Starting Over

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olivia_nope
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:58 am

Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 9:10 am

So I just finished my 1L year at a law school in the Midwest and it was a disaster. My first semester was marred by a lot of things that were completely out of my control (my mother lost her job and my parents couldn't financially support like they initially thought they'd be able to so I almost got evicted TWICE, I became ill a few weeks in with pneumonia, and the list goes on). Anyways, this semester I was able to recover and did pretty well in all of my classes and was able to get my GPA to a 2.2. However, I know realistically that GPA will not allow me to transfer. Additionally, I lost my scholarship because you need at least a 3.0 to keep it. My law school is over 800 miles away from home (and the school isn't that great--I got into better schools but they suckered me in with a "full" scholarship not telling me all the strings that were tied to it and how they put all the scholarship kids in one section so it's basically the Hunger Games without all the death (or not?)). At this point I just want to cut my losses, come home and build my work experience for a year or two, take the LSAT (my score wasn't horrible but once I got into a couple of schools I said the hell with taking it again) over again, also take the GMAT because from the onset I really wanted to pursue my JD/MBA but I talked myself out of it.

How will being a prior law school student impact my chances of getting in elsewhere if I apply as a new student and not a transfer? I just want a clean slate because my 1L year especially my first semester is not an accurate representation of what I'm capable of. I want to get into a law school closer to home or at the very least in the Southeast because the extremely cold weather had a lot to do with my health issues this past year (just fully recovering from another lung infection).

lawadmin
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:41 am

Re: Starting Over

Postby lawadmin » Thu May 26, 2016 9:29 am

olivia_nope wrote:So I just finished my 1L year at a law school in the Midwest and it was a disaster. My first semester was marred by a lot of things that were completely out of my control (my mother lost her job and my parents couldn't financially support like they initially thought they'd be able to so I almost got evicted TWICE, I became ill a few weeks in with pneumonia, and the list goes on). Anyways, this semester I was able to recover and did pretty well in all of my classes and was able to get my GPA to a 2.2. However, I know realistically that GPA will not allow me to transfer. Additionally, I lost my scholarship because you need at least a 3.0 to keep it. My law school is over 800 miles away from home (and the school isn't that great--I got into better schools but they suckered me in with a "full" scholarship not telling me all the strings that were tied to it and how they put all the scholarship kids in one section so it's basically the Hunger Games without all the death (or not?)). At this point I just want to cut my losses, come home and build my work experience for a year or two, take the LSAT (my score wasn't horrible but once I got into a couple of schools I said the hell with taking it again) over again, also take the GMAT because from the onset I really wanted to pursue my JD/MBA but I talked myself out of it.

How will being a prior law school student impact my chances of getting in elsewhere if I apply as a new student and not a transfer? I just want a clean slate because my 1L year especially my first semester is not an accurate representation of what I'm capable of. I want to get into a law school closer to home or at the very least in the Southeast because the extremely cold weather had a lot to do with my health issues this past year (just fully recovering from another lung infection).


There's so much going on with this post that I'm sure others will comment on, but either (i) you did not even read your scholarship letter carefully before matriculating or (ii) the law school put additional stipulations on your scholarship after you matriculated. It has to be one or the other and I'm not sure which is actually worse.

