Need to get an idea of where I stand...

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MrFutureJD

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Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby MrFutureJD » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:47 pm

Hello everyone! I'm trying to figure out roughly where I stand and how I measure up. So I graduated with a 3.00 overall and got two degrees, a BS in Biology and a BA in History. I was pre-Med until about three weeks before I graduated though i don't think i ever changed it on my academic records if that matters. Extracurricularly, I was president of our chapter Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honors Society) and co-founded a history club, and was involved in college politics. So obviously, I am pre-law now and took the LSAT and everything but how am I affect by my former pre-Med background? Does anyone have an idea of how is that going to hurt me since my stats related to sciences are definitely a big part as to why i have a 3.00 overall GPA?
So my science (79 hours of physical/natural sciences and math) GPA is not that good (like a 2.8 if i'm correct), but the GPA of the 74 hours of courses not related to natural sciences (social sciences, arts, humanities, languages, etc) is a 3.53. And my history degree GPA is a 3.727. Does anyone have any idea of how this would play out, look, appear, mean for admissions? Does anyone have an idea as where I stand with my GPA and how would a school likely interpret my academic record? As far as other stats go, the only time I took the LSAT i got a 156 (June 2016). And with my record and lsat score, where do I stand and does anyone have somewhat of an idea of how this would look, be interpreted by, etc an admissions committee? What can I do to make the most of it? And how? Anything info, feedback, comments would be very helpful! Thanks!

HYPSM

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Re: Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby HYPSM » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:01 pm

MrFutureJD wrote:Hello everyone! I'm trying to figure out roughly where I stand and how I measure up. So I graduated with a 3.00 overall and got two degrees, a BS in Biology and a BA in History. I was pre-Med until about three weeks before I graduated though i don't think i ever changed it on my academic records if that matters. Extracurricularly, I was president of our chapter Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honors Society) and co-founded a history club, and was involved in college politics. So obviously, I am pre-law now and took the LSAT and everything but how am I affect by my former pre-Med background? Does anyone have an idea of how is that going to hurt me since my stats related to sciences are definitely a big part as to why i have a 3.00 overall GPA?
So my science (79 hours of physical/natural sciences and math) GPA is not that good (like a 2.8 if i'm correct), but the GPA of the 74 hours of courses not related to natural sciences (social sciences, arts, humanities, languages, etc) is a 3.53. And my history degree GPA is a 3.727. Does anyone have any idea of how this would play out, look, appear, mean for admissions? Does anyone have an idea as where I stand with my GPA and how would a school likely interpret my academic record? As far as other stats go, the only time I took the LSAT i got a 156 (June 2016). And with my record and lsat score, where do I stand and does anyone have somewhat of an idea of how this would look, be interpreted by, etc an admissions committee? What can I do to make the most of it? And how? Anything info, feedback, comments would be very helpful! Thanks!


Law schools do not care whether you took pre-med/science classes or not; even your major does not matter. There is no "interpretation" to be done, and the fact that you took science class will not help you at all; only your overall GPA matters (nobody cares what your major GPA, social sciences GPA is.)

3.0 is quite low, so you need to do much better on the LSAT to get into any decent law schools. You should not have taken the LSAT without more preparation; it always looks better to have gotten a good score in a single attempt.

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nate3869

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Re: Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby nate3869 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:04 pm

Did you graduate with both degrees simultaneously? If not, your grades are only calculated up to completion of your first degree.

Barring that, to admissions departments it is going to look like you have a 3.0. It will largely depend on your goals and school selection as to what you can do to make the most of that LSAT/GPA combo.

MrFutureJD

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Re: Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby MrFutureJD » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:06 pm

nate3869 wrote:Did you graduate with both degrees simultaneously? If not, your grades are only calculated up to completion of your first degree.

Barring that, to admissions departments it is going to look like you have a 3.0. It will largely depend on your goals and school selection as to what you can do to make the most of that LSAT/GPA combo.


yes I graduated with both simultaneously. But wouldn't an addendum at least help with the GPA? Also, since it was simultaneously, can I just put History down as my degree and have it stop at those degree requirements?

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nate3869

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Re: Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby nate3869 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:09 pm

MrFutureJD wrote:
nate3869 wrote:Did you graduate with both degrees simultaneously? If not, your grades are only calculated up to completion of your first degree.

Barring that, to admissions departments it is going to look like you have a 3.0. It will largely depend on your goals and school selection as to what you can do to make the most of that LSAT/GPA combo.


yes I graduated with both simultaneously. But wouldn't an addendum at least help with the GPA?


From the information given, it doesn't seem like you have a strong reason to write an addendum. If your explanation for your lower grades is that they were because you were majoring in sciences, that's definitely not something about which you would want to write an addendum.

That being said, even if you do write an addendum, it doesn't change the fact that you have a 3.0. So an addendum is usually of minimal help even if there are extenuating circumstances.

Edit: I didn't see the second part of the question. No, it counts all credits up until a degree has been earned (time-wise) . It doesn't take into account what those credits count for.

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emkay625

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Re: Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby emkay625 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:22 pm

MrFutureJD wrote:
nate3869 wrote:Did you graduate with both degrees simultaneously? If not, your grades are only calculated up to completion of your first degree.

