33 year old Latino, UGPA 2.90/150 practice LSAT

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Nontradlaw
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:33 pm

33 year old Latino, UGPA 2.90/150 practice LSAT

Postby Nontradlaw » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:23 am

Hello everyone!

This is my first time posting so I hope I'm in the right section. I would like to get some feedback from other URMs or others more knowledgeable in the law school admissions process.

My particular education and life history is the following: My family and I arrived to California from Mexico in 1988 when I was 11 years old. I didn't speak a word of English and I struggled in school. For several reasons, but primarily due to the language barrier and culture shock, I dropped out of the 9th grade. About seven years later I returned to school and obtained my GED and began attending the local community college. The first several years at JC were disastrous for me and my academic record reflects that. I had to learn many of the foundational subjects others learned in high school while working part time and trying to figure out how college worked.

I was able to transfer to a University of California campus and did well in my last two years while working full time as a immigration paralegal. Even though I was able to graduate with honors from UC (GPA 3.83), my JC academic record has left my cumulative LSDAS UGPA in the gutter. These JC grades are from the early 2000s and the grades I received while at UC were all As and only one B.

Since I can't really do anything about my low UGPA, should I apply only to those schools that are within my GPA range, or should I apply to others and include and addendum explaining the specific circumstances? I am confident that I can at least bring up my LSAT to about the mid 160s range.

The specific schools I have in mind are: Santa Clara University, UC Berkeley, Hastings, USC, UCLA University of New Mexico, NYU, University of Wisconsin.

I would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback. Thank you.

A few more notes. I majored in Latin American Studies and have a very strong background in the social sciences and humanities. I have secured an excellent letter of rec. from the Latin American studies chair and professor as well as two others from my current employers who are immigration attorneys.

Thanks.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: 33 year old Latino, UGPA 2.90/150 practice LSAT

Postby Danteshek » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:50 am

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Last edited by Danteshek on Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
You Gotta Have Faith
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 5:04 am

Re: 33 year old Latino, UGPA 2.90/150 practice LSAT

Postby You Gotta Have Faith » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:46 am

I'll premise this by saying that you need to get an actual LSAT and come back... this is written with the assumption that you already have a low 150s score to apply with

Although I do think you should apply to a greater range (i.e. a few lower ones and a few more in the mid-range), I wouldn't neglect applying everywhere you are interested in if you have the money to spare. This is because you are a URM and such cycles are radically unpredictable. Of course, if you can't get into at least the low 150s, some of those schools will be very insanely tough to get into. Like... there is a limit.

In response to explaining your GPA problem, I think that if you write an effective diversity statement you will be able to mitigate the problem some and the adcomms might start to understand what the deal was, assuming you incorporate how and why you were struggling with school (and how it shaped you as a person, yada yada). Just make sure it doesn't come off as an excuse.

Based on your target school selection, you do not appear to care where you go, geographically, apart from some sort of preference for California. So I would apply to more schools. I'd use lawschoolpredictor.com and consider any place you are really interested in where you at least get a weak consider.

I'd keep Wisco, as they occasionally take splitters and tend to be friendly to people who have overcome adversity. I do think NYU and UC-B could be categorized as definite reaches. And while UCLA and USC would also be reaches, I have no idea how much they help out URMs with boosts.

Since you have UNM on your list, I should ask why you don't also have AZ or ASU..? They are in the same region, and one that deals with a lot of immigration work. I'm not sure where you would stand at those with your chances, but surely it would be a better shot than either UCLA or USC (but you never know).

In any case, the best thing you can do for yourself if you are serious about wanting to go to law school is work really hard on your LSAT. Knock that test dead and save yourself a lot of trouble.

Disclaimer: I tend to be more optimistic than many people on these boards.

Good luck!!!

dddhhh
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: 33 year old Latino, UGPA 2.90/150 practice LSAT

Postby dddhhh » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:17 am

You Gotta Have Faith wrote:I'll premise this by saying that you need to get an actual LSAT and come back... this is written with the assumption that you already have a low 150s score to apply with

Although I do think you should apply to a greater range (i.e. a few lower ones and a few more in the mid-range), I wouldn't neglect applying everywhere you are interested in if you have the money to spare. This is because you are a URM and such cycles are radically unpredictable. Of course, if you can't get into at least the low 150s, some of those schools will be very insanely tough to get into. Like... there is a limit.

In response to explaining your GPA problem, I think that if you write an effective diversity statement you will be able to mitigate the problem some and the adcomms might start to understand what the deal was, assuming you incorporate how and why you were struggling with school (and how it shaped you as a person, yada yada). Just make sure it doesn't come off as an excuse.

Based on your target school selection, you do not appear to care where you go, geographically, apart from some sort of preference for California. So I would apply to more schools. I'd use lawschoolpredictor.com and consider any place you are really interested in where you at least get a weak consider.

I'd keep Wisco, as they occasionally take splitters and tend to be friendly to people who have overcome adversity. I do think NYU and UC-B could be categorized as definite reaches. And while UCLA and USC would also be reaches, I have no idea how much they help out URMs with boosts.

Since you have UNM on your list, I should ask why you don't also have AZ or ASU..? They are in the same region, and one that deals with a lot of immigration work. I'm not sure where you would stand at those with your chances, but surely it would be a better shot than either UCLA or USC (but you never know).

In any case, the best thing you can do for yourself if you are serious about wanting to go to law school is work really hard on your LSAT. Knock that test dead and save yourself a lot of trouble.

Disclaimer: I tend to be more optimistic than many people on these boards.

Good luck!!!


+1

Also, check out lawschoolnumbers.com to see if other URMS with similar numbers have been accepted/WL/rejected at those schools. Some schools are willing to overlook numbers if good addendums/softs are present. I tend to also be more optimistic than others on these boards so I would say put forward the best application possible and apply to the schools you want but also to a few safety schools as well. If you really have your heart set on one school in particular and are not accepted get your LSAT up and keep building your resume and apply as early as possible the next cycle. Good luck!




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