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Topics - nachas

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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).

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General Board / JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 02, 2008, 07:00:47 PM »
Hi.  I was enrolled for my first semester at John Marshall in the spring and didn't do so well.  At midterms, my grandfather died (the morning of for K) and I thought I had overcome ADD, but didn't test well.  There is no question that I learned the material, I was active in class, and even received an email from a prof thanking me for working so hard and telling me that I will one day be an excellent lawyer.  Finals came, and I studied approximately 60-80 hours for each test.  When test day came, I was the first one out of the exam and my study buddies all called me to thank me for teaching them concepts that they didn't understand before we had set up our finals study group.  I got a B, a C+, and 2 D's.  I was academically dismissed for having a 1.713 gpa (the cutoff was 1.75).  I spoke to all my profs and the schools policy is that grades cannot be changed unless there was a computational error.  One prof personally spoke to academic services on my behalf because he believed in me.  Now I'm somewhat screwed.  The school has no appeals process and my best shot is to return to school in a year or wait 2, then apply to other schools.  Like other schools are looking for people who were academically dismissed...
SO, here are my questions:
1)  What do I tell friends and my girlfriends family?  How do I approach these conversations?
2)  Does anyone have any stories about being dismissed, coming back, being denied, what happened after they returned, etc?

John Marshall is a decent school (sort of) but they don't handle themselves professionally.  Per federal law, they are required to have an exit interview to explain federal loan programs and how they are now affected by dismissal.  Instead, they sent me a letter saying "Since it is inconvenient to set up this meeting, we sent you this form instead."  When I called, they said that due to security concerns, they aren't sure if I can come in for an exit interview.  This, of course, is horseshit.  I am no more a security concern now than I was when I was a ft student!  Plus, I will in all likelihood reapply.  The moron who wrote the letter put me through to the dean and I left a voicemail which has not been returned.
And one more thing, I met with the director of academic services who told me that if my K prof was willing to give me points for the midterm (due to my grandfathers death) and if that would change my grade, she'd be fine with that.  Then the prof went to speak to her and she told him that he couldn't change the grade. 
Don't be fooled, potential JMLS students, JMLS is a churn and burn law school that mandates at least a 10% attrition rate.  Presumably, this is to increase bar passage rates and up their USNAWR ranking (which, of course, it wont).  They aren't as rough as cooley, where the attrition rate is much higher, but this school charges as much or more as other schools and provides you with similar, if not deficient, education.
If you get accepted to JMLS, I feel compelled to warn you to reconsider another school.  Looking back, I should have gone to NIU, Kent or DePaul.
Most law schools have a lower threshhold for academic dismissal (1.6, 1.5, etc), give you a full year to turn around (most schools understand and care that the first semester requires a massive adjustment), or have an appeals process (for cases such as mine where a family member passes or there is an untreated learning disability).  JMLS is too lazy and confused to consider these possibilities.  The fact is that JMLS is ranked where it is BECAUSE of their insane policies, not despite them.
The worst part is that most schools don't dismiss students at all, especially higher ranked schools.  Med students are rarely dismissed as well.

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