Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

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Leachmanh
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Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby Leachmanh » Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:16 pm

2.7 from University of Texas at Austin / 170 LSAT

The summer after my freshmen year, my father was diagnosed with cancer. He died the fall of what was suppose to be my senior year.

My grades pretty much went up and down with my father's health/my level of depression over the matter, which I explained in an addendum.

Outside of this disastrous period I have about a 3.5 (2.7 all and all). This would include freshmen/sophomore year + this semester (super senior year)

I'm applying to the following schools in the Los Angeles area:

UCLA
USC
Loyola
Southwestern - although I'm a little concerned about their notoriety for weeding people out
Chapman (up and coming film school on campus)
**probably not Pepperdine b/c the religious thing freaks me out, if anyone has some argument why I should I'm all ears.

Do I have a shot at USC or UCLA?

I would be very happy with Loyola.

Southwestern or Chapman would be OK, although I'm concerned about SW reputation for failing people out.

What do you think my chances are at these places?

Should I finish out in the Spring to get more good grades and then apply to an early decision program next year?
Last edited by Leachmanh on Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Seneca
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby Seneca » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:12 pm

First, I'm sorry to hear about your father. My GPA through my sophomore year also fluctuated based on family illness. I integrated parts of that experience into a PS, and I strongly encourage you to consider doing the same, because I think there is a lot of powerful stuff there that could be better handled there than in an addendum.

On that note, please check out some of the articles on this site specifically geared towards addenda before sending yours. An addendum is supposed to be very succinct, handling only the facts and allowing admissions officers to draw their own conclusions. Anything else about your personal journey, etc should be in a PS. There are also mixed opinions on whether to discuss things like depression, that may raise more concerns to adcomms.

An addendum/PS will only put your GPA into context, and course rigor is not a factor either. Nothing will "bump" up your GPA in the eyes of admissions, and unfortunately a 2.7 is a tough sell, even with a 170. T1 California schools are notoriously unfriendly to splitters, so although your GPA is above median across the board, you'll be out at UCLA and USC.

I'm less familiar with the others you mentioned, though I will say that of the remaining group, Loyola seems to get the most respect in the LA market, although job prospects at any of them seem pretty dismal, unfortunately.

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bk1
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby bk1 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:45 pm

1. USC/UCLA are a no go.

2. If I were you I wouldn't be happy with Loyola, especially since you don't even know the price it would cost you.

3. Your estimations of Chapman/Southwestern are way off. Those schools are awful (not that Loyola/Pepperdine are that much better).

MrAnon
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby MrAnon » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:56 pm

Your father's illness, though tragic, is immaterial at the schools. All they care about is your GPA for purposes of what they need to report to US news. I wouldn't even bother with an addendum. Suppose another tragedy strikes someone close to you. It just tips the school of that you might struggle again. I wouldn't draw attention to that.

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bk1
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby bk1 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:58 pm

MrAnon wrote:I wouldn't even bother with an addendum. Suppose another tragedy strikes someone close to you. It just tips the school of that you might struggle again. I wouldn't draw attention to that.


You must have shit for brains.

Younger Abstention
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby Younger Abstention » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:13 pm

While it might sound harsh, your father's illness and death are not a great professional excuse for the mediocrity of your nearly entire college career.

You should get in to Loyola with a 170+. USC is certainly out, as they value GPA highly (looks like a 3.5 wall on lawschoolnumbers.com). UCLA, while they don't put the same emphasis on GPA as USC, is a long shot.

Leachmanh
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby Leachmanh » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:44 pm

OK, just to clarify.

I want to go into Entertainment Law specifically for Television and Film production

I know that Loyola, SW, and Chapman aren't high on the national rankings or even in some rankings, but I've heard if you know the specific kind of law you want to practice it's much better to do a program that has classes dedicated to that field. I'd like to avoid going to New York because of the cost of living, so LA seems like the place

I'm not some person that wants to go work for a big law firm, just want to avoid getting manipulated / know how to read/draft contracts pertaining to film and TV production.

Yeah, there are tons of schools ranked over Chapman, Loyola, SW - but location is key and doesn't do me any good if I'm in some city/town that has no significance in the entertainment industry, just because the school is ranked higher.

Loyola might be crap to you, but I would be very happy with it, and frankly I think you have a negative/loser attitude. I'm just trying to make the best of the situation. I'm not the kind of person that needs the name of the school to do all the work for me, I actually believe in myself. I don't want to be a law professor or a judge.

I assume these admissions people are in fact human beings, so I don't see how my mentioning my father's death affected my GPA could hurt anything, they've already seen the crap GPA.

