Screwed up abroad. How will it affect my chances?

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Tela1283
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:44 pm

Screwed up abroad. How will it affect my chances?

Postby Tela1283 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:51 pm

I'm sure this is a dime a dozen case, but I'm going through a bit of a freakout.

I had a 3.75 at my institution and a 175.

I spent one semester abroad and focused too much on traveling/having fun. It was sponsored by a us institution, so it is being factored into my lsac gpa. I got one c- (my only grade beneath a b+ on my entire transcript) and a few b+'s, bringing my lsac gpa down to 3.66.

Does this significantly hurt me for Columbia/nyu/Michigan/virginia?

I'm sure it completely disqualifies me from Harvard...

Thanks! And excuse me for any typos -- I'm not at a computer and am typing this on a phone.

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atcushman
Posts: 389
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Screwed up abroad. How will it affect my chances?

Postby atcushman » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:01 pm

Specific grades do not matter only the lsac gpa. you can have 25 As and 25 Bs or 50 B+s you all they see is 3.5. Unless of course you have reason to write an addendum, but I dont think goofing off during study abroad is worthy. yet another reason why study abroad is a joke waste of time. hopefully you learned your lesson and will not study abroad in law school. Also a 3.66 175 does not take you out of any of those schools...so not sure if humble brag

Tela1283
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: Screwed up abroad. How will it affect my chances?

Postby Tela1283 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:05 pm

Not at all a humble brag....I'm anonymous. What do I care?

It brings me from being above Columbia's median undergraduate gpa to below it. That's why I'm concerned

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jbagelboy
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Re: Screwed up abroad. How will it affect my chances?

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:18 pm

Tela1283 wrote:Not at all a humble brag....I'm anonymous. What do I care?

It brings me from being above Columbia's median undergraduate gpa to below it. That's why I'm concerned


You are fine.

You don't have to be above both medians, just above one and not perilously far below the other -- in this case a 3.66 lands you well above CLS's 25th%ile. You should be in at CLS, or at least if you aren't in, it won't be just because of your LSAT/GPA combo.

If you want to write an addendum about study abroad, I could see it working only if you could present something of legitimate value from the experience to compensate for the grades. No, it definitely won't "raise" your lsac gpa or mitigate the damage grade-for-grade, but it could add an element to your application that wouldn't otherwise be showcased. Since most study abroad programs (and I mean most, not all) are academically superficial and "easy A's", it might look surprising to adcoms that your grades abroad were worse than your quality performance on campus. If Cambridge or the college of london neuroscience program or something competitive, the low marks might make sense to them inherently; otherwise, this can't just be "I was doing coke with tall blond men in amsterdam and missed a paper," or "Ibiza w/ my friends in the salamanca program was just too beautiful I had to miss that week of class" - so think about what you might have drawn from the experience in a positive way.

I totally disagree with the above poster that study abroad is substantively useless, and that studying abroad in law school is a bad idea. It's precisely because I believe, and top law programs agree, that legitimate study abroad programs can have such a positive experiential, academic, life-lasting impact that there might be more to be said here than the bad grades.

If you are a current senior, regardless, I recommend finishing your senior year, pulling back up to a 3.7+ and working FT next year while applying in the 2014-2015 cycle, enjoying not having to retake the LSAT.

ETA: as far as the whole "anonymity" thing on TLS is concerned, with the amount of information you've already provided, I bet you're no longer anonymous to even the mildly diligent admissions officer.




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