Law School Discussion

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« on: November 14, 2004, 04:00:16 PM »
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LN135

Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2004, 04:06:26 PM »
I suggest you take out the part about the 3.75 and instead end with a summary of how your grades went up after your transition to your new family life.  You don't need to do the calculation for them.  I would also take out a few of the details -- maybe just say, "my twice-divorced mother, who I had not realized was dating anyone new, suddenly announced that she was getting married.  For a number of reasons, this was a difficult adjustment..."  Just my 2c.  :)

jayhawk

Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2004, 04:19:07 PM »
I don't really think that this addendum is necessary.  First of all, your GPA is 3.7, which I don't think is addendum-worthy.  Many people would love to have 3.7's.  Secondly, I think that it could make you look bad. The fact that your mother getting remarried had that big of an impact on your school work is not a good thing. Now I understand that it was more than just a typical remarriage, but at the same time, crappy things happen (often worse than what happened in this situation) and you want to show that you can deal with stuff without it affecting every part of your life.  If your mother's marriage had this big of an impact on you during undergrad, what's going to happen in law school when someone you love dies?  Are you going to drop out?  By the way, I'm not saying that I expect or hope for someone you love to die, but merely suggesting a hypothetical situation.   So, I don't think that you really need to write this addendum, but if you do, a few suggestions: I would probably go into more detail.  I understand you wanting to leave out sordid details, but as it is there is really no reason why your GPA should have been so dramatically affected.  If there were other things going on that will be more persuasive, include them.  Also, you should reword the sentence that begings 'Unbeknownst to me'; it sounds like your friend's mother died for several months.

jayhawk

Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2004, 05:04:37 PM »
Thank you both for your comments; I really appreciate the input.

I know that a 3.7 isn't bad overall, but honestly it is not that great for the schools to which I'm applying. And it does frustrate me because I could have better if I had been more focused at first.  I got a 4.0 the last year, but it still doesn't erase those years of goofing off!

As for the reasons my grades dropped, of course there's more to the story than my mother getting remarried in and of itself.  There's even more to it than the fact it was my friend's old stepfather, which was really inconsequential in terms of my feelings on the matter.

That's my question - do I go into "Well, the first jerk my mom married took all her money and cheated on her while she was pregnant, and the last jerk was so abusive to me that she  promised she wouldn't get married again, so I didn't want her bringing yet another jerk into my life" or should I leave it more vague? Is there a way I can phrase this so they could read between the lines?  I really think the addendum is necessary especially since I was taking infantile required intro classes like Introduction to Theater and making Bs.

Oh, and yeah, I killed the "Unbeknownst" sentence.  I agree, it wasn't good.

Well when she married the other guys you still got good grades, right?  If so, then it's not relevant in this addendum.  When I said to add more details, I meant that you need to explain how the marriage affected your grades.  Lots of people's parents get remarried while they're in college and still maintain their GPA's.  If you are going to write this addendum, you need to explain in more detail what it was about this marriage that made your grades suffer.  Were you really close to your mother?  Did you live at home at the time?  Did they make you pay for the wedding?  If there's not something more to the story, then in my opinion, it just sounds like an excuse for slacking off that semester. 

LN135

Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2004, 05:41:48 PM »
Mobell, sorry we're giving you conflicting advice.  :)  I agree with you that an addendum is warranted.  If an adcom sees a 3.1 semester surrounded by 3.7+ semesters, they will wonder what happened.  If you gloss over it, they might think it's so bad that you didn't want to tell them!  (Read deloggio.com for more on this.) 

However, explaining a 3.1 semester is not the same as explaining a felony conviction.  It's not so awful that you need to spend a long time on it -- just be as honest as possible without making too big a deal of it.  Your job is to assure them that you aren't covering up something really scandalous.  I do agree, though, that you might want to add maybe one sentence to explain why this marriage affected you so much.  I wouldn't add more than one, though -- what they really want to know is that 1. you weren't smoking crack before class or anything and 2. whatever it was that affected you that semester won't be a problem in law school.

On point 2., I think you could do a little more to convince them that you won't have any more bad semesters.  Your post-sophomore year grades are proof that things have worked out, and you may want to highlight that.  You may also want to throw in something about how this experience helped you realize that you can't let every decision your mother makes affect you like this, so they don't think you're a future risk.

Above all, I would keep it as short as possible without sacrificing relevant info.  Lots of people have bad semesters.  If I were you, I'd explain what I have to, then focus on the positive. 

I know you're getting conflicting opinions here...in the end, it's up to you to figure out which approach you're more comfortable with.  Good luck!

gidro

Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2004, 05:49:19 PM »
I agree with jayhawkgirl that the addendum isn't necessary. .05 of a grade point does not play a great enough role in your application.  The adcom probably isn't wondering why you got a 3.7 instead of a 3.75.

jayhawk

Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2004, 05:56:32 PM »
I think that one is a million times better.  It sounds much more sincere, and includes relevant details but leaves out what is not necessary.  I really think this addendum will address the issue, without sounding like you are whining and trying to make excuses.  Good luck!  ;D

helendemilo

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Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2004, 05:58:55 PM »
I know someone said not to, but I liked it when you included the statement "Without this semester my overall GPA is a 3.75."  It makes me not have to do any work as a reader, and I think that's what you're aiming for.

LN135

Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2004, 06:01:45 PM »
I like the new version better than the old one.  I would tweak it in the following ways:
1.  Make it clear you had no idea your mother was dating him before she announced she was getting married.  That detail is important, because it explains why her announcement might have been particularly disruptive.  
2.  I'd also take out "runs counter to my grades..." (awkward).  Instead, I'd add a sentence at the end saying, "then I did really well junior and senior year."  (Better-phrased, of course.)  :)

I think this will work out fine for you -- a 3.7 is great, so you're not in a position where you actually need them to calculate your index number without that bad semester.  You just want to assure them that the difficulties you had then won't resurface in law school.  Going to go work on my own ps now.  Blech.  Good luck wrapping this up.

gidro

Re: Really need your opinion on this addendum
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2004, 06:13:20 PM »
I like the revised addendum much better.