Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

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MattM
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Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:15 am

Hello,

I am a Senior in UG and had thought based of myLSN i have a slight chance at Harvard with my gpa if I can raise it to about a 3.6-3.65 upon graduation and a 175-180 LSAT. Of course I know how difficult it is to get that type of score on the LSAT but I am in a position where I have both the time and money to retake so i'm not rushing into LS by any means.

If i became healthy, which wouldn't happen until after graduation....would HLS be willing to consider an addendum in my case explaining my GPA being negatively affected by my eye condition ( after Jan 2012 accident, now can only read out of right eye, while the distance vision returned in the left eye , the reading vision never came back).....I have a 3.55 GPA but after reflecting on my grades before and after the accident ( one year of UG before accident/ the other 3 after accident)...I had noticed struggles in school and my grades and I don;t think I was able to reach my potential.

I posted this earlier for more info viewtopic.php?f=1&t=238968

After the accident , I transferred to a Tier one research university, and being competitive/ not one to make excuses...i thought if anything the reason why my grades slipped was the transition from a community college to a Tier One research university and not my eyesight....but after my struggles on the LSAT ( particularly RC) made me re-evaluate and be honest with myself about the situation and acknowledge my eyesight problems played a role in a lower GPA

MattM
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:26 am

IMPORTANT NOTE: This post only applies on what i should if I get healthy as that is my goal from a quality of life standpoint/something that needs to be done before LS....I will see both my eye doctors in 3 weeks so I'll be better informed by then and have more answers

Ultimately, i believe health should be my first priority before seeking law school, so that is why I am taking off a cycle and plan on applying to law school in Fall 2016 to be closer to home so I can use the time off to explore surgery, glasses, contacts, etc for that left eye...since during UG I was 3 hours away from home and wasn't abel to aggressively pursue help for my eyes but after May I can,

I feel I would be foolish to head off into law school given my condition without being healthy....( or at least not without giving a serious effort)

And correction to the earlier post...my latest PT on the LSAT was a 171 with the caveat of giving myself extra time on RC where I believe reading from one eye harms me the most, but all other sections under normal conditions....I think the 171 shows that i can succeed in law school, but I need to focus on getting my eyes fixed first before really considering law school

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twenty
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby twenty » Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:54 pm

Seriously, chill. I have no idea what you're even asking since you're shotgunning a lot of unrelated statements. Yes, a school (H included) will "be willing to look at your addendum." No, they will not care about it. Yes, you should take a year off if health is an issue. No, you shouldn't just assume that you'll get a 175+ score because you're PTing right now at 171. Yes, Harvard does accept people with 3.6ish GPAs. No, your application will likely not be one of them.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:23 pm

U know Harvard isn't the only law school right

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fra
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby fra » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:28 pm

If Harvard is interested then they will give you an interview and will ask about your low gpa then. So I don't think that an addendum is necessary.

Source: recently interviewed with Harvard admissions with a 3.5 - they asked me about my gpa and about the discrepancy between my low gap and high lsat.

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Nebby
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby Nebby » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:32 pm

MattM wrote:I am in a position where I have both the time and money to retake so i'm not rushing into LS by any means.

Rich parent thread.

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fats provolone
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby fats provolone » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:41 pm

nah everyone has the time and money to retake. that's good thinking that shouldn't be discouraged

MattM
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:31 am

twenty wrote:Seriously, chill. I have no idea what you're even asking since you're shotgunning a lot of unrelated statements. Yes, a school (H included) will "be willing to look at your addendum." No, they will not care about it. Yes, you should take a year off if health is an issue. No, you shouldn't just assume that you'll get a 175+ score because you're PTing right now at 171. Yes, Harvard does accept people with 3.6ish GPAs. No, your application will likely not be one of them.


Just wanted to throw it out there before everyone says "why would you go to law school with an eye problem"....yes I do know it is a concern for my ability to do well in law school.....so that is why I am taking time off after graduation to get back closer to home so I can get it fixed

MattM
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:41 am

Why wouldn't a school be willing to overlook a "weaker" GPA in a case where there is a legitimate case that the GPA is unrepresentative.....Even though the USNWR rankings dominate, GPA is not nearly as heavily factored as the LSAT

With improved eyesight, my undergrad GPA wouldn't be representative in two ways 1. Because reading from one eye slowed me down reading in UG, I ended up getting behind at times resulting in a lower GPA. 2. with better eyesight, I would be reading faster and more efficiently, so then my undergrad GPA wouldn't be a very good predictor of law school performance.

