Undergraduate transcript dilemma

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muffinsandbagels
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Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby muffinsandbagels » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:34 pm

How "required" is the requirement of an undergraduate transcript in COA applications?

After a three semesters at CCNPV, I'm just a hair under 4.0, in addition to years of strong work experience and great professor recs. My problem is my undergraduate transcript--my undergrad GPA was extremely low despite getting straight A's my last two years of college because of a serious illness during the early part of college. This was almost a decade ago and I have a compelling recovery story (which is why I'm at CCNPV), but I'm terrified that I'll never escape the legacy of that time in my life now that I'm applying for so many COA judges who require an undergrad transcript.

Should I omit the transcript? Should I put an explanation in my cover letter? How can I get judges not to ding me right out of the gate when they see my undergrad GPA?

Anonymous User
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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:13 pm

I have a similar question to OP's regarding my undergraduate thesis. How common is it to be asked about--or asked to provide--your undergraduate thesis. I just reread my thesis and i would really really prefer not to share it with judges. It's bad (but my writing has significantly improved). Was anyone ever asked to provide their undergrad thesis or does anyone know of judges who ask for it--specifically for fed. COAs or D. Cts.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:51 pm

I generally think that if a judge asks for an UG transcript, you have to suck it up and submit it. Without it your app will be incomplete, and could get dinged just for that reason. Either they actually care about UGPA for some ridiculous reason, in which case not submitting it will ding your app just as much as a poor UGPA, or they don't, and just ask for it because they think they should for some reason, in which case submitting it won't hurt you. (It's also possible that if they ask for UG transcript because they think they should but don't really look at it, they might not notice if you didn't submit it, but you probably don't want to risk this.)

I also wouldn't say anything about it in the application, but that's just a hunch. Others may have better advice on that.

I don't know anyone who was required to submit any additional writing beyond the required writing sample(s). You may well get asked about a thesis if it's on your transcript/resume, but I'd be surprised if you got asked for an actual copy (reading the submitted samples is enough work). But my UG was LONNNNGG ago, so I may not be the best to give advice.

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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:32 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I generally think that if a judge asks for an UG transcript, you have to suck it up and submit it. Without it your app will be incomplete, and could get dinged just for that reason. Either they actually care about UGPA for some ridiculous reason, in which case not submitting it will ding your app just as much as a poor UGPA, or they don't, and just ask for it because they think they should for some reason, in which case submitting it won't hurt you. (It's also possible that if they ask for UG transcript because they think they should but don't really look at it, they might not notice if you didn't submit it, but you probably don't want to risk this.)

I also wouldn't say anything about it in the application, but that's just a hunch. Others may have better advice on that.

I don't know anyone who was required to submit any additional writing beyond the required writing sample(s). You may well get asked about a thesis if it's on your transcript/resume, but I'd be surprised if you got asked for an actual copy (reading the submitted samples is enough work). But my UG was LONNNNGG ago, so I may not be the best to give advice.


Provide everything the judge asks for. Personally, when I'm reviewing apps, I'll trash your shit if you can't follow our (simple) directions. But even though we ask for UG transcripts, at least in my chambers it'll be your LS grades that determine whether you'll make it to the pile of apps that the judge reviews.

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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Provide everything the judge asks for. Personally, when I'm reviewing apps, I'll trash your shit if you can't follow our (simple) directions. But even though we ask for UG transcripts, at least in my chambers it'll be your LS grades that determine whether you'll make it to the pile of apps that the judge reviews.


Honestly, this. The judge I clerked for last year asked for undergraduate transcripts, but we as a chambers almost never looked at them. As the above-quoted anon clerk suggests, your law school grades will generally determine whether you make it onto the pile or not (at least in both chambers that I've worked for). If the judge really cares about UG grades, your choices are either to get dinged for failing to follow instructions or get dinged for a poor UG record. But it's entirely possible that he/she doesn't really care, so just send in your app with your transcript, no explanations.

muffinsandbagels
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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby muffinsandbagels » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:47 pm

Thanks so much, guys. Your advice makes a lot of sense. Much appreciated.

fish52
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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby fish52 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:00 am

CCNPV? Ljl. How is Virginia? Sometimes TLS is insufferable.

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Cicero76
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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby Cicero76 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:05 pm

fish52 wrote:CCNPV? Ljl. How is Virginia? Sometimes TLS is insufferable.


Had to get the egregious M trolling in

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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:58 pm

I had terrible UG grades, and had to transfer up in law schools. I left my UG transcripts out of every application, even when the judge asked for them. I only landed one interview with a judge that asked for UG transcripts, and during the interview he furiously sifted through my packet looking for my transcript and then said (in obvious irritation) "it looks like I don't have your UG transcript, can you e-mail that to me today." I didn't get an offer. I did, however, get an offer from a different judge that didn't ask for UG transcripts.

So, from my experience, you should probably include them even though they won't help. It's better than being autodinged for inability to follow directions.

As an aside, I also like the CCNPV designation. I'm going to start leaving out letters between HYS and the school I went to.

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Re: Undergraduate transcript dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:22 pm

Also had terrible undergrad grades, but didn't transfer schools because the one I was at (between 100-50) was cheap tuition. (Unrelated, that was a huge mistake).

Anyway, ended up getting two D. Ct. interviews, one in my home state and one across the country. One asked for UG grades and one didn't. On the one where they had the grades, they asked why I had performed so poorly and I explained to them the reason why. Ended up getting offers from both judges.

Just have to suck it up and give it to them. If they let you explain yourself, like the one I interviewed with did, just be honest. Nothing you can do about it now, but you can only create more trouble for yourself by not giving a judge everything they ask for.




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