Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
whoareyou
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Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby whoareyou » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:35 pm

Hello, a friend recommended this forum as a good place to get some advice, so here I am, and here's my situation:

I want to go to the best school that will take me in either Massachusetts or California, preferably California.

I was a Psychology Major at BU and graduated in January of 2014 with a 2.43 GPA, terrible, I'm aware. There were circumstances that greatly affected my achievement during my 3.5 year time there (graduated 1 semester early), so I have drafted a GPA addendum outlining those circumstances. More on that in a bit.

I took the September 2014 LSAT, earned a 171 and damn it, I'm proud of it. Now I am now trying to get my applications out ASAP. If you haven't noticed, I took a year off after graduating, and I have been working full time at a medium-sized, Boston firm as a legal assistant since March, as well as working part time on the weekends at my other job. During college I held two unpaid internships, one with a small successful entertainment firm for 3 months in Hollywood, and one for 6 months with an old Harvard Grad who runs a white-collar, criminal law firm in Boston. One of my letters of recommendation is from him, the other is from the one professor I managed to impress during college. I also had my current job write me (a good) one as well, I haven't decided whether to use that or not. I also know a few lawyers in LA that would be happy to write me one.

Since this anonymous I don't feel ashamed to outline my circumstances, but I must say, it was very hard for me to admit in writing my weaknesses, and that things largely beyond my control affected my psyche enough to mess with my day to day life. So here is what those circumstances were:

1) Fall of freshman year my father got cancer, fought it for months, and beat it (yay).
2) During that time both my grandmother and a very close uncle died suddenly, in October and December, respectively.
3) Sophomore year my family filed for bankruptcy, causing a shockwave of lifestyle changes.
4) Junior year my father got a DIFFERENT form of cancer, fought it for more months, and beat it again (yay)
5) Throughout my entire time in college (from before I even started classes to graduation) I worked no less than 30 hours a week, often between two jobs (bussing at a classy steakhouse, and working at a funeral home). And I necessarily had to in order to stay in college.
6) I had my first serious girlfriend (I obviously wont be mentioning that one, but for your purposes I thought I'd note it)

I don't think my situation is unique, but I'm not lying when I say I was a ****ing mess during most of time there. There is no doubt in my mind that I could have easily achieved a 3.3+ had these events not taken place, but that's life I guess...My main concern is that I will sound whiny and juvenile, and therefore not taken seriously. I am a much stronger, much more responsible, and much smarter person because of these past years and I just desperately want the schools to know that.

So my questions are:
1) What combination of Letters of Recommendation would be best?
2) Where should I apply? Where shouldn't I bother applying?
3) Knowing my circumstances, how can I best convey that I deserve some latitude when judging my awful GPA? For that matter, do you think I deserve any latitude?
4) Should I reach out to each university in an attempt to corroborate my circumstances with evidence? Again that seems juvenile to me.
5) Would waiting yet another year do me any good?

Thank you very much for your time, and I apologize for the wall of text.

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Clemenceau
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Clemenceau » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:16 pm

Many people here will tell you to work for a few more years and put some serious distance between yourself and that gpa/personal issues. I think that would be the right move.

That gpa is going to be a bear to overcome. I feel sorry for the things you had to go through during college, and an addendum will probably help you a bit. However, a c+ gpa is not going to sit well with adcoms. It would be one thing if you got off to a terrible start, but pulled it together and ended strong with a few 3.5+ semesters, but you haven't mentioned that this is the case.

Maybe work for a few more years and apply to northwestern? I've seen that idea thrown around on here before. A cycle like yours is truly unpredictable though. One thing I will predict is that you would be paying sticker price anywhere you go (need based aid notwithstanding)

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Clemenceau
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Clemenceau » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:21 pm

Forgot you said massachusetts or ca

Not really sure what your best option would be in either of those regions. Getting into a good law school at a price that makes it worth attending will be difficult for you, to be frank

whoareyou
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby whoareyou » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:29 pm

Clemenceau wrote:Many people here will tell you to work for a few more years and put some serious distance between yourself and that gpa/personal issues. I think that would be the right move.

