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Hi guys, I am new to this website but so far I have the discussion really helpful. I am a 3rd year student going into 4th year, I plan on taking the LSAT in September. My cold diagnostic score was 165, do I have a chance of getting in law school? I want to apply to schools in Ontario that look at L2,B2 like Western and Queens, my question is if my cGPA is pretty low but I manage to get a decent LSAT score and have good L2 with a 3.5-3.6 ish would this be enough for these schools or even Calgary or Alberta? If I take summer courses will these be counted in my L2 calculation or only full course years? so basically my 2 and 3 year grades will be used right not even my 4th year one semester marks?

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my EC are pretty average i guess, I am taking doing a BSc in Molecular biology so I have research experience and 2 published posters presentations, with some experience working with a public health professor, I also aim to volunteer in a law firm maybe during the summer to bump up my EC so recommendation letters would be from my Prof or people i volunteer for. Yes it was timed test.

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Posted (edited)

Assuming you can score higher with some studying, I think your chances are pretty good. B2/L2 schools are your best bet but if you can hit a 170+, index schools that apply drops might also be in the running.

EDIT: U of A considers your most recent 60 credits and does not discriminate between summer and non-summer courses.

Edited by Psychometronic
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My L2 is 3.8. I didn’t even bother calculating my CGPA but I suspect it’s no higher than yours

I received a first round offer at Alberta.

They did take my summer/spring classes 

Some of the predominantly L2 schools take into consideration your CGPA to some extent,  but Alberta doesn’t give a shit. Have a sufficiently high L2 and LSAT and you’re in. 

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thank you so much!, maybe i can hope to get my l2 to a 3.7 if i ace my 1st semester of 4th year. Does Queens, just say its a school that looks at l2 but actually weighs your cgpa alot? also do they count full year course load as l2 right not summer courses or half of first semester of 4th year?

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22 minutes ago, lawstud101 said:

thank you so much!, maybe i can hope to get my l2 to a 3.7 if i ace my 1st semester of 4th year. Does Queens, just say its a school that looks at l2 but actually weighs your cgpa alot? also do they count full year course load as l2 right not summer courses or half of first semester of 4th year?

Hey! I just want to point out that we need to be more encouraging and not look down on other applicants with a lower GPA. Just because someone has a lower average does not mean they can't be successful advocates or be accepted into a great program. Continue to work hard and get yourself some experience in some kind of volunteer work where you can develop some advocacy skills.  There are lots of  charitable organizations where you can volunteer at events/ certain groups where you can be exposed to some advocacy work.  Just remember.. you are doing the best you can.

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What if doing the best you can isn't good enough?  

I mean, yes, you can have a lousy GPA and still get your shit together and become a decent lawyer. But that's not certain - indeed, if your GPA isn't good enough to get into law school, your chances are zero. And the lower your GPA, all else being equal, the longer those odds are.

I've know fine lawyers who royally shat the bed during their first few years of undergrad before recovering and having good careers. But they're not typical and, moreover, they followed up on their lousy performance with much stronger performances. A couple of years of A averages (like our friend the Toad) demonstrate real ability, but the OP isn't there yet. 

We had this discussion in another thread, it's fine to be encouraging, but let's also be realistic, if you're the last student who scrapes into XYZ law school off the waitlist, you're not the odds on favorite to be the gold medallist 3 years later.  Law school isn't a magic box that takes everyone in and pops out similarly situated graduates - if you're a marginal student going in, you're likely to be a marginal student coming out. 

OP, here's my question, what's the rush? You haven't exactly knocked the ball out of the park in your undergrad - and that's not a criticism, some people are slow bloomers - what's your rush to go to law school to compete with people who have? Given how important where you start is to the evolution of your legal career, getting into law school before you're really ready could do you an enormous disservice.  There's no rush to go to law school. Get a couple semesters of solid grades under your belt, not to demonstrate to the law schools that you're worthy of being admitted - they don't really care, you're a revenue source for them - but to objectively prove to yourself (i.e., based on actual substantive achievement, not "I think I can be a great lawyer") that investing 3 years and tens of thousands of dollars is a worthwhile investment.  If that means bumping back applications for a year, so what, spend a year working, that won't hurt you (if anything, it'll make you a more credible candidate for jobs). 

