So my story is a bit complicated, but it is what it is...
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. 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 (As it is, I have to go through an appeals process to convince them to let me borrow federal loans, given that I have withdrawn twice).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 he/she 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, so I know I can do better.
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.
Any thoughts/advice is much appreciated!
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I don't think you can just apply to another law school with a higher LSAT score. You will have to explain what happened. I recommend having a sit-down talk with your dean and going over your options and her/his honest opinions on your situation. And get to know the requirements for getting readmission. No one would know of your financial aid situation other than admin from your school.
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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).
Do you also love the idea of actually being an attorney and all that entails? If so, then I think you have your answer. Dealing with the Dean, while frustrating and uncomfortable in the short-term, seems like small potatoes in the grander scheme of things. You will get to go back to a law school you love and actually be a lawyer. And depending on how debt-averse you are and what your goals are after LS, one year @ sticker wouldn't be the end of the world if you were making big law $. At least, it wouldn't be enough to deter me from reenrolling.
Also, feel free to PM me -- I'm actually returning to law school this year after a leave of absence myself, and can definitely relate to some of the things you're going through.
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