School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

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Upsetlaw

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School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Upsetlaw » Tue May 15, 2018 1:26 am

Need some advice.

My school created a new policy this semester regarding grade point average and applied it retroactively. As a result I was placed on academic probation even though last semester I spoke with administration to see if I was safe from being placed on probation. I had a rough first semester I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks before school started. My pregnancy caused me problems all semester I was placed on medical bed rest and had multiple complications. I made my professors aware I missed too many days for classes and was ultimately withdrawn from torts 1. I managed a B+ and 2 C- which resulted in a 1.91 GPA. While on Christmas break I went into preterm labor and had my baby at only 25 weeks. This semester I struggled to stay focused as my baby has been critically ill and is now on month 5 in the hospital. This went on my entire semester I got my first grade in and it's a D. I doubt I will pull grades high enough to not get dismissed. I am wondering how to appeal and my chances of being reinstated automatically for next semester. I moved to a new state to come to this school I have no family or friends here. I pay rent using my student loan and without it I'm screwed. Not sure what to do I'm devastated. I just want a chance to keep going I know I can get it done. Any thoughts?

Npret

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Npret » Tue May 15, 2018 4:21 am

You should go back to be with people who can help you care for a sick, premature baby.
Staying and struggling in law school is a terrible idea.

Upsetlaw

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Upsetlaw » Tue May 15, 2018 11:42 pm

Thanks for the reply. I really don't want to give up on attending school. Plus I can't just move back my baby is still hospitalized and where I am from is 1500 miles away.

boushi

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby boushi » Wed May 16, 2018 12:41 am

Seems like you'd be much better off taking time off and restarting law school at a later time. I'm not going to tell you what you need to do for your own health or your child's benefit, but, as a practical matter, you do need to do something to wipe the slate clean on your awful law school record. Unless you suddenly became top in your class, next semester, employers aren't going to ever excuse these first two semesters when there are thousands of other law students out there to hire. (And, let's face it, you won't be the top of your class next semester, right?) It sucks, but if you want to actually be a lawyer some day, you probably need to drop out and re-enroll either in the same place or a different school when your life has settled down a bit.

Npret

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Npret » Wed May 16, 2018 5:33 am

Upsetlaw wrote:Thanks for the reply. I really don't want to give up on attending school. Plus I can't just move back my baby is still hospitalized and where I am from is 1500 miles away.

Do what you want but I feel you are being unrealistic in your expectations of what you can accomplish. You should have just taken a leave this year when you had to be on hospital bed rest or when you had a premature baby. Your choice to keep struggling on because you “know you can get it done” is why you are in this mess.

Honestly, your school is doing you a favor if they dismiss you with these grades regardless of the reason.

I may sound harsh, but if what you are saying is true, you seem to have made bad decisions that got you here.

You haven’t said anything about a future career as a lawyer. What job do you hope to get with these grades and how much debt do you have?

You haven’t mentioned the school either. Im not sure why any school should keep a student with a 1.91GPA other than to take their tuition.

You’re in a bad situation, and I hope it all works our for you, but I don’t see how staying when you have such terrible grades benefits you, other than you can get loans.

Npret

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Npret » Wed May 16, 2018 5:47 am

Npret wrote:
Upsetlaw wrote:Thanks for the reply. I really don't want to give up on attending school. Plus I can't just move back my baby is still hospitalized and where I am from is 1500 miles away.

Do what you want but I feel you are being unrealistic in your expectations of what you can accomplish. You should have just taken a leave this year when you had to be on hospital bed rest or when you had a premature baby. Your choice to keep struggling on because you “know you can get it done” is why you are in this mess.

Honestly, your school is doing you a favor if they dismiss you with these grades regardless of the reason.

I may sound harsh, but if what you are saying is true, you seem to have made bad decisions that got you here. It’s not clear that you will benefit from staying in school.

You haven’t said anything about a future career as a lawyer. What job do you hope to get with these grades and how much debt do you have?

You haven’t mentioned the school either. Im not sure why any school should keep a student with a 1.91GPA, even with your good reasons for your bad grades. How do you think employers will view your grades?

You’re in a bad situation, and I hope it all works our for you, but I don’t see how staying when you have such terrible grades benefits you, other than you can get loans.

Upsetlaw

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Upsetlaw » Wed May 16, 2018 9:58 am

It is true and I wish I had taken a leave last semester but it's too late now. As far as a job that's not really an issue I already have a secure job in place for when I finish at the firm I currently work for. It's a low tier school affiliated with Florida Coastal.

