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Leaving Law School


Dustin J McClure / Flickr

My journey into law school was more than a bit unconventional. I languished on the waiting list for 6 months and  then three days before school started I was finally admitted into the part-time evening program. I missed the first day of orientation and I was two weeks behind on the Contracts and Torts reading assignments. But, by golly I was a law student and those three years of saving money and rearranging my life were about to pay off in a big way.

First Semester

About a month into law school, I discovered that one of my Profs was notorious for flunking 1L (first year) students.  People considered it a great feat just to pull a "C" in his class.  I studied for that class four hours a day. The first semester went pretty smoothly.  My life consisted solely of working, studying and attending evening classes.

Second Semester

The second semester I was laid off from my job  one month before finals started. Meanwhile, the workload in my Legal Writing increased substantially and I was spending more time chained to my computer. The last three weeks of school were a stressful disaster.  The oral argument that I delivered  for the Legal Writing class resembled an outtake from a low-budget Blooper show. The months of constant family and financial stress had taken its toll on me. I began experiencing difficulty staying focused on my schoolwork.


A month after finals, I received a letter informing me that I was being dismissed from law school for academic reasons. My wild law school roller coaster was now officially over and I had no clue what my next move was going to be.

Almost immediately after my dismissal, I enrolled into an ABA approved Paralegal Studies program and went to work in a law office. My classmates were paralegals with 15 plus years experience and all they needed was the degree. I learned a lot from talking with them during the class breaks and I'm considering reapplying. What if you are in this situation?

What Can Dismissed Law Students Do to Seek Re-Admittance?

  • Analyze what went wrong in an objective detached manner.
  • Consider enrolling in an ABA approved paralegal studies program to hedge bets and keep opportunities open.
  • Research different legal practice fields.
  • Join the local bar or paralegal association.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Create a 10 month timeline for getting back into law school
  • Consider contacting the admissions counselors of the schools that you are applying to and let them know your status as a dismissed law student.
  • Save money and payoff bills.
  • Think about the reasons to go to law school - and those not to go

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