That gpa is going to be a bear to overcome. I feel sorry for the things you had to go through during college, and an addendum will probably help you a bit. However, a c+ gpa is not going to sit well with adcoms. It would be one thing if you got off to a terrible start, but pulled it together and ended strong with a few 3.5+ semesters, but you haven't mentioned that this is the case.

Maybe work for a few more years and apply to northwestern? I've seen that idea thrown around on here before. A cycle like yours is truly unpredictable though. One thing I will predict is that you would be paying sticker price anywhere you go (need based aid notwithstanding)


Thanks Clemenceau,

Any thoughts on the other questions? (Letters of recommendation, wording of addendum)

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Clemenceau
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Clemenceau » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:54 pm

If you peruse this forum you should be able to find some good stuff on writing effective addendums and good use of LORs. I won't pretend to have any unique expertise on that kind of thing.

I will say that you would be well served to do some searches regarding "splitter friendly" law schools. Law school apps are down and it is possible that a good school would want that 171 of yours.

Lawschoolnumbers.com might give you a little insight as to how some other extreme splitters have fared.

Last but certainly not least, don't ignore the financial implications of law school. It sounds like your family won't be able to give you a ton of support (if you don't mind my inferring), and your scholarship chances are slim to none. This puts you in a very precarious situation, and should be throroughly considered before you take out a mortgage worth of student loans.

whoareyou
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby whoareyou » Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:17 pm

Clemenceau wrote: Last but certainly not least, don't ignore the financial implications of law school. It sounds like your family won't be able to give you a ton of support (if you don't mind my inferring), and your scholarship chances are slim to none. This puts you in a very precarious situation, and should be throroughly considered before you take out a mortgage worth of student loans.


Thanks again. I am certainly am taking it into heavy consideration, and that's a huge part of why california would be ideal because I am a resident and they offer much better prices for residents, and I could live with family.

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Tuxedo
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Tuxedo » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:28 pm

I'll try to answer #1 and #5.

#1-Is there a professor, staffer, or administrator at BC that could weave your personal experience into their LOR? Since a 2.43 is such a warning sign to most admissions committees, having someone within the college-university system speak to your challenges, and more importantly, your character, seems absolutely essential, regardless of who else you'd like to write your letters.

#5-Waiting is always good. I'm applying to law school having been out of undergrad for almost 8 years. I've gotten another degree (Master's in History) and will have taught successfully for 5 years. My resume+personal statement combine for a lot more power and have helped me punch above my own GPA/LSAT scores. If you can find a job and demonstrate hard work and even earn a promotion or two, you'll do a little bit to ameliorate that GPA issue and perhaps generate some good outcomes.

Best of luck.

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Kratos
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Kratos » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:43 pm

1) What combination of Letters of Recommendation would be best?
Use all 3. Maybe try and snag another professor to hook you up

2) Where should I apply? Where shouldn't I bother applying?
With WE, Northwestern might give you a look. You're gonna have to apply really broadly cause its gonna be a crapshoot. But, if you don't snag T-14, you're gonna want strong regionals, preferably on the cheap, in either Boston or Cali, since those are really the only schools outside the t-14 which are gonna place well in those locales.

3) Knowing my circumstances, how can I best convey that I deserve some latitude when judging my awful GPA? For that matter, do you think I deserve any latitude?
I would addendum that you had to work basically full time while in school, maybe also talk about the reasons for that (family bankruptcy and dad cancer). Definitely don't mention you GF stuff. I also wouldn't mention your grandma and uncle dying, as much as that sucks it is very common and I don't think you're gonna get too much sympathy.

4) Should I reach out to each university in an attempt to corroborate my circumstances with evidence? Again that seems juvenile to me.
I don't know what this means. But I'm leaning towards no based on how i'm interpreting it.

5) Would waiting yet another year do me any good?
Absolutely, imo. The further away from that bad GPA the better. Plus you should try networking while you work for the firm. Also, getting WE just looks good and is better than being in school anyway. Make some money and enjoy yourself, hell maybe even find a job that you don't have to go to law school for.

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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Pliny » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:52 pm

whoareyou wrote:
Clemenceau wrote:Many people here will tell you to work for a few more years and put some serious distance between yourself and that gpa/personal issues. I think that would be the right move.

