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Author Topic: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT  (Read 4330 times)

jlpugh

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2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« on: December 05, 2012, 03:04:14 PM »
Hello,

I'm new to this, but here goes. I graduated undergrad in 2010, three years behind scheduled because I spent 2 years in Afghanistan in combat. While in undergrad I had a second child and my relationship with his mother didn't go so well. It took a heavy toll on me and I was working full time while going to school full time. I know I know. Other people have worked full time and done great in school, but it didn't work for me.

At any rate... what are my chances of getting into law school with a 2.3 undergrad GPA, 160 LSAT score, and what I hope will be a stellar application packet with great letters of recommendations?

I'm hoping to apply to NCCU Law and Howard Law school.

Help...

eric922

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 03:43:22 PM »
I hate to say this, but law school is a numbers game mostly.  If I were the head of admissions I'd take your experiences into account as a way to balance your poor GPA, but sadly I'm not in charge.  Schools are obsessed with maintaining their U.S. News rankings.  It's a corrupt and broken system, but as the author of a book I'm reading on the topic points, it is as it is. That being said I don't know enough about the schools you are applying to to answer your question.  Check out lawschoolnumbers and search for your stats if you haven't already.  I will say that you should be very sure that law school is something you want to do and aren't just going because you think it might be a good career. It will be expensive and there are no gurantees, but if you truly care about the law then by all means go.  Dedication is needed, but be sure you are truly dedicated before you spend the time and money. 

jlpugh

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 04:04:57 PM »
Eric,

Thank you for your response. I absolutely want to go to law school. The biggest hindrance for me is having to balance being a father of a high school student and a young adolescent (7 years old).  I'm only 28 (Yes, I started quite young...), but I have a ton of work experience and aside from my military and combat experience I have well over 6 years of work experience with major companies. As we speak I make a little more than some of my friends who are  recent grads from law school. I could write a damned book on why my GPA suffered throughout college, but I just want to be sure that I have a fighting chance with a decent LSAT score.

eric922

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 04:15:10 PM »
Your military experience might give you a boost in admissions.  Also you would need to write an addendum to explain your GPA.  I know some schools really like work experience so that could help as well.   I have one more question, have you taken the LSAT yet and do you think you could do better if you retook it? If so, you should seriously consider studying hard and retaking. I am not saying this to be rude or anything, because my GPA isn't great, but purely from a numbers standpoint your GPA is really poor and a good LSAT would go a long way to overcoming that.  To illustrate my point, I've heard stories of people with 2.4s and 175s getting into T14 law schools. I'm not saying you need to go a T14 at all,(in fact considering that you have a family to take care of, it might be a bad idea to go to a T14 due to debt and having to move) but I'm just using to show the importance of your LSAT score. 

livinglegend

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 11:21:20 AM »
As the above posters mentioned your experiences will play some role, but it really is 90% a numbers game. Combat in Afganistan is probably something that will catch an admission officer's eye and give you a little boost the strong work history probably won't do much as many law school applicants have that.

lawschoolnumbers.com is a good site to see what your chances are, but I would predict NCC would let you in. Also if you are a URM your chances of admission will be increased greatly. Not to mention a 160 LSAT is pretty good.

Also realize that nobody anonymously posting on this board really knows anything about what a specific school will do. So take all info you read on boards like this one with a grain of salt anybody can say anything without repercussion so when choosing a law school remember to take the anonymous internet posts with a grain of salt good luck.

Beryl16

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 02:29:18 AM »
The first step you should take is to contact the grad program coordinator at the schools you are interested in. Provide your stats, and they will be able to tell you what you need to do to improve your application package. These people are a great resource and usually very helpful.

Beryl16

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 02:42:37 AM »
I don't feel too bad for you. With a solid application you have a chance to get into the lower T-14.

But I understand people have different expectations for themselves.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 03:53:51 PM »
I don't feel too bad for you. With a solid application you have a chance to get into the lower T-14.

The chances of getting into a T14 with a 2.3/160 are next to zero. Those schools are inundated with applicants who have very strong soft factors and very high GPA/LSAT profiles. The incentive to take a chance on a less numerically qualified applicant just isn't there.

