PTSD

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
lrslayer
Posts: 586
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:38 am

PTSD

Postby lrslayer » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:29 am

So, here is the situation. I served overseas (Afghan. once, Iraq twice) as a helicopter crew chief/ gunner, and I was highly decorated and performed in the 99 percentile so to speak. That being said, I came home and got out of the Marine Corps to find myself struggling with anxiety attacks, sleep issues, memory loss, depression, etc. Long and the short of it is, I was diagnosed with PTSD. All this went on while I was readjusting and going to school as a Biochemistry major. I really struggled those first years. While I earned many A's, there were a couple B's, a couple C's and one F. I should mention that since learning coping tecniques and intense counseling, I have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout my junior and senior years.Those first two very difficult years have left me with a GPA in the 3.2-3.3 range (still waiting for LSAC official GPA). I have used my experience in the Marines in my PS, but I kept it very positive (it made me mature and helped me find my self worth, etc). I never said PTSD in the PS, I merely referred to the struggles of adjusting to civilian life. Alright, here's the question:
Do I...
A) discuss how the PTSD affected my GPA more within my PS?
B) write a GPA addendum?
C) don't mention PTSD as it will introduce a weakness and potential for failure in LS?
D) not need to say anything, the admissions folks understand what "struggles of adjusting to civilian life" means and will consider this when looking at my early year grade?
E) tl;dr

User avatar
glewz
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:32 pm

Re: PTSD

Postby glewz » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:35 am

GPA addendum

User avatar
johnnyutah
Posts: 1709
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Re: PTSD

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:41 am

GPA addendum, and it's a good one.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13918
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: PTSD

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:09 am

GPA addendum, just stating plainly that your grades were inconsistent after leaving the military, you were diagnosed with PTSD, you got treatment, and as a result, you showed dramatic and consistent improvement in your academic performance. Your grades back up this explanation well.

User avatar
Rock-N-Roll
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:16 pm

Re: PTSD

Postby Rock-N-Roll » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:22 am

I hear what other posters are saying and I'm just playing devil's advocate: Couldn't a grade addendum about a medical condition be potentially dangerous even when that medical condition was gotten through military service? Yes. People will respect and empathize with this particular medical condition, but it would also be super unfortunate if a school used the condition against the OP by questioning whether or not it was resolved and whether it would affect OP's law school performance.

I would actually suspect that if OP scored really well on the LSAT (like 170+) a GPA addendum wouldn't be necessary. Because at the end of the day, the GPA addendum gives the schools perspective but it doesn't change the GPA. Best of luck to OP!

User avatar
glewz
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:32 pm

Re: PTSD

Postby glewz » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:29 am

Rock-N-Roll wrote:I hear what other posters are saying and I'm just playing devil's advocate: Couldn't a grade addendum about a medical condition be potentially dangerous even when that medical condition was gotten through military service? Yes. People will respect and empathize with this particular medical condition, but it would also be super unfortunate if a school used the condition against the OP by questioning whether or not it was resolved and whether it would affect OP's law school performance.

I would actually suspect that if OP scored really well on the LSAT (like 170+) a GPA addendum wouldn't be necessary. Because at the end of the day, the GPA addendum gives the schools perspective but it doesn't change the GPA. Best of luck to OP!

The fact that OP has maintained a 4.0 in the last two years makes a strong argument that he/she is mentally and physically capable of functioning in an school setting.

This is a textbook situation in which OP should write a GPA addendum. Success on the LSAT by no means addresses the question of why OP had terrible grades during his/her first two years, though it further bolsters the case for his/her academic readiness.

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

Re: PTSD

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:31 am

I think a brief addendum re: grades might not be a bad idea, though really I think the schools are just concerned with the numbers more than what led to them (in other words, I doubt that grade addenda really help most of the time).

That said, I think you should write your PS on your service experience. Not only will your veteran status generally give you a 'boost' in law school admissions, but a well-written and emotionally-engaging PS about your combat experience and growth through the challenge of that could be unusually strong IMO.

User avatar
lrslayer
Posts: 586
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:38 am

Re: PTSD

Postby lrslayer » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:34 am

Thanks for the advice all. I will post a addendum for review once I write it. Thanks!

User avatar
lrslayer
Posts: 586
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:38 am

Re: PTSD

Postby lrslayer » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:38 am

Is anyone interested in reading my PS?

MumofCad
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: PTSD

Postby MumofCad » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:27 am

I'd be happy to read your PS if you want to PM it.

As for the GPA addendum, I think it is absolutely the right thing to do and totally disagree with some of what is said above. I think there are schools that will treat you holistically, especially if you have a complete package and interesting story. Just be brief and to the point as the PP wrote - don't go in to sensitive details to try and play on their emotions, as it will most likely backfire.

I was just reading today on admissionsdean.com an interview with the Dean of Adm at Yale, and she specifically answered a question about how someone got in with a 158 LSAT. Her answer - he was a combat veteran with a compelling PS and a solid LSAT addendum explaining his low LSAT score at the result of his having to take the test in between deployments to Iraq. Certainly he is the exception rather than the rule. But she specifically stated in the interview that the PS was not the place to explain something like that.

User avatar
robotclubmember
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:53 am

Re: PTSD

Postby robotclubmember » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:38 am

i'd be interested no know how your cycle goes. this is exactly the kind of situation that calls for a GPA addendum.

most people's experience on this forum is that this is a numbers game and that the GPA addendum doesn't really make a difference no matter how many adcomms tell you it will (frankly, they lie), though most people don't have your reason.

User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: PTSD

Postby bjsesq » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:43 am

Write the addendum. Also: have a ready support structure for law school. When things get stressful (around finals of first semester) the nightmares may get more frequent. You need people who can help.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], katthegreat11 and 4 guests