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Messages - 1sweetworld4136

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Current Law Students / Re: Do u get called on once or more than once???
« on: January 25, 2006, 10:52:33 AM »
My torts professor from last semester called on me six times, four of which were consecutive.  Also, it was traditional socratic method and not modified, which is actually used throughout most law schools.  Traditional is where you are called on for the ENTIRE class.  The professor will usually allow you a minute or two to compose your thoughts.  In my case, I'm quite sure this professor hated my guts (for what reason, I do not know).  The questions got to a point that they were overly rhetorical and almost irrelevant.  Someone told me that the reason that I was called on so many times was that I was one of the better speakers in the class and knowledgeable.  I doubt that.  In addition, I was the only student she used the traditional socratic method on for the entire semester.  The room would always get very quiet when she called on me.  I rather liked's almost of preview of things to come in the real world.  Bring it.

Current Law Students / Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« on: January 14, 2006, 04:01:49 PM »
First, thanks to everyone for their input.  I have done a great deal of soul searching, praying, thinking, and I have consulted a number of anecdotal accounts of people who have been through similar situations.  My decision (judgment!) is to stay the course.  My rationale is two-fold. 

First, in the event that my cumulative is above at least a 1.8 by the end of the 1L year, I have the liberty of petitioning/appealing the powers that be to be placed on academic probation.  Given my current situation, that means that provided I do no worse, I at least have a shot at remaining.  It really can't get much worse than this.

Second, I am making the changes.  I've been sober for awhile now, and I've never felt better.  I am getting help and I'm getting reacquainted with my religion.  I know that, even if law school doesn't work out for whatever reason, be it academic, financial, or otherwise, if I adhere to a sense of morals and stop lieing to myself about my mistakes, things will work themselves out for the best.  In summation, I've put it in the hands of a higher power - and I am trying to practice what I preach, if you'll forgive the colloquialism.  For the first time in seemingly ages, my mind is clear.  I can deal with stress in new ways, ways that were once available to me before I let this malady stricken me.  I've consulted practicing attorneys with whom I am acquainted, and they seem to agree that, provided I stay my course of sobriety and religion, and do what it is I say I'm going to do, everything will be alright.

Sure, I may not get an illustrious summer job, I may not get the best job out of law school given my situation.  Life's tough, wear a helmet - but I don't feel like I need one anymore.  My helmet was alcohol, and now that I'm getting stronger by the day, I don't need the crap anymore.  I see people around me who stay the course they're on, and it's nothing but a stairway to some eventual personal hell.  For me, there's still time to change the road I'm on.  I was asked to "go out," and without hesitation I refused.  If I'm going to do this, it's going to be 100%.  And you know what, if it doesn't work out, maybe its the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Regarding the whole job situation, it is my understanding the the legal profession has numerous opportunities for upward mobility.  I would like to work in government law (bill drafting, party counsel, conference negotiations, etc.) and I already have contacts in the field.  It's not the best paying specialization, but it is something that I feel like and that I would be happy doing for a career.

I'm not going to wax what some may call religious diatribe upon anyone, but a higher power has made its presence known once again in my life.  You might think I'm crazy, and maybe I am, but for the first time in awhile I'm completely happy with my life.  I'm moderately overweight, and I'm living my life healthier.  I've quit smoking - and it's like a second wind.  I'm hitting the gym, and watching my eating habits.  I'm drinking tons of water instead of soda and alcohol now, for the sake of my kidneys and liver.  The military remains an option in both the near and distant future - not for somehow weening me off alcohol (I no longer need it for that), but rather in the event that the worst happens.  I'll end up an officer by virtue of having a college degree, at the very least.  I will probably be in suitable financial shape sooner or later what with the options offered therein.  This, however, is only a contingency.  No matter what happens, I'm still here, I'm still alive, even if I'm living on a prayer.

Now, it's easy to talk the talk, and I know this better than anyone.  If, however, I come out of all of this, I will have not only a new found confidence, but a better understanding, a better outlook on life.  My main demons at this point are obvious - from the major to the most trivial, such as procrastination and half-ass attempts.  I see people who read hornbooks and high court summaries in the 5 minutes before class.  I'm reading my casebooks over and over again.  I love this stuff, and while it may sound cliche, there's a part of me that wants to fight for justice.  If I end up in the area of criminal law as a public defender or prosecutor, maybe that is what I was meant to do.  I thought about why I wanted to be a lawyer in the first place, and without getting too personal, let's just say I've seen injustices firsthand.

