Pre-LSAT speculation: How much do softs/GPA addendum matter?

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Outsider
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Pre-LSAT speculation: How much do softs/GPA addendum matter?

Postby Outsider » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:50 am

I've been lurking for a little bit, but wanted to get the boards collective opinions on softs and addendum to explain GPA. This isn't a What are my chances thread, more of just hoping for an answer to the question: Is it reasonable to think that I can get into a school that I'd only be a "Consider" in on sites like lawschoolpredictor, as I try to determine what LSAT scores I need to go where I want to go?

TL;DR (Too long, didn't read) version: Had some hardship first few years of College, created working for Internationally for a Non-Profit, currently in the Peace Corps.

So here are the details, you tell me if any of this actually matters.

Anyways. I'm 26, white, male, History/International Studies major, who had a 3.49 GPA. But my GPA was significantly higher in my last 2 years (like 3.8-9ish). Why the low GPA in the beginning? Well, I dropped out of high school at 15, was living on my own at 16. Started School at 19, so I went from 9th Grade Algebra, 4 year break, then BAM Pre-Calculus, Triginometry, etc. Worked full time for $8 an hour, supporting myself (paying for rent/food). It took me 5 years to finish my first 2 years of College, as I couldn't qualify for Financial Aid (not an independent until you're 24!), so could only take as many classes at community College as I could pay for, but as soon as I turned 24, I enrolled in University, and finished my last 2 years in well, two years, and my GPA shot up as I was able to work less. So there's the GPA addendum.

As for my softs, excluding the "lots of hours volunteering/tutoring" stuff that most people have...

Worked as the Program Director for a Non-Profit in Colombia (the country, not the school :) - worked there for 6 months Post-Graduation). Created programs outside of Bogotá for English Education in Emerald Mining villages, reforestation of old coffee lands, and providing support for people affected by drugs/narco-trafficking. Also kept existing projects in Bogotá going, for things like Elderly Care for old women abandoned on the streets, Childcare at an orphanage, Feeding the Homeless.

Currently serving in the Peace Corps in Rural China (which is making studying for the LSAT reeeaaaaaal fun), Teaching English to students studying to be English teachers, and volunteering on the weekends to teach at an Orphanage.

I speak English, Spanish, and Intermediate-Chinese (it's....getting better!). Both Foreign Languages were learned as an adult..... (Do Foreign Languages even matter for Law School?)

Anyways, pursuing Law in the hopes to work in Public Interest, focusing on Human Rights, International Development, and Advocacy - for whatever that may be worth to someone reading my personal statement.

Okay. That was way longer than anticipated - sorry! So the question. Does any of this really matter? Or does it really come down to LSAT/GPA and nothing else. Should I still expect a "Weak Consider" to be a "Nah-uh" and a "Consider" to be "Better hope that guy who scored 2 points higher than you on the LSAT goes somewhere else"?

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DougieFresh
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Re: Pre-LSAT speculation: How much do softs/GPA addendum matter?

Postby DougieFresh » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:53 am

Welcome to the site!

To answer the big question - how much do softs/GPA addendum matter - the answer is not as much as you are hoping for. You have a great background, so when you score high on the LSAT and when you get in to a t14 school and do well, you might be able to get the kind of jobs you are hoping for.

You absolutely need to maximize your LSAT score. There are many high scorers on this site who have been gracious to share their study plans, what materials they used, their strategies, etc. Take advantage of it.

Im going to send you a PM with some specifics on being in the Peace Corps and studying for the LSAT.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Pre-LSAT speculation: How much do softs/GPA addendum matter?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:01 am

If your LSAC GPA is 3.49 then you have a chance everywhere except Yale, Stanford, and Harvard. And even Harvard might be willing to dip that low these days with the decline in apps.

Big Dog
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Re: Pre-LSAT speculation: How much do softs/GPA addendum matter?

Postby Big Dog » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:26 am

UC-Boalt just loves non-traditionals. Definitely send an app their way, even tho the school appears to be gpa-focused.

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DougieFresh
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Re: Pre-LSAT speculation: How much do softs/GPA addendum matter?

Postby DougieFresh » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:59 am

Big Dog wrote:UC-Boalt just loves non-traditionals. Definitely send an app their way, even tho the school appears to be gpa-focused.


In the splitter thread, I thought that Boalt was one of those splittler unfriendly schools with a hard GPA floor. But I have also heard this advice above in other places.

Law School numbers does offer some hope

Accepted:

GPA: LSAT:
3.43 175
3.21 178
3.30 176
3.40 167




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