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Topics - 1sweetworld4136

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Current Law Students / Crossing Over from 1L to Grad School
« on: February 23, 2006, 10:55:05 PM »
Anyone tried this?  Know of anyone who has done this? 

I have given a great deal of consideration to this matter, and I am extremely close to putting in a grad school app at my alma mater for the Ph.D Program in my undergrad major (political science).  This is in addition to law school transfer apps.  I just can't stand it here.  This is the worst location on the face of the earth for human existance, much less for a law school, bar none.  Now I know what some will say -- stop whining, get it done, etc.  I am.  I've sucked it up for the time being..and resolved to finish 1L.  I'm doing fairly well in the substantive material, but it bores more to near death.  My therapist agrees that I need a change of place.  Since myself and my therapist have me convinced that my depression will be cured after a change of venue, I suppose it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I wish I knew. 

Two questions:  Would I still need to take the GRE or would some schools waive it on a totality of the circumstances approach? 

Second, what are everyone's opinions on approaching a professor out of the blue for a letter of recommendation for this purpose?  Do you think they would be more forthcoming in producing one than, say, if you were going to transfer to another law school?  I don't even have an ice breaker -- I volunteer alot and ask questions of my professors, but I've never developed an office hours type of relationship with them on a one-on-one basis.  Perhaps it's time to start sucking up?

Thanks in advance.  And yes, it's 2am...I haven't slept a full 8 hours in nearly three months.  I'm on EVERYTHING for sleep and acid reflux, which has developed since I've been here, but it just doesn't cut it.  If I stay here, it could be at significant cost to my health.  Even my MD agrees -- I'm mentally and physically depressed.  Oye Vei!

Transferring / Transferring Due to Hardship/Retaking the LSAT
« on: February 23, 2006, 12:50:31 PM »
Two questions, all advice or comments appreciated:

1.  I need to get out of the law school that I am currently at, but my grades are lackluster.  There is also a vicious curve mean of 2.5, meaning that the average student will have a 2.5 GPA.  I did considerably worse than the average student during the first semester, and hope to have about an average grade after this semester.  In the gestalt, I doubt I will be able to transfer on merits alone.  To cut to the chase, my first question is:  Should I retake the LSAT in June to improve my chances of acceptance to the law school?  Any subsequent LSDAS report reflecting the updated results would be released very close to the time that the admissions committee at that school would make their determination, if at all by that time.

2.  I also would like to claim hardship.  Would this be a valid factor in the admissions committee's determination?  Has anyone ever done this?  Specifically, I am clinically depressed at this location.  I have two professionals who are prepared to submit affidavits to that effect.  I also have a child on the way and am engaged to someone living closer to that school.  Finally, financial hardship would be my last claim -- although that is probably the weaker of the three.  If this is a valid factor, should I submit it as an addendum if there is no applicable question on the application, or should I reflect this is my personal statement absent guidelines to the contrary?  Thanks for your advice, and if anyone has ever attempted this, please share.

Current Law Students / Duty to Disclose
« on: February 09, 2006, 08:22:39 AM »
Two duty to disclose questions:

1.  I was found guilty of a non-moving traffic violation in December while home from law school.  Am I required to disclose this?  Should I do it anyway just to be on the safe side, especially since it was received in the state in which I plan to take the bar?

2.  This one is longer.  My roommate is a drug addict and abuses prescription medication such as painkillers, antidepressants, and barbituates on an almost daily basis.  In addition, that person binge drinks daily, often driving to classes under the influence.  Occassionally, that person snorts cocaine and smokes pot.  This is in blind disregard to my repeated requests to keep these elements out of my view since I am a recovering alcoholic.  My question is, do I have the duty to report this now, even though we are probably taking the bar in different states?  More importantly, should I, from a moral standpoint, report this?  I am considering this for a number of reasons, primarily because this person has been a total a-hole and completely disrespectful as of late, and were it not for the sheer impracticability of the matter at this juncture in the semester I would have moved out already.  I'd like to think that, as a future attorney, character and fitness would demand that I disclose something like this, possibly to get this person help now, before it's too late and it affects the gestalt.  People who blatently disregard the law should not, in my opinion, be lawyers.  They're usually called criminals, but in some cases there appears to be a very fine line between the two as wrong and right.

