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Author Topic: Starting again  (Read 3530 times)

Jeen

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Starting again
« on: May 08, 2005, 11:13:44 AM »
Hello,

I am returning to law school via the internet to finish what I started 15 years ago. I live in CT and went to an ABA approved school for about 2 years.  I became ill, and had to take a leave of absence.  Because there was a time frame that I was required to finish my studies in, all my credits are useless here.

I took the admissions test for Concord as a fluke and scored 100%, so I decided to go for it.  I decided to choose NWCU because it was the cheapest.  I contacted the CT bar and they said I couldn't sit for it if I went to any correspondence school, even if I got a LLM from an ABA school.

I am glad I found a site to talk with others as they navigate through this new frontier.

Jeen

zemog

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2005, 12:30:09 PM »
I don't get it. If they said you can't practice in CT but you live there currently, are you planning on leaving CT after you graduate from Concord?  If that's the case, you might as well go to an ABA approved law school now.  You were planning on leaving anyways, so now you just do it a couple of years earlier, and you can at least practice in CT if you ever decide to.

sharmaine73

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2005, 01:09:22 PM »
Hello,

I am returning to law school via the internet to finish what I started 15 years ago. I live in CT and went to an ABA approved school for about 2 years.  I became ill, and had to take a leave of absence.  Because there was a time frame that I was required to finish my studies in, all my credits are useless here.


Where you dismissed then?   This is the only plausible reason I could see for you not trying to return to an ABA approved law school which would really be in your best interest if you hope to practce someday.  If you were dismissed you really should consider taking the LSAT again and reapplying.  People get readmitted to law school all the time. DOn't waste your money on a correspondence school that will be about as valuable as a degree in paralegal studies.  You simply will not be as competative.

jacy85

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2005, 10:32:52 AM »
I agree. What's the point of putting in the time, money, and effort at Concord if you can't practice in the state you want?  I see absolutely no sense or logic in that.  I think you should call ABA schools in the area you are current living in or the area you want to live in, and explain your situation (if you were dismissed, or whatever).  Take the LSAT again, and try to start again. Since you've already gone through 2 years, you'll have a much better handle on it than your fellow 1Ls.

Jeen

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2005, 07:58:52 PM »
I hope this helps to clarify my position and thinking.

I took a leave of absence at my ABA law school for medical reasons.  I have a lung disease which is rare, incurable, and as you might imagine the focus in my life changed considerably at that time.

The advocacy skills I learned helped me to access medications and therapies not yet approved.

New treatments helped extend my life and expand my focus again, unfortunately 10 years have passed since I first started law school.  The eight year rule applies here in CT, and my only option would be to begin again. 

Because my disease is chronic, I can not predict when I will require oxygen and be hospitalized, nor when I will be symptom free and as "normal" presenting as a non-disabled student. The playing field for those who are disabled has not been leveled yet.  I hope those of you reading this who become attorney's with the power to change laws keep that in mind.

I currently assist parents of children with special needs and/or disabilities to obtain appropriate educational services for their children.  Under the new federal IDEIA laws an attorney can not represent a family at a PPT meeting or resolution meeting.  Practicing in CT would hinder my ability to resolve disputes.

My desire to finish law school is a direct result of my refusal to allow an illness to define what I can do.  Ilness is the great equalizer...everyone is vulnerable...even those at ABA Law Schools.

Jeen




zemog

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2005, 12:56:13 PM »
My undertanding is that the only thing stopping you from attending the CT law school or any school which is not online is because you can not predict when you will need oxygen. 

Given this fact, I would still attend the CT law school or another ABA approved school. I think most schools are mandated by the state to accomodate students with disabilites or health problems.  I mean, if the schools say they can't accomodate you, then I can see you have a problem and Concord may be the only choice you have.

But there is no reason to be ashamed or who really cares if you are seen as being on equal playing field or not, because really, you are not. That's life. You were dealt a screw ball, but you got to deal with it the best way you can.

