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Author Topic: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....  (Read 20613 times)

boombasticlady

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2008, 03:45:10 PM »
Nachas,
I am sorry that you got academically dismissed and my heart goes out to you. I wanted to know if you took any practice exams prior to the actual test. You mention that you didnt test well.

nachas

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2008, 05:08:12 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.

Your performance on your law school exams this year shows that your aptitude for taking law school exams is at the lowest possible level among law school students - you were academically dismissed from (i.e., failed out of) a fourth tier law school. Such a low aptitude will very likely not allow you to pass the bar exam (no matter how smart you are aside from law school exams), which is an exam with all (if not more) of the time constraints and pressure of law school exams.

Knowing the material and being able to pass exams are two entirely different things (and, contrary to your assertion, you clearly failed some of your exams - whether it's called a B, a D, or a Z, if the grade is below the minimum required not to fail out of law school, it's a failing grade). Yes, you may know the material, and yes your law professors may think you could be a great lawyer, but unless you can show some aptitude for taking law school exams, which at this point seems clearly impossible, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to pass the bar.

This may be a good opportunity to save the money you would have spent on two more years of law school and do something else - what would you have wanted to do as a lawyer, anyway? And would a degree from John Marshall (with a terrible GPA) have allowed you to do it? Realistically, no, it wouldn't have. See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119040786780835602.html for starters - a law degree is not a magical ticket to wealth (or even a job), especially a law degree at the bottom of one's class from a T4.
Impossible?  There isn't anything I can do, like getting on medication for a learning disability and working with faculty and staff to bring my law school exam skills up?  That wouldn't help?
And I don't have to worry about going biglaw, public interest law, etc.  My father has a medium sized law firm (my brother is a partner as well) and there is a job waiting for me.  So graduating from law school at the bottom of my class wouldn't matter much anyway.  That said, you advice seems to revolve around two basic ideas (and feel free to correct me):
1)  Because I got 2 D's on 2 tests, which were graded based on the overall grade of the class, not the actual grade, I have displayed the impossibility of ever taking a successful law school exam and would therefore fail the bar exam.
and
2) Since I *might* graduate with a low class ranking, I will never have any job prospects.

It appears that number 1 doesn't take into effect the deep personal loss I suffered when my grandfather died as well as the learning disability that I thought I had beaten.
Impossible means: not capable of occurring or being accomplished or dealt with
Is that really what you think?  That there is nothing that I can do to fix the situation?  Somehow, I find this to be a little too final of a word to describe the situation, especially in light of several conversations I've had since with faculty and staff (including knowledge of the fact that the President of the board of trustees almost failed out of the school well before the policies that stand today were in place - he actually got an F his first semester).

nachas

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2008, 05:12:30 PM »

  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.

This is the only comment I've seen you make so far that I think is unwarranted. I am in the process of transferring out of JMLS, and the curve wasn't/shouldn't have been a surprise. If you did any research going into school, you should have known 1L is curved there. The curve is in the Student Handbook, and was discussed at Orientation. I don't think there is any excuse for not knowing what the grading policy is going in. That said, it sucks you were dismissed, and I can certainly understand your general frustration.

Thanks for the kindness.
They didn't tell us during orientation that they anticipate to lose 10-20% of their incoming class to academic dismissal, though I understand how a curve works.
My problem isn't with the curve itself, but rather how the curve is interpreted and applied.  One prof said "we don't have to flunk people, but at least 10% of you have to get a D or below."

nachas

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2008, 05:19:56 PM »
Nachas,
I am sorry that you got academically dismissed and my heart goes out to you. I wanted to know if you took any practice exams prior to the actual test. You mention that you didnt test well.

