Law School Discussion

Has anyone ever been admitted with a poor UGPA?

Has anyone ever been admitted with a poor UGPA?
« on: November 03, 2008, 03:14:48 PM »
I look for advice/info online and the majority of people who leave messages have great GPAs but seem to think anything below a 3.4 or so is "bad." I'm a 27 yrd old female who just completed my undergrad degree in Dec. '07.  Here is the thing: My UGPA is terrible and I take full responsbility for it. I was not focused intitally when I was a freshman at a univeristy in NYC. I discovered that I didn't want to stay there and left school for about a year. I returned to a school in PA and ended up having to have those grades withdrawn due to a serious anxiety disorder.  After that I did decide to return and thought I wanted to go onto to vet school. In fact, I invested years of work/study in the veterinary field---unfortunately I was wrong and it was not for me. My anxiety disorder was crippling and I had several personal issues to deal with and I worked the entire time I was in school.
It took me a long time to finish my undergrad degree, but I changed majors and finished.  I could have just quit, but I didn't---I didn't discover that I wanted to go into law until the 1st semester of my senior year. I got As and Bs in philosophy and classes related to my major (I think my major GPA is in the 3s but my overall is in around 2.2 due to bad grades in science and math courses that I just don't excel in).  I had no idea I would want to go onto law school and I do realize that I my grades are not indicative of my abilities. 

I am scheduled to the take the LSAT on Dec.6 '08. I'm very nervous about it because I have so much riding on the test. I took a prep class and my last practice test was 145. I am definitely aiming to get in the 150s. I'm not looking to get into a top tier law school. I want to go into public law---not interested in working for a high power firm or anything along those lines. I'm also limited to where I can go because of family obligations. I'm older and my life is where I currently live. 

I can't believe that there aren't other students who are facing the same situation I am in---didn't live up to their ability during the undergrad and didn't know they would want to go to law school when "grew up." I have used some of the admission calculators online and it's depressing to see that based on my undergrad gpa NO SCHOOL will take me.  There have to be others who are in a similar boat.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I know I belong in law...I have the passion and ability but a poor undergrad background.

Re: Has anyone ever been admitted with a poor UGPA?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 04:48:21 PM »
Plenty of people have been admitted with poor UGPAs. Your particular issue is the LSAT score - not the UGPA. For many people who are out of school, there are often compelling reasons for arguing that the UGPA does not represent their potential. It is very difficult to argue that your LSAT score does not represent your potential - the LSAT is not a measure of your intelligence, but rather, a measure of preparation and dedication. This is the reason many people retake - to prove that they are diligent enough to do better.

A 145 simply isn't an adequate demonstration - this may sound brutal, but it's really just straightforward. With careful and consistent preparation, one should be able to do better. Especially with a poor GPA, the rest of your story has to compensate. You can make up for a poor GPA but you will be very hardpressed to makeup for a poor GPA AND a poor LSAT score.

Re: Has anyone ever been admitted with a poor UGPA?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 05:42:58 PM »
So if I were to not score as well as I'd like the first time around on the LSATS, taking them again after more studying would be advisable? I had thought that was not OK because many people say that retaking them is not favorable in the eyes of a law school admissions team.

And to the reply about law not being for me---it is.  I've gotten the anxiety under control with the help of therapy.  My aspirations don't include working for a high powered law firm. I am interested in family law/public law. The schools I am looking out have median LSAT scores of 155 or so.  I'm practicing each day with LSATS and have a tutor---I think 155 is doable in my case.

Re: Has anyone ever been admitted with a poor UGPA?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 05:50:32 PM »
Yes, if you don't do as well as you had hoped, then you can take it again. However, I would advise you to wait until next June and really go for the gold (pardon the cliche) on the LSAT. If you do really well, you can really maximize your opportunities.

Re: Has anyone ever been admitted with a poor UGPA?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 06:02:34 PM »
Great. Thanks for the advice!