180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

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Pip
Posts: 141
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby Pip » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:41 am

Woozy wrote:
Pip wrote:To be honest, you could simply lie...


I'm not sure whether this was some sort of joke/flame, but if not it is seriously some of the worst advice ever.

OP: I had your score, a significantly lower GPA, and slightly less time between it and my application. Here's my advice:

You should definitely write an addendum about your academic record. It should provide persuasive arguments that your performance in undergrad is not a reliable indicator of your performance in law school. This could be because of differences in maturity, outlook, you have a family now, etc. The important thing is to use evidence and construct a logical argument that your poor undergrad performance will not be repeated and is not indicative of your law school potential. This also gives you a perfect opportunity to show the school that you are capable of constructing strong arguments, which is difficult to to with the other writing samples you have to submit. This sort of addendum, if well done, is much more persuasive to a rational creature (such as an adcom) than a stupid sob story. And that's not even taking into account the other downsides of outright lies on your application (ethics, C&F issues, etc.)


No it wasn't a joke or flame. It was simply a point of view. Don't assume you are competing against people that are being honest, you aren't. If you are completely honest, and you find yourself rejected from your number one school how will you feel. If you are being honest with yourself you will know that there were people admitted that were not completely honest and some that lied... will you feel good about it? Or would you rather lie as much as you can to get in and then feel guilty about the poor honest reject that isn't going because you took his/her spot. Everyone has to make there own choice, but I know which lawyer I would want working for me... I want the one that would rip the truth apart and sell his mother to win.

Woozy
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby Woozy » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:41 am

Pip wrote:No it wasn't a joke or flame. It was simply a point of view. Don't assume you are competing against people that are being honest, you aren't. If you are completely honest, and you find yourself rejected from your number one school how will you feel. If you are being honest with yourself you will know that there were people admitted that were not completely honest and some that lied... will you feel good about it? Or would you rather lie as much as you can to get in and then feel guilty about the poor honest reject that isn't going because you took his/her spot. Everyone has to make there own choice, but I know which lawyer I would want working for me... I want the one that would rip the truth apart and sell his mother to win.


I don't want to derail the thread too much, but I can't resist responding to this. I think by and large, most applicants are truthful. I'm sure there are some glaring exceptions, but you imply that practically everyone is inventing outlandish life stories, which is certainly false. Also, since law school applications are so numbers-driven, there is not much to be gained by lying, with the exception of lying about URM status as in your one example. I trust I do not need to go into the reasons why lying about your race on the application is inadvisable.

The lawyer you say you want working for you is less along the lines of the one who will sell his mother to win, and more along the lines of the one who's been disbarred for ethics violations.

mgregory3203
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby mgregory3203 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:22 pm

Woozy wrote:
Pip wrote:To be honest, you could simply lie...


I'm not sure whether this was some sort of joke/flame, but if not it is seriously some of the worst advice ever.

OP: I had your score, a significantly lower GPA, and slightly less time between it and my application. Here's my advice:

You should definitely write an addendum about your academic record. It should provide persuasive arguments that your performance in undergrad is not a reliable indicator of your performance in law school. This could be because of differences in maturity, outlook, you have a family now, etc. The important thing is to use evidence and construct a logical argument that your poor undergrad performance will not be repeated and is not indicative of your law school potential. This also gives you a perfect opportunity to show the school that you are capable of constructing strong arguments, which is difficult to to with the other writing samples you have to submit. This sort of addendum, if well done, is much more persuasive to a rational creature (such as an adcom) than a stupid sob story. And that's not even taking into account the other downsides of outright lies on your application (ethics, C&F issues, etc.)


Thanks for the advice, I think that's what I'll do, just didn't want to draw any extra attention to a negative unless it would actually do some good for my cause. Do you think your addendum helped to cover for the G.P.A. or does the numbers game still usually win out?

Woozy
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby Woozy » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:31 pm

mgregory3203 wrote:Thanks for the advice, I think that's what I'll do, just didn't want to draw any extra attention to a negative unless it would actually do some good for my cause. Do you think your addendum helped to cover for the G.P.A. or does the numbers game still usually win out?


