Thursday, April 25, 2019

Article Index

Vernellia R. Randall

Vernellia R. Randall, The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, First Year Law Students and Performance, 26 Cumberland Law Review 63 (1995-1996) (180 Footnotes Omitted).


In 1966, I graduated from a segregated high school after having attended a two room elementary school. I graduated third in my class. I performed well enough on the SAT's to receive a national merit commendation for minority students. Nevertheless, my scores fell below the admissions standards for many of the schools to which I applied.

It was a long time before I again achieved the same level of academic success that I had in high school. In college, my English teachers all told me I could not write -- and I believed them. In fact, I spent most of my adult life avoiding writing. If anyone had told me that what lawyers do is write, I would have never gone to law school.

While majoring in nursing, I was counseled several times to consider another career. In fact, I failed medical-surgical nursing twice. Had it not been for a nursing educator who decided to teach me how to study, I likely would have never graduated. Eventually, I did graduate from the University of Texas with a 2.3 grade point average (GPA).

In 1978, I decided to attend graduate school. However, two small things stood in my way: my low undergraduate GPA and my low Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score. When I could not get admitted to the University of Washington, I made a special trip to meet with the Dean and asked her whether having me -- with my low grades and GPA -- was worse than continuing to have a community health program with no black students. She apparently decided that I was worth the risk. I did not disappoint her faith in me because, even though I was placed on academic probation the first semester, I eventually graduated.

For some reason, I kept going back to school. In 1981, I decided to attend a graduate program in public health and it was there that I experienced my greatest academic success as an adult learner. Not only did I avoid probation entirely, I actually completed the course work with a 3.8 GPA. I believe that success was due in part to fifteen years of practice and maturity. However, I also performed well because the MPH program was primarily an independent program, which allowed me to approach my educational experience through my unique learning style. It was my success in the MPH program that provided me with the confidence to do law school.


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