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Messages - functionial drunk
« on: June 03, 2015, 09:51:35 PM »
I would like to thank all of you for your prompt responses. The feedback is a lot better than whatever those cretins at TLS would come up with.
Firstly, I would like to thank you loki13. You have given me the best advice here. You may or may not be right about the school I am attending, but I am just staying anonymous because I do not want my fellow 2Ls figure out my identity in the case that the appeals committee does re-accept me. For the record there is a school in Miami which is ranked in the low 100s that offers competitive in state tuition at around $20k a year. That would probably be my transfer destination, but I am definitely going to try the appeal process first. As for your contention that I will not finish at the top of the class at any school that I would transfer to, you are probably right. At this point I know I can never be a law school professor. Its slightly sad to think that you start this whole law school quest, with such high hopes, only to get crushed when your grades come around.
You are also spot on about appealing one grade upwards. Contracts in Spring was a four credit class whereas all four of my other classes were three credits. Much like in Civ Pro, I put in my best effort for the semester in that class with only a D for disappointment to show for it. However I went to my teacher's office hours three times during the semester for two of our assignments. The teacher knows me by name and we were awkwardly conversational. I reviewed his final and he posted the answers so I can show what my (flawed) logic was and compare it to his flawless logic and knowledge of the law. If I can get him to budge a few points with a heartfelt analysis on what I thought went wrong then I can probably surpass the .3333 GPA deficit so that I can be in good academic standing. I would need a three point increase in that class to meet the threshold. That is a substantial boost and I don't know if the curve would allow it. Would it be a better approach to contact multiple teachers so that they can all give me a one point boost?
Secondly, Maintain FL 350 I appreciate your counseling as well. You are giving me sobering advice which is definitely what the appeals committee wants to see. I learned after receiving my first semester grades that reading does not really do anything. Knowing the cases is not enough. The problem that I had during my second semester was that I took on way more than I could handle. I started working, which as loki13 pointed out, was a terrible idea. I also became more involved in the local Bar association which also distracted me from my studies. Would that be an acceptable reason? They made us sign a waiver saying that we would not pursue employment in our first year, so I would have to come clean on that too. I would propose that I would never work during school again, but I don't know if they would trust that because I knowingly breached the waiver during my first year. I have a doctor that would happily sign me off as having ADD. I could give them a whole spiel about how I have un-diagnosed ADD and a doctor's note to prove it. That would sit poorly with me because its a bad reason, and I don't have ADD, but I would do just about anything to get back in.
As for that quote you sampled, I apologize but I wrote my whole post without thinking about what was implied. I'm just complaining about everyone else being able to grasp the material quicker than I am. I used "try hard" as a term of art, I did not intend to use it literally. A better substitution for "try hard" would be gunner, you know, the kid who does well at the expense of others. I literally did try the hardest I ever had in this first year, its just disappointing that it ended so poorly. As a matter of fact, my work ethic is probably the only reason I got into school in the first place. Clearly I am not the most academically gifted kid in school. The first time I took the LSAT, I scored in the unranked school range, the second time I took it I increased 10 points and got accepted into pretty good schools with scholarships. This improvement happened while I worked full time so I studied after work and on weekends. The work ethic is not the question. My legal writing teacher even noted, after tearing into every single one of my writing assignments, that I am a hard worker. Additionally, The TAs in that class can attest that I met with them frequently for tips on my assignments. Personally, I think that the difference between the highest grade and the lowest grade in the class is not that big. Actually both may be right, but the one that is more in line with the teacher's views is the "better" one.
Thirdly, i VII I appreciate the input but I don't think I'm going to do that. Even a curb bottom feeder, like myself, knew that getting into a decent school was important if you wanted to land a decent job out of law school. The whole reason I took the LSAT a second time was so that I can avoid going to a diploma mill like that. Unfortunately, it may be my only option if the appeals committee does not look at my application favorably. The Florida Bar should be more concerned with regulating the absurd amount of schools in the state, but hey what do I know? I pretty much flunked out of law school!