That's hard to say, the only result I have is an ED and an acceptance. I don't have the broad swath of results from different schools I would need to make a general conclusion about the helpfulness of my addendum. It is possible that I would have been accepted regardless of whether I wrote the addendum. I still believe it helped me. I have a somewhat different view on the point of the GPA addendum than most do.

I see the addendum as a way to sneak in another piece of writing that will show your analytical capabilities in a good light. I see it as a chance to make a quick, evidence-backed, on-point argument. I don't see it as a way to get them to improve your GPA in their minds. There are two reasons they don't want to admit a low GPA: A) They may not be able to take the hit to their 25/median/75 and B) They may think you will not take school seriously and continue being a lazy slacker. There is absolutely nothing you can put in an addendum that will help you if A is the case. The only thing you can do is convince them that B is not the case. You just need to do that while impressing them with your writing/logical argument building ability.

Your GPA is not that bad, so you are in a pretty good spot. However, they will know you slacked a bit if you got a 3.4 in a major that is not incredibly demanding. I don't like the "ostrich" philosophy of trying to stay quiet and hoping they won't notice your mediocre GPA. That is one of the two numbers they always look at and really care about. It's not like they will forget about it if you do not include an addendum.

mgregory3203
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby mgregory3203 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:40 pm

Alright this is what I came up with to deal with the withdrawals on my transcript. Hoping to explain without trying to make excuses, any thoughts pro or con would be great!


When I attended college as an undergraduate student I had a period of about a year where my maturity level prevented me from being a successful student. I came into the college without a real game plan and after doing well my first term I let things get to my head a little. While I know I can’t make excuses for my academic performance my second year, I did have several withdrawals on my record from that time period which I do not think reflect the kind of student I would be today. The courses I withdrew from failed to hold my interest and at 19 I wasn’t mature enough to stick it out when I was bored.
I came back with a positive attitude in the fall of 2003 and a commitment to get my studies back on track and get the most out of my time. My grades and my experience were dramatically improved from my performance the previous year. In the summer of 2004 I took on a heavy course load and graduated nearly a year ahead of schedule.
That was six full years ago and I’ve grown and changed quite a bit as a person since then. I’ve worked in the real world and built a successful small business from the ground up. I’ve also married, purchased a home, and this spring I will become a father. While I know I will have to live with the mistakes I made at 19 I also know that at the age of 27 I am a very different and more mature individual. I am going to law school with purpose and desire and I hope I will have the chance to prove that I would be a dedicated and enthusiastic student.

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SullaFelix
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby SullaFelix » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:37 pm

mgregory3203 wrote:Alright this is what I came up with to deal with the withdrawals on my transcript. Hoping to explain without trying to make excuses, any thoughts pro or con would be great!


When I attended college as an undergraduate student I had a period of about a year where my maturity level prevented me from being a successful student. I came into the college without a real game plan and after doing well my first term I let things get to my head a little. While I know I can’t make excuses for my academic performance my second year, I did have several withdrawals on my record from that time period which I do not think reflect the kind of student I would be today. The courses I withdrew from failed to hold my interest and at 19 I wasn’t mature enough to stick it out when I was bored.
I came back with a positive attitude in the fall of 2003 and a commitment to get my studies back on track and get the most out of my time. My grades and my experience were dramatically improved from my performance the previous year. In the summer of 2004 I took on a heavy course load and graduated nearly a year ahead of schedule.
That was six full years ago and I’ve grown and changed quite a bit as a person since then. I’ve worked in the real world and built a successful small business from the ground up. I’ve also married, purchased a home, and this spring I will become a father. While I know I will have to live with the mistakes I made at 19 I also know that at the age of 27 I am a very different and more mature individual. I am going to law school with purpose and desire and I hope I will have the chance to prove that I would be a dedicated and enthusiastic student.



I don't think this is helpful at all — it's exactly what someone from admissions would assume was the case. Your resume and personal statement should suffice to prove the last bit.

tlsfa8
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby tlsfa8 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:45 pm

mgregory3203 wrote:Alright this is what I came up with to deal with the withdrawals on my transcript. Hoping to explain without trying to make excuses, any thoughts pro or con would be great!