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15 minutes ago, kjac2014 said:

Hey! I just want to point out that we need to be more encouraging and not look down on other applicants with a lower GPA. Just because someone has a lower average does not mean they can't be successful advocates or be accepted into a great program. Continue to work hard and get yourself some experience in some kind of volunteer work where you can develop some advocacy skills.  There are lots of  charitable organizations where you can volunteer at events/ certain groups where you can be exposed to some advocacy work.  Just remember.. you are doing the best you can.

And we need to be more encouraging why, exactly? I agree with a general level of human courtesy and there's no reason to look down on anyone at all, really, unless they act like an ass. But this isn't a site where we lie to someone or pretend their situation is better than it is just because it generates warm fuzzies. People get the answer their situation actually merits - not the answer they wish their situation merits.

Also, it's you who need to differentiate between topics here, and not the site in general that has a problem. No one ever asks the question in this form "I have a low GPA - can I still be a successful advocate?" The reason why no one ever asks that question is because the lack of logical association is obvious. What people ask is "I have a low GPA, can I still get into law school?" Then, when they get discouraging answers, they reply with indignation and say "how dare you suggest I can't be an effective lawyer!" And believe it or not, it usually works and these topics get muddied up together.

So, to be clear, it is not the official position of LS.ca that you can't be a successful lawyer despite receiving poor grades in school. Individuals may hold that view, and frankly, I share it, but the real issue you have is this. It's the considered opinion of the various officials in positions of authority at law schools that when your grades are bad, you shouldn't get into their law schools. If you have an issue with the fact that past success in school, or lack thereof, is considered a predictor of your future success in school, argue with the people who make admissions decisions. Stop bringing your foolishness here.

Finally, it's absurd and irresponsible to move from "stop looking down on students with bad grades" to some vague gesture at volunteer activities, advocacy work, etc. You know what people with bad grades need to hear? Get better grades. Do it now. Stop arguing on the Internet about how you can be a good lawyer and get into law school despite bad grades. Stop saying that you'll do better in the future. Do better now. Volunteer work isn't going to get you into law school. Better grades and a strong LSAT will.

You know who sabotages law school applicants more than anyone else? Other law school applicants. Because you trade these absurd delusions with one another that if you only write a compelling personal statement and get a letter of reference from the right person and explain why you haven't been able to demonstrate your ability before this point in time, that some law school is going to admit you instead of the person who has demonstrated their ability already! Seriously - who the hell does that?

Work hard, demonstrate your ability, and then you get in. Stop hoping that just because you're special, and you explain your special-ness, that's going to make all the difference. I've seen a lot of law students. I like some of them, I dislike others, but they all have a lot of things going for them. So do the next 1,000 applicants who didn't get into law school. You aren't more special than they are. It's performance that'll get you in - not some drastically original explanation for why you've failed to perform to this point in time.

 

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i agree with the two other other comments diplock and maximumbob. I dont know what kjac2014 was trying to say in that comment since it didnt really go with the rest of the comments before that. Everyone else had just recommended that I improve my last 2 year grades and i agreed. I never asked for sympathy, i appreciate the blunt and real answers since they will only help me improve. Regarding my grades not being on par with a good lawyer or law student. You really dont know me, you dont know my struggle. The reason i didnt post my reason for a bad cgpa because i knew it didnt matter, i could only improve my grades not justify bad ones. I did have a terrible first year since I was suffering from mental health issues with the loss of a loved one and no support from friends or family i was isolated. But none of that is important. I know if I put in the work I can definetely be good enough for law school. I go to a pretty tough school U of T, doing a pretty competitive major  and I am not complaining about that, I appreciate that it has made me a very hard worker. My grades in 3rd year are close to 3.7 however I was worried that for my L2 gpa calculation that it would include my 2nd year marks as well in which i didnt do as good with a 3.2. I am hopeful that if they include summer or 1st semester grades from 4th year I might have a better l2 gpa. The reason I want to get into law school is because I want to be able to support my family early on. I am not very well off, and my family expects me to get into law school after I graduate since they are immigrants and dont really know the idea of waiting and reapplying again and again since they would want me to get married off since I am a a girl. I know that is something I have to deal with and talk to my parents to but I hope you can understand not everyone has the luxury of time. 

