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Author Topic: A Fools Errand? College dropout trying to make good 4 yrs later (2.06 gpa)  (Read 1411 times)

Redux2010

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Hi All,

Short & Long Version:

Short Version:

I was a wreck in college, didn't care, left school with a crappy 2.06 gpa and 6 credits shy of diploma. Fast forward 4 years I am a successful business owner, soon to be married, and have been interested in law school since 2009. Considering going to community college for 1.5 years to boost ugrad cumulative GPA, then return to original college to complete degrees (would qualify for dual degrees at that point). Concurrently would be continuing to study for LSAT. Success means law school, failure means decent undergraduate degree or saving the money that college would have cost.

Long Version:
I was hoping for some advice on my situation. Once upon a time I was a double degree major (liberal arts) student  who did ok within his majors (3.3 in each) but did not give a care about any class outside of  that leading to an abysmal cumulative GPA of 2.06 (yea that number is accurate) and an academic record peppered with Withdrawals from classes, F's, Incompletes, (2) academic dismissals and re-admittances (over the course of 5 years). One would think reflected drug abuse, psychological problems, etc but in fact was due to nothing more than my lack of caring (or more specifically I was selfish, unmotivated, shortsighted and stupid). Now upon my “graduation” I learned I was 6 credits shy  (2 very specific courses outside of my concentrations) of qualifying for my diploma, I made the choice to not complete those requirements and have not technically graduated.

Fast forward 4 years since my fake graduation (I did walk but obviously that did not count) and I have my own successful business, soon to be married after a 2 year engagement, seriously regretting the actions of my youth, and for the last year and a half thinking about a career change. My current work is internet based but in the last two years I have known that I could go back to school, I have the money and my business would not suffer (good employees). Specifically I have been interested in law school and have been reading this board since 2009 trying to decide what is my best course of action and I believe I have come up with a good idea. I should make it clear that due to my past academic failures I do not believe it reasonable that I will get into a law school of any high caliber but I will not deny hoping I can get into the top 75 school.

My idea is instead of completing my degrees I could instead enroll in a local community college, stay there for 48 credits (part time, 3 (three credit) classes a semester, one course during winter intersession and 3 in the summer) just less than 2 years, which would allow me to boost my cumulative GPA and  prove to myself that I am ready for academia. Then enroll in my old college for one semester (or summer if i work it right) to complete my degree. Assuming academic excellence this should pull my cumulative GPA from a 2.0 (lets just drop the .06) to a ~2.5-2.6 cumulative GPA. Concurrently I will study for the LSAT, if I do well enough in my courses and produce a good LSAT score  (although significantly harder than the LSAT I will say on my SATs I had scored a 1290 out of 1600 with no study) then I will apply to law schools. If I bomb the LSAT I will at least have a decent undergraduate degree to put on my wall (heck I would have enough credits to qualify for a dual degree instead of a double major) and if I can't cut it at community college than at least I will know I have tried and can live without that regret (and have saved a bundle not going back to my old college).

So that's it guys, my past, present, and (hopeful) future in a nutshell. I ask for the anonymous hordes to wreak havoc on my plan, find the holes, perhaps come up with a better solution? This plan would mean I would not be attempting to apply to law school until the spring (or more likely the fall) of 2012, at which point I would be 29 years old. I have no problems with waiting until then so I can be ready and at my best.

PS- Other possible relevant data points: I am in Massachusetts, I speak a second language (Portuguese), I am an URM & My LSAT prep tests have scored 168, 166, (did the two in the last 2 months), hopefully that means a 160 on the real test but who knows my "downward trend" might indicate a 145.

Additionally, for those who may wonder why i do not just return to my original school and take a lot of classes, due to my income (especially when i get married) i would not receive financial aid and thus would pay a majority of the school bill. My community college option is the best option (in a financial sense) and would hopefully serve to be an excellent counterweight to my original ugrad cumulative GPA in terms of the LSAC's combined GPA.



Redux2010

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I now realize that this should have possibly been posted in the Non-Traditional board (my circumstances better apply that board), can a moderator send it over there? Should I repost?

On the other hand this is more a discussion of strategy on maximizing my lsac gpa then anything else...

'blueskies

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I think this is a fine way to increase your GPA.  You're lucky you don't have your degree yet.  Just take classes that you're interested in and don't slack off and do everything you can to get great grades.  Good luck
awkward follows you like a beer chasing a shot of tequila.

Jamie Stringer

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Try to take some writing-intensive courses instead ones that seem more blow-off style courses to demonstrate your commitment to academics. While they do care about your overall GPA a lot, they will probably still look askance when you have a recent transcript with A+ in courses like Dance Studies and then Cs in science and English and such.

You'll need to do quite well on the LSAT too, as you already know.

Good luck!
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cooleylawstudent

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just clep out of the 2classes(6credits) and go to cooley,whittier or alpalachian.

Redux2010

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Thanks for the responses

'blueskies & Jamie Stringer : To start I was thinking of taking courses in Philosophy and Accounting (the latter being beneficial for my business). I was a double major in History & Political Science (and actually did well in those courses) and was unsure if i should take any of either topic in community college. I do agree with the advice that the courses I choose should be writing intensive and since it has been a long time since I have had to write a paper I will be making that a priority.

(-;} : While an excellent suggestion I have decided that when the time comes to apply to law schools I would like to stay within Massachusetts or Connecticut. I imagine I will have a child by then and I think a move to the middle of the country or out west would be to much a commitment to ask of them. Of course Rhode Island does have the highly regarded Roger Williams Law School…..

'blueskies

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Thanks for the responses

'blueskies & Jamie Stringer : To start I was thinking of taking courses in Philosophy and Accounting (the latter being beneficial for my business). I was a double major in History & Political Science (and actually did well in those courses) and was unsure if i should take any of either topic in community college. I do agree with the advice that the courses I choose should be writing intensive and since it has been a long time since I have had to write a paper I will be making that a priority.

take those classes if they interest you.  I doubt law schools will intensively scrutinize what specific classes you've taken; they're most likely just going to look at your overall GPA and probably by year, maybe checking just to make sure when you were at CC you didn't take basketweaving just to take a class to do well...but even if you did, they probably won't care much.  What's most important is getting good grades to bring that GPA up, and that will be hard.  I think people do better in classes that interest them, so if you think that's philosophy and accounting for you then go for it.  If you want to take history or poli sci, do that too.  I don't think the specific classes matter all that much as long as you do well in them.  
awkward follows you like a beer chasing a shot of tequila.

cooleylawstudent

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see if your college has college level gym, it raises the gpa super quick and super easy. Many do.

JDGuy86

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I think its definitely worth going for it! your low gpa can be balanced with a higher than average lsat. Additionally, you can write an addendum about your experiences to explain your gpa & show your successes that outweigh that. A lot of schools are really numbers places where your experience doesn't count for much.. but if you look for schools that focus on non traditional students that would be the best option.

& Good Luck!