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Super Student Passes Bar Exam Despite Brain Injury
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Matt Super

Summary: A WMU Law student with a traumatic brain injury was able to push through law school and pass the bar exam.

Law school is not easy for anyone, throw in a traumatic brain injury and making it through and successfully passing the bar exam is likely not possible. Matt Super defied the odds and passed the state bar, according to The Detroit News.

  
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Super received the brain injury from a car accident during his second semester at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Super went on academic probation at the time so no one would have given him a hard time about giving up on law school.

However, Super was not ready to give up and people weren’t ready to give up on him. With help from others, Super worked hard and was able to graduate in January and take the bar exam the following month. He was able to pass the exam without problem. Super said, “This whole thing has been so surreal to me I can’t explain it. I feel like I’m the most fortunate person on this earth, and miracles do exist.”

Super got into the car accident while on his way to the school. Another car ran a red light and struck his car. He explained, “The last thing I remember just before it happened is that I turned the wheel as far as I could to the left, closed my eyes, and I prayed, ‘God please let me open my eyes again.’ Somehow my car went around the corner pole, and I still to this day have no earthly idea how that was possible.”

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Super tried to keep up his studies for two more semesters but struggled to keep his GPA above 2.0 so he took a semester off. He came back to the law school and once again had a low GPA of 1.81. He said, “To put mildly, my attitude and overall outlook on life wasn’t the greatest. Dean Halushka sat me down and talked to me, told me I needed to take care of myself, so I took a leave of absence, which was the best thing anyone could have ever done for me. … After I left school I prayed every day for someone to be able to help me.”

During his time, Super learned he was also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He found Kathie Schofield, a nurse, therapist, and clinical social worker that dealt with PTSD. Them met at the beginning of 2015. He said, “I brought her my diagnosis forms, but before I really said anything she said, ‘You have a head injury, I can see it in your eyes.’ At that point I just continued praying, for a miracle.”



Schofield performed cranio-sacral therapy on Super, relieving him from the headaches he had been suffering from for years. They then did neuro-feedback, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, psychotherapy, speech therapy and yoga. Super added, “Anything Kathie could do for me she did, all while knowing I didn’t have the money to pay for it at the time. She agreed to help, and just said, ‘You can pay me when you get better.’”

The therapy treatments lasted around eight months for a couple hours everyday. “I got a lot of homework assignments. Eventually, I started to be able to do everything again. It was a slow process and there isn’t one day that I could point to that was my turning point. I had to remind myself baby steps are still steps in the right direction. I still see her, but only once every other week. All I can is that Kathie Schofield saved my life.”

Super ended up taking a full year off from law school. His GPA climbed to a 3.55 GPA and then kept climbing until he was able to graduate with a 4.0. Super said, “The staff and students were so helpful and instrumental at helping me become ‘me’ again. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. They will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Assistant dean Lisa Halushka said, “The transformation in Matt is extraordinary, but not surprising. He never full gave up hope, and worked harder than anyone I’ve known to achieve his goals. I was so proud to sponsor Matt into the Bar, as I completely believe in him. The legal profession just got a little bit better because of Matt’s inclusion in it.”

Macomb Circuit Judge Edward Servitto, who Super clerked for, swore him in. Super is working for Romano Law Firm.

Do you think law schools need more staff and faculty members that can work with students that struggle to ensure they don’t get forgotten or left behind? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about Cooley law school, read these articles:

Photo: info.cooley.edu



 

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