Addendum? Yay or nay?

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dcoppo01
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Addendum? Yay or nay?

Postby dcoppo01 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:40 pm

As the subject may lead you to believe, I was wondering if yous folks think I should add an addendum regarding my GPA and Lsat score (details below!)

My GPA is approximately 3.49 but is skewed by my freshman year in which my GPA was fall 3.29 and spring 3.16. During this academic year, not only was I adjusting to college but my grandmother passed away somewhat suddenly following a short illness. After her death, my father became very ill, suffering multiple nervous breakdowns, two severe car accidents, and hospitalization at a psychiatric ward. Unfortunately my father's mental illness lasted well into my sophomore year and included a nearly month-long hospitalization. It was very hard on my family and I had to assume a greater role at home while attending school in another state. I went home most weekends, as my family needed me. While academics were my top priority, given the situation it was very difficult to give school work my completely undivided attention.

In October I took the LSAT for the first time and scored very poorly, approximately 20 points lower than my PT average. A few days before test day, my other grandmother passed away. The wake was set for the next day with the funeral the following day. While nerves certainly played a role in my poor test performance, I was not in the best state of mind to take the test. I should have cancelled my score but I did not, as I did not think I did so poorly.

I spoke with my pre-law advisor about the GPA situation. She does not think that an addendum is necessary because of the upward trend of my GPA, but I am afraid the low number, on its face, might lead some schools to pass on my application. My final four semesters were much stronger than my first four semesters. Without including my freshman year, my GPA is approximately 3.6, which sounds a heck of a lot better than 3.49. Regarding the LSAT, I am re-taking in December and hopefully blowing my previous score out of the water...


What do you folks think?

edit: added additional details
Last edited by dcoppo01 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dr. Review
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Re: Addendum? Yay or nay?

Postby Dr. Review » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:47 pm

dcoppo01 wrote:approximately 20 points lower than my PT average


I think you may want to get that retake done before you send those apps out.

dcoppo01
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:19 am

Re: Addendum? Yay or nay?

Postby dcoppo01 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:49 pm

Bedsole wrote:
dcoppo01 wrote:approximately 20 points lower than my PT average


I think you may want to get that retake done before you send those apps out.


I will be doing this, no applications have been completed yet.

bp shinners
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Re: Addendum? Yay or nay?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:05 pm

dcoppo01 wrote:I spoke with my pre-law advisor about the GPA situation. She does not think that an addendum is necessary because of the upward trend of my GPA, but I am afraid the low number, on its face, might lead some schools to pass on my application.


Yet another pre-law advisor giving bad advice. Death/illness in the family is one of the few addenda worth writing. It won't completely change your GPA in the minds of the law schools, but it will highlight the upward trend and let the schools know that the low starting point came from a good reason.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Addendum? Yay or nay?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:48 pm

bp shinners wrote:
dcoppo01 wrote:I spoke with my pre-law advisor about the GPA situation. She does not think that an addendum is necessary because of the upward trend of my GPA, but I am afraid the low number, on its face, might lead some schools to pass on my application.


Yet another pre-law advisor giving bad advice. Death/illness in the family is one of the few addenda worth writing. It won't completely change your GPA in the minds of the law schools, but it will highlight the upward trend and let the schools know that the low starting point came from a good reason.

Except that he didn't do all that badly after all of these horrible events took place. Then, when things settled down, he could only manage a 3.6.

OP if you are still in school you should wait a year to apply and take the time to improve both your grades and your LSAT.

dcoppo01
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:19 am

Re: Addendum? Yay or nay?

Postby dcoppo01 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:00 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
dcoppo01 wrote:I spoke with my pre-law advisor about the GPA situation. She does not think that an addendum is necessary because of the upward trend of my GPA, but I am afraid the low number, on its face, might lead some schools to pass on my application.


Yet another pre-law advisor giving bad advice. Death/illness in the family is one of the few addenda worth writing. It won't completely change your GPA in the minds of the law schools, but it will highlight the upward trend and let the schools know that the low starting point came from a good reason.

Except that he didn't do all that badly after all of these horrible events took place. Then, when things settled down, he could only manage a 3.6.

OP if you are still in school you should wait a year to apply and take the time to improve both your grades and your LSAT.


Unfortunately I'm not still in school. I graduated a year early to save money and spend more time at home because things did not settle down after my freshman year (it was the focus of my original post bc it included my worst semester), as my father's mental illness was lasted well into my sophomore and was very hard on my family. Furthermore, FWIW, the 3.6 from a top tier undergraduate school while working and overloading nearly every semester, if that means anything

BigZuck
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Re: Addendum? Yay or nay?

Postby BigZuck » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:59 am

dcoppo01 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
dcoppo01 wrote:I spoke with my pre-law advisor about the GPA situation. She does not think that an addendum is necessary because of the upward trend of my GPA, but I am afraid the low number, on its face, might lead some schools to pass on my application.


Yet another pre-law advisor giving bad advice. Death/illness in the family is one of the few addenda worth writing. It won't completely change your GPA in the minds of the law schools, but it will highlight the upward trend and let the schools know that the low starting point came from a good reason.

Except that he didn't do all that badly after all of these horrible events took place. Then, when things settled down, he could only manage a 3.6.

OP if you are still in school you should wait a year to apply and take the time to improve both your grades and your LSAT.


Unfortunately I'm not still in school. I graduated a year early to save money and spend more time at home because things did not settle down after my freshman year (it was the focus of my original post bc it included my worst semester), as my father's mental illness was lasted well into my sophomore and was very hard on my family. Furthermore, FWIW, the 3.6 from a top tier undergraduate school while working and overloading nearly every semester, if that means anything


Unfortunately, it doesn't.

I really don't know what the right thing to do is. BP Shinners knows his stuff so I guess follow his advice. Although, I will say that if the addendum is a series of tragic events that are trying to excuse academic performance AND a low LSAT score I'm not sure if an adcom will be all that receptive to it. I'm not saying you're lying about any of this, I just wonder if an adcom might be suspicious as to wether it all is true.

I guess I would write it, I would just be very careful about how you word it so it doesn't sound like you're asking an adcom to treat you like someone who has a significantly higher gpa and LSAT score.

bp shinners
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Re: Addendum? Yay or nay?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:59 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Except that he didn't do all that badly after all of these horrible events took place. Then, when things settled down, he could only manage a 3.6.


If his freshman year GPA is 3.2x but his GPA is otherwise a 3.6, I'd say that's a big enough discrepancy that, with a solid explanation, warrants an addendum. It'd be better if he jumped up to a 3.8+ average afterwards, but, to me, a .4 average jump is enough to write it.




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