Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

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lawsofphysics333

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Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby lawsofphysics333 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:16 pm

Hi I am currently a senior at the University of Chicago and I have a GPA that is quite low for law school admissions (~3.4). I have no special reasons to explain this low GPA, other than UChicago is somewhat known for deflation and I majored in Physics... I also minored in Philosophy and got all A-s and As in those courses, so I guess I should have switched out of Physics a long time ago...

I took LSAT this past September and got a 165 on the test. It is not stellar but I only did 2 or 3 PTs before the test so I want to believe I could study harder and get a 170+/175+ in the next year or so.
I did not apply this cycle and plan to get a Masters in Computer Science for the next year and half, and apply to law school in fall 2020.
Will getting a better GPA for my Masters degree alleviate my terrible undergrad GPA? Will having a 175+ help with the situation? I have browsed lawschoolnumbers and this forum for the low GPA/high LSAT splitters infos and I know it will be possible to get into at least a T14 if I do get that LSAT score, but what about HYS/CCN? Will the fact that my undergrad institution is known for grade deflation matter in law school admission committee's eyes? I know it does play some parts in grad school admissions, but I'm not sure whether this matters at all for law school admissions...

I guess my main questions is: with 3.4 gpa from a grade deflated university, and the possibility of a higher grad gpa, and a 175+ LSAT score, should I try for HYS/CCN? I am not URM (asian female).

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby albanach » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:35 pm

lawsofphysics333 wrote:I did not apply this cycle and plan to get a Masters in Computer Science for the next year and half, and apply to law school in fall 2020.


If you want to be a lawyer, why would you take a masters in CS?

lawsofphysics333 wrote:Will getting a better GPA for my Masters degree alleviate my terrible undergrad GPA?

No
lawsofphysics333 wrote:
Will having a 175+ help with the situation?


Yes.

lawsofphysics333 wrote:what about HYS/CCN? Will the fact that my undergrad institution is known for grade deflation matter in law school admission committee's eyes?


You're out at HYS. With a very high LSAT, you'd have a shot at CCN. With a score in the 170s, you'd likely be accepted somewhere in the lower T14, though don't bank on getting money.

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:51 pm

Everything albanach said is right. And UChicago isn't even that grade deflated anymore - your GPA is about median for graduating classes nowadays. It sucks that STEM majors have to play a completely different ballgame, but that's true everywhere. You might get some reprieve at Chicago's law school specifically with a much better LSAT, though, so you're still better off than most people with a 3.4

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby Wild Card » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:41 pm

you'd likely end up at CCN, unfortunately; with a high LSAT score (175+), you'd be competitive for H.

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:58 pm

Wild Card wrote:you'd likely end up at CCN, unfortunately; with a high LSAT score (175+), you'd be competitive for H.


Are you sure about this? I've heard of 180/3.3 types (even at fancy undergrads) getting told that they shouldn't even bother applying to H, and LSN corroborates that advice. Harvard seems to have a hard floor somewhere around 3.5 or maybe 3.6.

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby lawsofphysics333 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:11 pm

albanach wrote:If you want to be a lawyer, why would you take a masters in CS?


This is more strategic than anything else. I am an international student and without a job offer, the best way for me to legally stay in the US would is to a Masters. I would prefer getting a paralegal job or something similar after graduation this June, but most paralegal jobs do not offer sponsorship. And a masters in CS made some sense since I did a lot of programming in my undergrad physics research.

Thanks for the answers to my other questions!

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby lawsofphysics333 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:18 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:Everything albanach said is right. And UChicago isn't even that grade deflated anymore - your GPA is about median for graduating classes nowadays. It sucks that STEM majors have to play a completely different ballgame, but that's true everywhere. You might get some reprieve at Chicago's law school specifically with a much better LSAT, though, so you're still better off than most people with a 3.4


Thank you for replying! I mentioned grade deflation not because I think 3.4 is a good GPA at UChicago; I know it is not. I mentioned it because I guess for some schools 3.4 is already a terrible GPA, while here at UChicago 3.4 still passed the cutoff for Dean's List (3.2). (Also, all my Physics courses curved towards a B-/B average, so I might felt more deflation here just because I majored in STEM.)
I guess it is my fault that I did not think clearly my first year of college and switched to an "easier" major and got a stellar GPA...

