Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

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PDaddy
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby PDaddy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:42 pm

PlugInBaby wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:The question is how serious the assault and battery is (i.e. Did you use a weapon and then got the charge reduced? How much injury did you cause?).

Unless your recs and/or PS were terrible, I have to assume that the circumstance surrounding the assault and battery were a deciding factor. This could not have been a minor incident. There is no reason that someone with your numbers should have gotten rejected at SLU and waitlisted at DePaul and Seattle. Even if the incident was serious, I'm still rather surprised by your cycle.

PM me if you don't want to post answers to these questions.


That's fine. Part of the acceptance process is being upfront with what you did wrong. Admittedly I was at a fragile part in my life, but that was more of a circumstance rather than an excuse. I made a major lapse of judgment. While taking an exercise walk a group of teenage girls humilatingly insulted me. I snapped and attempted to cut off the ringleader's hair. (I carry scissors for protection) A good samaritan stopped me and I backed off. No one got hurt. The charges were always misdemeanor: aggravated assault and four counts of battery. I have no recollection of even touching anyone else other than the ringleader, but I was so frightened of losing any freedom that I pled guilty to all charges in exchange for a conditional discharge.

I was in my late teens and the victims were in their early teens. Doesn't look good at all. However the entire matter was seven years ago. I have even worked with children professionally as a tutor with special education children in the inner city. The prospect of a "one strike and you're out" society is frightening. The reasons justifying such an approach work as a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is these prospects among many other factors which inspire me to practice law.

I will share my provisonal plan for next cycle a little later. Given this greater explication of my circumstances I would like to hear more input.

Thanks all again.


An aggravated assault is a "misdemeanor" in your home state? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault#Aggravated_assault

If I were an adcom, I would not want to admit someone who had been charged with any crime involving a weapon, absent a lot of time passed and some serious anger-management counseling...long term. And maybe your addendum was not well written. Is that possible? If you were defensive, made excuses for your behavior or did not flesh out the facts clearly, the schools would be apprehensive.
Last edited by PDaddy on Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

honestabe84
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby honestabe84 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:43 pm

extempore88 wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:
bigchris1313 wrote:Ah. Now I get it. OP is a female! This would explain the scissors for protection, the other girls making fun of her, and the attempt to cut the hair in retaliation. I originally couldn't make sense of any of these elements, but now I understand.

Wow, my androcentrism is impressive.


If this is true, then the incident become much less serious IMO.


An assault is less serious because it is done by a female? I mind if someone attacks me, regardless of the assailant's gender. I don't think the OPs gender matters one bit -- to adcoms or anyone else.



Obviously on a legal level it's the same thing. BUT if OP was male, the incident makes him appear more unbalanced. Teenage girls can be extremely cruel to one another, and I can see how a group of bullies bullying another girl could be more understandable (NOT condoned). However, if a male snapped and began chasing a group of females around with a pair of scissors, the aggressor seems more psychotic. I'm just giving my perspective. I have no idea how adcomms or anyone else thinks.
Last edited by honestabe84 on Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Me-a Culpa
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby Me-a Culpa » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:44 pm

As I said before, you're numbers are better than mine, and my crim-history is at least as checkered.


EDIT ....and accepted to Seattle....
Last edited by Me-a Culpa on Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cartercl
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby cartercl » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:53 pm

PlugInBaby wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:The question is how serious the assault and battery is (i.e. Did you use a weapon and then got the charge reduced? How much injury did you cause?).

Unless your recs and/or PS were terrible, I have to assume that the circumstance surrounding the assault and battery were a deciding factor. This could not have been a minor incident. There is no reason that someone with your numbers should have gotten rejected at SLU and waitlisted at DePaul and Seattle. Even if the incident was serious, I'm still rather surprised by your cycle.

PM me if you don't want to post answers to these questions.


That's fine. Part of the acceptance process is being upfront with what you did wrong. Admittedly I was at a fragile part in my life, but that was more of a circumstance rather than an excuse. I made a major lapse of judgment. While taking an exercise walk a group of teenage girls humilatingly insulted me. I snapped and attempted to cut off the ringleader's hair. (I carry scissors for protection) A good samaritan stopped me and I backed off. No one got hurt. The charges were always misdemeanor: aggravated assault and four counts of battery. I have no recollection of even touching anyone else other than the ringleader, but I was so frightened of losing any freedom that I pled guilty to all charges in exchange for a conditional discharge.

