Law School Discussion

Very Confused, Interesting Scenerio

Very Confused, Interesting Scenerio
« on: February 08, 2015, 04:39:43 PM »
Will attempt to make my situation as brief as possible:

I started at UCLA in fall 2011, but withdrew my first quarter because of mental illness. I was diagnosed with a severe form of depression. This not NOT affect my GPA.
I started again in the Winter, and completed Winter 2012, Spring 2012, and Fall of 2012. However, three weeks into this semester, again my mental illness got the best of me. I was forcibly put into the hospital, where again I had to withdraw. Still no effect on my GPA.

Because of my illness, I decided to go back to my city college and do two years of school there, until I could be come mentally healthy. Now, this is my fourth and last semester there and I will be returning to UCLA in the fall, and will graduate in 2016. Despite the withdrawls in 2011 and 2012, my community college GPA is 3.85 and UCLA GPA is 3.72.

I am going to score ~176 on the LSAT, and maintain around a 3.75 GPA.

Now my question is, are the withdraws early in my academic career going to absolutely kill my chances of getting into a T14 law school?
Or perhaps, I wonder, showing great adversity and "messing up" early in my career and then completely rebounding with stellar grades and and an awesome GPA may work to my advantage.

Long Story Short: It was a rocky road to get there, but with a 176+ LSAT and ~3.75 GPA be enough to get me into a T14 despite early academic withdraws that happened 3+ years ago? Could these maybe actually be used to my advantage to show that I struggled and overcame adversity earlier on?

Thank you very much for reading and helping me with my situation.

Re: Very Confused, Interesting Scenerio
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2015, 08:45:49 AM »
I don't think the withdrawals themselves will make much (if any) difference, but the time you spent at community college may lower your LSAC GPA a little. LSAC adjusts your GPA according to different factors, and because community college is considered "easier" than a university, it may affect your GPA. Even if it does, the effect would not be too great.

Forcible Hospitalization

I'm not 100% sure, but you may be required to report this to the state bar when you submit the Character & Fitness application. Assuming that the problem is taken care of and you don't have ongoing episodes of hospitalization, it probably won't be a problem. Nonetheless, you'll likely have to fully disclose and explain the situation. Lots of people are admitted to the bar who have mental health issues, but they want to make sure that the problem isn't going to adversely affect your future clients. Call the state bar and check with them first.


Do you mean that you actually have a 176, or you are just hopeful? If you don't have an actual LSAT score everything is speculative. Honestly, you really can't assume you'll score 176.

Study hard, take a prep course, and get a real score on the board. Until then, it's all pure speculation.

Re: Very Confused, Interesting Scenerio
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2015, 08:58:20 AM »
As Maintain says don't assume you will get a 176. If you got one already great, but everybody thinks they will get a 170+ however, 95% of LSAT takers don't.

If you haven't taken the LSAT yet then that is the next step until you have a score it is all speculation and means nothing. Once you have a score you will know what your options are.

As to the forcible hospitalization if undergrad is causing this much stress you may want to reconsider law school. For all intents and purposes undergrad is a joke compared to law school and you can't just withdraw in law school. The ABA requires that you graduate in 5 five years and you just pop in-pop out etc. In addition to that if you think undergrad or even law school is stressful wait until the bar.

I think forcible hospitalizations are a red flag to you personally as to whether you want to pursue this or not. If you have a 176 LSAT and great GPA you can get into a good law school, but will you be able to handle law school is the question you will need to answer for yourself.

I would also not get to concerned with T14 schools. These are often more stressful and it sounds like you are having trouble in your current situation. I would imagine you would want to stay close to the L.A. so might want to consider a school like Chapman or LMU  and obtain substantial scholarship money and get a license to practice law in a less stressful environment.

So at the end of the day your GPA will not be impacted be these transfer, but you need a real LSAT score and more importantly you need to figure out your mental health, before embarking on the rigorous path of law school. I wish you the best.

As an FYI here is a good article about how to choose a law school.