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Messages - nachas

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1
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: December 31, 2010, 05:16:41 PM »
Nachas,
I am sorry that you got academically dismissed and my heart goes out to you. I wanted to know if you took any practice exams prior to the actual test. You mention that you didnt test well.

I searched for practice exams, but all profs test differently and none of them have old exams available.
We mostly used law in a flash, E&E, and Q&A books for test review, along with emmanuels, and I did really well - often explaining why I answered the way I did to my study buddies who got the questions wrong and didn't understand the material.
I took an old practice exam for Contracts and scored 90%, but it wasn't at school, wasn't under the stress of a room full of law school students, and I didn't take the test thinking that it was representative of my entire grade in class.  I just took the test under a 2 and a half hour time contraint.
The LD hit hard the day of the exams, my friends were all freaking out, and I was very nervous (and thought about my grandfather nonstop during the tests).
Note to pickle:
I'm still not buying the correlation between first semester grades and Bar exam scores either.  I know dozens of lawyers, some who passed the bar first time, and some who passed it second go around.  Some straight A law students passed first time and some had to retake, which is the same for people who barely squeaked by.
Then there's the old adage:
The A students become professors, the B students become judges and the C students make all the money
:-)


doods, do watcha like.

I don't think you will be admitted, graduate, pass the bar.  But hey, use me as inspiration.  Good luck Nachas!  I mean it.

I usually hate it when people revive old threads, but it appears that I have a rare opportunity to prove that most of the people with their insane theories and nasty attitudes were and will continue to be dead wrong.
I was readmitted after one year.  During that year, I clerked/paralegal-ed at a medium sized firm, got with my doc, got on meds, and started working on coping mechanisms.
Now that I am halfway through school, I am proud to report (mostly to the a-holes who said it couldn't be done, that ADHD doesn't exist, and that I am, in general, a failure who should seek another career) that I am on the dean's list - top 25%.
It turns out, ADHD is so real that the school hired a disability coordinator to assist students (like me) who have LD's that hurt their performance.  I've studied hard, worked hard, and dedicated myself and proved every idiot on this board who said it was impossible wrong.  I didn't do it to prove you wrong.  I didn't do it to prove me right.  I did it because I love the law and want to be a lawyer.
So, to those of you hiding in the shadows, afraid that having ADHD will prevent you from accomplishing your dreams, learn to ignore the ignorant and spiteful jerks who never miss an opportunity to kick someone when they are down.
To those of you who made fun of me for being affected by the loss of my grandfather, I feel sorry for you.  If you don't get affected by a massive loss like that, the loss of your hero, a holocaust survivor who came to this country and was told daily that he would fail, a man who learned english, started a business, and retired not just a millionaire, but a community leader, you are dead inside.  Good lawyers can't afford to be dead inside.    If you suffer a personal loss, my advice is to speak to your professors and the school administration about it.  You might be surprised at how far they will go to make it easier on you.
As I look forward to finishing the remainder of law school (the second half) and preparing for the bar, I take with me the great personal satisfaction of knowing that my struggle, while painful and embarrassing to go through, simply made me better.
To those of you who use these boards to ridicule people, make them feel worse, and pick on people who need help - don't worry, you will one day be judged for your behavior.  And you will, of course, lose many cases to people just like me - people who struggled and fought on when you would quit.  See, it says more about who you are than who I am when the best advice you could come up with was to quit, to give up, to find something else.  People like me persevere.  People like you quit when the going gets tough.
A few points I wanted to clear up:
JMLS does have a mandatory cut.  They are required to academically dismiss between 10 and 15% of the yearly entering class.  The numbers don't lie and are too consistent to believe that they don't.  Every year, 10-15% are academically dismissed.
Bar exam statistics at my school show that the highest pass rate doesn't come from the students who, after the first year, got all A's or B's.  Statistically speaking, people who had a B-/C+ average passed at the highest rate.  Furthermore, if it wasn't for the mandatory curve, designed to eliminate 10-15% of students, there would be no reason for me to have been academically dismissed.  I've met with the prof's who gave me the D's since coming back.  Every one of them told me that I got screwed by the system, that they wished they could change it, and that they've lobbied for change but have been shut down.  For the record, the classes I got D's in?  I got B+'s in all of them.
ADHD is a real disorder.  It affects millions of people.  It has seen incredible breakthroughs in the last few years in terms of recognition, cognitive development, and medical treatment.  I went for a full evaluation with a doctor who specializes in LD's and he told me, unequivocally, that I was a fairly typical case.  He told me that many people come to him, having done well in their careers and well in undergrad, who find they have trouble in law school, med school, and grad school.
Sure, the bar is tough.  I'm not afraid of it anymore though because I've been learning so much better now. 
When people take shots at others who do poorly, go through difficulties that hurt their performance, and run into trouble, they expose more about themselves than they do about the person they took shots at.  I am not stupid.  I am not lazy.  I am not an underachiever.  I suffer from a medical condition recognized by the medical profession, the federal government, state government, and every educational system in the country.  Making fun of someone with ADHD is exactly like making fun of someone with diabetes, MS, or any other medical condition they have no control over.  Like a diabetic, I can control my condition with medication.  The result isn't that I have an advantage over you, but rather that I am equalized to you.  Furthermore, research has now determined that in certain circumstances, people with ADHD often have a distinct advantage over people without it.
Don't be embarrassed.  Don't be afraid.  And never give up on something you care about.  If you care enough, you can and will overcome any obstacle.
Remember, people who never fail never really win. 
"“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” - Colin Powell
"“Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” - Zig Ziglar
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S. Lewis
“Failure is the tuition you pay for success.” - Walter Brunell
“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” - Chinese proverb
"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. " - Michael Jordan
 