Upsetlaw

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Upsetlaw » Wed May 16, 2018 11:48 am

One question I have which I'm hoping to get answered is whether a school can create new policy this year and apply it to last year. They obviously did I just don't think it should have been done.

boushi

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby boushi » Wed May 16, 2018 5:24 pm

Upsetlaw wrote:One question I have which I'm hoping to get answered is whether a school can create new policy this year and apply it to last year. They obviously did I just don't think it should have been done.


People here can speak generally about the implications of you having a low GPA, but no one here is capable of providing you with what would amount to legal advice re the effectiveness of the school's alleged policy change. If you believe the alleged policy change is a breach of your contract with the law school, then you should consult with an attorney on the issue.

Regardless of whether you can legally compel the school to keep you enrolled, however, you should really think long and hard about whether that makes sense. Is your post-law school job truly guaranteed? If there is even a slight chance that your current employer will change its mind for any reason, then you will be completely screwed if you go on to graduate with a super low GPA. You should be honest with yourself now to potentially save yourself two years of additional stress that only leads to an irreversible career suicide.

Upsetlaw

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Upsetlaw » Thu May 17, 2018 12:24 am

Thanks everyone I am going to see what I can do to manage my finance as I think starting over is the best idea. That is if I get dismissed. My job is guaranteed and the policy change did happen. When I spoke to administration this semester I was told sorry the new policy being applied retroactively affected you negatively do your best this semester appeal if you fail. Their response really upset me I believed them last semester when they told me I'd be fine. I know that doesn't change the fact that I did bad this semester but I do not agree with what they did.

Bla Bla Bla Blah

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Bla Bla Bla Blah » Thu May 17, 2018 10:48 am

You also need to think about passing the bar. And as you seem to have made so many poor choices to get you to this point, I hope you remember that nothing in life is guaranteed. Things are constantly changing and nonpermament. What happens when the firm you are currently at (assuming that you do have a guaranteed job, for whatever unexplained reason) turns you out because you cannot pass the bar? Or because your life with a baby simply makes practicing law--with all the many hours one needs to put in to be successful--impractical? Or if they simply close down shop because they can't simply afford to stay open (too many guaranteed jobs handed out to 1.0 students can be bad for business)?

In one scenario, you are in trouble for the same reasons that you are failing as a student right now. You just ain't got time to do well enough to sustain a legal career. In the other, no other firm is likely to hire a 1.0 student.

Having an unexpected child likely changed your career trajectory. You need to get into an industry that will be more flexible with your circumstances, in my opinion. And as much as you seem to think that leaning on a sob story might help you to succeed (or possibly stay enrolled), eventually employers and people in general demand results in our industry... and the excuses will not cut it anymore.

Have you thought about becoming a social worker? Enrolling in a different major at your school? I would seriously suggest a different career path.

nixy

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby nixy » Thu May 17, 2018 11:18 am

Bla Bla Bla Blah wrote:You also need to think about passing the bar. And as you seem to have made so many poor choices to get you to this point, I hope you remember that nothing in life is guaranteed. Things are constantly changing and nonpermament. What happens when the firm you are currently at (assuming that you do have a guaranteed job, for whatever unexplained reason) turns you out because you cannot pass the bar? Or because your life with a baby simply makes practicing law--with all the many hours one needs to put in to be successful--impractical? Or if they simply close down shop because they can't simply afford to stay open (too many guaranteed jobs handed out to 1.0 students can be bad for business)?

In one scenario, you are in trouble for the same reasons that you are failing as a student right now. You just ain't got time to do well enough to sustain a legal career. In the other, no other firm is likely to hire a 1.0 student.

Having an unexpected child likely changed your career trajectory. You need to get into an industry that will be more flexible with your circumstances, in my opinion. And as much as you seem to think that leaning on a sob story might help you to succeed (or possibly stay enrolled), eventually employers and people in general demand results in our industry... and the excuses will not cut it anymore.

Have you thought about becoming a social worker? Enrolling in a different major at your school? I would seriously suggest a different career path.

The idea that you can't go into law with a kid is bullshit. OP obviously is facing a lot of issues and staying in school probably isn't the best idea right now, but to say that life with a baby makes practicing law impractical is just way too hostile to parents.

