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Author Topic: Can Graduate School Hurt  (Read 4637 times)

lawdawg19

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Can Graduate School Hurt
« on: March 17, 2004, 07:27:14 PM »
If you have a Poor Undergrad GPA,
will even a fairly good Graduate GPA help, or is it only helpful if a Graduate GPA is 3.8 or above.

ajlynnette

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2004, 08:35:47 PM »
hi new,

i was told by my pre-law advisor at school that if you don't have THE gpa or the LSAT to counter the bad GPA to get into a top school, then you should think about doing a master's degree and get at least a 3.5 avg. of course she also said that that it's not impossible to get into a law school either and that if you went for a good school w/one attribute being greater than the other, just try to explain why and how that makes you that much more of a better candidate for the school. but that's just advice from the adviser. hope that helps!

aj :)

JuanPRL

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2004, 03:42:22 PM »
This is what I'm hoping for.  When I completed my first UG, I graduated with a 2.4 GPA. I know, I know, I had a rough time, due to a personal situation. No excuse, just the realty of life.   Needless to say, this was not going to cut it even with a strong LSAT.  So, after taking Kaplan's LSAT course afterward, my LSAT score improved slighty (131 to 141). Not great by any means, but I knew that some schools here in Miami would consider the latter (without averaging the scores).  But I needed a better GPA, so I went back to school to get another bachelors degree, which I just finished.  Final GPA 3.729.  Lot better, than the first GPA I would say.  Now, if I can just pull that darn LSAT score up, I should be okay.   ;D  Comments please. 

shadowcreeper

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2004, 03:52:17 PM »
May I ask why you opted for a second bachelors instead of a masters?

Just curious, because when I graduated, I looked into masters programs that would require me to take undergrad classes to get the bachelors in political science before I could take the masters level political science classes.

But there was no way I was going to go to school for another BA, I was ready to move on. I was a double major in college, so that might account for part of the reason that I did not want to take undergrad classes again.

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schoomp

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2004, 03:55:02 PM »
With the graduate degree situation - are you going straight from college to graduate degree?  Do you have any work experience?  Any other life experience outside of school (i.e. family)?  Although undergraduate GPA and LSAT are extremely big factors, depending on your "whole" life experience it might not be the only thing they look at, depending on what schools you are applying to.

Aonghus

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2004, 10:51:51 PM »
Juan... if your first UG Gpa is a 2.4, even if you completed a second bachelors with a 3.75, and you have taken the LSAT twice, and scored 131 and 141, I daresay that it is unlikely that you will get into many law schools regardless of what you do in graduate school.  Why? 

Well lsac figures your ENTIRE Udergraduate gpa with every piece of work you have ever done.  I am assuming that you finished your second bachelors with 30 units of work or so?  If so, your 120 units at 2.4 and 30 units at 3.75 will average out to about 2.7 tops.

Also your graduate work, while it will be considered to 'round you out', and show what you have done lately is not figured into your GPA for admissions purposes by LSAC, because most law schools are in a constant fight for prestige... AND a large amount of that prestige has to do with the average UNDERGRADUATE stats of their entering class, they all have automatic rejection numbers for any app that comes in, and for most a 2.7/141 is going to be an auto reject.

There is good news tho.  There are some new ABA schools that you might try, I would try Florida Coastal, Thomas Jefferson, and Im sure there are others... In mid April, go to the LSAC.ORG website, and go to the ABA listings that let you search by lsac data, plug in your cumulative UGPA numbers and lsat score and see if and where you have a shot.

Good Hunting.


This is what I'm hoping for.  When I completed my first UG, I graduated with a 2.4 GPA. I know, I know, I had a rough time, due to a personal situation. No excuse, just the realty of life.   Needless to say, this was not going to cut it even with a strong LSAT.  So, after taking Kaplan's LSAT course afterward, my LSAT score improved slighty (131 to 141). Not great by any means, but I knew that some schools here in Miami would consider the latter (without averaging the scores).  But I needed a better GPA, so I went back to school to get another bachelors degree, which I just finished.  Final GPA 3.729.  Lot better, than the first GPA I would say.  Now, if I can just pull that darn LSAT score up, I should be okay.   ;D  Comments please. 

forthguy

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2004, 01:55:13 PM »
Juan... if your first UG Gpa is a 2.4, even if you completed a second bachelors with a 3.75, and you have taken the LSAT twice, and scored 131 and 141, I daresay that it is unlikely that you will get into many law schools regardless of what you do in graduate school.  Why? 

Well lsac figures your ENTIRE Udergraduate gpa with every piece of work you have ever done.  I am assuming that you finished your second bachelors with 30 units of work or so?  If so, your 120 units at 2.4 and 30 units at 3.75 will average out to about 2.7 tops.

Not quite.  The LSDAS academic summary includes grades from only the first undergraduate degree.  Additional undergraduate degree grades would not be included in that summary (and therefore the LSDAS GPA) at all.

Greg

shadowcreeper

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2004, 02:09:14 PM »
I completed a double major in my 4 years of college, I am going to gather that with a double major both undergrad gpa's are figured into the LSDAS because they were both completed at the same time. Is that right? If not, how would they pick which degree to take my GPA from?

~K
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself absurd.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself be heard.
Nobody's gonna stand in my way.
Give it up son, I'm doin this my way.. Seether

http://lawschoolhopeful.blogspot.com/

forthguy

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2004, 02:25:07 PM »
I completed a double major in my 4 years of college, I am going to gather that with a double major both undergrad gpa's are figured into the LSDAS because they were both completed at the same time. Is that right? If not, how would they pick which degree to take my GPA from?

What the LSAC has is a list of grades they exclude, which includes, "Those awarded after the first undergraduate degree was received."  See here.  So, because you took all of those undergraduate classes toward a single degree (with dual majors) they'd all count.  Similarly, even in a dual-degree program, where both degrees were conferred at the same time, obviously all grades would still be awared before the first undergraduate degree.

Greg

Anti_Ivy

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Re: Can Graduate School Hurt
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2004, 02:58:08 PM »
Graduate school can hurt a person's chance of admission to a top law school for many reasons. 

- If you attend graduate school, a law school admissions committee may think you are avoiding the 'real world' by continuing your education or that you don't want to deal with the job hunt.  Either way, you will risk being seen as a person who does not truly want to practice law, but as a person who wants to avoid life.

- If you attend graduate school, it may be seen that you do not know what you want in life and that you plan to attend school until you figure it out.  Thus, you will appear as indecisive, which could deter law schools from admitting you.

- If you attend graduate school, you risk earning a bad GPA.  Not much is worse than an indecisive applicant who avoids the 'real world' through wasting money, only to achieve a low GPA. 


The best way to overcome the problems that are attached to attending graduate school is to make sure that you can disprove all of the negative factors associated with attending grad. school.  For instance:

- Get a job; a real job: a full-time employment position.  Hold said job for at least 90 days and only leave the job to get a better job.  Try to maintain employment for a minimum of six months.

- Base you personal statement (for law school) around the lines of: "Grad school made me realize this... Which led to my interest in the law..."  Or: "I plan to use both my grad. and law degree to pursue a career in..."  Show that if you had not pursued a graduate degree, you would not be where you are now.  OR you could be honest and say something like:  "I didn't know what I wanted in life, but my grad degree helped me realize that I really want (blank).  I think that getting my law degree would lead me closer to my goals."

- Get a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.  Don't be a screw-up.