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Author Topic: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere  (Read 9235 times)

Cabra

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2008, 11:11:47 AM »
All I am saying is I am very confident that she didn't screw up the personal statement. I base that on the fact that I know her well, have read many things she has written in the past. Again, I am only speculating (as I have said at least twice now) because I did not read it.



But just b/c she's a generally good writer and has written good things in the past does not in any way support a conclusion that her PS "must have" been good, too.  People turn out duds, it may have been well written but on a boring subject that adcoms didn't feel told them anything about her, etc.  I'm a relatively good writer, but I know I've written some crappy stuff before.

Here's the thing--a personal statement can be extremely well-written and still do a crap job of representing the applicant as a good candidate for law school--or even hurt the applicant.  Most likely her record really hurt her and she didn't do enough in the addendum to recover from it--and her personal statement probably didn't help her recover either. You can't disregard the possibility that the statement was a problem because a person writes well--she may have inadvertently chosen a topic that made her look more morally dubious rather than less!
CLS 2011

SASS

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2008, 11:26:09 AM »
All I am saying is I am very confident that she didn't screw up the personal statement. I base that on the fact that I know her well, have read many things she has written in the past. Again, I am only speculating (as I have said at least twice now) because I did not read it.



But just b/c she's a generally good writer and has written good things in the past does not in any way support a conclusion that her PS "must have" been good, too.  People turn out duds, it may have been well written but on a boring subject that adcoms didn't feel told them anything about her, etc.  I'm a relatively good writer, but I know I've written some crappy stuff before.

Here's the thing--a personal statement can be extremely well-written and still do a crap job of representing the applicant as a good candidate for law school--or even hurt the applicant.  Most likely her record really hurt her and she didn't do enough in the addendum to recover from it--and her personal statement probably didn't help her recover either. You can't disregard the possibility that the statement was a problem because a person writes well--she may have inadvertently chosen a topic that made her look more morally dubious rather than less!

Yeah, I totally agree with this. I think it was the first or second page I conceded writing an addendum about her mistakes probably was not the best way to address the problem. Kinda like ignoring the elephant in the room. I think it should have been dealt with upfront in the personal statement itself. I just disagree with the notion she didn't write it well and that is what tipped her in the reject pile. I don't think it was bad or presented her in a "morally dubious" light. I don't think her topic lent itself to that type of interpretation but who knows. I am going to present her will all the opinions I have received on this board so she can choose how to fix it. That is the best I can do.

Addendum Boy

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2008, 12:01:01 PM »
I would tell her that her best bet is to set up an appointment with an admissions counselor at any of the schools in which she got rejected. You will get a lot of conflicting advice at times on forums in general, which is expected. It can drive someone crazy. There are people within admissions that are helpful and more than willing to lend insight on what one can do better to improve their chances of being admitted and also can clear up speculation on why one got rejected. Do not automatically chalk it up to a criminal record.

As far as the bar is concerned, tell her to contact the state bar association office where she lives:

http://www.abanet.org/legaled/baradmissions/barcont.html
 
I, addendum boy, called the NJ office in reference to my criminal record and had a great conversation with the woman there.I didn't have any convictions related to drugs but I really do not thing your friend is a sure shot for being denied from the bar for her convictions. Several things are taken into consideration admitting someone to the bar with any criminal background. It is true that certain convictions are weighed more heavily than others in the bar admittance process, but she will get her shot before a committee to explain herself.

JeNeSaisLaw

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2008, 12:09:18 PM »
Yeah, I totally agree with this. I think it was the first or second page I conceded writing an addendum about her mistakes probably was not the best way to address the problem. Kinda like ignoring the elephant in the room. I think it should have been dealt with upfront in the personal statement itself.

No, that is not what Cabra was saying. She said that it doesn't follow from being well-written that it is a good personal statement. She's not making a claim about the quality of the statement - nor is anybody else in this thread -and she is not saying that the proper place to address the issue is not the personal statement. Again, a personal statement can be well written and not be appropriate/good for the application.

It might also be that it is the appropriate place to discuss it, but not in an explanatory way (which is why an addendum would probably still be needed). It's all about being a total package, and if anything leads the adcomm to thinking she's still (as Cabra nicely put :p) morally dubious, it's going to hurt- NO matter how well written.



