older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby shepdawg » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:03 pm

retiree wrote:As for retiring to the Keys, one thing you learn when you travel for a living is where you DON'T want to live. Hurricanes and humidity are not on my list of desirables in a retirement location.

Good luck. I fall into the category of people who want to be retired by the time I'm your age. I also want to have enough put away for my child to have a comfortable life when I die. As far as the Keys go, I don't want to retire there either. North Shore, HI or La Jolla, CA for me.

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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby sumus romani » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:39 pm

retiree wrote:
MusicNutMeggie wrote:OP- You asked why LSAC doesn't count your grad school GPA, and I don't think anyone answered you. It's because grad school GPAs are typically very inflated; it's rare for someone NOT to make the dean's list.

Thank you--I had no idea. Wonder if that applies to grad schools back 30 years ago. If the undergrad grades are inflated, and the grad school grades are inflated, what in the world are colleges turning out these days? (Never mind, I know the answer to that.)

I really do have to go to sleep now. I have to be up earlier than usual as I am a parliamentarian at an annual meeting tomorrow. I have enjoyed the discourse this evening.

Yes, the difference in treatment for admissions purposes between undergrad and grad school grades does apply all the way back. Now, to be honest, law school admission is very numbers driven (so a comparably low GPA may hurt your prospects). However, undergrad GPA counts for less the further you are from them in time. You are such an atypical and interesting applicant that I suspect that your LSAT score will be central, together with a slight bonus of your incredible life-story. Best of luck in your applications.


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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby retiree » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:49 am

[/quote] Yes, the difference in treatment for admissions purposes between undergrad and grad school grades does apply all the way back. Now, to be honest, law school admission is very numbers driven (so a comparably low GPA may hurt your prospects). However, undergrad GPA counts for less the further you are from them in time. You are such an atypical and interesting applicant that I suspect that your LSAT score will be central, together with a slight bonus of your incredible life-story. Best of luck in your applications.[/quote]

Yes, it does appear that the emphasis (at least from the school's perspective) will most likely be on the test score. I wonder, though, how many people who took the LSAT and got a low score and didn't get into law school, would have made excellent lawyers. Some people are just not good at taking tests. And why do tests (not just the LSAT) have so many questions that it is mostly impossible to finish, with passages written so poorly that you need to diagram them to understand what the heck they are saying? What about slow readers? (I am a fast reader, but when I am reading something that is unfamiliar to me, forget it.) I am sure there are studies out there (there are studies for everything) that look at the correlation between LSAT scores and success as a lawyer. Or would that fall into the category of an oxymoron? (Of course, you have to define "success" first.) In short, we all know people who went through college, and you just shake your head, wondering whether they slept through it or what.

Mom always used to say, "Show me a college graduate and I will show you a dummie." She was referring to the time I offered to make her potato salad to take to an office picnic. I had called her to get the recipe, made it, and was proud of myself (Cook is a 4-letter word that doesn't get done for the most part in my house.) Well, people took a bite and then asked me about it. I told them it was my mother's great recipe, and I followed it to the "T." They said the potatoes were crunchy, as in raw. I thought so, too, as the salad didn't quite taste like Mom's. So I went over the recipe: 4 c. of cold potatoes, diced. Well, I had put them in the refrig overnight, so they were good and cold the next day. The recipe never said anything about boiling them. :lol:

You know, it's funny. I don't think of my life's story as being all that incredible as you described it--unusual at times, perhaps, but not quite all that incredible from where I stand. I was at a dinner party this evening where there were also 2 neuropsychologists, both of whom work with TBI patients. You talk about a life-story. One was born in Paris, graduated from high school in Japan, went to college in the states, and got her first job in Bangkok. The stuff in between was unbelievable. The other came here from Poland. Her childhood growing up read like a documentary (and also thriller) movie you would watch about the persecution of the Jews in WWII.

We all just sat there mesmerized, listening to her tell us about growing up under an oppressive regime. She told us how they were not allowed to keep their own passports, that the government kept them. She had more freedom than most people because of her status as a doctor, traveling, working, and speaking all over Europe. When she would travel to present papers at international conferences, she would be handed her passport; then, when she returned, she had to turn it in again. Her husband had died, and she fled Poland with her son. She didn't want him to grow up there. We were all curious as to how she became an American citizen, asking her about the green card. To make a long story short, she was in post-doctural training at UCLA, and because of her status as an international scientist, she was granted citizenship for "exceptional educational and scientific skills." We could have listened to her all night.

