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Author Topic: How do you get back into law school?  (Read 9527 times)

bigs5068

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Re: How do you get back into law school?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2010, 03:10:52 AM »
I also think you could take the baby bar in California and if you pass that then you can get into a CBA program and I would think an ABA tier 4 school might consider someone who passed the baby bar.

REALITY

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Re: How do you get back into law school?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2010, 01:31:14 PM »
with one your at an ABA school you'd be exempt from the CBE FXBExam. You could do the rest even self paced open book nonproctored at some CBE correspondence schools.

Denny Shore

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Re: How do you get back into law school?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 06:00:47 PM »
Hey all, thanks for replying. Well there is an petition process which the school allows and I did do that but unfortunately they still found no reason to let me back in. I was not trying to make excuses during the meeting but I did tell them that I had to deal with unforeseen family problems which kept me traveling every weekend. I really do feel that this hampered my ability to study during the weekends and because of this I tried cramming as much as I could during the week. I even got letters from doctors and witnesses stating the situation I was in but I guess the appeals board didnt think I deserved another chance =/. And the sad part about all of this was that I literally had a 1.99 and the requirement was a 2.0.

So at this point I'm just trying to get a job and get experience and maybe do my masters or take some classes. But nothing is set in stone because this is all a very confusing time for me right now.

I have some personal experience with this, so I feel compelled to help.
First of all, unless otherwise stated, you should be allowed to petition for readmit more than once.  Most schools don't consider petitions for readmission until the student has sat out at least one semester, with the earliest a readmitted student could begin classes being one full year from dismissal.  Are you sure you didn't have a hearing for reconsideration?  If you were dismissed after the end of the school year, this may not have been a petition to readmit, but rather a hearing as to the decision of the school.
When I was dismissed in 08, I talked to the Dean and he put me in contact with the person who handles readmission counseling.  I worked with her for about 6 months, formulating my essay, my readmission petition, and discussing strategies that would show the school that things had changed, that there was an explanation for my poor performance, and that I was committed to making the necessary changes.  Try to seek that person out.
Furthermore, if you were denied readmission, the ABA requires that you take 2 years off then you can apply to any law school as a new admit.  Naturally, you will have to discuss the fact that you were dismissed. 
I recommend you take some time to think about what happened that caused you problems and be honest with yourself.  If this is what you really want, there should be no doubt in your mind that you can do it, and do it better the second go around.  I didn't like people telling me that it was for the best, nor did I care to hear people tell me to do something else.  For me, it was law school.  If I couldn't get back in, I'd have to find something else.  Until I did everything I could, I wasn't willing to quit.
If you really did get denied readmission (and didn't mistake a petition for reconsideration for a readmission procedure), you have two years to kill while waiting for the ABA requirement to pass.  That's a long time, for sure, but also plenty of time to explore other opportunities.  For example, my plan, if I had been denied readmission, was to get my masters degree (either an MBA or something in marketing) in the interim.  You could accomplish this in two years with little problem.  Plus, then if you don't get admitted for some reason, you have another potential career just waiting for you to go kick butt at!  Truth is, an MBA or masters can get you a job with less work, less responsibility, less hours and similar pay.
Here's some basic stuff I learned that might be helpful:
1)  stay involved in the law.  Clerk, paralegal, volunteer - anything is better than nothing (even volunteering a few days a month at a free legal clinic is better than ignoring the field completely).  It shows you are dedicated, interested, and engaged despite any issues that should, if you didn't care, have made you disconnect from the law.
2)  let it go.  The most successful people have failed many times before they succeeded.  Think of it this way: thousands apply to law school every year and only a small percentage gain acceptance.  Hundreds of students 'fail out' of law school.  It doesn't make you stupid or worthless, nor does it signify that you are incapable.  We all run into periods of time in our lives that prevent us from attaining our goals.  Its what you do when you fail that makes you who you are.  Get over the pain and confusion and try to remember that you were smart enough to get in.  That automatically puts you in a category of intelligence and capability that exceeds a huge portion of the population.
3)  be honest with yourself and figure out if law school is right for you.  If you are readmitted, you are held to a higher standard.  People will be watching and the pressure will be higher than the average student.  Do you want to be a lawyer?  Did you apply to law school because you thought it was a big bucks profession?  Did you just want a degree?  I've met too many people who went to law school for the prestige, the title, or the money who quickly learned that none of it was worth it.  There is nothing sadder (to me) than when someone spends six figures to get a degree that they never use or use for a while only to realize that they hate it.
My story is simple.  I have ADHD and had major test anxiety, both of which contributed to me getting a B, a C+ and 2 D's.  I was dismissed.  I went to see my doctor, got rediagnosed, got properly medicated, and got readmitted.  I worked my ass off and got one C, a B-, and 2 B's first semester.  Second semester, I got one C and three B+'s.  The two C's were from the same professor, who I was forced to take twice, that writes terrible tests full of confusing wording, misspellings, and a total lack of clarity (he tought us general measure of damages so poorly that using the way he taught us, I was unable to answer a GM question using the choices provided).  At this point, I am in no danger of being dismissed again and look forward to a more successful 2L.
It can be done.  If you really want it, and for the right reasons, nothing can stop you.

