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Retroactive withdrawal from undergrad institution for law school application. Help!

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2022 9:59 pm
by LawdyMissClawdy
Hey everyone. I also posted this on another forum but I figured I should try here too.

I'm 33 years old and in the final stages of perfecting my application materials for law school so that I have everything ready to go once I take the LSAT in June 2023. Many, many years ago I was an undergraduate student struggling with a then-undiagnosed autoimmune issue which turned out to be the most ridiculous disease ever: chronic idiopathic urticaria, aka "fuck you, you have hives all the time for absolutely no reason and there is no cure." I had bouts with CIU for three years, each for about a year at a time.

(I had trouble concentrating, sleeping, eating, doing daily tasks, and even just getting out of bed in the morning. When you have an outbreak of hives you look like a literal monster. It affects every part of your life, from your mental health to your physical. You are in pain, embarrassed, and the anxiety of constantly being itchy is through the roof. It is not fun. I also had to go to the hospital 3 times and get a shot of epinephrine because my face and throat swelled so much I couldn't breathe. It was very scary.).

Needless to say, I missed a lot of class. At a certain point I basically just stopped showing up and that landed me multiple WU grades which are basically punitive withdrawals. The thing is, when I did this I had zero idea I was going to to go law school in the future. I thought I could just still pay my tuition, which I was glad to do, and make up the classes at some future date. I have my own company so I wanted the degree for myself and not for an employer anyway.

Fast forward to now. I'm definitely going to law school. I've asked my undergraduate institution about it and they say they are able to issue retroactive withdrawals for good reason, and are even willing to do so for full semesters. But they will for sure scrutinize my application and every bit of evidence I provide. The thing is, it was so long ago that my professors aren't even there anymore and they will probably be like "Dafuq? Why now?" when they see my dates of enrollment.

I know if I don't manage to swing these non-punitive withdrawals, it will mess up my LSAC GPA. I also know that a bunch of non-punitive withdrawals will look shitty on my transcripts for law school no matter what. But if I don't do anything and just take my licks, I'll end up with a 3.54, whereas if I effectively petition for a retroactive withdrawal from these courses/semesters, I'll have a 3.89. I know it is worth it to at least shoot my shot, but I have a few questions:

1. Should I be honest with my school when they ask "why now?" for the retroactive withdrawals?

I want to tell them that it will mess up my GPA for law school and that's the reason why I want to petition for the withdrawals, but I also don't want to be that candid and risk that they just bin my petition. How should I approach this?

2. How detailed should I be in my petition for retroactive withdrawal?

I can have family members sign notarized letters, my doctors are willing to write statements on my behalf, I've got peer reviewed studies on deck talking about how debilitating this can be, I have my mom's death certificate (unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cancer and the stress absolutely sent me into a TAILSPIN and I had the hive flare up to end all hive flare ups for a whole year because of her diagnosis + death) and I also have really gross pictures of my hives all over my body and face as well as bonus pictures of my face blowing up like the Goodyear blimp! Like, I am willing to go all out to seek this retroactive withdrawal but I don't know if I'm doing too much.

3. Has anyone been in a similar situation?
I would love to hear your thoughts if so.