I was in my late teens and the victims were in their early teens. Doesn't look good at all. However the entire matter was seven years ago. I have even worked with children professionally as a tutor with special education children in the inner city. The prospect of a "one strike and you're out" society is frightening. The reasons justifying such an approach work as a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is these prospects among many other factors which inspire me to practice law.

I will share my provisonal plan for next cycle a little later. Given this greater explication of my circumstances I would like to hear more input.

Thanks all again.



Whoa... I did not know the circumstances surrounding the incident before I made my comment. As a Criminal Justice major I have to say, this is quite serious. I thought maybe you just got into a fight at a bar or something (yeah, I thought you were a guy too). But it is quite possible that this situation could have been much more serious. You carried a deadly weapon, and you could have seriously injured this person; at the worst you could have killed this person. Trust me, I know you probably don't think it's possible, but it happens, trust me. I've visited prisons and interviewed inmates who thought the same thing. Although you may have done a complete 180, incidents like this just leave a certain unwanted impact. Take murderers for example, least likely to recidivate, but most likely to be denied that second chance by society. (I don't mean to beat a dead horse here, but I want to at least give you a different [and more realistic] perspective.)

I'm a guy, and my charges stemmed from mutual combat. Yeah, it's a double standard and no, I don't think it's right for my actions to be minimized just because I'm a guy. But keep in mind that these are lawyers we are talking about, the people reviewing your application. They are well aware of the possibilities, and the "what ifs" are not likely to be minimized in this situation. In this situation I definitely think your misdemeanor was a deciding factor.

On the flip side, you have done plenty to reassure anyone that you simply made an error in judgment. Use this to your advantage. Don't mean to be grim here, but I think you are being misled by the majority of the people here. Realize that your particular incident is probably playing a role in your cycle and adjust your approach accordingly. Don't get too deep into the issue, but acknowledge the strong possibility that it may be affecting your acceptances at the schools you want to go to. Don't stop doing positive things just because you have good numbers. This is one of those situations where your softs will probably be a deciding factor.

cartercl
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby cartercl » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:03 am

PDaddy wrote:
PlugInBaby wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:The question is how serious the assault and battery is (i.e. Did you use a weapon and then got the charge reduced? How much injury did you cause?).

Unless your recs and/or PS were terrible, I have to assume that the circumstance surrounding the assault and battery were a deciding factor. This could not have been a minor incident. There is no reason that someone with your numbers should have gotten rejected at SLU and waitlisted at DePaul and Seattle. Even if the incident was serious, I'm still rather surprised by your cycle.

PM me if you don't want to post answers to these questions.


That's fine. Part of the acceptance process is being upfront with what you did wrong. Admittedly I was at a fragile part in my life, but that was more of a circumstance rather than an excuse. I made a major lapse of judgment. While taking an exercise walk a group of teenage girls humilatingly insulted me. I snapped and attempted to cut off the ringleader's hair. (I carry scissors for protection) A good samaritan stopped me and I backed off. No one got hurt. The charges were always misdemeanor: aggravated assault and four counts of battery. I have no recollection of even touching anyone else other than the ringleader, but I was so frightened of losing any freedom that I pled guilty to all charges in exchange for a conditional discharge.

I was in my late teens and the victims were in their early teens. Doesn't look good at all. However the entire matter was seven years ago. I have even worked with children professionally as a tutor with special education children in the inner city. The prospect of a "one strike and you're out" society is frightening. The reasons justifying such an approach work as a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is these prospects among many other factors which inspire me to practice law.

I will share my provisonal plan for next cycle a little later. Given this greater explication of my circumstances I would like to hear more input.

Thanks all again.


An aggravated assault is a "misdemeanor" in your home state? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault#Aggravated_assault

If I were an adcom, I would not want to admit someone who had been charged with any crime involving a weapon, absent a lot of time passed and some serious anger-management counseling...long term. And maybe your addendum was not well written. Is that possible? If you were defensive, made excuses for your behavior or did not flesh out the facts clearly, the schools would be apprehensive.


Yeah, most def. felonious activity in the good ole state of Louisiana. But then again, we throw the book at everyone...

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby PlugInBaby » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:12 am

Fact: Yes I am female, but a crime is a crime and I feel my gender is for the most part irrelevant in this matter.

The minor quibble: The personal statement seems only to be a minor factor if a factor at all for my disastrous underperformance. Whether I took on too wide a scope or implicitily espoused a philosophy which ran counter to an institutions religious beliefs (although most of the admissons representatives I talked to from these school assured that such things do not matter); these matters may tip a candidate with borderline numbers one way or the other. However I doubt it would make this much of a dramatic shift across the board .

