Advice on my application chances

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tee2green72

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Advice on my application chances

Postby tee2green72 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:21 pm

Hey all,

I've spent a couple months now lurking on the forums and thought I'd get the collective advice from all of you. So, first I'll give the hard numbers and then some background information after that.

GPA: 1.87
LSAT: 161

I am a 27 year old, married, father to a daughter. I am employed by the state of WV as a safety coordinator for the WV State Treasury, an elected official as a town councilman in a small town in WV, and have been a part of starting a business. Whenever I first started my undergrad studies, I had the desire to go to medical school. Even though I received D/F on multiple science courses, I kept repeating the courses trying to pass those classes so that I could take the MCAT and then still try getting into med school. Couple this with a couple semester's where I had to once completely withdraw from all classes and the other time take F's in all classes but one (First time family's business building literally collapsed do to a heavy snow so I spent time helping cleanup and rebuild, and second time father was hospitalized for cancer and we didn't think he would make it but a month or two thankfully he's currently in remission from that). Long story short, I have a huge GPA sinking bunch of classes all because I was too hard headed (read as: stupid) to realize I needed to reevaluate my goals for my life (hindsight tells me I would've probably hated being a doctor anyways, so I'm not too disappointed in it) and because of a 8 month span where life gave be a whole bunch of lemons to deal with that I didn't quite make lemonade out of.

On the flipside of this, I had done exceedingly well in classes such as Philosophy and other theoretical classes like that. I had always thought about attending law school and thought I would enjoy practicing law (as well as possibly running for some other political office at some point), but I was so consumed with the idea of med school that I never really gave it too much thought. After getting married, I was taking summer online classes and thought I had withdrawn before the second summer term from a class, but I was wrong and I in fact hadn't. I didn't realize this until I got a letter from the university telling me I had been expelled due to academic performance. I have since enrolled into WVU's Regents Bachelor Arts program which allows you to use work/life experiences and petition for College Equivalence Credit, thus I'm able to fill in the needed classes to obtain my degree (they also have an 'F' Forgiveness program which helps with this, but I know that doesn't help with my GPA calculation for LSAC). I will be graduating this upcoming Summer with my BA.

I sent out a few last second law school applications (WVU, Duquesne, Case Western, Akron, Capital), but I really don't expect any of them to return with an acceptance because of how late I sent them all out (all at or after the beginning of March, and WVU has already denied me admission). So, my question to you all is, what do I need to do to strengthen my application? From what I've read, common wisdom is to retake the LSAT (I'm positive I can score higher with that being the first time I have taken the exam and only started studying for it a couple weeks before I took it) and to not try and improve my GPA, but with my GPA being sub 2.0 should I try and take a couple classes to get it back above a 2.0? Should I try and work on improving more on my softs with WE or some other factor? And finally, with my hard numbers being what they are what is the highest I should be targeting, school-wise, whenever it comes around next application cycle?

Thank you all in advance for taking the time to look over this and for any advice you give.

Rigo

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby Rigo » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:33 pm

Why law school? What are your legal career goals?

You seem like you have an alright thing going, and it's going to be a steep uphill climb with the top of the ladder just being a lot of debt with that GPA unfortunately. You should reconsider if it's really worth it given your situation.

grades??

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby grades?? » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:35 pm

Unfortunately man whatever school does take you with that gpa isn't a school worth attending

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Platopus

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby Platopus » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:38 pm

You seem like a really down to earth person, so I say this with a heavy heart, but you should very strongly consider not attending law school. Your only real employment opportunities will be $45K a year job, that is assuming you are able to secure a job in a legal field - this is the best case scenario. Worst case scenario is that you waste 3 years of earning potential which could be put toward retirement, your daughters own education, etc., and end up in some extreme debt with no way to finance it.

At this point, even getting your GPA to 2.0 will do nothing improve your chances, and worse: you don't really have a very compelling reason why your GPA is so low (extenuating medical circumstance, for example). If you were to score higher on the LSAT (165+) you may get some schools to bite, but honestly they probably won't be worth attending. Unfortunately, these are the hard facts. Apply this information as you see fit, but I would encourage you to reevaluate a career as an attorney.

tee2green72

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby tee2green72 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:58 pm

Rigo wrote:Why law school? What are your legal career goals?

