Addendum Help

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
brewpub16

New
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:30 pm

Addendum Help

Postby brewpub16 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:40 pm

TL; DR:
My major GPA is 3.4; my LSAC recalculated GPA is 3.05. The two main reasons for the low GPA:
1- switch from a hard science major in CC before transferring to a 4 year Uni.
2- an entire years worth of a challenging foreign language requirement during my senior year.


LSAT: Cancel, 158, (upper 160's hopefully, waiting on Dec).
There was a death in my immediate family during my first attempt, and I didn't take time off to clear my mind before attempting a second time, hence the second low score. Based off practice tests and general intuition, I think my Dec score will come out to about 166~.

Should I attach an addendum for both GPA and LSAT? One or the either? Any guidance would be appreciated!

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Addendum Help

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:41 pm

No addendum for either. You're retaking the LSAT, and your GPA wasn't affected by circumstances outside your control.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Addendum Help

Postby zot1 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:44 pm

For the love of God do not use an addendum to excuse away your grades because you took hard classes.

LSAT would be okay, but honestly, it would depend on the December score. Either way I would still be inclined to say that won't help you much. Of course I understand and feel sorry for your loss, but not knowing your own mental state before taking an exam would be a negative in my book. Lucky for you, I don't work for admissions.

BobBoblaw

Bronze
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:43 am

Re: Addendum Help

Postby BobBoblaw » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:49 pm

I disagree, in that I think your situation would be OK for a GPA addendum, but I concur that an LSAT addendum is not needed.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Addendum Help

Postby zot1 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:53 pm

Bob,

I rarely do this, but sit this one out. A GPA addendum here is an auto-reject.

brewpub16

New
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:30 pm

Re: Addendum Help

Postby brewpub16 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:00 pm

zot1 wrote:Bob,

I rarely do this, but sit this one out. A GPA addendum here is an auto-reject.



I am leaning towards agreeing with you, but I'm worried that if I don't include the addendum, the Admissions Committee wont really look through my transcripts, in which they would see that I got A's in the majority of the courses I took (including pre-law related fields) and, C's in biochemistry/Japanese (classes that have little bearing on how I will perform in law school)

On the other hand, I don't want to come off as whiner and shed light on the negative aspects of my application. So I can see why the go-to advice is to avoid an addendum.

BobBoblaw

Bronze
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:43 am

Re: Addendum Help

Postby BobBoblaw » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:01 pm

zot1 wrote:Bob,

I rarely do this, but sit this one out. A GPA addendum here is an auto-reject.

Mneh, you may be right, unless most or all of those CC credits were taken prior to OPs HS graduation, it would be a tough sell to say the least. I walk back my earlier post.

User avatar
Lexaholik

Bronze
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 10:44 am

Re: Addendum Help

Postby Lexaholik » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:11 pm

brewpub16 wrote:TL; DR:
My major GPA is 3.4; my LSAC recalculated GPA is 3.05. The two main reasons for the low GPA:
1- switch from a hard science major in CC before transferring to a 4 year Uni.
2- an entire years worth of a challenging foreign language requirement during my senior year.


LSAT: Cancel, 158, (upper 160's hopefully, waiting on Dec).
There was a death in my immediate family during my first attempt, and I didn't take time off to clear my mind before attempting a second time, hence the second low score. Based off practice tests and general intuition, I think my Dec score will come out to about 166~.

Should I attach an addendum for both GPA and LSAT? One or the either? Any guidance would be appreciated!


Include a GPA addendum. Even with a high LSAT you'll need every advantage you can get to get into a top law school. This is no different from when you need to explain away bad facts to a judge when you're a lawyer. Figure out how to spin your record so you don't sound like you're just complaining or making excuses.

Paul Campos

Silver
Posts: 678
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:44 am

Re: Addendum Help

Postby Paul Campos » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:21 pm

As someone who has been on law school admissions committees, I can say that attempting to "spin" a GPA when there isn't an extremely compelling story to tell (and 99.5% of the time there isn't -- see this OP for a perfect example) is annoying enough that it could hurt an applicant on the margin. It certainly won't help.

User avatar
Lexaholik

Bronze
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 10:44 am

Re: Addendum Help

Postby Lexaholik » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:52 pm

Paul Campos wrote:As someone who has been on law school admissions committees, I can say that attempting to "spin" a GPA when there isn't an extremely compelling story to tell (and 99.5% of the time there isn't -- see this OP for a perfect example) is annoying enough that it could hurt an applicant on the margin. It certainly won't help.


I see where you're coming from, but I disagree. An unnecessary addendum isn't going to hurt you any more than having a bad GPA & bad reason. The worst adcoms can do to you is reject you--which is what they were already going to do. But 0.5% (or whatever--I suspect the actual frequency is higher) of the time, it's invaluable. The problem is that you, as the applicant, are not going to know which side of the coin you fall on. It's easy for the adcom to tell--after all they're making the decision.

More generally, this is why I don't agree with a lot of the advice given by former admissions people. It appears to be simple what works or doesn't work--when you're the decision maker. It's like when OCI interviewers tell law students what they're looking for in interviews for or when judges give advice to litigators on how to write briefs. It's well intentioned but often terrible advice because when the most effective tactics work (and they often do) decision makers are completely unaware.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Addendum Help

Postby zot1 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:08 pm

After reading a handful of admission packets, that shit gets tiring. If an applicant makes me read something I didn't need to read, I'll be upset and it'll make me not like them. You can say what you want, dude, but this is some terrible advice you're giving here.

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Addendum Help

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:15 pm

Lexaholik wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:As someone who has been on law school admissions committees, I can say that attempting to "spin" a GPA when there isn't an extremely compelling story to tell (and 99.5% of the time there isn't -- see this OP for a perfect example) is annoying enough that it could hurt an applicant on the margin. It certainly won't help.


I see where you're coming from, but I disagree. An unnecessary addendum isn't going to hurt you any more than having a bad GPA & bad reason. The worst adcoms can do to you is reject you--which is what they were already going to do. But 0.5% (or whatever--I suspect the actual frequency is higher) of the time, it's invaluable. The problem is that you, as the applicant, are not going to know which side of the coin you fall on. It's easy for the adcom to tell--after all they're making the decision.

More generally, this is why I don't agree with a lot of the advice given by former admissions people. It appears to be simple what works or doesn't work--when you're the decision maker. It's like when OCI interviewers tell law students what they're looking for in interviews for or when judges give advice to litigators on how to write briefs. It's well intentioned but often terrible advice because when the most effective tactics work (and they often do) decision makers are completely unaware.


But what does this addendum say? "I got some bad grades because classes were hard." "I got some bad grades because I didn't spend enough time studying." "I got some bad grades because I felt like it."

The addendum isn't a place to explain all the things that were completely within your control. It's for explaining things like medical conditions or extreme circumstances that led to a bad semester. I have no idea whether it could hurt the OP to include one, but it sure won't help. It's just a waste of their time.



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 8 guests