Bad Semester

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mattf
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Bad Semester

Postby mattf » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:42 pm

I had a really bad semester this past semester. I got about a 1.9.

This semester was just very hectic for me. I'm majoring in Chemistry and took quite a few hard classes this semester, I started working this past semester as a tutor and took off a bit more than I could chew at 12 hours/week, I started doing laboratory research for about 6 hours/week and my dad's cancer turned for the worse giving him about 9 months to live which just added to my stress and was a constant distraction.

I did very good my first two semesters and anticipate doing extremely well the rest of my undergrad years (I got all my hard classes out of the way early) and I'm working about half as much next semester. Do I still have a chance to get into law school?

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pylon
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby pylon » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:44 pm

mattf wrote:Do I still have a chance to get into law school?

Yes, schools care about your cumulative LSAC GPA and although your bad semester is unfortunate, if you consistently get good grades the rest of the way it will minimize the impact of this bad semester. Focus on the marks that are in your control and good luck!

mattf
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby mattf » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:12 pm

pylon wrote:
mattf wrote:Do I still have a chance to get into law school?

Yes, schools care about your cumulative LSAC GPA and although your bad semester is unfortunate, if you consistently get good grades the rest of the way it will minimize the impact of this bad semester. Focus on the marks that are in your control and good luck!


Good to hear! And thank you!

mattf
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby mattf » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:18 pm

Should I write an addendum about this? If so, how do I go about writing one in a way that explains the circumstances behind my low GPA instead of coming off as if I'm trying to make excuses for it?

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:41 am

I don't think I would without a more compelling reason like you were on chemo or something instead of just taking hard classes and smoking too much dank weed

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R. Jeeves
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby R. Jeeves » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:50 am

james.bungles wrote:I don't think I would without a more compelling reason like you were on chemo or something instead of just taking hard classes and smoking too much dank weed


You don't think that the combination of his dad having cancer + having to adjust to a heavy work schedule would be a compelling reasons on an addendum if his GPA for that particular semester ends up being an outlier?

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pancakes3
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:57 am

pulstar1 wrote:
james.bungles wrote:I don't think I would without a more compelling reason like you were on chemo or something instead of just taking hard classes and smoking too much dank weed


You don't think that the combination of his dad having cancer + having to adjust to a heavy work schedule would be a compelling reasons on an addendum if his GPA for that particular semester ends up being an outlier?


The heavy work schedule is a 0/10 and the sick parent is a 3/10. I don't think an addendum would do much. Plus he's only in his 3rd semester? Kid is like 19 years old. Writing an addendum is near the bottom of what he needs to be worrying about.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:01 am

pulstar1 wrote:
james.bungles wrote:I don't think I would without a more compelling reason like you were on chemo or something instead of just taking hard classes and smoking too much dank weed


You don't think that the combination of his dad having cancer + having to adjust to a heavy work schedule would be a compelling reasons on an addendum if his GPA for that particular semester ends up being an outlier?


Whoops missed that, yeah I'd say that works. Although GPA addenda don't really do anything for admissions, but worth it anyway

mvp99
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby mvp99 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:02 am

I wouldn't use the "I was busy working" excuse absent a considerable circumstance like having to pay a $1500 mortgage to not have your little sis and bro out on the street..

mattf
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby mattf » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:17 am

pancakes3 wrote:
pulstar1 wrote:
james.bungles wrote:I don't think I would without a more compelling reason like you were on chemo or something instead of just taking hard classes and smoking too much dank weed


You don't think that the combination of his dad having cancer + having to adjust to a heavy work schedule would be a compelling reasons on an addendum if his GPA for that particular semester ends up being an outlier?


The heavy work schedule is a 0/10 and the sick parent is a 3/10. I don't think an addendum would do much. Plus he's only in his 3rd semester? Kid is like 19 years old. Writing an addendum is near the bottom of what he needs to be worrying about.


I'm not necessarily worried about it at the moment, I was just curious for future reference so I could plan for it. Thanks for telling me it wouldn't do much so later on I could focus on other things.

B90
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby B90 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:23 am

I went through a similar situation my junior year of college. I am now a 2L.

Feel free to pm me at any point if you want some advice from someone who has been there and made it through.

In the meantime, hang in there and focus on your grades. Also, try to enjoy the holiday season. I wish you a much better 2015!

mattf
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:09 pm

Re: Bad Semester

Postby mattf » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:27 am

B90 wrote:I went through a similar situation my junior year of college. I am now a 2L.

Feel free to pm me at any point if you want some advice from someone who has been there and made it through.

In the meantime, hang in there and focus on your grades. Also, try to enjoy the holiday season. I wish you a much better 2015!


Thank you, I appreciate it! And I'll definitely keep you in mind if I have some questions related to that.

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KMart
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby KMart » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:37 am

A nice, upward GPA trend from here on out will also behoove you as a future applicant: helps by showing maturity and that this quarter was an anomaly. You'll be alright :D.

KirkwoodGAO
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby KirkwoodGAO » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:00 am

even a 1.9 overall, if your trend continues, will be fine to get into some of America's most storied centers of legal learning, such as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas M. Cooley.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:02 am

Just get your GPA up. If you have a 4.0 for the rest of your semesters, then great. I do believe that GPA addendums, and other softs, are important and impactful for splitters (like sub 3.0/170+), and I will take that belief to my grave. I mean how else do they decide whether to admit you or not.

B90
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby B90 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:10 am

You can definitely recover from this. If you end up with a high GPA, you won't need to explain the bad semester. Use it to motivate you.
I had my bad semester a year later than you, and it unfortunately did negatively affect my GPA overal, so I had some explaining to do.
Fortunately, I had tons of good advice from older friends/family members who successfully got into good law schools so I did okay.
Seriously, do whatever you can to get the best GPA possible. Nobody ever regrets that their GPA is too high. It is far easier not to have anything to explain.

B90
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby B90 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:23 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:Just get your GPA up. If you have a 4.0 for the rest of your semesters, then great. I do believe that GPA addendums, and other softs, are important and impactful for splitters (like sub 3.0/170+), and I will take that belief to my grave. I mean how else do they decide whether to admit you or not.


This is absolutely correct.
I was a splitter, though not quite that extreme.
It is also far easier to not be a splitter.
I know people who had one bad semester, but got it together and ended up with a 3.6 or above and a high LSAT.
Those people did well in their application cycle.

This is premature for you to think about, but for the sake of those who have finished college, your strategy should vary based on the school. For most schools, it is not advisable to write an addendum because it will only draw attention to something you don't want focus on. If your numbers are within a school's medians, TCR is don't write an addendum unless the school specifically requests it.
For reach schools, an addendum might be smart if it is appropriately written. In those cases, you should speak to reps/adcoms/students from the individual schools to get a feel.

kcdc1
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Re: Bad Semester

Postby kcdc1 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:14 am

You will surely be able to get into crappy schools. Anyone can. Whether you can get into top schools will depend on your LSAT.

My advice would be to keep an open mind to all career opportunities at this point. Hustle for a chemistry-related gig out of school if you can. Then come back to law a few years later if it still interests you.




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