Anyway, good luck to you.  Keep your head up. 
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” -  Arnold Schwarzenegger (it's better if you say it with his accent)

bigs5068

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Re: How do you get back into law school?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 07:40:59 PM »
Awesome post man you seem to have a great attitude and hopefully you will continue to do well.

barond

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Re: How do you get back into law school?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 08:20:24 PM »
Hey Denny, do you happen to attend evenings at UDM?  Your story seems vaguely familiar.

How did you manage to get readmission without waiting 2 years?  Perhaps, this could help the OP.

Denny Shore

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Re: How do you get back into law school?
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2010, 03:42:19 PM »
Hey Denny, do you happen to attend evenings at UDM?  Your story seems vaguely familiar.

How did you manage to get readmission without waiting 2 years?  Perhaps, this could help the OP.

Nope, sorry.  I go to JMLS and am in the day division.  My story can't be that unique.

The ABA has two sets of rules regarding readmission, as I understand it.
Rule #1 is that a student who has been academically dismissed may reapply no earlier than 1 semester after dismissal.  Readmission is at the discretion of the school, and if readmitted, the student may return no sooner than 1 year after dismissal.
Rule #2 is that any student dismissed who is denied readmission may apply to any law school after 2 years from the dismissal.
I met with the readmission coordinator at my school after meeting with a dean.  We met several times prior to filing my petition and she reviewed and gave feedback on my multiple drafts.  As a condition of readmission, I have higher requirements than other students for completion.
1) for the first semester, I was required to have regular meeting with the readmission coordinator (who is also the director of academic achievement).  Most of these meetings were 'check ins' to see if I had questions, was experiencing difficulties, provide outlining advice, etc.
2)  My GPA cannot fall below 2.25 cumulative, I am not eligible for academic probation, and if I fall below 2.0 cum, I am dismissed and not eligible for readmission at JMLS.

So far, so good.  I am not close to 2.25 and don't see any reason why, moving forward, I would run into that problem.
Thanks for the kind words (all).  My attitude comes directly from my drive.  I have always been a driven person, which has helped me attain success to this point.  I am a non-trad student (I turned 35 this year - just after completing my 1L) who has had 2 successful careers (one in the restaurant business and one in healthcare focused technology sales).  I honestly believe that my life experiences give me an advantage in terms of work ethic and, well, life experience.  However, there is no reason that I can understand why someone who experiences difficulty and is dismissed can't return with success, assuming there was something identifiable and correctable that contributed to their difficulty.  It does not mean they should give up, it does not mean they should find something else to do, and it does not mean they can't do it.
I'm happy to be living proof that most of the bashing I endured on message boards proved to be nothing more than nonsense spouted from the mouths of people who think they know it all.  The most important lesson I learned through all of this is to not beat myself up too badly.  And that's what I try to impress on others who are going through the foggy darkness that seems unavoidable and can be oppressive. 
Stay positive, work hard, be honest with yourself.  Don't be afraid to fail. 
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." - Henry Ford


Denny Shore

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Re: How do you get back into law school?
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2010, 03:45:28 PM »
As a side note, when I was readmitted, I was very open about the fact that I was a readmit.  I didn't hide it from my classmates.
And I didn't succeed in my coursework because I remembered everything.  I made a very serious attempt to learn everything I could as if it was fresh information.  My second semester (which was made up of coursework I hadn't seen before) was more successful (in terms of grades) because I carried that drive forward.
So to all those students who get readmitted:  work twice as hard as you ever thought you could.  Don't think that since you've been through it once, you'll do better automatically.  I learned the repeated material far better the second go through because I treated it all as brand new material.  I didn't look once at old notes.