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Messages - nachas

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11
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 04, 2008, 12:41:44 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.

12
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 04, 2008, 03:34:39 AM »
One L academic dismissals by school (Illinois schools):
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.

And they wonder why they are ranked so low.....
And I don't buy the argument that those other schools draw better students either.  JMLS mandates a certain failure rate of between 10 and 20%.
Thar's the problem.  Clearly, I did not test well.  But statistics don't lie and many of these schools either have a lower dismissal gpa or give the student a full year to turn around any grade issues.  The curve, as applied by JMLS, is designed to cause a 10-15% dismissal rate per year.  They outpace every other school combined. 
And again, I'm not airing a grudge - I'll most likely be reapplying.  I'm looking for three things:
-advice
-to warn others considering JMLS
-success stories (or failure stories) from students who either were dismissed and came back, or saw a grade swing due to ADD/ADHD diagnoses and treatment.
I am not looking for people to kick me while I'm down or for people to tell me the law is not for me.  It is.  I can talk law with any one L, any attorney, and any prof.  I just tested poorly.  I'm not sure why this has to be included as a disclaimer, but so be it.
Thanks to those who responded.

13
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 04, 2008, 02:10:18 AM »
I was skeptical of your warning about JMLS, thinking you were just pursuing a personal grudge.  But then I decided to look up a few things.  I checked a bunch of random schools, like U of Houston, Georgetown, W&L - just some random schools from different tiers.

The majorit of all the schools I looked at had anywhere from 0 - 5 students who left as a result of academic attrition.  But JMLS had 36.  That's thirty-six.  That was such an outlier, it really seems the OP may have a point.  If you figure collecting full tuition from 36 kids for a year, that's over a $1million per year they collect from the entering class.  Not good.  Of course, I was not able to check multiple years, so not sure if this number was an aberration, or their norm. 

No grudge.  I'll probably go back there if they accept my readmission application.
The facts are the facts.  36 isn't an outrageous number.  I'm telling you the truth - they absolutely rely on dumping 10-15% of each class.  I just found out that in my class of 80 (spring admits only), 10 were academically dismissed, with double that on academic probation.  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.
And someone has to get those D's.  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.
JMLS designs their classes to fail out between 10 and 20% of each class.
Last year they admitted over 450 students or so (I think), so 36 academic dismissals would be a lean year.....

14
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 03, 2008, 05:49:48 PM »
First of all, thanks for being so nice.  There really is nothing more satisfying than kicking someone when they are down.  I appreciate it.
I didn't "flunk out" of law school.  I didn't fail anything.  
And I never said I was a multi-millionaire (seriously, how did you pass law school classes without even basic reading comprehension skills?), I said I ran mutli-million dollar businesses.
I say you are lying about your history because I still haven't come across a single mental health professional who would agree with your statements so far.
And not everyone deals with the loss of family members the way you do.  Especially when their family is as small as mine, thanks to the nazis.  My grandfather and grandmother were two of the three people who escaped the holocaust.  While I'm sure you have loads of cousins, my grandfather lost three brothers and sisters and every one of his cousins, aunts, and uncles.  My grandfather was the patriarch of the family.  I didn't mourn his death until after finals.  But thanks for making fun of me for it.
And you dare quote Kiersey?
From Wiki:
"Keirsey's stance regarding ADHD has led him to count himself among the minority of clinical psychologists who believe that giving psychotropic stimulants to schoolboys, whose greater activity and/or distractible temperaments are considered disruptive to classroom proceedings, was not only unnecessary but harmful to these boys."
and
"Several of his statements, such as his warning to "make no mistake about the power of Ritalin to disable and eventually shrink the brain" ([2]), while scientifically valid to a certain point, are considered to be exaggerations by some and contradict most clinical studies, although these studies are often conducted or financed by pharmaceutical industry. "

Yeah, why not quote scientology next.  It lends credibility to quote people or groups that are widely thought of to be just plain wrong.