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby albanach » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:26 pm

lawsofphysics333 wrote:
albanach wrote:If you want to be a lawyer, why would you take a masters in CS?


This is more strategic than anything else. I am an international student and without a job offer, the best way for me to legally stay in the US would is to a Masters. I would prefer getting a paralegal job or something similar after graduation this June, but most paralegal jobs do not offer sponsorship. And a masters in CS made some sense since I did a lot of programming in my undergrad physics research.

Thanks for the answers to my other questions!


If you can get sponsorship after your CS masters, you might want to stick with that career until you are green card eligible. Anecdotally at least, admission to law schools is tougher for those who will not have work authorization at graduation.

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby lawsofphysics333 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:35 pm

albanach wrote:
lawsofphysics333 wrote:
albanach wrote:If you want to be a lawyer, why would you take a masters in CS?


This is more strategic than anything else. I am an international student and without a job offer, the best way for me to legally stay in the US would is to a Masters. I would prefer getting a paralegal job or something similar after graduation this June, but most paralegal jobs do not offer sponsorship. And a masters in CS made some sense since I did a lot of programming in my undergrad physics research.

Thanks for the answers to my other questions!


If you can get sponsorship after your CS masters, you might want to stick with that career until you are green card eligible. Anecdotally at least, admission to law schools is tougher for those who will not have work authorization at graduation.


To get sponsorship with a software engineering job is indeed part of the reason that I am going for a CS masters. At least with a MSCS degree, I will be more work eligible than I am now. (No work experience, extensive physics research experience.) However, I am more passionate about patent law than software engineering, so I still want to give law school a try. The masters in CS at least gives me a backup choice to stay in the US...

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby albanach » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:10 pm

lawsofphysics333 wrote:To get sponsorship with a software engineering job is indeed part of the reason that I am going for a CS masters. At least with a MSCS degree, I will be more work eligible than I am now. (No work experience, extensive physics research experience.) However, I am more passionate about patent law than software engineering, so I still want to give law school a try. The masters in CS at least gives me a backup choice to stay in the US...


If you plan to work in patent law, make sure you understand the eligibility requirements to sit for the patent bar.

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby lawsofphysics333 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:56 pm

albanach wrote:
lawsofphysics333 wrote:To get sponsorship with a software engineering job is indeed part of the reason that I am going for a CS masters. At least with a MSCS degree, I will be more work eligible than I am now. (No work experience, extensive physics research experience.) However, I am more passionate about patent law than software engineering, so I still want to give law school a try. The masters in CS at least gives me a backup choice to stay in the US...


If you plan to work in patent law, make sure you understand the eligibility requirements to sit for the patent bar.

I think my Bachelor in Physics should make me eligible for the patent bar?

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby QContinuum » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:02 am

Your interest in patent law reinforces the advice to get full-time work experience (at least 1 year, preferably 2 years, not counting any internships you may have done) before going to law school. For those with CS/engineering backgrounds, full-time work experience is effectively required for patent prosecution, and a strong boost for patent litigation positions.

I agree with albanach's excellent post further up this thread re your chances at the T13. albanach is also correct that your Master's GPA won't matter for law school admissions purposes (well, it might hurt you in the very unlikely event your Master's GPA is below 3.0, due to how unusual that would be at the graduate level). With a high enough LSAT, CCN and down are real possibilities (though, again, LSAT score - every single point - will be critical).

Best of luck!

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby albanach » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:44 am

lawsofphysics333 wrote:
albanach wrote:
lawsofphysics333 wrote:To get sponsorship with a software engineering job is indeed part of the reason that I am going for a CS masters. At least with a MSCS degree, I will be more work eligible than I am now. (No work experience, extensive physics research experience.) However, I am more passionate about patent law than software engineering, so I still want to give law school a try. The masters in CS at least gives me a backup choice to stay in the US...