olivia_nope
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:58 am

Re: Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 9:33 am

When I say strings I'm not talking about stipulations. The stipulations were clearly laid out in the scholarship award letter and I understood them. I also didn't think it would be a problem for me to maintain at the very least a 3.0. But obviously, it was a problem. However, it's moreso "invisible" strings such as all the scholarship students being placed in the same section meaning that after the curve they'll only have to pay out maybe half of what they offered, I've heard the professors for my section were encouraged to grade us much harder than the other two sections were graded and I have a few friends who had the same professors for the same course in other sections and I'm lead to believe it's true.
lawadmin wrote:
olivia_nope wrote:So I just finished my 1L year at a law school in the Midwest and it was a disaster. My first semester was marred by a lot of things that were completely out of my control (my mother lost her job and my parents couldn't financially support like they initially thought they'd be able to so I almost got evicted TWICE, I became ill a few weeks in with pneumonia, and the list goes on). Anyways, this semester I was able to recover and did pretty well in all of my classes and was able to get my GPA to a 2.2. However, I know realistically that GPA will not allow me to transfer. Additionally, I lost my scholarship because you need at least a 3.0 to keep it. My law school is over 800 miles away from home (and the school isn't that great--I got into better schools but they suckered me in with a "full" scholarship not telling me all the strings that were tied to it and how they put all the scholarship kids in one section so it's basically the Hunger Games without all the death (or not?)). At this point I just want to cut my losses, come home and build my work experience for a year or two, take the LSAT (my score wasn't horrible but once I got into a couple of schools I said the hell with taking it again) over again, also take the GMAT because from the onset I really wanted to pursue my JD/MBA but I talked myself out of it.

How will being a prior law school student impact my chances of getting in elsewhere if I apply as a new student and not a transfer? I just want a clean slate because my 1L year especially my first semester is not an accurate representation of what I'm capable of. I want to get into a law school closer to home or at the very least in the Southeast because the extremely cold weather had a lot to do with my health issues this past year (just fully recovering from another lung infection).


There's so much going on with this post that I'm sure others will comment on, but either (i) you did not even read your scholarship letter carefully before matriculating or (ii) the law school put additional stipulations on your scholarship after you matriculated. It has to be one or the other and I'm not sure which is actually worse.

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pancakes3
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Re: Starting Over

Postby pancakes3 » Thu May 26, 2016 9:39 am

Those aren't really "strings" but it is called section stacking and common with really terrible, low-ranked schools.

Also, your post hits on just about every pitfall that TLS cautions against - section stacking, scholly stips, attending a school not in a market you want to practice, not accurately estimating CoL when calculating debt, being risk averse, overconfidence in performing above median...

lawadmin
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:41 am

Re: Starting Over

Postby lawadmin » Thu May 26, 2016 9:40 am

olivia_nope wrote:When I say strings I'm not talking about stipulations. The stipulations were clearly laid out in the scholarship award letter and I understood them. I also didn't think it would be a problem for me to maintain at the very least a 3.0. But obviously, it was a problem. However, it's moreso "invisible" strings such as all the scholarship students being placed in the same section meaning that after the curve they'll only have to pay out maybe half of what they offered, I've heard the professors for my section were encouraged to grade us much harder than the other two sections were graded and I have a few friends who had the same professors for the same course in other sections and I'm lead to believe it's true.
lawadmin wrote:
olivia_nope wrote:So I just finished my 1L year at a law school in the Midwest and it was a disaster. My first semester was marred by a lot of things that were completely out of my control (my mother lost her job and my parents couldn't financially support like they initially thought they'd be able to so I almost got evicted TWICE, I became ill a few weeks in with pneumonia, and the list goes on). Anyways, this semester I was able to recover and did pretty well in all of my classes and was able to get my GPA to a 2.2. However, I know realistically that GPA will not allow me to transfer. Additionally, I lost my scholarship because you need at least a 3.0 to keep it. My law school is over 800 miles away from home (and the school isn't that great--I got into better schools but they suckered me in with a "full" scholarship not telling me all the strings that were tied to it and how they put all the scholarship kids in one section so it's basically the Hunger Games without all the death (or not?)). At this point I just want to cut my losses, come home and build my work experience for a year or two, take the LSAT (my score wasn't horrible but once I got into a couple of schools I said the hell with taking it again) over again, also take the GMAT because from the onset I really wanted to pursue my JD/MBA but I talked myself out of it.

How will being a prior law school student impact my chances of getting in elsewhere if I apply as a new student and not a transfer? I just want a clean slate because my 1L year especially my first semester is not an accurate representation of what I'm capable of. I want to get into a law school closer to home or at the very least in the Southeast because the extremely cold weather had a lot to do with my health issues this past year (just fully recovering from another lung infection).


There's so much going on with this post that I'm sure others will comment on, but either (i) you did not even read your scholarship letter carefully before matriculating or (ii) the law school put additional stipulations on your scholarship after you matriculated. It has to be one or the other and I'm not sure which is actually worse.



