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Author Topic: Please help  (Read 1047 times)

JPx

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Please help
« on: August 11, 2008, 12:02:48 AM »
My situation is complicated and I'm hoping that someone here can provide some guidance for me.  I turned 25 last week.  I graduated undergrad when I was 20 (with a 3.5 gpa). Yes, I graduated in 2 and a half years from Texas A&M. After graduation, I enrolled in law school at SMU. I completed my first year and even got the highest grade in immigration law class. I also managed to get a clerkship working for an immigration attorney.  However, this was to be the peak of my law school success.  I stopped going to classes and eventually I got kicked out of SMU since my gpa dropped below a 2.0.  I did not even bother to take the tests. For the past 2 years, I have been working as a teacher.  I enjoy my work a great deal but immigration law is something that I REALLY enjoyed. I would like to teach and practice immigration law part time.

I am trying to decide on whether I should pursue a masters in education or whether I should try law school once again.  My biggest 2 obstacles are 1) I got kicked out of law school at SMU so this would show up on my record and 2) I cannot ask for anymore financial aid. I am still trying to pay all the debt that I have for loans I took out at SMU.  I live in TX and TX does not offer any online (correspondence) law schools.  I have heard that CA is the only state that offers such type of schooling.  Therefore, I am thinking about applying to one of these online schools and taking the CA BAR.  It is my understanding that while TX does not recognize JDs from other states, one can practice in any federal court if one passes the CA BAR.  Immigration law is federal law so I am thinking about going this route.  I could continue working as a teacher.  If I were to fail the CA BAR, my losses would not be as great as if I enrolled in a traditional law school whose costs would be considerably higher.

Please let me know what you guys think concerning my idea.  Again, my other option would be to forget the law career altogether and pursue a masters degree in education.  Perhaps I could be a principal or something

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Re: Please help
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 02:19:38 AM »
LOL, before you even decide your next move, you have to determine why you stopped going to class. Seems like you have some dedication issues. But i hope this is not a flame post.

craven

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Re: Please help
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 12:18:41 PM »
I avoided this post to start with, thinking it might be a flame as well.  But since there's some effort in the post, flame or not, here's my advice:

Don't take a correspondence school.  You're going to get an inferior education, will probably fail the CA bar at least once, and have no camaraderie to speak of with other lawyers.  The first year of law school is a little like boot camp, and it bonds everyone with a common experience.  You meet your friends and colleagues there. 

There's a reason only one state lets you take the bar if you have done law school by correspondence classes.  If you had a good reason for blowing SMU, you can probably get into LS somewhere. 

JPx

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Re: Please help
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2008, 12:39:22 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  My problem is that I do not have a good reason for quitting law school.  I dont think I could even give a good bs reason.  I simply stopped going to classes and did not withdraw.  That means that my final exams for an entire semesters were recorded as zeros.  I have a full time job as a teacher and my salary is around 50,000. I like teaching but would like to practice immigration law part time.  I know of another teacher who is doing that.  He only takes cases that require filling out the forms without going to court much.  However, he went to a traditional law school.

You mentioned that the correspondence school may not be a good idea because I will not makeconnections.  I am not looking to get into a private firm.  I have worked as a law clerk at one and did not enjoy it.  I would like to do my own thing.  My main concern would be passing the bar.  I am somewhat of a "loner" when it comes to studying. I like to do so on my own. Again, I did get the highest grade in immigration law at SMU so I feel confident about my intellect and ability to grasp legal concepts. I also have a strong undergraduate gpa.  Thank you for replying though.  I am new here so I am not sure I understand what a "flame" is. I am assuming its a fake post. I am not fake lol.

AssaultAndBattery

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Re: Please help
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2008, 09:07:04 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  My problem is that I do not have a good reason for quitting law school.  I dont think I could even give a good bs reason.  I simply stopped going to classes and did not withdraw.  That means that my final exams for an entire semesters were recorded as zeros.  I have a full time job as a teacher and my salary is around 50,000. I like teaching but would like to practice immigration law part time.  I know of another teacher who is doing that.  He only takes cases that require filling out the forms without going to court much.  However, he went to a traditional law school.

