Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

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hotsauce64
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Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby hotsauce64 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:23 pm

Haven't been able to find anybody in this situation, thought I'd pick the minds of the forum.

2.81 GPA, 175 LSAT. I just didn't try in college. I have no excuses, I was just young and stupid. Here's my draft of my addendum:

As a result of my Fall 2007 grades at ******, I was placed on scholastic probation during the Spring 2008 semester. I was subsequently taken off of scholastic probation when the Spring 2008 grades were calculated. I am not making excuses for my first semester grades, or for my overall GPA, because they were both entirely my responsibility. I chose to prioritize other aspects of my life, and this is a mistake I must live with.

I realize this last sentence is pretty whiny and probably completely unnecessary. But if I was in charge of law school admissions and had to choose between two people with my numbers, one of which owned up to being an idiot during college and one of which made no comment on his GPA, I would definitely favor the first individual. Then again, I'm not in charge of law school admissions, and nobody cares what I think.

I'm in my own head on this one, any suggestions?

Thanks.

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nickb285
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Re: Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby nickb285 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:30 pm

You're correct about taking responsibility, but you're also correct about it being a weird way to write an addendum. The addendum should be straightforward, i.e. "These were my grades. They happened because of [lack of maturity, lack of responsibility, etc, pick one] during X semester. Since then, I have not been a slackass." There's no need to editorialize, just acknowledge that a) the grades were not because of an outside factor and b) your shortcomings during X semester(s) were not present in other semesters, as shown by your transcripts.

hotsauce64
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:56 pm

Re: Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby hotsauce64 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:34 pm

But, since then, I was a slackass. My GPA is a joke, and not even remotely close to what I am capable of. Is this just something I should just hope they assume from my LSAT score? All of my subsequent semesters were about a full point higher than my first semester, but that doesn't make them acceptable grades at all to me. Hopefully that makes sense.

Thanks.

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nickb285
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Re: Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby nickb285 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:41 pm

Ah, okay. Well there's an issue right there--this addendum gives the impression that it's only the one semester you consider below your potential. Instead, I would say something like "during my undergrad, I was a slackass and underperformed, including one semester spent on academic probation in Spring 2008. Since that time, I have matured greatly, and I believe that my LSAT score better reflects my potential than does my UGPA."

Disclaimer: I am also a 0L and therefore potentially talking out of my ass, so I would wait to submit something like that until someone more informed chimes in. But it makes sense to me.

hotsauce64
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:56 pm

Re: Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby hotsauce64 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:48 pm

Yeah, I definitely see what you are saying. Before I transferred to my degree-granting institution, I did receive a 3.7 from my first year of college at another school. When I transferred, I had the extremely bad semester, and then improved just enough to stay out of trouble with the university and coast through the remainder of college. Maybe I could point to the first year as proof that I am capable of performing in an academic environment, and that I don't want my poor decision-making afterwards to impact their impression of my overall ability? Just spit-balling.

I think this is so hard because I have to choose between leaving the GPA out of it and letting them make their own assumptions or trying to explain something that will probably come off as pretty whiny no matter how it's worded/approached.


Thanks for the help, I'll definitely wait for somebody else to chime in, too.

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WhiteyCakes
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Re: Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby WhiteyCakes » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:50 pm

IMO don't write an addendum if there is not a reason/explanation for your grades. Your GPA says plenty about you being a slackass without you reinforcing it in an addendum. All an addendum does in your circumstance is draw even more attention towards your poor undergrad performance.

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nickb285
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Re: Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby nickb285 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:51 pm

If he was put on academic probation, though, he's probably going to have to write an addendum for that anyway. Might as well show that you're owning up to it, right?

hotsauce64
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Re: Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby hotsauce64 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:54 pm

Exactly, I feel like by being forced to address the academic probation semester, but not commenting on the entirety of my work, they will be forced to assume that I just can't perform in an academic environment. With absolutely nothing to convince them otherwise, how could they think anything else? That being said, I wouldn't have posted this topic if I wasn't (super =P) split on this decision.

Any and all opinions welcome, thanks everybody.

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DougieFresh
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Re: Super splitter - Academic probation/GPA addendum

Postby DougieFresh » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:12 pm

Everything I have read in the Dean interviews posted on this site, and advice from other members, leads me to believe that anything the adcom will see and want to know more about you should write an addendum.

If you genuinely have matured since your undergrad days, you should have some solid work experience to balance the equation with. If all you have to balance your low UGPA is a high LSAT, I think adcoms will be worried.

It should be super short and sweet. Write the addendum.




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