A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dumb, but not as dumb as some of you...

So much here to entertain.... A student at SIU's law school claims that it was unfair that she was dropped from law school due to her 1.495 GPA. There were others who had lower GPA's who were readmitted, but she was the only one who wasn't Causcasian:
A former law student has sued Southern Illinois University Carbondale, claiming the school discriminated against her by re- enrolling others with worse grades, but not her.

Lisa D. Rittenhouse was one of six law students dropped last year for poor academic performance, she claims in her federal suit.

After her first year in law school, Rittenhouse posted a grade point average of 1.948, just shy of the school's required 1.95 GPA but better than the other students' GPAs, she alleges.

The students later applied for readmission, but only Rittenhouse was denied, she says in her suit, filed in East St. Louis, Ill.

Rittenhouse claims the law school discriminated against her because she has learning disabilities, including attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and dyslexia, and is bipolar. She also claims reverse discrimination because four of the readmitted students are minorities and she is white.

The law school's attorney, Ian P. Cooper of Tueth, Keeney, Cooper, Mohan & Jackstadt in Clayton, said Rittenhouse didn't allege a pattern, practice or policy that would support discrimination claims.

Rittenhouse has a "heavy burden" to show there was discriminatory intent on the part of those reviewing her application for readmission, Cooper said, and "we haven't seen any support at all for any such claim."

The Academic Standards Committee, which considered Rittenhouse's request for readmission, followed the law school's policies and procedures, he said. The school has filed a motion to dismiss the suit on the bases of immunity and insufficient pleadings.

God, I love lawyers!

First, who here would like to hire an attorney who may be debilitated by her low GPA?

How about her claims of ADHD? Would you like to hire an attorney who is dyslexic? Bipolar? Does that make one an effective attorney? But of course, we are putting the cart before the horse, here, because let me point out that this lady has not even made it out of law school, much less past the bar exam.

Is there such a thing as being too disabled for a certain job? Is this person suited for the profession of attorney? What are the requirements of an attorney? Is the ability to read and digest a large amount of written information a prerequisite for the profession?

Meanwhile,is she being discriminated against due to her racial background, and if so, what does this indicate about fairness in current American society?

Lots of questions. Not a lot of answers.

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At 7/17/10, 8:20 PM, OpenID lady said...

I think I am okay with a lawyer with ADHD as long as they can control themselves in court. Dyslexia can be overcome or compensated for. Bipolar, I am a little more hesitant about. I would be concerned about her (since we are talking about this specific student) performance in court. The GPA though concerns me. If she can't do her work well enough to get the required 1.5, how is she going to do as a lawyer. They have to read a lot of crap. There is a reason law schools have a standard. My masters of arts in teaching program had a minimum GPA of 2.5 or 2.0 or you failed the class. Shouldn't law school have at least the same standards?

At 7/17/10, 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's true that other students with lower GPAs were allowed back though...
Well, they should all be gone!

In today's really awful job market for lawyers, they shouldn't be allowed to rack up all that debt when they are unlikely to be able to pass the bar or find a job that will pay off the loans.

Of course, the schools want their money, too, and that's likely why they stretched the rules for some of the students.

At 7/17/10, 10:13 PM, Blogger Lsquared said...

Is the GPA 1.49 or 1.94? You have different numbers in different places.

At 7/18/10, 9:07 AM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

America is largely focused on the deficiencies and perfidy of teachers. Frankly, I'm surprised this even made the news.

I agree, though, this candidate would not be my first choice for counsel. It's kind of remarkable, with that list, that the candidate claims racial discrimination. Perhaps she'd be a good lawyer after all, and the audacity of this lawsuit proves it.

Stranger things have happened.

At 7/19/10, 3:37 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

The GPA was 1.49, I think-- the different numbers were in the original story, L squared.

Why do people believe they have a "right" to be in a profession? I mean, using this person's reasoning, even though I am old, fat, and freckled, don't I have the "right" to be a Victoria's Secret model? Does a visually limited person have the right to be a pilot? My husband found out the answer to that question when he tried to attend the Air Force Academy after high school.

Now as to the claim that others were allowed in even with that appalling GPA just becuse they were members of minority groups-- if so, that is an appalling case of racist assumptions. But none of those people should have been allowed back in.


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