Do I have a chance at all? GPA low, other aspects strong

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barbaraparis

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Do I have a chance at all? GPA low, other aspects strong

Post by barbaraparis » Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:39 pm

I am 26 and have worked for four years with a well known and well respected non-profit doing incredible work advocating for children. In this job, I am the Founding Director of a specific scholarship program. I realized if I really want to make change in communities, I need to go to law school. My work experience is exemplary, my life experience as well, but my question is I have a 2.7 gpa. LSAT 165 (and still studying, so it could go up.)

My gpa was low because of unusual and difficult things going on at the time. But regardless of my low gpa, I was selected to be the student commencement speaker, and held other significant leadership and internships while at the university. So, can all these factors make a difference, or will I be disqualified from schools solely on the low GPA? I've been using the LSAT/GPA calculator, and it doesn't look promising.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Do I have a chance at all? GPA low, other aspects strong

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:53 am

It depends on where you're applying.

But generally, none of the stuff you're hoping will offset your GPA will actually do much to offset it. You're going to be stuck with a 2.7, which will make admission to the T13 a tough road, even if you bump that LSAT up to the 170s. That doesn't mean law school is impossible, just that you need to be specific and realistic about your goals.

However, there are two specific points I want to address:
barbaraparis wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:39 pm
I've been using the LSAT/GPA calculator, and it doesn't look promising.
If that's the LSAC-provided "official" calculator, then don't use it. MyLSN is imperfect, but it's much better than that one.
barbaraparis wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:39 pm
I realized if I really want to make change in communities, I need to go to law school.
This is not true at all. Lots of community advocates don't have JDs, and many lawyers who work in community justice will find themselves pivoting away from legal practice. Lawyers can absolutely play a role in community-level advocacy, but a law degree is hardly necessary for that.

barbaraparis

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Re: Do I have a chance at all? GPA low, other aspects strong

Post by barbaraparis » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:42 pm

Thanks for that response. I understand about the uncertainty and reach of top 13 schools, but what are your thoughts about others? I'm thinking about smaller schools (American, Brooklyn, even Fordham, etc) and want to see if those are more in reach. Thanks!

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nealric

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Re: Do I have a chance at all? GPA low, other aspects strong

Post by nealric » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:57 pm

barbaraparis wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:42 pm
Thanks for that response. I understand about the uncertainty and reach of top 13 schools, but what are your thoughts about others? I'm thinking about smaller schools (American, Brooklyn, even Fordham, etc) and want to see if those are more in reach. Thanks!
With the right LSAT score any are probably in reach, but I wouldn't attend any of those without some sort of scholarship money. Going into $200k+ of student loan debt for a degree at American or Brooklyn is playing Russian roulette with your finances with 5 rounds in the barrel. With Fordham, it's perhaps only 3. Without a real official LSAT score, it's hard to give much specific advice.

interiorca

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Re: Do I have a chance at all? GPA low, other aspects strong

Post by interiorca » Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:45 pm

In my opinion, no one can tell you whether you have a chance or not because none of us are admissions professionals. Apply where you see fit and you will be admired where you're meant to be. I'm taking the same approach and allowing myself to be told "No," before I wonder if I have a chance or not. Don't let anyone discourage you or tell you what degree or score you need.

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ignorantfoot96

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Re: Do I have a chance at all? GPA low, other aspects strong

Post by ignorantfoot96 » Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:51 pm

interiorca wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:45 pm
In my opinion, no one can tell you whether you have a chance or not because none of us are admissions professionals. Apply where you see fit and you will be admired where you're meant to be. I'm taking the same approach and allowing myself to be told "No," before I wonder if I have a chance or not. Don't let anyone discourage you or tell you what degree or score you need.
Is it not better to understand that maybe you will have to take a year off from your plans because of non-competitive scores? This seems kind of misguided ... especially because law schools primarily admit based off of a simple numbers game

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cavalier1138

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Re: Do I have a chance at all? GPA low, other aspects strong

Post by cavalier1138 » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:02 pm

interiorca wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:45 pm
In my opinion, no one can tell you whether you have a chance or not because none of us are admissions professionals. Apply where you see fit and you will be admired where you're meant to be. I'm taking the same approach and allowing myself to be told "No," before I wonder if I have a chance or not. Don't let anyone discourage you or tell you what degree or score you need.
I mean, it would be nice if the world was really this forgiving. And if you have the money to waste on application fees, knock yourself out.

But it's flat-out dangerous to advise people that they shouldn't listen to lawyers when it comes to understanding legal hiring, the importance of law school pedigree, etc.

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