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Question from a dismissed law student of Western State College of Law at Argosy

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LegalFielder:
I was dismissed from Western State after 3 semesters, should I try to stay in the legal field, for example getting a paralegal certificate, and then try to go back to law school?

RobWreck:
Addressing this post as an honest request for help and not a humorless hoax, you haven't provided enough information for any reasoned advice...

1) Why were you dismissed? If it was an academic dismissal for poor grades, have you identified the source of the trouble and come up with a solution? If it was a disciplinary dismissal that would impact potential bar admission, that's an even more significant concern.

2) Why do you want to go back to law school? Is there a more affordable alternative that meets your goals? How committed are you to a career in the legal field?



jack24:

--- Quote from: RobWreck on August 14, 2012, 09:10:25 AM ---Addressing this post as an honest request for help and not a humorless hoax, you haven't provided enough information for any reasoned advice...

1) Why were you dismissed? If it was an academic dismissal for poor grades, have you identified the source of the trouble and come up with a solution? If it was a disciplinary dismissal that would impact potential bar admission, that's an even more significant concern.

2) Why do you want to go back to law school? Is there a more affordable alternative that meets your goals? How committed are you to a career in the legal field?

--- End quote ---

Good questions.
I'd also add  3) What type of legal work do you believe you'd like to do (What type of employer, what practice area, and what kind of day to day work)

LegalFielder:
I was academically dismissed from Western State for not having enough "foundation points."  Western State has a notoriously high attrition rate.  Not only must students achieve above a 2.0 (which is how it is at most law schools), but students must also attain at least four foundation points after the first year, otherwise the student is put on probation for one semester then subsequently dismissed if the student does not attain four foundation points at the end of the probation semester.  A foundation point is earned by receiving at least a 2.5 in specific courses (such as Torts, Crim Law/Pro, Contracts, Civ Pro, etc.), which are bar-tested.  Western State's bar passage rate is extremely high considering is a for-profit unranked school because about 50% of each class is academically dismissed.

I had above a 2.0 but unfortunately did not receive all four foundation points.  I petitioned to continue my studies but it was denied by the faculty and no reason was given.  I felt like I was ready for all of my exams, except maybe one midterm which I did not study enough for, but I was not able to fulfill the foundation points requirement.

Getting dismissed has been a huge setback, monetarily and mentally, and it seems as if no one at Western State even wants to speak with me now but I'm still very interested in staying in the legal field.  I was actually thinking about waiting the ABA mandated 2-year period regarding academically dismissed students, getting into a paralegal program, try to find a job in the legal field, and retake the LSAT next year during maybe the Summer or Fall of 2013.

As far as the type of legal work, I want to be involved in civil litigation.  I wouldn't mind the hours or the stress involved in litigation.

RobWreck:
Ok, so that explains why you're not @ Western anymore... because of their absurdly high dismissal rate. The follow-up question is 'What have you changed that will cause you to have a different result?' If you haven't identified why you weren't in the top half, then what makes you think that you'll have more success the second time around?

A brief search of the school's website led me to this disheartening statement...

Grades will be assigned on a C curve.
Prof. Dellinger's Contracts I class - Syllabus p.4
http://content.wsulaw.edu/assets/Academics/Syllabi-Booklists/2011/contracts-IIIB-syllabus.pdf

Perhaps I'm mistaken here, but a C curve indicates that a 2.0 is the midpoint of the grading curve, no? So roughly half of Prof. Dellinger's students will be facing academic problems, and less than half will receive the required 2.5 to earn a 'foundation point'? You may want to reconsider whether you really want to get back into a program so heavily stacked against you...

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