How do I explain this?

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mvonh001
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How do I explain this?

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:10 pm

Hi,

I currently go to FIU in Florida and I plan on graduating In December. I have not taken my LSAT's but I plan on taking them in June, and based on my practice tests I should score in the 172-178 range. My GPA at FIU is 3.8, but the problem is that i transfered from UM after only 56 credits. At UM I had a drug problem that resulted in me getting a DUI and eventually landed me in a coma for 7 days; it was also the reason I transferred. Obviously I have learned a lot about myself and my goals have changed drastically since. I plan on writing about this in an addendum or diversity statement. My drug problem also was the reasons that I got a 2.5 as my GPA before I transferred. Now I'm clean off drugs and I dont associate with anything from my past anymore, and because of this change, I have gotten straight A's at FIU.

Now my questions are as follow:
1) Should I explain my drug problem in an addendum, or a diversity statement, or my personal statement?
2) If my DUI was reduced to a reckless driving do I need to disclose it (it is a traffic violation now)?
3) Does my straight A's at FIU count for something (upward trend?, my ability to do well?)?
4) Will I get more credit than my 3.2 Cumulative GPA is worth?
5) Do I have a shot at UCLA? or any other T14 for that matter?
6) How would you go about disclosing all this information in an application, i.e. would you explain the difficulties of overcoming the addiction that made you a better person now that you clean?,etc?


EDIT - If this is in the wrong section please let me know and I will move it, or mods can you move it to the proper section. Thanks

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R86
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby R86 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:18 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mvonh001
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:24 pm

so you dont think i should explain why i got such a low GPA?
Or not directly mention drug use?

I could use a medical condition (addiction) as my reason for doing so poorly and that is the reason I ended up in a coma. But what medical condition leaves people in a coma for 7 days? That would be a little suspicious, I think.

I think it is important for my to disclose I was in a coma for no other reason than it makes me stand out, and having come back to do so well after it is a testament to my strength of character and willpower. Would you agree?

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:25 pm

[Now my questions are as follow:
1) Should I explain my drug problem in an addendum, or a diversity statement, or my personal statement?
your charge is only a misdemeanor now, disclose in an addendum, and briefly explain(just several sentences) the disposition, and how you learned from it an won't do it again.
2) If my DUI was reduced to a reckless driving do I need to disclose it (it is a traffic violation now)?
Disclose everything. 3) Does my straight A's at FIU count for something (upward trend?, my ability to do well?)?
Not really.
4) Will I get more credit than my 3.2 Cumulative GPA is worth?
No
5) Do I have a shot at UCLA? or any other T14 for that matter?
Get an LSAT score and come back.
6) How would you go about disclosing all this information in an application, i.e. would you explain the difficulties of overcoming the addiction that made you a better person now that you clean?,etc?
I wouldn't talk about the addiction becaues you really only have one addiction related ticket. If you had multiple drug possession charges then you may want to think about writing about overcoming addiction.
You have one ticket. Don't make it a bigger deal than it is.
You might want to have a short addendum for you transfer, but it's not a big deal and I wouldn't mention drug use.
Now go get your LSAT up.

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mvonh001
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:27 pm

What LSAT do you think I would need? Higher than a 178?

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:28 pm

mvonh001 wrote:so you dont think i should explain why i got such a low GPA?
Or not directly mention drug use?

I could use a medical condition (addiction) as my reason for doing so poorly and that is the reason I ended up in a coma. But what medical condition leaves people in a coma for 7 days? That would be a little suspicious, I think.

I think it is important for my to disclose I was in a coma for no other reason than it makes me stand out, and having come back to do so well after it is a testament to my strength of character and willpower. Would you agree?

I wouldn't mention your drug use. You are going to tell them that you are over drugs, but how many people maintain long term sobriety? I think the rate is something like 10% of people stay clean. This could be wrong.
My point is that you don't want them to think that there's a chance that you are going to flake out and start blowing rails on the reg again.
Don't let them think you are a risk.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:29 pm

mvonh001 wrote:What LSAT do you think I would need? Higher than a 178?

check out lawschoolnumbers.com or lawschoolpredictor.com

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mvonh001
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:32 pm

So just create an addendum as to why I transfered and state that for whatever reason (other than drugs) is why I transferred and why my GPA was so low?

So my idea about mentioning my coma is bad?

Even though I went to rehab, I just shouldn't mention drug use at all. Got it. But when im explaining things like my low GPA my first 2 years how do i go about doing that?

