Need personal application advice

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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karlieann
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Need personal application advice

Postby karlieann » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:11 pm

I need some serious, honest advice regarding my applications and specifically on whether or not it would help or hurt me at this point to write an LSAT addendum.

I grew up in the Midwest and graduated in 2008 with my BA in Mass Communication from a private liberal arts college in Iowa. My undergraduate record is not impressive with a cumulative GPA of 2.1 I walked for graduation in 2007 but completed my last 6 credits required for graduation from Los Angeles, California, where I have lived since college. I took a semester long Spanish course in 4 weeks and earned a 3.0 average while working 50 hours a week--I am hoping this helps to at least show an upward academic trend. I have written an addendum to explain my poor undergraduate performance, which is majorly attributed to the fact that I have a debilitating muscle disorder that had serious implications on both my personal and academic life. I was also hospitalized during college twice, for significant periods of time, for reasons unrelated to my disease.

I took the LSAT in September 2009 and scored a 153 but had been PTing at 156. I studied hard and retook the LSAT in December. I had been practicing at a range of 160-162 but had a horrible test day and took home a 147. I have never, ever scored this low on a practice test (I've taken more than 30) and should have canceled my score that day at the test center.

At this point, with my poor GPA and decline in LSAT score, I'm really struggling with whether I need to write an LSAT addendum. I don't want it to seem as though I am making excuses but a 147 is really NOT representative of what I believe to be my true LSAT score.

The rest of my application is quite strong. I have two years of pretty solid work experience in downtown Los Angeles as an editor and writer for a publication on land use and eminent domain and I intend to focus my law school career on issues unique to urban planning and sustainable development. I have three very solid letters of recommendation--two from prominent LA business leaders associated with architecture and urban planning, and who are members of USC's Bedrosian Center board of advisers. My third LOR is from my academic adviser during undergrad. At the risk of sounding like a total jackass, I am a very good writer and my personal statement is both flawless and a great piece of writing.

I really could use some honest opinions and advice as to my LSAT situation. With that said--1) Retaking a 3rd time is not an option. 2) I will not postpone law school and 3) Yes, I realize I am an underdog whose chances of admittance are seriously lacking. I also know that I work harder and fight longer than the vast majority of my peers. I realize truly "great" schools are out of my reach. All that I need is for is a decent school to give me a shot to be at the top of my class-a task I know I am capable of.

lawoftheland
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby lawoftheland » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:22 pm

You could possibly isolate the courses in your major to (hopefully) show a higher gpa sample based on those....

Also, what are your expectations with regards to law schools.... there might be a few TTTT that you can get into and then possibly transfer, but are you willing to move to a place like Lansing, MI?

With that said, why is taking it a third time not an option? It might have to be.... be prepared for that.

Hang in there though.... you seem driven enough, which goes a long way. But, you have to convince (and back it up) to adcoms that you're not just selling them excuses. Prove it... I'd say take the LSAT a third time. Do better.

reese23
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby reese23 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:25 pm

honestly, you're looking at most likely cooley or oklahoma city law school with those numbers and maybe not even that.

do you have to be a lawyer? it might not make sense. you'll come out with debt and very poor job prospects from those bottom tier schools. good luck to you.

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karlieann
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby karlieann » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:27 pm

lawoftheland wrote:You could possibly isolate the courses in your major to (hopefully) show a higher gpa sample based on those....

Also, what are your expectations with regards to law schools.... there might be a few TTTT that you can get into and then possibly transfer, but are you willing to move to a place like Lansing, MI?

With that said, why is taking it a third time not an option? It might have to be.... be prepared for that.

Hang in there though.... you seem driven enough, which goes a long way. But, you have to convince (and back it up) to adcoms that you're not just selling them excuses. Prove it... I'd say take the LSAT a third time. Do better.


Thanks for your input. My GPA within my major is a 3.0--not outstanding, but certainly not a 2.1 I am absolutely willing to move anywhere and go anywhere that gives me a chance--Lansing included. I realize I don't have the stats to be picky. As far as retaking the LSAT, I should have been more clear: I want to attend school next fall. If I get in no where, I could certainly try again the following year and hopefully score much higher.

