Albie seems like a very nice young man and I applaud the support his family has given him thus far as he's dealt with the pain of failing out of law school. It is clear that he is loved, and that is wonderful. That said, there's a point at which support crosses into denial.
Albie wants to be a lawyer, I understand that. I'm an attorney and that fire was lit in me as a young woman. But wanting something doesn't mean you're going to get it. I wanted to be a country and western singer when I was young (cute, right?). I sang ALL the time, I wanted it, I dreamed of it, but no amount of hard work was going to make up for the fact that I'm not a good enough singer to do it professionally. That's OK, it's just part of life. I grew up and began to move toward things I was naturally gifted in; finding your natural gifts is, in fact, a very big part of growing up. My desire to pursue a career in the law didn't just come from my personal dreams of helping others achieve justice, it came from my natural aptitude for reading comprehension. After all, that is a HUGE part of what lawyering is: reading comprehension.
I sing flatly, I'm not likely to win a spot on American Idol. Albie struggles with reading comprehension, he's not likely to complete law school or be an effective attorney. It is disappointing, but it is part of life. We are not all gifted in what we want to be gifted in and there's a term for thinking that just because you WANT something it should be yours: entitlement.
Because Albie is good natured, it's probably hard to view the position he's taking on law school as one of entitlement, but that's exactly what it is. If he couldn't perform the requirements of his law school, he's not entitled to stay. He's also not entitled to have them say he could perform well elsewhere, if the school doesn't actually believe he would.
We fail our kids when we tell them, "You can be anything you want to be!" Because it's just not true. You don't have to low ball your children, you should encourage them to be the best they can be and, in particular, to use their natural talents to the fullest. My short, uncoordinated 18 year old ain't getting drafted into the NBA (no matter how much he might want it) and I'd be doing him a disservice by encouraging him to put all of his eggs in that basket.
There's a very real problem here. A law student with a 1.9 GPA is not likely to pass the bar of any state (the bar exam is, after all, nothing but reading comprehension), and is not likely to be an effective attorney (again, the skill most relevant to the foundation of lawyering is reading). In light of that picture, law school is just one small hurdle on the path to an effective career in the law. If that first hurdle is too much....? It's time to be real. And real support means being honest.
I recently read an article in which Albie was quoted as saying GPA and LSAT scores aren't good predictors of success in law school. As a former admissions committee member at my own law school I know this is wrong. GPA and LSATs are actually very good predictors of success in law school. One might ask whether it was a mistake for Albie to be admitted to law school in the first place if his grades and LSAT scores weren't where they ought to have been. That may be the real failure on the law school's part.
And what of failure? Why would Albie perceive adjusting his plans and going into a different profession as a failure? That's not wherein the failure lies. The failure already happened, being asked to leave law school is a failure. But, you know what, failure, like discovering where you'll flourish, is a part of growing up, part of life.
I have no doubt Albie will finagle his way into another law school, I'm sure there's no shortage of unaccredited or barely accredited schools willing to take $100,000 from him. But is that what's best? For him, or even for future hypothetical clients? It won't solve the problem. What does a graduate of a dubious law school with no bar membership do? That should be the question on Albie's mind. Not, "How do I get back into law school?"
This single-minded focus on a goal that is perhaps not meant to occur, should not be applauded. It is merely an example of what happens when a generation of children is told, in unqualified terms "You can be anything!"
Flunking out of law school, that was tough luck. The next step ought to be tough love.