I feel i could have built off the 3.75 my first year of college I had prior to the Jan 2012 accident than after which now has me at 3.55

omegaweapon
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby omegaweapon » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:44 am

MattM wrote:Why wouldn't a school be willing to overlook a "weaker" GPA in a case where there is a legitimate case that the GPA is unrepresentative.....Even though the USNWR rankings dominate, GPA is not nearly as heavily factored as the LSAT

With improved eyesight, my undergrad GPA wouldn't be representative in two ways 1. Because reading from one eye slowed me down reading in UG, I ended up getting behind at times resulting in a lower GPA. 2. with better eyesight, I would be reading faster and more efficiently, so then my undergrad GPA wouldn't be a very good predictor of law school performance.

I feel i could have built off the 3.75 my first year of college I had prior to the Jan 2012 accident than after which now has me at 3.55


Saying that your 3.75 demonstrates that you would be competitive at HLS isn't going to be plausible to them, because 3.75 is their 25th for GPA. You're saying that even with no problems you'd be below average there. They also know that first year classes are a joke, and your GPA would be more likely to drop than be "built on".

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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:51 am

omegaweapon wrote:
MattM wrote:Why wouldn't a school be willing to overlook a "weaker" GPA in a case where there is a legitimate case that the GPA is unrepresentative.....Even though the USNWR rankings dominate, GPA is not nearly as heavily factored as the LSAT

With improved eyesight, my undergrad GPA wouldn't be representative in two ways 1. Because reading from one eye slowed me down reading in UG, I ended up getting behind at times resulting in a lower GPA. 2. with better eyesight, I would be reading faster and more efficiently, so then my undergrad GPA wouldn't be a very good predictor of law school performance.

I feel i could have built off the 3.75 my first year of college I had prior to the Jan 2012 accident than after which now has me at 3.55


Saying that your 3.75 demonstrates that you would be competitive at HLS isn't going to be plausible to them, because 3.75 is their 25th for GPA. You're saying that even with no problems you'd be below average there. They also know that first year classes are a joke, and your GPA would be more likely to drop than be "built on".


Still....a 3.75 GPA would be much better than a 3.55...I had problems with registration at that school my first year so I ended up with some of the hardest profs that vast majority of the kids failed in because I ended up registering late...So i doubt I would have had a drop off

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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby BigZuck » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:03 am

MattM wrote:Why wouldn't a school be willing to overlook a "weaker" GPA in a case where there is a legitimate case that the GPA is unrepresentative.....Even though the USNWR rankings dominate, GPA is not nearly as heavily factored as the LSAT

With improved eyesight, my undergrad GPA wouldn't be representative in two ways 1. Because reading from one eye slowed me down reading in UG, I ended up getting behind at times resulting in a lower GPA. 2. with better eyesight, I would be reading faster and more efficiently, so then my undergrad GPA wouldn't be a very good predictor of law school performance.

I feel i could have built off the 3.75 my first year of college I had prior to the Jan 2012 accident than after which now has me at 3.55


They have no reason to think you would have done any better than you did and even if they did think you would have done better they have no way to quantify that. By all means write the addendum but don't expect it to make a difference.

I think taking the time off to get healthy and to achieve your full potential on the LSAT is absolutely the right thing to do, that's the smart move and shows a lot of maturity IMO.

MattM
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:46 am

BigZuck wrote:
MattM wrote:Why wouldn't a school be willing to overlook a "weaker" GPA in a case where there is a legitimate case that the GPA is unrepresentative.....Even though the USNWR rankings dominate, GPA is not nearly as heavily factored as the LSAT

With improved eyesight, my undergrad GPA wouldn't be representative in two ways 1. Because reading from one eye slowed me down reading in UG, I ended up getting behind at times resulting in a lower GPA. 2. with better eyesight, I would be reading faster and more efficiently, so then my undergrad GPA wouldn't be a very good predictor of law school performance.

I feel i could have built off the 3.75 my first year of college I had prior to the Jan 2012 accident than after which now has me at 3.55


They have no reason to think you would have done any better than you did and even if they did think you would have done better they have no way to quantify that. By all means write the addendum but don't expect it to make a difference.

I think taking the time off to get healthy and to achieve your full potential on the LSAT is absolutely the right thing to do, that's the smart move and shows a lot of maturity IMO.


Why not?...The most important reason GPA is factored in admissions decisions is as a predictor of law school success....yes evaluating the past history of an undergrad is important, but they want to use that GPA to have an estimate of how an applicant will do in the future.....if I got healthy after graduation, then my ability to read out of both eyes would not be reflected well in my GPA, as 75% of it was done with reading from only one eye


In my case, it would be hard to say the eyesight problems didn't cause a negative impact,...I have put in more than twice the amount of studying after the accident than before but only to have lower grades ...( I never wanted to make excuses for my eyesight until problems cropped up in LSAT studies with keeping amount with the amount of reading under time constraints, which made me kind of re-evaluate why I would struggle more in the classes with large amounts of reading).....