Going to Concord will not help your future.  Even if you don't want to practice in Ct, at least you will have attended an ABA school and that is very important in the law field.  Yea, Concord is convenient, but in my opinion, the convenience is not worth the negative stigma or future problems that comes with it. 

Like I said, the only reason I would attend is if the schools could not accomodate your situation.  Other than that, I still recommend attending an ABA approved school.

Jeen

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2005, 07:51:29 PM »
Actually, carrying around my oxygen would not prevent me from going to law school, it is portable.  I often have a PICC line inserted which provides me with IV medications that help me to exist outside a hospital setting.  I am not worried about appearances, I have lived long enough to be comfortable within my limitations.

What has stopped me from returning to my ABA law school is 1) the 8 year rule that does not recognize my credits any longer (the medication and portable oxygen was not available years ago, medical research has surpassed current laws so I would have to begin again) and 2)My illness does not always succomb to treatments that allow me to stay well while home. 

Currently I am writing this from a hospital bed.  In a few days or weeks I will be released, but multiply that several times a year and the ability to benefit from a program one can't attend diminishes.  In addition, as you might imagine, having deficient lungs does not provide for proper immune function, and a cold or flu could wipe me out.

I am writing this to illustrate that not all fact patterns are as neat as the ones on paper.  Circumstances occur that may be insurmountable by traditional standards. 

At 45 years old to begin again, so that I be viewed by fellow ABA grads as an equal peer, would be too great a physical risk me. 

I appreciate the dialogue, and I believe that ultimately, someone reviewing my educational history would recognize my accomplishments inspite of my limitations.  It is my hope that people in my circumstance will be allowed a waiver for the 8 year rule, and alternative educational and learning settings would be implemented under ADA.

Thank you

Jeen

zemog

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2005, 08:53:33 PM »
If you have no choice, like it sounds like you have none, then of course online schooling is the way to go if you want to be a lawyer. However, you must understand which I think you do, that this route has an inherent risk to it, that even if you get a JD from Concord and pass a bar somewhere in some state which allows you to, like California, it will be an uphill battle not only because of your health situation, but also because of the value of a JD from an online school.  With such a degree, you will still be frustrated because many legal entities will not look at you seriously, and you might be just setting yourself up for failure.  But maybe not.  It's just a risk that you have to weigh vs. the utility of the JD from an online school.   

Whatever you decide, I wish you luck.  It will be a tough road ahead, and I hope that one day, you can make the changes you hope for. 

Keep us posted, of course.

Jeen

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2005, 11:56:02 AM »
Thank you for all your kind words.

You are right I will always have an uphill battle.  My credentials will always be questioned, and my successes will first be weighed against traditional standards.  I think that in some ways that is a good thing.  I welcome the opportunity to explain why in my case, this route was the only feasible option. 

Because I completed 2 years at UCONN including moot court and many hours of the socratic method, and because I left in good standing, my argument will be that the educational benefit gleaned from residency at an ABA was equivelent in my case.  My LSAT's were good and I had the prerequisites to get into a tier one school, and did.  Passing the bar should prove that I retained the information, inspite of the 8 year rule.  The final hurdle will be to then extend the ruling which I believe is no more than 12 credits online to 20, which I think could be argued as an ADA accommodtaion, but we will see how kind the Gods are at that time.

I decided to go with Northwestern not Concord, because they are cheapest and in my estimation  a non ABA school is a non ABA school no mstter how nicely the website is packaged.

Ultimately I will sink or swim based on my own efforts.

Thank you again.

Please keep in touch.

Jeen



des82368

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Re: Starting again
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2005, 11:15:41 PM »
Jeen,

I think you've still got options. After taking the cal bar, you can always move to Wisconsin and practice or perhaps you can practice tax law. Once you are admitted to federal courts, I think you have nation wide recprocity... but check that out. Immigration law is also an option. I think you'll be ok.

DES