I just disagree with the notion she didn't write it well and that is what tipped her in the reject pile. I don't think it was bad or presented her in a "morally dubious" light. I don't think her topic lent itself to that type of interpretation but who knows. I am going to present her will all the opinions I have received on this board so she can choose how to fix it. That is the best I can do.

Let's go over this again. You. did. not. read. the. statement. You continuing to disagree (with a strawman nonetheless- nobody is arguing that it put her in the reject pile, just that it's worth reexamining because EVERYTHING is worth reexamining because she got *&^% on) is fanatical and silly.

But at least you're going to present it to her.

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SASS

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2008, 12:19:04 PM »
Yeah, I totally agree with this. I think it was the first or second page I conceded writing an addendum about her mistakes probably was not the best way to address the problem. Kinda like ignoring the elephant in the room. I think it should have been dealt with upfront in the personal statement itself.

No, that is not what Cabra was saying. She said that it doesn't follow from being well-written that it is a good personal statement. She's not making a claim about the quality of the statement - nor is anybody else in this thread -and she is not saying that the proper place to address the issue is not the personal statement. Again, a personal statement can be well written and not be appropriate/good for the application.

It might also be that it is the appropriate place to discuss it, but not in an explanatory way (which is why an addendum would probably still be needed). It's all about being a total package, and if anything leads the adcomm to thinking she's still (as Cabra nicely put :p) morally dubious, it's going to hurt- NO matter how well written.



I just disagree with the notion she didn't write it well and that is what tipped her in the reject pile. I don't think it was bad or presented her in a "morally dubious" light. I don't think her topic lent itself to that type of interpretation but who knows. I am going to present her will all the opinions I have received on this board so she can choose how to fix it. That is the best I can do.

Let's go over this again. You. did. not. read. the. statement. You continuing to disagree (with a strawman nonetheless- nobody is arguing that it put her in the reject pile, just that it's worth reexamining because EVERYTHING is worth reexamining because she got poo on) is fanatical and silly.

But at least you're going to present it to her.




Look, I am done here. I am not going to argue this point anymore. I conceded that I did not read it. I am not being fanatical I am just saying it wasn't dispositive. The criminal record probably is. I realize the whole application is lacking. AGAIN, the point was how does one overcome the criminal record. For which I got great replies, such as volunteering somewhere, admissions consultants, and of course, revise your personal statement.

So, thank you and all the posts for your wonderful and most appreciated advice. Good luck on finals to everyone!  ;D

CRDFNSKY

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2008, 01:12:49 PM »
I wonder what the circumstances of the theft are. That can make a big difference. For example, was it a petty theft offense or a theft by deception kind of thing? Was the theft related to one of the pot charges in any way? What about the pot? Was she charged with trafficking or just simple possession? If she was charged with trafficking, did she catch that charge because she actually trafficked or because the amount in possession exceeded the base amount for a prima facie trafficking charge? Then there's the million dollar question; Are any of these felonies? If not, were any of the original charges felonies that were amended? Were any of the charges amended? It would be nice to know more about the circumstances. It's going to be the story that matters, not the charge/conviction itself.

