Law School Discussion

Reapplying to law school after an academic dismissal...

Reapplying to law school after an academic dismissal...
« on: June 12, 2013, 07:19:59 AM »
I struggled a great deal during my first semester of law school, and my grades were horrible. It was a different style of learning, that I had to get used to. I was a good student in undergrad, so I couldn’t understand what was wrong. The feedback that I got back from my professors was “rule dumping” and “too conclusory”. When I look back at my bluebooks, I can now understand what they might…pages and pages of rules and too little analysis. Second semester was a lot better for me. I finally understood that I had to make law school my entire life, and I worked hard at it. I joined a study group with the smartest guy in my section (he booked all the classes 1st semester), and did practice essays and multiples for academic support and my professors weekly. In the end, all my grades went up a letter grade, but it wasn’t enough and I was academically dismissed in 2011. 

My first year out of law school was extremely difficult. It doesn’t help your self-esteem. I also didn’t have a plan B, so I felt derailed for a while. I am now in a MBA program (which has probably a rash decision after being dismissed from law school), and I graduate May of 2014. I am trying to accept my MBA, and looking into different fields that I can go into. I just feel like it’s not genuine and I think my professors and everyone around me can realize that.

I have an internship now and I visited the NC Supreme Court and met with one of the Justices. I can’t explain what I felt listening to him talk about cases and the law. I can only say that I felt such admiration and respect. I also felt ashamed and sad that I would not be able to practice law. I looked at the different Justices on the wall, and it was at that point that I was determined to not give up on my dream.

For the most part, I’ve accepted the fact that I am not in law school anymore. The only question is whether or not I want to go back. I have to be realistic about the situation. Law schools look down on applicants who were previously dismissed, and that will make it just that much harder for me to get in. I also do not want to go through that grueling admissions process again (if you’ve gone to law school, then you know what I mean). Not to mention, that BEAST we call a LSAT. I’m in business school, so I have learned to always look at the cost-benefit factor. Is it worth it, financially? Lastly, am I really meant to be a lawyer? Do I possess the required skills? Is that career even for me?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Re: Reapplying to law school after an academic dismissal...
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 08:48:39 PM »
Well it sounds like you have a real passion for the law, which is something I do not see in a lot of the lawyers I work with. I will say it can be a very rewarding career, but it is difficult. As for law school admissions looking down on those who were dismissed I don't know if that is necessarily true across the board I am sure some schools think that way while others may respect your determination to come back and you could certainly address what you have learned in your personal statement.

As for the LSAT as you know that is nothing compared to a law school exam and the bar exam is the LSAT on Jose Canseco Steroids so be sure you are up to the challenge.

As for your questions?

1) Is it worth it financially
This is a big consideration law school is extremely expensive and you will lose three years of income. I am an attorney and I honestly believe I could have made more money had I pursued a different field, but I love my job and being a lawyer. I personally think loving what you do is worth sacrificing some higher numbers in your bank account, but everyone is different. 

2) Am I really meant to be a lawyer?
There is no answer to this you can't possibly know if your meant to be a lawyer. I know many practicing lawyers that are miserable and plenty that are happy. Failing out your first year is tough, but as an attorney you will need perseverance and if it is something you really want I would encourage you to pursue your goals. You only have one life and if you are passionate about being a lawyer go for that path.  If your not then don't waste your time.

3) Do I possess the required skills?
I have never met you or know anything about you and again being a lawyer is something you learn once your out in the real world. Law school gives you a foundation, but there are no multiple choice questions in the real world. Again you can't possibly know if you possess the skills unless you work as a lawyer and then it will be sink or swim.

4) Is that career even for me?
Again I have never met you and know nothing about you. If being a lawyer is something you are passionate about then I would say yes, but that is a question only you can answer.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Re: Reapplying to law school after an academic dismissal...
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 09:55:32 AM »
Thank you so much for your well thought out reply! It helps to hear from others who have gone through law school and are now practicing law   :)

Re: Reapplying to law school after an academic dismissal...
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 01:39:19 PM »
Happy to offer some insight and remember whether you re attend or not is a highly personal decision and you have to really ask yourself what you plan on doing differently this time around and whether you really want to be a lawyer.