Law School Discussion

foreign transcript

foreign transcript
« on: July 06, 2008, 11:22:15 PM »
So I just registered for the LSDAS, and I'm a little confused about how they do foreign transcripts.  It says unless I went for one year or more not to send them a foreign transcript.  I studied abroad for one semester, and none of my grades are reflected on my undergrad transcript (only pass/fail credit).  I made all A's that semester and would really like the grades to show up on my LSDAS report.  Is that possible?  Should I request that my study abroad school send a transcript anyway and see if LSDAS will accept it? 

Re: foreign transcript
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 12:34:52 AM »
I'm pretty sure the reason they make that policy so explicit is that they want to make it clear that they only count grades from people who were enrolled abroad for more than a year, not grades from study abroad for a semester or a year. There are several reasons why this could be the case, and everyone I've talked to has guessed that there's just no way to get them to count those grades.

In any case, I'm about to go abroad for a year so if you discover differently, please post about it.


Re: foreign transcript
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 08:36:56 PM »
The whole forign transcript thing is a complete mystery. I actually called LSAC about it recently and they gave me the mega run-around. I am in the opposite position, however. My BA and 1st MA are both forign, and I have no idea what they do with my transcripts--especially since I spent a semester 'abroad' in the US. LSAC said contact individual schools to see how they handle them. Those schools had nothing interesting to say. My LSAT is 177, but my GPA could be anywhere from 3.3 to 3.7, depending on how they do things. I think people in any sort of situation like ours are simply going to have to just send in their stuff and hope for the best...


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Re: foreign transcript
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 08:42:52 PM »
yes with what tome said, goes for Canadians as well since our gpa's aren't assessed on the US scale. All foreign transcripts (except Canadian) need to go through the CAS service to determine your gpa. It's just going to come down to that. I have no idea where my gpa is going to fall on the LSAC spectrum, but I imagine it's not going to be pretty. Thankfully though, our transcripts go out with our academic summary so hopefully that should clear some things up. I imagine those who studied in Canada or the UK, the adcomm's will understand the different grading systems. Beyond that, I imagine they rely purely on the CAS.


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Re: foreign transcript
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2008, 11:22:25 PM »
Foreign GPAs aren't re-calculated. The CAS report will show the original GPA you received from the foreign institution, and this GPA is not included in the process of calculating your LSDAS GPA.

Logickills - unfortinately, even if LSAC accepts the transcript from your semester abroad, it won't affect your LSDAS GPA since foreign GPAs don't count as part of your LSDAS GPA. You should send your transcript anyway (if not to LSAC, then to individual schools) - if it's sent as part of your application package, the schools you apply to may consider the grades from your semester abroad, even if LSAC doesn't.

Tome - Your situation is similar to mine, only I spent a year 'abroad' in Canada. I believe the GPA from your semester in the US will be calculated as your LSDAS GPA (if they accept transcripts from single semesters), and your BA and MA GPAs will only show up in the CAS report as stated on your original school transcripts. But in your case, law schools will generally look at the CAS reports rather than your LSDAS GPA.

Hope this helps!

Re: foreign transcript
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 12:30:19 AM »
BlueGreen - you are correct. Tome - your GPA from the semester abroad in the U.S will be the only grade reported on the LSDAS GPA, which is separate from the CAS report. I am in this exact situation - i got my first professional degree overseas which included 1 year study abroad in the U.S. and my LSDAS report only shows the breakdown of my GPA from the study abroad and has a little footnote saying that I'm 'foreign' - which should (hopefully) direct the ad comms to the CAS report which is very generic to say the least.

It's very difficult for them to quantify the quality of a foreign institution unless it is very well known - e.g. Oxford or Cambridge, so I think this is why they would look at both your CAS report as well as your LSAT performance to see how you & your institution would be placed when compared to other American institutions. I would even say that LSAT has more weight over GPA for international students than U.S residents for this very reason.

If anything, tome, your 177 would place you very favourably amongst other applicants in ad comm's eyes, even with a 3.3 (that being the worst case scenario).

In either case, this shouldn't hurt/help anyone IMHO.

Re: foreign transcript
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2008, 10:38:00 PM »
What if your foreign GPA comes from an American program such as CIEE or ACS? They tell you you should have your transcript to LSAC but I'm not sure how to do it since it does not count as a foreign school and its not really a second school since I only went for a term (nor is it officially a college)

I'm no expert on this but they say you must register for LSDAS and send in your transcript to be assessed independently by JD CAS only if you've studied outside of U.S. for more than 1 year, regardless of whether you are foreign (non-resident) or resident. If the course you took does not count toward your undergrad degree then you only need to list it in your education history but you probably won't need to send in the transcript to LSAC.

Amy Johnson is there to help so I would ask her for second opinion. Alternatively just call up LSAC  ;)