That's all terrible to hear, and it appears that you're just finding TLS after a rough year, when things could have been much different had you found the site last year. A lot of the things you mention are things that people on here explain to 0Ls, especially things like not expecting where to be in the class, and learning what the median grade at a school is before enrolling (some schools can be a 2.9, others a 3.3 and others something different.

The short answer is that "starting over" at a school worth going to will be extremely difficult (absent very compelling circumstances), and there is actually a thread on it that was just posted recently.

Best of luck!

olivia_nope
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:58 am

Re: Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 9:46 am

You're absolutely right I didn't find this site until like April and I was like ::face palm::
pancakes3 wrote:Those aren't really "strings" but it is called section stacking and common with really terrible, low-ranked schools.

Also, your post hits on just about every pitfall that TLS cautions against - section stacking, scholly stips, attending a school not in a market you want to practice, not accurately estimating CoL when calculating debt, being risk averse, overconfidence in performing above median...

olivia_nope
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:58 am

Re: Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 9:54 am

To be honest, I really didn't know what kind of questions to ask going into law school and foolishly, I didn't even know that sites like this existed because it would have made me think twice about making the decision that I made. I'm just going to beef up my work experience and pay off my personal debt, and give it a go two years from now using the information that I have now as far as what pitfalls to avoid in the process. I was waitlisted at Georgetown and a person I was close to in admissions there gave me a warning that I didn't understand then. But now I get what he was saying.
lawadmin wrote:
olivia_nope wrote:When I say strings I'm not talking about stipulations. The stipulations were clearly laid out in the scholarship award letter and I understood them. I also didn't think it would be a problem for me to maintain at the very least a 3.0. But obviously, it was a problem. However, it's moreso "invisible" strings such as all the scholarship students being placed in the same section meaning that after the curve they'll only have to pay out maybe half of what they offered, I've heard the professors for my section were encouraged to grade us much harder than the other two sections were graded and I have a few friends who had the same professors for the same course in other sections and I'm lead to believe it's true.
lawadmin wrote:
olivia_nope wrote:So I just finished my 1L year at a law school in the Midwest and it was a disaster. My first semester was marred by a lot of things that were completely out of my control (my mother lost her job and my parents couldn't financially support like they initially thought they'd be able to so I almost got evicted TWICE, I became ill a few weeks in with pneumonia, and the list goes on). Anyways, this semester I was able to recover and did pretty well in all of my classes and was able to get my GPA to a 2.2. However, I know realistically that GPA will not allow me to transfer. Additionally, I lost my scholarship because you need at least a 3.0 to keep it. My law school is over 800 miles away from home (and the school isn't that great--I got into better schools but they suckered me in with a "full" scholarship not telling me all the strings that were tied to it and how they put all the scholarship kids in one section so it's basically the Hunger Games without all the death (or not?)). At this point I just want to cut my losses, come home and build my work experience for a year or two, take the LSAT (my score wasn't horrible but once I got into a couple of schools I said the hell with taking it again) over again, also take the GMAT because from the onset I really wanted to pursue my JD/MBA but I talked myself out of it.

How will being a prior law school student impact my chances of getting in elsewhere if I apply as a new student and not a transfer? I just want a clean slate because my 1L year especially my first semester is not an accurate representation of what I'm capable of. I want to get into a law school closer to home or at the very least in the Southeast because the extremely cold weather had a lot to do with my health issues this past year (just fully recovering from another lung infection).


There's so much going on with this post that I'm sure others will comment on, but either (i) you did not even read your scholarship letter carefully before matriculating or (ii) the law school put additional stipulations on your scholarship after you matriculated. It has to be one or the other and I'm not sure which is actually worse.



That's all terrible to hear, and it appears that you're just finding TLS after a rough year, when things could have been much different had you found the site last year. A lot of the things you mention are things that people on here explain to 0Ls, especially things like not expecting where to be in the class, and learning what the median grade at a school is before enrolling (some schools can be a 2.9, others a 3.3 and others something different.

