How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

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Sloth Hero
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How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby Sloth Hero » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:28 pm

Hello,

First off, I have no idea how Law Schools generally read GPA's, GPA trends, etc. Also I have no idea whether to comment on my own undergraduate experience or not.

Quick story: When I was a freshman I knew exactly what I wanted to study: philosophy and economics. But being dumb and naive I let my "advisor" talk me into taking only intro classes and liberal requirements so I could have an "easy first year". Well, I wasn't intellectually stimulated at ALL by ANY of my classes, stopped going to class because it was a waste of time, became super disheartened about college in general. So I did pretty poorly -- got a 3.2 without doing ANYTHING.

Come sophomore year I took all upper-division philosophy and economics courses. I became enthralled with the material, and despite the massive difficulty gap, my GPA skyrocketed. Come junior year, I had narrowed down my interests with the fields, took VERY challenging classes, and got a 4.0

Trend kinda looks like:
Freshman year: 3.2
Sophomore year: 3.8
Junior year : 4.0

Current GPA: 3.7

Assuming I'll get a 4.0 again senior year, (the only classes that could threaten this would be Modal/Paraconsistent Logic and the Neuroethics seminar, but idgaf and am taking them anyways) how much will they discredit my poor performance freshman year given the strong upward trend, the positive correlation between gpa/difficulty of classes, and the fact that my interests/passion shows pretty clearly through my transcript alone?

I'll blanket t14 schools, but I am really interested in NYU, Columbia, Chicago, Stanford -- so if anyone has specifics about their interpretive framework, please let me know.

Really trying to figure out how much I'll need to compensate with LSAT. My prep-tests are all 172+, and I'll practice a ton more if I need to, but I have better things to be doing.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:34 pm

Sloth Hero wrote:My prep-tests are all 172+, and I'll practice a ton more if I need to, but I have better things to be doing.

You have more important things to be doing than practicing for the most important factor in law school admissions?

Also, in short, upward trend doesn't matter as much as you may think. Schools report GPAs to USNWR, not trends. Sometimes they help, but most of the time they have no effect.

And why are you shitting on your advisor for telling you to take intro courses as a freshman? That is pretty standard. No advisor is going to tell you to take upper level economics and philosophy courses as a freshman. Get over yourself. You did poorly because the classes were too easy? Terrible excuse.
Last edited by MrPapagiorgio on Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bceagles182
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby bceagles182 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:35 pm

If you are consistently hitting 172, you should be aiming for a 180. Forget about your GPA until you have an LSAT score.

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Flips88
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby Flips88 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:36 pm

ending with a 3.7+ GPA does not warrant an addendum at all. Plenty of people take the boring courses as freshman and do well. You gain nothing by pointing this out in your application. And if you end up with say a 3.75 and a 172+ on the LSAT then you're likely to get into at least one of CCN and at other T-14s with money.

RTFM
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby RTFM » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:28 pm

I had almost the exact same upward grade trend and I didn't write an addendum. Lots of people don't do as well their first year of college, and you'll be ending with a solid GPA. Also, you do not want to write an addendum saying that you got bad grades because you were bored and didn't do any work--that is not compelling at all.

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Sloth Hero
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby Sloth Hero » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:50 pm

The point is not that I'm unwilling to do the work, but that when I am allowed to study material I am passionate about, I do exceedingly well. I am passionate about law, ergo..

RTFM
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby RTFM » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:14 pm

Sloth Hero wrote:The point is not that I'm unwilling to do the work, but that when I am allowed to study material I am passionate about, I do exceedingly well. I am passionate about law, ergo..


Yes, but lots of people do exceedingly well in EVERY class, not just the ones they're passionate about. Most people do better in classes that they enjoy, anyway. Plus, you are almost certainly not going to be passionate about every law school class you take. It's just my opinion, but I think there's a close to 0% chance an addendum would help you, and a huge chance it could hurt you. GPA addendums are for people who have below-median GPAs for reasons beyond their control (e.g. family emergency, serious illness, etc.)

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Flips88
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby Flips88 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:05 pm

Sloth Hero wrote:The point is not that I'm unwilling to do the work, but that when I am allowed to study material I am passionate about, I do exceedingly well. I am passionate about law, ergo..

Trust me, there will be plenty of law classes that are boring and unsexy. Reading 18th and 19th century British cases is not fun.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:06 pm

Flips88 wrote:
Sloth Hero wrote:The point is not that I'm unwilling to do the work, but that when I am allowed to study material I am passionate about, I do exceedingly well. I am passionate about law, ergo..

Trust me, there will be plenty of law classes that are boring and unsexy. Reading 18th and 19th century British cases is not fun.

Nor is anything by John Marshall.

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Flips88
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby Flips88 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:07 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
Flips88 wrote:
Sloth Hero wrote:The point is not that I'm unwilling to do the work, but that when I am allowed to study material I am passionate about, I do exceedingly well. I am passionate about law, ergo..

Trust me, there will be plenty of law classes that are boring and unsexy. Reading 18th and 19th century British cases is not fun.

Nor is anything by John Marshall.

Johnson v. McIntosh was real riveting. I enjoyed the tortured legal reasoning supporting oppression of Native Americans.

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sunynp
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby sunynp » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:12 pm

Sloth Hero wrote:The point is not that I'm unwilling to do the work, but that when I am allowed to study material I am passionate about, I do exceedingly well. I am passionate about law, ergo..


Do you know what lawyers do? Have you ever worked with lawyers? I'm concerned that the day to day practice of law will not excite you. Also, I don't want to be mean, but there are students who do exceedingly well in every class. You will be competing against them for grades in the zero sum game of law school.

If you think admissions cares about your motivation, they don't. If you think will get a break for this, you won't. Don't write some kind of addendum explaining why you didn't like your freshman classes, it will not benefit you.

Maybe you should work in a law firm for a year or two and see how you like it.

bp shinners
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Re: How will this GPA trend be interpreted?

Postby bp shinners » Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:20 pm

Adcomms are used to people who struggled freshman year and then picked it up sophomore year. Your explanation is about the same as many of those who have a similar trend ("I wasn't taking interesting classes; then, I found my major!"). If you're going to say something that the adcomms are already assuming, you don't want to write the addendum.

Especially if your GPA is a 3.7 - that's high enough that schools will view an addendum as whining, unless you have a medical emergency or death in the family.




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