Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

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dvd0188
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Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby dvd0188 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:35 pm

Hello everyone,
My name is David and I have two learning debilities and am seeking admission into law school. The reason I am posting is because I wanted your advice on a few things:

1) First of all the main reason I am posting is because I cant do well on standardized tests. I took the LSATs twice and still was ranked in the 36th percentile both times. Please note that this is after months and months of learning strategies, taking prep courses, hiring tutors, taking almost every LSAT ever printed, and then analyzing where I went wrong. Despite having proper documentation and having professors and doctors make countless pleas to the LSAC, they still denied my request for accommodations of extra time.

Before people advise me to not even consider law school, I considered not applying to law school when I got my scores the first time but I couldn't find anything else that I was as passionate about. Furthermore, I earned a cumulative GPA of 3.55 from a top 20 school, so I am not unintelligent, I just can’t do well on standardized tests given the time allotted. I scored 165 and above every time I took the test with the extra time my evaluator recommended to the LSAC.

I know that LSAT scores are a big piece of the Law school admissions process. Thus, I was wondering what you think I should do or add to my application to portray to admissions reps what kind of student I am and that these scores are not what I am truly capable of. I had to transfer in my junior year of college because my SAT scores were so low that no good school would admit me. Because of this I missed out on a lot of opportunities and experiences that my peers had. I don’t want to go through that again.

2) How can I send schools my Psychological reports? I know that apps have room for addendums but these reports are pretty lengthy. Should I send them independently or through the LSAC?

3) Does anyone know of schools that are respective to students with learning disabilities? I know most schools are obsessed with rankings so I have no shot at a top 20 school. Does anyone know if some good schools have a reputation of being understanding to students with learning disabilities?

Those are all my questions for now. Thanks for listening and please feel free to post anything that you feel is helpful. Any advice you can give me is truly appreciated.

Best,
Dave

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Philosopher King
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby Philosopher King » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:03 pm

dvd0188 wrote:Hello everyone,
My name is David and I have two learning debilities and am seeking admission into law school. The reason I am posting is because I wanted your advice on a few things:

1) First of all the main reason I am posting is because I cant do well on standardized tests. I took the LSATs twice and still was ranked in the 36th percentile both times. Please note that this is after months and months of learning strategies, taking prep courses, hiring tutors, taking almost every LSAT ever printed, and then analyzing where I went wrong. Despite having proper documentation and having professors and doctors make countless pleas to the LSAC, they still denied my request for accommodations of extra time.

Before people advise me to not even consider law school, I considered not applying to law school when I got my scores the first time but I couldn't find anything else that I was as passionate about. Furthermore, I earned a cumulative GPA of 3.55 from a top 20 school, so I am not unintelligent, I just can’t do well on standardized tests given the time allotted. I scored 165 and above every time I took the test with the extra time my evaluator recommended to the LSAC.

I know that LSAT scores are a big piece of the Law school admissions process. Thus, I was wondering what you think I should do or add to my application to portray to admissions reps what kind of student I am and that these scores are not what I am truly capable of. I had to transfer in my junior year of college because my SAT scores were so low that no good school would admit me. Because of this I missed out on a lot of opportunities and experiences that my peers had. I don’t want to go through that again.

2) How can I send schools my Psychological reports? I know that apps have room for addendums but these reports are pretty lengthy. Should I send them independently or through the LSAC?

3) Does anyone know of schools that are respective to students with learning disabilities? I know most schools are obsessed with rankings so I have no shot at a top 20 school. Does anyone know if some good schools have a reputation of being understanding to students with learning disabilities?

Those are all my questions for now. Thanks for listening and please feel free to post anything that you feel is helpful. Any advice you can give me is truly appreciated.

Best,
Dave


Hi Dave, I think the main problem with expecting schools to overlooks bad LSAT scores is that their own ranking depends more on LSAT scores than on any other factor. Good arguments as to why they should look beyond that won't change that. With that said, here is my advice. Include an addendum making persuasive arguments about the LSAT score and tell them about your bad SAT score. That was supposed to predict undergraduate success but it didn't. So why should the LSAT be any different? Explain how with the extra time you can score a 165 and explain how LSAC denied your request for extra time, no doubt illegally. Call the schools you want to go to and ask them if and how you should send them the reports that you want to. I'm not sure if this can be done through LSAC. Maybe call LSAC first and ask what they recommend.