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mvonh001
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:34 pm

Thanks, and according to that website I would only need a 175 to be an ADMIT and a 174 to be a Strong Consider.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:40 pm

mvonh001 wrote:So just create an addendum as to why I transfered and state that for whatever reason (other than drugs) is why I transferred and why my GPA was so low?

So my idea about mentioning my coma is bad?

Even though I went to rehab, I just shouldn't mention drug use at all. Got it. But when im explaining things like my low GPA my first 2 years how do i go about doing that?

I mean, if you were able to mention your coma without talking about the drug use then you could possibly use it in your personal statement.
The thing about your drug situation is that it doesn't look that bad on paper. A LOT people applying to law school have had dui and possession charges, so don't tell them that your problem was bigger than a one time incident. People who go to rehab usually have chronic underlying issues. DO NOT put drugs on your addendum for your GPA, if you can't find another reason to explain your GPA and transfer then don't write one. Bro, a lot of people have shitty first couple of years in college. The bump you could possibly get for an addendum isn't worth telling them you had a drug problem.
Last edited by Mr. Pancakes on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Samara
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Samara » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:41 pm

mvonh001 wrote:Thanks, and according to that website I would only need a 175 to be an ADMIT and a 174 to be a Strong Consider.

Getting into UCLA is unlikely, even with a 180. They have a GPA floor of about 3.4. Luckily, T14s (assuming the C&F issues don't have a huge impact, which I doubt they will if you fully disclose) are still within your reach. If you don't care which T14 you get, ED to UVa. With work experience, you can get NU. GULC is also within reach. NYU, Michigan and Penn are longshots, but worth applying to. You would need at least a 170, more like 173+ to be confident in snagging at least one. Scores above 173 are essentially the same in your situation.

You might find this helpful: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=162680

Come back again when you have your score. Good luck!

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mvonh001
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:44 pm

Mr. Pancakes wrote:
mvonh001 wrote:So just create an addendum as to why I transfered and state that for whatever reason (other than drugs) is why I transferred and why my GPA was so low?

So my idea about mentioning my coma is bad?

Even though I went to rehab, I just shouldn't mention drug use at all. Got it. But when im explaining things like my low GPA my first 2 years how do i go about doing that?

I mean, if you were able to mention your coma without talking about the drug use then you could possibly use it in your personal statement.
The thing about your drug situation is that it doesn't look that bad on paper. A LOT people applying to law school have had dui and possession charges, so don't tell them that your problem was bigger than a one time incident. People that go to rehab usually have chronic underlying issues. DO NOT put drugs on your addendum for you GPA, if you can't find another reason to explain your GPA and transfer then don't write one. Bro, a lot of people have shitty first couple of years in college. The bump you could possibly get for an addendum isn't worth telling them you had a drug problem.



Thanks for the insight, and yea I guess that is true a lot of people do have charges on them for whatever reasons.

Do you think I could write about my coma but not mention why I was in it? Or be very vague about why I was in it, for example, Due to stupid decisions on my part i ended up in a coma. Obviously not written exactly like that but you get the idea.

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mvonh001
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:46 pm

Samara wrote:
mvonh001 wrote:Thanks, and according to that website I would only need a 175 to be an ADMIT and a 174 to be a Strong Consider.

Getting into UCLA is unlikely, even with a 180. They have a GPA floor of about 3.4. Luckily, T14s (assuming the C&F issues don't have a huge impact, which I doubt they will if you fully disclose) are still within your reach. If you don't care which T14 you get, ED to UVa. With work experience, you can get NU. GULC is also within reach. NYU, Michigan and Penn are longshots, but worth applying to. You would need at least a 170, more like 173+ to be confident in snagging at least one. Scores above 173 are essentially the same in your situation.

You might find this helpful: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 2&t=162680

Come back again when you have your score. Good luck!


UCLA is unlikely even though the website says admit? Damn website.
What about USC? I love the weather and can't be somewhere cold. Except GULC or Cornell or Duke (not that cold but still down there)

And you dont think a score above 173 would matter much in my application?

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Samara
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Samara » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:55 pm

mvonh001 wrote:
Samara wrote:
mvonh001 wrote:Thanks, and according to that website I would only need a 175 to be an ADMIT and a 174 to be a Strong Consider.

Getting into UCLA is unlikely, even with a 180. They have a GPA floor of about 3.4. Luckily, T14s (assuming the C&F issues don't have a huge impact, which I doubt they will if you fully disclose) are still within your reach. If you don't care which T14 you get, ED to UVa. With work experience, you can get NU. GULC is also within reach. NYU, Michigan and Penn are longshots, but worth applying to. You would need at least a 170, more like 173+ to be confident in snagging at least one. Scores above 173 are essentially the same in your situation.

