Lay it on me.

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Gavagai
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:17 pm

Lay it on me.

Postby Gavagai » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:30 pm

Looking for your opinion on my admissions outlook with respect to GPA. Haven't taken the LSAT yet, but that's on the list. I've got 1.5 semesters to go before I graduate.

The story so far: went away to University, got severely injured, had 5 major reconstructive knee surgeries in 4 years. In not my brightest move, I tried to fight through it. This lead to me doing pretty poorly. I'm not looking at that transcript right now, but we're talking about 80 credits and a 2.5 GPA.

Then I took a break, had more surgery. Things starting feeling right and I went back to school, which accepted me as a transfer. I'm about 90 credits later, and my GPA is a 3.95. I've won awards, will be presenting a paper at a conference, might have a publication, and am in the mix to speak at graduation. I'm going to have pretty good letters, and I've done some research assisting and club stuff at the university.

For the moment, let's suspend the LSAT factor (and I do realize it's a very large factor). Do you think I have a shot at a good school? I know I would, based on that post-transfer GPA, but I'm not sure they're going to ignore the past. However, I do have a strong level of documentation and mine is a helluva story about determination and overcoming (I wasn't supposed to be able to walk again). Is that enough?

Essentially, should I bother? Will admissions committees cut me a break on that prior GPA?

inlovewithpiper
Posts: 137
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:20 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby inlovewithpiper » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:36 pm

Gavagai wrote:Looking for your opinion on my admissions outlook with respect to GPA. Haven't taken the LSAT yet, but that's on the list. I've got 1.5 semesters to go before I graduate.

The story so far: went away to University, got severely injured, had 5 major reconstructive knee surgeries in 4 years. In not my brightest move, I tried to fight through it. This lead to me doing pretty poorly. I'm not looking at that transcript right now, but we're talking about 80 credits and a 2.5 GPA.

Then I took a break, had more surgery. Things starting feeling right and I went back to school, which accepted me as a transfer. I'm about 90 credits later, and my GPA is a 3.95. I've won awards, will be presenting a paper at a conference, might have a publication, and am in the mix to speak at graduation. I'm going to have pretty good letters, and I've done some research assisting and club stuff at the university.

For the moment, let's suspend the LSAT factor (and I do realize it's a very large factor). Do you think I have a shot at a good school? I know I would, based on that post-transfer GPA, but I'm not sure they're going to ignore the past. However, I do have a strong level of documentation and mine is a helluva story about determination and overcoming (I wasn't supposed to be able to walk again). Is that enough?

Essentially, should I bother? Will admissions committees cut me a break on that prior GPA?


First, I love your username. I just studied Quine this past semester, so I get it :wink: .

As far as your question goes, it sounds like you have a pretty compelling life story to write in either a personal statement or an addendum, but I whole-heartedly believe you have a shot at any school (since we are suspending LSAT-related judgements, I'll assume you could score a 180 if you wanted). Is that 3.95 your GPA at your new school or your new cumulative GPA? Does it include class re-takes? I ask this because your LSAC GPA will factor that in and you could be in for a shock if your degree/cumulative GPA is 3.9+, but your LSAC GPA is significantly lower due to re-takes/transfer grades.

In any event, everyone loves a good comeback story and yours certainly falls in that category. Good luck, my friend.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:41 pm

What is your cumulative

Gavagai
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby Gavagai » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:42 pm

inlovewithpiper wrote:
Gavagai wrote:Looking for your opinion on my admissions outlook with respect to GPA. Haven't taken the LSAT yet, but that's on the list. I've got 1.5 semesters to go before I graduate.

The story so far: went away to University, got severely injured, had 5 major reconstructive knee surgeries in 4 years. In not my brightest move, I tried to fight through it. This lead to me doing pretty poorly. I'm not looking at that transcript right now, but we're talking about 80 credits and a 2.5 GPA.

Then I took a break, had more surgery. Things starting feeling right and I went back to school, which accepted me as a transfer. I'm about 90 credits later, and my GPA is a 3.95. I've won awards, will be presenting a paper at a conference, might have a publication, and am in the mix to speak at graduation. I'm going to have pretty good letters, and I've done some research assisting and club stuff at the university.

For the moment, let's suspend the LSAT factor (and I do realize it's a very large factor). Do you think I have a shot at a good school? I know I would, based on that post-transfer GPA, but I'm not sure they're going to ignore the past. However, I do have a strong level of documentation and mine is a helluva story about determination and overcoming (I wasn't supposed to be able to walk again). Is that enough?

Essentially, should I bother? Will admissions committees cut me a break on that prior GPA?


First, I love your username. I just studied Quine this past semester, so I get it :wink: .

As far as your question goes, it sounds like you have a pretty compelling life story to write in either a personal statement or an addendum, but I whole-heartedly believe you have a shot at any school (since we are suspending LSAT-related judgements, I'll assume you could score a 180 if you wanted). Is that 3.95 your GPA at your new school or your new cumulative GPA? Does it include class re-takes? I ask this because your LSAC GPA will factor that in and you could be in for a shock if your degree/cumulative GPA is 3.9+, but your LSAC GPA is significantly lower due to re-takes/transfer grades.

In any event, everyone loves a good comeback story and yours certainly falls in that category. Good luck, my friend.
The 3.95 will be with 4 retakes—a full semester's worth. Also, the 3.95 is the GPA at the new school. It was 2.5 at the older school. In the crudest possible way, the two averaged together gives me about a 3.3. I'm not positive how precisely that figures into the LSAC GPA.

My hope is that committees will want to look closer at the extreme spike in GPA in the last 2.5 years.

Anyway, thanks for the input.