The short answer is that "starting over" at a school worth going to will be extremely difficult (absent very compelling circumstances), and there is actually a thread on it that was just posted recently.

Best of luck!

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jbagelboy
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Re: Starting Over

Postby jbagelboy » Thu May 26, 2016 10:34 am

I would certainly drop out and find something else to do with your career, but don't assume that you can return to law school.

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emkay625
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Re: Starting Over

Postby emkay625 » Thu May 26, 2016 10:49 am

I think dropping out is the right call. Because you at least don't have debt for this year, you're in an okay position.

But I don't think schools will just let you start over—generally folks who repeat 1L are people who had to withdraw for medical reasons and didn't actually finish, etc. But you never know. Get your career started in another field, pay off personal debt, and focus on your family for a few years. Hopefully your career in that other field takes off. If in a few years you do decide you want to give this another shot, I would recommend hiring an admissions consultant in your situation.

olivia_nope
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Re: Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 11:42 am

I'm already in debt because after first semester they pulled my scholarship, so it's a little well a lot too late for that. It's nothing I can do about what has already happened so I'm just trying to move forward. But it would be insanity for me to keep incurring debt and leaving myself in a bad situation when I can move on and do something different for a while. I just want to know how much of a ding will my 1L year be going forward or even if it's possible to start over especially if I have a compelling reason--my life really fell to crap during the first semester and I don't think anyone would've been able to maintain under those circumstances. I didn't fail any of my classes but none of my grades were out of this world, either.
emkay625 wrote:I think dropping out is the right call. Because you at least don't have debt for this year, you're in an okay position.

But I don't think schools will just let you start over—generally folks who repeat 1L are people who had to withdraw for medical reasons and didn't actually finish, etc. But you never know. Get your career started in another field, pay off personal debt, and focus on your family for a few years. Hopefully your career in that other field takes off. If in a few years you do decide you want to give this another shot, I would recommend hiring an admissions consultant in your situation.

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emkay625
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Re: Starting Over

Postby emkay625 » Thu May 26, 2016 12:17 pm

olivia_nope wrote:I'm already in debt because after first semester they pulled my scholarship, so it's a little well a lot too late for that. It's nothing I can do about what has already happened so I'm just trying to move forward. But it would be insanity for me to keep incurring debt and leaving myself in a bad situation when I can move on and do something different for a while. I just want to know how much of a ding will my 1L year be going forward or even if it's possible to start over especially if I have a compelling reason--my life really fell to crap during the first semester and I don't think anyone would've been able to maintain under those circumstances. I didn't fail any of my classes but none of my grades were out of this world, either.
emkay625 wrote:I think dropping out is the right call. Because you at least don't have debt for this year, you're in an okay position.

But I don't think schools will just let you start over—generally folks who repeat 1L are people who had to withdraw for medical reasons and didn't actually finish, etc. But you never know. Get your career started in another field, pay off personal debt, and focus on your family for a few years. Hopefully your career in that other field takes off. If in a few years you do decide you want to give this another shot, I would recommend hiring an admissions consultant in your situation.


Unfortunately, I don't think many posters will be able to offer you much in the way of advice because not many folks drop out and then decide to go back. I'm sure there are people who have done such a thing, but I have never seen or heard of a story like that on this site. I personally know two people who withdrew 1L year and then started over—one at the same school and one at a different school. However, both actually withdrew during the year and both had compelling medical reasons. One was diagnosed with cancer and the other withdrew to take care of her father, who had a stroke.

My inkling is that it is unlikely that a school will allow you to redo 1L year—it seems like your life was difficult then, but you didn't actually fail any courses and many, many students experience financial hardship while in law school. However, I don't actually know. I think in your situation, I would talk to an admissions consultant or even speak to a few admissions deans about whether or not they allow such a thing. If you go the admissions dean route, I would make such a request in a few months, once admissions season has died down. I would also make clear that I wasn't asking whether or not the school would admit me, but whether what kind of policies in general the school had about allowing folks who have withdrawn from another law school to start over.

You also might try to see if Dean Perez—dean of admissions at Texas Tech and frequent poster on TLS—will weigh in on this. He often posts in the forums and has good insight about the inner workings of admissions offices, and is also very friendly. If there were a way to tag him I would.