Here is a short list of successful people with ADHD:
Albert Einstein
Thomas Edison
Nelson Rockefeller
Galileo
Louis Pasteur
Alexander Graham Bell
John F. Kennedy
Woodrow Wilson

Here's an ABA article about lawyers with ADHD, printed well before this discussion began (oddly contradicting every moron who claimed it didn't exist and that people with ADHD can't be good lawyers): http://www.abanet.org/genpractice/magazine/2006/oct-nov/adhd.html

Cranks, a-holes, trolls, and jerks love to sit behind their computers telling other people they've never met how stupid they are.  These same people wouldn't dare say the same things to actual people standing in front of them.  That's why they do it - they have no fear that what they say has repercussions.  I'd love for even one of you to say it to my face, but you wouldn't because you are weak and afraid.
If you have suffered with academic difficulties and suspect you may have ADHD, don't self-diagnose.  Go see a professional.
If you have been academically dismissed, of course reevaluate and think about whether the law is for you.  If you decide it is, go for it.  The idiots who tell you not to or guarantee you will fail?  They don't know anything.  They only think they do.  They said I wouldn't be readmitted, yet I was.  They said I would just fail out again, yet I didn't.  They said I couldn't be successful, yet I am.  Many of them will fail the bar exam their first go around.  It's okay.  They'll either follow their own advice and quit or they will realize that they need to try harder.  Personally, I hope they stick to it and try again.  Weak people quit when things get hard.  Strong people struggle then get back up and try again.
I wish you all success (even the jerks with no sensitivity, compassion, or actual knowledge).

2
Man, that sucks. 

Not that I think 4th tier schools should people in that aren't successful... but your life would be much better now if they just didn't let you in in the first place.

Roughly $26,000 better.
 ;)

3
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 09, 2008, 05:07:21 PM »

My property professor straight up told me that had I taken this same test and gotten the same score a semester earlier, I'd be looking at a C/C+ instead of a D.


jeffislouie:
 "For example, on one final, I got a C+.  When I spoke to the prof, he told me that the same score in his class the previous semester was a B."


Do you guys know each other or are in the same section?

I actually know Jeff.  We didn't study together, but I have spoken to him before.  We spoke the other day about my issue and he also shared his experiences with me.  When I brought up LSD, he told me his username and we laughed.  It's interesting when an anonymous person becomes not so anonymous...

4
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 05, 2008, 03:17:32 AM »
For whats its worth, some rather grim commentary on this thread

http://www.jdunderground.com/thread.php?threadId=17291

Ouch.
Anonymity and the like.
It's probably better that I don't respond to those little nuggets, lest I further expose my own stupidity.

5
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 05, 2008, 03:12:47 AM »
Nachas, what type of law do you plan to practice?

and best of luck



Criminal.
and thanks.

