Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....  (Read 21404 times)

StrictlyLiable

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2008, 03:37:33 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. 

Well, now I see another reason who you flunked out . . . intellectual laziness. If you had cared enough to do a simple post search prior to making those sweeping assumptions about me, you would have known that I am the exact opposite of the caracature you described above.

I am 30 years old, married with two young children (and another on the way). I have worked in the mental health field for over a decade. In addition to going through law school and dealing with the issues I listed above, I worked full-time (about 50 hrs per week) and raised two children during all 4 years, not to mention all my civic activities like being a town councilman and a knight of columbus. In addition, I am a homeowner and have not lived with my parents since graduating high school in the mid 90's. My entire family (except for my one gay uncle who is a dean of a university in FL) is all dirt poor and gave ZERO assistance to me during undergrad and law school.

The only thing you got right about me is that I am pompous, but that comes with being a lawyer so I take that as a compliment.

StrictlyLiable

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2008, 03:40:21 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. 

Well, now I see another reason who you flunked out . . . intellectual laziness. If you had cared enough to do a simple post search prior to making those sweeping assumptions about me, you would have known that I am the exact opposite of the caracature you described above.

I am 30 years old, married with two young children (and another on the way). I have worked in the mental health field for over a decade. In addition to going through law school and dealing with the issues I listed above, I worked full-time (about 50 hrs per week) and raised two children during all 4 years, not to mention all my civic activities like being a town councilman and a knight of columbus. In addition, I am a homeowner and have not lived with my parents since graduating high school in the mid 90's. My entire family (except for my one gay uncle who is a dean of a university in FL) is all dirt poor and gave ZERO assistance to me during undergrad and law school.

The only thing you got right about me is that I am pompous, but that comes with being a lawyer so I take that as a compliment.

nachas

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #12 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...


StrictlyLiable

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2008, 04:43:56 PM »
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.

Says the guy who flunked out of law school. ::)Later in the post, you accuse me of lying about who I am. Who is more likely lying, the guy who jsut graduated law school and describes work experience in the mental health profession or the guy who claims to be a mutli-millionaire business executive who can't muster better than a 1.7 GPA in law school? Hmmm, I wonder.

Quote
I'm curious to see if anyone, anywhere in the mental health field shares your opinions.

"The reason I speak of a hoax in the case of "attention deficit disorder" is that there is no such "mental disorder" to "diagnose" and "treat." And the reason I speak of a great hoax is that the less competent medical practitioners use this phony "diagnosis" as a warrant to "treat" millions of school children (over 5,000,000) per year by intoxicating them with brain-disabling narcotics.
And make no mistake about the power of Ritalin to disable and eventually shrink the brain. It differs little in its destructive effects from cocaine and the amphetamines, and is fast becoming the drug of choice among addicts in high schools and colleges. Children in middle schools and high schools who are required to take Ritalin daily at school are now selling their pills to their friends who want to get a quick fix. Of late the victims of pill pushers are fast becoming pill pushers themselves!"--David Kiersey
 
For the rest of his journal article visit: http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/david_keirsey.html

Quote from: nachas
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.

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.

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

No, I just have nothing to gain financially from a generation of over-medicated zombie children who need a regimine of treatment to sit still and focus on schoolwork. ADHD is a business and a lucrative one at that. But hey, think what you like. Use your issues as a crutch, that's your business. However, at the end of the day, no matter how much you complain and no matter how many names you call me, I graduated law school and in a few months will be a licensed attorney while you will still be a law school flunk out . . . but at least you still have your millions, right? ::)


nachas

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #14 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.

pretetmanger

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2008, 09:31:29 PM »
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. 

