Law School Discussion

One more UG year?

One more UG year?
« on: March 01, 2004, 06:32:54 PM »
I'm a 4th year student at UC Davis. I've always wanted to go to law school.

I've been dicking around and have a pretty horrible GPA - 2.98. I'll be completing the Poli Sci major this year, with a Communications minor. I'm considering staying one more year and just completing the Comm major.

The reason being that Comm classes are notoriously easy -- I didn't attend one class AT ALL last year and got a B.. -- so if I put some effort into it, I can jack my GPA up.

I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but I've always been a ridiclously good test taker. I took one of Barron's (I think?) diagnostic tests a couple months back and scored in the mid 170's -- yes, i know it's not the real thing, but hey. If I actually study for the LSAT, I have no reason to believe I will do any worse than stellar.

That said -- what do y'all think of staying another year? I'm getting flak from my parents about graduating, so I need some advice.. Also, what are your comments about the low GPA?

Thank you!!

Re: One more UG year?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2004, 07:01:55 PM »

Law schools calculate your undergraduate GPA based on courses you took before receiving your first Bachelor degree.  Any courses after, even for a second Bachelor, would be excluded from their calculations. 

In order for you to improve your chances leave your first degree unfinished while you work on the second degree.  Finish both in you last semester of school.  Then all the courses would be considered as your UG GPA.

Re: One more UG year?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2004, 07:35:01 PM »
Yeah, but I think that some law schools will feel/see that Communications is bs at your school (or, really, just a bs major in general) which case, staying another year might not help.

For example, a quote from Duke's Dean for Admissions and Financial aid, Dennis Shields, from Montauk's "How to Get into the Top Law Schools":

"There's a rebuttable presumption that certain majors are suspect: criminal justice, communications, which is a very popular major for people who don't want to work hard, even though it can be rigorous at some places."

In relation to his comment that it can be rigorous at some places...I would think law schools would be familiar with which schools it's a harder course of study. I also think many law schools would be able to see right through what you're trying to do.

Instead, many admissions officers (from Yale, Michigan, Boalt, Columbia, NYU, Penn, Georgetown, Stanford, GW, etc) recommend that, to overcome a weak undergrad record, you... 1) score high on the LSAT  2) get some good work experience (which is how you might rather spend an extra year or so)  and/or 3) go to grad school/get into an extended academic program of some sort and make good grades (which you might also rather consider). Yale and Columbia also add that letters of recommendation become more important in this case. 

Also, my comments about your GPA are that it doesn't help at all that you got it from UC Davis and in a field like Political Science with a Communications minor. Honestly, I think you'd be better off getting into the best graduate program you can swing, as many of these law schools said doing well in a GOOD graduate school's program makes a difference. Also, work some, at least part-time. Then apply in a couple years with a short addendum about your undergraduate record.

Re: One more UG year?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2004, 01:11:19 PM »
This is what you do:

Don't go to school for another year.  It is a waste of money.  Study like hell for the LSAT and score a 170+.  Get a job for the next year to make some money for law school.  A 3.0 gpa with a high LSAT score can get you into a few schools btw 7-14.  Good luck.