You seem like you have an alright thing going, and it's going to be a steep uphill climb with the top of the ladder just being a lot of debt with that GPA unfortunately. You should reconsider if it's really worth it given your situation.


The political climate in WV is shifting from reliably blue in state elections (not national) to overwhelmingly red. There are only two executive offices that are being held by democrats right now (Governor and Treasurer) and its kind of a stretch to call the governor a democrat. The treasurer has intimated that this last election would be his last, which puts me up to the realization that I will probably be out of a job in 3 1/2 years as is (common practice in this state to clean house whenever an executive office switches parties). Furthermore, the quality of life in WV isn't the greatest. I'd like to be able to move out of state, into an area that would provide more opportunity for my daughter.

As to why law school and what my career goals are. After discussions with lawyers in small/midsize firms in state here the type of work I've heard described really interests me and I honestly believe it's something I would enjoy. Furthermore, it would be a job that I wouldn't be sitting here worrying every four years about whether or not my boss just got reelected. While incredibly general, I would want to be doing some form of litigation work, whether that be in a small/med/large firm or through a solo practice. I am unsure of the exact practice area I would enjoy, but I would assume I would flesh that out a little better in school.

I'm not blinded by this idea that I'm some special snowflake that will be able to get a big law job if I attend a TTT/TTTT school, and I know that the prospects in front of me aren't great. That's why I'm writing on here, to see what to community has to say overall, and what my best approach moving forward would be.

grades??

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby grades?? » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:05 pm

tee2green72 wrote:
Rigo wrote:Why law school? What are your legal career goals?

You seem like you have an alright thing going, and it's going to be a steep uphill climb with the top of the ladder just being a lot of debt with that GPA unfortunately. You should reconsider if it's really worth it given your situation.


The political climate in WV is shifting from reliably blue in state elections (not national) to overwhelmingly red. There are only two executive offices that are being held by democrats right now (Governor and Treasurer) and its kind of a stretch to call the governor a democrat. The treasurer has intimated that this last election would be his last, which puts me up to the realization that I will probably be out of a job in 3 1/2 years as is (common practice in this state to clean house whenever an executive office switches parties). Furthermore, the quality of life in WV isn't the greatest. I'd like to be able to move out of state, into an area that would provide more opportunity for my daughter.

As to why law school and what my career goals are. After discussions with lawyers in small/midsize firms in state here the type of work I've heard described really interests me and I honestly believe it's something I would enjoy. Furthermore, it would be a job that I wouldn't be sitting here worrying every four years about whether or not my boss just got reelected. While incredibly general, I would want to be doing some form of litigation work, whether that be in a small/med/large firm or through a solo practice. I am unsure of the exact practice area I would enjoy, but I would assume I would flesh that out a little better in school.

I'm not blinded by this idea that I'm some special snowflake that will be able to get a big law job if I attend a TTT/TTTT school, and I know that the prospects in front of me aren't great. That's why I'm writing on here, to see what to community has to say overall, and what my best approach moving forward would be.



You seem like a nice guy, but the advice here will be consistent- the law school ship has sailed. Your gpa cannot be overcome. You could have a 180 and you will still be paying full freight at a god awful law school. You should not pay 200k to have a 30% chance of ever practicing. This is the reality. Your best path forward is to find something else you enjoy and focus on that. Because any school that might even entertain that gpa are schools where more students don't ever work as a lawyer or pass the bar than students that do. Just trying to be straight with you man. Law school is just not in the cards for you.

Alpal29

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby Alpal29 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:11 pm

tee2green72 wrote:
Rigo wrote:Why law school? What are your legal career goals?

You seem like you have an alright thing going, and it's going to be a steep uphill climb with the top of the ladder just being a lot of debt with that GPA unfortunately. You should reconsider if it's really worth it given your situation.


