Semester off for military training

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Donovan21
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Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 11:29 pm

Semester off for military training

Postby Donovan21 » Tue May 12, 2015 11:49 pm

Hello everyone.

I am in a bit of a bind. I am transferring from the active army into the national guard. Within 24 months (by the end of 2L summer) I will need to attend 3 months of military training. This will likely require me to miss one of my 2L semesters. I am trying to fight this by potentially transfer into the army reserve, which will not require the additional job training. This at the moment seems unlikely. I have to maintain my affiliation with the ready reserve component because I have a military service obligation and my son is autistic and requires extensive health insurance, which the ready reserve provides.

I guess my real questions are: 1. How devasting will it be to miss a semester? 2. Which semester should I miss? 3. Can the impact be lessened by attending summer school?

I am open to any advice from individuals with a similar experience or who have known others who have dealt with a similar situation.

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twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Semester off for military training

Postby twenty » Wed May 13, 2015 2:52 am

The a priori answer is don't take anything anyone tells you on this forum as legal advice.

So skipping over the "can the law school kick me out for being an active service member" issue, the answers to your questions are

1) Not very, it can happen for a number of different reasons. Some people take a year in between 1L and 2L to add an MBA or another degree which ends up making the total time in school 4 years. People get ill and have to take time off. Some people (though rarely) just up and decide to take a break for a year. Your excuse is a lot better than others.

2) Tough. I think it depends on when you end up doing OCI. If it's 2L fall, I'd try and be there for that. If it's "3L fall" (because you're on a 3.5/4 year program) then either 2L fall or 2L spring. Basically, don't miss OCI if you're gunning for biglaw. Taking off in the middle of 1L might screw you up, but it's not the end of the world. Don't lose your 2L summer doing non-legal military training things. It might make sense to give up your 1L summer. It sucks, but you'd have a good excuse for employers for why you didn't do legal work 1L summer.

3) Eh, summer school is probably not the best plan. First, you're going to be hard-pressed to take an entire semester's worth of courses over summer(s). Second, you probably want flexibility to not force yourself into the geographic location around your school for the summer(s). Third, you probably won't get merit aid for summer classes. If I were you and had to pick between extending law school to 3.5 or 4 years, or taking off your 1L and 2L summers for full class loads, I'd pick the former.

Donovan21
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 11:29 pm

Re: Semester off for military training

Postby Donovan21 » Wed May 13, 2015 11:44 am

I appreciate your insight. I spoke with the associate dean for the scholarship program I'm enrolled in, and she said other students have been in the same situation. She assured me there are several options. I will absolutely not have to take a break during 1L. Right now the best option would be 2L spring due to fall semester OCI.

Iam still trying to avoid this situation, but if I am unable to do so, it may not be as detrimental as i previously thought.

Thank you again for taking the time to respond.




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