When I attended college as an undergraduate student I had a period of about a year where my maturity level prevented me from being a successful student. I came into the college without a real game plan and after doing well my first term I let things get to my head a little. While I know I can’t make excuses for my academic performance my second year, I did have several withdrawals on my record from that time period which I do not think reflect the kind of student I would be today. The courses I withdrew from failed to hold my interest and at 19 I wasn’t mature enough to stick it out when I was bored.
I came back with a positive attitude in the fall of 2003 and a commitment to get my studies back on track and get the most out of my time. My grades and my experience were dramatically improved from my performance the previous year. In the summer of 2004 I took on a heavy course load and graduated nearly a year ahead of schedule.
That was six full years ago and I’ve grown and changed quite a bit as a person since then. I’ve worked in the real world and built a successful small business from the ground up. I’ve also married, purchased a home, and this spring I will become a father. While I know I will have to live with the mistakes I made at 19 I also know that at the age of 27 I am a very different and more mature individual. I am going to law school with purpose and desire and I hope I will have the chance to prove that I would be a dedicated and enthusiastic student.


If you're set on sending an addendum, I would cut it shorter and STRAIGHT to the point. I remember my pre-law advisor told me a short but sweet addendum can be very effective. Even though listing examples of why you've grown is a great boost to an application essay, I personally think it's too much for an addendum. An addendum just explains something that looks out of order to the adcomm. In addition, stating that you were "bored" by some classes still sheds a negative light on yourself, even if that was many years before. Also, going into college without a real game plan, whether or not you were 19, is still not a good thing to say to the committee. In my opinion, there are students who enter at age 22 - that's not too far from 19, and they most definitely have a set game plan.

I'm definitely not saying you don't have a lot to offer because clearly you're quite successful. But, maybe you should write the addendum in a new perspective.

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haydee
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby haydee » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:09 pm

Splitter solidarity.

I'm in the same boat -- high LSAT, mediocre GPA with no very good excuse for it. I'm deciding if I should write an addendum specifically addressing the issue, or if I'd be best off using my PS to emphasize how focused and motivated I am now (while somehow miraculously not drawing attention to my weak GPA).

mgregory3203
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby mgregory3203 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:54 pm

tlsfa8 wrote:
mgregory3203 wrote:Alright this is what I came up with to deal with the withdrawals on my transcript. Hoping to explain without trying to make excuses, any thoughts pro or con would be great!


When I attended college as an undergraduate student I had a period of about a year where my maturity level prevented me from being a successful student.While I know I can’t make excuses for my academic performance my second year, I did have several withdrawals on my record from that time period which I do not think reflect the kind of student I would be today.
I came back with a positive attitude in the fall of 2003 and a commitment to get my studies back on track and get the most out of my time. In the summer of 2004 I took on a heavy course load and graduated nearly a year ahead of schedule.
Since then I’ve worked in the real world and built a successful small business from the ground up. I’ve also married, purchased a home, and this spring I will become a father. At the age of 27 I am a very different and more mature individual. I hope I will have the chance to prove that I would be a dedicated and enthusiastic student at your school.


If you're set on sending an addendum, I would cut it shorter and STRAIGHT to the point. I remember my pre-law advisor told me a short but sweet addendum can be very effective. Even though listing examples of why you've grown is a great boost to an application essay, I personally think it's too much for an addendum. An addendum just explains something that looks out of order to the adcomm. In addition, stating that you were "bored" by some classes still sheds a negative light on yourself, even if that was many years before. Also, going into college without a real game plan, whether or not you were 19, is still not a good thing to say to the committee. In my opinion, there are students who enter at age 22 - that's not too far from 19, and they most definitely have a set game plan.

I'm definitely not saying you don't have a lot to offer because clearly you're quite successful. But, maybe you should write the addendum in a new perspective.[/quote

Yeah, I definitely see what you mean. If it was just the GPA I'd let it hang out there for better or worse, what I'm mostly worried about is the withdrawals I had my sophomore year, after I read a couple admission interviews on this site that specifically mention an addendum for more than 2 (I had 5, one per quarter for a year). I took some of your suggestions and cut it down quite a bit. Any thoughts? Thanks so much for the help!

mgregory3203
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby mgregory3203 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:58 pm

haydee wrote:Splitter solidarity.

I'm in the same boat -- high LSAT, mediocre GPA with no very good excuse for it. I'm deciding if I should write an addendum specifically addressing the issue, or if I'd be best off using my PS to emphasize how focused and motivated I am now (while somehow miraculously not drawing attention to my weak GPA).


My thought on it was that unless you have a good excuse, like an illness or something dramatic happening in your life that explains the GPA it's probably not worth writing an addendum for, but with several withdrawals on my transcript I'm leaning toward including one focused on those, since I think they may want an explanation for them. Still haven't made up my mind, really wish I could take the Delorean back in time and slap some sense into my 19 year old self.

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clintonius
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby clintonius » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:54 pm

Jesus H Christ, people. While OP identified both withdrawals and a relatively low GPA as issues, s/he asked specifically about writing an addendum regarding the withdrawals. OP should not write an addendum for either, but please stop conflating the two issues, because they're not the same thing and it looks like you're throwing him/her off.

OP -- to reiterate, I don't think you need to write an addendum.

Five withdrawals might be a bit much, but I doubt it's a huge cause for concern. Think about it this way: you withdrew, so those courses were not calculated into your LSDAS GPA, which means they're irrelevant. At the same time, your 3.4 GPA is weak compared to your perfect LSAT score. If you're writing an addendum about your irrelevant courses, what should the adcomm think about your low(er than expected) GPA? It has the potential to pose bigger problems than it solves.

tlsfa8
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Re: 180 LSAT 3.4 GPA

Postby tlsfa8 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:37 pm

mgregory3203 wrote:
tlsfa8 wrote:
mgregory3203 wrote:Alright this is what I came up with to deal with the withdrawals on my transcript. Hoping to explain without trying to make excuses, any thoughts pro or con would be great!


When I attended college as an undergraduate student I had a period of about a year where my maturity level prevented me from being a successful student.While I know I can’t make excuses for my academic performance my second year, I did have several withdrawals on my record from that time period which I do not think reflect the kind of student I would be today.
I came back with a positive attitude in the fall of 2003 and a commitment to get my studies back on track and get the most out of my time. In the summer of 2004 I took on a heavy course load and graduated nearly a year ahead of schedule.
Since then I’ve worked in the real world and built a successful small business from the ground up. I’ve also married, purchased a home, and this spring I will become a father. At the age of 27 I am a very different and more mature individual. I hope I will have the chance to prove that I would be a dedicated and enthusiastic student at your school.


If you're set on sending an addendum, I would cut it shorter and STRAIGHT to the point. I remember my pre-law advisor told me a short but sweet addendum can be very effective. Even though listing examples of why you've grown is a great boost to an application essay, I personally think it's too much for an addendum. An addendum just explains something that looks out of order to the adcomm. In addition, stating that you were "bored" by some classes still sheds a negative light on yourself, even if that was many years before. Also, going into college without a real game plan, whether or not you were 19, is still not a good thing to say to the committee. In my opinion, there are students who enter at age 22 - that's not too far from 19, and they most definitely have a set game plan.

I'm definitely not saying you don't have a lot to offer because clearly you're quite successful. But, maybe you should write the addendum in a new perspective.


Yeah, I definitely see what you mean. If it was just the GPA I'd let it hang out there for better or worse, what I'm mostly worried about is the withdrawals I had my sophomore year, after I read a couple admission interviews on this site that specifically mention an addendum for more than 2 (I had 5, one per quarter for a year). I took some of your suggestions and cut it down quite a bit. Any thoughts? Thanks so much for the help![/quote]

I see what you're saying now - I thought you were more concerned with the GPA. Actually, you and I are very similar - I also have 5 W's on my transcript, two of which I just dropped in the normal course of my education, and 3 of which was because of a change in major.

In my opinion, I would reiterate what I said before: shorter is better. Make sure it doesn't start becoming like a sob story, and even though you don't mean it to, the longer it is, the greater chance it'll become like one.

Anyway, good luck with all of this. I would just try to keep in mind you can only say "I've grown and matured" so many times before it gets redundant, no matter how creatively it's been put.




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