The political climate in WV is shifting from reliably blue in state elections (not national) to overwhelmingly red. There are only two executive offices that are being held by democrats right now (Governor and Treasurer) and its kind of a stretch to call the governor a democrat. The treasurer has intimated that this last election would be his last, which puts me up to the realization that I will probably be out of a job in 3 1/2 years as is (common practice in this state to clean house whenever an executive office switches parties). Furthermore, the quality of life in WV isn't the greatest. I'd like to be able to move out of state, into an area that would provide more opportunity for my daughter.

As to why law school and what my career goals are. After discussions with lawyers in small/midsize firms in state here the type of work I've heard described really interests me and I honestly believe it's something I would enjoy. Furthermore, it would be a job that I wouldn't be sitting here worrying every four years about whether or not my boss just got reelected. While incredibly general, I would want to be doing some form of litigation work, whether that be in a small/med/large firm or through a solo practice. I am unsure of the exact practice area I would enjoy, but I would assume I would flesh that out a little better in school.

I'm not blinded by this idea that I'm some special snowflake that will be able to get a big law job if I attend a TTT/TTTT school, and I know that the prospects in front of me aren't great. That's why I'm writing on here, to see what to community has to say overall, and what my best approach moving forward would be.


Even a TTT/TTTT degree isn't worth it if you go into debt. The only time it makes sense is if it's free. The only thing I can think that might be an option is to petition for all the F's and D's to be changed to non-punitive retroactive withdrawals. That way it gets out of your GPA and you just write a W addendum. Even then I really agree with other posters, law school is likely the wrong choice.

cavalier1138

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:11 am

Yeah, the problem isn't that a TTT/TTTT degree gets you a small firm job. The problem is that you probably won't work as a lawyer after graduating. I know it sucks to pay for the mistakes of the past, but that GPA is going to keep you out of any semi-decent regional school.

AJordan

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby AJordan » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:25 am

OP, I'll go one further and say that you're likely to get into a few of the schools to which you applied. It would be dangerous to attend any of them so your situation is even more tenuous.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

B90

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby B90 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:00 am

The truth is that decent schools have a gpa floor.
Even prelaw advisors (who are notoriously out of touch and will often urge everyone to "just apply and see what happens") will admit "most" schools won't take anyone below a 2.0
This includes TTTs
Every adcom I have ever spoken to will also admit they would never take anyone below 2.0
Seriously, the application process itself would be a waste of money. Even if every LS you apply to gives you a waiver, you still have to pay the lsac fee, which waw $21 per school when I applied (mot sure if it has increased since then).

Like others, it pains me to tell you this as well.
I was a splitter as well, but my gpa started with a 2, and it was still a tough road for me.
If you want more details about my cycle (I applied in 2012), feel free to pm me.

To be clear, I truly believe you can raise your LSAT and I completely believe your GPA is not indicative of your capabilities.
Unfortunately, the moment you obtain an undergrad degree, your gpa is set in stone.

tee2green72

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby tee2green72 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:13 am

Thanks everyone for your responses. I was kind of afraid this would be the response, but wanted to make sure. I'll definitely be taking a step back to reconsider all of this.

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tncats

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby tncats » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:04 am

I think the only way you could make law school work is if you can get your GPA significantly above a 2.0 and your LSAT several points higher. I don't know that it's mathematically possible for you to get your GPA high enough, but it's definitely not possible to do that if you graduate this summer. Maybe if you stayed in school for a few more years you could try to improve it, but that might not be worth it and might not work. Do you have an advisor you can meet with about your options for drastically improving your GPA?

Barring a huge change in your GPA, I agree with the others. This isn't a good idea for you.

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Deserving Porcupine

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Re: Advice on my application chances

Postby Deserving Porcupine » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:18 am

I think your only legit chance at law school is getting those DS and FS changed to Ws, as someone suggested earlier. This will probably mean going and grovelling to the registrar, and being incredibly persistent and saccharine. Even then, it might be a slog to get into a decent school, but if you can get that GPA up to the high 2.x zone, you could retake the LSAT and probably get in somewhere decent.



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