Law School Discussion

I thought I had a 3.76 GPA but I found out that they take your ENTIRE college

record into account.

I am an extremely unconventional student.  I flunked out of Hofstra when I was 18 and went to Community College for 2 semesters and literally made a C and a D+ and all F's (Should have withdrawn but didn't because I was an immature idiot).  Then I joined the Air Force as an Arabic Linguist, and have been going to Tennessee for a year now and my GPA at the Defense Language Institute was like a 3.3 and my UT GPA is a 3.7 now.

My question is, is an explanation going to help SIGNIFICANTLY with my total GPA which is now a 2.9 (and will be around a 3.1 when I graduate).

If I get mid-high 160s on the LSAT can I still get into Georgetown?  Is NYU a pipe dream?

I have 6 years in the Air Force, Top Secret Clearance, worked for NSA.  Tons of real life experience, etc..

What are my options?


Although your work experience is above average. A 3.1/mid range 160 won't even get you into the door steps of T14. You might get a shot at Georgetown with a 170+. No shot at NYU period.


But then again, this changes if you are URM.

Although your work experience is above average. A 3.1/mid range 160 won't even get you into the door steps of T14. You might get a shot at Georgetown with a 170+. No shot at NYU period.


But then again, this changes if you are URM.

Good enough for UGA (Georgia)?


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165+ gives you a reasonable shot at UGA given your experience.

Top 14 will be a significant stretch, and you should make sure that you apply to plenty of other schools.  But, I would still suggest picking one or two T14 schools that you're really excited about and giving it a shot.  Definitely submit an addendum to your application that explains your transcript.  Yes, schools look at the GPA, but they'll also take into account the rest of the story and the fact that your recent grades are very good.  And, you'll be an applicant with an unusual path to law school that you can talk about in a diversity statement or in your personal statement.  Law schools like to make sure they don't have a class full of people who have done nothing but go to school.  The other big thing you can do to boost your chances is to study really hard for the LSAT.  It's sad, but even a change of a few points can make a big difference.  If you can break 170, you'll have much better odds (though, of course, it will still be difficult).


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I would consider applying to Georgetown part-time if your LSAT is good. PT admissions tends to look at soft factors, and I imagine would be friendlier to someone in your situation.
Georgetown Law Graduate

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Now who's being naive?


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Study your ass off for the LSAT. Best strategy to study is to read some general guide books and then take 50+ practice tests. Retake the LSAT all three times if necessary even if it means taking a year off before law school.

With a high 160's or 170's LSAT, you would have a chance at the T14.  Don't apply to just "a couple" T14 schools though if you get your LSAT up -- apply to a bunch of them with the hopes of casting a wide net and suckering one into selecting you.  If you don't make it into the quality of school that your numbers say you have a chance at, then consider waiting a year and re-applying in a new cycle.  Consecutive year applicants, I believe, have a better shot at the school and you will have had a year of experience to refine your essays and apply super early.

I had a similar but slightly less dramatic story as you.  My GPA after 2 years was like a 2.8, including some C's and an F.  Then I "turned around" my third year and got a 3.9 until I graduated with a 3.35.  I got into Cornell and Michigan w/ a 3.35 (under 25th percentile) and 169 (75th percentile).  I tied excuses for my low GPA throughout my addenda and personal statement (poor kid from underprivileged background worked full time, gained a work ethic, became a good student). 

GULC, NU, and Mich (somewhat) are high lsat/low gpa splitter friendly schools.  Get a 170+ and you have a decent shot at getting into one of them (moreso NU).
Columbia 3L

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Another reason to look at Northwestern is that they love non-trads.  I don't know if you're wedded to the east coast; if not, definitely look into NU.
Quote from: Lionel Hutz, Esq.
Well he's had it in for me ever since I kinda ran over his dog... Well, replace the word "kinda" with "repeatedly" and the word "dog" with "son."

Seconded on NU and Mich.  Mich is especially good at looking at the virtue of the whole applicant, beyond their numbers (which, IMO, explains why their US News rank is not higher, given the respect they garner in the legal profession).
* Columbia Law, Class of 2011 *