Am I in trouble?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
JohnV
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:29 am

Am I in trouble?

Postby JohnV » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:19 pm

This is going to serve as a means for me to gripe and ask some important questions, so bear with me.

First, I don't know how to get professor recommendations. I have 2 more semesters left and I'm finding it very difficult to find small classes at such a large university. I'm not very good at getting to know professors and doing so would basically be just to get recommendations. Most of the ones I've talked to tell me the class is too large to write me a decent recommendation and that I should try to talk to professors I've known in the past or from smaller classes, however, those don't exist for me.

I don't have a whole lot going on for my resume. I'm in one student organization and I've had one job during my college career. That's about it. How bad is this going to hurt me? I'm not trying to get into HYS, but I'd like to go to UT or somewhere in that area ranking-wise.

Also, does a double major matter? After doing a ton of switching back and forth between Gov and History, I only need 5 more courses to obtain a degree in Government. I'm probably going to do it anyways just as a way to boost my gpa a little bit more and I figure it can't really hurt.

Here's what I'm really here to gripe about. Through my college career I made 2 colossal mistakes that I will regret until the day I die. I took Spanish 1 and a duplicate U.S. history course here at UT. The duplicate history course was because my adviser didn't catch that my AP credit became academic history at my prior university so the original score that wouldn't had counted did count, and their website gave me false information because it didn't take it into account either. I got a B+ in that course, so in comparison to the mistake of taking Spanish here it is nothing. I took Spanish at UTSA my freshmen year and got an A. I took Spanish 1 here at UT because they did an overhaul of their Spanish department and the only way I could count my UTSA Spanish grade was to either do accelerated programs during the summer (I would have failed) or take the new extended Spanish 1 here, which is a 6 hr course as oppose to the old 5 hour course. I took that route, thought my prior knowledge in Spanish would help me out and I also didn't think I could take Spanish at the community college because the last 24/30 hrs have to be in residence (turns out that's not a number set in stone, no one told me though). SO... now I have a B minus in a 6 hour course that turns out, since I'm taking the rest of my Spanish at a community college, will be completely worthless to me as is the History course. Those 2 courses combined mean I lost .1 of my GPA due to sheer ignorance and bad advising. And as far as I know, I can't undo them. I can't erase them even though I already had credit, I can't revert them to pass/fail, I'm just screwed. After doing more calculating it turns out I have to get 10 A's just to get back to where I'd be without the B minus... so that may show you why this long, sad rant needed to happen. I really feel like this mistake may have been the fatal blow that keeps me from getting into a decent law school. I haven't taken the LSAT so I don't know for sure yet.

My GPA right now is a 3.68. By the end of this semester it should be somewhere around a 3.71 to a 3.73. Maybe I can even get it a little higher than that after another 3 semesters but because of the B minus it will never be higher than a 3.8. So, what do you think my chances are? What should I be doing now? Is there any means of getting rid of the B minus (I know there isn't but on the off chance someone has heard something, it's a big enough of a problem to at least ask)?

Thanks for your time, after coming to this realization I thought it'd help to at least put it all down on paper.

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby shoeshine » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:50 pm

Come back when you have an lsat score.

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paratactical
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Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby paratactical » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:52 pm

Yes. Next year LSAT be hardest test ever.

LawSchoolGuru
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:56 am

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby LawSchoolGuru » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:55 pm

Do well on the lsat -> Profit.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:55 pm

JohnV wrote:
Here's what I'm really here to gripe about. Through my college career I made 2 colossal mistakes that I will regret until the day I die.


As I was reading this I thought we were gonna be treated to some really juicy stuff. Dude don't worry. You are fine. Just do as well as you possibly can on the LSAT then figure out where you are. Plug in your GPA into law school numbers or law school predictor to see where you need to be to get in to UT and then do that.

JohnV
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:29 am

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby JohnV » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:01 am

paratactical wrote:Yes. Next year LSAT be hardest test ever.


What?

Mal Reynolds wrote:As I was reading this I thought we were gonna be treated to some really juicy stuff. Dude don't worry. You are fine. Just do as well as you possibly can on the LSAT then figure out where you are. Plug in your GPA into law school numbers or law school predictor to see where you need to be to get in to UT and then do that.


Well, sorry to disappoint lol. It seems big to me because it's characteristic of my life and this time, depending on what I do on the LSAT it might be pretty damning. What do yall think about extracurriculars and recommendations? Those are 2 areas that have become mysteries to me.

Mal Reynolds
Posts: 12630
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:03 am

Sounds like if you are worried about LORs and Extracurriculars and you still have some time left in school you should, I don't know, join some clubs and get to know some professors. At least you aren't coming to this realization after you graduate.

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby shoeshine » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:04 am

JohnV wrote:Well, sorry to disappoint lol. It seems big to me because it's characteristic of my life and this time, depending on what I do on the LSAT it might be pretty damning. What do yall think about extracurriculars and recommendations? Those are 2 areas that have become mysteries to me.


All of that matters about a tenth of how much your lsat score matters. Your GPA is fine now. Try to pull it above 3.75 but either way you are fine.

Getting recommendations is something you must do but a strong or weak rec letter will not make or break you.