In summation, I'm changing.  I'm 23 years old now, and it's time for me to stop being a kid.  All of the crap from undergrad and high school is over, and the people in life who I thought were my friends are no longer around.  It's time to associate with better people and leave the losers behind.  I'm changing my playmates, play places, and playthings to the best of my current ability.  Regarding the entire living situation, I now basically sleep there and nothing more.  I've moved into a rather cozy cubicle in a distant corner of the library and have begun to assimilate into the cubicle culture that will no doubt plague me in some oddly redeeming fashion for the rest of my life.  It would not be advantageous for me to move at this point now that I'm back in full swing in terms of law school.  Besides, if I let my living situation influence me, I'm no better than those people.  The funny thing is that during character and fitness, if the topic comes up, I'm going to be completely truthful about myself -- and about them.  I'm taking responsibility for my own actions, and I'm ready to face the day.  Let's do this.  Now, back to Yeazell's wonderful civil procedure text.

Current Law Students / Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« on: January 11, 2006, 05:20:28 PM »

Call your school - anonymously if you're uncomfortable - and ask some "what if" questions. The good news is that you're not THE LAST person in your class. Even that person can finish if he/she has a better semester this time around. Good luck.

EDIT: yes, Racheles05 above makes the best point. Your health comes first.

I wish I could do that, but there's nothing anonymous because it's a small law school in a small town.  My accent will be a dead giveaway as to my identity - and hell, for all I know someone from my school will stumble across this thread anyway and within a few minutes my whole life story will be unfurrled.  It already happened to someone this year, and they're gone.  What I may do is go to the ombudsman, because I'm pretty sure there's an ABA requirement that they maintain anonymity or there will be consequences.  I'm not too concerned about it, but while I'm mulling over my options I'd rather stay hidden from the scheme of things.

Current Law Students / Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« on: January 11, 2006, 05:04:13 PM »
I have a few questions

"I've spent approximately 21k already between the conditional admission program I completed this summer (top of the class of 96 people, btw)"

1) Isn't the logic and reason behind the conditional program is to predict law school success.....don't they make it very similiar to an actual law school class and test it the way they do on a real law school class?  If so, it is very impressive that you finsihed at the top of the class of 96 people. How come you did so well on the conditional program and did so "poorly" on the real thing?

2) Your GPA is 1.71.  That's a very low grade in college, but maybe not in law school. Some schools (especialy Tier 4) have a very low curve such as a C.  If that's the case and you make a B- (2.67)average next semester, you can be above average in yoru class. What is your law school's curve?  What does this GPA place you in terms of class rank?

3) This might be a harsh question?  How come you made so much effort go get into law school (especially through the conditional program and doing so well on it) and not apply yourself when it comes to the real thing?  Do you think this (the answer to the above question) will prevent you from doing well this semester?  

Thanks for your time, and in response:

1.  I believe conditional admissions programs have the intention of giving the potential student another chance to prove themselves on something other than an LSAT and GPA (although the reputation of my undergrad is what largely killed my admission prospects for a better school).  I did well in the conditional admission program because it was con law, and while I've never had a class on it, I'm very involved in the subject as a civil libertarian - in particular Loving v. Va, Bowers v. Hardwick, Baker v. VT, and a ton of other marriage cases.  So in response, I suppose I had a leg up on the material (which was announced two weeks prior to the class).

2.  Our curve is a 2.5, which must reflect the mean of all grades (or median?) My Class Rank is 109 out of 126 as of today.

3.  I have been a binge drinker for a number of years.  The conditional program was only a little over a week, and I kept in control.  I went on several binges during first semester, having to catch rides to class and even being called on after drinking an excessive amount. Either way, it's my own fault and I am getting help, but as I said in my original post, it may be too late, and this is, after all, law weed out the weak, and I must be one of the week.  As for it preventing me from doing well this semester, I don't know.  I'm trying to stay sober, but it's hard when drugs and alcohol are all around in my living situation.  I'm also getting reacquainted with my religion, and I've been sober for awhile now (since finding out my grades, basically).  I did all my work drunk, studied drunk, went to class drunk probably 50% of the time.  If I can abstain, I think I can bring up my GPA.

Regardless, I'm doing alot of soul searching.  It's not just law school, but the environment I'm in.  A bit of a shock I guess.  Even if I stay sober, if my heart isn't in it, it isn't in it.  I have my reading done for the next week, but I might be gone by then.  I wonder if alcoholism is a valid excuse or would serve as an extenuating circumstance?  Probably not.

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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