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karlieann
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby karlieann » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:29 pm

reese23 wrote:honestly, you're looking at most likely cooley or oklahoma city law school with those numbers and maybe not even that.

do you have to be a lawyer? it might not make sense. you'll come out with debt and very poor job prospects from those bottom tier schools. good luck to you.


I've never been a person who doesn't do something because the outlook is grim. Had I lived my life like that up until this point, I wouldn't have accomplished everything I've done during two short years post college. I'm used to having to work harder to prove myself--it doesn't phase me.

reese23
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby reese23 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:31 pm

if you really really want to go to law school, why not go back to school for 2 years and get another Bachelors and then also study during this time to rock the lsat. get a second bachelors w/ a 4.0 gpa and study your tail off for a year for the lsat and get a 165 at least.

you can always apply, dont rush it.

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Unitas
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby Unitas » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:32 pm

reese23 wrote:if you really really want to go to law school, why not go back to school for 2 years and get another Bachelors and then also study during this time to rock the lsat. get a second bachelors w/ a 4.0 gpa and study your tail off for a year for the lsat and get a 165 at least.

you can always apply, dont rush it.


Uh... WTF? Only your GPA from first bachelors will matter, no coursework after your first bachelors gets reported....

You need to retake the LSAT simple as that. Otherwise you are going to end up at one of the last 5 law schools or so. If you are lucky.

Some schools will accept Feb LSAT. So go knock that out of the ball park and you can get a lot better choices.
Last edited by Unitas on Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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karlieann
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby karlieann » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:33 pm

reese23 wrote:if you really really want to go to law school, why not go back to school for 2 years and get another Bachelors and then also study during this time to rock the lsat. get a second bachelors w/ a 4.0 gpa and study your tail off for a year for the lsat and get a 165 at least.

you can always apply, dont rush it.


True. And that's certainly an option. However, the question was whether or not I should include an LSAT addendum. My initial reaction is no, but I thought I'd ask the experts of TLS. :lol:

reese23
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby reese23 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:37 pm

i dont think that matters. even if you got another 153, i dont think you'd be looking at any schools other than cooley, ok city, etc.

and what the previous poster said is bs. you can submit anything u want w/ ur app. send in a second bachelors w/ a killer 3.8 plus gpa over 2 years coursework at a major university and an amazing letter explaining how serious u have become w/ ur studies as evident w/ ur knew awesome gpa.

then rock the lsat and get at least a 160 or above. then ur looking at a top-100 school. second bachelors with a 3.8 plus gpa and a 160 lsat.

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Unitas
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby Unitas » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:39 pm

reese23 wrote:i dont think that matters. even if you got another 153, i dont think you'd be looking at any schools other than cooley, ok city, etc.

and what the previous poster said is bs. you can submit anything u want w/ ur app. send in a second bachelors w/ a killer 3.8 plus gpa over 2 years coursework at a major university and an amazing letter explaining how serious u have become w/ ur studies as evident w/ ur knew awesome gpa.

then rock the lsat and get at least a 160 or above. then ur looking at a top-100 school. second bachelors with a 3.8 plus gpa and a 160 lsat.


This is not true, and really bad advice...

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karlieann
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby karlieann » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:40 pm

reese23 wrote:i dont think that matters. even if you got another 153, i dont think you'd be looking at any schools other than cooley, ok city, etc.

and what the previous poster said is bs. you can submit anything u want w/ ur app. send in a second bachelors w/ a killer 3.8 plus gpa over 2 years coursework at a major university and an amazing letter explaining how serious u have become w/ ur studies as evident w/ ur knew awesome gpa.

then rock the lsat and get at least a 160 or above. then ur looking at a top-100 school. second bachelors with a 3.8 plus gpa and a 160 lsat.


Right--I know any and all school info can be, and is, reported. Thanks a lot for the pointers.