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Tom Joad
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Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby Tom Joad » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:09 am

JohnV wrote:Here's what I'm really here to gripe about. Through my college career I made 2 colossal mistakes that I will regret until the day I die. I took Spanish 1 and a duplicate U.S. history course here at UT. The duplicate history course was because my adviser didn't catch that my AP credit became academic history at my prior university so the original score that wouldn't had counted did count, and their website gave me false information because it didn't take it into account either. I got a B+ in that course, so in comparison to the mistake of taking Spanish here it is nothing. I took Spanish at UTSA my freshmen year and got an A. I took Spanish 1 here at UT because they did an overhaul of their Spanish department and the only way I could count my UTSA Spanish grade was to either do accelerated programs during the summer (I would have failed) or take the new extended Spanish 1 here, which is a 6 hr course as oppose to the old 5 hour course. I took that route, thought my prior knowledge in Spanish would help me out and I also didn't think I could take Spanish at the community college because the last 24/30 hrs have to be in residence (turns out that's not a number set in stone, no one told me though). SO... now I have a B minus in a 6 hour course that turns out, since I'm taking the rest of my Spanish at a community college, will be completely worthless to me as is the History course. Those 2 courses combined mean I lost .1 of my GPA due to sheer ignorance and bad advising. And as far as I know, I can't undo them. I can't erase them even though I already had credit, I can't revert them to pass/fail, I'm just screwed. After doing more calculating it turns out I have to get 10 A's just to get back to where I'd be without the B minus... so that may show you why this long, sad rant needed to happen. I really feel like this mistake may have been the fatal blow that keeps me from getting into a decent law school. I haven't taken the LSAT so I don't know for sure yet.

My GPA right now is a 3.68. By the end of this semester it should be somewhere around a 3.71 to a 3.73. Maybe I can even get it a little higher than that after another 3 semesters but because of the B minus it will never be higher than a 3.8. So, what do you think my chances are? What should I be doing now? Is there any means of getting rid of the B minus (I know there isn't but on the off chance someone has heard something, it's a big enough of a problem to at least ask)?

Thanks for your time, after coming to this realization I thought it'd help to at least put it all down on paper.


You did take the classes (I assume they were general studies). If you didn't get an A it is probably really your own fault. And those marks aren't the end of the world anyway. Not to be a dick or anything, that's just how I see it.

-Tom Joad.

Seneca
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:00 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby Seneca » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:23 am

As others have said, your primary focus should be maintaining your GPA and prepping for the LSAT.

To put your mind at ease, in the mean time: Getting the LORs will probably be easier than you think. If you're not able to take a smaller class, just pick any professor(s) who gave you an A and go to office hours to make the request. If it comes up, just explain that you have primarily taken larger courses, and be prepared to articulate a reason or two why you've specifically asked that professor. Provide the professors with stamped, addressed envelopes for LSAC, the requisite forms, a copy of your transcript, your resume, your PS (if you've got one by then), any work that got high marks from that professor (preferably a copy with the prof's notes still on it, to prompt his memory of you), and maybe a cover letter about your goals for law school and a reiteration about why that prof for the LOR.

It's okay if the LORs don't necessarily rave about you, it won't hurt you, and frankly a stellar LOR probably doesn't help anyone all that much either. If you plan to apply next fall, it can be helpful to get your LORs nailed down and sent towards the end of spring semester. If that's not possible, don't worry - there's plenty of time to handle it in fall. Good luck to you!

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j12
Posts: 169
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:41 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby j12 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:22 am

UT's Median GPA is 3.69. Looks like you'll be above that. You are fine.

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89vision
Posts: 431
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:49 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby 89vision » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:23 am

That story was very anti-climatic. If you are serious...you obviously have a pretty cozy and sheltered life. I wish the big mistake I made in life was getting a B-. Sorry, but I have seen collosal mistakes in people's lives, and a B- does not really make the cut. Jail, DUIs, fleeing the scene, getting mugged, rehab, suspensions, alcoholic fathers, mental illness, failing out of school, getting kicked out of the house, GTA, arrests...yeah that B- does not really seem that big compared to what people I am friends with and related to have been through. I am jealous of your life, and so many people on this forum. Talk about a perfect life. Man, I am missing out.

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Kring345
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby Kring345 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:26 am

89vision wrote:That story was very anti-climatic. If you are serious...you obviously have a pretty cozy and sheltered life. I wish the big mistake I made in life was getting a B-. Sorry, but I have seen collosal mistakes in people's lives, and a B- does not really make the cut. Jail, DUIs, fleeing the scene, getting mugged, rehab, suspensions, alcoholic fathers, mental illness, failing out of school, getting kicked out of the house, GTA, arrests...yeah that B- does not really seem that big compared to what people I am friends with and related to have been through. I am jealous of your life, and so many people on this forum. Talk about a perfect life. Man, I am missing out.

Dood, I feel awful now. I wish I had friends and family members with DUIs and jail time so I had something to write about in my diversity statement. Having my head on straight and hanging around with the right friends really came back to bite me in the ass... :roll:

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ilovesf
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby ilovesf » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:57 am

just take two classes with the same professor and do well and ask for a rec, you'll be fine. i didn't know one of my professors very well but she still gave me one. professors at larger universities are generally pretty understanding about it in my experience. if for some weird reason you can't swing your next two semesters with the same prof, just ask anyway. you aren't really doing any damage by asking for a recommendation.

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ladybug89
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Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby ladybug89 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:09 am

I was also terrible at getting to know professors. But before senior year I knew I had to get it together, so I just bit the bullet. Try to take a small class if you can. If you can't, do what Seneca said. Preferably try to take at least one class with the same professor. If you can't, pick a class in which you did some substantial writing and did well on it. That way if they don't remember you, they can take a look at your paper and at least have something concrete to discuss. nbd.

and as everyone else has said, rock the lsat. (TLS is really helpful with study strategies.)

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89vision
Posts: 431
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Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby 89vision » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:35 pm

My instinct says you are not serious, but people on here are very dramatic and self centered. There is so much more to life than applying to law school. It would be sad to think seeing your friends and family suffer would be a good thing for law school...

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Kring345
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Re: Am I in trouble?

Postby Kring345 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:03 pm

89vision wrote:My instinct says you are not serious ...There is so much more to life than applying to law school.




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