Finally, Minor issue (1) is off the table. Figured that I may as well suck it up because most people hate their boss anyway. I can salvage something out of this train wreck if my appeal is successful and if I keep this job so that I can show employers next summer.
« on: June 03, 2015, 10:48:24 AM »
Please solve the following fact pattern:
Got in to a lower level tier 1 school in Florida, and slaved away my 1L year just like everyone else (2014-2015). Grueling hours in the library, studying on weekends, hoarding outlines, etc. In fall, I got a D in Civ Pro although it was the class that I studied the most for. I told myself that I would make adjustments in Spring and get a better GPA. I made HUGE adjustments: stopped working out, ate out a lot more to accommodate the hectic study schedule, hoarded more outlines, and even found a paying job during Spring. As it turns out, when Spring grades came out I got two Ds in Contracts and Legislation Regulation (a BS class that no one should really have to take, the teacher did not even teach). However, I got my highest grade in 1L year with a B in Con Law, a class I actually enjoyed and ACTUALLY MADE SENSE. After the tremendous relief from completion of 1L year I partied my butt off because I had not done that all semester. In the summer I planned on taking Tax I, Con Law II, and to continue working with the attorney who hired me. Despite the two Ds in Spring, my GPA was still higher than it was in fall (thanks to Con Law) although only marginally so.
Fast forward to halfway through the summer semester (present day). I have already began looking at my Tax and Con Law II E & Es, taking notes, keeping up with the readings, paying attention in lectures, etc. I am minding my own business when Tuesday, June 2, 2015, comes along. It was a particularly difficult day at work, the attorney who once was kind of nice to me as a fledgling 1L when he hired me during Spring, screams at me for fudging up a simple legal research assignment despite the fact I made an honest mistake. I mean really screamed at me like dropping F bombs and such. Whatever, I sucked it up (like always) and finished up my work day. As soon as I get off at 5 PM I got a call from the Academic Deans office at my school asking for me to come in for an impromptu meeting. I ask what it could possibly be about and the secretary responds with, "Your classes next year." Hurriedly I arrive on campus, disregarding the Bar Association event I was supposed to attend because as we all know SCHOOL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING! I sit in the Dean's office and she does not hesitate to sit me down and tell me that I have been academically dismissed for not having my GPA at a 69 after completion of my 1L year. With my eyes glazed over and shell shocked I stare at her in bewilderment feeling myself die slowly inside as the words kept creeping out of her mouth. She continues to inform me that I have been dropped from my summer courses, which I have been faithfully participating in and attending for half of the summer semester along with my fall courses. She also informs me that my scholarships had been revoked. When she asks if I have any questions, I could only come up with the stock questions of: when is my financial aid reimbursement coming in? How does the appeal process work? Has anyone ever been readmitted in time for fall? In regards to the second question, she says that the readmission process is not guaranteed and may take some time to reach a decision. Like always, I remained courteous and composed on the outside but mentally flustered as I left her office.
The kicker here is that I have a 68.6667 GPA, .3333 away from being a "good" student in "solid" academic standing. For all of you prospective law students, let that sink in, the "curve's" margin is definitely that razor sharp. The Dean advised that I meet with some of my professor's to go over my final. I cannot do that right now because I for once feel directionless, helpless, and like an utter failure for the first time in my short life.
Issue (1): I enjoy my school. Its great, despite my "lackluster" grades I do enjoy learning the law and most of the teachers are bearable. The practice of law does interest me and I think I would make a decent lawyer. I was a popular kid in my 1L class and I enjoyed the company of my classmates. Does anyone have a general idea on how the academic dismissal appeal process works and how long should I expect to be out of school? The Dean told me that I would need to draft a statement which would be submitted to a review committee; she strongly hinted that I should meet with my professors regarding my final grades (can they change my grades this late in the game?) and she strongly hinted if there were any medical conditions which "limited" my performance during my 1L year (am I supposed to admit I have ADD or some other BS disease so I can grovel a lame excuse to the committee?)
