3.113 (as sophomore), 165 lsat (practice test), and extenuating circumstance for low GPA

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ohioman

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3.113 (as sophomore), 165 lsat (practice test), and extenuating circumstance for low GPA

Post by ohioman » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:08 pm

I was just hoping to get an honest appraisal of my situation. During my first two years in college, I've dealt with health issues (major depression&PTSD). I took a medical leave twice in order to deal with it. I'm in my second now, and I am trying to craft reasonable&achievable goals for the next several years of my life. What are my chances of getting into NYU, Fordham, OSU, UM, BC, BU, Northeastern, Georgia, Notre Dame, UVA, Georgetown? I'm the most interested in responses for my chance at Fordham, OSU, BC, BU, Notre Dame. I've looked at the calculators on LSAC and 7sage already, and I'm not sure if they are trustworthy. I was a good students before the difficulties, and I expect my grades to turn around (B+/A-). How accepting are admissions committees to extenuating circumstances which impacted life and grades in college if one can show improvement in grades and social involvement since dealing with medical problems? For example, if NYU had an applicant with a 3.8/169 (medians) and me (lets say I get my GPA up to 3.4 and I get my LSAT up to 170, so 3.4/170), which one would NYU take? Is it worth applying if my GPA is much lower than the 25 percentile but my LSAT is in the median to 75 percentile for the school? I don't think so; I'll give it a shot if my fee is waived.

Sorry for the barrage of questions.

Thank you for reading my post. Have a good day!

kinge

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Re: 3.113 (as sophomore), 165 lsat (practice test), and extenuating circumstance for low GPA

Post by kinge » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:58 pm

NYU, UVA, and perhaps Georgetown are probably out of your reach, especially if you plan to apply straight out of senior year. You will probably get into most of the other schools, and will get some good scholarship money if you do better than 170

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cavalier1138

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Re: 3.113 (as sophomore), 165 lsat (practice test), and extenuating circumstance for low GPA

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:16 pm

Stop thinking about this.

You almost certainly shouldn't go straight through from undergrad to law school. But even if you do want to take that route (and again, you really shouldn't), it's too early for you to be getting into this level of granular detail. Focus on undergrad; law school isn't going anywhere.

namefromplace

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Re: 3.113 (as sophomore), 165 lsat (practice test), and extenuating circumstance for low GPA

Post by namefromplace » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:01 pm

With a high enough LSAT score and if you bump up your GPA, you should be able to get into most of the places you mentioned. Generally extenuating circumstances can be helpful when compared to a candidate with similar stats as you, but, in most cases, it wouldn't translate to a significant bump in your GPA.

But, adding on to what was mentioned, you need to slow things down a bit. If you want to go straight into law school, that's fine, but it looks like you have stuff to work on now; don't let law school freak you out. Focus on getting the best grades you can this year and on grappling with whatever mental health issues you're dealing with.

Dscully3

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Re: 3.113 (as sophomore), 165 lsat (practice test), and extenuating circumstance for low GPA

Post by Dscully3 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:38 am

I agree with many of the other comments. I would recommend to focus all your attention right now on getting that GPA as high as possible. Also, mark some distinctions for yourself. Whatever sort of unique internships or extra currics that you can reasonably take on to help boost your resume, definitely do! After undergrad, dedicate all your attention to the LSAT.

I'll give you a brief bit of background concerning my experience. After I graduated, I spent about 2-3 months studying for the LSAT. Probably around 30 or more hours a week. I did the PowerScore prep route. Anyway, I took it in November of 2018. I thought I did horribly. Around that time I was PTing low-mid 160s under strict time-constraints to simulate as close as I could to actual testing conditions. I knew that I was still a few more weeks away from improving my PT scores and producing a score I really wanted. The only thing I had to work on was the timing, which simply requires greater mastery of the skills in order to be more time-efficient. In the end, I scored a 161 on that test. Long story short, being unhappy with my score, I didn't apply to any schools that year and focused on starting up my own contracting business. I left the LSAT study world until February of this year, 2020. That was, in hindsight, a mistake I believe. I should have kept on studying and tried to produce a better score on the 2019 February LSAT. I was just burned out and wanted to get away from that all. In the end, because of circumstances surrounding the pandemic (between the cancellings and the rescheduling for the LSAT via online, and most of my attention being dedicated to my business which experienced quite a boom at the time), I produced only a 161 again and never improved my score.

