very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

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BryceThayer
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very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby BryceThayer » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:42 am

This is going to be a long and stupid post, but please bear with me guys. I need your advice

I'm a 22 year old sophomore at an average but decent public university in the midwest. I'm in my fourth year of college, having come back a year after academic dismissal. My LSDAS GPA is currently calculated at a 1.99. I've changed my major to philosophy, loaded up on classes now to try and fix my GPA and everything is going well. A’s/A+’s in everything so far. I'm a full-time student now and I've got my head on straight. Really wish I had just done this from the start, dammit. (I had an undiagnosed dysthymia my first three years. Went to see a doctor in my year off, got referred to a therapist and followed his treatment plan and I’m doing very well now)

Anyway, as it stands, my GPA at the time of my application should be somewhere around a 3.1, while my graduating GPA should be around a 3.29. If I load up on courses an extra year (one more than is necessary for me to get the required credits to graduate) I can raise my GPA on graduation to a 3.44.

Also, I’m aware that they only count the credits you earned up until your first B.A. But I can work around this by strategically spacing out the classes needed for the degree. And I can just do a double major or something to make it look legitimate.

So my questions are:

1. Do law schools look at only what your GPA is at the time of your application, or do they consider what it could be when you graduate? (again, the difference here for me would be about a 3.1 vs 3.29)

2. Would it be wise to take another year of classes (which will ultimately be my 7th year of college) to boost my GPA? Or will the law schools count this against me? (this would also allow me more time to work on my softs, which I currently have zero of)

3. Is dysthymia something I should write about in an addendum or PS, or will they just think it’s some lame excuse or a red flag?

PersuasiveCharm
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby PersuasiveCharm » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:53 am

Brace yourself....I pray that they don't attack.. You seem very genuine.

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TommyK
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby TommyK » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:57 am

1) at time of your application.
2) cost-benefit analysis. The benefit would likely be marginal. The difference between a 3.29 and 3.38 will probably be marginal, while blowing a year in tuition would probably be very costly. I don't think the difference is worth the $10k or whatever it will cost you (or your parents)
3) I think it's worthwhile to create an addendum explaining your upswing in GPA and medical issue that was a contributing factor

4) unsolicited - rock your LSAT. a 3.29 with a 170 LSAT is going to open up some doors, and probably the same doors that a 3.38 170 will open. That should be your main goal, alongside getting your GPA above the 3.0 threshold.

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omninode
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby omninode » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:58 am

They look at the GPA on the transcript sent from your school. So, no, you do not get extra credit for believing you will get better grades in the future.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:58 am

TommyK wrote:1) at time of your application.
2) cost-benefit analysis. The benefit would likely be marginal. The difference between a 3.29 and 3.38 will probably be marginal, while blowing a year in tuition would probably be very costly. I don't think the difference is worth the $10k or whatever it will cost you (or your parents)
3) I think it's worthwhile to create an addendum explaining your upswing in GPA and medical issue that was a contributing factor

4) unsolicited - rock your LSAT. a 3.29 with a 170 LSAT is going to open up some doors, and probably the same doors that a 3.38 170 will open. That should be your main goal, alongside getting your GPA above the 3.0 threshold.

yeah, that would be WUSTL with $$$, or a possible shot at the low T14

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paratactical
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby paratactical » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:59 am

Don't major in philosophy. Get a valuable degree and get some work experience to distance yourself from the bad GPA.

sparty11
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby sparty11 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:00 pm

you can get into a top school with a lower gpa...just kill the LSAT. and relevant work experience helps (at some schools more than others).

03121202698008
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:00 pm

Are you saying your LSDAS GPA will be the 3.x or your school's calculated GPA? Only the LSDAS one matters. Staying in another year may be worth it if it'll impact your LSDAS GPA significantly and won't entail a ton of debt.

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BryceThayer
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby BryceThayer » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:04 pm

blowhard wrote:Are you saying your LSDAS GPA will be the 3.x or your school's calculated GPA? Only the LSDAS one matters. Staying in another year may be worth it if it'll impact your LSDAS GPA significantly and won't entail a ton of debt.


I mean my LSDAS GPA, sorry if I wasn't clear about that

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby Bodhi_mind » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:13 pm

Study a lot for the LSAT and kill it

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BryceThayer
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby BryceThayer » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:22 pm

To everyone talking about the LSAT, what score do I need to land at a good law school? Lower 170's? Mids? Highs-180?

LawSchoolGuru
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby LawSchoolGuru » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:26 pm

BryceThayer wrote:To everyone talking about the LSAT, what score do I need to land at a good law school? Lower 170's? Mids? Highs-180?


172 and above puts you in a good position for splitter friendly schools. just have a well written addendum about your grades.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:34 pm

Don't just tell us you now have your "head on straight." Prove it if you want to be a lawyer, undergrad is pretty easy and if you really do you should start making it your bitch (for lack of a better term). My freshman year / 2nd semester I had a semester GPA of 0.00, if I would have posted on TLS asking my chances then I'm sure I would have been laughed at... since then I have gotten all 4.0's and I think I've given myself a decent opportunity with a LSAD gpa of 3.43. You can do something similar
Last edited by ThreeRivers on Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby Bodhi_mind » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:34 pm

LawSchoolGuru wrote:
BryceThayer wrote:To everyone talking about the LSAT, what score do I need to land at a good law school? Lower 170's? Mids? Highs-180?


172 and above puts you in a good position for splitter friendly schools. just have a well written addendum about your grades.


