Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

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lawschoolque

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Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby lawschoolque » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:31 am

I'm a 23-year-old junior at Rutgers University.

I started my college career at the University of Rhode Island in the Fall 0f 2012. I suffered a series of strokes and other neurological issues that caused my grades to suffer. I finished my freshman year with an abysmal 1.85 GPA...I was told by multiple advisors that this should not affect my chances of admission since they are grades from years ago, and I have a legitimate excuse for my performance that I can explain in an addendum essay.

After my freshman year, I transferred to a local community college where I did fairly well and graduated after the Fall of 2014 with an associate's degree.

I then took 2 and a half years off to work and deal with some personal issues, including the ramifications of my health issues. I returned to school in the Fall of 2016 where I started at Rutgers University. During this semester, I enrolled in four classes. I got an A in my Journalism 201 class, a C+ in my Urban Political Systems class, I withdrew from an elective, and got an F in my Journalism 101 class. I retook the class the following semester and got an A in it.

Is the F and "application killer?" I got the F because I missed the withdraw date, and beyond rebounding from my strokes and other neurological issues, I was newly becoming clean and sober. As I was adjusting to my new lifestyle, it was incredibly difficult for me to gauge exactly how much I could handle. I believe my "self-appraisal system" was off, meaning, I thought I could handle more than I could at the time.

What are your general thoughts on the things I presented?

Please let me know when you get the chance.

Thanks!

Sam

cavalier1138

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Re: Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:10 pm

What's your actual GPA (knowing that LSAC will count the original F grade)?

lawschoolque wrote:...and beyond rebounding from my strokes and other neurological issues, I was newly becoming clean and sober.


That addendum is significantly different from an addendum where you're just rebounding from neurological issues. Was your prior substance abuse issue related to your neurological issues at all? It might change the way you want to craft your addendum.

lawschoolque

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Re: Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby lawschoolque » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:29 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:What's your actual GPA (knowing that LSAC will count the original F grade)?

lawschoolque wrote:...and beyond rebounding from my strokes and other neurological issues, I was newly becoming clean and sober.


That addendum is significantly different from an addendum where you're just rebounding from neurological issues. Was your prior substance abuse issue related to your neurological issues at all? It might change the way you want to craft your addendum.


The F will not be factored into my GPA since I took the course through the "exchange registration" program...meaning, although I'm a Rutgers student, the program I'm in is partnered with the community college I attended prior, giving me the option to take the course at the community college. It will not be factored into my GPA, but it will show up on my transcript, as will the A I received in the same class the following semester. I am not positive as to what my overall GPA is, but I am receiving a 3.25 @ Rutgers so far with at least 4 semesters to go.

The prior substance abuse issue and the strokes are independent of each other. The substance use did not cause the strokes. I started using drugs due to post-stroke symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and migraine pain. I was prescribed anxiety medication, as well as painkillers and started abusing them. I have since taken a different road and am hoping I can use that experience as an asset on my application.

cavalier1138

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Re: Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:35 pm

lawschoolque wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What's your actual GPA (knowing that LSAC will count the original F grade)?

lawschoolque wrote:...and beyond rebounding from my strokes and other neurological issues, I was newly becoming clean and sober.


That addendum is significantly different from an addendum where you're just rebounding from neurological issues. Was your prior substance abuse issue related to your neurological issues at all? It might change the way you want to craft your addendum.


The F will not be factored into my GPA since I took the course through the "exchange registration" program...meaning, although I'm a Rutgers student, the program I'm in is partnered with the community college I attended prior, giving me the option to take the course at the community college. It will not be factored into my GPA, but it will show up on my transcript, as will the A I received in the same class the following semester. I am not positive as to what my overall GPA is, but I am receiving a 3.25 @ Rutgers so far with at least 4 semesters to go.

The prior substance abuse issue and the strokes are independent of each other. The substance use did not cause the strokes. I started using drugs due to post-stroke symptoms such as depression and anxiety. I was prescribed anxiety medication, as well as painkillers and started abusing them. I have since taken a different road and am hoping I can use that experience as an asset on my application.


You need to figure out your actual GPA. The F does count for LSAC, because you still took the initial class for credit (even if it wasn't at Rutgers). But if you still have two years of school left, this is putting the cart way before the horse. Focus on bringing your GPA up, then work on the LSAT.

