1) What are my chances on being admitted to Notre Dame or a couple schools within the 17- 25 range?
2) As you see my GPA falls under the 25 percentile for most schools I want to get into, but my first few semesters of college I only passed a few classes. Subsequently I dropped out of college for four years and worked. Excelled in my position at work but due to the "market" eventually got laid off (subprime lender). Realized I wanted to go to law school and since my return to school my GPA has been 3.8 (3.93 for major). How much do adcomms take this into consideration and look the other way on my "true GPA"?
I know this thread is geared towards admitted students, but any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
1) I don't think you will have any trouble getting into at least a few of the 15 and below ranked schools, presuming you reach an LSAT at or above the 165ish range. URM goes a long way in the admissions process, and if you check out lawschoolnumbers.com, you'll see evidence of this in ND's admission figures for URM candidates. Depending on your URM, your chances could be from borderline to virtually outright guaranteed acceptance.
2) I had a lousy first semester that required an addendum attached to my application, but I knew that I couldn't expect my overall GPA to be overlooked, but rather simply hoped that my capabilities as a student wouldn't be underestimated. I think this is the approach you'll have to take. Don't expect it to change the way they look at your GPA, except to the degree that your GPA doesn't make you look like an idiot. In other words, your less than stellar GPA won't boost their numbers anymore by them knowing the circumstances in which it was achieved.
Best of luck.