The major matter certainly seems to be my misdemeanor conviction. My approach in this cycle was to be truthful about the scenario but only share what needed to be shared, much like what I typed in this thread. At the end I framed my foolish action as a result of immature myopia. However it seems that was not a satisfactory answer to the adcomms.

Perhaps I should have put the conviction in a wider scope. It's not a matter of me doing a 180 in my life, rather that this incident was an aberration. This was the only physical confrontation in my adult life. I did not go into detail about the two years of counseling I underwent after the conviction. Nor did I frame the circumstances of the matter: I suffered from depression at the time (I also convinced myself I did not need to take antidepressants) and was reeling from some poor study decisions I made at school and a persistent and stigmatizing physical health condition. These of course are not excuses for poor judgment, but factors that certainly clouded better judgment and made me far more sensitive to any sort of teasing. Since this time I have recovered from depression (weened off the antidepressants last summer), got all As (and only one B) at my bachelor granting institution, and my physical condition is now in check.


I have conquered the matters which had clouded my judgment at that moment. I have done wonderful things since: I put my academic career on hold to take care of my dying stepfather, I am working with attorneys in an effort for my mother to get the VA benefits she deserves (something I hope to parlay into helping other veterans, veteran advocacy is one of my interests), I have tutored special education kids in the inner city. I have grown a lot in seven years. Yet some institutions insist on seeing me as irredeemably evil. Such bleak prospects are utterly soul destroying.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby PlugInBaby » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:15 am

I decided to ask the more functional question in a seperate post: Given the information I presented, what would be the best way to be truthful about the entire situation involving the conviction, but yet convey that it was an abberration and that I have matured greatly since?

09042014
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:21 am

I hate to be that guy, but retake the LSAT if you are going to burn a year anyway.

I don't think you'll get UDub without a better LSAT. 3.77 is a good gpa to waste on a 161.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby PlugInBaby » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:23 am

Desert Fox wrote:I hate to be that guy, but retake the LSAT if you are going to burn a year anyway.

I don't think you'll get UDub without a better LSAT. 3.77 is a good gpa to waste on a 161.


I wholeheartedly agree. I am certainly retaking in June and will most likely spend my tax refund on LSAT prep. However, even with these scores, when I am being WL by Seattle U and dinged by St Louis U...there are other matters that need to be taken care of.

09042014
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:32 am

PlugInBaby wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I hate to be that guy, but retake the LSAT if you are going to burn a year anyway.

I don't think you'll get UDub without a better LSAT. 3.77 is a good gpa to waste on a 161.


I wholeheartedly agree. I am certainly retaking in June and will most likely spend my tax refund on LSAT prep. However, even with these scores, when I am being WL by Seattle U and dinged by St Louis U...there are other matters that need to be taken care of.


Well the Scholly at ChiKent shows that your app wasn't completely messed up. Really the Seattle U was the only shocking one. Applying at deadline at STLU might just mean they didn't have room, and decided your history wasn't worth the risk when you'd probably get into a better school anyway. Not quite a YP but kind of similar.

Write a less polarizing PS, a good addendum about the assault, and with a new LSAT you should get into some good schools.

From cyber stalking you on LSN I see you are from Illinois? Did you go to the Muse show two weeks ago?

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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby goober88 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:36 am

PlugInBaby wrote:
Would it be advisable to send an email to admissions of SLU to find out why they decided to ding me? I have no intentions of applying their the next cycle, I just want to learn exactly what my mistakes were. I am also thinking of asking for the opinion of my LOR professors, asking if there were any possible "red flags" in their recommendations.


I don't mean to be THAT guy, b/c I know that on TLS people just spell things in the quickest way, but perhaps you made errors on your application like saying "I have no intentions of applying their the next cycle". Again, really don't mean this in a jerk way, I'm just saying that there and their are just as quick to type, so that wouldn't be an excuse for using it here and if you made errors like these on your applications, spellcheck would not catch it and adcoms would. So make sure to also thoroughly check over your portion of the application as well, looking for egregious errors such as these. Again- just a thought.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby PlugInBaby » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:46 am

goober88 wrote:
PlugInBaby wrote:
Would it be advisable to send an email to admissions of SLU to find out why they decided to ding me? I have no intentions of applying their the next cycle, I just want to learn exactly what my mistakes were. I am also thinking of asking for the opinion of my LOR professors, asking if there were any possible "red flags" in their recommendations.