User avatar
Nonconsecutive
Posts: 2248
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:58 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby Nonconsecutive » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:45 pm

Gavagai wrote:Looking for your opinion on my admissions outlook with respect to GPA. Haven't taken the LSAT yet, but that's on the list. I've got 1.5 semesters to go before I graduate.

The story so far: went away to University, got severely injured, had 5 major reconstructive knee surgeries in 4 years. In not my brightest move, I tried to fight through it. This lead to me doing pretty poorly. I'm not looking at that transcript right now, but we're talking about 80 credits and a 2.5 GPA.

Then I took a break, had more surgery. Things starting feeling right and I went back to school, which accepted me as a transfer. I'm about 90 credits later, and my GPA is a 3.95. I've won awards, will be presenting a paper at a conference, might have a publication, and am in the mix to speak at graduation. I'm going to have pretty good letters, and I've done some research assisting and club stuff at the university.

For the moment, let's suspend the LSAT factor (and I do realize it's a very large factor). Do you think I have a shot at a good school? I know I would, based on that post-transfer GPA, but I'm not sure they're going to ignore the past. However, I do have a strong level of documentation and mine is a helluva story about determination and overcoming (I wasn't supposed to be able to walk again). Is that enough?

Essentially, should I bother? Will admissions committees cut me a break on that prior GPA?


Yes, you should bother if you want to go to law school and I think that if your story, LORs, and academic softs are where you say they are then you can get into a good law school. The sad fact is, your 2.5 GPA is going to pull whatever your final post-transfer GPA is way down when LSAC calculates it. Schools will read your reasons, but the LSAC calculated GPA is the one they will have to report. [See this for an unofficial LSAC gpa calculator, it worked on mine to within .01]

That being said, a strong LSAT coupled with an strong app will still put you in a good spot for sub 3.5-friendly schools.

Straw_Mandible
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:10 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby Straw_Mandible » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:51 pm

Gavagai wrote:The 3.95 will be with 4 retakes—a full semester's worth. Also, the 3.95 is the GPA at the new school. It was 2.5 at the older school. In the crudest possible way, the two averaged together gives me about a 3.3. I'm not positive how precisely that figures into the LSAC GPA.

My hope is that committees will want to look closer at the extreme spike in GPA in the last 2.5 years.

Anyway, thanks for the input.


http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-co ... ulator.htm

No need for crude estimates. Input every grade you have ever received in a college course, and you'll have your number.

Gavagai
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby Gavagai » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:52 pm

Sorry, I went to a calculator and put in my new school's GPA. My LSAC GPA for that is 4.05. I didn't realize they used such a specialized format. My school doesn't count A+ for anything more than 4.0, so there was obviously some change.

I don't have access to my old transcript at the moment, but under this format I'd estimate it at a 2.8 or so.

I should also note that my school doesn't leave your pre-repeat grades on your transcript, so I don't think that'll affect my LSAC score. (At least according to this explanation I read.)
Last edited by Gavagai on Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
TheSpanishMain
Posts: 4134
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:53 pm

I have a 3.3 and have been accepted at UVA, NU, and GULC, plus numerous strong regional schools. It's not a death sentence. I have some pretty strong soft factors, but it sounds like you have a pretty compelling story to tell, so I wouldn't lose all hope. You just have to crush the LSAT.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15508
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:14 pm

Something above a 3.0 gives you a chance at virtually every school in the country other than Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, and that's assuming you aren't an underrepresented minority.

Gavagai
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby Gavagai » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:20 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Something above a 3.0 gives you a chance at virtually every school in the country other than Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, and that's assuming you aren't an underrepresented minority.
Really wish disabled counted as an underrepresented minority.

User avatar
RhymesLikeDimes
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:58 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:31 pm

lol, and I wish being tall counted as URM

As unhelpful as this is to hear, it's going to come down to your LSAT. If you have the LSAT of a 3.3 student, your story won't make much of a difference. But, get into the 170's, and you could have a very nice cycle.

Gavagai
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby Gavagai » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:44 pm

RhymesLikeDimes wrote:lol, and I wish being tall counted as URM

As unhelpful as this is to hear, it's going to come down to your LSAT. If you have the LSAT of a 3.3 student, your story won't make much of a difference. But, get into the 170's, and you could have a very nice cycle.
Yeah, understood. Thankfully, I've always had the view that the LSAT would make or break me, so that's nothing new.

I just thought they'd see the 3.95 and look back to see the 2.8, not see the 3.3 or 3.4 and look back to see the 3.95. It changes things a lot. But it sounds like I can base my personal statement on the medical stuff I've been through, which should give them a picture of where I'm at.

Question: is it bad form to mention a GPA in your personal statement? I'd want to make sure they see that 3.95 number. I don't want it to be stuck in the transcript section, waiting for a stray glance. I want it to be prominent.

User avatar
RhymesLikeDimes
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:58 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:58 pm

No, you can write a seperate GPA addedum if you like. You don't want to make your GPA the focus of your personal statement, but throwing it in as part of your story is fine.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:51 am

RhymesLikeDimes wrote:No, you can write a seperate GPA addedum if you like. You don't want to make your GPA the focus of your personal statement, but throwing it in as part of your story is fine.


Just highlighting this for two reasons:
1) It's what you should do.
2) Your original statement makes me think you're a little off on the PS - it shouldn't be something that you mention different areas of your life in. Pick one and focus on it - you have 2 pages to make it interesting.

TigerDude
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:42 pm

Re: Lay it on me.

Postby TigerDude » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:34 pm

Does retakes mean taking the class over & having the previous grade removed? That's not how LSAC does it. All your grades will count, and you trying to say it's "really" a 3.95 isn't really true since a lot of colleges always count grades.

You have a compelling story to tell. If you nail the LSAT you will be able to point out why there is a GPA discrepancy to your actual potential.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], espressocream, patrickkpaul, slw9 and 7 guests