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Tom Wingfield

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LDAS Transcript Questions
« on: January 29, 2014, 12:27:55 AM »
New here--long-time lurker. Bonus points for you if you get the literary allusion in my handle. Although my name actually is Tom!

I left my undergrad institution a few years ago for medical reasons--I was also suspended due to conduct that was in part caused by the medical issues I was going through.

However, my work there is pretty bad--3.0 or just below, I believe.

Happily, I am getting back on the horse first at a community college, as I had zero math/science courses and decided on a BS in chemistry. In addition to my other majors (two), I expect a full 4-5 years to get the BA/BS.

Questions:

1. As the LSAC is averaged across institutions leading up to the first bachelor's degree, does this mean I essentially have a clean slate? While I'm aware the poor grades will be factored, I'm also balancing it with the reality that I have several years' work ahead of me.

2. Does 'prior to earning the first degree' mean prior to graduating with a bachelor's, or prior to graduating with a full bachelor's degree?

3. As for LSAT prep--this is a ways away, obviously--but for what it's worth, I did do a timed practice test using my cell phone's timer (and yes, I'm aware this is not kosher for the purposes of the actual test) being fairly strict with the 35-minute mark. I got a 160. I do plan on prepping lightly until about a year before ACTUALLY taking the test, and then, I'll prep harder.

I have a feeling I am worrying too much, but please do resist the urge to state the obvious and instead offer constructive advice. In turn, I hope to reciprocate on others' postings.

A final note--yes, I am sure law is for me. I also plan on getting a doctorate, so my end-goal is academia. But I want to practice law for a few years, if anything to pay off debts. My dad is a solo-practice attorney in Ohio. I've seen the stresses, long hours, and pretty much everything negative about law there is to see. I'm not deterred though.

Thanks all! Have a good one.

Citylaw

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Re: LDAS Transcript Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 12:55:07 AM »
If I understand your question correctly the answer is that all your grades received from any University or Junior College prior to you obtaining a bachelor's degree will be used in your UGPA. Your poor grades will be factored in with the grades you receive now.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal career.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: LDAS Transcript Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 12:15:14 PM »
Hi Tom, I'll try to answer your questions.

1. LSAC will consider all grades earned, and you will have to provide actual transcripts from all institutions attended even if you took only one class there. So, no, I don't think you get a clean slate because all grades are factored into your GPA. On the other hand, if you get a 4.0 GPA from now on, that's obviously going to offset the lower grades.

I think you will have to disclose the suspension to LSAC, the law schools, and your state bar. You will likely have to write an addendum.

2. I'm not sure what you mean. All grades earned prior to obtaining your first bachelor's degree are counted.

3. As for LSAT prep, just do as much as you can between now and the actual test to keep yourself familiar with the material. Take a prep course if possible, and try to get in as much time as you can in the months leading up to the exam. You have lots of time, and I'd focus more right now on getting the highest possible GPA.

Hope that helps.

Tom Wingfield

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Re: LDAS Transcript Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 08:48:49 PM »
1. Thank you for the responses. In response to what I meant by the definition of the BA degree, I meant if the LSDAS counts up to a certain number of credits for a BA degree--180 quarter credits, e.g. I called LSAC and they said that in fact, they count all credits earned up until the first bachelor's degree.

I asked because I'll be required to do 225 quarter credits to earn my first bachelor's degree (with three majors).

Yes, obviously GPA is paramount--or near paramount.

2. With regards to the suspension, I was suspended in part due to behavioral health issues following psychosis (hallucinations) caused by extreme sleep deprivation, dehydration, and baclofen withdrawal. (Baclofen is a muscle relaxant used for MS, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy. Baclofen withdrawal is similar to alcohol withdrawal in its risk of seizures and risk of death). I was hospitalized for nearly a year to stabilize my physical disabilities and eliminate the risk of future psychosis--at least, to the fullest extent possible.

3. Given the facts surrounding my suspension, is it unlikely that I would pass a state's character and fitness exam, or that I would be denied entry to a reputable law school? Obviously, I really doubt that the problems that caused it, namely psychosis, dealing with abuse issues from my past, and not having my physical condition stable, will ever happen again. Would a letter from various medical professionals saying this help me?

Thanks!
tom

Maintain FL 350

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Re: LDAS Transcript Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2014, 09:32:06 PM »
You need to contact your state bar to get the best answer. They may require certain documentation from doctors or other evidence that the issue is no longer a problem, and will not interfere with your ability to provide competent legal services.

Again, you should get that info straight from the state bar as they are the best source.

I asked because I'll be required to do 225 quarter credits to earn my first bachelor's degree (with three majors).

Is there any reason why you need three majors? For the purposes of law school admission you'd be better off with one major and a high GPA than three majors and a lower GPA.

Tom Wingfield

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Re: LDAS Transcript Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2014, 09:41:25 PM »
I'll contact the state bar in the morning.

I am triple-majoring as I have broad interests. In reality, it's likely that I will double major and do one minor. One major is a hard sciences major--I want to (if possible) practice patent law.

tom