The OP mentioned NCCU and Howard, however. I think the OP would have a decent shot at both schools based on their LSAC admissions info. The OP could also consider seeking a scholarship at a T4, which might make more sense considering his family situation. Accruing a huge debt when you already a family is a serious issue.

I would encourage them OP to think about his long term goals, be realistic about what it will take to achieve them , and let that guide the process.

jalanjohnson71

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 11:00:03 PM »
Hello,

I'm new to this, but here goes. I graduated undergrad in 2010, three years behind scheduled because I spent 2 years in Afghanistan in combat. While in undergrad I had a second child and my relationship with his mother didn't go so well. It took a heavy toll on me and I was working full time while going to school full time. I know I know. Other people have worked full time and done great in school, but it didn't work for me.

At any rate... what are my chances of getting into law school with a 2.3 undergrad GPA, 160 LSAT score, and what I hope will be a stellar application packet with great letters of recommendations?

I'm hoping to apply to NCCU Law and Howard Law school.

Help...

I just noticed your post.  I went through an opposite process (low LSAT/Great GPA).  The higher the GPA the better. If it is at all possible (before you send your transcripts to LSAC)  you may want to see if there any electives you can take with your degree-granting institution to raise that GPA.  Some will allow this. Some will not.  But be sure that if you are allowed to add credits, that BOTH your degree GPA and Cumulative GPA increased.  Unfortunately, this will be decided by LSAC when the report is compiled to send to law schools.  Once those reports are generated, you cannot change them. 
The good news is that with a 160 score, you WILL get looked at. The bad news is that students with less than 3.2 GPA often cannot get in, at least without a good reason (not excuses), and showing a progression of achievement since that time.

You may want to consider a paralegal program. DUKE has a great one, and they offer it at the Charlotte and Durham campuses.  For a few thousand dollars,as opposed to tens of thousands, you can become acquainted with legal research and writing, and the "basics" of law study.  Performing well in a program like that will demonstrate to any committee looking past the GPA that you may be well-suited.  Most of your first year will be the "grunt work"- basic research and writing no matter where you attend.  http://www.learnmore.duke.edu/certificates/paralegal_online/

Should you not perform well as a paralegal, then you may discover the law field is NOT for you - not to say that all lawyers have not, at least at one time or another, struggled with the mundane tasks you will be forced to face in either paralegal school or law school. Having the CP designation would dress up your resume, no doubt.  That along with a great score of 160, may serve you well in your application(s). 

Besides, paralegals make good money and serve needed functions in the legal industry, WITHOUT Massive costs and debt associated with a law degree. I believe UNC has a program too. http://www.fridaycenter.unc.edu/pdep/paralegal/faqs.htm

Because NCCU is 1 of 3 least expensive law schools, and has an earned some recent accolades, the competition to get in there may be as high if not higher than other schools.  NCCU does, however, offer a summer program which is a "preview" of law school and you actually get credit towards the degree.  You have to apply for that well in advance.

Charlotte Law School is on the radar since they now have ABA approval.  But given the Job market in the area, I am not sure that's a good choice - except that you may get a scholarship for your score. Be mindful, though, those scholarships are easily lost since they usually come with a GPA requirement of "B" average while attending.  "C" is a good average in law school!!

Why Howard? Did you want to go to DC?  Try UDC and all the other schools in that area.  Your military experience will open a lot of doors and maybe even divert attention from the low GPA.  (true anywhere, but especially DC). You also a host of full and part-time master's programs in VA and MD, as well as post-military positions, grants, etc.  Georgetown has an expensive, but very prestigious Paralegal certificate as well. Hope this all helps, best of luck.

livinglegend

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Re: 2.3 GPA, strong work history, 160 LSAT
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2013, 02:28:59 AM »
Paralegal programs can be a good idea before making the law school jump. I got a paralegal certificate and worked as a paralegal for one year prior to attending law school and I feel like it gave me comfort and I was also certain I wanted to be a lawyer.  The paralegal path might be a good idea, but it will not likely help you get into a T14 school.

Getting into a T14 school is extremely difficult and doesn't happen for the majority of people. With a 2.3 GPA the doors are probably closed and a 160 LSAT will be insufficient as well. You can get into an ABA law school and have a successful legal career, but the T14 is probably out. However, believe it or not 90% of practicing lawyers did not attend the top 10% of law schools.