Barring that, to admissions departments it is going to look like you have a 3.0. It will largely depend on your goals and school selection as to what you can do to make the most of that LSAT/GPA combo.


yes I graduated with both simultaneously. But wouldn't an addendum at least help with the GPA? Also, since it was simultaneously, can I just put History down as my degree and have it stop at those degree requirements?


Addendums are typically only recommended for GPAs if you have some sort of serious explanation for your GPA—a single parent going to school and working, taking care of a loved one with a terminal illness, battling a serious illness yourself, etc. A switch of majors or a difficult major is not really grounds for an addendum. Of course, no one can stop you from writing one, but it is unlikely to help you much.

As far as only listing your history degree, that will not change the LSAC GPA calculation. The LSAC counts every single class you took prior to the issuance of your first Bachelor's degree, whether the class counted for the degree or not.

MrFutureJD

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Re: Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby MrFutureJD » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:29 pm

emkay625 wrote:
MrFutureJD wrote:
nate3869 wrote:Did you graduate with both degrees simultaneously? If not, your grades are only calculated up to completion of your first degree.

Barring that, to admissions departments it is going to look like you have a 3.0. It will largely depend on your goals and school selection as to what you can do to make the most of that LSAT/GPA combo.


yes I graduated with both simultaneously. But wouldn't an addendum at least help with the GPA? Also, since it was simultaneously, can I just put History down as my degree and have it stop at those degree requirements?


Addendums are typically only recommended for GPAs if you have some sort of serious explanation for your GPA—a single parent going to school and working, taking care of a loved one with a terminal illness, battling a serious illness yourself, etc. A switch of majors or a difficult major is not really grounds for an addendum. Of course, no one can stop you from writing one, but it is unlikely to help you much.

As far as only listing your history degree, that will not change the LSAC GPA calculation. The LSAC counts every single class you took prior to the issuance of your first Bachelor's degree, whether the class counted for the degree or not.


thanks!

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Lexaholik

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Re: Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby Lexaholik » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:43 pm

MrFutureJD wrote:Hello everyone! I'm trying to figure out roughly where I stand and how I measure up. So I graduated with a 3.00 overall and got two degrees, a BS in Biology and a BA in History. I was pre-Med until about three weeks before I graduated though i don't think i ever changed it on my academic records if that matters. Extracurricularly, I was president of our chapter Phi Alpha Theta (National History Honors Society) and co-founded a history club, and was involved in college politics. So obviously, I am pre-law now and took the LSAT and everything but how am I affect by my former pre-Med background? Does anyone have an idea of how is that going to hurt me since my stats related to sciences are definitely a big part as to why i have a 3.00 overall GPA?
So my science (79 hours of physical/natural sciences and math) GPA is not that good (like a 2.8 if i'm correct), but the GPA of the 74 hours of courses not related to natural sciences (social sciences, arts, humanities, languages, etc) is a 3.53. And my history degree GPA is a 3.727. Does anyone have any idea of how this would play out, look, appear, mean for admissions? Does anyone have an idea as where I stand with my GPA and how would a school likely interpret my academic record? As far as other stats go, the only time I took the LSAT i got a 156 (June 2016). And with my record and lsat score, where do I stand and does anyone have somewhat of an idea of how this would look, be interpreted by, etc an admissions committee? What can I do to make the most of it? And how? Anything info, feedback, comments would be very helpful! Thanks!


As others have mentioned, that 3.00 GPA will hurt you. The good news is that it'll be viewed as sort of a 3.00+ which means it will be viewed favorably against other applicants with similar GPAs but with softer majors. (Unfortunately your soft factors won't distinguish you from most other applicants.) That being said, here's what you should do:

1. Absolutely retake the LSAT. Even if you don't necessarily want to go to a top law school, getting a higher score will get you scholarship offers that will more than make up for lost time, money invested in LSAT prep, etc. And if you rock the exam, you could get into some extremely competitive (T14) programs. I wouldn't worry too much about that first score, schools accept the highest score you get.

2. Study for the LSAT. A lot. Take courses. Buy the study materials. There is a wealth of information on this forum that will help you improve 10+ points. Seriously, if there's one thing you can't afford to mess up, it's the LSAT. Later on, after you get full scholarships to schools, you'll have a huge margin of safety to mess up law exams, interviews, etc.

3. If you can't re-take (or if you re-take and fail to score higher) you should re-evaluate your goals. With your numbers you're likely looking at a regional Tier 1 program at full price (e.g. U of Florida or U of Maryland) or regional Tier 2 program with a significant scholarship (e.g. Catholic U or St. Johns U). See the MyLSN graph below.

4. If you're still committed to applying with the 156, do include a GPA addendum. It'll help--just not that much. It doesn't matter how you reconfigure your UG record, your LSDAS GPA will remain 3.0. But you should explain exactly why it is you did so terribly in your science classes, and what changed when you switched to History. Hint: Don't say you did better because you were more "interested" in History.

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floatie

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Re: Need to get an idea of where I stand...

Postby floatie » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:26 am

You don't have to answer this for us but ask yourself - did you do everything that you possibly could have to do well on the LSAT? If not, that's the single most important factor in your application that will impact how you do this cycle, and it's the one that you have the most influence over changing. I think it's too late now to sign up for the September LSAT, but you can still take the December LSAT and apply in January - you won't be an early applicant but if you can get a 165+ (or even a 160+) you'll be far more competitive than you are now.



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