Truth about GPA addendums

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
313D313
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:52 pm

Truth about GPA addendums

Postby 313D313 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:13 pm

I met with an admission counselor at one of my top choices. My GPA is low compared to the median at that school and we discissed that. I told her the honest truth about my GPA; it does not represent my true ability academically because i was not focused during undergrad, did not plan on pursuing a graduate degree, and i wanted to finish school ASAP.

I told her i am not trying to make an excuse for my GPA but that is really what happened and i am unsure whether i should write the addendum. According to her i should because it allows the committee to paint a more complete picture about me and therefore they do not have to make assumptions.

I know the general consensus on TLS about GPA addendums but do you guys think its worth it if i show how i have become more focused now that i know what i want to do. (i have researched law as a career and law schools like crazy and i think this is the career i want to pursue and that i can be successful at because of my skill set. I am also now working at a law firm.)

What do you guys think??

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Truth about GPA addendums

Postby JazzOne » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:18 pm

If the counselor told you it would help, then I guess you should do it. I personally wouldn't because your situation is not unique. Most of us were unfocused in undergrad. Most of us mature after college and are more capable of focusing in grad school. Many of your UG classmates were goofing off just as much as you were. It's not like everyone else was mature and you were the only one who hadn't figured out life yet. You got the grades you deserved. Live with it. That's my philosophy. You didn't under-perform your potential. You performed exactly as you were capable at that time.

User avatar
joebloe
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:02 am

Re: Truth about GPA addendums

Postby joebloe » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:22 pm

I think that if you can write a non-whiny GPA addendum, and you genuinely have a poor GPA, it could help.

It could also hurt. For instance, if you spin a medical/psych problem into a GPA addendum, adcomms are free to wonder whether the problem will resurface in LS, or is just plain unresolved.

313D313
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:52 pm

Re: Truth about GPA addendums

Postby 313D313 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:31 pm

No medical or psychological problems lol.

I worked full time and school full time along with the responsibility of five younger siblings. However, these did not matter. I know myself and the real reason was because i was not focused and did not care.

Even one of my recommenders told me "there is no reason you do not have a GPA close to a 4.0".
I feel like adcomms look at the GPA as an indicator of your ability to perform in an academic environment and i do not believe my GPA is an accurate indicator of that.

I am scared it will come off like an excuse which i do not want AT ALL.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Truth about GPA addendums

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:35 pm

JazzOne wrote:If the counselor told you it would help, then I guess you should do it. I personally wouldn't because your situation is not unique. Most of us were unfocused in undergrad. Most of us mature after college and are more capable of focusing in grad school. Many of your UG classmates were goofing off just as much as you were. It's not like everyone else was mature and you were the only one who hadn't figured out life yet. You got the grades you deserved. Live with it. That's my philosophy. You didn't under-perform your potential. You performed exactly as you were capable at that time.


This is true but it would be a good reason to say the LSAT would be a better metric to predict success in law school. I personally busted my ass in college but it is clear that most people don't. What it does show is that the OP is someone who was eager to get out in the "real world" and it doesn't have to be unique to be a positive.

Addendum: if you have other reasons that could potentially hindered you include those too.

User avatar
joebloe
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:02 am

Re: Truth about GPA addendums

Postby joebloe » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:39 pm

313D313 wrote:No medical or psychological problems lol. [...]


I just meant it as an example. They're free to wonder whether any negative influence will continue into LS. I guess my point was that if you do an addendum it's important to indicate that the problem that caused you to slack off and get poor grades is no longer and will never again be a problem.

User avatar
BrownBears09
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:48 pm

Re: Truth about GPA addendums

Postby BrownBears09 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:10 pm

313D313 wrote:I met with an admission counselor at one of my top choices. My GPA is low compared to the median at that school and we discissed that. I told her the honest truth about my GPA; it does not represent my true ability academically because i was not focused during undergrad, did not plan on pursuing a graduate degree, and i wanted to finish school ASAP.

I told her i am not trying to make an excuse for my GPA but that is really what happened and i am unsure whether i should write the addendum. According to her i should because it allows the committee to paint a more complete picture about me and therefore they do not have to make assumptions.

I know the general consensus on TLS about GPA addendums but do you guys think its worth it if i show how i have become more focused now that i know what i want to do. (i have researched law as a career and law schools like crazy and i think this is the career i want to pursue and that i can be successful at because of my skill set. I am also now working at a law firm.)

What do you guys think??


An addendum like this portrays you in a very negative light in my opinion. Sure, you may have been like that, but is that the impression you want to give ad comms? Or anyone for that matter?

"I know I did not perform. It's because I wasn't trying, did not care about my studies, and did not think GPA would matter for any future pursuits" is a terrible addendum topic. Frankly, it sounds worse than most assumptions I would make about an individual. Unless you're a Non-Traditional applicant with tons of WE under your belt, you'd have a tough time convincing me you've outgrown that phase.

313D313
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:52 pm

Re: Truth about GPA addendums

Postby 313D313 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:42 pm

Nightrunner wrote:Whatever a relevant admissions counselor at a school you like tells you >>>>>>>>> TLS wisdom, at least for that school.


Good advice. Thank you

User avatar
txadv11
Posts: 922
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:06 pm

Re: Truth about GPA addendums

Postby txadv11 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:20 am

I spoke/applied to schools on both extremes of this. I spoke with a school (and ultimately applied) that told me they will read as many addenda as I wanted to submit and welcome any legitimate reasons for retakes/low grades. Another school I applied to this cycle told me I didn't meet the admissions index. I called them and the admissions rep said they do not read addenda :shock: unless it was a racial, economic, religious (etc...) type of diversity statement.

I really think calling the school is best.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AriGold33, BigBear, jreeve12, pd_1023 and 7 guests