Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Is an 'F' going to kill me?  (Read 1920 times)

paperclip

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« on: January 23, 2007, 04:14:27 PM »
Anyone have any idea how much an F on my transcript might hurt my applications?  My LSAC GPA is a 3.37.  Is an applicant with the same GPA but who didn't fail any classes at an advantage, or do law schools just go by the numbers?  Sorry if this has already been asked.

I should add that I got the F in the spring semester of my senior year.  Pathetic, I know.

Imelda Marcos

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 630
  • If the "Choo" fits
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2007, 04:31:04 PM »
I'm no authority on this subject, but I would guess no.  I think it depends on how you recovered from that F.  Did your grades go up considerably, did they slowly increase?  Did you explain any sort of grade trend in an addendum so that adcomms aren't curious about this situation? 
It's Official Loyola class of 2010!!

WL still pending, fingers crossed it would make for a much easier decision!

Vick

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1273
    • View Profile
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2007, 04:35:08 PM »
It might hurt you slightly.  Adcomms look for rising grade trends.  They're more likely to dismiss low grades during your freshman or sophomore years because you might have been adjusting.  During your senior year, though, you should have had the college thing down.   

Oddibemcd

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 187
  • Take that Rocket
    • View Profile
    • Law School Numbers
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2007, 03:54:24 PM »
Anecdotal evidence, but I wish I only had one F. I have three and I've managed (but my GPA is bringing me down.) I don't think it's the F's as much as it is the 3.35.
Attending: Cornell
In: Cornell, G-Town, W&M(w), FSU(w), U of Cincinnati(w), Santa Clara(w)
Held: Northwestern(w)
Waitlisted: Cardozo(w), Michigan(w), Penn
Out: Chicago, Yale, NYU, Columbia

171/3.4

bamf

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3381
  • legal eagle
    • View Profile
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2007, 07:55:31 PM »
is the F mad at you?
2L, Boston College Law

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/bamf

Around from time to time.  Always willing to answer any Qs about BC, my '06/'07 cycle or law school in general ... PMs work better ...

bohica

  • Guest
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2007, 02:06:43 AM »
Write an addendum explaining that you didn't get an F because of misconduct. If it's unexplained, they'll either ask you to write something explaining it or they'll just suspect the worst. If you did get an F because of misconduct, you might as well save the adcomms the trouble of shoving a fist up somewhere unpleasant and apply a tier down from where your numbers put you. Maybe two. Start thinking of good excuses for your C&F.

amaterasu

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
    • LSN page
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2007, 09:59:27 AM »
Write an addendum explaining that you didn't get an F because of misconduct. If it's unexplained, they'll either ask you to write something explaining it or they'll just suspect the worst. If you did get an F because of misconduct, you might as well save the adcomms the trouble of shoving a fist up somewhere unpleasant and apply a tier down from where your numbers put you. Maybe two. Start thinking of good excuses for your C&F.

If he didn't check the box about disciplinary action or whatever, I doubt they're going to think the F was because of misconduct; more likely, they're going to think he slacked off his senior year.  It seems like a huge leap of logic from seeing an F to the conclusion that there must have been academic misconduct.

Surely any adcom that's been (or even just met or heard of!) a college senior knows about their slacking tendencies and realizes that the lack of a checked box + an F = slacker.  (Not that that looks particularly good either, but it's not a death blow the way cheating your senior year would be.)  While an addendum could be appropriate, preemptively stating "I did not cheat!!!" seems... strange (and possibly even counter-productive).
HLS '10

bohica

  • Guest
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2007, 10:34:25 AM »
Adcomms have also seen even more people not check the box because they thought that they could get away with it. Adcomms also know that 95% of professors never give F's unless you really deserve it. Write the addendum saying why you got the F and specifically say that it was not due to academic misconduct. Getting in to law school isn't about framing bad things as politely as possible, it's about disclosing fully every skeleton you have.

amaterasu

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
    • LSN page
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2007, 11:25:59 AM »
Adcomms have also seen even more people not check the box because they thought that they could get away with it. Adcomms also know that 95% of professors never give F's unless you really deserve it. Write the addendum saying why you got the F and specifically say that it was not due to academic misconduct. Getting in to law school isn't about framing bad things as politely as possible, it's about disclosing fully every skeleton you have.

Seriously?  Maybe it's because of my majors (or maybe I go to school with a bunch of slackers), but I know a ton of people who failed classes (especially calculus and physics) because they really didn't know the material well enough (or they forgot to show up to the final exam or do the final project worth 1/2 of their grade...).  I guess maybe my professors have different definitions of "deserving an F", but failing to meet a minimum standard of knowledge or not doing the work will get you an F with them.

I'm shocked that adcoms would try to second guess the applicants like that.  If you didn't check the box and did something anyway, it seems like you'd get caught rather easily.  I'd think it would be on your transcript and you have to send in a letter of good standing before you enroll, so...  If none of those would catch a liar, why would they put any stock in an addendum saying "I didn't cheat"?  You could just as easily lie in that. 
 
That said, this is all just my opinion, and I've been known to be wrong.  An addendum explaining the grade (and explaining it wasn't because of misconduct) probably wouldn't hurt, so maybe you're correct that he should write one.
HLS '10

paperclip

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Is an 'F' going to kill me?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2007, 10:00:22 AM »
My dilemma is whether to acknowledge the F at all, and if so, what to say about it.  I don't have a compelling excuse like illness, and it wasn't due to misconduct; it was due to not showing up to class for the second half of the semester and failing to turn in the final paper. The professor actually gave me an Incomplete at first, but I asked him to change it to an F so that I could graduate on time.

At my UG you most certainly can fail classes for not knowing the material, especially in the sciences.  I don't see why an adcomm would suspect I might have failed because of misconduct.  If my UG verifies that I am in good standing, why would they second guess that?

And yes, I could easily lie in the addendum if I'd failed the class for misconduct, so what would be the point of mentioning it?  I hope that if I take a couple of classes and get A's in them before I apply to LS, it will show that I'm not a slacker and that my final semester was an aberration.