Law School Discussion

Am I wasting my time?

Am I wasting my time?
« on: September 19, 2007, 09:59:57 PM »
I wanted to see what others thought of my chances of actually getting into law school. I'm going to be sending out some crazy apps.

I graduated in 1993 from a state university in the South with a 2.5. My freshman year I went to a school in Florida, went crazy, and was placed on probation then dismissed for my crap grades. Transferred to a technical college, got my grades up then transferred to the state U. I graduated from 3-1/2 years later. While in school though, I worked 25 hrs/week at a law firm, was on the varsity lacrosse team, and was parlimentarian for my fraternity. I majored in English and minored in Business Admin. I'm a white male.

I took the lsat in 1993, and did average, which was surprising since I didn't prepare AT ALL. With a poor last and poorer grades, I gave up on my interest in law school.

Over the next 14 years, I traveled, was a realtor, salesman, insurance adjuster, managing editor for a newswire, and quit to get married and move back to the coast and open my own business. Over the course of the next two years, I ended up going to rehab for alcohol(which was the best thing to happen to me) but ended up getting divorced(not related to the alcohol, but my wife still left me; long story), and having to sell my business right after it opened. I gained some valuable experience with the business. I also had seven attorneys in my life at one point.

Ended up moving twice since the divorce and after a LOT of soul searching, decided to go to law school, and be serious about it. To say I'm nothing like I was back in college is an understatement. I'm extremely focused and motivated.

And with the obvious immaturity, comes legal troubles. I have about 10 infractions I'm going to have to report on my apps. Everything from a bad check, seat belt violation, to DUI 1st and second, public intox, driving with suspended license, no insurance, etc...On nearly all of these, I was found not guilty, or just paid a fine, or the case was dismissed and all expunged that could be. Except for the DUI 1st, which was in 1993, and I foolishly represented myself, plead nolo, and so on. In any case, I straightened up and have been on the straight and narrow for years, and all that reflects is the "old" me (which was actually the young me). But it looks TERRIBLE.

I'm devoting three months to the lsat, since I know I have to blow this thing out of the water. I don't feel confident right now, but honestly believe I can get in the high 160's by the time the test rolls around. (Let's just say for argument's sake that is what I'll get).

I will have 2 very impressive letters of rec, but not from professors (obviously, but one from a phd) nor employers-they've all disappeared, and I worked for myself for the majority of this century.

My worries should be obvious: My hedonsitic college years and subsequent gpa, my rap sheet, my apparent lack of direction during my working years (although the jobs I had prepared me perfectly for lawyering), being dismissed from my first school, etc...

Should I just sell all my prep books now and get a refund from lsac? I am looking at Univ. of Ala., Cumberland, and if all else fails (God forbid), Jones School at Faulkner. I completely realize I am in another league from many other posters here that can't decide between H/Y or S. I also will apply to several others, but will wait to see what my Dec. 1 lsat says about that.

My apps are going to be nothing but addenda, trying to explain away all that. I was even contemplating writing one PS about how rehab impacted me and changed my life, which also would possibly help excuse my shaky past, but am not sure how that would go over with adcomms. Because I know there are no attorneys that have addiction problems. ;)

Any thoughts? Let me have it.

Re: Am I wasting my time?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 10:18:49 PM »
As Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

If law is a dream of yours, go for it. Plus, you will never know what school you can get into if you don't try. Everyone gets to a turning point in their lives at some point or another. Good luck, and work hard.

Re: Am I wasting my time?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 10:02:02 PM »
I don't know the schools you mentioned, but it really can't hurt to try to blow the LSAT out of the water and then apply.  At smaller schools, ad comm's fingers get all twitchy at scores over the 165 mark, and you can make the reasonable argument that you've learned from your

I'm often over at the top law schools dot com boards, and you'd be amazed at how many posts there are there by people concerned about their criminal records.  You are definitely not alone.

I am not an ad comm, but you sound to me like someone who has their stuff together, and who really wants to study law - despite the fact it's obviously not the easiest or most obvious path for you.  Good luck.


Re: Am I wasting my time?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2007, 04:13:34 PM »
The minor tickets (punk in drublic, no insurance, etc.) will not harm you; although, the DUI conviction may, so I'd use the rehab to explain the DUI away. 

As far as grades, just do a comparison on lawschoolnumbers.  A strong LSAT will overcome any gpa.


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Re: Am I wasting my time?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2007, 06:06:58 PM »
I'd say your life's experiences, what you've learned from them and why you want to go to law school now could make for a very interesting Personal/diversity statement.  Don't let it get to you- highlight your good experiences, only put down the bad ones if you have to and try to explain/show how these are NOT indicative of your current lifestyle/character and shoot for a killer LSAT-- its amazing what that damn test can do.

this board is great, but insanely skewed- law school is full of people with a plethora of backgrounds.  start studying and don't worry about what you can't change. you'll do fine.