Thank you for the comment about UCLA taking LSAT more into consideration, those kinds of comments are helpful.


******Oh and Mr.Annon, I don't have anyone else close to me so that won't be a problem.*******

MrAnon
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby MrAnon » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:51 pm

bk1 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:I wouldn't even bother with an addendum. Suppose another tragedy strikes someone close to you. It just tips the school of that you might struggle again. I wouldn't draw attention to that.


You must have shit for brains.


You think UCLA is going to look at the addendum and say "okay we'll make an exception"? Zero chance that happens.

Leachmanh
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby Leachmanh » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:09 pm

Oh you're right that would be embarrassing to get rejected so I better just not try at all.

071816
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby 071816 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:12 pm

Rule of thumb: Ignore MrAnon

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby UCLAtransfer » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:48 pm

Sorry to hear about your loss.

In reading your last post, I have a couple of things to point out:

-"Specialty" rankings mean absolutely nothing, and choosing a law school based on these, or the classes you think you will be able to take at such a school means absolutely nothing for your future career. This should not factor in your decision at all.

-There are three general things that matter when choosing law school: (1) overall rank (as it is generally a fair/good indicator of the strength of the school in terms of hiring); (2) location; and (3) how much debt you are going to be taking on.

Since you know where you want to end up (LA), what matters here is how the schools in the LA area will help you get a job, and how much debt you will have. You are in a really tough situation because your GPA is going to keep you out of UCLA/USC, which are obviously the safest non-T14 choices for the LA market, but that GPA is also going to keep you from getting much/any money from Loyola, which in my opinion is the only other LA school worth going to for anything less than a full ride.

I cannot advise you enough against going to Chapman or Southwestern, or any other TTT/TTTT. I know you mentioned that you're "not someone who wants to go work for a big law firm," but unfortunately if you are taking on a full debt load, you really need to make real money right out of school in order to start paying back the $2,000 a month loan payments that start in November. You don't need to make $100k+ a year, but you need to make the kind of salary that are rare coming out of Chapman/SWestern.

You also say that you don't "need the name of the school to do all the work for you," but that's the nature of the beast you are getting into in the legal profession-especially in LA and especially in entertainment. Going to a Chapman or Southwestern will get you systematically excluded from large swaths of the profession, regardless of how much you believe in yourself or how hard you work. Sure, there are successful people coming out of those schools, but it's a huge gamble akin to winning the lottery in a sense, where the lottery ticket costs $150,000 regardless of whether you win or not (and that's a shitload of non-dischargeable debt hanging over your head).

Apply, see what happens, and perhaps try to be willing to find another way to accomplish your goal of working in the entertainment/production industry that doesn't involve $2,000 monthly payments for 10 solid years.

Younger Abstention
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby Younger Abstention » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:51 pm

OP, actually, you probably do want to work for a big law firm. And even if you don't right now, you will after doing more research into the current hiring climate. This is especially so if you will have debt, but likely so either way. The thing is, biglaw firms are some of the only jobs that you can get straight out of law school that have the resources to (1) pay you a sizable salary and perhaps even more importantly, (2) to train you. Government hiring is in a freeze. Smaller firms prefer experienced lawyers because they don't have the resources to train you. Further, big law firm jobs are some of the only jobs that recruit on-campus and which it is possible to line up before graduation. Therefore, even if you don't envision yourself spending your entire career working for a large firm, starting at one has significant advantages. One of the only exceptions to this is if you have a large public interest bent, and no interest in working in a corporate environment. But even among the people who I know who want to do nothing but public interest, most attempt to start at a big firm.

It sounds like you want to go into entertainment law. That's going to be difficult coming from anywhere, more so from a low-ranked school. But it isn't impossible, as some people on these boards will tell you (I'm going to be doing a significant amount of entertainment litigation at my firm). If I were you, I would broaden your search outside of California. Schools like Northwestern, your alma mater, and other top 20 schools may be forgiving of your GPA if you can achieve a high LSAT score. This schools will give you a better legal education, and significantly improved job opportunities as compared to Loyola, Southwestern, etc. -- schools that are not smart investments in this economy. Further, top 20 schools have the reach to get you into the California job market, even though they are geographically far from it.

Danteshek
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Re: Death in family + 2.7 - 170 + chances with LA schools

Postby Danteshek » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:24 am

You'll probably get into Loyola and Southwestern. I advise against Chapman. UCLA/USC are out.

The only way you should pursue a career in entertainment is if you already have worked in the industry and know a lot of people.

Assuming you already have experience and contacts in the entertainment industry, SW is a viable choice.

If you lack experience and contacts, you should go to Loyola to open more doors outside of the entertainment field.




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