2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

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Wanksta
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2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby Wanksta » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:12 am

Race: Asian
Native Language: Chinese-Mandarin
Years in U.S: 9
Major: Engineering/Economics
GPA: 2.8 :cry:
LSAT: 175 :P

I am only interested in top 20 schools, don't flame me for being picky. I know I don't have the perfect stats, so please give me some advice on how to improve my chances. Work? Retake classes? etc etc..

Thank you

lsb
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby lsb » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:32 am

Wanksta wrote:Race: Asian
Native Language: Chinese-Mandarin
Years in U.S: 9
Major: Engineering/Economics
GPA: 2.8 :cry:
LSAT: 175 :P

I am only interested in top 20 schools, don't flame me for being picky. I know I don't have the perfect stats, so please give me some advice on how to improve my chances. Work? Retake classes? etc etc..

Thank you


How in the hell do people get a 175 on the LSAT when English is not their native language?

50% of the U.S. population can't even break 150.

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vanwinkle
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:33 am

lsb wrote:How in the hell do people get a 175 on the LSAT when English is not their native language?


Perchance, by having a stronger work ethic than your average American?

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98234872348
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby 98234872348 » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:38 am

Wanksta wrote:Race: Asian
Native Language: Chinese-Mandarin
Years in U.S: 9
Major: Engineering/Economics
GPA: 2.8 :cry:
LSAT: 175 :P

I am only interested in top 20 schools, don't flame me for being picky. I know I don't have the perfect stats, so please give me some advice on how to improve my chances. Work? Retake classes? etc etc..

Thank you

A poster on this board got into Northwestern with a lower gpa and a lower lsat, I believe.

Gaining some work experience would be advantageous to your cause and may help to separate your from the low gpa, if you don't already have some...

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vanwinkle
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:44 am

Wanksta wrote:Race: Asian
Native Language: Chinese-Mandarin
Years in U.S: 9
Major: Engineering/Economics
GPA: 2.8 :cry:
LSAT: 175 :P

I am only interested in top 20 schools, don't flame me for being picky. I know I don't have the perfect stats, so please give me some advice on how to improve my chances. Work? Retake classes? etc etc..

Thank you


With a 2.8 GPA there's going to be very little you can do right now, unless you have a good reason for it. Why was your GPA low? Was it possibly due to problems integrating in the U.S., or learning English, or anything like that? Is it something else, a disability, personal/family issues? If you have a reason for that low GPA, then that'll help a lot. Schools will allow you to write a one-page "addendum" to add to your applications, whether they ask for it or not, and it can make a difference.

Otherwise, the biggest thing that helps with a low GPA is strong, continuous work experience. Several years (4-5, minimum) of solid and clearly leadership-oriented work experience will start distancing you from your GPA and allow you to argue that you are more than your GPA says. This is part of how I got into law school.

The other thing you have to realize, though, is... 175 is really high. You are not getting into HYS with a 2.8 GPA, period, but you can probably get into several lower T14 schools with that GPA. You would have better chances at several schools with long/strong WE, but even without any, you probably have a good chance at getting into at least one of MVP.

Write "Why X?" essays for each school, even if they don't ask for it. ("Why Penn?" for Penn, "Why UVA?" for UVA, etc.) Research the schools a little so you can say specific things about it and why you want to go there. The more you can say the more it'll help you. Beyond that... just blanket as many schools at you can.

If you can afford it, I'd say apply from CCN all the way down to WUSTL (WUSTL will likely give you $$$ for that LSAT score) and wait to see what comes back.

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hyunseoki
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby hyunseoki » Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:04 am

sheh shei ni de ba ba?

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GeePee
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby GeePee » Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:07 am

With (seemingly) 5 years in the U.S. before college, and a 175 LSAT score which shows a grasp of the English language, it's going to be exceedingly difficult to justify that low GPA by going down that route. However, if you're concerned with maximizing your chances at t-14 schools, I'd suggest getting some work experience and writing an outstanding DS about the immigration process to offer some sort of explanation for your long cultural/personal journey which has readied you to fully comprehend the American legal system. Right now, I'm confident that some schools outside of the t-14, namely WUSTL, and other schools just inside the t-14 (say, Georgetown) would give you $$ to attend just because of that 99.6% LSAT score, which does a lot to mitigate your low GPA. However, I'd say that above all your statements need to demonstrate an uncanny ability to write in English with excellent grammar and structure, because this will help show that you are really ready for law school in the U.S. and that the LSAT score was not a preparation fluke.

HTH. You really do have a good shot at some top schools with a really solid application; but like most big splitters it's going to take a little more effort than most.

P.S. I'd PM Rayiner and a couple of other successful splitters on this thread to see if you can get some advice from them. They've been able to turn some less-than-pretty GPA's into successful t-14 bids in the past, and I have no doubt you can do the same with an equal amount of effort.

Wanksta
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby Wanksta » Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:13 am

vanwinkle wrote:
Wanksta wrote:With a 2.8 GPA there's going to be very little you can do right now, unless you have a good reason for it. Why was your GPA low? Was it possibly due to problems integrating in the U.S., or learning English, or anything like that? Is it something else, a disability, personal/family issues? If you have a reason for that low GPA, then that'll help a lot. Schools will allow you to write a one-page "addendum" to add to your applications, whether they ask for it or not, and it can make a difference.


I didn't have any health or disability issue. I did have personal/family issue and social issue such as integrating in the U.S.

I didn't know any English prior getting off the boat. I live with my Mother, she doesn't know much English so I handle all the family affairs, ie. real estate, banking, we had a lawsuit during my soph/junior year which I helped out a lot. Integrating into U.S was a bit of toughy, I mean I can talk about how hard it is being an Asian trying to integrating into the society and the upsets I have went through...

Honestly can these be used as an excuses for low grade? I thought it's just problems that everybody go through

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vanwinkle
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:25 am

Wanksta wrote:I didn't have any health or disability issue. I did have personal/family issue and social issue such as integrating in the U.S.

I didn't know any English prior getting off the boat. I live with my Mother, she doesn't know much English so I handle all the family affairs, ie. real estate, banking, we had a lawsuit during my soph/junior year which I helped out a lot. Integrating into U.S was a bit of toughy, I mean I can talk about how hard it is being an Asian trying to integrating into the society and the upsets I have went through...

Honestly can these be used as an excuses for low grade? I thought it's just problems that everybody go through


Very, very few people go to college while helping take care of all the English-language affairs for their parents and assisting them with a lawsuit that threatened their livelihood. And, on top of that, there's the whole "integrating into society" thing that's going to help you a lot.

If you turn what you just gave me into a two-page-long story, that's your personal statement, and it will probably get you into some very awesome schools.

Wanksta
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby Wanksta » Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:37 am

Personal Statement? Not Addendum? Thanks a lot for your input vanwinkle...your advices really gave me some hope

Ah I forgot to mention that while helping out with moving, I herniated my lumbar disc so now I have chronic pain in my left leg. I guess that's worth mentioning too...for things like these, do law school require proof? does my doctor have to provide a note? lawyer have to say I helped out? etc etc

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vanwinkle
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:01 pm

Wanksta wrote:Personal Statement? Not Addendum? Thanks a lot for your input vanwinkle...your advices really gave me some hope

Ah I forgot to mention that while helping out with moving, I herniated my lumbar disc so now I have chronic pain in my left leg. I guess that's worth mentioning too...for things like these, do law school require proof? does my doctor have to provide a note? lawyer have to say I helped out? etc etc


If you have a different subject for your Personal Statement, you can put all that stuff in either a Diversity Statement or a GPA addendum. Either would serve pretty much the same purpose.

Regarding medical disabilities that have caused you problems, I would recommend what I did. You can mention it in your PS or DS, or choose not to, but either way you should save a medical explanation for a one-page "medical addendum". It should be extremely brief and state only the facts (any talk of its personal effects on you is probably better mentioned in your PS or DS). Something like this (totally made-up) example:

Sample Addendum wrote:On September 14, 2005, while moving into a dormitory in Lubbock, Texas, an accident occurred where a family member backed up my car unexpectedly and ran over my foot. I sustained injuries which included fractures to three metatarsal bones, required the use of crutches during my entire freshman year, and continue to have lingering pain and difficulty with walking and the use of my left foot.

Medical documentation of the injury and its treatment can be provided upon request.


By saying "I can provide proof on request" you're letting the school know that you can prove it to them without having to go through the immediate trouble of digging up medical records and mailing them to schools that may not accept you. I will say that I included an addendum like this (but for a very different medical condition) to cover the medical facts and details, and in my PS I talked about the same condition and how it personally affected me growing up. Not a single one of the 30 schools I applied to requested a copy of any medical records.

The catch is just to be able to prove it later if you have to. The law is all about ethics and honesty. You don't want to claim a medical injury or condition you can't prove later, that's lying on your application and could keep you from passing the bar.

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rayiner
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Re: 2.8 GPA 175 LSAT, how can I improve my chances?

Postby rayiner » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:12 pm

I had not dissimilar numbers, in a not dissimilar major, and less of an excuse for the GPA. I got into two T14s, though off the waitlist.

The thing that will help you the most is a year or two of good work experience. With a low-GPA student the concern is that they can't handle the workload. When there are mitigating factors with your GPA, adcoms will look at something else to prove that you can do the work. Work experience is usually that something else.

If you're looking at T20 schools, focus on the following:

Penn, Michigan, Northwestern, Georgetown, WUSTL, GWU.

Vanderbilt, UCLA, USC, and Texas are a waste of an application with a sub-3.0 GPA.




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