Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: Chessiesmile on December 12, 2007, 03:24:32 PM

Title: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Chessiesmile on December 12, 2007, 03:24:32 PM
So I just got done factoring some old transcripts into my lsac gpa, and my numbers went from a 3.97 to a 2.92.  This is mostly due to 3 F's I recieved 5 years ago (long story, but I completely flaked out during my first stab at college...went back fall of last year and have had all A's ever since).

I'm pretty much numb right now, coming to the realization that attending a T14 seems all but impossible.  Is this indeed the case?  It's just a sh**y situation...I f-ed up in school a long time ago, but have worked my ass off to turn things around...I'm hoping it's not all in vain.

Thanks for any input.
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: BearlyLegal on December 12, 2007, 03:31:06 PM
So I just got done factoring some old transcripts into my lsac gpa, and my numbers went from a 3.97 to a 2.92.  This is mostly due to 3 F's I recieved 5 years ago (long story, but I completely flaked out during my first stab at college...went back fall of last year and have had all A's ever since).

I'm pretty much numb right now, coming to the realization that attending a T14 seems all but impossible.  Is this indeed the case?  It's just a sh**y situation...I f-ed up in school a long time ago, but have worked my ass off to turn things around...I'm hoping it's not all in vain.

Thanks for any input.
You aren't totally screwed. If your second stab at college was indeed all a's that shows a lot of maturity. Adcomms like growth.
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: QueenoftheCourt on December 12, 2007, 03:33:34 PM
I don't think you're completely screwed. As for the dramatic GPA drop, write an addendum explaining your situation. With such a dramatic upward grade trend and the time elapsed between your As and Fs, adcomms might be willing to give you some leeway.

Law school admissions are very much a numbers game, however, so you really need to get a strong LSAT score to offset your GPA. If you get a very strong LSAT score (165+), then you will have a great shot at some top 25 schools; with a 170+, you could go to a T14 school. There are quite a few "splitters" on lawschoolnumbers.com and this board who have gotten into some great schools this year.

I hope that helps! 
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Tetris on December 12, 2007, 03:42:07 PM
Your situation sucks but if I had a 2.9 GPA, I'd want one like yours.

1. Get a good LSAT score (168+... Even with a 4.0, a high LSAT is necessary to get into a T14 or T25).
2. Cast a wide net (apply to as many T25s as you can, prioritizing schools that are not in the top 5).
3. Write a good GPA addendum.
4. Get your applications in as soon as possible.
5. Send an extra LOR (and tell your recommenders about your first year and ask if they can address it at all... one professor of mine said that I was like a "bright spot" in the classroom, she had no idea why I under-performed, and that she thought I was just a late-bloomer).
...
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: JeNeSaisLaw on December 12, 2007, 03:55:30 PM
Are you sure about your calculation? I don't see how 3 Fs could drop you more than .3. To drop you a full point it would require lots of passes (i.e. credits with no value) or somehow graduating with 12 classes or something.
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: $Bill on December 12, 2007, 04:09:23 PM
I had one F freshman year because I missed a final, dropped me from 3.45 to a 3.37.  My college calculated GPA just like LSAC does tho, so their the same.  But to drop that much must mean that  aside from the Fs you had other bad credit hours...
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Chessiesmile on December 12, 2007, 04:26:53 PM
Yeah, I had some other poor grades too...One D, two C's, two B's and a B- to be exact.  (Aside from the 3 F's)  I arrived at the 2.92 by plugging everything into an lsac calculator I found on google.

Thanks for the advice though guys.  Hopefully things will work out, although I can't help but worry considering how much of a numbers game ls admissions are...I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

And to think those F's could have been avoided had just bothered to drop the classes...unbelievable...
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Hannibal on December 12, 2007, 04:56:12 PM
My friend was in an identical situation: Freshman year of D's, F's, and a lot of screwing around followed by nearly straight A's starting eight years later.  It didn't work out for him the way I thought it would.  He had a 166 LSAT, and didn't get in to any of the T1's he applied to, and was even dinged by a couple T2's.

I think you can throw all the upward trending out the window.  If you are a white male, then all they will see is the sub 3.0 GPA.  If you are below the medians, then accepting you does nothing but hurt the school in the rankings.  You have to bring something special (URM, amazing softs) to the table in order to offset the numerical hit you are asking the school to take by admitting you.
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: botbot on December 12, 2007, 04:58:32 PM
My friend was in an identical situation: Freshman year of D's, F's, and a lot of screwing around followed by nearly straight A's starting eight years later.  It didn't work out for him the way I thought it would.  He had a 166 LSAT, and didn't get in to any of the T1's he applied to, and was even dinged by a couple T2's.

I think you can throw all the upward trending out the window.  If you are a white male, then all they will see is the sub 3.0 GPA.  If you are below the medians, then accepting you does nothing but hurt the school in the rankings.  You have to bring something special (URM, amazing softs) to the table in order to offset the numerical hit you are asking the school to take by admitting you.