6
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 05, 2008, 03:10:23 AM »
Nachas,
I am sorry that you got academically dismissed and my heart goes out to you. I wanted to know if you took any practice exams prior to the actual test. You mention that you didnt test well.

I searched for practice exams, but all profs test differently and none of them have old exams available.
We mostly used law in a flash, E&E, and Q&A books for test review, along with emmanuels, and I did really well - often explaining why I answered the way I did to my study buddies who got the questions wrong and didn't understand the material.
I took an old practice exam for Contracts and scored 90%, but it wasn't at school, wasn't under the stress of a room full of law school students, and I didn't take the test thinking that it was representative of my entire grade in class.  I just took the test under a 2 and a half hour time contraint.
The LD hit hard the day of the exams, my friends were all freaking out, and I was very nervous (and thought about my grandfather nonstop during the tests).
Note to pickle:
I'm still not buying the correlation between first semester grades and Bar exam scores either.  I know dozens of lawyers, some who passed the bar first time, and some who passed it second go around.  Some straight A law students passed first time and some had to retake, which is the same for people who barely squeaked by.
Then there's the old adage:
The A students become professors, the B students become judges and the C students make all the money
:-)


doods, do watcha like.

I don't think you will be admitted, graduate, pass the bar.  But hey, use me as inspiration.  Good luck Nachas!  I mean it.

Thanks Pickle.

7
Hello prospective JMLS students.  This school is a decent enough school, but beware their academic dismissal policy as it has stung me and will sting 35-40 other students each year....

Here are the One L academic dismissals by school (Illinois schools) taken from the ABA official information:

University of Chicago: 0
chicago-kent: 11
Depaul: 10
U of I: 0
Loyola: 0
NIU: 3
Northwestern: 0
Southern Illinois: 5
------------------------------
total: 29

John Marshall: 36

You read that right - John Marshall dismisses more students than all of the other law schools in the state of Illinois combined.
Perhaps it's because of their lowered admission standards, perhaps it's because they are trying to get their ranking up, and perhaps it's because of any other myriad of reasons.  The fact remains and the numbers don't lie.  John Marshall Law School dismisses students for academic reasons at a rate equal to three times their closest peer school and outpaces all other law schools in Illinois combined.
Be aware - and consider other schools carefully.  If you do go here, know that there is a chance that, based on a single test, you could be academically dismissed.  JMLS is still the flunk out farm that they've been known for. 
US News and World Report bases their rankings on several factors and while JMLS seems to be most concerned with bar passage rates, they are completely ignoring the part of the USNAWR ranking system that the students are involved in. 
I'm not saying it's a bad school and I'm not discouraging anyone from attending.  All I am doing is what the administration won't: being honest about their dismal academic dismissal rate (which hovers every year between 10 and 20% of incoming students).

8
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 04, 2008, 05:19:56 PM »
Nachas,
I am sorry that you got academically dismissed and my heart goes out to you. I wanted to know if you took any practice exams prior to the actual test. You mention that you didnt test well.

I searched for practice exams, but all profs test differently and none of them have old exams available.
We mostly used law in a flash, E&E, and Q&A books for test review, along with emmanuels, and I did really well - often explaining why I answered the way I did to my study buddies who got the questions wrong and didn't understand the material.
I took an old practice exam for Contracts and scored 90%, but it wasn't at school, wasn't under the stress of a room full of law school students, and I didn't take the test thinking that it was representative of my entire grade in class.  I just took the test under a 2 and a half hour time contraint.
The LD hit hard the day of the exams, my friends were all freaking out, and I was very nervous (and thought about my grandfather nonstop during the tests).
Note to pickle:
I'm still not buying the correlation between first semester grades and Bar exam scores either.  I know dozens of lawyers, some who passed the bar first time, and some who passed it second go around.  Some straight A law students passed first time and some had to retake, which is the same for people who barely squeaked by.
Then there's the old adage:
The A students become professors, the B students become judges and the C students make all the money
:-)

9
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 04, 2008, 05:12:30 PM »

  It's the curve and the way they write/enforce it. 
I only learne about this after we took the K midterm, about a month or so before finals, when someone asked the prof how the curve works.  Grades for any given one L class of D or F are awarded to no fewer than 10% and no more than 20% of the class.  Meaning in a class of 80 students, anywhere from 8-16 students get D's or F's.  Academic dismissal is set at 1.75, meaning that if you get more than one D, you are basically screwed.

