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 Post subject: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:00 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:32 am
Archived Posts: 7
First of all, who the hell fails out of law school? This person did. :twisted:
After the worst year of my life, academically and personally- all I have to show for it is a letter asking me not to come back to the school, and debt from a school I never wanted to go to, to begin with.

A little about me. I went to Duke undergrad and graduated top 10% of my class. I scored a 170 on my LSAT after working as a paralegal in a top Law Firm in Washington DC.
My dream of going to law school and becoming a lawyer started at a young age as I intended to the fullest of following my father's footsteps.
I was wait listed at a few top tier schools, and decided to settle and go to a school that was ranked in the 30's because it was near my home, and I was dealing with a few family troubles. Even after getting into Carolina, wait listed at Georgetown, and a few other schools HIGHER than the school I settled on, I entered the biggest mistake of my life at _______ Law School.

Due to a few extenuating circumstances in my personal life this past year (death in the family, depression, etc), my drive to study, focus, and achieve academic excellence was destroyed.
Long sob story short...I was asked not to come back to school, because my grades were not good enough.

This is where I stand now- I have been receiving counseling and emotionally I am back on par to where I was when I took my LSATs over a year ago. I do not live in the same housing situation as I did during my first year. I am applying to law firms back in DC, as I am currently unemployed. I have a few leads, and I am hoping to lock up a job within the next few weeks.
My passion is law, and I refuse to let this go.. I need to know what my options are as I am determined to succeed.

1) Would I benefit from re-taking the LSATs? Is this even possible?
2) Is any respectable law school going to even want me? Including the law schools I turned down?
3) When should I re-apply?
4) Personal statement- How do I even approach this?

To all the kind and honest people out there, THANK YOU in advance. Your suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated.

-Meredith


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:08 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm
Archived Posts: 1067
edit: n/m


Last edited by thesealocust on Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:09 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:29 pm
Archived Posts: 1396
meredith2006 wrote:
First of all, who the hell fails out of law school? This person did. :twisted:
After the worst year of my life, academically and personally- all I have to show for it is a letter asking me not to come back to the school, and debt from a school I never wanted to go to, to begin with.

A little about me. I went to Duke undergrad and graduated top 10% of my class. I scored a 170 on my LSAT after working as a paralegal in a top Law Firm in Washington DC.
My dream of going to law school and becoming a lawyer started at a young age as I intended to the fullest of following my father's footsteps.
I was wait listed at a few top tier schools, and decided to settle and go to a school that was ranked in the 30's because it was near my home, and I was dealing with a few family troubles. Even after getting into Carolina, wait listed at Georgetown, and a few other schools HIGHER than the school I settled on, I entered the biggest mistake of my life at _______ Law School.

Due to a few extenuating circumstances in my personal life this past year (death in the family, depression, etc), my drive to study, focus, and achieve academic excellence was destroyed.
Long sob story short...I was asked not to come back to school, because my grades were not good enough.

This is where I stand now- I have been receiving counseling and emotionally I am back on par to where I was when I took my LSATs over a year ago. I do not live in the same housing situation as I did during my first year. I am applying to law firms back in DC, as I am currently unemployed. I have a few leads, and I am hoping to lock up a job within the next few weeks.
My passion is law, and I refuse to let this go.. I need to know what my options are as I am determined to succeed.

1) Would I benefit from re-taking the LSATs? Is this even possible?
2) Is any respectable law school going to even want me? Including the law schools I turned down?
3) When should I re-apply?
4) Personal statement- How do I even approach this?

To all the kind and honest people out there, THANK YOU in advance. Your suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated.

-Meredith


I think your score is only good for five years. I imagine there will be a school out there willing to take a chance on you, just make sure to document what caused the problem during your 1L and show proof of what you have done to fix the problem. I wish you the best.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:11 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:32 am
Archived Posts: 7
Because of all of my "issues", I did not really study the admissions process like I should have. I would give ANYTHING to redo the last 1.5 years of my life. Im doomed.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:13 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm
Archived Posts: 1067
edit: n/m


Last edited by thesealocust on Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:15 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:12 pm
Archived Posts: 7299
meredith2006 wrote:
First of all, who the hell fails out of law school? This person did. :twisted:
After the worst year of my life, academically and personally- all I have to show for it is a letter asking me not to come back to the school, and debt from a school I never wanted to go to, to begin with.

A little about me. I went to Duke undergrad and graduated top 10% of my class. I scored a 170 on my LSAT after working as a paralegal in a top Law Firm in Washington DC.
My dream of going to law school and becoming a lawyer started at a young age as I intended to the fullest of following my father's footsteps.
I was wait listed at a few top tier schools, and decided to settle and go to a school that was ranked in the 30's because it was near my home, and I was dealing with a few family troubles. Even after getting into Carolina, wait listed at Georgetown, and a few other schools HIGHER than the school I settled on, I entered the biggest mistake of my life at _______ Law School.

