Law School Discussion

Questions pertaining to law school - advice and insight very much so appreciated

Hello, all.

I just registered here because I have taken an interest in law lately. I would first like to give you all a bit of background information regarding my situation.

When I was growing up education was never taken seriously in my family. My siblings and I were never encouraged to maintain good grades or even stay in school as a matter of fact. My sister dropped out in the 5th grade and I myself never made it to high school, dropping out in the 8th grade. As I am sure you can imagine this was something I had always been ashamed of. I decided that I wanted my GED and began studying at home, teaching myself what I needed to know to pass the test. A few years ago I successfully passed the test earning my GED. Not too long after that I took the ACT so that I would get accepted at the local university. My composite score was high enough (23) for me to be accepted; however, my math score was too low and there I have to take remedial math.

Here is where, and why, I am unsure of my current goal(s): My first two semesters of college I did nothing but really skim by. I did not put a whole lot of effort into my studies. This was due to a plethora of reasons that I do not wish to go into because it does not matter why I slacked. All that matters is that I did slack and as a result failed to pass my remedial math course twice. All of my other classes which impacted my GPA I have passed and I am not on any sort of academic probation. My GPA, however, is really low (2.1).

So, as you can see my academic history up to this point (GED, ACT, two semesters of college) is on the less impressive side.

My circumstances have currently forced me into looking at the National Guard. I am almost certain that I will be enlisting. So the questions I have are:
  • With my less than impressive academic history and GPA, is it even feasible that I go this route?
  • Would going in to the National Guard help me with getting in to law school etc.?

I believe I could do well at law. Certain events that have happened in the not too distant past have made me want to go this route. I primarily want to focus on fathers' rights. It is something that I, as a father, am very passionate about. I understand that it is a long road with a lot of work and dedication required, but it is the first time I ever actually felt passionate about any of my options in school. I want to be able to help people and make a difference, no matter how big or small.

I apologize for the length of this post and if it is by chance in the wrong section. I am also grateful for any input some of you might have and share.

Admission to law school is based off of your GPA and LSAT scores and usually requires a bachelor's degree.  If you managed a high enough score on your LSAT, there might be a few law schools you could get into, like Cooley.  But it can be difficult to get a job after graduating from a tier IV school.

It sounds to me like you feel bad about how your undergraduate studies have gone and want a fresh start because you know you're capable of more if the conditions were right.  But rather than signing up for law school and telling yourself things will be different this time, in my humble opinion I think you need to make sure that the conditions preventing you from succeeding in college are not going to be repeated, or if some of the conditions do repeat, that you would be able to exercise enough self discipline to keep up a good work week .... i.e. going to bed early and getting up every morning on weekdays to go to class or study and having an honest work day even when you're feeling down or whatever.  I'm not sure signing up and just telling yourself it'll be different this time is the best idea. 

Also, grading at law school for most courses is based solely off a final exam score.   There's a lot of temptation to slack or put things off for people prone to such things because of this.  And much of the work is self study.  You need to read a casebook for class and be ready to be called on for cases, but this is only part of what you have to do.  The other half (arguably the more important half if you want to pass your exams) is self-directed study on your own where you go through hornbooks or other materials to learn the law itself, and do practice essays and multiple choice.  By the time you factor in time spent in class, time spent reading cases, time spent going over outlines, and the fact that you have to know it all for one single exam at the end, it really ends up being a lot of work for the average person.  On top of that, if you're going to one of the tier iv law schools, it's important to do better than the average student there.

Last and not least, it's enormously expensive to go law school.

I have to agree unknownOne on this.  You have two strikes against you, first by not finishing high school, then slacking a second time in college.   Slackers can generally get by in undergrad.  Most people can work and party during college, but this will not be the case if you go to law school.  Joining the National Guard may help with getting you disciplined as far as study goes, but the first thing a law school looks at is your gpa and lsat score.   You really need to evaluate what it is/was that kept you from your studies and figure what needs to be done to change it.  If you get into law school and slack off, you won't be able to stay anyway.  You may want to start a study schedule for the LSAT and see if you are able to maintain it.  If you are disciplined enough to study and do well on the LSAT, then there's a chance you could get in to law school.