Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Dennis Tonsing e-mailed me with a revised link for a column that he had published in April 2005 regarding non-traditional students. In fixing the link, I read through the journal entry from Alice Marie Beard that was referenced.
Two thoughts came to mind. First, the column reminds us of the struggles for non-traditional students. Although written after Ms. Beard's first semester in law school in 2001, it is apropos to non-traditional students who are struggling this semester. Second, we are fortunate that Ruth Ann McKinney has published her wonderful book Reading Like a Lawyer since this column and Ms. Beard's experience in 2001.
Rather than just fix the link, I decided to re-publish the column that Dennis wrote. It appears below with the corrected link to Ms. Beard's diary entry/essay. (Amy Jarmon)
April 1, 2005: One Hell: February Thoughts on Law School
Alice Marie Beard, a recent graduate of George Mason University School of Law, wrote this essay during her first year of law school, while attending The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.
Although this particular essay (diary entry)was written in February 2001, it is still instructive to those of us who deal with students, especially with "non-traditional" students. Are we, too often, out of touch with what is going on with our students?
This morning, I worked with a non-traditional student who was about to "jump out of her skin" with anxiety. She hails from another state. She has a husband, lots of bills, and an extremely annoying landlord. She is in her first year of law school. Her husband is still job hunting. Her first semester grades are lower than she anticipated. She never saw a "C" in college, was accustomed to nearly all A's. She did the right thing: she asked for help. (Academic support often includes more than an IRAC rehash - I referred her to professionals who will be of great and immediate assistance to her.) In order to comprehend the profundity of the emotional impact of law school on ALL of our students, we need to become familiar with what they are going through.
Alice Marie Beard has graduated from law school, and (in more recent essays linked to her web site) looks back on her years at "Catholic." (djt)