Somewhat unique circumstances for a 178/3.76 (HYPS)

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The Nony Mouse
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:54 pm

Somewhat unique circumstances for a 178/3.76 (HYPS)

Postby The Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:12 pm

I have some (possibly) unique/problematic circumstances surrounding my numbers.

I graduated from HYPS undergrad with a 3.76, and got a 178 on the LSAT (first time). My softs are average/weak - summer research/internships and a lot of work experience in undergrad (worked 2-4 part time jobs at a time throughout college to help pay bills), but not much in the way of extracurriculars. My LORs are (I believe) excellent, from professors who know me well (and one of whom will probably be familiar to people in the legal profession)

My senior year, a couple things happened that I'm worried may be problematic for my app. Due to changing financial circumstances at home, I took on a fourth part-time job for the second half of my senior year that took up a substantial amount of time. Over the course of senior year, I also began struggling seriously with a (clinically diagnosed/medicated) case of depression/anxiety, which had been on and off for a few years. These issues, along with some other unrelated challenges, culminated in me having to make the decision midway through the year to withdraw from an honors thesis I was writing (which was equivalent to two classes worth of coursework). I did this with the full support of my advisor, who (after the withdrawal) wrote one of my LORs (which I know was very positive). Furthermore, this contributed to me having a gap in employment for a number of months after graduation (I filled in a few months of this time by doing low-budget traveling/backpacking).

I'm back on my feet now and doing well, and planning to apply for the next cycle, but am worried that the withdrawals during my senior year + the employment gap might hurt my chances at some of the top schools where I would otherwise be competitive.

So, a couple questions:
1) Is this a big enough issue that I should consider not dropping the money on apps to HYS (especially considering my already low GPA)?
2) Is there any good way to address this kind of thing in my application without sounding whiny/making excuses?

Sorry if these sound like an a**hole questions or if I'm blowing this way out of proportion, but had to get it off my mind and was hoping someone could offer advice (here or in a PM).

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Somewhat unique circumstances for a 178/3.76 (HYPS)

Postby Danteshek » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:15 pm

You must be joking. You're fine. You probably don't need to address it.

ppa840
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Somewhat unique circumstances for a 178/3.76 (HYPS)

Postby ppa840 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:18 pm

Danteshek wrote:You must be joking. You're fine. You probably don't need to address it.


+1

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Nom Sawyer
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Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Somewhat unique circumstances for a 178/3.76 (HYPS)

Postby Nom Sawyer » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:18 pm

Not a problem, those are small issues that don't even need to be addressed in an addendum if you don't want to.

Also, a 3.76 GPA is decent, especially coming from a HYPS. With the 178 you'll have a very good shot at getting one of HYS... if you're UG was H you're almost definitely getting admission to HLS.

redbutton
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:06 pm

Re: Somewhat unique circumstances for a 178/3.76 (HYPS)

Postby redbutton » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:22 pm

You're being wayyyyyy too hard on yourself! You have awesome numbers and are going to get into a t10 if not t2 law school! What you need to do is really build up the few good softs you do have, and, yes, there is definitely room on most applications to write about some sort of experience you would like the admissions office to know about.

They will be super understanding about the financial aspect and actually think highly of you for having to pay for things in college, etc. As far as the depression, they will also be understanding given that you play it up as a medical condition rather than just been an emotionally unstable person. There are so many people on depression meds, and everyone knows that it can take a while to get on the right one but that, once you are, (or are receiving therapy, of whatever else), you can certainly live a happy, normal, successful life. The admissions officers will not look down on you for this!

It's not a waste of money to apply to the top schools. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if many of them send you fee waivers given your excellent numbers. Many people have had success with calling certain schools, telling them what they got on the LSAT, and asking for a fee waiver. This way, you can apply to all of your dream schools without any financial burden.

Best of luck! And congrats on being an awesomely smart individual with amazing goals!

The Nony Mouse
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: Somewhat unique circumstances for a 178/3.76 (HYPS)

Postby The Nony Mouse » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:30 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I figured I might be blowing this a bit out of proportion, but it's harder to see it that way when you're stuck in the middle of it for a number of months. Anyway, I appreciate the comments/advice.

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agentdedalus
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: Somewhat unique circumstances for a 178/3.76 (HYPS)

Postby agentdedalus » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:47 pm

The Nony Mouse wrote:I Sorry if these sound like an a**hole questions or if I'm blowing this way out of proportion, but had to get it off my mind and was hoping someone could offer advice (here or in a PM).


They're only a**hole questions if you don't/hadn't bounced back and simply wanted to give adcomms excuses. doesn't seem to be the case here as you seem to have met challenges head on. if anything, spinning this properly gives you a chance to add some shading and depth to numbers that are already outstanding. you might also look to do something truly amazing this summer, be it an atypical/ambitious internship, travel, volunteering, etc... so as to show your change/bounce back as manifesting itself in IRL action. just a thought.

remember the Phoenix, enjoy HYS.




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