I searched for practice exams, but all profs test differently and none of them have old exams available.
We mostly used law in a flash, E&E, and Q&A books for test review, along with emmanuels, and I did really well - often explaining why I answered the way I did to my study buddies who got the questions wrong and didn't understand the material.
I took an old practice exam for Contracts and scored 90%, but it wasn't at school, wasn't under the stress of a room full of law school students, and I didn't take the test thinking that it was representative of my entire grade in class.  I just took the test under a 2 and a half hour time contraint.
The LD hit hard the day of the exams, my friends were all freaking out, and I was very nervous (and thought about my grandfather nonstop during the tests).
Note to pickle:
I'm still not buying the correlation between first semester grades and Bar exam scores either.  I know dozens of lawyers, some who passed the bar first time, and some who passed it second go around.  Some straight A law students passed first time and some had to retake, which is the same for people who barely squeaked by.
Then there's the old adage:
The A students become professors, the B students become judges and the C students make all the money
:-)

pickle

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2008, 07:45:38 PM »
Nachas,
I am sorry that you got academically dismissed and my heart goes out to you. I wanted to know if you took any practice exams prior to the actual test. You mention that you didnt test well.

I searched for practice exams, but all profs test differently and none of them have old exams available.
We mostly used law in a flash, E&E, and Q&A books for test review, along with emmanuels, and I did really well - often explaining why I answered the way I did to my study buddies who got the questions wrong and didn't understand the material.
I took an old practice exam for Contracts and scored 90%, but it wasn't at school, wasn't under the stress of a room full of law school students, and I didn't take the test thinking that it was representative of my entire grade in class.  I just took the test under a 2 and a half hour time contraint.
The LD hit hard the day of the exams, my friends were all freaking out, and I was very nervous (and thought about my grandfather nonstop during the tests).
Note to pickle:
I'm still not buying the correlation between first semester grades and Bar exam scores either.  I know dozens of lawyers, some who passed the bar first time, and some who passed it second go around.  Some straight A law students passed first time and some had to retake, which is the same for people who barely squeaked by.
Then there's the old adage:
The A students become professors, the B students become judges and the C students make all the money
:-)


doods, do watcha like.

I don't think you will be admitted, graduate, pass the bar.  But hey, use me as inspiration.  Good luck Nachas!  I mean it.

classic695

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2008, 08:14:01 PM »
I agree with pickle. If for some reason John Marshall lets you back into school, I seriously doubt you'll be able to do any better, graduate with a decent GPA, or pass the bar. But by all means, waste money trying.

big - fat - box

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2008, 10:53:16 PM »
My advice to the OP:

1. Do not go back to JMLS. You obviously have a lot of animosity toward the school (some of it justified) that by itself is going to make it extremely hard for you to succeed there. Also, do not go back to law school if your only option is a low ranked school that has a harsh curve and flunks people out - you'll find the atmosphere is similar to that at JMLS.

2. Work out whatever personal and medical issues you need to.

3. Get a job and save some money.

4. If 2 years later you still want to be a lawyer, reapply to law school and start from scratch. Get your LSAT score up and try to squeak your way into a school with a higher curve and lower attrition rate.

If you do this, make sure you learn how to take law school exams. Here is a tip from someone who did well first year (top 10%) at a lower ranked school - your profs are mostly looking for a black letter law analysis of the fact pattern - not regurgitation of info like you did in undergrad. Do the LEEWS program before your classes get started and download as many practice exams as you can for first year subjects, even if they're from other schools. That's what I did.

The E&Es are great but they are not a substitute for practice exams. Hardly any of my first year profs had practice exams on file either. You need to practice them (any exams you can find - look for exams from schools of roughly the same rank school you are at) until you get good at taking them under timed conditions (get a digital silent timer). If you have one or two particularly receptive profs, you can ask them to critique your practice exam - even if they didn't write the exam. One more thing: drop the study groups - get ONE study partner who is on the same page with you and compare practice exams after you write them seperately - cramming verbally with a group of people and doing flash cards, etc. is a complete waste of time and will not lead to good exam scores.

planet rugby

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2008, 11:14:15 PM »
Nachas, what type of law do you plan to practice?

and best of luck


$Bill

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2008, 11:28:31 PM »
For whats its worth, some rather grim commentary on this thread

http://www.jdunderground.com/thread.php?threadId=17291

Special Agent Dana Scully

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Re: JMLS Academic dismissal: gripes and questions....
« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2008, 12:51:14 AM »
For whats its worth, some rather grim commentary on this thread

http://www.jdunderground.com/thread.php?threadId=17291
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