(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

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Postby jumister5889 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:03 pm

Last edited by jumister5889 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: What kind of story should I be telling here? 174 / 3.09 Felo

Postby thelawschoolproject » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:42 pm

I'm going to give you the best advice I can, but if it were me I'd probably call the individual schools I'm applying to and ask them a few of those questions so that I knew I was doing the right thing--particularly the legal questions.

In regard to your GPA question, upon first looking at your statement, I don't know what you really have to say. Is there an upward grade trend at all, like the last semester, or are the final semesters the "dip"? How many years (if any) have you been out of undergrad? I suppose you could discuss that you received awards for work, and explain how exemplary those awards are. But, then I'd want to know if you received those awards prior or post the "grade dip."

As for the character and fitness part of the application it's my opinion that you need to explain everything except for minor traffic violations, even if it's been expunged. But you may want to clarify this with the schools you're interested in. And, you need to explain it in the most honest way possible. Don't withhold information.

I don't believe that withdrawals due to suspension effect your GPA directly. Withdrawals don't usually effect GPA. And, I'd put that you began college when you actually began college not when you returned.

As for your chances at Cornell, Georgetown, or UT I think it's impossible to guess. If you were strong everywhere but the GPA I'd say you were most likely in, but you have a lot of baggage that might make committees hesitant to overlook your GPA.

Again, this is only my opinion and is by no means the gospel, but I hope it helps.

Best of luck!


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Re: What kind of story should I be telling here? 174 / 3.09 Felo

Postby freestallion » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:49 pm

jumister5889 wrote:Hi I am a little lost over what kind of things I should be saying in my applications.

I am a 174 LSAT 3.09 GPA splitter. First I want to tackle the GPA issue. What should I say in my addendum if:
-15 of my grades are above B and 14 are B's and under. I have 6 A's and 6 A-'s.
-I have received 2 departmental awards for excellent work
-I was a bit of a party animal and frat kid and my GPA reflects that. It dips dramatically when I lived in the house, which unfortunately was late in my college career.

My LOR is very good i'm pretty sure. A close professor who has only seen me do truly exceptional work and he also now holds the position of political science department chair.

My freshman year I made some fake ids. I was caught and plead guilty to 2 felony charges which were later expunged. student legal services told me i can even say i've never been arrested but i question the credibility of student legal services. My record is clean but I have to disclose this correct? How best do I explain it?

In relation, I was also suspended first semester freshman year so do i put started college at the beginning of that year or the year I returned? Do withdrawals due to suspension count against my GPA?

After all that what are my chances at getting into Cornell, Georgetown, or UT austin?

I am not sure about your chances at those schools (Northwestern and UVA and WUSTL are supposedly splitter friendly...), but I can try and give some advice about your application.

1. Don't write a GPA addendum. You don't seem to have a good reason for a low GPA. Partying is not a reason; you'd need a better reason like an illness, full time job, or some serious problem that reduced your GPA.

2. Include your departmental awards on your resume and in the educational section of the app, if room.

3. For LORs, I would suggest getting at least 2 LORs for most schools. If you have another professor, it would really help especially as your GPA is so low. If you have work experience, 2 academic and 1 professional recommendation would be really strong.

4. Write 2 character and fitness addendums. 1 for the felony and 1 for the academic issue (suspension). But were these two things related? Then you can include both the felony + suspension in one addendum and explain how you regret your actions and have grown since. The good thing is it happened in your freshman year. Have you done anything to distance yourself from that? If you can stress that this happened a long time ago and since then you have become more responsible, it would help a bit. But you HAVE to disclose the felonies and suspension.

5. Write a very strong personal statement that displays maturity and responsibility in some way.


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Re: What kind of story should I be telling here? 174 / 3.09 Felo

Postby jumister5889 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:17 pm

Thanks guys,

1. The felony and suspension were one in the same. I have distanced myself from trouble since then. It was quite the learning experience.

2. My junior year GPA was 3.67 and my senior year was 2.5. I had a summer class after it and got an A in it. My GPA is quite a roller coaster.

3. Are there any t14 schools I would have a really good chance in? Aka, what are the chances I get accepted in ANY t14 school based on this app profile?

4. I guess what I'm trying to ask is what exactly should my personal statement highlight? Without sounding boastful, I would say I am an extremely talented and bright kid who gets easily distracted and feels like nothing is worth my time. I love learning new things and can pick them up very quickly and excel at them. But then I get bored and lose focus. For example, and I know im gonna P.O. a lot of people by saying this but, I studied for very little time, maybe 4 days, for the LSAT and scored a 174. I obviously wouldnt include a fact like that in my personal statement but thats the kind of motivation i can muster when I really want to learn something, learn it well, and learn it fast.

But I used to be quite the arrogant little wisecrack but since my freshman year I have grown much more humble. I recognize my immaturity in the past, but I have no out-of-college work experience so it is hard to demonstrate that. Perhaps I can draw a metaphor between my quest to become a scratch golfer, the lessons of discipline, focus, and maturity that come with such a quest, and my attitude in general?

I really appreciate your input, TLS is great


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Re: What kind of story should I be telling here? 174 / 3.09 Felo

Postby bartleby » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:53 pm

i think you'll still need to work on being more humble, or at least conveying it. have some people who aren't your friends - maybe some people on TLS - read it over. heck, i'd be an arrogant prick if i got a 174 without studying either.

IMO, i'd just try and play it conservative. most splitters like to go balls to the walls but if there's anything the UIUC scandal is telling us - it is that all they care about is LSAT scores. w/ your past troubles and downward grade trend, i'd just try to not stand out and let the 174 do its work.

just say you wanted to pursue one thing, dedicated all your time to it, and then a light turned on and you wanted to go to law school. that's just my opinion, i'm sure other more successful splitters will tel you otherwise.


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Re: What kind of story should I be telling here? 174 / 3.09 Felo

Postby jumister5889 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:01 pm

My personal statement will be much more humble than my previous post.

But I do really appreciate your input because thats exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for. By going under the radar what exactly do you mean? Should I avoid personal weaknesses all together in my PS and just write a less deeply involved PS that focuses on some other positive aspect of myself entirely? What kinds of topics would serve this goal well?

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