With two healthy eyes I would have been able to read faster and more efficiently, which probably would have lead to higher Undergrad grades ....( I'm not saying a 4.0, but I don't see how it wouldn't make an impact on my UG performance)

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twenty
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby twenty » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:27 am

Yeah, no one in admissions actually cares about how likely you are to "succeed in law school."

Like Zuck said, take some time off and get stuff together. By all means, write an addendum, just don't expect anyone to care.

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Clearly
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby Clearly » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:56 am

I like how you ask for advice, and then try to justify why its wrong. Explain to me why they want your 3.55 but with eye problems, when they have 10 more 3.98s in the pile...also why would eyesight disproportionately effect your RC score but not LR, there are practically the same number of words on each page. Take time to get healthy, do the best you can on the LSAT, and write whatever addenda you think are good ideas. I'm not saying its right, or fair, but schools aren't going to extrapolate based on your freshman GPA when most other students GPA also naturally tails off with harder classes too, especially with the incentive of USNWR rankings.

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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby BigZuck » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:56 am

What do you want them to think? "Yeah, he got a 3.5. But with perfect health, by our calculations he would have got exactly a 3.867. He's in." They can't quantify it even if they believe it and agree with you.

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pylon
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby pylon » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:06 pm

If you're going to write an addendum, make sure it doesn't come across as whiny, and make sure it is very clear and concise. If they do look at it, they're not going to spend a bunch of time trying to decipher what it means.

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pancakes3
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:14 pm

james.bungles wrote:U know Harvard isn't the only law school right

MattM
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:17 pm

Clearly wrote:I like how you ask for advice, and then try to justify why its wrong. Explain to me why they want your 3.55 but with eye problems, when they have 10 more 3.98s in the pile...also why would eyesight disproportionately effect your RC score but not LR, there are practically the same number of words on each page. Take time to get healthy, do the best you can on the LSAT, and write whatever addenda you think are good ideas. I'm not saying its right, or fair, but schools aren't going to extrapolate based on your freshman GPA when most other students GPA also naturally tails off with harder classes too, especially with the incentive of USNWR rankings.


None of us here are eye doctors or medical professionals...so I don't think any of us are qualified to answer on that one...

When I went to see the eye doctor I explained to him the problems I had on the LSAT....and went with the approach of asking if It was a matter of skills/practice that I needed on the LSAT or if I was a case in which I needed to seek extended time.

He told me that I should seek extra time because after explaining to him the layout of the test....While in total the amounts of reading are equivalent, the reading is presented differently in LR than RC....having a wider field of vision is more important in Reading Comp than LR...in LR it is not as bad reading from one eye as the question stem and answer choices can be seen from one eye....but in RC having a wider peripheral field is more important since the passage and questions are spread out over two pages, on there you scanning back and forth over a wider range since you have to refer back to the passage at times to answer the questions ....So my doctor felt I was more of a disadvantage in RC than LR

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twenty
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby twenty » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:03 pm

MattM wrote:None of us here are eye doctors or medical professionals...so I don't think any of us are qualified to answer on that one...


but schools aren't going to extrapolate based on your freshman GPA


This isn't a statement that requires a medical background to articulate.

Also, I don't think anyone here is saying you shouldn't pursue reasonable accommodation, so not sure where that's coming from.

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fats provolone
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby fats provolone » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:05 pm

Harvard has plenty of applicants with better GPAs than you speculate you would have got, without the need for speculation

MattM
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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:19 pm

pylon wrote:If you're going to write an addendum, make sure it doesn't come across as whiny, and make sure it is very clear and concise. If they do look at it, they're not going to spend a bunch of time trying to decipher what it means.


Agreed, it will be clear and to the point, brief statement of the facts

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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:22 pm

twenty wrote:
MattM wrote:None of us here are eye doctors or medical professionals...so I don't think any of us are qualified to answer on that one...


but schools aren't going to extrapolate based on your freshman GPA


This isn't a statement that requires a medical background to articulate.

Also, I don't think anyone here is saying you shouldn't pursue reasonable accommodation, so not sure where that's coming from.


Med background was in reference to the earlier comment that was skeptical about my eyesight's role as to why I struggle in RC as opposed to LR when I take those portions of the LSAT under strict timed conditions

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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby MattM » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:33 pm

http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/profile.htm

There are always cycle breakers every year. The lowest GPA at Yale was a 3.22 and lowest LSAT a 158 ( having connections or URM status by far the most likely possibilities), but it shows that even the most competitive school which makes HLS look easy to get into by comparison...is willing to take weaker applicants.

Definitely not counting on being a cycle breaker, but slim chances I could be one at HLS because of my conidtion/imporvement (if healthy), I will write an addendum because it may help, but again with no expectations

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Re: Would Harvard Law be willing to look at GPA addendum

Postby Total Litigator » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:49 pm

Is 3.55 your current school GPA or your LSAC GPA? You mentioned that you transferred from a community college. LSAC will count your community college grades.




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