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Old 11-27-2012, 04:55 PM
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should I drop out of law school?

Hey everyone,

I was wondering if there were any lawyers who went through law school while they had epilepsy. I am seriously considering dropping out because my meds are never stable, I am sensitive to all the side effects, and my seizures lead to a great deal of missed class. In addition, the side effects make it very difficult to focus, and my memory [which was once amazing, almost photographic] is completely shot. I can't remember what I did yesterday, let alone last week. This is a huge problem, especially when I am called on, or during exam time. I don't know what to do, but I have made it through the first semester of my second year [I am a 2L]. I am afraid, and don't know if I continue, and make bad grades, will I be hired? Or should I just struggle on? Please let me know!

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Old 11-27-2012, 05:03 PM
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I think the only person that can answer that question is you :-\ sorry not much help but if you do decide to carry on Im sure they can help you in some way. Im currently in college studying chemistry maths biology and photography which are all incredibly difficult subject as i image law is but my teachers help a lot - haven't long told them so they haven't been able to help until now, but they give me a list of things covered in each lesson and if Im unsure i just go to see them and they fill in the gaps :-) Im sure they will be able to do something like that for you.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:07 PM
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try different meds, and ways to cope you can get to your goal

but dont drop out,
if it gets worse, skip a semester, but don't quit. you got this far.
your memory will get better given time, or you will learn ways to cope
and new note taking skills
exams are going to be hard. but you can do it if you want to, it is a matter of wanting to.

will you be hired, who knows. you will be a lawyer with a shot memory. there are jobs for you. They will to be low stress of course, and probably quiet.

so in the in end, it is do you want it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:09 PM
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I agree with l0vegokwann the only person who can make that decision is you. There is one thing though do not give up without a fight, this is something you want and you might just be able to continue even with all this hassle. I have been where you are and its by no means easy but trying is all one can ask and all one can do. Best of luck no matter what you decide.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:09 PM
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If you feel like you can't carry on this year, would you be able to take a year off and see how it goes? Then perhaps you could pick up where you left off if things get better...

Diagnosed in 1997 with Temporal Lobe seizures.
Recent VEEG shows they are actually coming from the Frontal Lobe.
Intractable Simple and Complex Partial seizures, and rarely, Atonic seizures.
Treatment: Lamictal (200 am/100 dinner/200 pm), and Vimpat (100 am//100 dinner/200 pm).
My name is Josie.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." --Matthew 6:34
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:11 PM
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We can study until we are broken to have 20 year career that we still struggle with, but really LOVE, or we can look to alternatives that can make us just as happy - long term.

What do you think?
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:41 PM
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Speak to your doctor baout switching meds? I'm a lawyer and would whole heartedly recommend dropping out of law school but only as the job of a lawyer is crushingly dull and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy and is not worth the debt and effort! Anyway, my grumblings aside, as with anything in life, if it is truly what you want to do, find a way round the problems and do it - my friend at law school had terrible dyslexia and kept failing all her exams and repeating years! She was still in college when I was already in practice. But she was determined, worked hard, the college made arrangements for extra exam time and she has now been a successul criminal lawyer for 8 years. If she can be a good lawyer with severe dyslexia, I can do it with a severe pessimistic approach to life, you can do it with a shot mind...if you really want to! My view is there are more enjoyable ways to make a living, I just need to figure out how to get out of it! Good luck
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:20 PM
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Thank-you so much everyone for your quick replies! Honestly, I know that the decision comes down to me, but whether its epilepsy, or being in law school with epilepsy, my confidence has tanked. I just need to buck up and soldier on. Cardones, I'm sorry that you don't like law, I can relate a bit in so far as I hate school--unless I am in a criminal law class, or with a professor that I really like. I want to do criminal law, and I sort of cling to that. The fact that you have epilepsy and made it through is amazing. I also appreciated your story about your friend; it makes me feel more confident that maybe I can make it too. Until I found this forum, any online advice about law students considering dropping out were very cold 'i.e. if you make a B- or even a C, you should drop out'. I am so happy I joined this cite and met such understanding and actual caring people!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:47 PM
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Just to clarify, I don't have epilepsy - at least was never diagnosed as only had one obvious seizure in high school. That said, there were two people in my year who had it and seemd to do just fine. The US Cheif Justice has mild epilepsy too and manages to head up the entire legal system so be reassured it can be done. If you are struggling speak to your tutors too as colleges can usually be very accomodating to students whether it is by way of time off or extra exam time etc.

Criminal law is good fun by all acounts. All my friends who do it enjoy it. Due to huge debts I went the city firm route and ended up doing banking litigation - it makes me want to jump out of my 27th floor window every day at work - the only thing preventing me is that the firm installed windows that do not open to prevent associates ending it all before they hit their billable targets.

I qualified in the UK, from what I understand grades are not so important for crimimal law firms, as the high grades competition comes from trying to get into large corporate firms as every idiot wants to go there to earn millions doing what Ally McBeal does. The reality is you don't earn millions and you do a lot more work than Ally ever did, and 99% of it is very monotonous and dry!

Anyway, that's my sales pitch for a legal career done. Speak to your docs and college to see if they can help make things better for you, but the most important thing you have to do is just decide whether this is what you want to do with your life - if so, you'll do it and do it well.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:56 PM
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My son is in is 3rd year of law school. He went thru a rather rough time his 2nd year because he also has suffered with ADD and depression/bipolar since he was in middle school. He had a very rough time back then and almost dropped out of school. But through hard work and determination, he finally made it thru college and graduated magna cum laude. After college, he took a year off school, and traveled overseas, thinking of international law.

Good luck, study hard, and keep your head high!
"The Golden Rule is that there are no golden rules."
~George Bernard Shaw
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:14 PM
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I can definitely relate to how frustrating it must be to struggle with things you're putting your best effort into. As to dropping out, I don't think you should, but if its becoming such a detriment to your well-being, it's a hard decision to be facing. Overcoming adversity will leave you feeling really good about yourself and put you in a better mindset for whatever else life decides to throw at you. Best of luck
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:05 AM
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I can so relate to what you're going through! I'm in graduate school and I'm receiving no understanding whatsoever. If you can stay
But if you feel you really need some time off, TAKE IT. You are young and you will learn skills to help you cope. I'm one of the u fortunate who doesn't respond well to many meds. I'm stuck taking ativan or clonipan which also affect my memory. It can be crazy frustrating to not have people understand how much harder you have to work. I do and I wish you all the best in everything you do:-)
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