Law School Discussion

taking time off

taking time off
« on: March 16, 2009, 05:26:30 PM »
So, I am a 1L considering dropping out of law school after I finish this semester, taking a couple of years off (personal reasons no need to go into detail) and reapplying to a different school. BTW my first semester grades were good, and I expect the next ones will be decent too.

My Dean of Students told me that the ABA has a policy that as long as you will complete your JD within 84 months of starting it, you will get credit for your first year completed if you reapply. In other words, I am class of 2011 now, so as long as I would graduate with the class of 2015, they would credit me for my first year at my current school, and I would restart law school as a transfer student/2L.

 However, whether or not you get credit for the first year is supposedly at the discretion of each individual law school. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about this? Is the 84 months just a theoretical policy that most schools really don't adhere to? I called one admissions office and they told me that if the student has been out for more than one year, they make them take 1L year over again, which makes me feel like probably most other schools take this view.

I know this is kind of an obscure subject, so not sure if anyone will have input, but thought I'd try anyway... ???


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Re: taking time off
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 07:48:11 PM »
If you have a ball park idea of what schools you might want to apply to, you shoudl call their admissions office and ask what their policy is.


Re: taking time off
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 10:44:19 AM »
I have transferred schools and taken a leave of absence as well... Jacy is right though, you should talk to individual schools in case they have a special policy regarding leaves of absence.  The 84 month thing is not flexible and is an ABA mandate.  My school's policy was that you could take a year at a time as a leave, but just had to touch base with the dean each year to extend it further... but 84 months applies. 

My advice (that you probably don't want)?  Reduce your course schedule before deciding to walk away, law school is a bit like ripping off a bandaid!  Once I walked away and got a life again the desire to go back/retrain my mind kind of waned.  My school is very student oriented, they even offered/strongly suggested that I take a class or two at a time (allowing me to pay a per unit rate).  Good luck to you.

And just as a footnote, lots of people consider dropping out all the time...especially in the winter.  Unless you are having a health issue, huge financial problem, or could never see yourself using a J.D., think very hard before you walk.