Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

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goodoll
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Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby goodoll » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:46 pm

I Will attempt to make my situation as brief as possible:

I started at UCLA in fall 2011, but withdrew my first quarter because of mental illness. I was diagnosed with a severe form of depression. This not NOT affect my GPA.
I started again in the Winter, and completed Winter 2012, Spring 2012, and Fall of 2012. However, three weeks into this semester, again my mental illness got the best of me. I was forcibly put into the hospital, where again I had to withdraw. Still no effect on my GPA.

Because of my illness, I decided to go back to my city college and do two years of school there, until I could be come mentally healthy. Now, this is my fourth and last semester there and I will be returning to UCLA in the fall, and will graduate in 2016. Despite the withdrawls in 2011 and 2012, my community college GPA is 3.85 and UCLA GPA is 3.72.

I am going to score ~176 on the LSAT, and maintain around a 3.75 GPA.

Now my question is, are the withdraws early in my academic career going to absolutely kill my chances of getting into a T14 law school?
Or perhaps, I wonder, showing great adversity and "messing up" early in my career and then completely rebounding with stellar grades and and an awesome GPA may work to my advantage.

Long Story Short: It was a rocky road to get there, but with a 176+ LSAT and ~3.75 GPA be enough to get me into a T14 despite early academic withdraws that happened 3+ years ago? Could these maybe actually be used to my advantage to show that I struggled and overcame adversity earlier on?

Thank you very much for reading and helping me with my situation.

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Clemenceau
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Clemenceau » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:49 pm

Well I certainly don't think that will work to your advantage, but it shouldn't really hurt you either

You'll be fine if you nail a 170+ lsat

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Rigo
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Rigo » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:50 pm

goodoll wrote:Long Story Short: It was a rocky road to get there, but with a 176+ LSAT and ~3.75 GPA be enough to get me into a T14 despite early academic withdraws that happened 3+ years ago? Could these maybe actually be used to my advantage to show that I struggled and overcame adversity earlier on?

In regards to the 176+, don't count your chickens before they hatch.
You will need to carefully craft an addendum to address your mental health struggles and how you've coped with it.
You won't be barred from the T14 if you have those stats, but you will probably have to overcome some concerns about your mental fitness for law school. If you handle this tactfully, you'll be fine.

goodoll
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby goodoll » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:53 pm

Dirigo wrote:
goodoll wrote:Long Story Short: It was a rocky road to get there, but with a 176+ LSAT and ~3.75 GPA be enough to get me into a T14 despite early academic withdraws that happened 3+ years ago? Could these maybe actually be used to my advantage to show that I struggled and overcame adversity earlier on?

In regards to the 176+, don't count your chickens before they hatch.
You will need to carefully craft an addendum to address your mental health struggles and how you've coped with it.
You won't be barred from the T14 if you have those stats, but you will probably have to overcome some concerns about your mental fitness for law school. If you handle this tactfully, you'll be fine.


I greatly appreciate the help. In terms of how I overcame these struggles, would this be more suitable for an addendum or the personal statement?

And also, in your opinion, would be a tactful way to handle this?

Thank you.

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Strangely Appealing
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Strangely Appealing » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:57 pm

would this be more suitable for an addendum or the personal statement?


Me, I'd put it in an addendum and use the personal statement to give them something else to think about - use it to show them you're a lot more than a diagnosis and always have been. It would put you more on a par with other applicants and show why you'd be a good choice, not just a safe choice.

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Rigo
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Rigo » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:02 pm

goodoll wrote:I greatly appreciate the help. In terms of how I overcame these struggles, would this be more suitable for an addendum or the personal statement?

And also, in your opinion, would be a tactful way to handle this?

Thank you.

I would be careful in making mental health struggles the focal point of your PS. Your PS should be about putting your best food forward, and past mental health problems--though an important part of your story--probably won't put you in the best light.

And I don't pretend to know who to write an addendum on this. It may be best to leave things vague ("withdrawal for personal reasons" or something of the like). I'm not sure how much is documented.
The best thing you have going for you is that it seems you've gotten past the problems and are on the road to recovery.

goodoll
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby goodoll » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:07 pm

I appreciate all of the input everyone.
The reason I am asking this is because I bought LSAT books, and I am going to study for the next year regularly until I can boost my score to at least a 176. I know I can do it, and I am going to do it.

If my withdraws from years past are going to work against me then the great amount of effort that I am going to put into my LSAT seems fruitless.

I am just trying to figure out that, with a good enough addendum that aptly explains the circumstances of my withdraws, my chances will not be severely affected.

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Strangely Appealing
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Strangely Appealing » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:10 pm

By the way, do you know about the Baer Reintegration Scholarship? From what you've said here, it sounds like you'd be eligible. http://www.reintegration.com/resources/ ... /apply.asp

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Rigo
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Rigo » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:12 pm

goodoll wrote:I appreciate all of the input everyone.
The reason I am asking this is because I bought LSAT books, and I am going to study for the next year regularly until I can boost my score to at least a 176. I know I can do it, and I am going to do it.