That gpa is going to be a bear to overcome. I feel sorry for the things you had to go through during college, and an addendum will probably help you a bit. However, a c+ gpa is not going to sit well with adcoms. It would be one thing if you got off to a terrible start, but pulled it together and ended strong with a few 3.5+ semesters, but you haven't mentioned that this is the case.

Maybe work for a few more years and apply to northwestern? I've seen that idea thrown around on here before. A cycle like yours is truly unpredictable though. One thing I will predict is that you would be paying sticker price anywhere you go (need based aid notwithstanding)


Thanks Clemenceau,

Any thoughts on the other questions? (Letters of recommendation, wording of addendum)


I echo that you need to put some distance between yourself and your GPA, including waiting a few cycles if necessary. Have you considered taking the LSAT again? If you think you can go higher you should try and grab as many points as you can.

In terms of rec combinations, I think you should put whichever ones help to best compensate for your GPA. Ideally, it would be a letter from someone with very intimate knowledge of you as a person and as a worker/student. They would be able to testify to your work ethic and intellectual ability, especially as it relates to practicing law. They would also be able to acknowledge and respond to your grades. So I'm thinking Harvard guy and Professor, unless your current employer is really willing to go to bat for you. Otherwise, you might have to work to find new letters at your current job.

As for the addendum, it's hard to say without seeing what you actually write. I'd imagine that it should a) acknowledge that your GPA is bad, b) explain why it's bad, c) own your failures rather than try to make excuses for them, and d) show how you've moved past those things and that it won't happen again in law school. If I were a cynical admissions officer, I might be concerned that your problems don't appear to be necessarily over. Cancers come back, finances don't repair themselves in several years, and you will have the same living expense problem in law school that you did in college-- especially since many schools limit the amount of hours you can work. And on top of that, law school is more difficult than college. You can't just justify your past failures. You need to PROVE that you're stronger than them now.

In terms of schools, if you're looking for MA or CA then you're looking at limited options. You've chosen two of the more difficult regions to break into. MA (read: Boston) is pretty cliquey, and you're competing with the Harvard kids who want to stick around. CA is lousy with good schools. SF is largely IP/tech, so if that's not your thing then you're largely looking at LA. So, absent some extra-special connection to those areas and their firms, you need to either a) be local and good or b) be stellar elsewhere. If b) then you're probably looking to climb as high up the T14 as you can.

This brings me to general cautions about cost. Law school debt is no joke. Be careful that your dream of being a lawyer doesn't pressure you into paying a large amount of money for a school that won't get you where you want to go. Consider also that you may not truly know where you want to go as a lot of things can change in the coming years. Maybe the firm you end up liking doesn't have an office there. Maybe the work the want to do isn't done there. Maybe you strike out at OCI. Maybe you end up hating the weather. Maybe you fall in love and they need to go somewhere else. Maybe you suck at law school and have limited options. Maybe you hate the law.

But, that's all in the future. You have a lot of time to work and get into school. I think you're on the right path, but it's gonna be a hard one. There's probably a few other serious splitters around here, and hopefully they have more specific advice. Best of luck!

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eriedoctrine
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby eriedoctrine » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:24 pm

Get WE, apply to NU with $$.

whoareyou
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby whoareyou » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:17 pm

Pliny wrote:
I echo that you need to put some distance between yourself and your GPA, including waiting a few cycles if necessary. Have you considered taking the LSAT again? If you think you can go higher you should try and grab as many points as you can.

In terms of rec combinations, I think you should put whichever ones help to best compensate for your GPA. Ideally, it would be a letter from someone with very intimate knowledge of you as a person and as a worker/student. They would be able to testify to your work ethic and intellectual ability, especially as it relates to practicing law. They would also be able to acknowledge and respond to your grades. So I'm thinking Harvard guy and Professor, unless your current employer is really willing to go to bat for you. Otherwise, you might have to work to find new letters at your current job.

As for the addendum, it's hard to say without seeing what you actually write. I'd imagine that it should a) acknowledge that your GPA is bad, b) explain why it's bad, c) own your failures rather than try to make excuses for them, and d) show how you've moved past those things and that it won't happen again in law school. If I were a cynical admissions officer, I might be concerned that your problems don't appear to be necessarily over. Cancers come back, finances don't repair themselves in several years, and you will have the same living expense problem in law school that you did in college-- especially since many schools limit the amount of hours you can work. And on top of that, law school is more difficult than college. You can't just justify your past failures. You need to PROVE that you're stronger than them now.