Current Law Students / What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« on: January 11, 2006, 03:30:49 PM »
I apologize for this rather horrible and probably depressing first post, but I would like to see if anyone is in a similar position, or, in the alternative, if anyone else has been through this and survived.  Any wisdom, suggestions, and constructive criticism (but not insults) would be appreciated.  A fair warning that this is a winded post.

I'm at a t4 law school.  Today is my first day back for 2nd Semester, and I've been so distracted staring at the bookshelf at my cubicle thinking about my future.  A few days ago I received my fall semester grades along with a dreaded academic advisory letter from the Dean.  I have a 1.71 GPA.  If I were at most "real" law schools, I'd be down the road already, but this school does not dismiss students for academic deficiency until after the 1L year.  I have been mulling over my options, which are listed in the poll.  If anyone can think of any other options, I'm open to suggestions.

The way I see it is that I should apply for a leave of absence.  However, I have no grounds for it other than wanting to take time off to reconsider.  It is my understanding that in general extenuating circumstances are required.  I would still like to apply, being honest of course.  The truth of the matter is, I didn't apply myself first semester.  I did not make the changes I needed to make, and I made some destructive decisions.  I'm trying to clean up my life right now, but I fear it may be too late.  I am attending AA meetings right now and I'm doing fairly well, but that probably doesn't matter anymore. I do not blame alcohol for my own shortcomings, and would that really be an excuse?  Also along these lines is the option of applying for a restart, which would effectively amount to a leave of absence with a fresh GPA and transcript, and this has the same requirement of extenuating circumstances.

I've also laid out what I think to be my other options in the poll above above.  I had planned to use this school as a stepping stone to transfer "back home" to a state school with cheaper tuition and a part-time program so that I could work and put myself through law school, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.  Even if I pull the maximum allotted GPA here (a 4.33), by Spring I would have at best a 3.0, but the curve here is very screwy and the chances of that happening are close to non-existant.  That 3.0 would put me on the borderline for getting into that school. 

I have little doubt that I can stick it out and pull at least a 2.3 next semester to pass.  If I'm going to finish law school here, my career prospects are basically shot.  The only way I'm going to get onto law review here is a write-on - and if my writing and research grade is any indication, that's not going to happen.  My class rank will be at best in the top 33%, and the best possible GPA would be a 3.89, but again, that's assuming all A+ grades (4.33) for the remaining 5 semesters. If I were at a more prestigious law school, this wouldn't be a big deal, but being near the bottom of the barrel is hard to stomach.  If I do this, I'm doomed to spend two more years in an area I absolutely hate.  Sounds like I've already answered my own question, right?  After law school, how much am I really going to make, and how much trouble am I going to have finding work being at the very bottom of the totem pole (nationwide!!!)?  My other concern is that due to the fact that I am attending on 100% loans on only my father's credit history as a co-signer and obviously no longer eligibile for any type of institutional based grants, scholarships, or tuition assistance that might have been an option at some point, I will be unable to fund the remainder of my education.  All of my undergrad loans referenced except obviously the Stafford and Perkins have been taken out with my father as a co-signer.

My other option is to take stock of my situation and admit that I made a mistake - I've spent approximately 21k already between the conditional admission program I completed this summer (top of the class of 96 people, btw) and last semester, add that on to my 45k undergrad debt and I'm about $65,000 in the hole.  I am still eligible for a 100% tuition refund within the first week.  If I do this, will I be required to return my overpayment funds (I'm assuming they are from my private loan and not any Stafford) once a check is disbursed, or can I keep it to use for moving expenses and integrating into the brutal real working world during my grace period?  I have a degree in political science, which is basically good for school of some type and nothing practical.  Is there anything else I can do with this otherwise useless degree should I persue this option?  I've considered entering the service or Peace Corps as a last resort.

Any answers to any questions posted, any wisdom, or any similar experiences are, again, appreciated.

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