Any law school chances with comeback story?

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invinciblespy

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Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by invinciblespy » Sun May 02, 2021 7:57 pm

Hello TLS,

My first post here after a few weeks of reading through various forums. Here goes:

Stats:
UG Biology (2008), decent state school GPA: 2.67/4 (probably will go down to ~2.5 LSAC) - picked a major due to family pressure that was not a right fit and even after I switched to biology, was pressured into getting a minor in that topic which was a disaster.
MS in Biology (2011) from top 10 university GPA: 3.7x
Admitted to competitive PhD program right after MS (2011-2012) - could not find a good lab/mentor --> transferred to xx College (2012-2013; see C&F below).
Currently getting PhD at xx College (2017-22/23) in Cancer Biology GPA: 3.3x
Hope to pursue Patent Law - Biotech or Pharma; perhaps MBA down the line
Age: mid-30s with family.

That's not really the comeback part - I have significant C&F issues. I included details to the best of my memory for the older issues. I don't know if all of these are relevant but as I have read several times here, better to disclose than not. I will gladly remove some if they are deemed unnecessary to disclose. :D
Please find below:

Academic
1) Plagiarism – Spring 2005 (NO RECORD)
Repeated assignment for partial credit; No further sanctions
2) In appropriate collaboration – Spring 2007 (NO RECORD)
repeated assignment for full credit; No further sanctions.
3) Misconduct – Spring 2007 (NO RECORD)
Admitted to mistake and accepted 0 on exam
4) Plagiarism - Spring 2013 (DISMISSAL ON TRANSCRIPT)
Dismissed from PhD program. Reinstated Fall 2017.
5) Misrepresentation of data - Fall 2017 (NO RECORD but both grades on trans.)
Retook class – got an A-. No further sanctions

Non-Academic
1) Speeding Ticket – August 2007; Citation - paid fine (do not remember amount)
2) Motor vehicle collision – April 2008; no charges filed - costs paid out by insurance
3) Summons for Summary Case (non-traffic) – Public Drunkenness and Similar Misconduct – June 2009; pled guilty and paid fine ($330)
4) Speeding Ticket – March 2015; Dismissed  Took Driver Safety Course
5) 2-3 Parking Tickets – do not remember dates

As of today, I have had no other issues and am chugging along towards finishing my PhD in a rather difficult project - hopefully will have 1 or 2 publications by the end and I expect good LORs. I am going to take the patent agent exam end of this year as a backup career in case my chances of law school are slim-none. I am quite confident that I can do well in the 1L courses (top 5-10%) and while I am not going in thinking transfer, I am hoping I could in the event a T3-4 would give me a shot to start law school. I just got done with classes for the semester and am about to start my LSAT prep to take the exam in August, aiming for 170+. I am also considering using an admissions consulting company, if necessary.

I would be truly grateful for any help/advice/direction that the members of the forum could provide and am happy to provide any other information to help!

Thank you all for your patience in reading this long post and help!
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Mon May 03, 2021 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to remove sensitive information per OP's request.

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Dcc617

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by Dcc617 » Mon May 03, 2021 12:00 am

You probably want to edit your post to be more vague man.

invinciblespy

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by invinciblespy » Mon May 03, 2021 8:34 am

Dcc617 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 12:00 am
You probably want to edit your post to be more vague man.
Thanks for the heads up! Can't figure out how to edit though - am I missing something?

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cavalier1138

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon May 03, 2021 8:36 am

I second the recommendation to seriously cut back on the specifics here.

Based on what you've described, I don't see any kind of "comeback" narrative. You have a bad undergrad GPA and a whole bunch of C&F issues that would be a problem even if you had decent numbers. The fact that you convinced someone to give you a second chance before getting yet another citation for academic misconduct is not a comeback story; it's just a continuation of the (very, very bad) narrative that already existed. This will be a huge problem for you, and I don't see you having any good options for law school should you apply.

But I have a solution for you: Don't go to law school. Your post already contemplated getting an MBA, which means you're likely not committed to a long-term career in law. This is great, because you can save yourself the time and expense of applying now.

invinciblespy

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by invinciblespy » Mon May 03, 2021 8:55 am

Thank you for your reply - I really appreciate it! I‘lll definitely edit the post to cut down on specifics - just can’t find an edit button (ironic - story of my life). Any ideas?
I hoped that 10+ years out from the incidents would be enough but I guess not. As for MBA, I mentioned it as a possibility later down in my career - 5-10 years. I probably don’t have enough work experience to get into a decent MBA program at this point.
Thanks again for your input!

ETA: also, would all the above mentioned violations have to be reported on an application C&F?
cavalier1138 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 8:36 am
I second the recommendation to seriously cut back on the specifics here.

Based on what you've described, I don't see any kind of "comeback" narrative. You have a bad undergrad GPA and a whole bunch of C&F issues that would be a problem even if you had decent numbers. The fact that you convinced someone to give you a second chance before getting yet another citation for academic misconduct is not a comeback story; it's just a continuation of the (very, very bad) narrative that already existed. This will be a huge problem for you, and I don't see you having any good options for law school should you apply.

