Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

Which section of the LSAT is the hardest?

Logical Reasoning
 9 (29%)
Reading Comprehension
 5 (16.1%)
Analytical (logic games)
 16 (51.6%)
They are equally hard
 1 (3.2%)
They are equally easy
 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 24

Author Topic: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4  (Read 5916 times)

1sweetworld4136

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What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« on: January 11, 2006, 06:30:49 PM »
I apologize for this rather horrible and probably depressing first post, but I would like to see if anyone is in a similar position, or, in the alternative, if anyone else has been through this and survived.  Any wisdom, suggestions, and constructive criticism (but not insults) would be appreciated.  A fair warning that this is a winded post.

I'm at a t4 law school.  Today is my first day back for 2nd Semester, and I've been so distracted staring at the bookshelf at my cubicle thinking about my future.  A few days ago I received my fall semester grades along with a dreaded academic advisory letter from the Dean.  I have a 1.71 GPA.  If I were at most "real" law schools, I'd be down the road already, but this school does not dismiss students for academic deficiency until after the 1L year.  I have been mulling over my options, which are listed in the poll.  If anyone can think of any other options, I'm open to suggestions.

The way I see it is that I should apply for a leave of absence.  However, I have no grounds for it other than wanting to take time off to reconsider.  It is my understanding that in general extenuating circumstances are required.  I would still like to apply, being honest of course.  The truth of the matter is, I didn't apply myself first semester.  I did not make the changes I needed to make, and I made some destructive decisions.  I'm trying to clean up my life right now, but I fear it may be too late.  I am attending AA meetings right now and I'm doing fairly well, but that probably doesn't matter anymore. I do not blame alcohol for my own shortcomings, and would that really be an excuse?  Also along these lines is the option of applying for a restart, which would effectively amount to a leave of absence with a fresh GPA and transcript, and this has the same requirement of extenuating circumstances.

I've also laid out what I think to be my other options in the poll above above.  I had planned to use this school as a stepping stone to transfer "back home" to a state school with cheaper tuition and a part-time program so that I could work and put myself through law school, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.  Even if I pull the maximum allotted GPA here (a 4.33), by Spring I would have at best a 3.0, but the curve here is very screwy and the chances of that happening are close to non-existant.  That 3.0 would put me on the borderline for getting into that school. 

I have little doubt that I can stick it out and pull at least a 2.3 next semester to pass.  If I'm going to finish law school here, my career prospects are basically shot.  The only way I'm going to get onto law review here is a write-on - and if my writing and research grade is any indication, that's not going to happen.  My class rank will be at best in the top 33%, and the best possible GPA would be a 3.89, but again, that's assuming all A+ grades (4.33) for the remaining 5 semesters. If I were at a more prestigious law school, this wouldn't be a big deal, but being near the bottom of the barrel is hard to stomach.  If I do this, I'm doomed to spend two more years in an area I absolutely hate.  Sounds like I've already answered my own question, right?  After law school, how much am I really going to make, and how much trouble am I going to have finding work being at the very bottom of the totem pole (nationwide!!!)?  My other concern is that due to the fact that I am attending on 100% loans on only my father's credit history as a co-signer and obviously no longer eligibile for any type of institutional based grants, scholarships, or tuition assistance that might have been an option at some point, I will be unable to fund the remainder of my education.  All of my undergrad loans referenced except obviously the Stafford and Perkins have been taken out with my father as a co-signer.


My other option is to take stock of my situation and admit that I made a mistake - I've spent approximately 21k already between the conditional admission program I completed this summer (top of the class of 96 people, btw) and last semester, add that on to my 45k undergrad debt and I'm about $65,000 in the hole.  I am still eligible for a 100% tuition refund within the first week.  If I do this, will I be required to return my overpayment funds (I'm assuming they are from my private loan and not any Stafford) once a check is disbursed, or can I keep it to use for moving expenses and integrating into the brutal real working world during my grace period?  I have a degree in political science, which is basically good for school of some type and nothing practical.  Is there anything else I can do with this otherwise useless degree should I persue this option?  I've considered entering the service or Peace Corps as a last resort.

Any answers to any questions posted, any wisdom, or any similar experiences are, again, appreciated.
 
In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.

~George Orwell

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

~Martin Luther King, Jr

Brisco

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2006, 06:58:25 PM »
I know its very difficult thing to do but you need to drop out and get that refund. The amount of debt you have now is manageable with a 30-40k a year job and there is absolutely no guarantee of what grades you will have next semester. The risk is just way too high to take on more loans.

T4s Rule!!!

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2006, 07:00:45 PM »
Simple...

Work the problem.  15% of my class got put in what we call "the short bus section or the helmet section, " (yes, its mean) cuz of sub 2.0 GPAS.  Out of a class of 150, that group will total about 30 before grades are done.  If they get back above a 2.0 and stay there they will have jobs.  You are not alone and can't change what is done.