I don't mean to be THAT guy, b/c I know that on TLS people just spell things in the quickest way, but perhaps you made errors on your application like saying "I have no intentions of applying their the next cycle". Again, really don't mean this in a jerk way, I'm just saying that there and their are just as quick to type, so that wouldn't be an excuse for using it here and if you made errors like these on your applications, spellcheck would not catch it and adcoms would. So make sure to also thoroughly check over your portion of the application as well, looking for egregious errors such as these. Again- just a thought.


Oh no worries...its a forum. No mjor knead too profread hear. In the PS certainly, but not hear. :P

cartercl
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby cartercl » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:59 am

Desert Fox wrote:I hate to be that guy, but retake the LSAT if you are going to burn a year anyway.

I don't think you'll get UDub without a better LSAT. 3.77 is a good gpa to waste on a 161.


I definitely agree that a higher LSAT will probably make most adcomms overlook her criminal history. Be indirect, but don't avoid the issue completely. I would avoid discussing my mental history as well (just too many negatives at once). Your real dilemma is probably deciding whether to extensively discuss this matter in an addendum, or just discuss it "along the way" in your PS. The former will probably draw more attention to the incident, but will allow you to explain the circumstances and reasons why it will never happen again in more depth. The latter will probably leave serious questions unanswered in the minds of adcomm members given the limits placed on the PS at most schools.

Personally, I killed two birds with one stone in my PS. Ultimately, it comes down to how effectively you think you can convince committee members via the written word. Definitely demonstrate how your incident caused you to become more involved in the lives of others (if you have actually done this). Let several neutral persons read your PS or addendum as well. This way you may be able to determine the effect your composition has on another who has no personal ties to you. Pick the issues you choose to introduce carefully (without being misleading) and be powerful. Demonstrate your refusal to accept your situation as a barrier to the legal profession (through your actions) and you should be fine.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby quickquestionthanks » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:16 am

cartercl wrote:Whoa... I did not know the circumstances surrounding the incident before I made my comment. As a Criminal Justice major I have to say, this is quite serious... Don't mean to be grim here, but I think you are being misled by the majority of the people here.



I think this is a bit overstated. Sure, it was a mistake and one that could have ended much worse. But fifty years ago, this was a scuffle that goes unreported. I read it and thought, oh it's not like she bashed someone's head in. The fact that it was an isolated incident, and that a huge amount of time that has transpired, goes a really long way in mitigating the importance of this. I think it was talking about inflammatory subjects in your PS, perhaps combined with this.

However, the part of about seeking therapy afterwards and the circumstances surrounding your health are absolutely crucial to your addendum. If this hurt at all, it's because you left those parts out.

Oh yeah, and def retake the LSAT. Man I wish I had partied less in college.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby PlugInBaby » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:14 pm

Well here is my current game plan (this is all assuming that U-Dub dings me which unfortunately seems to be the most realistic scenario).

1. Study and Retake that LSAT: Thus far I plan on taking the pithypike approach in a span of 2 months for the June LSAT. My first attempt at self-study wasn't hardcore enough and I didn't really consider or incorporate any alternative approaches to LSAT questions other than what came intuitively to me. With an intensive self study I can incorporate new strategies into my intuitive style. If I bomb the June LSAT (161 or lower), I can try again from the final time on September.

2. Compile a Base 10 List of schools: Why 10? That is the max limit as allowed on the FAFSA. They would be a mix of reaches, targets, and safeties based on my LSAT and GPA score. Example if I get a 166: U of Washington, Seattle U, Chicago-Kent, DePaul, Loyola CHI, Berkeley, USC, Iowa, Northwestern (ED), Illinois.

3. Prepare the personal statements as catered to the school: I tried a one size fits all approach my first cycle, but the fact is that different schools usually ask for different things. There can be a base personal statement, but this time around I plan on molding the base to the things the applications specifically ask for on the personal statement. Of course I will ask fellow TLSers among others for feedback.

4. Prepare Conviction Addendum: This will also be looked over by TLSers among others.

5. Apply ASAP!: Once the new application is released, fill it out right away and submit all the necessary materials. I have the LORs and LSAT score already read this time around, I can become complete very quickly.

6. Try to get some fee waivers and apply other places: I feel 10 is the bare minimum necessary to get an idea of where you stand as an applicant. However with the scarlet letter of a conviction placed upon myself, the cycle can still be qutie unpredictable. I should hedge some bets with some appealing schools I may have looked over the first time.