A 2.9 with a 166 or better was good enough for a couple of Tulane students.  Some in this range were dinged though...
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Chessiesmile on December 12, 2007, 10:34:19 PM
Crazy how when I woke up this morning I thought I had a 3.97...  I realize maybe all is not lost, but I'm not sure how I feel about banking everything on the off chance that I get lucky.  As Hannibal mentioned, admitting someone below the median is hurting the school's rank, and an adcom would have to feel pretty compelled to do this (while at the same time denying someone who does have the stats to get in).  This just changes everything, as I've never even considered a sub-T14 school.  Anyone think I'd still have a fair shot at Virginia applying ED and being a legacy?  What if I was in state?  (Probably not, but I'll still throw it out there.)

For what it's worth, mathematically it's possible to pull things up to a 3.3-3.4 by the time I graduate, but even that's well below the median at any T14.  (I think)  I'm also a little apprehensive about majoring in philosophy if law school's not in the cards...I'm def. not planning on teaching philosophy.

Oh well, I'm done w/ this for today.  Thanks for all the help though guys.
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Team Awesome on December 13, 2007, 10:11:15 AM
Do some digging on LSN. There are plenty of people with sub 3.0s who got into great schools. I'm sorry for the let down though.
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: hawvaad2008 on December 13, 2007, 04:41:02 PM
It is a numbers game:  If you're below the median in GPA you had better be above the median where the LSAT is concerned.  You have a really strong gpa trend which should keep you within the bubble.  I think you'll do just fine.  Focus on schools where you bring up their LSAT and relax.  Best of Luck!
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: mathlete on December 13, 2007, 06:39:38 PM
Crazy how when I woke up this morning I thought I had a 3.97...  I realize maybe all is not lost, but I'm not sure how I feel about banking everything on the off chance that I get lucky.  As Hannibal mentioned, admitting someone below the median is hurting the school's rank, and an adcom would have to feel pretty compelled to do this (while at the same time denying someone who does have the stats to get in).  This just changes everything, as I've never even considered a sub-T14 school.  Anyone think I'd still have a fair shot at Virginia applying ED and being a legacy?  What if I was in state?  (Probably not, but I'll still throw it out there.)

For what it's worth, mathematically it's possible to pull things up to a 3.3-3.4 by the time I graduate, but even that's well below the median at any T14.  (I think)  I'm also a little apprehensive about majoring in philosophy if law school's not in the cards...I'm def. not planning on teaching philosophy.

Oh well, I'm done w/ this for today.  Thanks for all the help though guys.

You'd be a fair-somewhat-reach shot if you had an LSAC 3.97 GPA and a 166 LSAT. Right now, you're an auto ding. Probably from any school in the top 25. A school like BC might overlook your situation.

I'd start getting used to the idea of a lower T1/upper T2

Case in point: http://lawschoolnumbers.com/search_users.php?action=search&cycle=4&lsat1_condition=greater&lsat1=165&lsat2=167&gpa_lsdas1_condition=greater&gpa_lsdas1=2.95&gpa_lsdas2=3.10&gpa_degree1_condition=greater&gpa_degree1=&gpa_degree2=&rank_in_condition=greater&rank_in=&rank_out_condition=greater&rank_out=&school_type_condition=1&school_type=&state=0&location_condition=1&location=&major_condition=1&major=&race_condition=1&race=&sex=All&international=All&urm=All&multiple_lsat=0&x=33&y=9
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Hannibal on December 14, 2007, 09:42:14 AM
My friend was in an identical situation: Freshman year of D's, F's, and a lot of screwing around followed by nearly straight A's starting eight years later.  It didn't work out for him the way I thought it would.  He had a 166 LSAT, and didn't get in to any of the T1's he applied to, and was even dinged by a couple T2's.

I think you can throw all the upward trending out the window.  If you are a white male, then all they will see is the sub 3.0 GPA.  If you are below the medians, then accepting you does nothing but hurt the school in the rankings.  You have to bring something special (URM, amazing softs) to the table in order to offset the numerical hit you are asking the school to take by admitting you.

This is bogus.

I had a 3.6 GPA before LSAC, 3.2 after ( I had 3 F's on my transcript from my frosh year). I took two years of from school, sorted out my poo, and returned with pretty much a 4.0 since.

I scored a 164 on my LSAT and I was admitted into every school I applied to ranked 34 and below, and waitlisted at several 19-34 (two of which dinged me, two accepted me and one I'm attending).

Take care with your GPA addendum and your personal statement. Make sure you explain the reasons for the F's, own it, and show that you've dug yourself from that whole, maturity, progressed, etc.

Of course, if your grade trend sucks and/or you have no valid way of explaining those F's it may turn out differently.

My advice - look forward to a world of waitlists.

Not bogus - I didn't just make this up...

I stand by my assertion that if you are below the median GPA then you are a liability to that school in the rankings.  You have to bring something else to the table in order to justify acceptance.  This could be a higher LSAT, work experience, exotic URM-iness, or even outstanding maturation and growth between your two attempts in undergrad that could bring a unique perspective to the classroom.