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karlieann
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby karlieann » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:42 pm

Kakarot wrote:
reese23 wrote:i dont think that matters. even if you got another 153, i dont think you'd be looking at any schools other than cooley, ok city, etc.

and what the previous poster said is bs. you can submit anything u want w/ ur app. send in a second bachelors w/ a killer 3.8 plus gpa over 2 years coursework at a major university and an amazing letter explaining how serious u have become w/ ur studies as evident w/ ur knew awesome gpa.

then rock the lsat and get at least a 160 or above. then ur looking at a top-100 school. second bachelors with a 3.8 plus gpa and a 160 lsat.


This is not true, and really bad advice...


I have considered the Feb test. I guess it just makes me nervous that it's so late in the application cycle.

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Unitas
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby Unitas » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:44 pm

karlieann wrote:
reese23 wrote:i dont think that matters. even if you got another 153, i dont think you'd be looking at any schools other than cooley, ok city, etc.

and what the previous poster said is bs. you can submit anything u want w/ ur app. send in a second bachelors w/ a killer 3.8 plus gpa over 2 years coursework at a major university and an amazing letter explaining how serious u have become w/ ur studies as evident w/ ur knew awesome gpa.

then rock the lsat and get at least a 160 or above. then ur looking at a top-100 school. second bachelors with a 3.8 plus gpa and a 160 lsat.


Right--I know any and all school info can be, and is, reported. Thanks a lot for the pointers.


Ok, by reported I meant reported to US news and the ABA and it is NOT reported. I didn't mean you can't submit it.

You have almost no chance right now except at the bottom five or so schools. Take in Feb and get 165+ and you have a shot at getting into a lot of T3 schools and high T4.

lawoftheland
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby lawoftheland » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:48 pm

karlieann wrote:
reese23 wrote:if you really really want to go to law school, why not go back to school for 2 years and get another Bachelors and then also study during this time to rock the lsat. get a second bachelors w/ a 4.0 gpa and study your tail off for a year for the lsat and get a 165 at least.

you can always apply, dont rush it.


True. And that's certainly an option. However, the question was whether or not I should include an LSAT addendum. My initial reaction is no, but I thought I'd ask the experts of TLS. :lol:



I'd incorporate your LSAT and GPA explanation into your PS.... there's no sense in hiding it. (or waiting to address in an addendum) Adcoms like people that take responsibility for their previous performance and then show (through example) why you think you'd excel in law school. Be transparent... explain the circumstances (medical, etc) and then transition into compelling highlights of your relevant work experience and how it applies to the study of law.

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kalvano
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby kalvano » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:51 pm

With an LSAT like that, it wouldn't matter if you have cured cancer, you would still have trouble finding a school.

You say a 3rd LSAT is not an option and you won't delay law school, but yet you also seem pretty intelligent.

Make the intelligent choice and realize that by continuing forward with the stats you currently have, you would do yourself more harm than good by going to law school. Retake the test, even if it means postponing a year, and get into the 160's.

With the schools that would accept you, even graduating #1 in your class wouldn't help you out much.

ashleigh
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby ashleigh » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:52 pm

Kakarot wrote:
reese23 wrote:i dont think that matters. even if you got another 153, i dont think you'd be looking at any schools other than cooley, ok city, etc.

and what the previous poster said is bs. you can submit anything u want w/ ur app. send in a second bachelors w/ a killer 3.8 plus gpa over 2 years coursework at a major university and an amazing letter explaining how serious u have become w/ ur studies as evident w/ ur knew awesome gpa.

then rock the lsat and get at least a 160 or above. then ur looking at a top-100 school. second bachelors with a 3.8 plus gpa and a 160 lsat.


This is not true, and really bad advice...


seriously. from LSAC:

"After you register for the Credential Assembly Service (LSDAS), you must have a separate transcript sent to LSAC directly from each undergraduate and graduate institution you attended in the US, its territories, or Canada."

just bc you may not WANT to submit a certain transcript to LSAC doesn't mean you can just pretend it doesn't exist.

but anyway, regarding the OP's question about the LSAT addendum - I wouldn't write one unless there's a legit excuse for the score(s).

are you also planning on writing an addendum for the GPA as well? I'm of the opinion that too many addenda isn't going to look good - it'll look like you're just throwing excuses at the adcomms.

all in all though, I agree with kalvano ^^^

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karlieann
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby karlieann » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:54 pm

lawoftheland wrote:
karlieann wrote:
reese23 wrote:if you really really want to go to law school, why not go back to school for 2 years and get another Bachelors and then also study during this time to rock the lsat. get a second bachelors w/ a 4.0 gpa and study your tail off for a year for the lsat and get a 165 at least.

you can always apply, dont rush it.