I applied late this year to all the schools on my list (~late February of 2020), another mistake. I just had a 161 and a 3.7 gpa. I received, quite quickly, massive scholarships from schools like Seton Hall, Villanova, and Catholic U, but I knew I was set on BigLaw and wanted a school such as Gtown, Notre Dame, Fordham, or BC. I knew Gtown was out of the question unless I greatly improved my LSAT score. I didn't think that was going to be true at ND, until it turned out that it was. The problem I think at ND is that my GPA didn't even hit the 50 percentile of accepted applicants, so that was a problem. I knew I still had a shot at BC and Fordham, but I didn't think that my chances at either of those schools were going to be all that great after the ND rejection letter. (ND median LSAT 165, Fordham median LSAT 164, and BC about the same) The thing that I think definitely somewhat helped at getting my acceptance at Fordham was the fact that my GPA was just around the 75th percentile even though my LSAT at 161 was only the 25th percentile. Whereas at ND, my GPA was only the 25th percentile.

In all, I was waitlisted at Fordham and was really disappointed. I had heard (from the AC and other knowledgable sources) that hardly anyone gets off the waitlist at Fordham and that their classes were just getting more and more competitive by the year. The thing that ultimately awarded me my acceptance there were these three things, I believe: (1) constant communication with the admissions council, (2) my having owned my own business in the most previous year and a half producing more that half a million a year in revenue (I believe this deeply showed my inherent drive and desire to succeed), and (3) dedicating myself to spending hours writing a 2-paged letter as best I could explaining why not only Fordham would be a great fit for me, but most importantly because of x,x,x,x,x I would be great for Fordham Law School. After I submitted the letter (after having been waitlisted for about a month or so by then), I was accepted in the matter of a few days. They congratulated me and also explained how very few people were taken from the waitlist and that I should be very proud. And so, I truly believe it was those major factors that set me out against the other kids on the waitlist with comparable numbers.

I had called and emailed the admissions committee multiple times just to, essentially, let them know who I was and to pretty much force the thought of me in their heads as they decided among choosing just a few of many waitlisted students to be accepted. I also called right after I sent in my application. Just be suave with it all. As with most things in my life having been the underdog in so many situations, in order to get to your relative top it truly takes, I'm convinced, hardly anything more than dedication, hardwork, and a willingness to network in establishing and maintaining critical communication with important people.

Sounds to me that your best bet will be to do as best you can this final year at school in just bettering the GPA and adding anything more that you can to your resume in order to open as many opportunities for yourself as possible when applying to school. After the LSAT, I would say to immediately get in touch with the admissions offices at all the schools you apply. Let them know who you are, why you are interested, and explain to them--both in writing and via conversation over the phone/in-person/whatever--the difficulties you've overcome and the sort of change you've experienced. With that in mind, write a killer personal statement to all the schools you apply. I swear, admissions committee do care deeply about the individual, and that it's not just all about the numbers. This is not to say, of course, that numbers aren't important. But, in all, explain to them your development and evolution as an individual. If written well and perceivingly genuine, that will be strongly considered among the admissions committees of all the places you apply. In part of the letter I wrote after being waitlisted, I explained my evolution as a student and why my final two years I carried a 3.85 cum gpa compared to my first two years of having 3.55 cum gpa. All very important things to share with the ACs at the schools you apply.

And don't be discouraged if you don't end up at your top-choice school. I have a friend who had similar scores and went on a nice-sized scholarship to American U law. After her first year, she transferred to UChicago Law. She is now working BigLaw in NYC after having clerked for a federal judge in Newark, NJ. To my point, don't be discouraged and think that wherever you end up your first year that opportunities have closed for good. Opportunities are still as open for you as they were before your deciding on which school to attend--even though you may just have to work a little bit harder than others at other schools in order to get yourself through the door of some of those opportunities you may be seeking out.

Best of luck to you!!

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