Berkeley Question

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MysticalWheel
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Berkeley Question

Postby MysticalWheel » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:38 pm

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Last edited by MysticalWheel on Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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los blancos
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby los blancos » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:49 pm

I'm applying to Berk this cycle; they're far and away my top choice.

my GPA is in that range, my LSAT is above the 75th. I'm 99% sure I'm going to get dinged.


If I was in your position, I'd be thinking of taking some sort of interesting leadership position and figuring out what to write my PS about. That said, it's going to look somewhat suspect if you start doing a bunch of stuff now, and they might see through it. It's also entirely possible that no matter what you do, you're going to get dinged simply by virtue of having a GPA below the 25th %ile.


What I'm basically saying is, good luck, but it's going to be an uphill climb. That said, every year non-URMs DO get in with GPAs below the 25th of course. It's just a long shot.

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby MysticalWheel » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:18 pm

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Last edited by MysticalWheel on Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

studylaw7
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby studylaw7 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:19 pm

boilercat wrote:I'm applying to Berk this cycle; they're far and away my top choice.

my GPA is in that range, my LSAT is above the 75th. I'm 99% sure I'm going to get dinged.


If I was in your position, I'd be thinking of taking some sort of interesting leadership position and figuring out what to write my PS about. That said, it's going to look somewhat suspect if you start doing a bunch of stuff now, and they might see through it. It's also entirely possible that no matter what you do, you're going to get dinged simply by virtue of having a GPA below the 25th %ile.


What I'm basically saying is, good luck, but it's going to be an uphill climb. That said, every year non-URMs DO get in with GPAs below the 25th of course. It's just a long shot.


even though you go to a school in Cali, are you legally considered to be in-state? If you are, I think they may give you some slack for the gpa.

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby bilbobaggins » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:21 pm

Try and do really well on the LSAT.

Do you have any interesting softs?

dajja15
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby dajja15 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:20 am

studylaw7 wrote:
boilercat wrote:I'm applying to Berk this cycle; they're far and away my top choice.

my GPA is in that range, my LSAT is above the 75th. I'm 99% sure I'm going to get dinged.


If I was in your position, I'd be thinking of taking some sort of interesting leadership position and figuring out what to write my PS about. That said, it's going to look somewhat suspect if you start doing a bunch of stuff now, and they might see through it. It's also entirely possible that no matter what you do, you're going to get dinged simply by virtue of having a GPA below the 25th %ile.


What I'm basically saying is, good luck, but it's going to be an uphill climb. That said, every year non-URMs DO get in with GPAs below the 25th of course. It's just a long shot.


even though you go to a school in Cali, are you legally considered to be in-state? If you are, I think they may give you some slack for the gpa.



Do they give bonuses for going to school in cali? I go to Cal Poly for engineering and I want to go to berkeley but I figured Im out because I have a bad gpa, I have not seen anything that says they like people from California more, where did you get that info?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:57 am

studylaw7 wrote:
boilercat wrote:I'm applying to Berk this cycle; they're far and away my top choice.

my GPA is in that range, my LSAT is above the 75th. I'm 99% sure I'm going to get dinged.


If I was in your position, I'd be thinking of taking some sort of interesting leadership position and figuring out what to write my PS about. That said, it's going to look somewhat suspect if you start doing a bunch of stuff now, and they might see through it. It's also entirely possible that no matter what you do, you're going to get dinged simply by virtue of having a GPA below the 25th %ile.


What I'm basically saying is, good luck, but it's going to be an uphill climb. That said, every year non-URMs DO get in with GPAs below the 25th of course. It's just a long shot.


even though you go to a school in Cali, are you legally considered to be in-state? If you are, I think they may give you some slack for the gpa.


No,they won't. OP, your chances are not great. Nail the LSAT. What kinds of softs do you have already? Chances are there is little you can do in the next year to be a game changer if you don't already have some awesome stuff already.

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los blancos
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby los blancos » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:17 am

MysticalWheel wrote:Cool, thanks. I've already been working throughout college so I'm not planning on going overboard in this last year. We'll see. Good luck to you.



Wait, you've held a part-time job all through UG? That'll help mitigate your GPA.

One thing you should know that I didn't mention is that the general consensus is that Berkeley DOES look at the entire application - they will consider everything you give them. e.g., if someone has a good lsat score, writes a great PS and Diversity statement and really convinces Berk he/she loves their school, it's very possible to get in with a sub-3.7 GPA. Basically, don't rule yourself out.

BerkLaw is so much higher on my list than any other school that I spent half of my PS telling them why I love their school and even promised to withdraw from every other school and enroll if I got in... I'll let you know how it turns out. :mrgreen:

doobelle
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby doobelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:50 pm

Berkeley is known to put a lot of emphasis on the personal statement (they allow FOUR pages which is very long comparatively), so put a lot of thought into it. The interview Ken did with their Dean of Admissions is a pretty excellent window into their process and what they are interested in:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/tom-interview.html

Specifically regarding the GPA/work issue:
Dean Tom: “I know that there is a perception out there in the cyberspace world that we value GPAs a lot more than LSATs, and I’m not sure where people get that. Because if you look at our index formula, we are purposeful in weighting it so that GPA and LSAT are roughly equivalent. So, if I had to characterize our review process, it’s about one-third LSAT score, about one-third academic record – I prefer to call it academic record because GPA is just so narrow, whereas with academic record we consider all of the factors that impacted the GPA: work responsibilities, extra-curricular activities, rigor of major, and so on. The last third is the subjective factors -- what one says in their personal statement, and what others say about them in their letters of recommendation. So, no, I don’t think either of the two quantitative factors is more important than the other.”

Also their application has a socio-economic questionnaire that is longer and more detailed than any other school's - so they certainly make an effort to look at the challenges you might have faced.

If you read about their students they profile on their website, most have passion projects (starting a small business, or initiating a project in their community) that shows drive, leadership skills, and interest in things beyond work and school. Since you have so much time and live in CA, I would also consider going for a visit and ask for a tour (maybe during the summer right before the admission cycle you apply in, before they get busy!) and make a good impression.

Good luck!

Rawlsian
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Re: Berkeley Question

Postby Rawlsian » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:02 pm

OP, I applied this cycle with a similar GPA and a 75th LSAT. LSP has me as a weak consider, but I think my chances are better than that. I agree with the above posts, Berkeley really does seem to take a holistic approach. I think a strong PS and interesting softs that showcase leadership, passion, curiosity, and drive can balance out a 3.6ish GPA. That said, I stayed UR through the last batch of emails and FR decisions, so I'm not really sure how it's going to work out.




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