OConnorScribe

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 205
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2008, 01:57:36 AM »
**Those people who have such chemical imbalances in their brain, that their mood is in a constant state of depression. Those people need medications just to reach a normal baseline. They are the ones who truly have it tough.**

I'd say this describes most of the people who are admitted to law school, dude. Is there some use of the crutch that goes one culturally? Of course. But I'm offended that you would include the lack of coping skills as some how being something to ridicule, along with obesity, etc. Ever think there's a reason that some people struggle with coping. Because they never were allowed to develop those skills or had real trauma or familial issues that caused a lot of pain and lost self-esteem that preceded the depression? Then, once major depression disorder grabs hold, then it's a little like alcoholism ... you have to deal with the problem rather than beat yourself for your failings. I hate dealing with depression. I'm on three different meds for it right now (was recently four, but I weaned myself off one because I 1. was afraid of the overmedication and 2. lost trust in my last doctor), plus Synthroid. And awful economic luck (layoffs and media-industry chaos) has led to several moves to new cities and the loss and reclamation of health insurance, which means I've had to go on and off meds because of the costs, making things worse -- and permanent. (I've done the therapy thing, which helps but is a process separate from the drugs). Consequently, my life is a perfect balance of success and disappointment ... it's tough. Even so, I'm in the middle of the class after my first year and have time now to prepare for the second year and adjust my meds accordingly. I've accomplished a lot and have a lot of positives to draw from (both in my previous career and from this first year -- two A-minuses in perhaps the two toughest classes and lots of other wins).

Long way of saying, daily life with a mental disorder is not an excuse. As I posted earlier, I never play the "poor, sick me" card for accommodation and favors. The OP did his best, and he didn't play any cards either; but sometimes the disorder just wins, and it sucks when a test day comes and the beast bites you in the ass. FWIW -- while I share some skepticism about ADHD, it's really a just a breakout related to other mental disorders. So a proper diagnosis for ADHD is really just unnecessary fancy psychiatry that cleverly sells another patented drug and lines the shrink's pocket. It all springeth from the same source.

And again, you're a Widener grad -- I mean, you had to go to school in Delaware because your metrics couldn't keep you in Philly. Your school is just as T4 as JMLS. You're no great legal mind; you're just another prick with a JD. Just like most everyone outside of T20. I'm at a T3 in the NY suburbs (ha -- my schlong is bigger than yours). And I'll also be just another prick with a JD.

So step off and go do another insurance defense case as a temporary hire ...  :P     
Pace '10

nachas

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #17 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.....

nachas

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #18 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.

mtfbwy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2008, 09:28:01 AM »
I'm sorry to hear about your dismissal, and the tuff circumstances you faced during your semester.  But please allow me to point a couple of things out.

Yes, JMLS dismisses more 1L's than all other IL schools combined (the number used to be much higher).  You know why?  Because JMLS was built on a policy that (almost) "everybody" should be given the opportunity to pursue a legal education (I believe it was the first in the city to admit African-Americans and women).  It maintains that policy today, opting to place the harsher "filter" on 1L grades than on the LSAT.  That's what law school comes down to: the top schools are filled with people who scored very well on a test; students at 4th tier schools (for the most part) did poorly on the LSAT, and a good 4th tier school like JMLS needs to rely on 1L exams as a type of "post admissions entrance exam." 

You say that you can "talk law" with lawyers, professors, etc., but have testing problems.  Well, it doesn't end with the LSAT or law school exams.  There is, unfortunately, a BIG test awaiting all law school grads, or at least those who want to practice law.  Imagine taking ALL of the exams you took during that one semester of 1L, but doing so in about ONE HOUR. That's what the bar is like, for twelve hours. 

JMLS might admit nearly everybody who applies, but there's a reason that 90% of its 2007 grads passed the bar last July.  Despite being a 4th tier school, JMLS grads account for 20% of IL judges, including 2 on the IL Supreme Court, they are partners at every major firm in Chi, have thriving solo practices, and everything in between.

Believe me, I'm not trying to knock you down.  I bombed the LSAT, and started at JMLS. I had serious doubts about whether I should attend, especially after getting a B- my first semester.  But by the end of 1L, I was in the top 12% or so, and transferred to a T30.  This in no way makes me any smarter than you - no more than a Harvard law grad who scored a 175 on the LSAT is "smarter" than me.  We just did better on a few exams.  If you decide to take another crack at it, remember that it's all about the exams - the law is the easy part.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.