But my best guess is while it seems like you had a rough couple of months, a school won't just let you get a do-over. But I could be wrong.

olivia_nope
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Re: Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 12:25 pm

Thanks, I figured as much and my hardship wasn't primarily financial I was able to take a loan to cover the difference with my rent. But it was health stuff (respiratory infections and pneumonia). I started to leave and regroup after the first semester because I was hospitalized a few days before finals but I started feeling better during the winter break but as soon as I got back to the subzero temps I was back in the ER. I'm really just trying to put together a course of action right now and flesh out my options. I could go back to my current school but that's not serving me or anyone else well. If I can't start over I know I have to balance out my piss poor 1L grades with some good work experience and a darn good addendum. Thank you so much.
emkay625 wrote:
olivia_nope wrote:I'm already in debt because after first semester they pulled my scholarship, so it's a little well a lot too late for that. It's nothing I can do about what has already happened so I'm just trying to move forward. But it would be insanity for me to keep incurring debt and leaving myself in a bad situation when I can move on and do something different for a while. I just want to know how much of a ding will my 1L year be going forward or even if it's possible to start over especially if I have a compelling reason--my life really fell to crap during the first semester and I don't think anyone would've been able to maintain under those circumstances. I didn't fail any of my classes but none of my grades were out of this world, either.
emkay625 wrote:I think dropping out is the right call. Because you at least don't have debt for this year, you're in an okay position.

But I don't think schools will just let you start over—generally folks who repeat 1L are people who had to withdraw for medical reasons and didn't actually finish, etc. But you never know. Get your career started in another field, pay off personal debt, and focus on your family for a few years. Hopefully your career in that other field takes off. If in a few years you do decide you want to give this another shot, I would recommend hiring an admissions consultant in your situation.


Unfortunately, I don't think many posters will be able to offer you much in the way of advice because not many folks drop out and then decide to go back. I'm sure there are people who have done such a thing, but I have never seen or heard of a story like that on this site. I personally know two people who withdrew 1L year and then started over—one at the same school and one at a different school. However, both actually withdrew during the year and both had compelling medical reasons. One was diagnosed with cancer and the other withdrew to take care of her father, who had a stroke.

My inkling is that it is unlikely that a school will allow you to redo 1L year—it seems like your life was difficult then, but you didn't actually fail any courses and many, many students experience financial hardship while in law school. However, I don't actually know. I think in your situation, I would talk to an admissions consultant or even speak to a few admissions deans about whether or not they allow such a thing. If you go the admissions dean route, I would make such a request in a few months, once admissions season has died down. I would also make clear that I wasn't asking whether or not the school would admit me, but whether what kind of policies in general the school had about allowing folks who have withdrawn from another law school to start over.

You also might try to see if Dean Perez—dean of admissions at Texas Tech and frequent poster on TLS—will weigh in on this. He often posts in the forums and has good insight about the inner workings of admissions offices, and is also very friendly. If there were a way to tag him I would.

But my best guess is while it seems like you had a rough couple of months, a school won't just let you get a do-over. But I could be wrong.

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emkay625
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Re: Starting Over

Postby emkay625 » Thu May 26, 2016 12:28 pm

Have you thought about talking to your school and asking for a retroactive medical withdraw? Worst thing they could say is no.

olivia_nope
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Re: Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 12:31 pm

I spoke with them when I initially became ill and they didn't seem that concerned. The person I spoke with actually told me, "I seemed fine."But I may consider it.
emkay625 wrote:Have you thought about talking to your school and asking for a retroactive medical withdraw? Worst thing they could say is no.

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Rigo
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Re: Starting Over

Postby Rigo » Thu May 26, 2016 3:41 pm

Definitely drop out and do not return in the fall for 2L. That is step one.

You should take atleast a couple of years off. Then if you decide to reapply, you should first retake so you avoid crappy schools and hire an admissions consultant like Spivey.

olivia_nope
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Re: Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 3:58 pm

What is the cost of their services? Is it hourly or a package type deal? I've heard of them because they did a free webinar for one of the programs I was looking at. But I'm not all that familiar with what they do.
Rigo wrote:Definitely drop out and do not return in the fall for 2L. That is step one.

