GPA Addendum concerns

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Rednala
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GPA Addendum concerns

Postby Rednala » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:32 pm

Hey folks,

First time poster here. I started working on my application material and am wondering about my GPA addendum. I graduated with a 2.9X GPA but transferred from a state school with a 3.8X after my sophomore year to a private university. My LSDAS GPA is 3.4X. There are several reasons for this, but instead of talking about all of them, I'm trying to focus on one issue.

My current GPA addendum starts with my time at my first school, where I worked 2 part-time jobs, several political campaigns, and had a leadership role in an organization while maintaining a 3.8+ GPA. The purpose of this intro is to signal that I started strong and am capable of a heavy workload.

The second portion talks about my last two years in a private college as a student of color coming from low-middle class household. Aside from not feeling confortable on campus, I was also working around 30 hours in one job and around 10 in another a week.

I'm currently a Peace Corps Volunteer, and I'm ending it on that. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I have had several successful projects, and I have two leadership positions, one of which I act as a volunteer advisor to the Country Director. Again signaling that I'm capable of succeeding in a professional setting.

Something I'm leaving out is that during my last two years in the private school, I was in a relationship with an abusive partner who was very controlling. This didn't allow me to fully integrate into the new school and thus my GPA suffered.

So my questions are:

Do I stick to the whole transferring/not feeling confortable theme or do I mention my abusive relationship and how that affected my GPA?
If so, do I keep the same structure or change that?
Or do I just forget about the GPA addendum is hope that my 3.4X and downward trend doesn't hurt too much?

Taking any and all advice!
Last edited by Rednala on Mon May 22, 2017 12:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MadamSecretary
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby MadamSecretary » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:46 pm

It's all dependent on your LSAT

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Rednala
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby Rednala » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:52 pm

MadamSecretary wrote:It's all dependent on your LSAT


I haven't taken it yet because my country of service only offer it in December. Unfortunately I will be late this coming cycle, but that's out of my control. Since I have so much time to study, I'm hoping to hit 175+, but I'm also not banking on it.

cavalier1138
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:52 pm

The fact that you've divided it into three sections already seems too long for a GPA addendum. If you're not comfortable addressing the real reasons for the difference in performance, just briefly address the discomfort-in-a-new-setting angle.

But yeah, just crush the LSAT and don't overthink the addendum. The addendum will have little to no impact on your application.

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Rednala
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby Rednala » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:16 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:The fact that you've divided it into three sections already seems too long for a GPA addendum. If you're not comfortable addressing the real reasons for the difference in performance, just briefly address the discomfort-in-a-new-setting angle.

But yeah, just crush the LSAT and don't overthink the addendum. The addendum will have little to no impact on your application.


Yeah, that makes sense. It is a bit too much information. Talking about it may be a little uncomfortable, but I wouldn't describe it in much detail. I think it would more so be stated in a couple sentences to set up the discussion about my how my performance during those two years are not indicative of how I will perform in LS.

I just feel that currently my new-setting addendum is not as genuine as perhaps talking about the abuse.

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lawlzzz
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby lawlzzz » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:37 pm

If an adcomm has to choose between you and someone else with similar or the same gpa/lsat, the significant downward trend will hurt your chances without an explanation. So definitely include an addendum. Never let adcomms make any negative assumptions about you.

Personally, I don't think the "I didn't feel comfortable in a private college because I was a student of color from a low-middle class background" angle is a good idea. It may raise concerns about whether you will feel comfortable in a law school environment, which arguably may have more reasons to cause "discomfort" than a private college environment.

Your issues dealing with an abusive relationship are, to me, a more justifiable reason for your downward trend than the "discomfort" angle, especially because it's an issue that you can assure them is in the past and not an issue anymore, nor will it be in the future. You can't really provide evidence to assure them of that with the "discomfort in a private school environment" issue. If you're comfortable talking about it, I think mentioning the abusive relationship and how it affected your gpa is a better idea.

B90
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby B90 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:21 am

cavalier1138 wrote:The fact that you've divided it into three sections already seems too long for a GPA addendum. If you're not comfortable addressing the real reasons for the difference in performance, just briefly address the discomfort-in-a-new-setting angle.

But yeah, just crush the LSAT and don't overthink the addendum. The addendum will have little to no impact on your application.


This. You lost me at " the second part of my addendum..."

If you want advice on your addendum, I suggest posting it in the PS help thread.
I am happy to critique it if you want to pm me.

Hint: The general rule is, if it's more than a paragraph, it's too long.

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lawlzzz
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby lawlzzz » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:58 pm

B90 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:The fact that you've divided it into three sections already seems too long for a GPA addendum. If you're not comfortable addressing the real reasons for the difference in performance, just briefly address the discomfort-in-a-new-setting angle.

But yeah, just crush the LSAT and don't overthink the addendum. The addendum will have little to no impact on your application.


This. You lost me at " the second part of my addendum..."

If you want advice on your addendum, I suggest posting it in the PS help thread.
I am happy to critique it if you want to pm me.

Hint: The general rule is, if it's more than a paragraph, it's too long.


Mine was a page and that seemed to be fine. Then again, I don't know what went on in the adcomm's heads when they were reading my app. It didn't seem to hurt me at least. I just felt a paragraph wasn't adequate enough for me to explain my situation.

cavalier1138
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:03 pm

lawlzzz wrote:Mine was a page and that seemed to be fine. Then again, I don't know what went on in the adcomm's heads when they were reading my app. It didn't seem to hurt me at least. I just felt a paragraph wasn't adequate enough for me to explain my situation.


And presumably after taking Legal Writing, you now know better. No one's reason for having a low GPA for a few semesters in college is actually that complicated. And since the OP's LSAC-calculated GPA isn't destroy-your-chances terrible, I doubt the addendum will have much impact.