If my withdraws from years past are going to work against me then the great amount of effort that I am going to put into my LSAT seems fruitless.

I am just trying to figure out that, with a good enough addendum that aptly explains the circumstances of my withdraws, my chances will not be severely affected.

You haven't even started studying yet? My my, this is awfully presumptive

It won't be fruitless though, assuming your issues were just with depression or eating disorders or something. If you harmed or threatened to harm someone else or something more severe like that, then that's a different story.

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ChoboPie
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby ChoboPie » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:18 pm

First of all, it's not cool to copy and paste your wall of text question to several threads.

Now to your question, this is worthy of an addendum, but maybe not a Personal Statement. Plenty of people have overcome legit challenges that were completely outside their control. I don't really see how your situation qualifies. It looks like you just couldn't handle undergrad, moved to community college to take a break, then finally came back to finish at UCLA. Your (prospective?) numbers are solid for T14, but your outcome will probably depend on how well you can convince adcomms that you're a stable person who isn't going to just lose it during law school.

Have you honestly and seriously considered why you want to go to law school? Most people say it only gets more stressful and more depressing...

Also,

I am going to score ~176 on the LSAT and maintain around a 3.75 GPA


I can't see how you can possibly know this.

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Clemenceau
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Clemenceau » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:20 pm

Dirigo wrote:My my, this is awfully presumptive

goodoll
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby goodoll » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:21 pm

Dirigo wrote:
goodoll wrote:I appreciate all of the input everyone.
The reason I am asking this is because I bought LSAT books, and I am going to study for the next year regularly until I can boost my score to at least a 176. I know I can do it, and I am going to do it.

If my withdraws from years past are going to work against me then the great amount of effort that I am going to put into my LSAT seems fruitless.

I am just trying to figure out that, with a good enough addendum that aptly explains the circumstances of my withdraws, my chances will not be severely affected.

You haven't even started studying yet? My my, this is awfully presumptive

It won't be fruitless though, assuming your issues were just with depression or eating disorders or something. If you harmed or threatened to harm someone else or something more severe like that, then that's a different story.


Well, I took I timed practice test and got a 167, first try, no studying, so I think with enough practice I can get it to my desired score.
And I was severely depressed, and was forced into the hospital because the doctor was afraid that I might hurt myself. But through hard work I have eliminated the condition completely, and it no longer affects my life.

So, with a well written addendum, and if I get the scores I claim I will get (fingers crossed), my chances will not be too affected?
Will I most likely get into at least ONE T14?

Thank you so much for the help by the way, I very much appreciate it.

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ballcaps
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby ballcaps » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:23 pm

goodoll wrote:I am going to score ~176 on the LSAT


if you haven't even started studying yet, how did you arrive at this number? 176 is well into the 99th percentile.

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Rigo
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Rigo » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:23 pm

goodoll wrote:So, with a well written addendum, and if I get the scores I claim I will get (fingers crossed), my chances will not be too affected?
Will I most likely get into at least ONE T14?
Thank you so much for the help by the way, I very much appreciate it.

Yes. Get a 170+ and you'll have good T14 options.
Good luck!

mattf
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby mattf » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:37 pm

With such a deep insight into the future I would consider directing that power towards buying lottery tickets rather than wasting your time and money piddling around with law school.

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Strangely Appealing
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Strangely Appealing » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:12 pm

If you can nail a score that would open the door of a T14 to anybody else and your addendum gives the school enough assurance that you're ready to handle the stresses that law school dishes out, you should be admitted, yes. They can't legally discriminate against you for a disability, and that's what bipolar disorder is.

So that's the good news. The bad news is that an astonishing number of people go to law school who shouldn't. They go through all that shit, take on nondischargeable debt, pass the bar, get licensed, start practicing... and then they're miserable because law's not the right career for them.

Don't do that to yourself - please. While you're studying for the LSAT, also study whether the legal field is really going to give you a life you can enjoy. Depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide are all too common among lawyers because they've made an expensive choice they can't back out of very readily at all.

Can you wrangle a job as a legal assistant or at least shadow a couple of attorneys while waiting to take the LSAT? The experience will help give you assurance that you're investing in a future you'll like or point you in a direction that's better for you.

Also start putting together a plan now for enduring the intense demands of 1L. The shift from undergrad-type studies to law school can overstress and undermine just about anybody. Some practical ideas about how to manage the stresses here - some take a while to put in place: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 5#p3477739

Best of luck.
Last edited by Strangely Appealing on Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

goodoll
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby goodoll » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:29 pm

Strangely Appealing wrote:If you can nail a score that would open the door of a T14 to anybody else and your addendum gives the school enough assurance that you're ready to handle the stresses that law school dishes out, you should be admitted, yes. They can't legally discriminate against you for a disability, and that's what bipolar disorder is.