Now her story was incredible--with challenges and obstacles that make you wonder how these people ever survived. In relating that to my own experiences, I still ponder over the years that our service members spent as POWs in Vietnam. But the torture they endured didn't hit home until I was in Saigon earlier this year, touring the Cu Chi tunnels, the elaborate underground network that the Viet Cong built around Saigon. I will not describe the various means of torture for soldiers on the ground, as they fell into holes. But suffice it to say, it was a miracle that anyone ever survived and, sadly, most didn't, dying a slow, horrifying slow death. (I knew a lot about the torture methods, but was never "up close and personal" to them.)

When you look at what has happened to others, some of the things in one's own life pale in comparison. When you get to witness history--I was in Germany on Nov 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, and yes, I have pieces of the wall--you realize how fortunate we are in this country. I realize this has gotten off topic, but for me, it relates to everything. So ignore the tangent if you like.

Probably what I want to say is: Every person is way more than a test score, and it is somewhat sad that it is the only thing that is seriously considered, whether you are going for law school, etc. But, as Abraham Lincoln said, sitting on the end of his bed, "We are all born equal; after that, you're on your own."

We all have a story to tell--YOU have a story and it is non fiction! What we think may be mundane to someone could be the next NYT's bestseller. Yes, I have done some amazing things in my life, and have been fortunate to have achieved some "firsts" as well. And I have those "firsts" thanks to the time period in which I was living (that "being in the right place at the right time" I previously mentioned). I am thankful for the comments I receive from people; so please don't think that I am dismissing your use of the word "incredible" to describe my life--I am definitely not. I think, rather, that when someone describes my life using that word, it makes me stop to think how fortunate I have been, to have had parents who instilled in us children values that I live by today, and to be grateful for all that. If you ever get to travel outside the U.S., you realize this, how lucky we are here. (Having said that, I think Paris would be a great place to retire, too!)

I used to think my mother's stories should have been made into a book. She was a WWII Army nurse, and I have to say, the stories she had to tell about her time in the military in Europe, and the austere living conditions she endured, not to mention the bombing raids, were amazing. (I wish I had captured them on paper; I only remember a few of them. She was stationed at the same hospital when Patton was brought in.) I never realized that my mother had the story-telling skills of a Garrison Keillor.

I will end with a funny story she told us. Upon arriving in England (she hated it there, coming from hot Texas, and was mad she couldn't get grits), she and other nurses were filling out a bunch of forms. When she got to the box on nationality, she wrote down, "Texan." The nurse next to her said, "That's not a nationality. You need to write in "American." My mother then said, (and I am sure she said this with a straight face in her Texas drawl), "Darlin', where I come from, Texas IS a country, which makes me Texan. And what history book did you read?" We all still laugh at that.

There is a growing feeling that perhaps Texas is really another country, a place where the skies, the disasters, the diamonds, the politicians, the women, the fortunes, the football players and the murders are all bigger than anywhere else. ~Pete Hamill

Bonne nuit.

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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby goawaybee » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:09 am


thanks for that post. Often times due to being caught between you and the avg. aged TLS user I get lost in the "world of numbers" and forget that I am often coming at these admissions people on a more lateral type of approach. Get so wrapped up in the numbers that I fail to remember everything I have accomplished up until this point in my life. The boiled potatoes for the salad kind of stuff. The things that make me unique and have gotten me here and allow me to know beyond any doubt that I can get through the 3 years and become prepared for the field. It is only a portion of our lives. I believe that one of the hardest things in life to do is maintain balance. As we change and evolve as an individual that task becomes more difficult each day. Fulfillment is another one of the BIG THINGS, I am doing this because I see it as fulfilling. I don't care about the dollars beyond the point in which they allow me to pay for my roof and afford me a plane ticket periodically so i can wander the earth and expand a bit more as a person.

I think after enough years of breathing and navigating the day to day, the playing the game and manipulating variables skills function on their own. A survival skill to some extent, they will shine through this process and afterwards. I appreciate what you have added to this community. You helped block the wind...the candle was about to blow out. I hope you gain whatever it is you desire to gain from this experience. You are an asset and a positive energy here.

thank you.

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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby Quine » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:23 am

It's been said a few times, but I wanted to +1 - this lady is awesome.


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Re: older student (60+)/ GPA /personal statement /references

Postby njwannabe » Wed May 31, 2017 9:58 pm

Just wondering if "retiree" could update us on where she ended up regarding LS. I am in a somewhat similar boat - although not that old - and trying to understand the landscape for the much older applicant..

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