Sometimes students who enroll in law school very quickly realize that it’s not the right career path for them. Rather than lay out additional loan dollars, they happily withdraw from school and frolic to their next destination. Others “withdraw,” forget that lawyers want important decisions recorded in writing, and wind up accidentally failing out of law school. When they decide that they want to go back to school, this obviously causes problems.
In the case we’ll be discussing today, the former law student happened to file suit against the law school he once attended. He apparently decided that he really did want to be a lawyer, seven years after he initially quit. Alas, he needs a letter of good standing to apply to the school of his choice, and his old school won’t supply him with one.
Did we mention that he wants a letter of good standing so he can apply to Cooley Law?
The Maryland Daily Record reports that Gregory Michael Poteet, a former student at the University of Maryland School of Law, is suing the school to challenge his academic dismissal. Here’s more:
In his lawsuit, Poteet, then a first-year student, claims he left the school after the fall 2007 semester and did not know he was automatically enrolled for the spring 2008 semester. He did not attend any classes that semester and was dismissed from the law school.
A university spokesman said last month that all first-year students are assigned classes because the courses are required and that students are required to submit their intention to withdraw in writing, which Poteet’s complaint does not say he did.
While Poteet claims he was unaware he was enrolled for the Spring 2008 semester, Maryland Law alleges he made a payment of $10,367.50 to settle his account, two months after he failed all of his classes. The school, of course, has filed a motion to dismiss Poteet’s suit. Here’s the money quote from that motion:
Maryland Law is correct in that a “reasonable person” would surely have inquired about a $10,000 bill before paying it. We’d contend, however, that we’re likely not dealing with a reasonable person here — after all, he’s attempting to throw good money after bad to attend Cooley Law during a time when only 26.9 percent of its most recent graduating class are employed in full-time, long-term jobs as lawyers.
Poteet claims that by refusing to give him a letter of good standing, Maryland Law is “jeopardiz[ing] [his] property and liberty interests in further pursuit of a legal education and legal career,” but what we want to know is how someone goes from attending a top 50 law school to applying to an unranked school that’s stereotypically regarded as one of the worst law schools in the nation. This may explain his motivation:
With his recent arrest on a gun charge, his disdain for submitting documents in writing, and his carelessness with money, we think Poteet has the potential to be a perfect student at Cooley Law.
(Flip through the following pages to see Poteet’s lawsuit, as well as Maryland Law’s motion to dismiss.)