In terms of schools, if you're looking for MA or CA then you're looking at limited options. You've chosen two of the more difficult regions to break into. MA (read: Boston) is pretty cliquey, and you're competing with the Harvard kids who want to stick around. CA is lousy with good schools. SF is largely IP/tech, so if that's not your thing then you're largely looking at LA. So, absent some extra-special connection to those areas and their firms, you need to either a) be local and good or b) be stellar elsewhere. If b) then you're probably looking to climb as high up the T14 as you can.

This brings me to general cautions about cost. Law school debt is no joke. Be careful that your dream of being a lawyer doesn't pressure you into paying a large amount of money for a school that won't get you where you want to go. Consider also that you may not truly know where you want to go as a lot of things can change in the coming years. Maybe the firm you end up liking doesn't have an office there. Maybe the work the want to do isn't done there. Maybe you strike out at OCI. Maybe you end up hating the weather. Maybe you fall in love and they need to go somewhere else. Maybe you suck at law school and have limited options. Maybe you hate the law.

But, that's all in the future. You have a lot of time to work and get into school. I think you're on the right path, but it's gonna be a hard one. There's probably a few other serious splitters around here, and hopefully they have more specific advice. Best of luck!


Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. I have definitely considered taking the LSAT again, how much would, say, a 174 alter my chances?

In California, I'd be targeting San Diego, Hastings, Davis, Pepperdine, Loyola, and Southwestern. Boston would be BU, BC, NEU, Suffolk.

Anyone have any thoughts on going to lower end (NEU, Suffolk, Southwestern) and attempting to transfer after the first year? A friend of mine transferred from Southwestern to USC after his first year, but I wasn't sure if his situation was unique. Its not something I'm seriously considering, but the thought has crossed my mind.

EDIT: Probably important to note that I plan on practicing in California.

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Kratos
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Kratos » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:03 pm

whoareyou wrote:
Pliny wrote:
I echo that you need to put some distance between yourself and your GPA, including waiting a few cycles if necessary. Have you considered taking the LSAT again? If you think you can go higher you should try and grab as many points as you can.

In terms of rec combinations, I think you should put whichever ones help to best compensate for your GPA. Ideally, it would be a letter from someone with very intimate knowledge of you as a person and as a worker/student. They would be able to testify to your work ethic and intellectual ability, especially as it relates to practicing law. They would also be able to acknowledge and respond to your grades. So I'm thinking Harvard guy and Professor, unless your current employer is really willing to go to bat for you. Otherwise, you might have to work to find new letters at your current job.

As for the addendum, it's hard to say without seeing what you actually write. I'd imagine that it should a) acknowledge that your GPA is bad, b) explain why it's bad, c) own your failures rather than try to make excuses for them, and d) show how you've moved past those things and that it won't happen again in law school. If I were a cynical admissions officer, I might be concerned that your problems don't appear to be necessarily over. Cancers come back, finances don't repair themselves in several years, and you will have the same living expense problem in law school that you did in college-- especially since many schools limit the amount of hours you can work. And on top of that, law school is more difficult than college. You can't just justify your past failures. You need to PROVE that you're stronger than them now.

In terms of schools, if you're looking for MA or CA then you're looking at limited options. You've chosen two of the more difficult regions to break into. MA (read: Boston) is pretty cliquey, and you're competing with the Harvard kids who want to stick around. CA is lousy with good schools. SF is largely IP/tech, so if that's not your thing then you're largely looking at LA. So, absent some extra-special connection to those areas and their firms, you need to either a) be local and good or b) be stellar elsewhere. If b) then you're probably looking to climb as high up the T14 as you can.

This brings me to general cautions about cost. Law school debt is no joke. Be careful that your dream of being a lawyer doesn't pressure you into paying a large amount of money for a school that won't get you where you want to go. Consider also that you may not truly know where you want to go as a lot of things can change in the coming years. Maybe the firm you end up liking doesn't have an office there. Maybe the work the want to do isn't done there. Maybe you strike out at OCI. Maybe you end up hating the weather. Maybe you fall in love and they need to go somewhere else. Maybe you suck at law school and have limited options. Maybe you hate the law.

