Non-Traditional Student Questions.

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380yarddrives
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Non-Traditional Student Questions.

Postby 380yarddrives » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:14 am

First of all, thanks in advance for reading this and offering any advice or experiences you may have.

I am a Non-Traditional applicant. 33 years old, I've spent 10 years building a successful career in the business side of TV advertising. I was never able to finish my undergrad when I was younger for a variety of reasons, including parental financial difficulties, having to work, and also the fact that I was a terrible student. I was also involved in a car wreck that ended up costing me an entire semester, resulting in 18 hours worth of F's back in the day.

Several years ago I decided to finish my UG degree (in Business) and to follow that with law school. Although I don't despise my career, I am interested in a change and have always loved law. I'm coming up on my last year and I'm currently getting ready to apply to Law Schools this fall for 2011 matriculation.

My LSDAS GPA counting all of my coursework is about a 3.1 and if you drop what happened over ten years ago, my GPA goes to a 3.89. I took the LSAT on June 9th, but wasn't comfortable (for a variety of reasons) so I canceled it and will re-take in October. I'm currently scoring 165-170 on PTs and I'm confident I can continue to improve prior to the October test.

Does anyone have insight for a student in my position? How much weight, if any, will the schools look at grades from 2004-2007. I'm a resident of Texas and have enacted the "Texas Right to an Academic Fresh Start Law" which requires all in-state public institutions to only look at grades from the last 10 years. What do you think out-of-state and private schools will think of my record? The pre-law advisor at my university says that if I wirte an addendum explaining the situation scools won't even think twice about the old grades. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thank you!

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KMaine
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Re: Non-Traditional Student Questions.

Postby KMaine » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:31 am

I think that your pre-law advisor has different information than I do.

I started LS at 35 and don't think that I got any cushion because my grades were 10 years old. Get that GPA as high as you can. A little higher and Northwestern may bite. Good luck!

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380yarddrives
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Re: Non-Traditional Student Questions.

Postby 380yarddrives » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:33 am

KMaine wrote:I think that your pre-law advisor has different information than I do.

I started LS at 35 and don't think that I got any cushion because my grades were 10 years old. Get that GPA as high as you can. A little higher and Northwestern may bite. Good luck!


Thank you. Did you go back and finish you UG, or had you finished it 10 years prior and then decided to go to Law School? Maybe that's the difference?

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KMaine
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Re: Non-Traditional Student Questions.

Postby KMaine » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:45 am

380yarddrives wrote:
KMaine wrote:I think that your pre-law advisor has different information than I do.

I started LS at 35 and don't think that I got any cushion because my grades were 10 years old. Get that GPA as high as you can. A little higher and Northwestern may bite. Good luck!


Thank you. Did you go back and finish you UG, or had you finished it 10 years prior and then decided to go to Law School? Maybe that's the difference?


No, I did my undergrad as a "trad." It, in fact, may make a difference. It seems like, from my experience, the schools have a difficult time letting go of their GPA/LSAT requirements for non-trads (on the whole we are not treated like URMs). I think that you should plan like your numbers are what they are but maybe reach a little higher than you otherwise would just in case a school takes a shine to you. If nothing else, you have some great fodder for a personal statement, and seemingly a great shot at Texas b/c of the 10 year thing.

too old for this sh*
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Re: Non-Traditional Student Questions.

Postby too old for this sh* » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:19 pm

380yarddrives wrote:Does anyone have insight for a student in my position? How much weight, if any, will the schools look at grades from 2004-2007. I'm a resident of Texas and have enacted the "Texas Right to an Academic Fresh Start Law" which requires all in-state public institutions to only look at grades from the last 10 years. What do you think out-of-state and private schools will think of my record? The pre-law advisor at my university says that if I wirte an addendum explaining the situation scools won't even think twice about the old grades. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thank you!


yeah, I know...the coughing from the dust is getting to some of you, but I have seen the 51.931 question come up in a few instances. And I wholly sympathize with the wish to retroactively ditch a semester...in my case, I graduated in an era where these provisions of Texas law were not available to me at the time of enrollment because they did not yet exist.

The relevant sections of the Education Code are as follows:
( c ) If an applicant elects to seek admission under this section, a public institution of higher education, in considering the applicant for admission, shall not consider academic course credits or grades earned by the applicant 10 or more years prior to the starting date of the semester in which the applicant seeks to enroll. An applicant who makes the election to apply under this section and is admitted as a student may not receive any course credit for courses undertaken 10 or more years prior to enrollment under this section.

(d) If a student who enrolls under this section completes a prescribed course of study, earns a baccalaureate degree, and applies for admission to a postgraduate or professional program offered by a public institution of higher education, the institution, in considering the applicant for admission into the postgraduate or professional program, shall consider only the grade point average of the applicant established by the course work completed after enrollment under this section, along with any other criteria the institution uses in evaluating applicants for admission into the postgraduate or professional program.

(e) Nothing in this section prohibits a public institution of higher education from applying standard admissions criteria generally applicable to persons seeking admission to the institution.


Thus the misunderstandings tend to come in with respect to the drop of grades older than ten years. The statute is an all-or-nothing provision, and further, requires the degree to be obtained after getting accepted under the Fresh Start initiative.

As far as post-grad acceptances go, the Texas law is only binding on in-state public institutions. Anywhere else, to include in-state PRIVATE schools, it would seem to simply be a good talking point.

That being said, the INTENT of the statute may afford SOME Texas graduates useful language for an addendum...and if the upward trend is significant, then it would seem to be worth pursuing.

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kalvano
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Re: Non-Traditional Student Questions.

Postby kalvano » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:14 pm

Wouldn't LSAC, which compiles the grades, be exempt from the Texas program? And since schools look at the LSAC GPA...

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Re: Non-Traditional Student Questions.

Postby too old for this sh* » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:26 pm

kalvano wrote:Wouldn't LSAC, which compiles the grades, be exempt from the Texas program? And since schools look at the LSAC GPA...

Generally speaking, yeah.

Texas PUBLIC schools would have to look at a different calculation for those few applicants that had actually graduated under the Fresh Start provisions and then sought to attend law school in Texas...and MANY of those who bring up the statute did not apply to UG under those provisions. They just hear/read the "disregard crap from more than ten years ago" and figure ka-ching.




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