I think that law schools will be accommodating to students with disabilities, once you are admitted since that doesn't affect their numbers. I got to imagine that there are a handful of law schools that follow the law, unlike the LSAC. I can write more on this later.

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cinephile
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby cinephile » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:09 pm

Philosopher King wrote:I think that law schools will be accommodating to students with disabilities, once you are admitted since that doesn't affect their numbers. I got to imagine that there are a handful of law schools that follow the law, unlike the LSAC. I can write more on this later.


I don't know how likely law schools are to give extra time on exams. My roommate got extra time all through college and requested accommodations from the law school and was denied. Maybe there are some schools or some individuals who get them, but it seems rare compared to college.

If you don't do well on time pressured exams and cannot get extra time, you probably won't do well in law school. I don't mean to be mean, but these exams are unlike anything you've taken in undergrad.

justinp
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby justinp » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:20 pm

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Last edited by justinp on Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Philosopher King
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby Philosopher King » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:20 pm

justinp wrote:
cinephile wrote:
Philosopher King wrote:I think that law schools will be accommodating to students with disabilities, once you are admitted since that doesn't affect their numbers. I got to imagine that there are a handful of law schools that follow the law, unlike the LSAC. I can write more on this later.


I don't know how likely law schools are to give extra time on exams. My roommate got extra time all through college and requested accommodations from the law school and was denied. Maybe there are some schools or some individuals who get them, but it seems rare compared to college.

If you don't do well on time pressured exams and cannot get extra time, you probably won't do well in law school. I don't mean to be mean, but these exams are unlike anything you've taken in undergrad.


The ability to write under pressure to a cold deadline seems highly relevant to the successful practice of law. The LSAC and various schools probably wouldn't be doing anyone any favor by giving out accommodations; they'd be doing students a disservice by setting them up for major professional difficulties, as well as ruining relationships with firms/nonprofits/agencies.


And being in a wheelchair will pose major professional difficulties to lawyers but should people in wheelchairs be discriminated against? Or, perhaps, should we realize that people in wheelchairs could still be awesome lawyers because they could use their other strengths to compensate. But not if there isn't a ramp into the LSAT test center or to the Law school. Get what I mean?

asoli
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby asoli » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:42 pm

You really think those two are similar enough to compare?

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GATORTIM
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby GATORTIM » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:44 pm

You have two learning disabilities or the school youre applying to does?

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Philosopher King
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby Philosopher King » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:50 pm

asoli wrote:You really think those two are similar enough to compare?


Yes, since they are both disabilities that would pose an obstacle to a lawyer, while not, in of themselves, precluding a lawyer from being excellent. In realistic situations (not LSAT) I can use my other cognitive strengths to overcome my slow processing speed.

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kalvano
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby kalvano » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:17 am

Philosopher King wrote:
asoli wrote:You really think those two are similar enough to compare?


Yes, since they are both disabilities that would pose an obstacle to a lawyer, while not, in of themselves, precluding a lawyer from being excellent. In realistic situations (not LSAT) I can use my other cognitive strengths to overcome my slow processing speed.


Being in a wheelchair only affects your ability to stand and yell "I object!"

A disability that affects cognitive function under time pressure is going to be a massive hindrance at all levels of being a lawyer.

The two are in no way equal or comparable.

dvd0188
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby dvd0188 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:51 pm

Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your suggestions, especially Philosopher King! I think an Addendum is the best way forward for me right now. Does anyone know where I can get some guidelines to writing an addendum or where I can find examples?

As for accommodations in law school, from what I know most school are accommodating when it comes to students with disabilities, but you all do make a valid point on not going in with expecting accommodations. Lastly, Philosopher King you said you could write some more on the subject, so if you can add more to the discussion when you get a chance it would truly be appreciated. Thanks again for all your help and I look forward to further discussion.

-Dave

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Philosopher King
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby Philosopher King » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:59 pm

dvd0188 wrote:Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your suggestions, especially Philosopher King! I think an Addendum is the best way forward for me right now. Does anyone know where I can get some guidelines to writing an addendum or where I can find examples?