But, that's all in the future. You have a lot of time to work and get into school. I think you're on the right path, but it's gonna be a hard one. There's probably a few other serious splitters around here, and hopefully they have more specific advice. Best of luck!


Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. I have definitely considered taking the LSAT again, how much would, say, a 174 alter my chances?

In California, I'd be targeting San Diego, Hastings, Davis, Pepperdine, Loyola, and Southwestern. Boston would be BU, BC, NEU, Suffolk.

Anyone have any thoughts on going to lower end (NEU, Suffolk, Southwestern) and attempting to transfer after the first year? A friend of mine transferred from Southwestern to USC after his first year, but I wasn't sure if his situation was unique. Its not something I'm seriously considering, but the thought has crossed my mind.

EDIT: Probably important to note that I plan on practicing in California.

If you plan on practicing in California, don't go to school in Boston unless you get Harvard. Also, transferring is hard. You shouldn't go to a school with the expectation of transferring, you go to a school you would be happy to graduate from and if you're lucky enough to trade up, thats cool. Look at lawschooltransparency.com, a lot of the schools you're looking at suck for getting a legal job.

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Rigo
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Rigo » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:17 pm

whoareyou wrote:In California, I'd be targeting San Diego, Hastings, Davis, Pepperdine, Loyola, and Southwestern.

Oh god. Please don't go to these.
What are your career goals?

Also, don't go to a school you'd want to transfer out of.

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fats provolone
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby fats provolone » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:18 pm

eat less, exercise more

whoareyou
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby whoareyou » Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:20 am

Dirigo wrote:
whoareyou wrote:In California, I'd be targeting San Diego, Hastings, Davis, Pepperdine, Loyola, and Southwestern.

Oh god. Please don't go to these.
What are your career goals?

Also, don't go to a school you'd want to transfer out of.


Why not? Serious question. The next step above that in the area is USC and UCLA, which I believe are out of reach.

As far as career goals go, I'm interested in Entertainment Law, and also IP. I can't see further out than that unfortunately.

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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby heythatslife » Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:37 am

whoareyou wrote:
Dirigo wrote:
whoareyou wrote:In California, I'd be targeting San Diego, Hastings, Davis, Pepperdine, Loyola, and Southwestern.

Oh god. Please don't go to these.
What are your career goals?

Also, don't go to a school you'd want to transfer out of.


Why not? Serious question. The next step above that in the area is USC and UCLA, which I believe are out of reach.

As far as career goals go, I'm interested in Entertainment Law, and also IP. I can't see further out than that unfortunately.

Actually, USC might be doable with a 171 LSAT. I say cast your net wide and see what schools bite on that 171 LSAT.
Entertainment law jobs are basically unicorns. IP law is legit, but it might be hard to break into the area with a non-STEM major.

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Rigo
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Rigo » Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:39 am

whoareyou wrote:
Dirigo wrote:
whoareyou wrote:In California, I'd be targeting San Diego, Hastings, Davis, Pepperdine, Loyola, and Southwestern.

Oh god. Please don't go to these.
What are your career goals?
Also, don't go to a school you'd want to transfer out of.

Why not? Serious question. The next step above that in the area is USC and UCLA, which I believe are out of reach.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/state/CA/
The employment outcomes of those schools are abysmal. All of them have at-best a coin-flip's chance at you securing a legal job.
whoareyou wrote:As far as career goals go, I'm interested in Entertainment Law, and also IP. I can't see further out than that unfortunately.

Sorry to break it to you, but Entertainment Law isn't happening.
Do you have any IP credentials?

Pliny
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Re: Huge Splitter 2.43/171, need advice

Postby Pliny » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:20 am

whoareyou wrote:
Pliny wrote:
I echo that you need to put some distance between yourself and your GPA, including waiting a few cycles if necessary. Have you considered taking the LSAT again? If you think you can go higher you should try and grab as many points as you can.

In terms of rec combinations, I think you should put whichever ones help to best compensate for your GPA. Ideally, it would be a letter from someone with very intimate knowledge of you as a person and as a worker/student. They would be able to testify to your work ethic and intellectual ability, especially as it relates to practicing law. They would also be able to acknowledge and respond to your grades. So I'm thinking Harvard guy and Professor, unless your current employer is really willing to go to bat for you. Otherwise, you might have to work to find new letters at your current job.

