Parent death -- affect admission?

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mdb3185
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Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby mdb3185 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:50 pm

For the first 4 semesters of UG, I was the primary caretaker of my terminally ill mom. She passed in the middle of my 5th semester and I had to take some time off and such. All of this meant I was home half the week for the first half of college and it adversely affected my grades (3.55ish).

Semester 6 (without the "distraction") was a 4.0. If semester 7--I'm graduating a semester early--is the same, which I think is pretty possible, what are the chances I could sell this in applications? My cumulative GPA will end up around 3.65 if this happens and I'm PTing in the 170s.

Will admissions see me as that 3.65 regardless or will they judge my numbers any differently, based on upward trends/actual capability?

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starry eyed
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby starry eyed » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:21 pm

mdb3185 wrote:For the first 4 semesters of UG, I was the primary caretaker of my terminally ill mom. She passed in the middle of my 5th semester and I had to take some time off and such. All of this meant I was home half the week for the first half of college and it adversely affected my grades (3.55ish).

Semester 6 (without the "distraction") was a 4.0. If semester 7--I'm graduating a semester early--is the same, which I think is pretty possible, what are the chances I could sell this in applications? My cumulative GPA will end up around 3.65 if this happens and I'm PTing in the 170s.

Will admissions see me as that 3.65 regardless or will they judge my numbers any differently, based on upward trends/actual capability?


sorry to hear about your mom, but unfortunately yes the 3.65 will be what they look at. That is the gpa they will report to lsac and that is the gpa that will be used as data for the school's future 25th 50th 75th percentiles. They may give some minor consideration to the upward trend. Other factors such as difficulty of major and course load matter a little but gpa/lsat is 95 % of the equation.

to116
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby to116 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:49 pm

adcoms are people too. This is exactly what an addendum is for and if they don't cut you some slack over this, the law school isn't worth it at all. I do think that this is one of those cases where the addendum will definitely make up for the lower gpa especially with the upward trend.

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starry eyed
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby starry eyed » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:59 pm

to116 wrote:adcoms are people too. This is exactly what an addendum is for and if they don't cut you some slack over this, the law school isn't worth it at all. I do think that this is one of those cases where the addendum will definitely make up for the lower gpa especially with the upward trend.


the addendum will likely help but it will not make his 3.65 into a 4.0 in the view of adcomms. the truth is a lot of students suffer hardships in college, myself included.

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Mullens
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby Mullens » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:06 am

alaird21 wrote:
to116 wrote:adcoms are people too. This is exactly what an addendum is for and if they don't cut you some slack over this, the law school isn't worth it at all. I do think that this is one of those cases where the addendum will definitely make up for the lower gpa especially with the upward trend.


the addendum will likely help but it will not make his 3.65 into a 4.0 in the view of adcomms. the truth is a lot of students suffer hardships in college, myself included.


You are a 0L. What do you know about the admissions processes at law schools other than to parrot the information you've read on TLS?

OP, you should write a GPA addendum or even PS about this. It will probably make a difference in your admission chances. How much is hard to say. By definition, half the people in every law school class are below the GPA median.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:38 am

write an addendum, but it is a numbers game, and will likely have very little effect.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:47 am

Just get a high LSAT and it won't matter. 3.6, 172+, with a strong GPA addendum? Solid money from CCN, small chance at H. Even more money from rest of T14. You're fine. If you're gunning for Yale and/or Stanford and/or Boalt though, it'll be rough idk how much the addendum helps. Addendum might get you into Boalt though, while a 3.6/173 with no addendum wouldn't.
Last edited by PeanutsNJam on Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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starry eyed
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby starry eyed » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:33 am

Mullens wrote:
alaird21 wrote:
to116 wrote:adcoms are people too. This is exactly what an addendum is for and if they don't cut you some slack over this, the law school isn't worth it at all. I do think that this is one of those cases where the addendum will definitely make up for the lower gpa especially with the upward trend.


the addendum will likely help but it will not make his 3.65 into a 4.0 in the view of adcomms. the truth is a lot of students suffer hardships in college, myself included.


You are a 0L. What do you know about the admissions processes at law schools other than to parrot the information you've read on TLS?

OP, you should write a GPA addendum or even PS about this. It will probably make a difference in your admission chances. How much is hard to say. By definition, half the people in every law school class are below the GPA median.


as mysterious as the admission process is, i doubt i know significantly less than you.
that half consists mostly of urm and those with higher than median lsat.

op... i would write the addendum and then just focus on the lsat.

B90
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby B90 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:36 am

First, I am so sorry for your loss.
I just want to point out for the record that lawyers, adcoms, and law students are in fact all human even though we don't always act like it.

The best advice is to get your GPA as high as humanly possible.
Take things one step at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself.
When you graduate from college, celebrate that accomplishment.
Once you take the LSAT (and the subsequent 12 hour plus nap), celebrate that.

THEN, you can perfect your law school application, including your PS and seek advice as to whether an addendum would be helpful. In many cases, a PS on your experience is far more effective -- provided you can pull it off well/appropriately. You can always get advice on that when the time comes.

Take care of yourself and don't stuff your feelings, because they will likely resurface at the worst possible time. I know many people (myself included) who walked into the LSAT totally prepared and ended up with a sub 160 score on their first try or cancelled their score because stress brought up unresolved grief.
I also know people who rocked the LSAT because they did it in honor of their loved one.

anonid
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Re: Parent death -- affect admission?

Postby anonid » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:35 pm

Absolutely write the addendum. As you say, the objective trend is consistent with the story. Also don't shy away from schools at which you're a splitter. Half the GPAs a school takes are below the median and they aren't all URMs and moneyed legacies. A good addendum on this should put you a the top of that (admittedly small, but significant) non-URM, non-legacy/actual special snowflake, below-median GPA pack.

Great law schools look for many kinds of diversity and experience after they get the kind they can report. Most of their students are coming from stable, two-parent households with very little hardship of any sort. This is significant and you're at the center of it.




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