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Getting Back Into Law School After Problems With First Matriculation


I attended a Tier 2 school at the age of 40 and was really not prepared for the experience. I had elder care issues to contend with, and substantial levels of anxiety and depression that I had never experienced before. I completed the semester with a B, D-, and an F-.  The school permitted me to take a medical leave of absence and retake the semester the following fall. In the fall, my semester was interrupted by the hospitalization of my parent which necessitated by traveling 2000 miles to take care of her. I then had to take the first semester a third time, experiencing again some health problems, and finished the semester with a B-, C, and a C. I would like to attend law school in the future, perhaps a Tier III or Tier IV school. Given a clean bill of health, an improved LSAT score, etc., what are my chances of being admitted into a program again? Thank you for your input...

It's hard to give you an answer.  Anyone who tells you they know, is full of it.  Your application will not be an auto-accept no matter how good your numbers look. 

Here's my thoughts, though:

The process of applying to law school is an advocacy challenge—precisely what you aspire to do as a lawyer. Use your application as an opportunity to show off your skills! The admissions committee is going to take note of how you respond to this challenge. They are looking for clear, concise, and compelling presentations of information that persuades them to admit you. This will be a test of your judgment, analytical skills, and oral and written advocacy skills.

No doubt, your personal statement should focus on the first law school experience. 

The good news is that the schools don't have to report the fact that you were a former law student--only your LSAT and UGPA.  So, it won't hurt their ranking to admit you unless you drop out.  You have to convince them it won't happen.

You should probably consider applying to 10 or more schools in your region. 

Good luck, and let us know what happens!

You can get in somewhere, somehow.  Do you have geographical restrictions? 

I don't know that 3rd tier is realistic, but there's probably a school somewhere in the 4th tier that will take you.

I could even envision a scenario where your previous grades are acknowledged, but not transferred to your new school's transcript since most schools don't include other schools' grades on their class rankings, etc.

Just keep applying.  You may have to move to a new part of the country, though.  Use your personal statement to explain what happened.  You're not the first person to have a difficult time due to health issues of a relative.  In a somewhat related way, I left school one semester when I found out a relative, who had raised me, had only a couple of weeks left to live.  I asked all my profs if they would give me their final exams early.  They were all very kind and obliged, but since I took the exam with 3 weeks to go, I got straight Cs that semester.

You're not the only one this happened to, and the admissions committee has seen it before.

Fortunately for you, 4T schools need to put butts in the seats.  If your UGPA and LSAT are good (and I presume they are if you were previously admitted to a 2T), then you can probably find a school that will take you.


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