Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists => Topic started by: Needadvice000 on February 16, 2016, 01:13:34 PM

Title: Can anybody provide insight as to what my chances are? Details below
Post by: Needadvice000 on February 16, 2016, 01:13:34 PM
I started undergrad in 2010. After 3 years of poor performance I left school for a couple years and worked and reevaluated my life. Because I was on probation this counted as an academic dismissal. I have since returned to school at a different University and have maintained a 3.5 GPA for the last two semesters and hope to so so for this one and the next, after which I'll graduate. If I do well on the LSAT, how much will my earlier performance affect law schools' decisions?
Title: Re: Can anybody provide insight as to what my chances are? Details below
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on February 16, 2016, 01:49:27 PM
It will matter, and you'll definitely have to explain it in your applications to both law school and the state bar, but it is NOT an automatic barrier to entry. They will want to see that your academic problems are behind you, however, since law school is about a hundred times more demanding that college. Make sure that you have figured out the problem and have a new plan in place before you drop lots of time and money on law school.

The single biggest factors will be your LSAT and cumulative GPA, however. The degree to which this issue will matter is going to fluctuate based on A) your numbers, and B) the level of admissions competition at each school.

At this point all you can really do is get the highest possible GPA and LSAT, which will help to mitigate the academic dismissal.
Title: Re: Can anybody provide insight as to what my chances are? Details below
Post by: Needadvice000 on February 16, 2016, 05:18:30 PM
This was definitely helpful, I very much appreciate your advice. If you don't mind, I have a couple more questions. When you say I'll need to explain my poor performance, will that be through the application or will I need to add an addendum? Also would you suggest that I be blunt and try to explain why I did poorly or am I better off focusing more on proving that I've got it together now?

Thank you
Title: Re: Can anybody provide insight as to what my chances are? Details below
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on February 16, 2016, 06:06:00 PM
When you say I'll need to explain my poor performance, will that be through the application or will I need to add an addendum?

Probably an addendum. The law school applications will ask if you've ever been on academic probation or dismissed, but to elaborate further and explain the circumstances you will probably need an addendum.

You will have to explain it again on your bar application.

Also would you suggest that I be blunt and try to explain why I did poorly or am I better off focusing more on proving that I've got it together now?


Both, I think. They're going to want to know what happened, and why it won't happen again. The other thing is you've got to be absolutely 100% honest. This is important. You don't want your law school applications and bar apps to contradict each other. Be honest, own up to your mistakes, don't make lame excuses (nobody cares), and show that you've changed.
Title: Re: Can anybody provide insight as to what my chances are? Details below
Post by: loki13 on February 17, 2016, 12:53:08 PM
I started undergrad in 2010. After 3 years of poor performance I left school for a couple years and worked and reevaluated my life. Because I was on probation this counted as an academic dismissal. I have since returned to school at a different University and have maintained a 3.5 GPA for the last two semesters and hope to so so for this one and the next, after which I'll graduate. If I do well on the LSAT, how much will my earlier performance affect law schools' decisions?

I agree with MaintainFL, and will add a few notes. First, the good news. You're not screwed. Now, the less good news.

You have *two* separate issues. One is poor uGPA (undergraduate GPA). The other is the academic dismissal. They are not the same issue. Let me explain why.

The overall bad uGPA will, in and of itself, be a reason that you will not get into some schools. This is a numbers game, and schools use a matrix with your uGPA and LSAT score. In other words, below a certain (combined) level, your application may not get looked at with some schools. On the other hand, this should give you a very good incentive to do well on the LSAT. Since you, um, took a break, you are technically a non-trad (non-traditional student) and if you do really well you would be a "splitter" (high LSAT, low uGPA) that schools will admit a percentage of to boost their numbers. But, in short, it's not the death of you- and, given that you have a record of doing better academically once you came back, it's not too bad.

The other issue is bigger. You will need to explain the academic dismissal. This is (for lack of a better word) a "big deal" for law school and the Bar. Not that it happened- but that you can explain it with candor. Were you unready? Didn't take it seriously? Had a family issue? Had a medical issue? You will need to explain this openly and honestly, and, just as importantly, without excuses. Own it, whatever it might be.
Title: Re: Can anybody provide insight as to what my chances are? Details below
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on February 17, 2016, 11:12:36 PM
There isn't enough details here to give you a full answer

BUT take that LSAT, it will be  a major factor. Go for it. Prep though, make sure to make sure you do your best.
Title: Re: Can anybody provide insight as to what my chances are? Details below
Post by: Citylaw on February 18, 2016, 05:56:19 PM
Solid advice above from everyone and I think the last poster really nailed it. The simple fact none of it will matter if you do not do well enough on the LSAT to be admitted into a law school.

I think many 0L's make this mistake of thinking about law school, before they have finished the first two steps to even be qualified for admission, which are graduating from college and taking the LSAT. 

If you don't have an LSAT score or a Bachelor's Degree you cannot be admitted into law school. At this juncture, you should focus on getting the best possible GPA and LSAT score you can. Once that is done you can determine what schools you even have a shot at, and then these other issues can be looked into with more detail.

Loki made a great point in that you will have to explain the academic dismissal, but again if you do not graduate or take the LSAT then the academic dismissal will be the least of your worries.

In summary, you appear to be putting the cart ahead of the horse. Stay focused on graduating with the best GPA you can and then prepare for and take the LSAT.

Good luck!