PR Low GPA/Vet question

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
julioninjatron
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:59 pm

PR Low GPA/Vet question

Postby julioninjatron » Wed May 24, 2017 11:49 pm

Quick details:

10 years of Management Experience
8 Years Military (Navy Intel, NCO)
Low GPA 2.5
school i want to attend: W&L

Basically asking for realistic chances here. I completed 1 AA, 1BS and 1BA all while working fulltime, satisfying my Navy reserves (2 years active,6 reserve) requirements and being a single parent. My resources were very very over extended, hence the low GPA (also, not sure if worth mentioning, my undergrad is from a private college notorious for difficulty/grading). I know i will definitely need to get the best score i can get on the upcoming lsat, right now practice tests are in the 150 range. I also know about the GPA addendum (including in this the fact that IF accepted, i will be resigning my employment so that i can focus solely on school, an opportunity i have never had,lucky enough to have a strong support structure now!)

My question is how helpful is the addendum + URM + military service + 10 years of working experience in regards to my GPA

thanks in advance!

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laqueredup
Posts: 278
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:05 am

Re: PR Low GPA/Vet question

Postby laqueredup » Thu May 25, 2017 3:48 am

Your chances depend entirely on your LSAT. I think that if you break 170 you've got a great shot at W&L or even some T20 schools. Mid- Upper 160s with would probably give you a good shot as well. 150s will not get you what you need. The good thing is that the LSAT is learn-able and you should be able to improve your score with study. Basically if you can get tot he point where you are a splitter, then the military softs and WE may help you to make your case that they should not put much stock in your GPA. URM won't hurt either, but can be hard to quantify. good luck!

AJordan
Posts: 348
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: PR Low GPA/Vet question

Postby AJordan » Thu May 25, 2017 5:55 am

+1 to that response. Just wanted to add that in the future if you have more questions be sure to hit up the TLS veterans thread. It's been really good to me and I think that thread does a good job of taking care of our own.

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TripleM
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 8:35 am

Re: PR Low GPA/Vet question

Postby TripleM » Fri May 26, 2017 5:59 pm

Many people dismiss the value of a PS, but I really think that you're the sort of person for whom the PS was made. You really need to have an amazing PS. No school is going to admit you for your numbers (LSAT pending). Some will, however, consider admitting you if you're a really compelling human being. That's where your PS comes in. You must have had some compelling experiences in the service. Take some time and start brainstorming. Try a few out with rough drafts and start honing in on them.

I think many people dismiss the PS because, to be honest, when you're fresh out of college you might not have a whole lot of life experience to share with the adcom (there are exceptions). For those folk they're right, the schools will see their numbers as a more accurate reflection of the value they will bring as a student. When you're older you have much more to offer as an argument that you'll add to the class. This isn't made to slam younger applicants but rather to point out that your applications are fundamentally different from a younger student's.

My GPA wasn't as low as yours but we're similar in that it was below the median for most of the schools to which I applied. My LSAT also sat below most of their medians. To the extent that I was accepted to any great schools, it was because of my PS and DS. I was accepted to 3 t20 schools (all with offers of 2/3rds tuition) including a top 10. I was also waitlisted at 8 of the top 14 (ugh), with feelers from a number of them and offered a full ride to two T1 schools outside of the t20.

I second the stuff about the LSAT. That's the doorway. If you can nail it, you can make the argument that the LSAT, and not your GPA, represent your current academic abilities. That's going to give them a chance to then consider your PS and DS.

Finally, get to know the faculty admissions staff at the schools you want to attend. They've got tremendous power. I think personal relationships are a vastly underused tool. If there's a good T1 school near you visit it and get to know folks there. It will make a great backup. I know that I was accepted to a number of schools because I was endorsed by faculty members. You're older and you'll be able to speak to them as peers. I got to know some of the admissions faculty so well that at a number of schools I was going out to have beers with the deans of admissions before all was said and done. As a side note, this is pretty easy because the folks at the schools tend to be really great people who I sincerely enjoyed being around. I remain in touch with a number of folks from schools that I absolutely won't attend.

julioninjatron
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: PR Low GPA/Vet question

Postby julioninjatron » Sat May 27, 2017 5:03 pm

laqueredup wrote:Your chances depend entirely on your LSAT. I think that if you break 170 you've got a great shot at W&L or even some T20 schools. Mid- Upper 160s with would probably give you a good shot as well. 150s will not get you what you need. The good thing is that the LSAT is learn-able and you should be able to improve your score with study. Basically if you can get tot he point where you are a splitter, then the military softs and WE may help you to make your case that they should not put much stock in your GPA. URM won't hurt either, but can be hard to quantify. good luck!

thank you for the quick response! i will definitely keep these practice tests going to hopefully be as much of a splitter as i can be!


AJordan wrote:+1 to that response. Just wanted to add that in the future if you have more questions be sure to hit up the TLS veterans thread. It's been really good to me and I think that thread does a good job of taking care of our own.


you know, i thought about posting the question there as well, didnt wanna duplicate the post (some forums are picky about that). But i'll give it a shot to hear from that perspective too! ty!

TripleM wrote:Many people dismiss the value of a PS, but I really think that you're the sort of person for whom the PS was made. You really need to have an amazing PS. No school is going to admit you for your numbers (LSAT pending). Some will, however, consider admitting you if you're a really compelling human being. That's where your PS comes in. You must have had some compelling experiences in the service. Take some time and start brainstorming. Try a few out with rough drafts and start honing in on them.