jeffislouie

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2008, 01:31:35 PM »
Hey,
Let me begin by making sure you understand that I don't think anyone is being malicious about this.  But we are all pretty much saying the same thing and while you aren't opposed to it, you seem to want to focus on a solution while downplaying the one's provided.
To review:
She may be Hemmingway for all we know, but what we don't know (including you) is if her essay was any good.  Well written IS important, but not the end all of the matter.  She has criminal convictions on her record.  Based on what you have represented, she tried to ignore this in the PS and put it into an addendum.  Here's the thing - they may not bother to get that far.... 
SO, how does she overcome these issues?  Well, it may not be something she can overcome.  What?  Yeah, I said it. :-)
Here's the thing - it may not be 'who she is now' but it does reflect on her character.  For example, if she is a repeat offender, it speaks to the fact that SHE DID NOT LEARN HER LESSON.
This is not what law schools like to see in their potential students.
She may NOW be reformed, but it may be too recent for them to consider true reformation.  To put it in another way - Imagine you had a stack of job apps on your table and you were responsible for hiring someone to work for your business.  You have three applicants, all with similar educations.  One applicant has been convicted of more than one drug related offense and a shoplifting offense (and whatever else that you either don't know or haven't disclosed to us).  Who would you hire?  A person with a criminal history or someone who has no such issue?
That's what admissions counselors are looking at.  Competition for law school is intense.  Schools always get more qualified applicants than they can admit.  Always.  As a result, your friend will always be at a major disadvantage.  She needs to be aware of this.  It may be a foregone conclusion that no matter what she does, she will not get into law school.
The things you CAN do to help begin and end with reading her application file, including her PS and addendums.
You can't change her grades, her past, her LSAT, etc, but you can change her PS and addendums.
I'm sorry to say this, but there isn't much more you can do.
It is also worth mentioning that even if she does get in, she may not be able to pass the C&F part of the bar exam, which would make her law school experience somewhat wasteful.
I have a close friend with similar numbers to your friend (his GPA is a little lower) who did not get into law school because, we believe, he had gotten a DUI at age 20 to which he plead guilty.
I wish your friend the best of luck, but I am not sure she is going to have the opportunity she desires.  She should apply to lower tier schools to try and get in SOMEWHERE, because in the more competitive, higher ranked schools, there will always be applicants with her numbers, but no criminal record.  It is sad to say, but her irresponsible behavior in her past is coming back to bite her.  This is the reason many of us avoided criminal behavior - we never wanted it to affect the rest of our lives.
I truly wish her the best, but it is time to be realistic with her. 
Here are the suggestions that may help:
1) Review her PS, addendums, and (if possible) her LOR's.
2) Have her speak to an admissions staff member at the schools she was denied.  She has to ask the tough questions.  "Based on my application, do you see any way that I can attend this school or am I wasting my time."
3) After doing both, and hopefully getting something positive out of it, have her talk to a reputable consultant.  It might help.
4) If she gets dinged again, she may have to wait - as much as a few years - before she even has a shot.

Sorry, but unless some genius pops up with a sure fire answer, I think your friend is in trouble.
Good luck!
Justice is tangy....

SASS

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2008, 01:41:33 PM »
I wonder what the circumstances of the theft are. That can make a big difference. For example, was it a petty theft offense or a theft by deception kind of thing? Was the theft related to one of the pot charges in any way? What about the pot? Was she charged with trafficking or just simple possession? If she was charged with trafficking, did she catch that charge because she actually trafficked or because the amount in possession exceeded the base amount for a prima facie trafficking charge? Then there's the million dollar question; Are any of these felonies? If not, were any of the original charges felonies that were amended? Were any of the charges amended? It would be nice to know more about the circumstances. It's going to be the story that matters, not the charge/conviction itself.

And I keep returning....Anyone else avoiding studying  ;D

The shoplifting was petty. By her account this was right after she was pulled out of school freshman year and she was basically crying out for attention due to her immaturity. It was something small from a department store when she was 18.

The pot charges were not trafficking. Not felonies. She had such a small amount all three times she was only given a ticket with a fine and able to go on her way. She may have been actually arrested once, but I am not sure. Either way, I do know they were always misdemeanors. This also happened from 18-20 and she is now 25 so it really is haunting her.

I think the problem is the number of times she has gotten in trouble. Someone pointed out earlier that the school may assume she has an addiction problem. She doesn't, though I am not sure how or if she conveyed this to the schools in anyway. She may have.

SASS

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2008, 01:53:27 PM »
Jeffislouie,

I know that people are not intentionally being malicious. Like you said, I am focusing on the solution, not the problem. The problem is obvious. It needs to be fixed if she wants to go to law school so I was seeing if anyone had some suggestions. Of course there is not one sure fire way.

Thank you for your post though. It was informative and I appreciate the part about your friends experience. Anyone with experience with this type of thing are certainly welcome. I fear she may not be able to attend law school either....

CRDFNSKY

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Re: 168, 3.6 gpa Rejected everywhere
« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2008, 04:47:32 PM »
I know it's been said before, but I would call a couple of these schools and explain the predicament. Ask them if someone would be willing to talk, and shed some light on the situation. She should hear it from the horse's mouth. I wouldn't beat around the bush at all. She should straight up ask if the theft and the pot is the issue, and, if it is, what can she do about it. That's the easiest, simplest and cheapest way of dealing with it.