You should take atleast a couple of years off. Then if you decide to reapply, you should first retake so you avoid crappy schools and hire an admissions consultant like Spivey.

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Rigo
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Re: Starting Over

Postby Rigo » Thu May 26, 2016 4:02 pm

olivia_nope wrote:What is the cost of their services? Is it hourly or a package type deal? I've heard of them because they did a free webinar for one of the programs I was looking at but not all that familiar with what they do.
Rigo wrote:Definitely drop out and do not return in the fall for 2L. That is step one.

You should take atleast a couple of years off. Then if you decide to reapply, you should first retake so you avoid crappy schools and hire an admissions consultant like Spivey.

I couldn't tell you. Sorry. Contact them when and if the time comes to reapply and I'm sure they'll give you a rate to help you with your addendum and other application materials.

Good luck.

olivia_nope
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Re: Starting Over

Postby olivia_nope » Thu May 26, 2016 4:09 pm

Thanks!
Rigo wrote:
olivia_nope wrote:What is the cost of their services? Is it hourly or a package type deal? I've heard of them because they did a free webinar for one of the programs I was looking at but not all that familiar with what they do.
Rigo wrote:Definitely drop out and do not return in the fall for 2L. That is step one.

You should take atleast a couple of years off. Then if you decide to reapply, you should first retake so you avoid crappy schools and hire an admissions consultant like Spivey.

I couldn't tell you. Sorry. Contact them when and if the time comes to reapply and I'm sure they'll give you a rate to help you with your addendum and other application materials.

Good luck.

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stego
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Re: Starting Over

Postby stego » Thu May 26, 2016 4:17 pm

SPerez wrote:call-in

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reasonable_man
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Re: Starting Over

Postby reasonable_man » Thu May 26, 2016 5:13 pm

I want to be very clear - I think that your best option, by far, is to drop out and start a career. For sure.

That said, if you really, really, really want to be a lawyer - stay. Because the chances of you ever going back are slim to none. Again - I think you should drop out. But I also doubt you will ever go back if you do. It seems like you sort of went into this on a whim. You somehow didn't use google and even investigate this whole law school thing. And I'm going to guess you've never worked in a law firm or know anything about legal work beyond what you saw in legal research and writing class (which is representative of no part of actually being a lawyer). So with that in mind, there is a strong change you sort of just found yourself in a 1L class because you had nothing better to do. I'm not judging - happens all the time. Seriously. But the idea that you're going back to law school for a re-do is silly. So if you can't live without being a lawyer, don't leave - go back and finish up. If you can be happy in another career - do that. I personally think finding another career is a good move.

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Rigo
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Re: Starting Over

Postby Rigo » Thu May 26, 2016 5:31 pm

stego wrote:
SPerez wrote:call-in

Or you could just call in Spivey....

(He self searches so I think he'll come in anyways, but still.)

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stego
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Re: Starting Over

Postby stego » Thu May 26, 2016 6:09 pm

Can the ABA do anything to prevent shitty law schools from section-stacking or?

I'm curious how many people think they would have gotten ok grades if they got pneumonia during fall of 1L.

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Rigo
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Re: Starting Over

Postby Rigo » Thu May 26, 2016 6:20 pm

Lol at the ABA giving a shit about ethics.

raven1231
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Re: Starting Over

Postby raven1231 » Thu May 26, 2016 6:37 pm

stego wrote:Can the ABA do anything to prevent shitty law schools from section-stacking or?

I'm curious how many people think they would have gotten ok grades if they got pneumonia during fall of 1L.

I've had a couple tummy aches myself :(

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Starting Over

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun May 29, 2016 3:37 pm

Rigo wrote:
stego wrote:
SPerez wrote:call-in

Or you could just call in Spivey....

(He self searches so I think he'll come in anyways, but still.)


I'm here! (I tried to play it cool and act like I don't search myself every 24 hours. Okay 12 hours).




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