Senior year GPA

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Kittykat2199
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:51 pm

Senior year GPA

Postby Kittykat2199 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:10 pm

Hey guys, new user here. I'm currently a junior in undergrad. my GPA is a little low right now (3.3), but i think I can get it up to 3.4-3.5 range. I only have 12 classes left to take with 3 semesters to go. So my question is, do you think it would be beneficial for me to try and graduate a semester early in December, in order to maximize my GPA? From what I've looked at your second semester senior year grades aren't going to play a a factor in law school admissions, so do you think that it would be beneficial to try and get all 12 done my next two semesters and over this summer, instead of wasting time taking classes after already getting decisions back from law schools? Would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, thanks.

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UVA2B
Posts: 3370
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Senior year GPA

Postby UVA2B » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:43 pm

Kittykat2199 wrote:Hey guys, new user here. I'm currently a junior in undergrad. my GPA is a little low right now (3.3), but i think I can get it up to 3.4-3.5 range. I only have 12 classes left to take with 3 semesters to go. So my question is, do you think it would be beneficial for me to try and graduate a semester early in December, in order to maximize my GPA? From what I've looked at your second semester senior year grades aren't going to play a a factor in law school admissions, so do you think that it would be beneficial to try and get all 12 done my next two semesters and over this summer, instead of wasting time taking classes after already getting decisions back from law schools? Would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, thanks.


They will when you make a better decision and work for a few years before applying to law school.

That said, you want your GPA as high as possible generally. But the relative value of a 3.4 vs. 3.5, for instance, will be marginal in that it will be well below medians at a lot of schools you're ideally applying at.

Your GPA is a major part of your application, but even that number should be understood in context. If you are able to drive your GPA above a school's median, it'll be helpful. If it only marginally pushes you closer to the median, then the boost will be much less pronounced. It won't be zero, but it won't be as big a boost as when you get near/above a median.

If I were to rank the relative boosts of bringing up a GPA, it'd go something like this:

1. Lifting GPA above a median
2. Going over a major milestone where soft GPA floors exist, such as above a 3.0 or 3.5 (edit note: not all schools have these floors, so this is unique to schools that actually have GPA floors)
3. Lifting GPA above 75th
4. Lifting GPA above 25th
5. Going higher over a median
6. Going higher over a 75th
7. Going higher over a 25th
8. Getting closer to GPA floor, but not over it

Hope this helps.

Kittykat2199
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:51 pm

Re: Senior year GPA

Postby Kittykat2199 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:10 pm

Thanks for the response, definitely helpful. Just curious though on why your better off working for a few years versus going to law school after undergrad? Is that a steadfast rule that you have?

sparkytrainer
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Senior year GPA

Postby sparkytrainer » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:16 pm

Kittykat2199 wrote:Thanks for the response, definitely helpful. Just curious though on why your better off working for a few years versus going to law school after undergrad? Is that a steadfast rule that you have?


There is extensive data to show people with work experience tend to outperform their peers who apply right out of undergrad, even with equal numbers. So yeah, go do something else first for a few years. Plus it makes you more employable once you get into OCI.

cavalier1138
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Senior year GPA

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:16 pm

Kittykat2199 wrote:Thanks for the response, definitely helpful. Just curious though on why your better off working for a few years versus going to law school after undergrad? Is that a steadfast rule that you have?


You get work experience. You learn how to do things like pay rent. You gain general life experience and maturity. And you get the chance to figure out if you actually want to be a lawyer.

Kittykat2199
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:51 pm

Re: Senior year GPA

Postby Kittykat2199 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:53 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Kittykat2199 wrote:Thanks for the response, definitely helpful. Just curious though on why your better off working for a few years versus going to law school after undergrad? Is that a steadfast rule that you have?


You get work experience. You learn how to do things like pay rent. You gain general life experience and maturity. And you get the chance to figure out if you actually want to be a lawyer.

That makes a lot of sense. Any suggestions of jobs in the legal field I could get in between undergrad and law school. I'd rather not just get some random job for a few years. Even if it pays well that just seems like kind of a waste of time if it's not in a field I'm interested in.

goldenbear2020
Posts: 617
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:47 pm

Re: Senior year GPA

Postby goldenbear2020 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:59 pm

Working a year or two as a paralegal would give you exposure to a law firm.

NoDayButToday
Posts: 1466
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:34 pm

Re: Senior year GPA

Postby NoDayButToday » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:18 pm

Kittykat2199 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Kittykat2199 wrote:Thanks for the response, definitely helpful. Just curious though on why your better off working for a few years versus going to law school after undergrad? Is that a steadfast rule that you have?


You get work experience. You learn how to do things like pay rent. You gain general life experience and maturity. And you get the chance to figure out if you actually want to be a lawyer.

That makes a lot of sense. Any suggestions of jobs in the legal field I could get in between undergrad and law school. I'd rather not just get some random job for a few years. Even if it pays well that just seems like kind of a waste of time if it's not in a field I'm interested in.



Legal assistant/paralegal at a law firm, nonprofit law shop, public defender office (state/federal), prosecutor office (state/federal), government agency that does law and policy (state/federal) e.g., DOJ. Investigator positions at lit shops / public defender offices / law enforcement agencies / prosecution.

The thing is, though, I don't think a job like that will necessarily help you. Many law school applicants have legal industry experience and so it won't set you apart unless it's somewhere really impressive, and even then, maybe not. It may give you an advantage on lingo in your classes, and maybe even an overview of the life of a case or different aspects of the litigation process, but on the whole, I don't think it gives people an edge that people without those experiences have. In those roles, you mostly do admin stuff, doc review, and maybe some research or investigation,

I think you should get creative and think of other things you might want to do in the interim. Even if you know 100% you want to be a lawyer long-term, that's all the more reason to try something fun and different because this is your chance to gain skills. I knew for sure I was coming back to law school to be a public defender and I took three years to do government event planning and campaign work. Zero relationship to what I did in law school or since, but three of the most memorable years of my life--made life-long friends and useful connections, improved my people and teamwork skills/comfort, good logistical experience, too. I also have a friend who took time off between undergrad and law school to surf in Hawaii--for real. He ended up transferring to HLS after crushing his first year at a T40.

Take this time while you're young to explore other passions or make some money. Law school will wait for you and it could be a better one than now, or more money with more time.

Definitely agree with previous posters that you should wait a while. Don't graduate early if you need to raise your GPA--maximize with the final semesters. Whatever tuition you expend in the final college spring you may save in scholarship money when you go to law school if you can get up into the 3.5+ territory.




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