So that's the good news. The bad news is that an astonishing number of people go to law school who shouldn't. They go through all that shit, take on nondischargeable debt, pass the bar, get licensed, start practicing... and then they're miserable because law's not the right career for them.

Don't do that to yourself - please. While you're studying for the LSAT, also study whether the legal field is really going to give you a life you can enjoy. Depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide are all too common among lawyers because they've made an expensive choice they can't back out of very readily at all.

Can you wrangle a job as a legal assistant or at least shadow a couple of attorneys while waiting to take the LSAT? The experience will help give you assurance that you're investing in a future you'll like or point you in a direction that's better for you.

Also start putting together a plan now for enduring the intense demands of 1L. The shift from undergrad-type studies to law school can overstress and undermine just about anybody. Some practical ideas about how to manage the stresses here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=123615#p3477739

Best of luck.


I am actually going on an internship in Sacramento to learn about the Senate! So perhaps that should give me some kind of feel for the field of law.

I am really glad to hear that despite my withdraws from 3 years ago, I still can get into a T14. The entire point of this thread was to see if I should invest a great amount of my time studying for the LSAT.

Sorry to banter you with another question, but what should the ammendum say exactly? Should I point out that I went from withdrawing to getting straight A's?

You have been unbelievably helpful, and I thank you so very much.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:58 pm

Clemenceau wrote:
Dirigo wrote:My my, this is awfully presumptive

goodoll
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby goodoll » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:16 am

I am sorry, I will restate, I know I CAN get a 176 if I study for a year straight (I'm a philo major, this stuff is fun to me.).
My question is, if I get a 176 with a good GPA, can I still get into a top law school despite my withdraws with an addendum? If the answer is no, then I dont want to waste a year of my life trying to perfect a test that doesn't matter.

Again, thanks for the help everyone.
Last edited by goodoll on Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rigo
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Rigo » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:17 am

goodoll wrote:I am sorry, I will restate, I know I CAN get a 176 if I study for a year straight (I'm a philo major, this stuff is fun to me.).
My question is, if I get a 176 with a good GPA, can I still get into a top law school despite my withdraws with an addendum?

Asked and answered.

goodoll
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby goodoll » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:21 am

Dirigo wrote:
goodoll wrote:I am sorry, I will restate, I know I CAN get a 176 if I study for a year straight (I'm a philo major, this stuff is fun to me.).
My question is, if I get a 176 with a good GPA, can I still get into a top law school despite my withdraws with an addendum?

Asked and answered.


You have been extremely helpful. Thank you Dirigo.

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Rigo
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Rigo » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:24 am

goodoll wrote:You have been extremely helpful. Thank you Dirigo.

No problem. Good luck. Really focus on finishing school strong and knocking the LSAT out of the park.
Also, don't close yourself off to other opportunities. Most of the newly minted lawyers I know have very low work satisfaction and are very unhappy. Be absolutely positive that you want to go down the law school path before you embark on it.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:36 am

goodoll wrote:I am sorry, I will restate, I know I CAN get a 176 if I study for a year straight (I'm a philo major, this stuff is fun to me.).
My question is, if I get a 176 with a good GPA, can I still get into a top law school despite my withdraws with an addendum? If the answer is no, then I dont want to waste a year of my life trying to perfect a test that doesn't matter.

Again, thanks for the help everyone.


Obviously you can get into a good school with a 176/3.75 lol. And you don't know you can score a 176 until you have it in hand, even if you are PTing at that level it is normal to drop points on test day. You are coming across as arrogant because you're not just saying you could score 170+ but upper 170s, which is well into the 99th percentile.

goodoll
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby goodoll » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:02 am

Mack.Hambleton wrote:
goodoll wrote:I am sorry, I will restate, I know I CAN get a 176 if I study for a year straight (I'm a philo major, this stuff is fun to me.).
My question is, if I get a 176 with a good GPA, can I still get into a top law school despite my withdraws with an addendum? If the answer is no, then I dont want to waste a year of my life trying to perfect a test that doesn't matter.

Again, thanks for the help everyone.


Obviously you can get into a good school with a 176/3.75 lol. And you don't know you can score a 176 until you have it in hand, even if you are PTing at that level it is normal to drop points on test day. You are coming across as arrogant because you're not just saying you could score 170+ but upper 170s, which is well into the 99th percentile.


Of course I'm saying I COULD score in the 170+. Anyone COULD.

The entire point of this post is that IN SPITE OF my withdraws from 3 years ago, are these scores still going to get me into a top law school?

I apologize if I come across as arrogant. I am simply determined.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Very Interesting Situation, Need Honest Advice

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:09 am

ok good keep it up then. and if you dont meet your goal remember to retake




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