But this was my favorite assumptive, know nothing statement so far:
"If you really studied this much and STILL couldn't get better than a 1.7 GPA, then you are probably not smart enought to go to law school. Sorry. The law isn't for everyone. Its clear that is true for you."
Really?  It's that clear?  That's funny.  I guess my K prof was wrong when he told me that I was the most prepared, articulate, and knowledgeable student he had this year.  I guess my attorney friends who were SHOCKED that I didn't do well are all wrong too.  You must be right.  You know so much about me.  I'm not smart enough?  An interesting analysis from a complete lunatic.
Could it possibly be that I have a learning disability and that coupled with the unexpected loss of a close relative may have logically resulted in some bad test scores?  Not to you!  Mr. Smarty Pants soon to be lawyer knows it all, and part of that knowledge is that people don't have problems, people don't get affected by life, and if you have a couple of bad tests, you don't belong in law school and are incapable of becoming a successful attorney.  Thanks for the expert opinion.
I would like to invite you to go f yourself.  Cocky, arrogant, elitist scum like you give the profession the bad name that sadly follows everyone who practices the law.  For every nice, competent, kind hearted attorney, there are three or four jerks like you, ruining it for the rest of us.
I don't use my issues as a crutch.  I used them to explain the mitigating factors that contributed to my school problems.  One semester.  3 tests.  That's why I'm not going back for a while.  I had exactly 4 graded tests that contributed to my grades (and I have been out of school for 4 years) and that's enough for you to judge me as incompetent and incapable of becoming a lawyer.
Again - thanks for kicking me while I'm down.  I know, my mistake for believing that a forum board dedicated to creating "an online community where law school related issues could be discussed in an organized, friendly, and informative manner" would have members that would be civilized in their responses.  People like you make me want to give up on my dream.  But I won't.  Because kicking the ass of people like you in court has to feel all the better knowing that some lawyers feel superior to other people.
You're probably a nice enough guy in real life.  The internet has a way of making people feel like tough guys.  You aren't a tough guy.  You are a marginally intelligent person who is incapable of sympathy, kindness, and courtesy.  Enjoy being the guy that everyone knows as an insufferable prick.

15
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 03, 2008, 03:43:06 PM »
"Others, like the OP, who lack any sort of discipline or composure, use it as a crutch not to excel and an excuse when they fail. ADD/ADHD has become a generation's built in excuse to fail, plain and simple."

Ok, mr. Expert.  You are correct.  You win.  You are smarter and more disciplined than everyone else and all I've been doing is making excuses.
Nevermind that I've run several multi-million dollar businesses.  Never mind that I worked for a fortune 500 company in sales.  Never mind that I was selected out of 5000 employees to help create a new division.  Never mind that I've lived my whole life with nothing but success.  Never mind that when I went back to undergrad I was on the deans list every semester until graduation without medication. You are superior to everyone else.
Let me fill you in on a little reality here - your experience in the mental health field is either an outright fabrication or illustrative of your own failures as a professional.  Not one single solitary expert I have spoken to has the disdain and fury directed towards ADD/ADHD as you do.  My best friend in law school has ADHD.  When I told him what was going on with me, he told me that without his meds, he couldn't have done well at all.
And for a law school graduate to spend so much time making fun of law students illustrates your inability to work and be successful.  Successful, working attorney's simply don't have time to disparage people seeking advice.
But a law school graduate with no friends and no job?  Well, that person has PLENTY of time to attack people for medically recognized disabilities.
Studies have shown that while ADHD is not new, it was undiagnosed.  Historically, people with ADHD have a higher rate of working blue collar jobs, getting arrested, and having other difficulties.  However, with medication many of the people with these same issues have little difficulty obtaining advanced degrees.
And when I say that I worked harder than everybody else, this is of course my opinion.  I base this upon conversations with people about how many hours of study, class prep, and exam prep they did.  I averaged 50 hours a week outside of class preparing each week.  Beyond that, I devoted an additional 10-20 hours a week studying the material to make sure I had mastered it.  For exams, I prepped 60-90 hours per test.  That amount of work exceeds most students.  Period.  

I simply do not believe that a person with a decade of work in the mental health field would ever say anything remotely resembling the following statement:
"ADD/ADHD is a bull diagnosis for hyperactive and unfocused people who need an excuse for their life's failings. Yes, there a some biological diferences between a normal functioning person and one who has ADD/ADHD, but it is nothing that hasn't been overcome in the past and the symptoms are not anywhere near debilitating. Lack of attention span, inability to focus for long periods of time, and restlessness are all things that can be overcome with discipline and willpower WITHOUT the aid of medications. "

Leading mental health experts couldn't disagree with you more.  And working as a janitor in a mental hospital doesn't mean you worked in the mental health field.  Tell you what, give me your name, the name of the facility you worked at, your supervisors name, and your former title.  I'll call your old boss and ask him if ADD/ADHD is a bull diagnosis for unfocused people.  I'm curious to see if anyone, anywhere in the mental health field shares your opinions.
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/adhd/complete-publication.shtml
I didn't find the words or implication of a 'bull diagnosis'.
From wikipedia:
The scientific consensus in the field, and the consensus of the national health institutes of the world, is that ADHD is a disorder which impairs functioning, and that many adverse life outcomes are associated with ADHD.

