NoodleyOne wrote:To what extent will a decent GPA addendum (but not one to the effect of medical reason) mitigate the damage of lower GPA?
What effects do Diversity statements from non-URMs have on admissions?
Noodley, thanks for the questions.
The first is difficult to answer without knowing the nature of the reasons, and thus, the addendum. I will say this, which might not be a popular statement but which I think is true in many cases. An addendum that addresses a low gpa or lsat or addenda that address both are a dime a dozen in admissions. We get them all the time and I know many admissions officers over time develop some cynicism towards them. This likely sounds unfair but think of it this way: if you received 50 letters a day for 5-6 straight months from your neighbor explaining how their dogs barking as a puppy does not address how their dog will act as an adult, you might eventually start tuning the letters out. I believe this is often the case in addendums that address gpa or lsat scores.
For an LSAT Addendum, the best things you can do is retake the LSAT and say "my score went up the first test was not a great indicator" or point to your gpa above that school's median and say "here is my gpa, here is my SAT/ACT/LSAT score, I have always produced better results scholastically than would be predicated by my test scores because I am highly motivated and I will continue to do so." or something to those effects, For gpa addendum, I would focus on improvement (if you improve over time) and for both I would certainly say something along the lines of "this is not an excuse" which will help overcome some of the aforementioned cynicism.
In respect to Diversity Statements, I have always been impressed with how carefully law school admissions offices read these. Clear, growing up under challenging socioeconomic conditions represent a much better topic than growing up left-handed (I've seen such an addendum) so the topic is important. But know that it will be considered carefully.