But I have a solution for you: Don't go to law school. Your post already contemplated getting an MBA, which means you're likely not committed to a long-term career in law. This is great, because you can save yourself the time and expense of applying now.

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nixy

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by nixy » Mon May 03, 2021 9:14 am

The non-academic stuff is fine, but the academic stuff is likely to be a big black mark - it does tend to read like a disturbing pattern. And yes, it would all probably have to be disclosed in applications. It will depend on how the questions were written, but it looks like there was some kind of official sanction for all these things, even if you say there's no record. (Disclosure is based on what happened, not what you can prove.)

I also wanted to push back on the idea that you can guarantee being in the top 5-10% of your law school class. That's really hard to guarantee and I know STEM PhDs who have struggled with the transition to law school grading.

Why do you want a law degree?

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cavalier1138

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon May 03, 2021 9:33 am

invinciblespy wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 8:55 am
I‘lll definitely edit the post to cut down on specifics - just can’t find an edit button (ironic - story of my life). Any ideas?
If you don't see a pencil-ish icon in the upper-right corner of the post, PM me an edited version, and I can update.

invinciblespy

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by invinciblespy » Mon May 03, 2021 1:34 pm

Thank you for your reply! Definitely looks horrible when everything is listed one after the other - can’t believe how stupid I was on so many levels. I guess I just wanted to take the easy way out which is clearly not how life works, and I’m paying for it now. I’m just grateful for the opportunities I got despite them.
As far as official sanctions go, only the dismissal (#4) was an official sanction - the others were between the instructor and I. Everything was very informal but they did happen.
As to why law school, I have a talent of breaking down a problem to it’s core and coming up with a creative solution. I think that this would apply perfectly to analyzing new inventions/innovations applying for patents and guide the inventor and investor. I could do this as a patent agent as well (I plan on taking the exam), but, while they pay relatively well, there isn’t much career progression (that I have read of) unless you become a patent attorney or get an MBA and get into the corporate world. With the current funding situation being so tight in the sciences, I would have to do a few years of post-doctoral work with low pay to have a shot at academia (which never interested me) or industry, making it hard to support my family.
You’re right that I can’t guarantee success in law school, but I know that my academic issues are not because of lack of understanding the material, but 100% due to a poor work ethic. I didn’t have any responsibilities then so I didn’t care as much but my situation is different now and I know this would be my last opportunity to define who I am and what I’m capable of. I guess I wanted to know if it was possible to convince some adcomms of the same, but looks like it might be asking too much with very little evidence.

Thanks again for your reply!

nixy wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 9:14 am
The non-academic stuff is fine, but the academic stuff is likely to be a big black mark - it does tend to read like a disturbing pattern. And yes, it would all probably have to be disclosed in applications. It will depend on how the questions were written, but it looks like there was some kind of official sanction for all these things, even if you say there's no record. (Disclosure is based on what happened, not what you can prove.)

I also wanted to push back on the idea that you can guarantee being in the top 5-10% of your law school class. That's really hard to guarantee and I know STEM PhDs who have struggled with the transition to law school grading.

Why do you want a law degree?

nixy

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by nixy » Mon May 03, 2021 2:22 pm

I think for the purposes of disclosure, consequences coming from the professor would still count, not just a formal sanction. But again, it will depend on how the questions are worded.

And I get that your academic record is marred more by attitude/effort, but it's still impossible to predict how you'll do in law school, given that it's graded on a curve.

I don't want to be completely discouraging, but I do think you face an uphill battle. You have the academic C&F issue, which is one thing. You have a low UGPA, which is another. Your grad GPAs don't count toward a school's ranking, so the UGPA carries way more weight (your grad GPAs also aren't *incredibly* strong to outweigh the UGPA, although the scale for STEM grading may be somewhat different than for non-STEM programs, where the default is essentially a 4.0). You also don't have an LSAT yet.

So then the question is whether you can get the outcome you want from a law school that will accept you (and ideally give you a scholarship). Having a STEM PhD can weigh in your favor, depending on the field - I don't know enough about IP to say how a cancer biology degree would play - but your performance in law school will still matter.

If you are serious about this, you might be a good candidate for using an admissions consultant (a good one, who will honestly advise you about your application and what they can offer, not just someone who'll take your money).

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Mullens

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Re: Any law school chances with comeback story?

Post by Mullens » Tue May 04, 2021 2:06 am

The C&F issue with the repeated academic misconduct also presents a non-zero chance that you fail a state’s C&F and can’t be admitted as an attorney. My honest first thought was that you are either the worlds unluckiest person (but still pretty dishonest) or you committed a whole lot more academic dishonesty and were only caught those 5 times. I only mention that because C&F is basically a stranger judging your fitness to practice and at first glance it’s pretty bad.

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