Non-Traditional Applicant with GPA Addendum Question

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Non-Traditional Applicant with GPA Addendum Question

Postby Benvenuto10 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:20 pm

I am ten years removed from my most recent formal education. I am in the process of completing my personal statement(s) for admissions packages, and am left somewhat confused.

It was recommended to me to provide an addendum for my undergraduate GPA (2.14 B.S. Psychology), and to leave hardship explanations out of my personal statement.

Long story short, to call my upbringing chaotic would be a monumental understatement. During my undergraduate years I took frequent sabbaticals from my college in order to address a series of personal issues; two deaths in my family, my fathers homelessness, my mothers eviction, etc etc etc.

How long can/should an addendum for my undergraduate GPA be? Should it be detailed, or simply list the reasons for my frequent absences, and the affect of those absences on my academic performance?

Over the last ten years I was fortunate enough to enjoy a high level of success professionally, and have proven my abilities in "life after college". However, I realize my undergraduate GPA will be a thorn in my side.

LSAT's are moderate (166), LOR's will be strong, and professional experience impressive. However, what should I do about the GPA addendum??????

Thank you in advance for any/all responses.

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Re: Non-Traditional Applicant with GPA Addendum Question

Postby thelawguy777 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:23 pm

First off... an LSAT in the 95th percentile is by no means moderate... Good Job!

I think that your story is great. Tell it.

There is no reason to totally ignore the issue in your PS and then cover it in an addendum.

It's great that you have proven yourself in the professional world. This is evidence that your GPA clearly does not reflect your potential.

I would work those hardships into your personal statement. Most law school applicants have the typical political science degree, are in their early 20's, and have spent little (if any) time after their undergrad in a work environment.

Use this great diversity advantage that you have! Work it into your personal statement, do a 1 page addendum and re-enforce and spell out for them why it is so low. This will respectfully acknowledge it and cover the issue. Also, I would avoid any apologetic tone in the letter. Come at it from the "it was hard, I did my best, and have learned so much" angle... I think that students often times do more damage than benefit excusing themselves for a low LSAT or GPA in an addendum.

Good Luck. I wish you the best!

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