W's on a Law School transcript

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W's on a Law School transcript

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:54 am

Short version of a long story: I completely withdrew from law school (T50) due to documented major illness (debilitating cluster headaches) in Fall 2009, which I have not experienced since that time. I came back in Fall 2010 and completed my 1L year well in the top 10% at the same school. We are now looking at OCI and most firms are requesting transcripts which will show a semester of W's from my 2009 withdrawal, along with my good grades from more recently.

Obviously I will give the firms a transcript, but should I also include some kind of addendum that explains the withdrawals? Simple thinking says YES, otherwise they assume bad things. The problem is that the illness (cluster headaches) is uncommon and very poorly understood, though they tend to subside as a person gets older. If I were a hiring partner I would likely consciously/unconsciously avoid hiring someone with an odd disease (not protected by the ADA) that can appear at any time without warning and make the person worthless to the firm. So explaining could make it worse.

So do I pretend it did not happen? Explain in vague terms? Explain in detail? Lie and say it was due to a need to care for a dying family member ( :mrgreen: )? If anybody has been through having W's on a LAW SCHOOL transcript, I would appreciate some feedback. Speculation from others is certainly welcome as well.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: W's on a Law School transcript

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:15 am

Don't lie about it.

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Re: W's on a Law School transcript

Postby Bobeo » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:10 am

I don't think many firms would hold what sounds like a legitimate medical situation against you- even more so since you did so well once you returned.

And if they did I suspect you wouldn't want to work for the firm anyway. But this is all conjecture so take it with a grain of salt.

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Re: W's on a Law School transcript

Postby MrAnon » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:52 am

I would not get too strung out about it if you don't get your pick of jobs. Firms do try to avoid unusual cases like people who have trouble going straight through school or who have medical problems that affect their stamina level. I understand you had a serious issue that you needed to address, but with so many other available candidates who are free of an issue like that, the firms can easily look around you. Also I would not explain the illness. All you have to say is that you had an acute short term illness, that's the most anyone needs to know.

Sup Kid
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Re: W's on a Law School transcript

Postby Sup Kid » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:04 am

Just say you had a medical illness that required you to leave school, but that you're better now. 99% of all interviewers will say something like "I'm glad you're doing better" and move on to the next question. Not worth worrying about, since it's not something you can change -- just be confident and you'll do ok.

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Re: W's on a Law School transcript

Postby Kronk » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:07 am

I don't think an illness will turn them off from you, and they will understand your withdrawls. Lawlfirms only want you to work there for 3-5 years anyhow so they can break your soul and send you running to somewhere else, so they aren't really looking for someone totally employable long term as a partner most of the time anyway.

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Re: W's on a Law School transcript

Postby MrAnon » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:25 pm

Firms don't want people who are predisposed to illness. they can't work you to death if you are always getting sick. a history of illness suggests that. play it down as much as possible. pray they dont notice.

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