Issue (2): I am tired of having my soul crushed, and swallowing my pride. Although my school is in the same state it is kind of far from the city where I want to practice. The kids here are all way too smart and competitive. I have never been a "try hard" and I do not intend on starting now. I know the legal profession is rife with "try hards" and the unnecessary antagonism that they bring but I do think that some genuine, helpful, and reasonable people can still succeed in the legal profession today. Additionally, I think that I put in a lot more effort than some of the kids at the top of the class. I am tired of feeling like Forrest Gump in a classroom full of Einsteins. What are my chances of transferring to a lower tier II/ high tier III school after academic dismissal from my tier I in the city that I want to practice in and would that be advisable?
Issue (1): I officially hate my job. Without school there is really no point in working for $8 an hour for an ancient PI lawyer who has little to no patience and is not very friendly. What are my alternatives? I have done a lot of work for him and learned a lot although I don't know if quitting would be a good idea because he may give me a good reference. Mind you this man might be the very reason I flunked out because most 1Ls are not supposed to begin working until after their first year. In accepting the job, I may have let my greed get the best of me and I do have a tendency to take on way too much responsibilities on at once.
Issue (2): I have put in a lot of work at the local Bar Association. They seem to appreciate me and my volunteer work, and have even gone as far to nominate me as a student representative on their event committee. The head of the local bar association even reached out to me and asked that I attend the Voluntary Bar Association conference on July 11th and 12th so she can have a student representative. The obvious problem with this being that I am phony if I attend the conference and sit on the committee, because I am no longer "officially" a law student.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, for now assume that I am sticking to law school because I truly did enjoy the experience (as masochistic as that sounds) but please keep your answers related to the four issues stated above. Right now I am the most helpless I have ever felt so any sagacious wisdom on lawschooldiscussion.org is welcomed!
« on: July 15, 2014, 02:59:13 PM »
Again many thanks to all the people on this forum your advice has been invaluable. To bring a little closure to this thread I am going to share with you all some information. I have ultimately decided to matriculate at FSU law. After much bickering and squabbling they finally caved into my demands and gave me $7k to go towards my tuition. This does help the burden of my student loans tremendously and makes me not feel so bad for turning down FIUs $10k. I do still have to pay for all of my living expenses in Tallahassee but that is insignificant when compared to any decently large city in the US. This will be manageable because I have saved a couple thousand during this off year working. After visiting FSUs campus I felt like it was a very collaborative atmosphere compared to that of FIUs. Note I am not putting down FIU it is a great school in its own regards I just felt more in tune with the spirit of FSU law. As for all the haters from UF saying that FSU doesn't have any big law connects well just looking at the short list of big law firms in the capital: Greenburg Traurig, Akerman Senterfitt, Gray Robinson, etc. I think there can be valuable connections made in Tallahassee in both the private sector and the public sector. Now I don't even plan to work in one of these sprawling mega firms anymore after learning about the quality of life for your average junior associate. What I plan to do is spend the rest of my adult life working within the legal system and at some point hopefully I can retain enough clients to open up my own firm and finally be able to call myself boss.
I am still on the UMich waitlist but I have never been one to torture myself over something that might not materialize. If they do accept me within the coming weeks I would have some reconsidering to do. School starts on august 25 and if they reach out to me after then I hope they have a good replacement lined up. Looks like it's Tallahassee for me in August!
PS sorry for the crappy grammar writing these rants on an iPhone is not proofreading friendly
« on: April 10, 2014, 09:25:32 PM »
As a preface let me say again that both Miami88 and CityLaw have been great in giving me the feedback that I need during this arduous process. I know I was just splitting hairs when it came to the difference in employment stats between FIU and FSU, I just really want to convince myself that one school is better than the other so that I can make a clear headed and easy decision. Fact of the matter is that I still cannot but I am slightly leaning towards FSU for a variety of reasons. 1. The peace and calm demeanor of Tallahassee should allow me to focus on my studies better 2. The cost of living leads to less money spent on gas, groceries, etc. (although I would be saving more by staying at home) 3. This consequently leads to cheaper happy hours for when I need to blow off some steam 4. I firmly believe Tallahassee is the best college town in Florida. Now FIU is a great institution and I was perfectly happy going there until I realized that I could go back to my alma mater that I am a proud graduate of.
