Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

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Bunk Moreland
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Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby Bunk Moreland » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:07 pm

I'm sure this has been asked many, many times but I searched the archives and came up with nothing. So here goes:

I've been out of college for eight years. Went to a large state school. Good school and all, though it certainly wasn't Harvard. My grades were average. Not bad. Not great. Maintained about a 3.0 throughout.

In the past eight years I've managed to do pretty well professionally. Don't make a ton of money by any means, but I do have a good job in a highly competitive field. Without giving too much away, the profession I entered out of college has changed so dramatically I barely recognize it anymore. OK, it's the media business. Downsizing, constant threats of lay-offs, corporate mismanagement, etc., etc., have led many reporters I've known in the past five or six years into the wonderful world of law school. (And yes, I've read all the stories out there about the surplus of lawyers, too ... though at least a law degree gives one plenty of professional options.)

And now I'm interested, too.

But I'm wondering -- and here's the question I've been getting at: How much does an undergrad college GPA really matter to these schools eight years after the fact? Especially given I've started a successful career in the meantime. Obviously, a lot can change in a person between 22 and 30. If I'd made a 4.0 back then I wouldn't expect that to carry me now just as I don't expect my 3.0 to hinder me -- or at least it shouldn't, I don't think. Without studying all that much I've done well on the few practice LSAT's I've taken. Been in the 160-163 range and I'm hopeful I can boost that up to the high-160's or better with some serious studying.

Anyway, thoughts are appreciated on what I'm sure is a worn-out topic. Thanks. :)

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Bronte
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby Bronte » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:09 pm

The distance you've put between you and your GPA will help to mitigate the impact of the low number, but it's primarily a numbers game.

bdubs
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby bdubs » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:19 pm

Being out of college a while won't matter that much, your GPA is still really important. You will have a slight advantage relative to another 3.0 applicant, but you still won't get into schools with floors that are above your GPA.
Last edited by bdubs on Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bunk Moreland
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby Bunk Moreland » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:45 pm

Thanks, guys.

And yeah, I certainly don't expect a ton of leniency on the GPA-front, but I do think it'd be nice if there were a way for law schools to factor in post-college successes/experiences into their application process. For instance, if I'd made a 4.0 in college eight years ago but then couldn't make it in the real world -- and I think we all know plenty of people whose grades aren't necessarily indicative of their real-world skills -- I have a difficult time believing I'd be more deserving a law-school candidate than, say, someone with some quality post-college credentials.

Easy for me to say, though, given my mediocre college transcript. :D

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NZA
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby NZA » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:51 pm

Depends on the school, OP. Some schools are friendly towards splitters, some are not. Some emphasize professional experience, some do not.

Bunk Moreland wrote:Downsizing, constant threats of lay-offs, corporate mismanagement, etc., etc., have led many reporters I've known in the past five or six years into the wonderful world of law school.


Bunk Moreland wrote:Makes me sick, muthafucka, how far we done fell.

Bunk Moreland
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby Bunk Moreland » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:01 pm

Thanks, NZA.

And if you're gonna start quoting my man Bunk, I could be here all day.

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theavrock
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby theavrock » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:01 pm

Bunk Moreland wrote:Thanks, guys.

And yeah, I certainly don't expect a ton of leniency on the GPA-front, but I do think it'd be nice if there were a way for law schools to factor in post-college successes/experiences into their application process. For instance, if I'd made a 4.0 in college eight years ago but then couldn't make it in the real world -- and I think we all know plenty of people whose grades aren't necessarily indicative of their real-world skills -- I have a difficult time believing I'd be more deserving a law-school candidate than, say, someone with some quality post-college credentials.

Easy for me to say, though, given my mediocre college transcript. :D


Agreed but petition US news not the schools.

acrossthelake
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:55 pm

A lot.

Northwestern likes work experience, but you'll need over 170 before they'll take you.

schooner
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby schooner » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:56 pm

...
Last edited by schooner on Sun May 03, 2015 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

senorhosh
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby senorhosh » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:21 am

acrossthelake wrote:A lot.

Northwestern likes work experience, but you'll need over 170 before they'll take you.


Since you've got a ton of WE, if you can get 170+ I'd say you have a good shot.
Apparently with your GPA, a 169 WON'T get you in (looking at LSN). It has to be 170+

schooner
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby schooner » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:39 pm

OP, where do you want to go for law school?

Bunk Moreland
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Re: Out of college for a while: how much does GPA really matter?

Postby Bunk Moreland » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:17 pm

Thanks for the insights, all. Much appreciated.

schooner wrote:OP, where do you want to go for law school?


To answer that question, I'm only interested in tier one's. Like some here, I'm not sure the investment of going to law school is worth it otherwise. That said, I don't have any illusions of going to an Ivy League school or really anywhere in the top 15. That'd be a hard sell for me with my GPA what it was, regardless of how well I do on the LSAT. I'd be content with schools ranked in the 25-50 range, depending on if I can do well enough on the LSAT to receive some kind of money. Would like to stay in the southeast. So given those parameters I'm most interested in places like Emory, UNC, Alabama, Georgia, Wake Forest or the two Florida schools.




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