GPA Addendum

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DesperatePreLaw
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:32 am

GPA Addendum

Postby DesperatePreLaw » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:56 am

I'm trying to figure out the best way to formulate my addendum about my gpa and academic problems. I'm the first to admit that laziness was one of the reasons that I feel the my gpa (2.7) is not indicative of my abilities. However for the last few years I have suffered from undiagnosed depression and anxiety. I feel a little embarrassed talking about this on such a public forum, but what better place to do so, right?... Since high school I have undergone bouts of depression, nothing like suicide or anything, but things like not wanting to get out of bed, couldn't bring myself to be happy, or have fun with my friends etc. I also suffered from a bit of anxiety. I went from a town of <2000 to a town of 250k for college, and crowds scared the heck out of me. I would even avoid certain areas of campus because of crowds. I have since then gotten over this, and the depression is for the most part gone. Since I graduated in December I have been at home exercising and eating better and my mood has improved tremendously. A lot of my depression came from being overweight and losing self confidence... Should I bring any of this up in an addendum, or will I just sound insane? Is depression taboo for personal statements? Will it look bad that I never sought medication? I know medical records in TX are sealed, but I never wanted to get on any of those meds, have you heard the side affects on those things lol? Any advice would be greatly appreciated

jaxgolfer
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:30 pm

Re: GPA Addendum

Postby jaxgolfer » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:57 am

I asked a similar question last year when going through applications, and I'll post the advice I was given.

Essentially, its better to just stick it out with the GPA you have and do well on the LSAT rather than try to excuse your poor grades. A law school could be hesitant to accept you with admitted depression, as the program is extremely stressful and potentially depression inducing itself, and you're more likely to succumb to a relapse.

So basically, using depression to explain a poor GPA could actually hurt you worse. Whether or not thats true, I don't know. I used the advice, avoided the issue of explaining my undergrad grades and just busted butt for the LSAT and it worked out pretty well for me.

Good luck man.

LoyalRebel
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby LoyalRebel » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:22 pm

If there's one thing I've learned since I've been in college, it's to only show your strong side. Weaknesses are best left unmentioned. Law schools are looking for strong people who can go out and be successful and make the school look good. I'm not saying that you aren't able to do this, but I don't think attaching that kind of addendum makes a good case for that.

Just focus on the LSAT.

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bp shinners
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby bp shinners » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:37 pm

LoyalRebel wrote:If there's one thing I've learned since I've been in college, it's to only show your strong side. Weaknesses are best left unmentioned.


I think this is true, to a point, but if you've got a legitimate weakness to discuss, and a way to prove that you've overcome it, you should get it in a statement that the law school will read.

Unfortunately in this case, it means that you'd have to have 'officially' dealt with the depression. Just exercising and eating better may help with the disease, but it's hard for a law school to buy it as an explanation for a low GPA without documentation. And, should they believe your story (which I'm not saying isn't true; just that they'll be skeptical), they'd be worried that without proper treatment you might relapse. Generally, a statement should mitigate a weakness by showing how you dealt with it and why it won't be an issue in law school. For something like depression, I think that anything short of medical treatment would lead to fears of recurrence.

So, in this case, I think that you should probably skip the essay.

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bport hopeful
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby bport hopeful » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:26 pm

For the most part, I agree with what people are saying, but one thing you will find out on TLS, is that being below a 3.0 is bad news. If I was you I would write an addendum and dress it up real nice to make it sound like a story of triumph and then only send it to some of the schools you apply to. That way, even if it turns out to be the case that it is looked down on, then you didn't send it everywhere. But if schools do like it, you're golden. I really only say this because you're below 3.0.

And I really shouldn't say this because I know someone will highlight it or some stupid shit, but its the truth. So here it goes.

I really don't know what I am talking about. This may not be the best route to take, but with such a porr GPA (no offense, mine sucks too), theres really not a lot to lose.

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Cavalier
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby Cavalier » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:29 pm

Don't write an addendum. Being seen as a 2.7 is better than being seen as a 2.7 with depression/anxiety/whatever. Depression and anxiety are simply not the same as cancer or a family death.

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alexonfyre
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Re: GPA Addendum

Postby alexonfyre » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:25 pm

Cavalier wrote:Don't write an addendum. Being seen as a 2.7 is better than being seen as a 2.7 with depression/anxiety/whatever. Depression and anxiety are simply not the same as cancer or a family death.


I agree, I had emotional problems in UG (complete breakdown and 0.0 GPA for a semester) but I pulled myself out of it and turned things around, which is why I am writing one. I still experience the symptoms, but they are not severe and I have trained myself not to let it effect my life or work performance. Part of the reason I have gotten a challenging job to do for a couple of years is to prove this point, along with an upwards grade trend. If it weren't for all of these factors I wouldn't consider writing an addendum.




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