This is the only comment I've seen you make so far that I think is unwarranted. I am in the process of transferring out of JMLS, and the curve wasn't/shouldn't have been a surprise. If you did any research going into school, you should have known 1L is curved there. The curve is in the Student Handbook, and was discussed at Orientation. I don't think there is any excuse for not knowing what the grading policy is going in. That said, it sucks you were dismissed, and I can certainly understand your general frustration.

Thanks for the kindness.
They didn't tell us during orientation that they anticipate to lose 10-20% of their incoming class to academic dismissal, though I understand how a curve works.
My problem isn't with the curve itself, but rather how the curve is interpreted and applied.  One prof said "we don't have to flunk people, but at least 10% of you have to get a D or below."

10
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 04, 2008, 05:08:12 PM »
nachas,

How do you think you're going to pass the bar exam if you are readmitted to JMSL?

You obviously can't do as well on law school exams as the vast majority of students at a T4 law school, so what makes you think you'll be able to pass the bar exam, where you will be competing with all those T4 students who did better than you on your exams as well as students from (much) better law schools?

This should be a serious consideration before you expend any more time/money on law school.

Well, first of all the bar exam isn't competitive against other students.  You are taking a test to pass or fail.  I passed all of my classes and have failed none.
Additionally, I believe that if I treat the learning disability properly, I won't have issues with low grades.  As I said before, the shock of all this comes from the fact that I know the material.  I taught some of it to other students who had problems and those around me believe me to be knowledgable - and expert in the courses I took.  This semester was rough, but I don't think that the problem was that I didn't learn the material.  My problem was how my brain handled the testing pressure and time constraints.
People can change, adapt, and learn.  To say that because I took 3 tests poorly, that I am incapable of doing as well as my peers is a little presumptive.

Your performance on your law school exams this year shows that your aptitude for taking law school exams is at the lowest possible level among law school students - you were academically dismissed from (i.e., failed out of) a fourth tier law school. Such a low aptitude will very likely not allow you to pass the bar exam (no matter how smart you are aside from law school exams), which is an exam with all (if not more) of the time constraints and pressure of law school exams.

Knowing the material and being able to pass exams are two entirely different things (and, contrary to your assertion, you clearly failed some of your exams - whether it's called a B, a D, or a Z, if the grade is below the minimum required not to fail out of law school, it's a failing grade). Yes, you may know the material, and yes your law professors may think you could be a great lawyer, but unless you can show some aptitude for taking law school exams, which at this point seems clearly impossible, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to pass the bar.

This may be a good opportunity to save the money you would have spent on two more years of law school and do something else - what would you have wanted to do as a lawyer, anyway? And would a degree from John Marshall (with a terrible GPA) have allowed you to do it? Realistically, no, it wouldn't have. See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119040786780835602.html for starters - a law degree is not a magical ticket to wealth (or even a job), especially a law degree at the bottom of one's class from a T4.
Impossible?  There isn't anything I can do, like getting on medication for a learning disability and working with faculty and staff to bring my law school exam skills up?  That wouldn't help?
And I don't have to worry about going biglaw, public interest law, etc.  My father has a medium sized law firm (my brother is a partner as well) and there is a job waiting for me.  So graduating from law school at the bottom of my class wouldn't matter much anyway.  That said, you advice seems to revolve around two basic ideas (and feel free to correct me):
1)  Because I got 2 D's on 2 tests, which were graded based on the overall grade of the class, not the actual grade, I have displayed the impossibility of ever taking a successful law school exam and would therefore fail the bar exam.
and
2) Since I *might* graduate with a low class ranking, I will never have any job prospects.

It appears that number 1 doesn't take into effect the deep personal loss I suffered when my grandfather died as well as the learning disability that I thought I had beaten.
Impossible means: not capable of occurring or being accomplished or dealt with
Is that really what you think?  That there is nothing that I can do to fix the situation?  Somehow, I find this to be a little too final of a word to describe the situation, especially in light of several conversations I've had since with faculty and staff (including knowledge of the fact that the President of the board of trustees almost failed out of the school well before the policies that stand today were in place - he actually got an F his first semester).

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