Due to a few extenuating circumstances in my personal life this past year (death in the family, depression, etc), my drive to study, focus, and achieve academic excellence was destroyed.
Long sob story short...I was asked not to come back to school, because my grades were not good enough.

This is where I stand now- I have been receiving counseling and emotionally I am back on par to where I was when I took my LSATs over a year ago. I do not live in the same housing situation as I did during my first year. I am applying to law firms back in DC, as I am currently unemployed. I have a few leads, and I am hoping to lock up a job within the next few weeks.
My passion is law, and I refuse to let this go.. I need to know what my options are as I am determined to succeed.

1) Would I benefit from re-taking the LSATs? Is this even possible?
2) Is any respectable law school going to even want me? Including the law schools I turned down?
3) When should I re-apply?
4) Personal statement- How do I even approach this?

To all the kind and honest people out there, THANK YOU in advance. Your suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated.

-Meredith


This might be a really tough nut to crack, but I would do something NOW with your time that demonstrates that these issues aren't going on now. They will want more than your word. Except there isn't much I can think of that will do that except time, holding down a good job, and getting involved in activities (that you can put on your resume). Also, I think you're going to need a LOR that isn't from UG. Get one from a job, definitely. But, are there any profs at your prev law school that can write you a good rec letter? Even if you didn't do well in their class, if you have a connection to a prof, see if they can write something that speaks to your positive attributes.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:17 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:32 am
Archived Posts: 7
I was seriously burned.
I think if I had waited , I would have been accepted into Georgetown off of their wait list. Instead, I accepted the scholarship at the other school and was locked in.

REGARDLESS- I need to look forward with a game plan. This thread is open for suggestions on how to get back on track.
Thanks again everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:20 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:16 am
Archived Posts: 3398
I think your best bet would be to talk to you former school and see if they will let you continue where you left off. Talk to the dean of students; they realize shit happens. At the same time, you employment prospects are grim.

But yean, top 10% at Duke and a 170, should be t-14 easy.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:12 pm
Archived Posts: 7299
Oblomov wrote:
I think your best bet would be to talk to you former school and see if they will let you continue where you left off. Talk to the dean of students; they realize shit happens. At the same time, you employment prospects are grim.


Did you do this, OP? I doubt you'd get your scholly back, but you might be able to reapply and then transfer out if you don't want to stay there.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:24 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm
Archived Posts: 1734
Back in the day.. failing out of law school was possible.. Now.. Its something you almost have to try to do. What happened on the exams? Did you not attend class and then not study at all? Or did you put in some work, attend some classes and still fail? If its the later of the two, I would reconsider trying to get back into law school, as its quite possible you just might not be cut out for law school.

If you are set on going.. Re-apply with an addendum to a lower ranked school than where you applied. There will be a school in the 40 to 70 range that would LOVE to have your numbers and quite frankly won't give a shit if you fail out again.. They may even throw you some money to boot.

Still... The best bet would be to got o the LS and talk to them.. They may be willing to work something out with you.. Nothing is ever set in stone.. Make some calls. Go and talk to people.. Explain what happened.. Suggest an extended probationary period.. This is a much better option.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:28 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:32 am
Archived Posts: 7
I did the entire appeal process at my previous school. I wrote a personal statement explaining my situation, sat before the board, everything. At the end of the day, they said that my academic performance at their school was a liability and they would be concerned that I would not be able to pass the BAR.

I did connect with a few professors, so I am sure I could talk to them and see if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for me elsewhere.
But is it too soon to apply to other schools? Think I need a full year of working and other activities for other schools to truly believe that I am back on track?
If so, this puts me back almost 2-3 years.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:39 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:49 pm
Archived Posts: 4394
What's top 10% at Dook GPA wise? I can't imagine a 170, 3.7+ getting locked out of the t14. One should bite.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:49 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm
Archived Posts: 1734
I'm going to be the first to say it, even though I've already made a substantive response... FLAME!


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:51 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:32 am
Archived Posts: 7
Flame? What are you implying?
Your negativity is not wanted on here.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:55 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:56 pm
Archived Posts: 63
reasonable_man wrote:

If you are set on going.. Re-apply with an addendum to a lower ranked school than where you applied. There will be a school in the 40 to 70 range that would LOVE to have your numbers and quite frankly won't give a shit if you fail out again.. They may even throw you some money to boot.


I was under the impression that once you matriculated to a school your numbers would have to apply as a transfer student. If that is the case they probably wont be "throwing" money at him or "love to have his numbers" because his lsat score and UG gpa won't affect the USNWR rankings. But who knows you may get a surprise acceptance from a school in this range if a school is willing to take a chance on you. But I think that will depend on how well you sell your story.

