How much/what should I say..

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
User avatar
avd90
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:26 pm

How much/what should I say..

Postby avd90 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:11 pm

Hey guys,

So I'm currently writing a letter to the NYU admissions committee regarding my first semester grades and LSAT score. I have a 3.89 GPA, but last semester my grades dipped--my GPA was a 3.7. While this might not seem bad to most people, I received 2 A's, 2 A-'s and a B+. I have NEVER gotten below an A- in college.

I do, however, have credible "excuse."--my dad went to prison for 66 months on halloween last semester. It was really really hard on me, and my grades definitely suffered. I for sure plan on telling this to NYU (I wrote my PS on this, and GTOWN already commented on how they enjoyed the topic etc), so the cat's out of the bag, so to speak. My question is, should I also say that this is one of the reasons my LSAT score was on the lower side?

I don't want to sound like I'm making too many excuses, and I don't want them to look badly upon my application. But the truth is, my dad going away really hurt my study process for December, and December was my only LSAT.

Do you think NYU would take this as a negative, or would it maybe make them look more sympathetically upon my lower LSAT? NYU is my TOP choice, to the point that I might retake in June and reapply if I get rejected. I just want some good advice! PM if you want, or post here whatevs.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby kaiser » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:13 pm

Were you waitlisted? Or you are still waiting to hear? And what is your LSAT score? I ask because these kinds of "excuses" (I do not mean for the term to have a negative connotation here, as you actually did go through something that would genuinely explain at least a little bit of poor performance) can only make up for so much.
Last edited by kaiser on Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
avd90
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:26 pm

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby avd90 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:14 pm

kaiser wrote:Were you waitlisted? Or you are still waiting to hear?


They sent a first semester grades request, so I'm waiting to hear. I just want to provide context for my grades, and I thought that if I was doing that maybe I should include my LSAT performance, too.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby MrAnon » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:15 pm

There is always a question of how would you deal with the situation if it happened again. Did your grades drop as a result of this? Okay so what if it happened again?

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby kaiser » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:16 pm

avd90 wrote:
kaiser wrote:Were you waitlisted? Or you are still waiting to hear?


They sent a first semester grades request, so I'm waiting to hear. I just want to provide context for my grades, and I thought that if I was doing that maybe I should include my LSAT performance, too.


Edited my post above to find out what your LSAT score is. If it is just on the cusp of what NYU normally takes, I'd def mention it. Unlike most kids who seem to have silly excuses, you went through something very real and something that would understandably have an effect on your performance.

User avatar
avd90
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:26 pm

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby avd90 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:17 pm

MrAnon wrote:There is always a question of how would you deal with the situation if it happened again. Did your grades drop as a result of this? Okay so what if it happened again?


Yeah I get that. But my dad won't be going away again.. it was just that time period. But i get what you're saying--NYU might think, "is this chick so fragile that if something happens she won't be able to perform?"

that's definitely something I'm concerned about, I don't know if it will be risky, or if it will help them get WHY that happened.

My LSAT is 16x--I'm Puerto Rican, and that's on the lower end of what NYU takes, but they definitely have gone below that before for URMs
Last edited by avd90 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

blsingindisguise
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:19 pm

I don't agree with above. Having your father go to prison might be a valid excuse for middle school or even high school grades, but not college grades, where you're expected to be independent. The effect could be the opposite of what you want -- the adcom says "this is a person who doesn't handle difficult situations well."

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby kaiser » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:36 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:I don't agree with above. Having your father go to prison might be a valid excuse for middle school or even high school grades, but not college grades, where you're expected to be independent. The effect could be the opposite of what you want -- the adcom says "this is a person who doesn't handle difficult situations well."


I think it all depends on the context. I know people who live at or very close to home during law school since they are right out of college, see their family often, etc. and for such a kid it could still be pretty traumatic. I am very close with my family, call them every day, see them every week or 2, etc. and I know that I would be in a real bad place if that happened in my family. But you are right that for some people, who aren't as close to their family or who may be more "independent" then it would be different. But theres no blanket principle to the matter.

User avatar
avd90
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:26 pm

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby avd90 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:43 pm

kaiser wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:I don't agree with above. Having your father go to prison might be a valid excuse for middle school or even high school grades, but not college grades, where you're expected to be independent. The effect could be the opposite of what you want -- the adcom says "this is a person who doesn't handle difficult situations well."


I think it all depends on the context. I know people who live at or very close to home during law school since they are right out of college, see their family often, etc. and for such a kid it could still be pretty traumatic. I am very close with my family, call them every day, see them every week or 2, etc. and I know that I would be in a real bad place if that happened in my family. But you are right that for some people, who aren't as close to their family or who may be more "independent" then it would be different. But theres no blanket principle to the matter.


Yeah, I'm extremely close with my family, and it definitely has been a shit storm. I'm the oldest with two brothers still living full time at home, and a lot of the difficulty I had after driving my dad down to prison was helping them pick up the pieces. I think from my PS the adcoms will get that I am close with my family and this would have been difficult, I just don't want to write an addendum that makes me look weak or undesirable. I agree that I should retake the LSAT, but I'm really hoping to go to LS next year inpart because I don't have a family home to go back to--everything has been seized and my mom is in foreclosure. I also really am in love with NYU, and I'm hoping it works out. This post/stressing is me trying to do everything I can to let NYU know they are my DREAM and that I am a good applicant. I'm sorry for seeming really obsessive, and I want to thank all of you guys for posting and giving me advice. I don't want to over do it, but I also don't want to leave any question marks when it comes time to check out my app.


thanks again guys!

iowalum
Posts: 326
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:15 pm

Re: How much/what should I say..

Postby iowalum » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:19 am

I think I would minimize this. It is definitely a difficult situation, but you are applying for professional school to train to be a professional, and emphasizing how you are easily affected by family trouble may come off in a way you wouldn't want. I think if you keep it short and factual it will be a good addendum, just make sure to limit the super emotional stuff. Just "this is what happened. It affected me. It does not represent my potential" and that's it.




Return to “Under Represented Law Student Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: kolikotime and 5 guests