If you plan to work in patent law, make sure you understand the eligibility requirements to sit for the patent bar.

I think my Bachelor in Physics should make me eligible for the patent bar?


Sorry, I missed that in your original post. I think you're fine in that regard, but always worth double checking.

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby LSATWiz.com » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:01 pm

The fact it's a top school really only comes into play if it's between you and someone else over median. They're more likely to dip to a 3.3 over a 3.4 if they believe the 3.3 is more impressive than they would be if they're comparing you with someone who is above the GPA median.

I don't necessarily see the point in asking if you're out at a specific school. You should aim to get a 180 and see what happens.

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby heartlessjester » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:05 pm

Former Physics major here. Try for HYS, but with patent law you will be fine t14 with the MS. The MS will actually help your employability because EECS>Physics for employability. I recommend changing from CS to EE though, EE is the gold standard with highest employability, CS is good too, but the trust EEs for ME, CS, and EE patents, they don't trust CSs with EE/circuits unless they have to. An EE degree also opens more doors outside law than CS. (I actually went MS EE pre law myself post physics)

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:41 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Wild Card wrote:you'd likely end up at CCN, unfortunately; with a high LSAT score (175+), you'd be competitive for H.


Are you sure about this? I've heard of 180/3.3 types (even at fancy undergrads) getting told that they shouldn't even bother applying to H, and LSN corroborates that advice. Harvard seems to have a hard floor somewhere around 3.5 or maybe 3.6.


Unless someone has more to add on this front, by the way, I'm fairly confident that OP shouldn't get their hopes up for HYS. 3.4 or lower is pretty much a dead letter there, from any undergrad.

https://mylsn.info/aeyxbn/

(we can't link mylsn images on this forum? lmao)

Probably still worth applying with a 179 or something, if only so you don't have to wonder what could have been, but that's pretty thin gruel.

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby albanach » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:04 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
https://mylsn.info/aeyxbn/

(we can't link mylsn images on this forum? lmao)


Image

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby albanach » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:13 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:Probably still worth applying with a 179 or something, if only so you don't have to wonder what could have been, but that's pretty thin gruel.


It's important to recognize that when you stretch the MyLSN numbers low to cover all applicants, you might distort the results a bit.

Focusing on folk with a GPA near OP's, but with a very high LSAT obviously creates the problem that the sample size is very small, but it does show 6 applicants or about 1 in 5 being accepted to H.

Image

So with a very high LSAT, it would definitely make sense to blanket the T13/14

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Re: Low GPA from a top ranking school with deflation

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:43 pm

albanach wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:Probably still worth applying with a 179 or something, if only so you don't have to wonder what could have been, but that's pretty thin gruel.


It's important to recognize that when you stretch the MyLSN numbers low to cover all applicants, you might distort the results a bit.

Focusing on folk with a GPA near OP's, but with a very high LSAT obviously creates the problem that the sample size is very small, but it does show 6 applicants or about 1 in 5 being accepted to H.

https://myLSN.info/ag5fsq_1-13.jpg

So with a very high LSAT, it would definitely make sense to blanket the T13/14


Oh, for sure. My point is that the pipeline - the gross total of people who have been able to pull it off - is extremely narrow. We're taking about a few dozen people in the past decade (accounting for those who didn't report to LSN) getting HYSChicago with less than 3.45. Look through the profiles and you'll often see a clear reason: usually URM status, but also stuff like "strong GPA addendum" or "D1 helmet sport" that seems above and beyond OP's circumstances. Given that they don't even have the 176+ yet, I stand by my assessment that OP has a plausible chance at HLS but a very small one, and even a 180 wouldn't make them "competitive".

Bringing all that back to the point, OP shouldn't plan the next 2 years of their life around boosting their chances at HYS. I agree with your advice: focus wholeheartedly on CS, try and get H1B sponsorship in that industry, and then reconsider law school down the road if it still makes sense.



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