As for the addendum, it's hard to say without seeing what you actually write. I'd imagine that it should a) acknowledge that your GPA is bad, b) explain why it's bad, c) own your failures rather than try to make excuses for them, and d) show how you've moved past those things and that it won't happen again in law school. If I were a cynical admissions officer, I might be concerned that your problems don't appear to be necessarily over. Cancers come back, finances don't repair themselves in several years, and you will have the same living expense problem in law school that you did in college-- especially since many schools limit the amount of hours you can work. And on top of that, law school is more difficult than college. You can't just justify your past failures. You need to PROVE that you're stronger than them now.

In terms of schools, if you're looking for MA or CA then you're looking at limited options. You've chosen two of the more difficult regions to break into. MA (read: Boston) is pretty cliquey, and you're competing with the Harvard kids who want to stick around. CA is lousy with good schools. SF is largely IP/tech, so if that's not your thing then you're largely looking at LA. So, absent some extra-special connection to those areas and their firms, you need to either a) be local and good or b) be stellar elsewhere. If b) then you're probably looking to climb as high up the T14 as you can.

This brings me to general cautions about cost. Law school debt is no joke. Be careful that your dream of being a lawyer doesn't pressure you into paying a large amount of money for a school that won't get you where you want to go. Consider also that you may not truly know where you want to go as a lot of things can change in the coming years. Maybe the firm you end up liking doesn't have an office there. Maybe the work the want to do isn't done there. Maybe you strike out at OCI. Maybe you end up hating the weather. Maybe you fall in love and they need to go somewhere else. Maybe you suck at law school and have limited options. Maybe you hate the law.

But, that's all in the future. You have a lot of time to work and get into school. I think you're on the right path, but it's gonna be a hard one. There's probably a few other serious splitters around here, and hopefully they have more specific advice. Best of luck!


Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. I have definitely considered taking the LSAT again, how much would, say, a 174 alter my chances?

In California, I'd be targeting San Diego, Hastings, Davis, Pepperdine, Loyola, and Southwestern. Boston would be BU, BC, NEU, Suffolk.

Anyone have any thoughts on going to lower end (NEU, Suffolk, Southwestern) and attempting to transfer after the first year? A friend of mine transferred from Southwestern to USC after his first year, but I wasn't sure if his situation was unique. Its not something I'm seriously considering, but the thought has crossed my mind.

EDIT: Probably important to note that I plan on practicing in California.


174 would be great. My point is that you need to create as much distance as possible between your GPA and LSAT. You need to show schools that your GPA was a fluke. This will affect a) the prestige of the school you get into and b) the money (if any) the school will pay you to attend. Be mindful that the LSAT, absent serious intervening factors, is pretty stable. Odds are you will get a SLIGHTLY higher score on your second try. After that, your score doesn't change much.

Transferring is difficult. Law school curves can be unforgiving. I think you would be foolish to plan your law school career (and, by extension, your actual career) around anticipating transferring. All it takes is a couple of bad grades, through no fault of your own, and you're sitting there with shitty grades at a poorly ranked law school. Also, you are not the only person in your class with this plan. You have to have some serious confidence (hubris?) to believe that you're the special snowflake.

This brings me to your law school choices. The employment rates at the schools you mentioned are not great. MA: you really shouldn't go anywhere but BU, BC, and Harvard. CA: you really shouldn't go anywhere but UCLA, Davis, Berkeley, or Stanford. And I really emphasize Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, and maybe UCLA from that group. Please, please, please don't underestimate how much prestige matters to many firms, and how difficult it is to predict where you'll fall in class rankings.

Of course, the TLS hivemind tends to emphasize a specific career trajectory for law, i.e. Biglaw or bust. If you really, really, really, really, really believe that a legal career is for you-- if you believe that come hell or high water, you will practice law-- then ignore what most people will say to you. Get a degree, pass the bar, and hang up your shingle. Otherwise, don't let your dream of law school gloss over the realities of the legal market. Don't go to a shitty school expecting to transfer. Don't pay sticker for a degree that will saddle you with an uncontrollable debt. Be careful.




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