Saturday, April 30, 2011

Law Students Lose the Grant Game as Schools Win

There is an article in the New York Times entitled Law Students Lose the Grant Game as Schools Win.  It tells how law students are losing their merit scholarships after their first year, much to their surprise.  As the article suggests, the solution to this problem is to disclose what percentage of merit scholarships are renewed after the first year.  However, few law schools do this.  Is this the best way for law schools to teach professional conduct?  In my opinion, the best way to teach ethics is for the teacher and the institution to set an ethical example.  Comments welcome!


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I lost my $30,000/year scholarship after my mom died my 1L year. The Dean invited students who lost their scholarships to petition for resumption if "exceptional circumstances" led to not meeting the 3.0 minimum to maintain the scholarship. The invitation to do so said that the Dean would be willing to make a "special consideration" in such a case. My petition was denied and I was told that the death of a parent was not exceptional nor distinguishable. When I asked what circumstances would be considered "exceptional" or distinguishable enough to warrant resumption of merit scholarship eligibility, I got the following response:

"I obviously can't provide precise statistics, but I can tell you anecdotally that there were students in your class who suffered all manner of traumatic setbacks from deaths in the family to severe illness to bouts of depression, and so on. And yet these people managed to achieve a GPA above 3.0."

Of course that was not even the question I asked.

Posted by: second year law student in DC | Aug 27, 2011 7:51:09 AM

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