1.  Do you want to be a lawyer?  If yes, stick with it and take all the help your school will give.  They have economic motivations for you to succeed and pass the bar on the first try.  

If not...you gave it a shot and its one of millions of choices in life that just didn't work out for you.  We all have it happen to us.

2.  (should be no. #1)  Your health.  Only thing that really matters.  No job/lifestyle worth getting sick over.  Invest in you...see doctors and join programs that help you on a path to happiness.

3.  You will get a job with a low Gpa.  It is the #1 fear of all students...you will work if you want to!
You will just have to pound the bricks hard with that resume, network, and sell yourself.

4.  Lastly, debt is a big deal when you are starting out.  Education is a great investment, so far you only owe the equivalent of a nice car.  You don't have to be an attorney to pay it back, it just makes sense that you should enjoy the ride a little!  Over the course of a lifetime you will spend far more money on things that suck... healthcare/car insurance/car payments etc. than fun stuff.  At the very least you should enjoy yourself when you spend/borrow for something that you want for just you (education).


You will survive...making tough decisions when you are down and emotional is very hard.  Find people who you love/count on...ASK for help.  A little embarrassment is natural, if this is the worst thing to happen in your life..count yourself lucky.  I'd love to give you a "stick with it speech," but only you know why you applied to law school in the first place and only you know if you want to stay.

Contract2008

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2006, 07:06:12 PM »
I have a few questions

"I've spent approximately 21k already between the conditional admission program I completed this summer (top of the class of 96 people, btw)"

1) Isn't the logic and reason behind the conditional program is to predict law school success.....don't they make it very similiar to an actual law school class and test it the way they do on a real law school class?  If so, it is very impressive that you finsihed at the top of the class of 96 people. How come you did so well on the conditional program and did so "poorly" on the real thing?

2) Your GPA is 1.71.  That's a very low grade in college, but maybe not in law school. Some schools (especialy Tier 4) have a very low curve such as a C.  If that's the case and you make a B- (2.67)average next semester, you can be above average in yoru class. What is your law school's curve?  What does this GPA place you in terms of class rank?

3) This might be a harsh question?  How come you made so much effort go get into law school (especially through the conditional program and doing so well on it) and not apply yourself when it comes to the real thing?  Do you think this (the answer to the above question) will prevent you from doing well this semester?  


1HellChicago

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2006, 07:26:49 PM »
I selected "other" b/c I'd pick EITHER
"stay and continue" if you really want to be a lawyer,
OR
"take a leave of absense" so you can explore other avenues and make some $$$ while you're deciding whether law school is right for you or not.

I earned a GPA I wasn't entirely happy with too, and am weighing the same concerns...

Your GPA sounds worse numerically than it does by it's letter grade: C-
If you want to be a lawyer, you can be one.

Contract2008

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2006, 07:34:07 PM »
I earned a GPA I wasn't entirely happy with too, and am weighing the same concerns...

Why are you weighing the same concerns when you almost made it to the Dean's List? 


Your GPA sounds worse numerically than it does by it's letter grade: C-
If you want to be a lawyer, you can be one.

Actually 1HellChicago is right, you 1L first semester grade is actually higher than a C-. 

By the way, WHO assign the reputation score?  How come mine is a NEGATIVE 2??? 

1HellChicago

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2006, 07:40:57 PM »
I earned a GPA I wasn't entirely happy with too, and am weighing the same concerns...

Why are you weighing the same concerns when you almost made it to the Dean's List? 


Your GPA sounds worse numerically than it does by it's letter grade: C-
If you want to be a lawyer, you can be one.

Actually 1HellChicago is right, you 1L first semester grade is actually higher than a C-. 

Wow, you have a good memory... I had mentioned something in another post about missing the Dean's List, but I didn't say by how much ;) Turns out it was by quite a bit (I barely got a 3.0). I know this isn't the same thing as a C- average, but it's all relative to an extent, isn't it? I thought my grades were the end of the world, and finally realized they aren't. (I'm one of those anal, anxious, "all or nothing" thinkers) I don't think the OP's grades are the end of his world, either. The chances are great that both of us successfully graduate and get jobs.

Contract2008

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2006, 07:56:15 PM »
Just for that lousy comment, my reputation score is now a negative 3 ????

1HellChicago

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2006, 08:01:12 PM »
Just for that lousy comment, my reputation score is now a negative 3 ????

What comment? Do you think the computer picks up on certain words? I don't know how reputation scores work, either.

Contract2008

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Re: What to Do with a 1.71 GPA at a <T4
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2006, 08:03:26 PM »
By the way, WHO assign the reputation score?  How come mine is a NEGATIVE 2??? 


THE Lousy comment above.