True. And that's certainly an option. However, the question was whether or not I should include an LSAT addendum. My initial reaction is no, but I thought I'd ask the experts of TLS. :lol:



I'd incorporate your LSAT and GPA explanation into your PS.... there's no sense in hiding it. (or waiting to address in an addendum) Adcoms like people that take responsibility for their previous performance and then show (through example) why you think you'd excel in law school. Be transparent... explain the circumstances (medical, etc) and then transition into compelling highlights of your relevant work experience and how it applies to the study of law.


I don't want to incorporate it into my PS because my understanding of the PS is that it should only highlight achievements and give an overall positive impression. I would, however, incorporate this into my academic addendum. I don't see that as hiding it, and I certainly am taking full responsibility. Do you think that makes sense?

reese23
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby reese23 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:55 pm

dont listen to kak. he is a douche. no clue what he is rambling about.

get a 2nd bachelors with a 3.8 plus, rock a 160 lsat and apply to top-100 schools like gonzaga, loyola in la, seattle u, tulane, pepp, etc.

you can do it. bottom line is this - alot of people start law school in their 30's. you have ur whole life to practice. dont go to a crappy law school. it is a waste of time and money.

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Unitas
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby Unitas » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:59 pm

reese23 wrote:dont listen to kak. he is a douche. no clue what he is rambling about.

get a 2nd bachelors with a 3.8 plus, rock a 160 lsat and apply to top-100 schools like gonzaga, loyola in la, seattle u, tulane, pepp, etc.

you can do it. bottom line is this - alot of people start law school in their 30's. you have ur whole life to practice. dont go to a crappy law school. it is a waste of time and money.




WTF... The only GPA that matters is your LSDAS cumulative GPA, which includes all coursework prior to your first Bachelors degree. This is the number reported to both the bar and thus USNews. She can take all her original classes over now with a 4.0 and it won't change that lsdas GPA. How hard is that to understand?

Yes you have to turn in all transcripts and an upward grade trend after the fact may look ok, but it is irrelevant to most schools. A 2.1 GPA after your first degree will always stay a 2.1 GPA for reporting. Which will turn off most, if not all, T1 and T2 schools. However you can redo the LSAT like I and other posters have said to try and bring yourself way above T3 and T4's LSAT median so you can be a traditional splitter.

Redoing coursework or getting another bachelors is the stupidest thing you could do....

Edit: I quoted wrong...
Last edited by Unitas on Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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karlieann
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby karlieann » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:03 pm

Kakarot wrote:
Redoing coursework or getting another bachelors is the stupidest thing you could do....


Honestly, I don't have the time or money to go back to undergrad. I think retaking the LSAT a third time would be a much more responsible alternative. But third try? Oy...

ashleigh
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby ashleigh » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:06 pm

Kakarot wrote:
ashleigh wrote:
Kakarot wrote:
reese23 wrote:i dont think that matters. even if you got another 153, i dont think you'd be looking at any schools other than cooley, ok city, etc.

and what the previous poster said is bs. you can submit anything u want w/ ur app. send in a second bachelors w/ a killer 3.8 plus gpa over 2 years coursework at a major university and an amazing letter explaining how serious u have become w/ ur studies as evident w/ ur knew awesome gpa.

then rock the lsat and get at least a 160 or above. then ur looking at a top-100 school. second bachelors with a 3.8 plus gpa and a 160 lsat.