You must be smarter than most scientists and know more than the majority of them, huh...


16
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 03, 2008, 02:45:34 PM »
At midterms, my grandfather died (the morning of for K) and I thought I had overcome ADD, but didn't test well.

This statement tells me all I need to know about you. Maybe if you didn't make lame excuses for yourself, you'd have more success.  You kind of sound like one of those pre-laws from the other side of the house, "hey all, I earned a 2.1 UGPA and a 132 LSAT, but I have ADD, suffer from depression, have one malformed testicle, and prematurely ejaculate. If I put this in my personal statement, can I go T14?"

And one more thing, jackass - the profs who gave me D's BOTH told me that had I been in the previous semesters class (my class did abnormally well), my same test scores would have given me C's.
Last year, the high score on the property final was 69%.  This semester the high score was a 92%.  The prof showed me the scores from both semesters.  As a matter of fact, my score would have been just off the curve.
I guess you forgot that the curve works that way - you aren't tested on your knowledge, but rather your test score versus your peers.
I've NEVER made excuses before and I'm not about to start now.  I have held several high responsibility jobs before and been met with a high degree of success.  Unlike you, I'm willing to bet, I've actually held a real job and had some actual financial success that hasn't required me to ask my family for money since I was 19 years old.  You keep using daddy's credit card to buy stuff and mommy's check book to pay for the rent.  I'll move on now, because people like you (pompous, friendless losers) are exactly the type of people folks like me avoid at all costs. 

17
General Board / Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« on: July 03, 2008, 02:38:13 PM »
At midterms, my grandfather died (the morning of for K) and I thought I had overcome ADD, but didn't test well.

This statement tells me all I need to know about you. Maybe if you didn't make lame excuses for yourself, you'd have more success.  You kind of sound like one of those pre-laws from the other side of the house, "hey all, I earned a 2.1 UGPA and a 132 LSAT, but I have ADD, suffer from depression, have one malformed testicle, and prematurely ejaculate. If I put this in my personal statement, can I go T14?"

Very nice.  Of course, the sad part is that I didn't make any excuses for myself, nor did I use excuses to justify slacking off.  I worked harder than everyone else.  Just so you know, I took some time off during undergrad (about 5 years) and when I returned, I was on the dean's list without medication.  Once again, dipstick - I worked harder than everyone else this semester.  I did not slack.  I attended every class.  I came prepared.  My profs all told me that my classroom participation and exhibited knowledge and understanding levels were not reflected in my test scores.  I received an email from a professor that says this, and I am quoting:
"It was a great honor and pleasure to have you in my Contracts One class here at The John Marshall Law School. Throughout the last several months, I have repeatedly observed certain students display an uncanny ability to decipher very complex issues of law and outperform their peers, as well portray an uncanny appreciation for professionalism, self discipline and personal accountability.  Indeed, you were one such student.  Although I am unaware of your specific exam scores, my class greatly benefited from your high degree of enthusiasm, preparation, demonstrated intellect and excellent communication skills. Moreover, I felt I could count on you to volunteer and perform well on very challenging questions regarding complex issues of law and theory as well as accept responsibility for your need to improve.

Your performance not only illustrates significant intellectual talent, but strong leadership potential. To that end, you are well positioned to win the respect and admiration of your peers should you continue to apply yourself as you have done in my classroom.  Your apparent tireless work ethic, keen appreciation for attention to detail, and consideration for others will serve you well in the legal profession and I'm happy to have been apart of your learning process. 

You would be an invaluable asset to virtually any organization and it is with great enthusiasm and regard that offer my thanks for your efforts in my class and advise you that your classroom efforts were duly noted and a credit to you.  "
So, once again, the virtiolic nonsensical a-holes like you prove to jump to conclusions and behave in a way that illustrates your own deficiencies.  Expected, but dissapointing.

What I wrote were explanations of mitigating circumstances.  I didn't test well, partly because of the death of my personal hero (a holocaust survivor who came to this country with a child, a third grade education, and no ability to speak english who retired a millionaire after starting his own construction business) and partly because I had relied on my work ethic and determination to overcome my add.  Since this had worked in college, I thought it would work in law school.  I was mistaken.  My ADD creates anxiety in testing conditions.  Imagine how anxious you might feel laying in a bed of slithering snakes, and you can get a sense of the type of anxiety I suffer during a 3 hour test that generates my only grade for a given law class. 
You sir, are a royal jerk.  Once again, this board proves to be chock full of grade A a-holes with a minority of calm, collected, helpful people.  Go play around in XOXO if you want to get your rocks off by being a jerk.  This is supposed to be the more mature, helpful, friendly board.

18
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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