Is my situation different from just low GPA?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
blender

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:58 pm

Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby blender » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:30 pm

Hi everybody,

My situation seems a bit unconventional and I'm a little anxious to know how people feel about it. Most of my non-internet friends have absolutely no idea about law schools in the US. So, I figure I might ask for some feedback from people who know the game on the internet. Fortunately, I found out this blog yesterday :)

I graduated with a degree in Philosophy back in 2013 from the LSE with a 3rd class British system degree (GPA<2.5). The low GPA was due to a combination of financial problems (alas, I still owe some money to the institution) and the loss of my maternal grandfather. Most importantly the latter derailed my track altogether and sent me into a depression. Afterwards, I felt that my degree was pretty much useless, so I decided to enroll in another undergraduate degree in law from a top 3 university in my country. I then managed to resurrect myself and graduate as valedictorian with a 3.94 GPA three years later.

Now, I’m planning to apply to the top law schools for the JD program, so I could practice law in the US. At first I thought my situation was hopeless, but the LSAT score I took last year was a lot higher than I had hoped for (176). So, my question is whether I realistically have any chance with the top law schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.). I’m not planning to write GPA addendum or anything yet, but just wanted to know whether my chances are heavily diminished by mediocre Philosophy degree.

Thanks all.

DolnaRay

New
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:00 am

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby DolnaRay » Mon May 07, 2018 8:20 am

My friend, it hurts me to admit this, but you have no chance at those schools. Despite the killer LSAT. Those schools accept nothing less than a first. . With such a good score, I suggest you target tier 2 and tier 3 law schools – ranged from 50-100. Also apply to some splitter friendly schools like WUSTL, Indiana University Bloomington, Washington and Lee etc. But don't hold your breath. Take the best school that accepts you.

There's a secret of US Law Schools. You can transfer after first semester if you have really good grades. Many people from tier 2/3/and even 4 have transferred to top 14 law schools. From what I have heard, transfer law schools dont give a shite to your UGPA just your law school GPA. So get into the best law school that would take you, studdy your arse off and transfer.

I am somewhat in same situation – from India went to a uni that has heavy grade deflation. No one ever gets a first here. The top score is a middling 2:1. I just managed a 2:2 after much studying. I can feel your pain.

And no – unfortunately LSAC doesnt calculate your grades after you graduated am afraid. :(. Your GPA is set in stone my friend.

I have some queries for you. Can I PM?

Also post this question in What Are My Chances section in TLS ( Top Law School) there you will get some credible replies.

sparkytrainer

Silver
Posts: 805
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby sparkytrainer » Mon May 07, 2018 10:09 am

blender wrote:Hi everybody,

My situation seems a bit unconventional and I'm a little anxious to know how people feel about it. Most of my non-internet friends have absolutely no idea about law schools in the US. So, I figure I might ask for some feedback from people who know the game on the internet. Fortunately, I found out this blog yesterday :)

I graduated with a degree in Philosophy back in 2013 from the LSE with a 3rd class British system degree (GPA<2.5). The low GPA was due to a combination of financial problems (alas, I still owe some money to the institution) and the loss of my maternal grandfather. Most importantly the latter derailed my track altogether and sent me into a depression. Afterwards, I felt that my degree was pretty much useless, so I decided to enroll in another undergraduate degree in law from a top 3 university in my country. I then managed to resurrect myself and graduate as valedictorian with a 3.94 GPA three years later.

Now, I’m planning to apply to the top law schools for the JD program, so I could practice law in the US. At first I thought my situation was hopeless, but the LSAT score I took last year was a lot higher than I had hoped for (176). So, my question is whether I realistically have any chance with the top law schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.). I’m not planning to write GPA addendum or anything yet, but just wanted to know whether my chances are heavily diminished by mediocre Philosophy degree.

Thanks all.


Sorry to say, but a 2:2 will not get you into a t13, let alone one of the top 3. There are a handful of reported 2:1s that get into Harvard, but usually only 1 or 2 a year and they are URMs and have other things going on.

As far as the advice of the above poster, he has no idea what he is talking about with transferring. Law school in the US is graded on a strict curve. If you get 99/100 points, but your class gets 100/100, you are at the bottom of the curve. One bad day on an exam and you have no chance of transferring. The time old advice is and will continue to be do not consider transferring when considering school options. Only attend the school you are happy to graduate from at a price that is reasonable for the expected outcomes.

albanach

Gold
Posts: 1538
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby albanach » Mon May 07, 2018 10:15 am

DolnaRay wrote:My friend, it hurts me to admit this, but you have no chance at those schools. Despite the killer LSAT. Those schools accept nothing less than a first. . With such a good score, I suggest you target tier 2 and tier 3 law schools – ranged from 50-100. Also apply to some splitter friendly schools like WUSTL, Indiana University Bloomington, Washington and Lee etc. But don't hold your breath. Take the best school that accepts you.

There's a secret of US Law Schools. You can transfer after first semester if you have really good grades. Many people from tier 2/3/and even 4 have transferred to top 14 law schools. From what I have heard, transfer law schools dont give a shite to your UGPA just your law school GPA. So get into the best law school that would take you, studdy your arse off and transfer.

