"working" diversity statement to explain a low GPA?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
OmbreGracieuse
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:39 pm

"working" diversity statement to explain a low GPA?

Postby OmbreGracieuse » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:16 pm

I was reading on the Boalt website, and they had suggested if a student had any reason to HAVE to work during law school that would account for a lower than sublime GPA, then to write a DS for it.

I 22 (which is average I guess) and will be 23 for the app process. I am married, my husband was laid off of work about a year ago (we live a few miles from Elkhart-- the RV industry has impacted everyone here), and my daughter is just getting ready to turn one. I have HAD to work even before that because when I was 18 my parents pretty much said "yep-- get a job." I mean, that is a little dramatic, but I have had a job all 4 years of my UG. I always thought this was normal for someone in my shoes. I've been at a Center for the Homeless for almost 2 years now (it'll be almost 3 when I apply).

Do schools actually let you write a DS for a low gpa due to having to work? I will have a 3.5 when I apply (I don't consider that low, just lower than I would like) and I admit working has made a difference; I am a full time traditional student and work between 24-30 hours a week (it averaged out that way last year).

Can you actually write a DS for that?! Do schools actually accept that as a valid reason for a low GPA??

User avatar
D. H2Oman
Posts: 7469
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:47 am

Re: "working" diversity statement to explain a low GPA?

Postby D. H2Oman » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:18 pm

You can write about it all you want, but the difference it makes will be negligible.

User avatar
KibblesAndVick
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:29 am

Re: "working" diversity statement to explain a low GPA?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:33 pm

The only thing Berkley loves more than a good story is a high GPA, so I don't know what they will make of you. I think, like most things law school admissions related, it will come down to your LSAT. If you rock the LSAT then they can afford to hide your sub-median GPA in exchange for your above median LSAT. If you write a really nice personal statement and/or diversity statement about your experiences you might be one of the people they choose to do this with. However, because of the value they place on GPAs it would still be a long shot. Most law schools, and Berkley is a notable example, claim to be holistic. This is largely a pile of crap they shamelessly put forth. Nonetheless, writing the diversity statement certainty won't hurt your chances, even if it doesn't help them.

Here's hoping that law schools look favorably on people who worked a good deal of hours during undergrad.... even though I know they don't give a shit...

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: "working" diversity statement to explain a low GPA?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:36 pm

People often write a separate explanation for a low GPA due to working or other circumstances, but it's typically referred to as an addendum, not a DS. Either way, you can certainly write a separate statement about it and submit it. It might make a difference, but only if the rest of your application is outstanding (including, and probably especially, your LSAT score).

OmbreGracieuse
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: "working" diversity statement to explain a low GPA?

Postby OmbreGracieuse » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:50 pm

vanwinkle wrote:People often write a separate explanation for a low GPA due to working or other circumstances, but it's typically referred to as an addendum, not a DS. Either way, you can certainly write a separate statement about it and submit it. It might make a difference, but only if the rest of your application is outstanding (including, and probably especially, your LSAT score).


What is the difference then, between a DS and an addendum?

Do you think they would actually care that I am a working mom (she is why I work), or does it not matter because my GPA is low? How many other people out there are parents applying for law school? Are we a majority or minority? Think it makes a difference?

legalized
Posts: 317
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:45 am

Re: "working" diversity statement to explain a low GPA?

Postby legalized » Sat May 01, 2010 2:32 am

OmbreGracieuse wrote:I was reading on the Boalt website, and they had suggested if a student had any reason to HAVE to work during law school that would account for a lower than sublime GPA, then to write a DS for it.

I 22 (which is average I guess) and will be 23 for the app process. I am married, my husband was laid off of work about a year ago (we live a few miles from Elkhart-- the RV industry has impacted everyone here), and my daughter is just getting ready to turn one. I have HAD to work even before that because when I was 18 my parents pretty much said "yep-- get a job." I mean, that is a little dramatic, but I have had a job all 4 years of my UG. I always thought this was normal for someone in my shoes. I've been at a Center for the Homeless for almost 2 years now (it'll be almost 3 when I apply).

Do schools actually let you write a DS for a low gpa due to having to work? I will have a 3.5 when I apply (I don't consider that low, just lower than I would like) and I admit working has made a difference; I am a full time traditional student and work between 24-30 hours a week (it averaged out that way last year).

Can you actually write a DS for that?! Do schools actually accept that as a valid reason for a low GPA??


sounds like accepting it in a DS is specific to Boalt cause they said so.

Sounds like an addendum bullet item for most schools, from what I have read.

Your husband was laid off a year ago. If your GPA was not where it should have been in all the semesters before the one in which he was laid off, I would say don't bother using that as part of your reasoning, cause that means you working during his lay-off is not the reason your grades are less than...and they might be checking the timelines against the chronology of your transcript. If you get what I am saying.

legalized
Posts: 317
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:45 am

Re: "working" diversity statement to explain a low GPA?

Postby legalized » Sat May 01, 2010 2:36 am

OmbreGracieuse wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:People often write a separate explanation for a low GPA due to working or other circumstances, but it's typically referred to as an addendum, not a DS. Either way, you can certainly write a separate statement about it and submit it. It might make a difference, but only if the rest of your application is outstanding (including, and probably especially, your LSAT score).


What is the difference then, between a DS and an addendum?

Do you think they would actually care that I am a working mom (she is why I work), or does it not matter because my GPA is low? How many other people out there are parents applying for law school? Are we a majority or minority? Think it makes a difference?


DS is an essay and you are in trouble if it's not.

Addendum should never be long enough to be an essay, and you are in trouble if it is.

:lol:

Working mother while in school WITHOUT the excuse of it being why grades are low is a good subject for a diversity statement, except the DS is to be about what obstacles you have overcome and the successes you DO have in your life despite the challenge of being that. If your GPA is low they will see that on the transcript, if you had more going on in your life than the average 20-something year old they can see that in the DS when you discuss it IN A POSITIVE LIGHT...that's the key. You don't need to tell them it affected your GPA, they will see that for themselves by inference since you have the same 24 hours in a day as the childless, single student. Tell them something they don't know.

Also you called yourself a traditional student. If you are married and/or have children, you are a nontraditional student.

Of course parents are the minority in law school...come on.

And there are parents applying, but I know for a fact from talking to at least one(who got into UVa as a single parent) not all talk about it anywhere in their application. But for sure they are not the majority cause that type of thing is tracked elsewhere such as when it's time for financial aid awards and determination of independent student status.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.