Confusing Advice from Pol Sci Adviser

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Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:17 pm

Confusing Advice from Pol Sci Adviser

Postby ConfusedStudent » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:54 pm

I was not sure whether to post this in admissions or chances. I went to my Pol Sci advisor (who is also the pre-law advisor) and asked about how Law Schools look at GPA and my prospects. I was concerned because I completely failed my first semester (with 16 failed credits in total) with the exception of one class and I was encouraged by my advisor to retake the courses. My failure is isolated to the very first semester and some of the second semester due to exceptional circumstances; at this time I was severely depressed living at home during my parent's divorce and my mother died anyway after 6 months of divorce proceedings. I have documentation and could write an addendum. I moved to a dorm have already retaken most of the courses I failed and passed. My University GPA is a 3.0 but if I recalculate it the way LSAC seems to do with the failed grades it is a 2.3 as of now. I cannot dilute my bad GPA very much because I came in with 31 AP credits that do not count to either GPA. On my current trajectory living in a dorm away from the abusive environment, I will likely improve to a 3.4 University and 2.9 LSAC. I took an online LSAT with no preparation and got a 165 diagnostic. My verbal SAT was 740 (1 percentile) so I expect a high LSAT score 170+ after taking it. So I may have a shot even with a low GPA. However, my professor says Law Schools do not recalculate GPA- they take the university GPA. Is he right? This conflicts with what I have read online. He said I would have a good chance. Is applying to law school with an addendum even worth it at this point with a low LSAC?


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Re: Confusing Advice from Pol Sci Adviser

Postby QContinuum » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:09 pm

Welcome to TLS!

Congrats on turning things around academically and on overcoming what sounds like a very challenging home environment. Your adviser is wrong. Law schools only care about LSAC GPA, as that is what is used for law school rankings. The good news is that you can "dilute" your GPA more than you think. Every class you take prior to the conferral of your first Bachelor's degree is factored into your LSAC GPA, no matter whether the class counts toward your Bachelor's. So if you anticipate improving to a 2.9 LSAC GPA, I'd encourage you to consider how many more courses it might take to get you over the hump to a 3.0. If it's feasible (i.e., don't spend an extra year in college...), maybe try taking summer community college classes to get some extra As. I think a 3.0 LSAC GPA is substantially different from a sub-3.0 GPA.

For now, I'd focus on raising your GPA as much as possible. There is no rush to take the LSAT.

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