« on: December 14, 2007, 10:08:04 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.