How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

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cahwc12
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How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:47 pm

I graduated in august '08 with a 3.43 LSAC gpa

edited for anonymity

In short, the last three semesters on my transcript (all post-UG so they don't affect my UGPA) are "WD WD WD WD" "Withdrew from University" and "F F F F." (There is also a fourth semester of W's from my second semester in UG when I nearly dropped out.)

Is there any way this isn't going to bite me in the ass when I apply? Is there some addendum I can craft to explain what happened without coming off as whiny, immature, etc? I do honestly feel that I grew up a lot in the past few years living outside the US and after exploring a few alternatives, I truly feel law school is right for me and that I'm finally ready for it. That said, I just don't know how this is going to affect my cycle.

I know that it needs to be addressed, but I'm not sure how I can do it. Any advice would be highly appreciated.
Last edited by cahwc12 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jcm043
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby jcm043 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:09 pm

My undergraduate GPA & transcript is a train wreck. I had a former admission's dean from a school help me with my statements. on my GPA Addendum, I stated up front I was immature in undergrad and cared more about my social schedule than my academics. I think went on to talk about how I have matured since undergrad (I am four years post undergrad) and my plan to succeed in law school.

Remember: Its never the crime, its always the cover up. Be honest up front and then its no worry.

Good luck.

Jaytray
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby Jaytray » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:28 pm

Everything you wrote there screams flake and if I were an adcom it would take a lot of convincing to get me to think you wouldn't just drop out again (and to be perfectly honest with all that right there I'm not sure you could write anything that could convince me otherwise). That being said if I were you I would write a very concise summary of what happened, make zero excuses and own up to everything, and then craft the hell out of your personal statement to convince the reader that you are a totally different person now. "I'm older now so it's cool" won't cut it. Why and how are you different? Why are you more mature and more capable of a grown up response to stressors now?

Then again I am a OL and not an adcom so take my advice for what it's worth.

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sunynp
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby sunynp » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:34 pm

I might say something simple like- I tried a few different times to return to school in different programs ( though why were you going back if you already had a degree? Was it for a second degree? That part wasn't clear to me.) I decided those programs were not what I wanted to pursue for various reasons, including the serious illness of my mother.

Then explain why law school will be different, how focused you are now, etc.

rglifberg
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby rglifberg » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:53 pm

jcm043 wrote:My undergraduate GPA & transcript is a train wreck. I had a former admission's dean from a school help me with my statements. on my GPA Addendum, I stated up front I was immature in undergrad and cared more about my social schedule than my academics. I think went on to talk about how I have matured since undergrad (I am four years post undergrad) and my plan to succeed in law school.

Remember: Its never the crime, its always the cover up. Be honest up front and then its no worry.

Good luck.


Curious if you think this had an impact on your app cycle. Or is this for the upcoming cycle?

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spleenworship
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:58 pm

Um. Write an amazing addendum and PS and expect to underperform your numbers a little.

Explain carefully, positively, and succinctly what happened and hope for the best.

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cahwc12
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:40 pm

Thanks for all the advice.

I really think I made rash decisions to go into both the statistics and the education policy program. I think I could have done well in the stats program, but the ed policy program truly was a dispicable racket and I just have absolutely nothing positive to say about it. Frankly I just don't know how I can spin that except to say that it wasn't what I wanted to do. By the time I received my grades I was at a foreign embassy getting my visa approved and leaving the country, and I just didn't care at that point.

I do think I am a different and much more mature person now than three years ago when this happened, but that said, if I were in the same position with that program again, I would do absolutely the same thing. Hmm...

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sunynp
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby sunynp » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:51 pm

cahwc12 wrote:Thanks for all the advice.

I really think I made rash decisions to go into both the statistics and the education policy program. I think I could have done well in the stats program, but the ed policy program truly was a dispicable racket and I just have absolutely nothing positive to say about it. Frankly I just don't know how I can spin that except to say that it wasn't what I wanted to do. By the time I received my grades I was at a foreign embassy getting my visa approved and leaving the country, and I just didn't care at that point.

I do think I am a different and much more mature person now than three years ago when this happened, but that said, if I were in the same position with that program again, I would do absolutely the same thing. Hmm...


I'm going to say again that you don't have to explain every random decision you made or what happened to you in such great detail. There is nothing wrong with trying programs and realizing that is not what you want to do with your life. Focus on where you are and who you are NOW, at this moment. Don't get so caught up in explaining each detail of what you did 5 or 6 years ago. You definitely don't want to be trashing other schools. Maybe write two sentences about each experience under some overall theme of how much you've learned from your past experiences.

You are very lucky this hasn't affected your GPA. So you did well with that.

Is what I'm saying making sense?

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cahwc12
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:08 pm

Yeah I feel like since it's not LSAT/GPA related, that I don't have to worry about it THAT much. But I still worry about it some. Perhaps if I minimize it in my application, it will be taken minimally, rather than if I write a page-long addendum and they think I'm some excuse-ridden fool.

jess1921
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Re: How to address my trainwreck of a transcript?

Postby jess1921 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:11 pm

best way to address it is to study for the lsat




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