I think many people dismiss the PS because, to be honest, when you're fresh out of college you might not have a whole lot of life experience to share with the adcom (there are exceptions). For those folk they're right, the schools will see their numbers as a more accurate reflection of the value they will bring as a student. When you're older you have much more to offer as an argument that you'll add to the class. This isn't made to slam younger applicants but rather to point out that your applications are fundamentally different from a younger student's.

My GPA wasn't as low as yours but we're similar in that it was below the median for most of the schools to which I applied. My LSAT also sat below most of their medians. To the extent that I was accepted to any great schools, it was because of my PS and DS. I was accepted to 3 t20 schools (all with offers of 2/3rds tuition) including a top 10. I was also waitlisted at 8 of the top 14 (ugh), with feelers from a number of them and offered a full ride to two T1 schools outside of the t20.

I second the stuff about the LSAT. That's the doorway. If you can nail it, you can make the argument that the LSAT, and not your GPA, represent your current academic abilities. That's going to give them a chance to then consider your PS and DS.

Finally, get to know the faculty admissions staff at the schools you want to attend. They've got tremendous power. I think personal relationships are a vastly underused tool. If there's a good T1 school near you visit it and get to know folks there. It will make a great backup. I know that I was accepted to a number of schools because I was endorsed by faculty members. You're older and you'll be able to speak to them as peers. I got to know some of the admissions faculty so well that at a number of schools I was going out to have beers with the deans of admissions before all was said and done. As a side note, this is pretty easy because the folks at the schools tend to be really great people who I sincerely enjoyed being around. I remain in touch with a number of folks from schools that I absolutely won't attend.



thank you, this is really helpful to hear. My brother said the same thing about the ps, and also suggested the gpa addendum. I will definitely try to visit W&L since they are only about 45 minutes away. In the working world networking is a powerful tool, honestly didnt even think about using it to attend school!

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TripleM
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 8:35 am

Re: PR Low GPA/Vet question

Postby TripleM » Sun May 28, 2017 12:04 pm

julioninjatron wrote:... and also suggested the gpa addendum....

I'm mixed on the GPA addendum. I decided not to. I'd say that unless you had a really exceptional situation that was largely beyond your control I wouldn't do one. In my case I worked full time, did NCAA athletics and worked on the school newspaper and my grades suffered at times. I also received an F in a class that I never attended (usually teachers would automatically drop you in you weren't there for the first week).
In the end I didn't write a GPA because all of these things were in my control or didn't fully explain the failing grades. The fact of the matter is that there are other students who work and still rock a 4.0 GPA. Ultimately, I could have done better but just made poor choices. Likewise, yes the standard procedure was to drop students who weren't present but that's ultimately my responsibility. And I should have followed up on it more quickly. Bottom line, anything I would have written would have boiled down to, "I'll do better this time, just trust me."
In my opinion, and it's only my opinion, the GPA addendum should be used if there was something truly exceptional. There was someone in one of these boards who'd been undergoing treatment for cancer. That's pretty exceptional, the situation was beyond their control (both in terms of the cancer and the effects of chemo), and unlikely to impact their law school performance. That's a good GPA addendum.
That's just my opinion and I'm sure others will have thoughts on the topic. I do think you should aim to have good PS and DS stuff. If you're not a well practiced writer I'd begin recruiting people in your life to edit it for you.

julioninjatron
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: PR Low GPA/Vet question

Postby julioninjatron » Sun May 28, 2017 12:46 pm

TripleM wrote:
julioninjatron wrote:... and also suggested the gpa addendum....

I'm mixed on the GPA addendum. I decided not to. I'd say that unless you had a really exceptional situation that was largely beyond your control I wouldn't do one. In my case I worked full time, did NCAA athletics and worked on the school newspaper and my grades suffered at times. I also received an F in a class that I never attended (usually teachers would automatically drop you in you weren't there for the first week).
In the end I didn't write a GPA because all of these things were in my control or didn't fully explain the failing grades. The fact of the matter is that there are other students who work and still rock a 4.0 GPA. Ultimately, I could have done better but just made poor choices. Likewise, yes the standard procedure was to drop students who weren't present but that's ultimately my responsibility. And I should have followed up on it more quickly. Bottom line, anything I would have written would have boiled down to, "I'll do better this time, just trust me."
In my opinion, and it's only my opinion, the GPA addendum should be used if there was something truly exceptional. There was someone in one of these boards who'd been undergoing treatment for cancer. That's pretty exceptional, the situation was beyond their control (both in terms of the cancer and the effects of chemo), and unlikely to impact their law school performance. That's a good GPA addendum.
That's just my opinion and I'm sure others will have thoughts on the topic. I do think you should aim to have good PS and DS stuff. If you're not a well practiced writer I'd begin recruiting people in your life to edit it for you.


makes sense, i dont think we thought about looking at it from that perspective. sounds like the ps and ds would encompass what i would try and cover on the addendum then. ah yesss the writing piece....thankfully the insane volume of work i had to write for my undergrads (seriously, when i first started dating my wife she thought i was working on my master! lol) aaaand the extremely meticulous and precise writing that goes into intel briefs/reports/smartbooks should all come in handy now!i will definitely enlist as many eyes as i can to make sure it captures what i intend though!

again, thank you for your thoughts on these matters!




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