This is not true, and really bad advice...


seriously. from LSAC:

"After you register for the Credential Assembly Service (LSDAS), you must have a separate transcript sent to LSAC directly from each undergraduate and graduate institution you attended in the US, its territories, or Canada."

just bc you may not WANT to submit a certain transcript to LSAC doesn't mean you can just pretend it doesn't exist.

but anyway, regarding the OP's question about the LSAT addendum - I wouldn't write one unless there's a legit excuse for the score(s).

are you also planning on writing an addendum for the GPA as well? I'm of the opinion that too many addenda isn't going to look good - it'll look like you're just throwing excuses at the adcomms.

all in all though, I agree with kalvano ^^^



WTF... The only GPA that matters is your LSDAS cumulative GPA, which includes all coursework prior to your first Bachelors degree. This is the number reported to both the bar and thus USNews. She can take all her original classes over now with a 4.0 and it won't change that lsdas GPA. How hard is that to understand?

Yes you have to turn in all transcripts and an upward grade trend after the fact may look ok, but it is irrelevant to most schools. A 2.1 GPA after your first degree will always stay a 2.1 GPA for reporting. Which will turn off most, if not all, T1 and T2 schools. However you can redo the LSAT like I and other posters have said to try and bring yourself way above T3 and T4's LSAT median so you can be a traditional splitter.

Redoing coursework or getting another bachelors is the stupidest thing you could do....


uhh, hope you're not yelling at me. I was agreeing with you & kalvano.

OP, I know taking it a 3rd time is probably not something you're looking forward to, but you have so much to gain and not much to lose.

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Unitas
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby Unitas » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:10 pm

--LinkRemoved--
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/law ... e-gpa.html
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=82571

Certain grades will not be included in your GPA such as:


Withdrawal, Withdrawal Pass
Incomplete
Remedial Indicated Courses
Grades awarded after the first undergraduate degree was awarded
No measure of credit assigned
Courses with two possible grades, e.g. Pass/Fail, Credit/No Credit Courses
Nonpunative Withdrawal grades that signify failure
Original Grade for repeated course
A no credit grade that does not signify failure
Other grades as specified by LSDAS


Retake the LSAT, an addendum isn't going to help much. You can even apply now, put something in each app about redoing the LSAT.

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Zapatero
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby Zapatero » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:13 pm

Even in the highly unlikely event that you manage to get a new bachelor's degree, submit only that transcript to LSAC, get into law school based on a fraudulent LSDAS report and then graduate first in your class, you will never get through the Bar review. You will have wasted 5+ years of your life and be drowning in debt. The only option for you is to retake the LSAT.

r6_philly
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby r6_philly » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:13 pm

reese23 wrote:dont listen to kak. he is a douche. no clue what he is rambling about.

get a 2nd bachelors with a 3.8 plus, rock a 160 lsat and apply to top-100 schools like gonzaga, loyola in la, seattle u, tulane, pepp, etc.

you can do it. bottom line is this - alot of people start law school in their 30's. you have ur whole life to practice. dont go to a crappy law school. it is a waste of time and money.


You can get a second bachelors degree with a 4.33 GPA and the cumulative GPA on the LSDAS report will still be 2.1. I don't see what the point is. You may as well go get a MS/MA degree. At least if law school doesn't eventually work out, you can get paid more with a masters in another field.

OP could also move to a state where the state university is cheap and easier to get into, and maybe with a PT program where numbers are not as strict as the FT program.

09042014
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Re: Need personal application advice

Postby 09042014 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:33 pm

karlieann wrote:
Kakarot wrote:
reese23 wrote:i dont think that matters. even if you got another 153, i dont think you'd be looking at any schools other than cooley, ok city, etc.

and what the previous poster said is bs. you can submit anything u want w/ ur app. send in a second bachelors w/ a killer 3.8 plus gpa over 2 years coursework at a major university and an amazing letter explaining how serious u have become w/ ur studies as evident w/ ur knew awesome gpa.

then rock the lsat and get at least a 160 or above. then ur looking at a top-100 school. second bachelors with a 3.8 plus gpa and a 160 lsat.


This is not true, and really bad advice...


I have considered the Feb test. I guess it just makes me nervous that it's so late in the application cycle.


You aren't getting into a school worth going to with a 2.1 and 153. If you really aren't going to listen apply to St Thomas in Florida. Might as party in Miami before getting screwed by recruiting.

You've claimed you are hard working, so be hard working. Study your ass off and get a mid 160s score and go to a decent law school.




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