How is this for a new approach?

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englawyer
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby englawyer » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:40 pm

unfortunately one misdemeanor can screw you for the rest of your life, especially in states where you can't get it expunged. isn't is great that 15 years from now it will still show up on background checks (except in MA/CA).

anyhow, you can apply to more than 10 schools; there is a procedure for getting around the FAFSA limit (i forgot exactly what it is though).

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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby bigchris1313 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:50 pm

honestabe84 wrote:Obviously on a legal level it's the same thing. BUT if OP was male, the incident makes him appear more unbalanced. Teenage girls can be extremely cruel to one another, and I can see how a group of bullies bullying another girl could be more understandable (NOT condoned). However, if a male snapped and began chasing a group of females around with a pair of scissors, the aggressor seems more psychotic. I'm just giving my perspective. I have no idea how adcomms or anyone else thinks.


I'm willing to wager--on the basis of wild accusation and rank speculation--that your perspective is more or less indicative of the general population and even the denizens of academia's ivory tower. Regardless of how many "gender is a social construct" lectures the members of the adcomm have sat through or given, I'm guessing that if you gave each one a polygraph test, most--if not all--would be more disturbed by the image of the older male chasing a group of younger females with a pair of scissors. If forced to choose between a teenage girl or teenage guy who snapped, I think the adcomm would take the female at least 9/10 times.

Males constitute just under 50% of the US population. As a general rule, we're larger, stronger, more aggressive, and less risk-averse compared to our female counterparts. We also commit the vast majority of violent crime. While I'm sure most academic administrators would be quick to explain away these differences using environmental factors and other confounding variables, the powers of self-delusion can only reach so far.

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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby r6_philly » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:51 pm

englawyer wrote:

anyhow, you can apply to more than 10 schools; there is a procedure for getting around the FAFSA limit (i forgot exactly what it is though).


Submit the 10, then go back to do a correction, replace the 10 with new schools.

cartercl
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Re: Disastrous Cycle...want some advice for next cycle.

Postby cartercl » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:17 pm

PlugInBaby wrote:Well here is my current game plan (this is all assuming that U-Dub dings me which unfortunately seems to be the most realistic scenario).

1. Study and Retake that LSAT: Thus far I plan on taking the pithypike approach in a span of 2 months for the June LSAT. My first attempt at self-study wasn't hardcore enough and I didn't really consider or incorporate any alternative approaches to LSAT questions other than what came intuitively to me. With an intensive self study I can incorporate new strategies into my intuitive style. If I bomb the June LSAT (161 or lower), I can try again from the final time on September.

2. Compile a Base 10 List of schools: Why 10? That is the max limit as allowed on the FAFSA. They would be a mix of reaches, targets, and safeties based on my LSAT and GPA score. Example if I get a 166: U of Washington, Seattle U, Chicago-Kent, DePaul, Loyola CHI, Berkeley, USC, Iowa, Northwestern (ED), Illinois.

3. Prepare the personal statements as catered to the school: I tried a one size fits all approach my first cycle, but the fact is that different schools usually ask for different things. There can be a base personal statement, but this time around I plan on molding the base to the things the applications specifically ask for on the personal statement. Of course I will ask fellow TLSers among others for feedback.

4. Prepare Conviction Addendum: This will also be looked over by TLSers among others.

5. Apply ASAP!: Once the new application is released, fill it out right away and submit all the necessary materials. I have the LORs and LSAT score already read this time around, I can become complete very quickly.

6. Try to get some fee waivers and apply other places: I feel 10 is the bare minimum necessary to get an idea of where you stand as an applicant. However with the scarlet letter of a conviction placed upon myself, the cycle can still be qutie unpredictable. I should hedge some bets with some appealing schools I may have looked over the first time.

How is this for a new approach?


This is probably the best plan you can come up with. The fact is that regardless of how well you cater your PS and addendum to the ideologies of the overall institution, you are still going to be denied some places. Fortunately, you can be assured that this would happen anyway (even without the criminal history) as such is the nature of the application process - no one is going to get accepted to every school that they apply to. After thinking about it, you should include the mental history because it's going to help make sense of an otherwise senseless act - the average person wouldn't react this way unless other factors were in play. I'd look into schools that implement diversity initiatives as well because diversity goes far beyond race and socioeconomic background. Doing this may give you an opportunity to show how your experiences can contribute something positive to the student body and the institution.




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