don't plan on blaming the school. I am only going to write about my short comings and where I went wrong. I just wanted to give you guys some background about what happened.
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: here4 on July 17, 2014, 07:25:35 PM
I wanted to give an update. I took "Maintain FL"'s advice when writing my appeal letter. At the time of the dismissal I was enrolled in a summer class and  I was allowed to finish the course. I did very well in my summer class which brought my GPA up where it needed to be and I was readmitted.
Title: Re: Academic Dismissal
Post by: Groundhog on July 23, 2014, 09:13:49 AM
Good work!