*I just noticed reasonable man called you out as a flame. Can you answer two question for us. What was your gpa at duke? And are there any negative marks in your application that would've locked you out of T14 or did you simply not apply to many schools in this range? Top 10% seems like you should have been around a 3.7 give or take and with a 170 its just not adding up.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:59 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:32 am
Archived Posts: 7
1) my GPA at duke was a 3.64444
2) No negative marks on my application
3) The only school I applied to in that range was Georgetown (should have applied to more.)


Another question: If I have connections to top Law Schools, when would be the time to use them? After I have a few years of work experience? Now?


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:59 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:18 pm
Archived Posts: 334
Like somebody else said, start with the school you attended. Perhaps they'll let you back in on some sort of a trial period or something or tell you that if you demonstrate recovery and success over the next year or something they'll let you back in.

No use worrying about anything else w/out talking to them first.

My best friend committed suicide within the first two weeks of my freshman year of undergrad. I can't imagine what it's like to be held in the insidious grip of depression but from talking with him I know that it's the struggle of a lifetime. Good luck, OP!


Last edited by Slimpee on Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:00 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm
Archived Posts: 1734
meredith2006 wrote:
Flame? What are you implying?
Your negativity is not wanted on here.



Actually 84% of the time my negativity is accepted by TLS. I stand by those numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:08 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:12 am
Archived Posts: 206
Just be honest. In your case, I think it'd be useful to make as much personal contact as possible. You have good enough numbers that I guarantee a good school would take a bite on you.

Ad Coms love compelling reformation stories. Just delineate clearly and convincingly how you've reformed. If you begin a dialogue with a few target schools now and keep it up until the next cycle, that 6 months demonstrated commitment should be enough to convince them of your reformation.

I'd go for whatever you big state school is, your local school and then a few that stress personal experience. I'd consider schools in the 20s like Wash U, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Indiana, etc because they're in the range that they'd be willing to gamble on someone with high numbers, figured they wouldn't have too much too lose. Take a few shots in the t-14 as well, no harm in reaching.

I'd also try to resubmit to some of the schools you were admitted like UNC out of pure familiarity.

Again, the key for you is going to be constant and open contact with Ad Coms. A lot of them are going to be drooling over your measurables. Just give them a plausible basis for admitting you.

As an aside, one of my friend 1L dropped out of law school and ended up being admitted to UVA's business school the next year. Things happen, don't fret over it.

Edit: And I actually disagree - don't go back to the school you were at. Theres too much baggage there now, with the students, the professors and even your own history. I think you'd be more likely to just fall back into old bad habits. Get a fresh start somewhere else.

Edit: Edit: Definitely use any contacts you have. You need those more than ever now. Also, you should give Duke a try. You're in their range. They might be prone to take a risk on you since you've already demonstrated great capacity at their university. Why didn't you apply to begin with?


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:13 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:50 pm
Archived Posts: 833
+1 Flame. 5 post count. You were top of the class at Duke, had a 170 and went to a school lower than Georgetown? If you didn't have a full scholarship, you are a complete idiot. How did you accumulate this crushing debt? Your point has be beaten to death by your previous alts. Thanks for stopping back in.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:23 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:03 am
Archived Posts: 1110
meredith2006 wrote:
1) my GPA at duke was a 3.64444
2) No negative marks on my application
3) The only school I applied to in that range was Georgetown (should have applied to more.)


Another question: If I have connections to top Law Schools, when would be the time to use them? After I have a few years of work experience? Now?



My only question is why didnt you apply to Duke LS. Im sure you knew that therre was a LS there and that it is a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:28 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:32 am
Archived Posts: 7
I didnt apply to Duke, and MANY schools, because I wanted to stay local to be my family and their difficulties.


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:38 am 

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 9:50 pm
Archived Posts: 458
reasonable_man wrote:
I'm going to be the first to say it, even though I've already made a substantive response... FLAME!


there is way too much effort put into this post to be a flame...


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:42 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:28 pm
Archived Posts: 2262
yeah but how the fuck is a 3.6 the top of duke's class?


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 Post subject: Re: I failed out of Law School. What now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:43 am 

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:59 am
Archived Posts: 655
Slimpee wrote:
Like somebody else said, start with the school you attended. Perhaps they'll let you back in on some sort of a trial period or something or tell you that if you demonstrate recovery and success over the next year or something they'll let you back in.

No use worrying about anything else w/out talking to them first.

My best friend committed suicide within the first two weeks of my freshman year of undergrad. I can't imagine what it's like to be held in the insidious grip of depression but from talking with him I know that it's the struggle of a lifetime. Good luck, OP!


:(


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