My friend's experience is only an example that fits within my general argument.  Keep in mind that he had no excuse for his F's, and worked as a used car salesman and a real estate agent during his time off - possibly the two smarmiest professions.  Certainly apply to the T14, I have no idea if an AdComm will see your life experience as sufficient to overcome your substandard freshman GPA.
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Oddibemcd on December 14, 2007, 07:08:04 PM
My friend was in an identical situation: Freshman year of D's, F's, and a lot of screwing around followed by nearly straight A's starting eight years later.  It didn't work out for him the way I thought it would.  He had a 166 LSAT, and didn't get in to any of the T1's he applied to, and was even dinged by a couple T2's.

I think you can throw all the upward trending out the window.  If you are a white male, then all they will see is the sub 3.0 GPA.  If you are below the medians, then accepting you does nothing but hurt the school in the rankings.  You have to bring something special (URM, amazing softs) to the table in order to offset the numerical hit you are asking the school to take by admitting you.

This is bogus.

I had a 3.6 GPA before LSAC, 3.2 after ( I had 3 F's on my transcript from my frosh year). I took two years of from school, sorted out my poo, and returned with pretty much a 4.0 since.

I scored a 164 on my LSAT and I was admitted into every school I applied to ranked 34 and below, and waitlisted at several 19-34 (two of which dinged me, two accepted me and one I'm attending).

Take care with your GPA addendum and your personal statement. Make sure you explain the reasons for the F's, own it, and show that you've dug yourself from that whole, maturity, progressed, etc.

Of course, if your grade trend sucks and/or you have no valid way of explaining those F's it may turn out differently.

My advice - look forward to a world of waitlists.

Not bogus - I didn't just make this up...

I stand by my assertion that if you are below the median GPA then you are a liability to that school in the rankings.  You have to bring something else to the table in order to justify acceptance.  This could be a higher LSAT, work experience, exotic URM-iness, or even outstanding maturation and growth between your two attempts in undergrad that could bring a unique perspective to the classroom.

My friend's experience is only an example that fits within my general argument.  Keep in mind that he had no excuse for his F's, and worked as a used car salesman and a real estate agent during his time off - possibly the two smarmiest professions.  Certainly apply to the T14, I have no idea if an AdComm will see your life experience as sufficient to overcome your substandard freshman GPA.

TITCR: Upward trending and the fact that you have done well are all overshadowed by the fact that you will have a low GPA. This is anecdotal, but I talked to other people in the same situation last year and it was the same response. If you are a white male, you are two numbers...GPA and LSAT. The only people that are getting a bump are URM's and legacies.

My first foray into UG ended up with a 1.5. Like you, when I went back I was carrying a 3.97. After forwarding my transcripts I had a 3.27. Along with a 171 I got into exactly two schools ranked 10-14. I would first advise that you get an LSAT score before worrying too much. You pull a 163, the question is moot.

If you break 170, then think about cramming as many credits as you can to bring the GPA up. If you can get a 170+ with a GPA over 3.25 you have a much better shot at cracking the T-14 and even there it's a lower one. I believe there is one guy in my class who had a GPA below 3...he came in with great work experience (patents and stuff.)

It's nice to hand hold, but with a GPA under 3 your options are limited.
Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: Chessiesmile on December 14, 2007, 11:30:25 PM
Oddibemed-

I couldn't agree more.  Everything's banking on a killer LSAT score.  Score a 170, and I think I've got a decent shot at Cornell and Georgetown.  (As you yourself have confirmed.)  Also, for what it's worth, I must have miscalculated the first time around...  After plugging everything into the gpa calculator again, I've realized if I keep up the near-4.0 work I'll have a 3.3-3.4 at the end of junior year, and a 3.6ish by graduation.  So waiting an extra year to apply is always an option.

Seeing as how all my plans are dictated by that LSAT score, do you think I should get it out of the way earlier than planned?  (I always figured I'd take it during the summer of '09, the summer before I apply.)  I guess it doesn't really matter, it's just that I'm anxious to see where I stand.

Anyhow, thanks for the advice.  That goes for everyone else too.

Oh yeah, btw, just how much does it help being a legacy?  I've got this advantage at Virginia, but I'm thinking it won't matter much.  Just thought I'd ask.
Title: Goaliechica
Post by: filet o' fish on December 16, 2007, 06:00:14 AM
Goaliechica

Title: Re: F's in lsac gpa=totally screwed?
Post by: rsr28 on December 16, 2007, 07:11:00 AM
...

Oh yeah, btw, just how much does it help being a legacy?  I've got this advantage at Virginia, but I'm thinking it won't matter much.  Just thought I'd ask.

Legacy only really matters if they are a CLOSE relative (parent, sibling, or grandparent) and graduated from the LAW SCHOOL.  Even then, if they aren't some kind of medium- (or major-) donor nobody will really notice.  Oddi... made a good point in saying that it's not going to automatically get you in to a ridiculous reach -- instead it will at the very least move your app from the auto-ding pile into a more thorough review stage.  Once you get there, though, you have to make it worth their while to admit you.

Only if they have donated a wing or something will it make a real substantial difference.