As for accommodations in law school, from what I know most school are accommodating when it comes to students with disabilities, but you all do make a valid point on not going in with expecting accommodations. Lastly, Philosopher King you said you could write some more on the subject, so if you can add more to the discussion when you get a chance it would truly be appreciated. Thanks again for all your help and I look forward to further discussion.

-Dave


I'm glad I could be of some help. I think TLS's guide for writing addendums is pretty good. http://www.top-law-schools.com/how-to-w ... endum.html

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LeDique
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby LeDique » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:35 pm

dvd0188 wrote: Lastly, Philosopher King you said you could write some more on the subject, so if you can add more to the discussion when you get a chance it would truly be appreciated. Thanks again for all your help and I look forward to further discussion.


Philosopher King alt?

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Philosopher King
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby Philosopher King » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:41 pm

LeDique wrote:
dvd0188 wrote: Lastly, Philosopher King you said you could write some more on the subject, so if you can add more to the discussion when you get a chance it would truly be appreciated. Thanks again for all your help and I look forward to further discussion.


Philosopher King alt?


There is no Philosopher King alt. The only forums I have more than one account on are my own. Stop with these absurd accusations.

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kerflux
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby kerflux » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:56 pm

GATORTIM wrote:You have two learning disabilities or the school youre applying to does?


thank you, lol

And PhilosopherKing, I'm interested in what you have to say on how LSAC has violated the la... oh wait, no. No, I'm not interested at all. I think I finally fully understood it when I read it on the 16th separate thread. Flame on, brotha!

nsbane
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby nsbane » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:14 pm

I know you are frustrated and I sympathize. I am not trying to be mean; rather, I am going to give you advice without sugar coating it:

1) No law school will overlook your LSAT score. Your score impacts their USNR rating - that number will impact the quality of people who apply to their school. If their numbers slip, even a tenth of a point, they start getting crappy applicants. You are 1 out of tens of thousands of people applying to schools. ESPECIALLY for the lower ranked a school is, there is less incentive to make exceptions for you. They are in a more cut throat game for applicants and ranking manipulation.

2) 36 percentile means you will get into a school that will charge you a ton of money and your job prospects will be bleak. You will be going to a much worse school than your undergrad.

3) By all means apply to law school. But don't fool yourself that you add up to more than your numbers.

4) Here's a question for you. Did you really study? I spent an entire year studying for the LSAT. that doesn't mean I bought books and did tests once in a while when I felt like it. I enrolled in 3 prep courses over a year. I had a job, and after work I would stay in my office for several hours doing tests. It was expensive, but I also had a job to pay for it, and the work experience gave me material for a personal statement.

5) If you think you really studied, then apply. Throw out some applications to reach schools. But when you get your results, think about it really hard. Instead of going to a crappy school to burn 150,000 dollars, you could take a year or two of work experience. Join the Peace Corps or Teach for America. Find a paralegal job if you think you "love" legal work. After a year or two look at the process again. Maybe even take the test again.

Finally, your "passion" for the law, and how you can't be "passionate" about anything else. Do you have work experience in law? For example, working in an office as a paralegal or a legal assistant? If not, then I have to question your use of the word "passion." I was a paralegal for 2 years. I worked with lawyers and went to court with them. Before that, I had no idea what being a lawyer was like. And my dad was a lawyer. If you haven't had real experience with law, it's hard for me to see how you can be passionate about it.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby laxbrah420 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:37 pm

What are your two learning disabilities? I ask because I imagine you'd have a better case with dyslexia than severe autism

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JoeFish
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby JoeFish » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:55 am

Yeah, as has been said... we absolutely sympathize. But the thing is that schools aren't going to give you a huge bump on your LSAT because you can score much higher with more time. The problem with pk's argument that the LSAT is an extremely unrealistic examination that tests you on how well you can take the LSAT and nothing else, and has nothing to do with how good a lawyer you can be - which may or may not be true - is that you don't go directly from the LSAT to being a lawyer. You go to law school first, where you need to take more tests that are extremely time pressured and test your ability to do well on law school examinations. I mean... I really, really don't want to sound crass, but if you are trying to receive a bit of a bump in law school admissions because you didn't do so well on the LSATs, will you also try to receive a bump in job applications if you don't do so well on law school exams?
If you're really passionate and know it's what you want to do, then go for it. But, as has been said, don't fool yourself. Any school you can get in to with a 36th percentile score is one in which every single student will be facing an uphill battle to employment already. Most of us TLSers are good natured, and are rooting like hell for you, but don't want you to sink a ton of money into this without you knowing the risks.