You might find this helpful: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=162680

Come back again when you have your score. Good luck!


UCLA is unlikely even though the website says admit? Damn website.
What about USC? I love the weather and can't be somewhere cold. Except GULC or Cornell or Duke (not that cold but still down there)

And you dont think a score above 173 would matter much in my application?

haha, yeah...unfortunately, LSP is less accurate for extreme splitters like you and I. USC has the same GPA floor as UCLA, so it's also unlikely there. There aren't any Tier 1 schools in California that are splitter friendly. It doesn't hurt to apply to UCLA and USC, but admission is unlikely, especially with a C&F issue.

Do you want to work in California after law school? Do you have ties there?

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:56 pm

there's a kid on LSN with a 173 and a 3.2 gpa that got in. Do you know what your LSDAS gpa is ? it's probably actually lower than your CUM undergrad GPA.

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Samara
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Samara » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:59 pm

Mr. Pancakes wrote:there's a kid on LSN with a 173 and a 3.2 gpa that got in. Do you know what your LSDAS gpa is ? it's probably actually lower than your CUM undergrad GPA.

Good point. OP needs to know their LSAC GPA.

And if you're talking about this applicant, they have 1-2 years of WE in biomedical engineering, upward grade trend, no C&F issues, etc. That said, chances seem decent with an ED app.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:02 pm

Samara wrote:
Mr. Pancakes wrote:there's a kid on LSN with a 173 and a 3.2 gpa that got in. Do you know what your LSDAS gpa is ? it's probably actually lower than your CUM undergrad GPA.

Good point. OP needs to know their LSAC GPA.

And if you're talking about this applicant, they have 1-2 years of WE in biomedical engineering, upward grade trend, no C&F issues, etc. That said, chances seem decent with an ED app.

word, I'm just saying he'll probably need at the very least 173 but mose likely better.

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R86
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby R86 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:24 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:30 pm

R86 wrote:I'm trying to understand all of the "full disclosure" advice.

Mvonh,

Were you hit with a drug charge along with the DUI? Or was it just a DUI that was later reduced?

If the only thing on his record is a single misdemeanor for reckless driving, how much is he really expected to disclose, ever, to anyone?

charge and disposition. You need to add the charge reduction also.

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R86
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby R86 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:36 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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R86
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby R86 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:38 pm

:D
Last edited by R86 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:54 pm

R86 wrote:
National Conference of Bar Examiners wrote: You should disclose each instance even if the charges were dismissed; you were acquitted; adjudication was withheld; a conviction was reversed, set aside, or vacated; the record was sealed or expunged; or you participated in a pre-trial intervention program. If you have any questions about whether an incident or charge should be disclosed, we suggest that you err on the side of full disclosure. Failure to provide information is often more serious than the acts that gave rise to the sanctions imposed."

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mvonh001
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:46 pm

Mr. Pancakes wrote:there's a kid on LSN with a 173 and a 3.2 gpa that got in. Do you know what your LSDAS gpa is ? it's probably actually lower than your CUM undergrad GPA.


My LSDAS GPA based on the calculator used on that website lawschoolpredictor.com is where i got my GPA of 3.2.

Mr. Pancakes wrote:And if you're talking about this applicant, they have 1-2 years of WE in biomedical engineering, upward grade trend, no C&F issues, etc. That said, chances seem decent with an ED app.

word, I'm just saying he'll probably need at the very least 173 but mose likely better.[/quote]

It was just a DUI that was later reduced. I was also charged with having a controlled substance prescription blank, but that was dropped because it was for a class in school and was not real nor did it have the similarities in appearance or content of a real prescription. The cop that pulled me over for the DUI found it and thought he hit pay dirt, so he charged me with it.

I was also curious about this idea, Say I stay an extra semester and graduate after Spring (which is when people usually graduate) and i take classes that i will only get A's in. I dont know how much that would help my GPA but it cant hurt it right? But if its too minuscule of a bump then i dont want to risk getting a B and fucking my shit up.
Last edited by mvonh001 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:48 pm

If you think you can get your GPA up then do it, but if there's a chance that you wouldn't get an A then I wouldn't risk it. It sounds like you need to start preparing for the LSAT fairly soon.

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Samara
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Re: How do I explain this?

Postby Samara » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:48 pm

If you can get up to a 3.3, it could be a small boost, but I think you'd have to get up to 3.4 for it to be a game changer. You'll have to weigh the costs of staying another semester or whatever. And make sure you don't accidentally complete your degree first.




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