Law School Discussion

Grades and Depression

Grades and Depression
« on: January 25, 2009, 09:24:42 PM »
Hello all,

I have somewhat of an unique situation and I'm hoping to get some advice from the collective wisdom of the board. I will be graduating from Brigham Young University with a degree in Biology with a 3.0-3.1 GPA after this semester.(depending on how well I do this semester). I have been studying for the LSAT pretty rigorously for about a month and have gotten scores in the 165 range, hoping to get in the 170s by June. I orginally attended Brigham Young University - Idaho from 2002-2004, where I did very well with a GPA of 3.6 when I transfered to BYU. My first 3 semesters at BYU (2004 and 2005) were abyssmal due to suffering from depression and well as adjusting to the much larger class sizes due to my hearing impairment. (I have no hearing at all in my left ear, and severe to profound loss in my right). After getting medicated for my depression, I enrolled back at BYU in 2007 and recieved a 3.5 my first semester back and around a 3.0 for the subsequent semesters. I could have done better, but I was floundering in part because I knew that I didn't want to go to medical school, but I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do for a career. Last semester (Fall of 08) I stopped responding to my medication and had another depression episode which lasted a month. My doctor changed my dosage and I was able bust my butt to pull out Cs in all my classes except for one - Organic Chemistry, which I failed and was subsequently placed on Academic Probation. I plan on getting a 3.5+ this semester and I'm doing fine now, and I'm confident that I would hold up to the rigors of Law school, especially since its something that I'm actually passionate and excited to be doing. (i'm considering Patent law with a biotech emphasis or Heathcare Law) In hindsight, BYU was probably not the right school for me, but live and learn....

Anyway, here's the real problem....My LSAC GPA is going to be awful.....according to the calculator I'll be hovering around a 2.70, even though my BYU gpa will be about 3.1. Do I have any chance getting into a T1 school with those numbers (assuming I get a 165-173 on my LSAT)? I would like to go to school somewhere in Chicago and pratice law there. I know some of you will try to dissuade me from applying to law school given my history of depression, but I know I'm capable of doing it, and I feel like I've made major strides in learning how to manage my illness. Is there anything that I can put in my addendum or personal statement to help strengthen my application? I'm afraid just mentioning the word "depression" is going to send up giant red flags up amoungst the admissions boards, even though its really no different than any other illness. Should I avoid mentioning that? What about my hearing impairment?

I have decent softs... including serving a 2 year LDS mission in Chicago, volunteer experience at a local hospital, and having some of my work published in a scientific journal.

Re: Grades and Depression
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 06:09:28 PM »
You don't have to say depression.  Just say chronic illness, they have no rights or need to know what illness (HIPPA) Talk about how the challenge changed you for the better and what you have learned about yourself.

Good luck