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lawlzzz
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby lawlzzz » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:12 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
lawlzzz wrote:Mine was a page and that seemed to be fine. Then again, I don't know what went on in the adcomm's heads when they were reading my app. It didn't seem to hurt me at least. I just felt a paragraph wasn't adequate enough for me to explain my situation.


And presumably after taking Legal Writing, you now know better. No one's reason for having a low GPA for a few semesters in college is actually that complicated. And since the OP's LSAC-calculated GPA isn't destroy-your-chances terrible, I doubt the addendum will have much impact.


No, after getting an A in legal writing, I don't regret sending in that page-long addendum. :mrgreen: Though, you're right. I forgot OP actually has a good gpa.

B90
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby B90 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:18 pm

lawlzzz wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
lawlzzz wrote:Mine was a page and that seemed to be fine. Then again, I don't know what went on in the adcomm's heads when they were reading my app. It didn't seem to hurt me at least. I just felt a paragraph wasn't adequate enough for me to explain my situation.


And presumably after taking Legal Writing, you now know better. No one's reason for having a low GPA for a few semesters in college is actually that complicated. And since the OP's LSAC-calculated GPA isn't destroy-your-chances terrible, I doubt the addendum will have much impact.


No, after getting an A in legal writing, I don't regret sending in that page-long addendum. :mrgreen: Though, you're right. I forgot OP actually has a good gpa.


Yes, but can you read? I said "general rule" If you think general rule = absolute requirement, may God have mercy on your soul when you try to navigate "may" v. "shall"
And may God have mercy on my soul if you are ever my opposing counsel arguing "should" v. "must"

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lawlzzz
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby lawlzzz » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:37 pm

B90 wrote:
lawlzzz wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
lawlzzz wrote:Mine was a page and that seemed to be fine. Then again, I don't know what went on in the adcomm's heads when they were reading my app. It didn't seem to hurt me at least. I just felt a paragraph wasn't adequate enough for me to explain my situation.


And presumably after taking Legal Writing, you now know better. No one's reason for having a low GPA for a few semesters in college is actually that complicated. And since the OP's LSAC-calculated GPA isn't destroy-your-chances terrible, I doubt the addendum will have much impact.


No, after getting an A in legal writing, I don't regret sending in that page-long addendum. :mrgreen: Though, you're right. I forgot OP actually has a good gpa.


Yes, but can you read? I said "general rule" If you think general rule = absolute requirement, may God have mercy on your soul when you try to navigate "may" v. "shall"
And may God have mercy on my soul if you are ever my opposing counsel arguing "should" v. "must"


Yes, I can read. (Damn, what's with all the snarkiness. Lol.) I saw that you said that. Can YOU read? My post was clearly about MY situation. I just wanted to expand on your comment by giving my situation as an example of how it is indeed a general rule. Now, y'all need to chill. Haha! But go ahead and keep trying to snark at me if it makes you feel superior and better about yourselves.

B90
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby B90 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:04 pm

Welcome to tls. We will give you advice, but it will be laced with sarcasm.
If you prefer your advice sarcasm-free, kindly state your request before ordering.

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lawlzzz
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby lawlzzz » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:45 pm

B90 wrote:Welcome to tls. We will give you advice, but it will be laced with sarcasm.
If you prefer your advice sarcasm-free, kindly state your request before ordering.


I guess I missed the fine print before ordering. Should've known better. :mrgreen:

B90
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby B90 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:55 pm

lawlzzz wrote:
B90 wrote:Welcome to tls. We will give you advice, but it will be laced with sarcasm.
If you prefer your advice sarcasm-free, kindly state your request before ordering.


I guess I missed the fine print before ordering. Should've known better. :mrgreen:


Easy there, let's not be hasty. If everyone starts reading fine print, my career is over...

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bitter_melon
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby bitter_melon » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:56 pm

Rednala wrote:The second portion talks about my last two years in a private college as a student of color coming from low-middle class household. Aside from not feeling confortable on campus, I was also working around 30 hours in one job and around 10 in another a week.



"By my own admission, I was unable to function in an academic environment due to aspects of myself that can not change. Please give me entry into your academic environment..."

mcmand
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby mcmand » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:29 pm

I second everyone who suggested keeping it short, and I also second everyone who said that you should consider sharing the real reason/cause for your grades dropping. The way you describe it, it seems like the sole factor was the abuse you suffered. You otherwise show yourself to be very capable in a variety of environments and juggling multiple responsibilities.

I can understand being uncomfortable about sharing that part of your story, but seriously consider it. It will make more sense and make a more convincing case for admission.

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Rednala
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby Rednala » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:07 pm

Sorry for taking so long to come back here, I have limited wifi. This was extremely helpful so thank you all for contributing. And the snarkiness was, well, amusing at the very least.

For some reason, i was under the impression that the addendum was typically the same length as the PS or DS. In light of this new info, I'll be starting over. Also, I agree that I need to go with the real reason why my grades suffered.

B90
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Re: GPA Addendum concerns

Postby B90 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:12 pm

Rednala wrote:Sorry for taking so long to come back here, I have limited wifi. This was extremely helpful so thank you all for contributing. And the snarkiness was, well, amusing at the very least.

For some reason, i was under the impression that the addendum was typically the same length as the PS or DS. In light of this new info, I'll be starting over. Also, I agree that I need to go with the real reason why my grades suffered.


Understandable but incorrect. Adcoms expect addenda to be a paragraph. The length of that paragraph will vary depending on the circumstances.
Think about this way, adcoms do not bill by the hour. Given that, do you think an adcom would rather spend 60 seconds or ten minutes reading your submission?




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