“Former law student sues over D grade”

by Walter Olson on June 30, 2014

Martin Odemena, formerly a student at the Massachusetts School of Law, says he couldn’t transfer to another school because of the unfair grade in the Contracts course and “is seeking more than $100,000 in damages for the lost legal career.” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal]

{ 2 comments }

1 gasman 06.30.14 at 9:20 am

He should file pro se and let the judge assess the case on the merits of his work before the court.

2 wfjag 06.30.14 at 11:43 am

Let’s see — he got a D in Contracts (typically a 2d semister 1L course, and what is GPA was otherwise is unknown);
at a school that is not ABA accredited, does not require the LSAT for admission (did he take it? If not, did he try to transfer to a law school that requires it for admission? If he did, how did his results compare against people who were admitted there? And, what was his undergrad major, college, GPA, and other activities, and how do those compare against people accepted by the other law school?);
which school is unranked in any survey I can locate and, as far as I can determine, has not released information on bar passing rates, employment rates in law or in fields requiring a J.D. after graduation, or average salaries/income after graduation [maybe that info is out there, but, I'm only going to look so much and law schools with high rates in those areas publicize tthat information so that it is easy to find], and, whose grads are limited to taking the Mass or Conn Bar Exams after graduation, and until they have passed those, may take a few others);
in a time in which there is a glut of licensed attorneys (in addition to the increasing of the glut in the future by grads from accredited schools who will pass the bars of their respective states in the next few years);
many of whom are unemployed or underemployed as attorneys.

I guess that over a 40 to 50 year career, lost income of $100K sounds reasonable for a person graduating from such a school in this economy (and, then, reduce the gross income by the costs of borrowing for law school, average annual CLE costs, and bar and other dues and assessments made on licensed attorneys). There is also the Streisand Effect to take into account — since how many other schools will want to admit someone who was suspended by such a school and then sued; and how many employers will want to hire such an attorney (assuming he completes law school and passes a bar exam) ?

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