You mentioned that the correspondence school may not be a good idea because I will not makeconnections.  I am not looking to get into a private firm.  I have worked as a law clerk at one and did not enjoy it.  I would like to do my own thing.  My main concern would be passing the bar.  I am somewhat of a "loner" when it comes to studying. I like to do so on my own. Again, I did get the highest grade in immigration law at SMU so I feel confident about my intellect and ability to grasp legal concepts. I also have a strong undergraduate gpa.  Thank you for replying though.  I am new here so I am not sure I understand what a "flame" is. I am assuming its a fake post. I am not fake lol.

What level of education do you teach?

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Re: Please help
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2008, 11:53:22 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  My problem is that I do not have a good reason for quitting law school.  I dont think I could even give a good bs reason.  I simply stopped going to classes and did not withdraw.  That means that my final exams for an entire semesters were recorded as zeros.  I have a full time job as a teacher and my salary is around 50,000. I like teaching but would like to practice immigration law part time.  I know of another teacher who is doing that.  He only takes cases that require filling out the forms without going to court much.  However, he went to a traditional law school.

You mentioned that the correspondence school may not be a good idea because I will not makeconnections.  I am not looking to get into a private firm.  I have worked as a law clerk at one and did not enjoy it.  I would like to do my own thing.  My main concern would be passing the bar.  I am somewhat of a "loner" when it comes to studying. I like to do so on my own. Again, I did get the highest grade in immigration law at SMU so I feel confident about my intellect and ability to grasp legal concepts. I also have a strong undergraduate gpa.  Thank you for replying though.  I am new here so I am not sure I understand what a "flame" is. I am assuming its a fake post. I am not fake lol.

you will most likely make the same salary or less coming out of a online law school. You seriously blew a perfect opportunity. Many people would have leaped at the opportunity to attend a law school. But you blew it off without good reason. Im sorry but your biggest problem would not even be explaining it to the law school. the biggest problem would be explaining it to a future employer. Stick to teaching.

mtbrider59

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Re: Please help
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2008, 01:16:52 AM »
Besides what the other posters have previously commented on, I'd suggest that you check with the Texas bar on your plan to hang your own shingle out in Texas as an attorney that passed the Ca bar only practicing immigration law before federal courts, Something tells me they wouldn't appreciate this technicality after all you' still be practicing law in their state. est to check b4 you plunge into on-line classes.
Also my understanding is that the on-line schools require all the same reading plus participation in their on-line presentations and they definitely require you take their on-line exams!  Co, if you're not prepared to make the commitment lacking on your first go around. Also check into non-ABA accredited schools as wel.. California has several of these approved by the CA bar but not the ABA primarily due to their lack of full time faculty which is how they keep costs down and are significantly cheaper than your fully accredited schools.

jsh26

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Re: Please help
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2008, 11:10:05 AM »
I'll go ahead and venture a guess that a fair deal of depression -- diagnosed or not -- was in fact responsible for your failure the first time around. If you can make a case that you've done a good deal of "work on yourself" in the time since -- that you've grown as a person, learned from the mistake and overcome the problem -- I'll bet you'll be given another shot.

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Re: Please help
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2008, 12:10:19 PM »
I'll go ahead and venture a guess that a fair deal of depression -- diagnosed or not -- was in fact responsible for your failure the first time around. If you can make a case that you've done a good deal of "work on yourself" in the time since -- that you've grown as a person, learned from the mistake and overcome the problem -- I'll bet you'll be given another shot.

You know I was thinking about telling him to make something like this up as an excuse. But I feel that it would get him in more trouble down the road if he doesn't have documentation. Because on the bar app they ask: have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness. If he says no on the app and yes in the essay: he could run into character and fitness problems. Maybe he can discuss the circumstances that were occurring at his home at the time. He doesn't need documentation for that.

But seriously, he needs to do some soul searching before picking up an application. He has to find out where things went wrong during his  last outing in law school. Because the debt is accumulating and the same mistake would be even costlier.