Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
alink09
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:12 pm

Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby alink09 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:44 pm

Hey guys,

I just decided I wanted to go to law school around the beginning of last semester, so I am kind of new to this process. I am currently a junior and will be starting my LSAT prep class with the Princeton Review on February 18th, so I don't have my LSAT score yet. Currently my GPA is only a 3.22, I'm not aiming to get into a top 14 law school or anything, most of the ones I'm looking at are tier 2, but I'm worried about having to go to a T3 or T4 school. I am Mexican, but I'm not sure how much this will help me. I know you can also attach a GPA addendum, but does this actually help? Here's a little more about my situation:

I was sick with an undiagnosed autoimmune disease for 7 years, and it pretty much wreaked havoc on my body. My freshman year I had some new virus almost weekly, but I managed to do well my first year and get on the Dean's list. My sophomore year things got worse, I was sick all the time and then in November I got Mono and was out of school for two and half weeks. Once I got back to school I worked so hard that I wound up getting a kidney infection and spent a week in the hospital, I came out of this semester with a Q drop, two A- and a B. Spring of my sophomore year I was sick every day but my doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong, and I wound up spending another week in the hospital. I was also emotionally stressed because I was so worried about being so sick. I got 3 B's and a B- this semester. Over the summer I was finally diagnosed with two more autoimmune diseases and finally started getting treatment for them and feeling better. Last semester I thought I would do better but instead both my parents lost their jobs and I began working 30 hours a week to pay for my insurance and the thousands of dollars I owed in medical bills, and then I got pneumonia, which put me out of school for another week and a half. I got 3 B's and one B+ that semester. Oh, I have also worked at least 20 hours a week since starting college.

Sorry for the long story, but my question is, if I finally manage to be healthy this semester and do well in my classes, can it show how much better I do when I am not sick all of the time? Also, how much will my LSAT overshadow my GPA?

Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it!

-Amber

User avatar
citykitty
Posts: 465
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:03 pm

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby citykitty » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:48 pm

LSAT matters a whole lot more than GPA. With a good LSAT (170+) and a GPA addendum you have a good shot at the lower half of the t14. You're probably out at t6. If you can explain that your better semesters were when you were struggling and sick, that will help. But, you'll probably also need to show that your illness won't affect you in law school. Law schools want to see that whatever kept you from having a good GPA in UG is resolved. 3.22 is low, but it's not so low that you can't get into some great schools if you rock the LSAT.

User avatar
ColtsFan88
Posts: 1432
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:05 pm

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby ColtsFan88 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:41 pm

An addendum would probably help. A fantastic LSAT score would help much more.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby MrAnon » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:51 pm

Addendum won't boost you into any school that your GPA won't qualify for.

Why on earth would you want to undertake a program where your job prospects are so dependent on grade performance like law? You haven't proven you can do well in college yet or that your past this illness. Do something else with your life besides law right now. Focus on getting well, not getting into law school.

User avatar
JoeMo
Posts: 1518
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:29 am

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby JoeMo » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:56 pm

A good LSAT score and the Mexican and you're into a T14. Even with a subpar LSAT score you'll probably still get into a T1. Just focus on that for now and don't worry about addendums and such. If you get anything below a 160 on the LSAT, retake until you get a good LSAT and you're good to go. A 3.22 is not that bad in your position.

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby Samara » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:49 pm

JoeMo wrote:A good LSAT score and the Mexican and you're into a T14. Even with a subpar LSAT score you'll probably still get into a T1. Just focus on that for now and don't worry about addendums and such. If you get anything below a 160 on the LSAT, retake until you get a good LSAT and you're good to go. A 3.22 is not that bad in your position.

This. Studying for the LSAT is by far the most important use of your time right now. T14 is definitely attainable. You will definitely want to write an addendum when the time comes (and, as citykitty knows, it can be a significant boost) but for now, focus on the LSAT.

ETA: Also consider working for a year or two after UG. A little WE helps offset a low GPA and waiting for the job market to rebound can only be good, especially if you don't end up at a T14.

alink09
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:12 pm

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby alink09 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:14 pm

Thank you everyone for your help, I am feeling much better now. I am about to start my prep course for the LSAT, and I am planning to work very hard to get a good score. I am also feeling much better now that I have finally been properly diagnosed and I'm taking the right medications, but if I do get sick again I will be taking time off before law school because I know I won't make it through if I'm sick. I have also been considering part time programs since I'm not sure that I'll be able to not work throughout law school, and I know that they have lower requirements. I do worry that I won't be taken as seriously if I go part time though.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:44 pm

alink09 wrote:Thank you everyone for your help, I am feeling much better now. I am about to start my prep course for the LSAT, and I am planning to work very hard to get a good score. I am also feeling much better now that I have finally been properly diagnosed and I'm taking the right medications, but if I do get sick again I will be taking time off before law school because I know I won't make it through if I'm sick. I have also been considering part time programs since I'm not sure that I'll be able to not work throughout law school, and I know that they have lower requirements. I do worry that I won't be taken as seriously if I go part time though.
Working through part-time law school is actually more stressful than just attending LS full-time. PT is only about 1 fewer classes at a time than FT, and most of your reading/studying/outlining time is taken up by work, forcing you to cram it in late at night and all weekend.

User avatar
dietcoke0
Posts: 601
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:46 pm

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby dietcoke0 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:08 pm

Also you have time to boost your GPA. You have a full year. You can take summer classes that are easier, or just add a few 100 level courses that you are interested but won't take too much time, and you can get your GPA up 3.45 or so.

LSAT going to matter the most, and sounds like you are on top of it, so work your ass off, get a 167 or so, and you are looking at a t14.

User avatar
JoeMo
Posts: 1518
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:29 am

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby JoeMo » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:09 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
alink09 wrote:Thank you everyone for your help, I am feeling much better now. I am about to start my prep course for the LSAT, and I am planning to work very hard to get a good score. I am also feeling much better now that I have finally been properly diagnosed and I'm taking the right medications, but if I do get sick again I will be taking time off before law school because I know I won't make it through if I'm sick. I have also been considering part time programs since I'm not sure that I'll be able to not work throughout law school, and I know that they have lower requirements. I do worry that I won't be taken as seriously if I go part time though.
Working through part-time law school is actually more stressful than just attending LS full-time. PT is only about 1 fewer classes at a time than FT, and most of your reading/studying/outlining time is taken up by work, forcing you to cram it in late at night and all weekend.


This is true, I didn't think I could afford to not work through LS since I've been working forever and a day and don't know what that feels like. However, I looked at both options and FT is definitely the better option.

User avatar
DonDrapersAttorney
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Worried about low GPA, will an addendum help?

Postby DonDrapersAttorney » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:20 pm

I agree with what's been said. A 3.22 really isn't bad, as long as you get upper 160s on the LSAT. I had a very similar GPA and was really worried about my chances. I had a mediocre LSAT and still got some pretty great scholarship offers at tier 2 schools. If you mark URM status and write up an addendum about your illness; plus you rock the LSAT you'll be golden. I wouldn't stress it too much. What I would worry about is the LSAT. Good luck!




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest