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debilitating OCD throughout undergrad, will finish in 6 years with reduced course load

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 9:25 pm
by Deor
I have stuggeled with awful obsessive compulsive disorder for the last five years. I dropped out of my original college after one semester on a medical leave and took three semesters off before transfering and attending school while living with my parents. The OCD has made it extremely difficult for me to function normally, but I've been determined to finish my degree and have a normal life. My overall gpa is a 3.93, but I have 5 Ws on my transcript and for multiple semesters I took 6, 9 or 12 hours instead of the standard 15. I've done volunteer work with my church and have held some leadership positions in a fraternity, but aside from that I have zero softs. I will graduate six years after I started college.

In the past few months, I've made breakthroughs in treatment that should allow me to function normally. I feel really motivated to get outside of myself and help others. I plan on spending a lot of time volunteering at church and other organizations while I finish up school and in my free time when I'm in the workforce.

Lets say I spend the next five years getting work experience, proving that the OCD is behind me and that I'm able to function normally. If I were to apply to law school, how badly would the low course load for the semesters when I was struggling, the ws on my transcript, and the lack of extracurricular activities in undergrad hurt me? Would it make sense to write an addendum about the OCD to explain these things?

I would love to have a good chance at the t6 (assuming I can do well on the lsat.) Does my situation make this unlikely?

Re: debilitating OCD throughout undergrad, will finish in 6 years with reduced course load

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:18 am
by cavalier1138
You'll probably want to write an addendum, but it's not going to be as big a deal as you're making it out to be.

Re: debilitating OCD throughout undergrad, will finish in 6 years with reduced course load

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:29 pm
by Deor
cavalier1138 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:18 am
You'll probably want to write an addendum, but it's not going to be as big a deal as you're making it out to be.
By how much do you think it will ding me if I get some softs and handle it properly?

Re: debilitating OCD throughout undergrad, will finish in 6 years with reduced course load

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 3:55 pm
by logan3000
honestly this seems big enough that I’d write about it in your personal statement, especially if it led you to law in some way.

but I can’t imagine it’d hurt you all that much if you keep that GPA, and could potentially help in a way if you have a strong PS/addendum combo.

Re: debilitating OCD throughout undergrad, will finish in 6 years with reduced course load

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:11 pm
by dabigchina
It's been a while, but doesn't the LSAC treat punitive W's as 0 (like they are counted as Fs)? If your Ws are punitive, you need to write an addendum to explain them. Study up on LSAC GPA rules and calculate your GPA with that in mind. .

Re: debilitating OCD throughout undergrad, will finish in 6 years with reduced course load

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:17 am
by msf305
Hi there,

I totally hear you as someone who has been struggling with OCD since about 10. First of all, I think this could be turned into a strength if portrayed correctly. What you should do is write an addendum to your application explaining the break in time and the condition you suffer from causing the W's. The important part though (!!!) is you want to express to the law school that you have emerged from the other side of this hardship and are now able to handle the intense workload of law school. Clearly as we both know, OCD is with us for life. However, if you can express to admissions that there was a low point that you were able to overcome and now have been in a really good place consistently and have excelled in your professional and academic life, this will be viewed as a strength of your application and character. Best of luck!