To not give you guys too much of an easy time I have come up with some counter points: although FIU would offer the obvious "networking" advantage being located in Miami don't you think that some employers would be intrigued by an FSU grad after seeing a thousand resumes with FIU, UM, St. Thomas, Nova, etc. on them? Wouldn't some attorneys recognize that I am loyal and willing to contribute to the firm in the long term because of my willingness to receive my Bachelors and JD from the same institution? Also wouldn't I have a broader alumni network to tap into if I attended FSU because it was founded in 1966, whereas I would have to essentially "blaze my own trail" if I graduated from FIU because it was founded in 2002?
On another note yes Miami88 if I got accepted to Michigan I would probably go because it would be an opportunity that I would regret to pass up on. Michigan has an outstanding entrepreneurship/law program which I am highly interested in. Only problem is that I got "waitlisted" so they literally told me that I have from now until August to play blindfolded pin the tail on the donkey until I find out. Kind of makes me regret not applying to more top schools because I didn't think that my 157 LSAT score and 3.45 GPA were up to their standards. I do however have an outstanding resume, solid writing samples, and represent a "minority". At the end of the day I don't need a fancy ivy league/top 20 degree to boost my self esteem or to make jobs appear out of thin air, I'm just going to do what I always have done which is use my own determination and resilience to separate myself from the competition. I am perfectly fine and happy practicing in Florida or somewhere else in the Southeast with a relatively low burden of debt as a graduate of either FIU or FSU.
Another note for Michigan is that I have never experienced "Michigan" type cold weather. From what I hear about other residents of the Midwest is that Michigan is cold for even Ohio/Minnesota standards. Being a Florida native for the last 20 years I am not sure how I would deal with that and how it might impact my psychological well being. The coldest weather I have been in is about -10 degrees Celcius because I was in Europe at the time.
Citylaw I will make a note to check out that movie because like Miami88 I have been devouring admissions/first year/intro to law books in my quest to find the right school for me, yet I still have not found an answer. Oh yeah Miami88 if we both do make it to Michigan we will have to swap info to see if we can find suitable living arrangements.
« on: April 10, 2014, 10:15:29 AM »
On the flip side I was also recently notified that I made the University of Michigan wait list. Woo hoo! (I guess) If accepted, I have to decide if I want to go further in debt in order to attend a school with a national reputation. I do love my two regional powerhouses in FIU and FSU but all of the old guard lawyers tell me to attend Michigan if I get in. Realistically the only place I would want to live in besides Florida/Southeast is NYC so I don't know if that would be worth it.
« on: April 10, 2014, 10:09:06 AM »
Again thank you for the prompt response CityLaw. Well you are right, I do have very little experience working in a courtroom legal setting per se but I already have had an internship for two legislative sessions in the Capitol in Tallahassee at a lobbying firm, and I currently work at a maritime law firm in Miami. As you can imagine I do not plan on being that 1% that does not do *&^% to pass the bar exam let alone try at law school. I am going to have to try because I am not a trust fund baby and I am not going to an elite level school. That being said, it is hard for me to comprehend that rankings do not matter. In my narrow minded 0L head all I can see is FSU #1 in Florida, FIU #4 in Florida by a significant margin. I have a few buddies going to St. Thomas law school (unranked) in Miami and a plethora of other friends trying to be attorneys that did not get into FSU but got into FIU. Essentially I feel like if I pass up on FSU I would be settling and although my performance at FIU would dictate what type of job I would land, in the back of my head I will always know that I could have had a magical experience in Tallahassee but I bypassed that because I was scared of a little debt.
City Law, I am glad that you can commiserate with me when it comes to the big city traffic. I have visited LA once and let me tell you that your traffic is significantly worse than ours, I guess I am just being whiny. I just feel like Tallahassee has a much more laid back mentality that would dissipate my stress levels whereas in Miami I would have to worry about a million other things besides school. On a random note I find it intriguing that FIU has 44 yelp reviews whereas FSU only has 4 Yelp reviews. Is FIU disseminating propaganda? or is FSU suppressing information? I guess I am just too cynical for these review websites.
