Advice re: returning to school | Non-traditional/Latina (MA)

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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lawlzzz
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Advice re: returning to school | Non-traditional/Latina (MA)

Postby lawlzzz » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:40 pm

Hey all! I've posted this on other sections of the forum, but didn't really get a response, so I thought I'd try here. :mrgreen: I know it's a very unusual, complicated situation, but hopefully some of you could give me your thoughts. It'd be much appreciated just to get different perspectives. What would you do in this situation?

Ok, so in as condensed a nutshell as I could get it...

I applied to law school during the 2012-2013 cycle. Started in the Fall of 2013 at a top 30 school with 33k/year scholarship. Wasn't able to finish my 2nd semester due to medical issues, so I withdrew. Got better. Clerked at a PI non-profit over the summer. Returned for the Fall of 2014. Got worse again and wasn't able to finish the 2nd semester of that year (so I've essentially successfully finished 2 semesters of law school). Withdrew to take a medical leave of absence again. Started to feel better and tried to apply for readmission for the Fall of 2015 (it wasn't an automatic readmission like after 1L year), but the Dean of Students denied my readmission application, which was actually just in the form of a letter to the Dean, saying that I hadn't provided sufficient evidence that I could successfully complete law school. (The Dean hadn't given me much guidance as to what s/he had been looking for in the letter, even though I had asked, and I hadn't known that I could provide evidence outside of my letter to support it. Since s/he had been so supportive of me and had made it seem like my return to school was a given, I had mistakenly thought the letter was just a formality. So that was on me.)

Anyway, I finally got a diagnosis on what was going on with me. Turned out to be a chronic condition that I had been dealing with for about 10 years at that point (which explained why I had also struggled during my undergrad). I haven't returned to school since Spring 2015. It's been a long journey in getting treatment, but I'm much better. My health is finally stable.

I have until 2020 to finish my J.D. but I've just applied for readmission to my law school to return this Fall and hopefully finish in 2019. (Again, the application was in the form of a letter to the Dean).

Now, one of my issues is financial aid. I have 1 more year of scholarship money, so I'll have nothing for the last year. (As it is, I have to go through an appeals process to convince them to let me borrow federal loans, given that I have withdrawn twice).

Also, I just have the feeling that the Dean of Students doesn't really want me back. The Dean was very helpful and compassionate about my situation at first, but at one point I kinda felt his/her demeanor shift. And this person also pretty much threw my character under the bus in his/her rejection letter to my previous application for readmission. Given my complicated situation, I will have to deal with him/her quite a bit and will need his/her support. And it seems s/he may not be as supportive now.

So I'm wondering, even if I'm readmitted, should I go back to this law school? (If I didn't have those 2 main issues -- financial aid & the Dean -- I would go back in a heartbeat, as I love the school). Should I/can I retake the LSAT and reapply to other law schools in the hopes of getting more in scholarships? I got a 166 last time, but I know I can score higher. I had been dealing with the aftermath of my dad's stroke at that time and still managed to get that good score through self-study, so I know I can do better (maybe even this time with a course or tutoring). I'm also in the process of seeing if I can retroactively withdraw from some classes in my undergrad. A counselor told me typically they don't allow that after graduation, but I may be able to apply for an exception. So that's pending. If approved, my gpa would go up to 3.11 at least (still low, but at least above a 3.0)

A small part of me even wonders if it would be worth it to even go back to law school at all, even though my health is stable right now. That's more my fear of failure though. A part of me fears that my health will take a downward turn again. But I want to finish what I started. I've already invested so much. And I still want to be a PI attorney.

Any thoughts/advice is much appreciated!

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dietcoke1
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Re: Advice re: returning to school | Non-traditional/Latina (MA)

Postby dietcoke1 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:40 pm

this is a unique situation and it makes it hard to give advice. Personally, if there is a way to just "redo" law school at another school I think I would do that. Especially considering the fact you think you can improve on the LSAT. I would figure out if you can do that route, maybe try contacting LSAC and reaching out to specific schools to see if you could be admitted elsewhere and start over. I think I would absolutely try this if the school says they are unable to give you the scholarship back.

If you do end up reapplying, I would suggest reaching out to Spivey Consulting. Explain your situation and see if they can help (I imagine they could) because explaining this to law schools in a application may take some sophistication and insights that they will have.

Good luck!

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hammy393
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Re: Advice re: returning to school | Non-traditional/Latina (MA)

Postby hammy393 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:14 pm

dietcoke1 wrote:this is a unique situation and it makes it hard to give advice. Personally, if there is a way to just "redo" law school at another school I think I would do that. Especially considering the fact you think you can improve on the LSAT. I would figure out if you can do that route, maybe try contacting LSAC and reaching out to specific schools to see if you could be admitted elsewhere and start over. I think I would absolutely try this if the school says they are unable to give you the scholarship back.

If you do end up reapplying, I would suggest reaching out to Spivey Consulting. Explain your situation and see if they can help (I imagine they could) because explaining this to law schools in a application may take some sophistication and insights that they will have.

Good luck!


Completely agree w/ dietcoke's advice. Good luck!!

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lawlzzz
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Re: Advice re: returning to school | Non-traditional/Latina (MA)

Postby lawlzzz » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:27 pm

hammy393 wrote:
dietcoke1 wrote:this is a unique situation and it makes it hard to give advice. Personally, if there is a way to just "redo" law school at another school I think I would do that. Especially considering the fact you think you can improve on the LSAT. I would figure out if you can do that route, maybe try contacting LSAC and reaching out to specific schools to see if you could be admitted elsewhere and start over. I think I would absolutely try this if the school says they are unable to give you the scholarship back.

If you do end up reapplying, I would suggest reaching out to Spivey Consulting. Explain your situation and see if they can help (I imagine they could) because explaining this to law schools in a application may take some sophistication and insights that they will have.

Good luck!


Completely agree w/ dietcoke's advice. Good luck!!


Thanks so much for your input! I am leaning towards a "redo" if that's possible. I'm gonna contact lsac and some schools. Will also look into Spivey Consulting. Thanks again! Appreciate it!

crookedsmile
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Re: Advice re: returning to school | Non-traditional/Latina (MA)

Postby crookedsmile » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:03 pm

It sounds to me like your experience at your previous law school wouldn't be an enjoyable one even if you were able to return. If what you're saying is true and the Dean has an unfairly skewed image of you, you may not get the crucial support it sounds like you need. Like dietcoke said, if you CAN figure out a way to just press the restart button on your whole law school journey, it might be for the best. It sounds like you have a legitimate medical condition that should/could be taken under consideration by schools looking to admit you if you make it known to them how impactful it is on your life. I really do wish you the best of luck!

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lawlzzz
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Re: Advice re: returning to school | Non-traditional/Latina (MA)

Postby lawlzzz » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:42 pm

crookedsmile wrote:It sounds to me like your experience at your previous law school wouldn't be an enjoyable one even if you were able to return. If what you're saying is true and the Dean has an unfairly skewed image of you, you may not get the crucial support it sounds like you need. Like dietcoke said, if you CAN figure out a way to just press the restart button on your whole law school journey, it might be for the best. It sounds like you have a legitimate medical condition that should/could be taken under consideration by schools looking to admit you if you make it known to them how impactful it is on your life. I really do wish you the best of luck!


Thank you! :)

I've actually heard back from my school saying that they've accepted my request for readmission. Though I would still have to appeal for financial aid.

I've contacted Spivey, so we will see... I'm a things-happen-for-a-reason, everything-will-work-out type of person. :D




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