170's

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Indifferent
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby Indifferent » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:37 pm

If you can keep taking classes to boost your GPA without incurring significant debt, by all means, do it.

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TommyK
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby TommyK » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:11 pm

BryceThayer wrote:To everyone talking about the LSAT, what score do I need to land at a good law school? Lower 170's? Mids? Highs-180?

Depends where you want to go. High 160's, low 170's, depending on the school. Higher than low 170's has diminishing returns because there are certain schools that will always be out of your range with a sub 3.4 gpa.

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BryceThayer
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby BryceThayer » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:52 pm

paratactical wrote:Don't major in philosophy. Get a valuable degree and get some work experience to distance yourself from the bad GPA.


what's wrong with a philosophy major? and what majors would you recommend?

LawSchoolGuru wrote:
BryceThayer wrote:To everyone talking about the LSAT, what score do I need to land at a good law school? Lower 170's? Mids? Highs-180?


172 and above puts you in a good position for splitter friendly schools. just have a well written addendum about your grades.


which of the T25 schools are splitter friendly? I see IU-B is ranked 23rd now, and they're splitter friendly, but year to year they jump around in the rankings an awful lot

TommyK wrote:
BryceThayer wrote:To everyone talking about the LSAT, what score do I need to land at a good law school? Lower 170's? Mids? Highs-180?

Depends where you want to go. High 160's, low 170's, depending on the school. Higher than low 170's has diminishing returns because there are certain schools that will always be out of your range with a sub 3.4 gpa.


I'd like to make it into a T20 school. But like you say, it's basically impossible with my GPA. That's why to me it makes sense to stay in school as long as it takes to raise my GPA to about a 3.4/3.5

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941law
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby 941law » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:05 pm

Your lsdas gpa was calculated at 1.9 and since that point you have received a 3.1 or you have moved your gpa up to 3.1??

well anyway law schools will view your gpa as whatever your lsac reports it as and it sounds like you're looking at a 2.4-2.7 depending on how long you wait to apply and how many more A's you bring in.

Regardless, score as high as possible on lsat and apply to a few safety schools.

You can click on 'schools' and see what previous students were accepted with http://lawschoolnumbers.com/

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paratactical
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby paratactical » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:21 pm

The problem with philosophy as a major is that it fails to open doors for any great employment opportunities. If you could work for a few years (2+), it can help distance you from poor UG performances and help you in your search for legal employment. It's not an easy road to take, but it might be the right one and certainly worth considering at this point. Look into what other things you can tolerate that provide reasonable employment options and minor in philosophy.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:00 pm

I don't mean this in a rude way at all, but its kind of hard to me to start evaluating you as a splitter before you even took a diagnostic LSAT, but if you want to know if it can be done.. yes. Make the LSAT your life

Seneca
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby Seneca » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:29 pm

It's not over for you, but you've got a lot of work ahead. I think getting to 3.29 - especially breaking a 3.3, if you can, as I've heard there are some GPA floors around there - definitely justifies waiting until after you graduate to apply. I agree that the difference between a 3.3/3.4 is negligible - you're still well below median. Instead of paying for an extra year, just take every credit you can, and major in whatever you can get a 4.0 in. You'll need a 170+ on the LSAT, but if you're willing to pay sticker, the lower T14 isn't out of reach. Study like crazy for the LSAT, and get some work experience.

shock259
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby shock259 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:15 pm

It does make me giggle that people throw out 170's on this forum like it is something that is easy to do. A small number of people are naturals and can get that score relatively easily, but most people have to freakin' bust their ass to get there. And most people probably can't get there no matter how hard they bust. 170+ is like 99th percentile.

I second the guy that is saying switch majors. At least then you'll have a chance at something when you get out if you can't pull a 170 (which is nothing to be ashamed of).

Good luck to you.

MrAnon
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby MrAnon » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:26 pm

The schools will admit anyone. If you are blind with a 2.7 GPA you can find a law school that will take you. The only thing that matters is that you are eligible for Federal loans. Chances are you are eligible, therefore you are admitted.

Seneca
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby Seneca » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:31 pm

shock259 wrote:It does make me giggle that people throw out 170's on this forum like it is something that is easy to do. A small number of people are naturals and can get that score relatively easily, but most people have to freakin' bust their ass to get there. And most people probably can't get there no matter how hard they bust. 170+ is like 99th percentile.

I second the guy that is saying switch majors. At least then you'll have a chance at something when you get out if you can't pull a 170 (which is nothing to be ashamed of).

Good luck to you.


I agree that a little perspective is needed when people throw high GPAs and especially high LSAT scores around on this site, given that only about 2% of test takers will hit that mark, but I think most people even on TLS would agree that getting a 170+ is tough. It's not thrown out as advice because getting a 170 is easy, it's just that for OP and a lot of others on here, it's the only option to achieve their goals.

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SarahKerrigan
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Re: very poor GPA, thinking about my law school chances

Postby SarahKerrigan » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:49 pm

paratactical wrote:The problem with philosophy as a major is that it fails to open doors for any great employment opportunities. If you could work for a few years (2+), it can help distance you from poor UG performances and help you in your search for legal employment. It's not an easy road to take, but it might be the right one and certainly worth considering at this point. Look into what other things you can tolerate that provide reasonable employment options and minor in philosophy.

I'm majoring in philosophy and plan to teach abroad after UG/before law school, not sure if the OP is interested in this, but it could be a viable option. If the OP is interested in philosophy its possible that he will perform the best GPA wise if he sticks with the major. Switching majors might not necessarily be the best option.




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