I am somewhat in same situation – from India went to a uni that has heavy grade deflation. No one ever gets a first here. The top score is a middling 2:1. I just managed a 2:2 after much studying. I can feel your pain.

And no – unfortunately LSAC doesnt calculate your grades after you graduated am afraid. :(. Your GPA is set in stone my friend.

I have some queries for you. Can I PM?

Also post this question in What Are My Chances section in TLS ( Top Law School) there you will get some credible replies.


1) You should never attend any law school, solely with the goal of transferring. No one can predict 1L grades. Don't attend a school you are not willing to continue paying tuition for and graduate from.

2) OP has no LSAC reportable GPA. Foreign degrees are not translated into US GPAs and are not reported on the ABA disclosure form as GPAs. They do not affect the school's GPA percentiles. All that is reported to the ABA is "# not included in UGPA calculations".

OP - your situation is likely a bit unusual. That said, your chances at YHS are probably slim. Just because the the Douglas Hurd might not drag you down as much as a 2.x in the US, it's not going to go unnoticed.

albanach

Gold
Posts: 1538
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby albanach » Mon May 07, 2018 5:37 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:Sorry to say, but a 2:2 will not get you into a t13, let alone one of the top 3.


The first part of that sentence is nonsense.

sparkytrainer

Silver
Posts: 805
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby sparkytrainer » Mon May 07, 2018 5:58 pm

albanach wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:Sorry to say, but a 2:2 will not get you into a t13, let alone one of the top 3.


The first part of that sentence is nonsense.


Do you have any experience in t13 international applications? I actually do. There is a thread and spreadsheet that used to track it on this website as well. Sure, I might have slightly overstated that a 2:2 won't get into the t13. It is conceivable a 2:2 could, but its highly unlikely. However, it is absolutely true a 2:2 will not get you into the t3. There is data to prove that exact point. Over the past few years, H has only taken 2-3 2:1s, which all appear to be an URM, while Y and S have only taken firsts and no 2:1s. If they aren't taking 2:1s, why the heck would they take 2:2s?

albanach

Gold
Posts: 1538
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby albanach » Mon May 07, 2018 10:51 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
albanach wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:Sorry to say, but a 2:2 will not get you into a t13, let alone one of the top 3.


The first part of that sentence is nonsense.


Do you have any experience in t13 international applications? I actually do. There is a thread and spreadsheet that used to track it on this website as well. Sure, I might have slightly overstated that a 2:2 won't get into the t13. It is conceivable a 2:2 could, but its highly unlikely. However, it is absolutely true a 2:2 will not get you into the t3. There is data to prove that exact point. Over the past few years, H has only taken 2-3 2:1s, which all appear to be an URM, while Y and S have only taken firsts and no 2:1s. If they aren't taking 2:1s, why the heck would they take 2:2s?


Firstly, you have no idea what they've taken because any spreadsheet not compiled by the institution is incomplete and subject to self-reporting bias.

Secondly, I have a 2:2 and a T-14 degree. So yes, I have a bit of experience in this field.

You'll note that I only called you out on your statement as it referred to the T13. That's demonstrably false, so I see no reason for it to be perpetuated or to go unchallenged. HYS will always be a tougher nut to crack if only because it's so hard to even position yourself as a strong splitter - getting above their 75th percentile for the LSAT is challenging and you're still going to need a unique story to make up for the undergrad qualification or, least, to explain it away.

For OP, their situation is pretty unusual in that they have a second undergraduate degree. I have no idea how CAS will translate their second GPA (since we don't know what country it's from, and have to assume it's out of 4.0 can or maybe 4.3) but taken at face value it looks excellent. If the admissions office had concerns about academic ability based on the first degree, that had to be somewhat remediated by the second. And there's no threat to ranking by offering a place, particularly if OP gets above the schools 75th LSAT.

That said, every international student faces challenges. How will OP find the cost of attendance? Can they pay sticker? (The comment about still owing money to lse is concerning). Then there's also the possibility that schools will change concerned by employment prospects based on visa status, though they shouldn't be discriminating based on national origin.

DolnaRay

New
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:00 am

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby DolnaRay » Tue May 08, 2018 8:43 am

[

Sorry to say, but a 2:2 will not get you into a t13, let alone one of the top 3. There are a handful of reported 2:1s that get into Harvard, but usually only 1 or 2 a year and they are URMs and have other things going on.

As far as the advice of the above poster, he has no idea what he is talking about with transferring. Law school in the US is graded on a strict curve. If you get 99/100 points, but your class gets 100/100, you are at the bottom of the curve. One bad day on an exam and you have no chance of transferring. The time old advice is and will continue to be do not consider transferring when considering school options. Only attend the school you are happy to graduate from at a price that is reasonable for the expected outcomes.[/quote]

But am I correct in my assumption that with this great LSAT score people with 3rd class ( which I think would be kinds comparable to low 2s in US) can go to a school ranked from 50-100 ? All the supersplitters I see are from USA/Domicile – virtually no supersplitter from abroad.