« on: April 09, 2014, 09:19:01 PM »
PS I paid my $200 deposit for both schools so its all gravy when it comes down to deciding time. I am aware that as soon as I decide where to go I should inform the other school so that a waitlisted student could get his preferred school.
« on: April 09, 2014, 09:14:42 PM »
As always I appreciate the quality and timing of your input Miami88 the facts you are telling me are both relevant and applicable to my situation. I do however have some inquiries about the facts you cited. Firstly, you kind of oversimplify the difference between the employment statistics of FIU and FSU. For example, the Big law and public interest/gov. hiring percentages of FSU are double of what they are for FIU. This makes a difference because the size of FSU is comparable to that of FIU whereas the University of Florida is much larger than both these institutions. I know were all pre law or current JD students but I am going to do some basic math so bear with me. If there is an average class size for FSU is 187 and 6% of their grads land a big law (big bucks) gig that would be 11.22 students from that class. Now FIU has an average class size of 155 with 3% of their grads landing a big law gig which would make it 4.65 students out of that graduating class landing jobs at a big law firm in Florida. I don't know whether to count that .65 as a roundup or a shorter FIU student (think 4" and less student) landing a big time gig. I am aware that FSU's class sizes are marginally larger but shouldn't I go with the school that offers more jobs straight up? What's the point of going to law school if your scared of the competition?
Another aspect of this discussion that I have to consider is what type of law school experience do I want? Sure I can play it safe and stay at home and have mommy and daddy do my laundry and cook all my meals while going to FIU but if I go to FSU I can be my own man and worry about my own business. Not to mention that I live with two other brothers here so it would be virtually impossible to study at home in Miami, I would practically be relegated to exclusively study at FIU law's campus. If I went to FSU I would have my own 1 x 1 apartment where I can control all the variables and live far away from the undergraduate part of campus where all the crazy Saturday football shenanigans would be going down. On top of that there is virtually no commuting in Tallahassee, everything is within a 15 minute drive. I know I previously said that FSU is not giving me financial aid but the actual truth is that I find out mid April whether they are going to give me some moolah or not. Although I would prefer to practice in Miami it is not the be all end all of why I want to go to law school. This city is great but there is a mind numbing amount of traffic to get around anywhere, its expensive, overcrowded, and a lot of people here are straight up rude and always in a rush. There are plenty of gorgeous cities in Florida such as Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville that I probably would not mind exploring after graduation. I work 7 days a week to save up for law school where I aim to have 10k straight cash for wherever I decide to attend. So yeah FSU would put me in the hole significantly more than FIU but if I land a sweet gig and almost certainly have a better law school experience wouldn't that count for something that you cannot put a price on?
Either way thanks for the help guys as you can tell I been stressing over this for the last half of 2013 and all of 2014 but I think of it as training for law school haha!
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:20:57 AM »
So guys sorry for doing a total 180 degree turn but this application process has been confusing and full of ups and downs. I visited FSU law this past weekend for admitted students day and the campus is much larger and well equpped than FIU Law's campus. The faculty also seems to be slightly more qualified, with many teachers coming from the nation's top legal institutions. Although FIU's dean comes from Harvard and has many connections, FSU's dean comes from Texas and seems to have just as many hookups within the state of Florida. The student body also was very receptive with everyone willing to answer any questions I had about the law school and its opportunities. I am aware that you all preach that rankings do not matter but it seems like FSU has a better reputation throughout the state and is more regionally recognized. FIU on the other hand is a great institution, but it is only really recognized in South Florida. Bottom line is when I graduate I feel like FSU can give me job opportunities all over the state and maybe in another southeastern state such as Georgia whereas if I go to FIU I will be forced to stay within the confines of South Florida. The decision is not final yet because I still need to weigh out the financials but for now I am leaning towards another three years in Tallahassee.
« on: March 03, 2014, 11:54:44 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. I am going to give a call to both institutions to see if I can schedule a visit for some face to face scholarship negotiations. Wish me luck!