I'd probably avoid mentioning the drug use anywhere outside of a C&F context. I know that you're in recovery and that it gives you a unique perspective, but lawyers are notorious for substance abuse. Letting the admissions office know you already have issues in that department isn't going to make your application stand out in a good way.

lakers180

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Re: Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby lakers180 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:37 pm

pretty sure your advisors are off base. the 1.85 grades will count regardless of explanation in the LSAC calculation. as will the F. your GPA as a result will be very low. your best bet is to get a good lsat score, write an addendum, and try to get some money at a regional school.

tinyvessels

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Re: Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby tinyvessels » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:06 pm

Your grades from your first year and the F will be factored into your LSAC-calculated GPA. Even if you retook the course and received an A. However, you still have four more semesters to go, so I wouldn't worry about what your final GPA is going to look like until your senior year when you have a most of your grades for your classes in.

With that being said, be prepared to have a significantly lower LSAC calculated GPA than what you get from your undergrad. At this point you need to focus on acing literally every class you take from here on out and KILLING the LSAT since you will need a high score to balance off your GPA.

Don't worry. A lot of people have been in your place before and you're in your junior year, so a lot can be done to make sure your application to law school will be strong despite a lower GPA. Hopefully you write a strong addendum and the trend of less and less applicants to law school continues which can also better your chances.

Congrats on your sobriety and I wish you a lot of luck with your classes this year!

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PDX4343

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Re: Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby PDX4343 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:24 pm

lawschoolque wrote:I'm a 23-year-old junior at Rutgers University.

I started my college career at the University of Rhode Island in the Fall 0f 2012. I suffered a series of strokes and other neurological issues that caused my grades to suffer. I finished my freshman year with an abysmal 1.85 GPA...I was told by multiple advisors that this should not affect my chances of admission since they are grades from years ago, and I have a legitimate excuse for my performance that I can explain in an addendum essay.

After my freshman year, I transferred to a local community college where I did fairly well and graduated after the Fall of 2014 with an associate's degree.

I then took 2 and a half years off to work and deal with some personal issues, including the ramifications of my health issues. I returned to school in the Fall of 2016 where I started at Rutgers University. During this semester, I enrolled in four classes. I got an A in my Journalism 201 class, a C+ in my Urban Political Systems class, I withdrew from an elective, and got an F in my Journalism 101 class. I retook the class the following semester and got an A in it.

Is the F and "application killer?" I got the F because I missed the withdraw date, and beyond rebounding from my strokes and other neurological issues, I was newly becoming clean and sober. As I was adjusting to my new lifestyle, it was incredibly difficult for me to gauge exactly how much I could handle. I believe my "self-appraisal system" was off, meaning, I thought I could handle more than I could at the time.

What are your general thoughts on the things I presented?

Please let me know when you get the chance.

Thanks!

Sam



I was accepted to a couple of T-14s despite getting two Fs. Numerically, I performed just as I expected I would so I wouldn't necessarily worry about the F too much. I did write an addendum but I suspect even without one I would have been just fine. Good luck!

lawschoolque

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Re: Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby lawschoolque » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:00 pm

lakers180 wrote:pretty sure your advisors are off base. the 1.85 grades will count regardless of explanation in the LSAC calculation. as will the F. your GPA as a result will be very low. your best bet is to get a good lsat score, write an addendum, and try to get some money at a regional school.


Does it have to be a "regional school" What does that matter?

tinyvessels

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Re: Should I Apply/Do I have a chance?

Postby tinyvessels » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:54 pm

lawschoolque wrote:
lakers180 wrote:pretty sure your advisors are off base. the 1.85 grades will count regardless of explanation in the LSAC calculation. as will the F. your GPA as a result will be very low. your best bet is to get a good lsat score, write an addendum, and try to get some money at a regional school.


Does it have to be a "regional school" What does that matter?


Not OP, but it's because, based on what you said, you're looking to have a significantly lower GPA than the average applicant and possibly a sub-3.0 GPA. This will make it very difficult to get into the top 14-20 schools in the country, and even if you get a 175+ there is a very low chance of acceptance and you would probably have to pay sticker anyway (meaning no scholarship offer). So, in your case, the best outcome would be applying to schools in the region you want to work in, and attempting to get acceptances and possibly scholarship offers from those schools.



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