GPA Addendum...8 years out of school, splitter

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placencia
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GPA Addendum...8 years out of school, splitter

Postby placencia » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:25 am

Okay, so I know the general stance on addenda is the unless you have a very specific reason, they can do more harm than good. If I had a poor GPA and I'm just out of school, then without a valid reason for poor performance, it's useless anyway. My UGPA was 2.76, but I graduated 8 years ago. My LSAT was a 174. The truth is, I had no excuses, I was just academically immature. All of the other aspects I have for submission are stellar. My LORs are excellent, resume and work experience (public school teacher and coach), multiple leadership positions in my extracurriculars, world experience, and I have had my PS reviewed by over a dozen people from various backgrounds, including several lawyers, who have all said it was extremely good.

But the GPA sticks out like a sore thumb. I also know that addenda should be very short in most cases, but in my case, I felt I needed to explain in a little more detail, because I don't have any hard facts to support why I did poorly. There is no excuse. According to the Ivey book, this is one of the few situations where a longer addendum is appropriate. I am trying to explain to the adcomms that I have matured. I know I have, but at the same time, I also know that everyone says that. It's the last piece of the application that I need to submit, if I choose to do so, and I would appreciate some feedback. This is also a first draft.

Thanks in advance.

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The purpose of this addendum is to address my undergraduate GPA. The first thing I should say is that there is no excuse for not performing up to my potential when I was in college. I do not have a justification for my poor performance; it was solely a result of my academic immaturity. If I were the man I was in college ten years ago, I would not be qualified to be a law student. But I am no longer that same man.

As a middle school teacher for the past 8 years, I have had a chance to shape and mold the lives of many young people, and in my first few years I learned from teaching what I should have learned as a student. I saw many bright students with amazing potential, but because they did not have the internal motivation, they never applied themselves and did not live up to that potential. Those were the hardest students to teach, because I could see what could become, if only they would realize the same thing. It was only in working with them and seeing how they developed over time that I realized I had been one of those students through much of my academic career. I finally internalized what all of my teachers had been trying to teach me years ago, and reflected on my own collegiate performance.

In college I felt that if I was learning and enjoying the class, then demonstrating that solely for others to give me a grade was not as important. It was about the quest for knowledge and growth, not an external reinforcement. What I came to realize was that was just an excuse to try to rationalize my lack of effort, a way of saying that I could have done something, if only I really wanted to. In fact, from teaching I saw that often times a hardworking student with lower cognitive ability will outperform the brilliant student who thinks they can coast through life with little to no effort. I was fortunate enough to be intellectually capable, and I had wasted that.

I knew that when I went back to school again, it would be different than before. I now have a second chance that most people only dream of, and knowing how valuable that is, I will not fail to live up to my potential. To that end, I excelled in all of my teacher certification classes, maintaining a 3.85 GPA. When I decided to return to law school, I began studying 6 months in advance for the LSAT, vowing that I would do everything in my power to achieve to the highest score I could, and I earned a 174. I am ready to return to school and demonstrate that I deserve to be there. I am ready to be the kind of student that I love to teach.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: GPA Addendum...8 years out of school, splitter

Postby Stringer Bell » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:10 am

This advice doesn't help, but I honestly don't think you're going to get a straight answer on here about an extremely long addendum unless someone opted for the same route and got into a reach school. Our circumstances are somewhat similar and I didn't submit a GPA addendum, although my ps did somewhat allude to gaining maturity after college.

To me, this addendum almost reads like it should be a draft of a ps. An addendum is typically short and sweet. Basically, you are saying that you were lazy, but due to what you have seen after college, you are now motivated. To me it just seems like you are using alot of words to convey that. I think your LSAT score alone speaks to your current motivation. I haven't read the Ivey book, but if it says a long addendum is good for this scenario and has that backed up by speaking with adcomms, then she is probably a better source than I am.
Last edited by Stringer Bell on Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: GPA Addendum...8 years out of school, splitter

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:13 am

Stringer Bell wrote:This advice doesn't help, but I honestly don't think you're going to get a straight answer on here about an extremely long addendum unless someone opted for the same route and got into a reach school. Our circumstances are somewhat similar and I didn't submit a GPA addendum, although my ps did somewhat allude to gaining maturity after college.

To me, this addendum almost reads like it should be a draft of a ps. An addendum is typically short and sweet. Basically, you are saying that you were lazy, but you due to your what you have seen after college, you are now motivated. To me it just seems like you are using alot of words to convey that. I think your LSAT score alone speaks to your current motivation. I haven't read the Ivey book, but if it says a long addendum is good for this scenario and has that backed up by speaking with adcomms, then she is probably a better source than I am.

I agree with this. I'm a splitter with 6 years WE and I did my PS about the personal journey I was on and how far I've come since graduating college. Addendums are usually short, and this sounds like something that could be made into a good PS, but is too long to be an addendum.

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bees
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Re: GPA Addendum...8 years out of school, splitter

Postby bees » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:25 am

I agree this reads like a PS and a well written one at that.

The more time I spend on LSN, the more I convince myself that addendums do almost nothing. I spent a few minutes browsing the graphs for top schools and I cannot find anyone who was let in with your stats.

You have a great story and seem like an ideal candidate for law school - but there must be others like you out there who have applied with a stellar LSAT and a weak GPA and gotten rejected every year just because numbers really are that important.

Now it could be true that T10 schools are letting in applicants with sub 3.0 GPAs and amazing LSAT scores but I just don't see it happening (maybe they aren't on LSN).

I think you should include this addendum because although it is long it will assure schools that would let in someone with your stats that they are not making a mistake, but I don't see it making a school view your GPA as anything but a 2.76.

Go to Northwestern?

BenJ
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Re: GPA Addendum...8 years out of school, splitter

Postby BenJ » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:29 am

bees wrote:I agree this reads like a PS and a well written one at that.

The more time I spend on LSN, the more I convince myself that addendums do almost nothing. I spent a few minutes browsing the graphs for top schools and I cannot find anyone who was let in with your stats.

You have a great story and seem like an ideal candidate for law school - but there must be others like you out there who have applied with a stellar LSAT and a weak GPA and gotten rejected every year just because numbers really are that important.

Now it could be true that T10 schools are letting in applicants with sub 3.0 GPAs and amazing LSAT scores but I just don't see it happening (maybe they aren't on LSN).

I think you should include this addendum because although it is long it will assure schools that would let in someone with your stats that they are not making a mistake, but I don't see it making a school view your GPA as anything but a 2.76.

Go to Northwestern?


Northwestern would definitely admit him ED next year. UVA might, too, if the application were in right in September.




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