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puff0ffluff
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby puff0ffluff » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:32 am

I feel really bad about this ._. but I feel like someone should point out that midterms/finals in law school make the LSAT look like the SATs, and that the bar is even worse. I'm not saying you shouldn't go to law school. I'm just wondering, if the LSAT is causing this much trouble, what are your plans for the bar?

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Philosopher King
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby Philosopher King » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:42 am

puff0ffluff wrote:I feel really bad about this ._. but I feel like someone should point out that midterms/finals in law school make the LSAT look like the SATs, and that the bar is even worse. I'm not saying you shouldn't go to law school. I'm just wondering, if the LSAT is causing this much trouble, what are your plans for the bar?


We will get extra time on law school exams and the bar exam. Besides, the bar exam is about actual knowledge that lawyers should have, not some silly game about x number of people that need to go to the grocery store on x number of days in this order with only this many per day and a bunch of other silly "rules."

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rinkrat19
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:44 am

Philosopher King wrote:
puff0ffluff wrote:I feel really bad about this ._. but I feel like someone should point out that midterms/finals in law school make the LSAT look like the SATs, and that the bar is even worse. I'm not saying you shouldn't go to law school. I'm just wondering, if the LSAT is causing this much trouble, what are your plans for the bar?


We will get extra time on law school exams and the bar exam. Besides, the bar exam is about actual knowledge that lawyers should have, not some silly game about x number of people that need to go to the grocery store on x number of days in this order with only this many per day and a bunch of other silly "rules."
Yep, because there are no nitpicky little "rules" in law.

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kalvano
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby kalvano » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:47 am

Philosopher King wrote:
puff0ffluff wrote:I feel really bad about this ._. but I feel like someone should point out that midterms/finals in law school make the LSAT look like the SATs, and that the bar is even worse. I'm not saying you shouldn't go to law school. I'm just wondering, if the LSAT is causing this much trouble, what are your plans for the bar?


We will get extra time on law school exams and the bar exam. Besides, the bar exam is about actual knowledge that lawyers should have, not some silly game about x number of people that need to go to the grocery store on x number of days in this order with only this many per day and a bunch of other silly "rules."


Who says you'll get extra time? That's exceedingly hard to qualify for.

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JoeFish
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby JoeFish » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:52 am

rinkrat19 wrote:Who says you'll get extra time? That's exceedingly hard to qualify for.


And... also... will you get extra time on your first big case as a lawyer? Ask the judge for an extension? Ok, now I am being crass, but just because philosopher king is a bit of a broski.

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puff0ffluff
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby puff0ffluff » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:15 am

I'm afraid I have to agree with JoeFish ^^; While many lawyers try to be accommodating in daily life, they give their all in a trial case, or even a negotiation. If they find out their opponent has a disadvantage, they'll make the most of it at the expense of the other lawyer. It's not morally correctly, but it's not illegal either...

justinp
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby justinp » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:58 am

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Last edited by justinp on Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

apollo2015
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Re: Applying to Law School with two learning disabilities

Postby apollo2015 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:43 pm

dvd0188 wrote:3) Does anyone know of schools that are respective to students with learning disabilities? I know most schools are obsessed with rankings so I have no shot at a top 20 school. Does anyone know if some good schools have a reputation of being understanding to students with learning disabilities?



I suspect that your best bet may be in applying to Tier 4 schools or schools that are not accredited by the ABA. (For example schools that are accredited by a state accrediting agency instead.) Most posters here will say to never do either of those things, so you must judge whether your love for the law is so high that you are willing to accept low pay and high debt in order to enter the legal guild.

If you go that route, the odds of you getting a high paying job are drastically low. You might be able to find some sort of mediocre-paying job if you are willing to work in a rural area in a state without any major schools.

In regards to getting extra time while working as a lawyer, one theoretical strategy might be to accept a lower level of pay per hour. Lowering hourly wage rates is the best way to deal with having lower productivity per hour.




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