DolnaRay

New
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:00 am

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby DolnaRay » Tue May 08, 2018 8:57 am

[

Secondly, I have a 2:2 and a T-14 degree. So yes, I have a bit of experience in this field.

You'll note that I only called you out on your statement as it referred to the T13. That's demonstrably false, so I see no reason for it to be perpetuated or to go unchallenged. HYS will always be a tougher nut to crack if only because it's so hard to even position yourself as a strong splitter - getting above their 75th percentile for the LSAT is challenging and you're still going to need a unique story to make up for the undergrad qualification or, least, to explain it away.

For OP, their situation is pretty unusual in that they have a second undergraduate degree. I have no idea how CAS will translate their second GPA (since we don't know what country it's from, and have to assume it's out of 4.0 can or maybe 4.3) but taken at face value it looks excellent. If the admissions office had concerns about academic ability based on the first degree, that had to be somewhat remediated by the second. And there's no threat to ranking by offering a place, particularly if OP gets above the schools 75th LSAT.

That said, every international student faces challenges. How will OP find the cost of attendance? Can they pay sticker? (The comment about still owing money to lse is concerning). Then there's also the possibility that schools will change concerned by employment prospects based on visa status, though they shouldn't be discriminating based on national origin.[/quote]


I have some questions if you dont mind –

You said you have a 2:2 and went to T14, so you are the best guide I could find on predicting chances as an international super splitter.

I managed a 2:2 in undergrad. I am from an Indian university where grade is very deflated ( I know I should have had a 2:1 anyways) – as I pointed out – virtually no one ever gets a First in my alma mater – at least not in liberal arts degrees. The top score was a mid 2:1 – so I ended up with a 2:2 in my degree and yes thirds in my non honours/compulsory courses ( yikes). Corny as it sounds I am proud of my 2:2. I worked hard. Considering half my batchmates failed/dropped out. My uni has often made headlines in my country for mass failing.

So an intl applicant with Average or Below Average – do they have any shot at US law school worth going to – with a great LSAT? Also non URM.

albanach

Gold
Posts: 1538
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby albanach » Tue May 08, 2018 10:19 am

DolnaRay wrote:
But am I correct in my assumption that with this great LSAT score people with 3rd class ( which I think would be kinds comparable to low 2s in US) can go to a school ranked from 50-100 ? All the supersplitters I see are from USA/Domicile – virtually no supersplitter from abroad.


Third class honors are pretty uncommon. As are international applicants for JD courses.

That said, with a strong LSAT and no reportable GPA I'm sure there are T-2 schools that would admit them at sticker. Unless you are independently wealthy, it would be unwise to attend under those circumstances.

albanach

Gold
Posts: 1538
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby albanach » Tue May 08, 2018 10:25 am

DolnaRay wrote:
I have some questions if you dont mind –

You said you have a 2:2 and went to T14, so you are the best guide I could find on predicting chances as an international super splitter.

I managed a 2:2 in undergrad. I am from an Indian university where grade is very deflated ( I know I should have had a 2:1 anyways) – as I pointed out – virtually no one ever gets a First in my alma mater – at least not in liberal arts degrees. The top score was a mid 2:1 – so I ended up with a 2:2 in my degree and yes thirds in my non honours/compulsory courses ( yikes). Corny as it sounds I am proud of my 2:2. I worked hard. Considering half my batchmates failed/dropped out. My uni has often made headlines in my country for mass failing.

So an intl applicant with Average or Below Average – do they have any shot at US law school worth going to – with a great LSAT? Also non URM.


You have a 2:2 - it doesn't matter what your school normally awards. This is just the same as for a US applicant with a 2.9 from a school that regularly deflates grades.

Have you paid for CAS to assess your degree? If it's above average, that is helpful. If it's average or below average it will be a hindrance and limit your options. As I said in my earlier reply, you're likely looking at a lower ranked school and very high tuition. How will you pay for the tuition? What's your plan for working afterwards? Will you be eligible for a work visa?

DolnaRay

New
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:00 am

Re: Is my situation different from just low GPA?

Postby DolnaRay » Wed May 09, 2018 3:26 am

albanach wrote:
DolnaRay wrote:
I
You have a 2:2 - it doesn't matter what your school normally awards. This is just the same as for a US applicant with a 2.9 from a school that regularly deflates grades.

Have you paid for CAS to assess your degree? If it's above average, that is helpful. If it's average or below average it will be a hindrance and limit your options. As I said in my earlier reply, you're likely looking at a lower ranked school and very high tuition. How will you pay for the tuition? What's your plan for working afterwards? Will you be eligible for a work visa?


Its a Below Average – owing to as I said thirds in non honours compulsory electives. (Damn) My cold LSAT is a 166, so I am expecting ( though I can always underperform) at least a 170+ in the real deal.

Beggars can't be choosers so obviously am not expecting a T1 Law school. But yes, it would be great if my LSAT ( assuming I can pull off what I am expecting) protects me from a T4 or diploma mill law school.



Return to “Law School FAQ?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests