LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

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Janky1
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LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby Janky1 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:12 pm

My situation is thus: Male, 3.27 LSAC/3.57 UGPA at 2 years of community college, 1.38 LSAC and UGPA at 6 semesters at University. Major is Political Science. No criminal record.

My GPA is that low because of 4 straight semesters of Ws and 7 Fs after a decent first 2. I'm back in school after a years suspension and am doing great so far this semester. I don't blame anybody but myself for not having the fortitude to get over childhood bullying and the attendant poor-ass study habits I developed. The 3 years I've spent working as a waiter while attempting to go to university made up for the high school experience and social development I never had, but I took it way too far. It seems like I finally got my shit together for the first time in my life and I'm an entirely different person as far as attitude/resilience/work ethic goes, but from what I've read, this one of the institutions of American society that doesn't give second chances. Even if I get As all this semester and for 3 more after, my LSAC GPA would still end up below a 3 even though I can get my GPA up to a 3.51. I only need 9 more credits after this semester to graduate and I'm extremely wary of adding any more unneeded student loan debt. I'm paying for the next semester out of pocket. Going to law school was my original goal after I transferred into the university and I got a 167 on the practice LSAT that I took.

The only feasible route I mapped out for myself is to get a paralegal certification, work in that field for a decade, and then take my LSAT and hope for 170+.

William Mitchell is the school I'm targeting as I know I have no feasible shot at U of M.

Samms
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby Samms » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:21 pm

Sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news -- but with that low of a GPA, even if you got into a top 100 law school, which is highly unlikely, but lets say you did, the market and the employment opportunities aren't there for when you got out. You'd have to finance 80K+ in debt, and you'd get out without the high probability of a job. In my opinion you should get a BA in something you're interested in. It sounds like you want to go to Law School for the money, rather than something that you want to do. If it is, get a paralegal cert and work as one.

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fatduck
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby fatduck » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:30 pm

Samms wrote:Sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news -- but with that low of a GPA, even if you got into a top 100 law school, which is highly unlikely, but lets say you did, the market and the employment opportunities aren't there for when you got out. You'd have to finance 80K+ in debt, and you'd get out without the high probability of a job. In my opinion you should get a BA in something you're interested in. It sounds like you want to go to Law School for the money, rather than something that you want to do. If it is, get a paralegal cert and work as one.

just to play devil's advocate here, it's not like he'd be putting his LSAC gpa on his resumes

OP: are you sure your LSAC gpa is really that low? you said you have 4 semesters of W's...were they punitive withdrawals? any chance you can get your school to reclassify them?

09042014
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:41 pm

What is your overall LSAC GPA right now?

Janky1
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby Janky1 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:56 pm

Desert Fox wrote:What is your overall LSAC GPA right now?
Desert Fox wrote:What is your overall LSAC GPA right now?


2.20

BeachandRun23
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby BeachandRun23 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:07 am

If you really want to be a lawyer, dont give up. Hit 170 on the lsat, pull the gpa up as high as possible and get some work experience for a few years to distance yourself from that GPA.

Even if you dont get into a T14, with a convincing story and a 170+ lsat a top 50 school should bite on you. Go with good scholly dollars and the skies the limit. You will have to bust ass but you can still make it. Hang in there man.

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Thirteen
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby Thirteen » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:09 am

Janky1 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:What is your overall LSAC GPA right now?
Desert Fox wrote:What is your overall LSAC GPA right now?


2.20


I had a 2.11 LSDAS GPA. Kill the LSAT, then apply ED at Northwestern or Georgetown. Also, apply at the midwestern schools in the T50 (Illinois, Wash U, Iowa, Indiana), and apply to SMU if you would be fine working in Dallas.

Your cycle will be crazy, but someone will give you a chance if you do well on the LSAT. Good luck!

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EdmundBurke23
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:13 am

0L here, but I've been lurkin here long enough to give $0.01:

If you still have four semesters left (or is it three? not sure if current semester is inclusive of the three semesters you mentioned), why don't you try to start over by dropping out and pursuing a brand new degree? Instead of pursuing a liberal arts major, why don't you try going for a technical degree like CS or engineering? Instead of dedicating 10 years of your life to being some lawyer's bitch (well, I'm pretty sure such is also the case when you become a lawyer too, but..), you could try to use that time to get extra work experience based on your new degree. All you have to do really is to address that on your addenda, saying that you wanted to start new. Technically, you could graduate in 3.5 years if you take just one summer. That's pretty much seven semesters vs the three or four that you're doing right now, which doesn't sound too bad.

P.S. I took the route of waiting tables while in school (eventually cooking) and my grades suffered as a result. But no debt, and GPA hasn't suffered nearly as much as yours.

EDIT:

Thirteen wrote:
I had a 2.11 LSDAS GPA. Kill the LSAT, then apply ED at Northwestern or Georgetown. Also, apply at the midwestern schools in the T50 (Illinois, Wash U, Iowa, Indiana), and apply to SMU if you would be fine working in Dallas.

Your cycle will be crazy, but someone will give you a chance if you do well on the LSAT. Good luck!


How did your cycle go? We all know that Northwestern values work experience, but I'm curious as to how far that value can take an applicant. But I think that NU probably wants something more substantive than waiting tables.

Janky1
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby Janky1 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:11 am

Only one semester after this if I don't decide to add another major. If I didn't have 16 credits of AP from high school factored in, I'd have a little bit more leeway, but I can't hate on having those on my transcript at this point as they were the only classes I did great in high school in and spurred my interest in law in the first place. Those 4 shitty semesters also screwed up my financial aid eligibility as counting this semester I'm already over 180 credits. If I go the new degree route, I'd have to appeal every semester and I'm not sure it wouldn't look fishy at this point to my university's financial aid committee or to law school admissions who'd view it as GPA padding (that is if I added another major like history or philosophy). Everybody I talk to says to just get that diploma in hand first.

I don't have the aptitude for anything related to programming, engineering, or the hard sciences. I did decent in my high school calculus class, but nothing math-related taken since then (did logic to fulfill my general math requirement).

Besides going the paralegal route, I am realistically looking at going to grad school/doing any relevant undergrad classes as well to get an M.Ed in Special Education. Not related to law, but it's a career path I genuinely view as fulfilling. I won't be applying to any law school or grad school without some relevant outside experience first anyway.

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alexonfyre
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby alexonfyre » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:22 am

Janky1 wrote:Only one semester after this if I don't decide to add another major. If I didn't have 16 credits of AP from high school factored in, I'd have a little bit more leeway, but I can't hate on having those on my transcript at this point as they were the only classes I did great in high school in and spurred my interest in law in the first place. Those 4 shitty semesters also screwed up my financial aid eligibility as counting this semester I'm already over 180 credits. If I go the new degree route, I'd have to appeal every semester and I'm not sure it wouldn't look fishy at this point to my university's financial aid committee or to law school admissions who'd view it as GPA padding (that is if I added another major like history or philosophy). Everybody I talk to says to just get that diploma in hand first.

I don't have the aptitude for anything related to programming, engineering, or the hard sciences. I did decent in my high school calculus class, but nothing math-related taken since then (did logic to fulfill my general math requirement).

Besides going the paralegal route, I am realistically looking at going to grad school/doing any relevant undergrad classes as well to get an M.Ed in Special Education. Not related to law, but it's a career path I genuinely view as fulfilling. I won't be applying to any law school or grad school without some relevant outside experience first anyway.


I got down to a 2.8 after one semester of W's and F's, and a couple after pulling my self from C's and D's to C's and B's to A's. So I feel your pain, especially on the front of turning yourself around.
I have read a number of books on the matter, and lurked many a forum, and the fact is, if you really changed yourself, then you have a very strong soft factor. However, you have to demonstrate it in many ways, from your resume to your LORs to your PS, it has to permeate your entire application who you were before, what happened and who you are now. In particular you can score a lot of adcomm points by making personal sacrifices to showcase your passion for law school (work many hours of community service relevant to the area of law you want to go into, or more importantly put in long hours in LSAT preparation and get 99%ile.)
The only thing that law schools love as much as your numbers is a good story. So if you have a really good story and a shiny golden LSAT, you will find many great opportunities are out there.

mst
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby mst » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:41 am

If that 167 is accurate with a timed-test, you should easily be able to hit the 170's and hopefully sneak into a top 100 with a good story/personal statement and a LSDAS gpa that isn't pure, total shit (2.5 or above). You'll almost certainly be paying sticker, so whether that's a good investment is a total different story. But definitely doable, if not advisable. Hell you can probably do it with a 167... But I'd say 2.5 is the low end no matter what. You make your case a bit easier by climbing to a 2.6 or a 2.7 if that helps. Good luck!

If you just bullshitted that 167 that's a total different story.

melanne89
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby melanne89 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:04 am

alexonfyre wrote:
Janky1 wrote:Only one semester after this if I don't decide to add another major. If I didn't have 16 credits of AP from high school factored in, I'd have a little bit more leeway, but I can't hate on having those on my transcript at this point as they were the only classes I did great in high school in and spurred my interest in law in the first place. Those 4 shitty semesters also screwed up my financial aid eligibility as counting this semester I'm already over 180 credits. If I go the new degree route, I'd have to appeal every semester and I'm not sure it wouldn't look fishy at this point to my university's financial aid committee or to law school admissions who'd view it as GPA padding (that is if I added another major like history or philosophy). Everybody I talk to says to just get that diploma in hand first.

I don't have the aptitude for anything related to programming, engineering, or the hard sciences. I did decent in my high school calculus class, but nothing math-related taken since then (did logic to fulfill my general math requirement).

Besides going the paralegal route, I am realistically looking at going to grad school/doing any relevant undergrad classes as well to get an M.Ed in Special Education. Not related to law, but it's a career path I genuinely view as fulfilling. I won't be applying to any law school or grad school without some relevant outside experience first anyway.


I got down to a 2.8 after one semester of W's and F's, and a couple after pulling my self from C's and D's to C's and B's to A's. So I feel your pain, especially on the front of turning yourself around.
I have read a number of books on the matter, and lurked many a forum, and the fact is, if you really changed yourself, then you have a very strong soft factor. However, you have to demonstrate it in many ways, from your resume to your LORs to your PS, it has to permeate your entire application who you were before, what happened and who you are now. In particular you can score a lot of adcomm points by making personal sacrifices to showcase your passion for law school (work many hours of community service relevant to the area of law you want to go into, or more importantly put in long hours in LSAT preparation and get 99%ile.)
The only thing that law schools love as much as your numbers is a good story. So if you have a really good story and a shiny golden LSAT, you will find many great opportunities are out there.




I completely agree. A GPA like yours isn't a death sentence and with amazing soft factors, I think you would stand a chance at some low Tier 1 or definitely some Tier 2 schools. Also, in terms of funding, if you were in the top 10-15% your first year, you could possibly be eligible for merit funding for the next two years. Besides, fatduck was right, if you work your ass off at a Tier 1 or 2 school and graduate top 10%, your GPA won't mean anything anymore, you'll likely get a pretty nice career out of it all.

But, if you're not sure you can overcome the same mistakes you've made in the past, that's a gamble that could leave you with $150,000+ in debt, without very decent job prospects.

Ultimately though, I think you can get into some decent schools.

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Thirteen
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby Thirteen » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:04 am

EdmundBurke23 wrote:0L here, but I've been lurkin here long enough to give $0.01:

If you still have four semesters left (or is it three? not sure if current semester is inclusive of the three semesters you mentioned), why don't you try to start over by dropping out and pursuing a brand new degree? Instead of pursuing a liberal arts major, why don't you try going for a technical degree like CS or engineering? Instead of dedicating 10 years of your life to being some lawyer's bitch (well, I'm pretty sure such is also the case when you become a lawyer too, but..), you could try to use that time to get extra work experience based on your new degree. All you have to do really is to address that on your addenda, saying that you wanted to start new. Technically, you could graduate in 3.5 years if you take just one summer. That's pretty much seven semesters vs the three or four that you're doing right now, which doesn't sound too bad.

P.S. I took the route of waiting tables while in school (eventually cooking) and my grades suffered as a result. But no debt, and GPA hasn't suffered nearly as much as yours.

EDIT:

Thirteen wrote:
I had a 2.11 LSDAS GPA. Kill the LSAT, then apply ED at Northwestern or Georgetown. Also, apply at the midwestern schools in the T50 (Illinois, Wash U, Iowa, Indiana), and apply to SMU if you would be fine working in Dallas.

Your cycle will be crazy, but someone will give you a chance if you do well on the LSAT. Good luck!


How did your cycle go? We all know that Northwestern values work experience, but I'm curious as to how far that value can take an applicant. But I think that NU probably wants something more substantive than waiting tables.


I was WL --> rejected or rejected outright at 11 of the 14 schools I applied to, but was admitted to Illinois and SMU, admitted off the waitlist at Wake Forest. My LSAT was a few points below the 75% mark for Northwestern, so I knew my application there was a long shot.

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fatduck
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Re: LSAC GPA is gonna screw me over, should I give up the ghost?

Postby fatduck » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:07 am

melanne89 wrote:Besides, fatduck was right, if you work your ass off at a Tier 1 or 2 school and graduate top 10%, your GPA won't mean anything anymore, you'll likely get a pretty nice career out of it all.

just to clarify, that is not what i meant. what i meant was you don't put your LSAC GPA on your resume. OP said his UGPA could end up as high as 3.51.




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