Bla Bla Bla Blah

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Bla Bla Bla Blah » Thu May 17, 2018 12:12 pm

nixy wrote:The idea that you can't go into law with a kid is bullshit. OP obviously is facing a lot of issues and staying in school probably isn't the best idea right now, but to say that life with a baby makes practicing law impractical is just way too hostile to parents.


I'm not sure what emotional baggage you are projecting onto what I've said right now, but that is pretty black and white thinking. If you haven't figured it out by now Nixy, maybe you will when you experience life a little bit more. Life doesn't run entirely off of our hopes and dreams. It is very contextual. And in the context of what the OP is discussing, I do not think that practice will work out for her--not at this stage in the game, and with her child.

I should know because my circumstances were similar. My daughter was born a week before my first semester finals, which did not go very well. I ended up as a single father to both of my children at the end of my first year of law school. The effort it took to not only grit it out, but to turn my trajectory around after a bad first year, was enormous. But I was able to walk away with a decent GPA, and now practice IP litigation. I should point out that I have full custody of my children. So of course there is no one size fits all "cant go into law with a kid" outcome.

But you should know that the reality of it all is that trying to practice law as a single parent is, in fact, impractical. We are professionals, i.e., expected to devote an inordinate amount of our life and time to our work. That is not bullshit. I struggle every day, if I'm honest, to keep up with firm life. Think about it: Daycare only keeps my children until 6pm, and only takes them in as early as 6:30am (and that takes about $1300 of my paycheck a month). And anyone in this industry understands how many late nights there are--especially when filing deadlines sneak up. And anyone with children knows how much time it takes to care for them. Even just getting them out the door and to school is a two hour block of time (one where I am constantly reminding them to put their shoes on and eat the breakfast I made for them, while I pack their bags). I am responsible to argue against attorneys with zero responsibility outside of themselves, and their careers, who can plug in 12 hour days on the regular. I am also a full time homemaker, house janitor, homework tutor, chef, and provider, every day. There is literally zero margin for error. Yet, I do well in practice.

However, to say that being a single parent in practice is practical is something I would never suggest. It is not. It is extremely difficult, and I wonder if I would have chosen this career path if I had known that I would be constantly pulled between being an attentive dad or a successful lawyer--it's a guilt ridden experience either way I choose to go, trust me. There are a lot of folks that just aren't cut out for that experience, plain and simple. And with the opportunity to choose a career path that is a bit more forgiving to single parent life, I would recommend to the OP that she choose a more flexible career at this point and in her circumstances.

nixy

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby nixy » Thu May 17, 2018 9:54 pm

Lol I’m probably older than you are.

Also I didn’t claim that it would be easy. Parenting isn’t easy. Combining parenting with basically any profession isn’t easy. I just take issue with the recommendation that parents should stay out of a particular field, especially when “law” is a pretty broad category encompassing a lot of different kinds of jobs.

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby Npret » Thu May 17, 2018 11:26 pm

nixy wrote:Lol I’m probably older than you are.

Also I didn’t claim that it would be easy. Parenting isn’t easy. Combining parenting with basically any profession isn’t easy. I just take issue with the recommendation that parents should stay out of a particular field, especially when “law” is a pretty broad category encompassing a lot of different kinds of jobs.

OP can’t manage now, in school. How will she manage later when she has a job? Maybe if she found a state job with 9-5 hours? She won’t be able to miss work and it doesn’t sound like she will have family support.

No one is saying that you can’t be a parent and practice law. Being a single parent, with a sick baby, no support structure, and no financial safety net does seem close to impossible to manage with a law career.

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Re: School applied new policy retroactively Probation & Possible Dismissal

Postby nixy » Fri May 18, 2018 9:24 pm

Npret wrote:
nixy wrote:Lol I’m probably older than you are.

Also I didn’t claim that it would be easy. Parenting isn’t easy. Combining parenting with basically any profession isn’t easy. I just take issue with the recommendation that parents should stay out of a particular field, especially when “law” is a pretty broad category encompassing a lot of different kinds of jobs.

OP can’t manage now, in school. How will she manage later when she has a job? Maybe if she found a state job with 9-5 hours? She won’t be able to miss work and it doesn’t sound like she will have family support.

No one is saying that you can’t be a parent and practice law. Being a single parent, with a sick baby, no support structure, and no financial safety net does seem close to impossible to manage with a law career.

Sure. I’m not contesting the advice to this OP specifically. And I may have misread the original post I responded to - it says “your life with a baby” but I read it as “life with a baby,” so an edict against parenting and law generally. I agree that the OP specifically has a lot to contend with.



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