Law School Discussion

Graduate GPA

Graduate GPA
« on: November 30, 2005, 03:19:28 PM »
I'm wondering how law schools factor in your grad. school GPA, and how they consider what grad. school you went to.  I graduated with a BA in 2004, my major GPA was great, but overall is low due to me being Pre-Med and hating it.  I have since become a grad. student at Harvard and done well there, I wonder if this can somehow compensate for my horrid GPA?

Any thoughts?

Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2005, 03:24:07 PM »
Yes and no.  I asked a few schools about this.  Basically they see grad school as showing your love of learning and seriousness about doing the work, but GPA from your undergrad is a different part of the process and your grad GPA really doesn't matter (more the quality of the program you are in, which I'm sure is strong).  It will help but in an indirect way.

Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2005, 04:10:02 PM »
What about the actual major GPA? My history and humanities GPA was pretty high, like I said before, my overall GPA was pulled down heavily by the fact that I was a Pre-Med. student, and my Uni. was more Science oriented, so I had to spend more credits on it.


Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2005, 10:30:14 AM »
I think it will help.  Based on what I've read, any upward trend in grades recieved is looked upon favorably.  And obviously, the grad program you're enrolled in is going to be considered high-quality.  Harvard took you as a grad student despite your bad grades in science..I think that says a lot.


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Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2005, 10:34:28 AM »
My take on it is that the GPA matters zilch (unless it's in the tank) for grad school. Unless it's a PhD or an MD, I'm not sure these folks really care. They do seem interested in using MA's as a way to boost their reported percentage with graduate degrees, but that's about it.

Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2005, 01:26:17 PM »
Your grad school GPA does not figure into the LSAC GPA at all. Basically, you have to get a transcript submitted, but all they do is forward that on to the schools. How the schools then use it is anybody's guess.

If you did well, it's a nice soft factor to boost the overall quality of your app, but I wouldn't count on it to overcome a poor UGPA/LSAT and get you into a program you wouldn't have otherwise been admitted to anyway.

My grad GPA was excellent (3.9), but I don't really think it helped me any. My UGPA and LSAT were good enough to get me admitted where I am now without it. Had I gone for more of a reach school, I don't know if it would have made much of a difference or not. Probably depends on how big of a reach we are talking. It wouldn't overcome my scores to get me into Harvard or Yale...pretty sure about that.


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Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2005, 02:26:08 PM »
Personally, I'm hoping it doesn't matter much.

But that's because my grad gpa was in the tank. Very last course: Incomplete converted to an F. Yup. Bad.

Although I'm at least going to address it in an addendum or the PS when I apply next year, and it'll be 10 years gone by the time I start. Learning experience, that was. Didn't want to be there, and the grades showed it.

Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2005, 04:22:56 AM »
A candid admissions officer once put it to me this way:
It's your Undergrad GPA, and your LSAT, that law schools send to US News & World Report, and that's how they base their rankings. 
So for many schools, your undergrad will be more important than any post-graduate education.  Or post graduate anything, for that matter. 

That doesn't mean that a Masters at Harvard doesn't mean a lot - I suppose that it does. 
But undergrad GPA is the bottom line.

By the way - I'm assuming you're not going to defend your GPA in your application by saying it's because "I started in Pre-Med an hated it."

Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2006, 12:00:46 AM »
anyone have any experience with updating their graduate transcripts with lsdas?  is it even necessary?  imagine that you are about to receive your masters, does anyone think the admissions committee will care about the last semester of grades?


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Re: Graduate GPA
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2006, 12:37:37 AM »
From my understanding it doesn't matter, just shows that you were able to hold your own in an advanced degree and only really works one way or another if you get below a B (then it is negative).  I was very sad to learn about the USNews factors as I really thought a grad degree could help initially (i'll have one too).

good luck!