i'm in basically the same position you were in a year ago... applying pt with a 161/3.4 from ucla, though I don't have an addendum explaining my gpa at all (whereas yours was really convincing). You were also really smart to include specifics about clinics and profs, whereas I wasn't. The only good soft factors I have are my work exp. and time abroad. I'm really curious to see what's going to happen there, as I realize i'm really on the edge... Based on LSN, I'm guessing I'm going to hit the waitlist there, at which time I'll definitely be writing them and may even take the lsat again in february.
one question i have is... you mentioned you were expecting b's this semester, and I suppose that now you're in classes with other part-timers... but how do you foresee yourself doing there in the next 2.5 years... will it be at all possible for you to graduate in the top third? i'm just concerned about possibly being condemned to the bottom half if i was to get in there thru the "backdoor"...
your numbers are definitely borderline. the basic rule about GW PT admissions seems to be- as far as i've seen on LSN and from talking with people i've met- that as long as you're above 160 on your LSAT, you stand a decent chance. honestly, our GPA's are on the lower end of the band, so you never know. if GW PT is something you really want to do, i think retaking the LSAT might not be a bad idea. otherwise, have you considered sending another LOR (assuming you haven't maxed those out...i got accepeted before they got my second one)? i think work experience is what matters the most, and you have that, so that's good. time abroad- i forgot to mention that i had that too, but i'm not sure how much it helped. a lot of people seem to have that, so it probably depends on how long the time abroad was for, and what reasons it was for. honestly, i wish i had more advice there, but again, i don't think my own soft factors were all that impressive.
your concern about grades is valid. i do foresee myself finishing in the top third, personally, and if not then in the top half. for me, this semster was mostly about figuring out how to study. i'll probably get B's on my two exams (maybe a C on one, maybe an A on the other...who knows), but next semester i don't foresee any problems. now i know how to study, where i want to be at during different points in the semester, how to outline, etc. it all makes sense now. i really love law school and the entire studying process. i'm just a slow learner.
additionally, while 1L grades are certainly most important, i think my rank will only increase after this year when i can take classes where the final grade is based on a paper (though it's only pass/fail, i've gotten the kinds of grades i wanted in my research and writing class). and what got me this semester was not that i didn't know the material- i think it was just lacking a firm ability to take exams. that will only improve next semester... i personally gurantee myself of that.
so i think it all depends on your attitude towards school. my study group is one hard-core studying group of people...but some of them have issues with having no life outside of studying for law school. i really don't. i've always loved school and studying, and i love law school too. it was just a matter of poor time management and study skills this semester, which i know i'll have all worked out by next semester. other people i know just want to "get by" while doing as little as possible (like people do everywhere). i don't foresee them doing well because law school isn't that kind of place. as long as you have the drive and dedication- no matter what reason it's for- you shouldn't have any problem.
one issue with the whole PT-->FT status change is that, having less credits at first year's end, you're ranked a bit below your FT peers with the same grades as you. of course, this can change if you take a graded summer course. i plan to study abroad over 1L summer, where the classes are super easy, so i feel fine about all that.
now if only i could have this semseter erased from my record.