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170 / 3.4 (grade deflation at P?)

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:29 am
by ittm500
Hey everyone,

170 LSAT
~3.4 GPA (not sure of LSAC GPA just yet but I rounded down from my personal calculation of 3.43)
Within my department (Politics) my GPA still qualified as Cum Laude.
Non-URM
LGBT and will be writing a diversity statement when allowed

Have spent 4 years working in state government for a state representative (one of my recommenders) - on the staff of a legislative committee working directly on policy research and legislation and gained a deep knowledge of the subject area. I'm basing all my admissions and scholarship apps around a strong and continued commitment to public service and public policy.

I also have a specific question. I graduated in 2013 from Princeton, shortly before the school ended its official policy of grade deflation. Do I do anything about this in my application? Is this worthy of mention in an addendum? Yes, I had a few poor grades. But deflation could potentially mitigate a trend of mediocre grades. I excelled at independent work which was not graded on a curve but was included in my GPA.

My list:
UC Berkeley
Georgetown
NYU
Columbia
U Chicago
Harvard
Stanford
Penn
BC
BU

Also applying to MPP/MPA programs at these schools to pursue joint degrees. This has no bearing on admission to any of their law schools though.

Thanks!

Re: 170 / 3.4 (grade deflation at P?)

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:14 am
by cavalier1138
Unless LSAC factors in grade deflation, I don't see your GPA getting mitigated here.

Also, just because you mentioned an interest in policy and doing a joint MPP: what do you plan to do with your JD?

Re: 170 / 3.4 (grade deflation at P?)

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:54 am
by Snuffles1
I wouldn't mention it.

FWIW I'm also P (Politics) & graduated during grade deflation. My GPA was a little better -- magna -- but I was still below lots of 25th percentiles and I think almost all medians for the T14.

I had more than a few mediocre grades, which I think must mean you do too... this combined with the facts that (1) your transcript should have the grade deflation policy on it [mine does], (2) we weren't in Engineering or Chem or majors that are similarly widely known for being GPA killers regardless of where you went to college, (3) it's been a few years since the policy ended and I don't think it was really on anyone's minds except for the first 2-3 years... likely mean that discussing the policy in an addendum will give the reader a bad impression. Your GPA is what it is; trying to explain it away at this point will probably come off badly.

The good news is that given some distance, the right background, and a convincing PS, it needn't hold you back much. I did just fine -- I think (it's been a while now) that I got into 10 out of the T14, some with considerable money. I'd work on the things that are within your control right now.

Re: 170 / 3.4 (grade deflation at P?)

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:25 am
by Redfactor
I wouldn't mention it. All the adcoms you listed should be familiar with P's grading. How they treat it is unlikely to be influenced by you bringing it to their attention.

Re: 170 / 3.4 (grade deflation at P?)

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:44 pm
by melmelcoolj
ittm500 wrote:Hey everyone,

170 LSAT
~3.4 GPA (not sure of LSAC GPA just yet but I rounded down from my personal calculation of 3.43)
Within my department (Politics) my GPA still qualified as Cum Laude.
Non-URM
LGBT and will be writing a diversity statement when allowed

Have spent 4 years working in state government for a state representative (one of my recommenders) - on the staff of a legislative committee working directly on policy research and legislation and gained a deep knowledge of the subject area. I'm basing all my admissions and scholarship apps around a strong and continued commitment to public service and public policy.

I also have a specific question. I graduated in 2013 from Princeton, shortly before the school ended its official policy of grade deflation. Do I do anything about this in my application? Is this worthy of mention in an addendum? Yes, I had a few poor grades. But deflation could potentially mitigate a trend of mediocre grades. I excelled at independent work which was not graded on a curve but was included in my GPA.

My list:
UC Berkeley
Georgetown
NYU
Columbia
U Chicago
Harvard
Stanford
Penn
BC
BU

Also applying to MPP/MPA programs at these schools to pursue joint degrees. This has no bearing on admission to any of their law schools though.

Thanks!


I had a similar grade (0.1 higher from a lower ivy that is not as elite as P), and I am 1-2 points higher on the LSAT than you are. I got into all the aforementioned schools, except Harvard, Stanford and Uchicago. So I think you are in pretty good shape -- I wouldn't sound whiny by adding in an addendum about your school's grading, which is hardly a circumstance that hinders your performance like chronic illness, family emergency, etc.

Re: 170 / 3.4 (grade deflation at P?)

Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:17 pm
by ittm500
cavalier1138 wrote:Unless LSAC factors in grade deflation, I don't see your GPA getting mitigated here.

Also, just because you mentioned an interest in policy and doing a joint MPP: what do you plan to do with your JD?


I'm open to going down a different path, but at the moment I expect I'd return to state government in a policy-oriented position. Having the JD opens many more doors where positions as General Counsel require the degree regardless of whether the degree is actually necessary to do the job.

Re: 170 / 3.4 (grade deflation at P?)

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:23 am
by ittm500
This was all super helpful everyone. Thanks!