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Author Topic: Help would be extremely appreciated  (Read 1549 times)

clevername

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Help would be extremely appreciated
« on: August 22, 2004, 05:23:37 PM »
So I know its rude to ask for help with a first post, in advance I apologize.

I graduated from a great school with only a 2.5 GPA and got a 153 on the LSAT.  I didn't make any relationships with any of my profs during school, and subsequently did not get any letters of rec from them.

I battled cancer though the majority of my undergrad years and it really hindered my ability to be able to focus on high scores, as financially the cancer wiped me out and it was a struggle just to stay in school.  It has now been a year since graduation and 2 in remission and I desperately want to go to law school.

My questions are,

1.) I have 2 letters of recommendation already (one from my doctor and one from my employer), should I go beg a prof who doesn't know me to write one for me?

2.) What do you think is the best law school I could realistically get into with such low scores?

3.) How heavily should I lean on my cancer experience in my personal statement?

I really appreciate any help or comments anyone could give. 
"Nothing succeedes like excess"--Oscar Wilde

2.5/153

Bisquick

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Re: Help would be extremely appreciated
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2004, 05:28:00 PM »
1) You probably need to try to come up with some prof.  Maybe pick a class you did well in (and still have papers from) and go explain your situation to them.  Law schools really want at least one prof. letter.

3) Since it made your undergrad so tough (to explain GPA) and it definately shows determination, I'd lean on it fairly heavily.  Maybe think of an odd angle of attack, though.  I wouldn't go with a "wo is me" PS.  Make it something they haven't read from ever other disease survivor.

Just my opinion, though.
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sharmaine73

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Re: Help would be extremely appreciated
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2004, 06:21:09 PM »
If I were you I would go to LSAC.org and go to their online ABA approved Law School searchable Database. Click on that then go to the bottom and click on "search all law schools” in the upper right hand corner is something in white that says UGPA/LSAT Filter.  Click on that.  It will ask you for your UGPA or University GPA and LSAT Score.  Once you type those in and click list all law schools, it will give you a combination with the number of schools who accepted people with your GPA and LSAT during the last filing.

This was tremendously helpful to me. It showed me what schools I would probably get into even without my "sob story", the ones I had a chance to get into and the ones I probably didn't want to waste my money on.

Please be aware that there are lots of Sob stories just like yours.  Not to belittle what you've been through, just turn it into a positive, (i.e. I made it through this, I can do anything!), or don't focus on it for your entire personal statement.  Also talk about other accomplishments, why you want to be an attorney.  Your illness should be a footnote to help explain any abberations in your undergraduate career.  You shouldn't build your personal statement around it.

And you really should try and get a recommendation from a professor.  They don't need to know you personally. Figure out the two classes you received the best grades in and then go to those professors.  Ask them for a letter of recommendation.  Trust me, they are used to this and will probably say yes.  Let them know what your grade was and if you are not happy with it explain that you had cancer and that is why you didn't do better.  They are the people you should really be explaining to so that they can write you a good recommendation. If you want to go to Law School, you HAVE to work up the courage and do this.  Law Schools really want to hear from past professors.  Employers are good too if you've been out of school for a while.  You're Dr., probably not as important. They'll take your word for it that you were sick. SO I'd go ahead and leave that one out.  Although it was a nice thing for your Dr. to do! Good luck to you!  :)

clevername

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Re: Help would be extremely appreciated
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2004, 06:29:27 PM »
I really appreciate the help.  I am thinking that I am going to try not to focus too much on the "sob" part of my personal statement.  I didn't use it as a crutch anywhere else in school and I'd like to be able to stand on my own two feet.  I will however mention it as partial reason for my lackluster GPA performance.  (A time machine would also be helpful).

I'm going to start my search for a professor to get a recommendation tomorrow.  Another question, should I email them to try and get an appointment, or try and locate their office hours and just show up?
"Nothing succeedes like excess"--Oscar Wilde

2.5/153

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Re: Help would be extremely appreciated
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2004, 07:22:47 PM »
my thoughts.

i really do not know what the best law school you can get into, but you might surprise yourself -- not too many people have gone through your situation.  as the other poster mentioned, go ahead and check your chances on the lsac calculator, and go from there.

and even if you do not know any of your professors, try your best to get one from a professor that you got a decent grade from.  even if it is kind of bland, i think most schools take three recommendations, and i am sure your other recs will speak highly of you.

and yes, your experience qualifies as an excellent ps topic.  don't make it whiny, though.  try to focus on the what you gained from the experience, and how your determination helped you get through it.

good luck,

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jacy85

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Re: Help would be extremely appreciated
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2004, 09:38:58 PM »
In addition to what everyone else said, could you retake the lsat?  I don't know if you took it while you were in undergrad and dealing with the cancer treatment, so I thought I'd be the one to throw that out.

And congratulations on beating the cancer!  Good luck with getting in.  I'm sure you can hit a tier 4 if not a bit better since you have a much better excuse than "I drank a little to much through my undergrad days!"