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Just to be clear, my comments weren't really directed at the OP. He (she?) seems to have a reasonable view of the situation. This is just where the topic happened to erupt.

You know I get the anxiety. I really do. It's just that when we start to get into admissions advice by applicants, for applicants, and from the exclusive perspective of applicants, this site starts to replicate all the worst aspects of pre-law clubs. Everyone starts telling each other absurd crap that's not based in any knowledge or rational relation to real information. It's just about what they themselves want to believe. As encouragement, I suppose that's not entirely without value. But if you base any decisions off of it, it's terrible.

Anyway, said what I wanted to say. OP, sounds like you're on the right track. Keep it up, and good luck.

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Your cold score is amazing , I think study hard for  2 months after classes finish  and write in this summer ,  this gives you numerous options in worst case scenario if the first write is not ideal

If you have a olsas 3.7 this year, then you can come in and in your 4th year work even harder and I think the resulting l2 will help make you a strong candidate at a few  schools , given your lsat lands where we hope it will 

If there is one  or 2 year that are significantly different than the others I would address this in the personal statement to explain the circumstances 

With that cold score, if you really want to practice law for whatever reasons you may have, if it is something you really desire, I would advise to keep going and not stop because of parents or whatever other reason. This is going to be the rest of your life, if it is something you are passionate about i see the door open for you if a few things go the way we hope and I would think for your long term interests it would be wise to do whatever it takes to get that foot through that door

You are looking ahead, asking questions , improving your grades, your cold lsat is amazing, just keep going and keep doing what you are doing and maybe even more, and just put your head down work work work and lets keep some hope, the door Defintley is not closed yet by any stretch

Good luck!

 

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Are your GPA based on OLSAS conversion ? 

3.6/4.0 or 3.6/4.33 ?  From one of the Canadian University listed on OLSAS?

 

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its out of 4.0 but these are not entirely accurate since I am still finishing my 3rd year right now. I am guessing it would be 3.6 hopefully 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, kjac2014 said:

Hey! I just want to point out that we need to be more encouraging and not look down on other applicants with a lower GPA. Just because someone has a lower average does not mean they can't be successful advocates or be accepted into a great program. Continue to work hard and get yourself some experience in some kind of volunteer work where you can develop some advocacy skills.  There are lots of  charitable organizations where you can volunteer at events/ certain groups where you can be exposed to some advocacy work.  Just remember.. you are doing the best you can.

Volunteering and working hard doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the grades to be competitive for law school, even if you are doing the best you can.

OP: good attitude. Work on your grades and good luck.

Edited by providence
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6 hours ago, lawstud101 said:

my EC are pretty average i guess, I am taking doing a BSc in Molecular biology so I have research experience and 2 published posters presentations, with some experience working with a public health professor, I also aim to volunteer in a law firm maybe during the summer to bump up my EC so recommendation letters would be from my Prof or people i volunteer for. Yes it was timed test.

[emphasis added]

Nothing to do with your admission chances, but I think that for some people in STEM programs, GPA is not as good a predictor of success in law school. Which doesn't help you get in, but may be a factor to consider in your self assessment about whether law school is for you or not, why did you get the GPA you did.

I found this article (from a US perspective) interesting, including some comments like:

"A second reason STEM (but not EAF) may be a positive predictor is that STEM courses often feature a lower grading curve, making a STEM major's 3.3 UGPA more impressive than a 3.3 in history; STEM courses typically give out fewer As and more C (or lower) grades. Thus, among students with identical UGPAs, the STEM majors show more potential – which may explain why STEM is a somewhat larger plus than EAF, in which the grading curves typically are not unusually tough...." [emphasis added]

http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1651&context=articles

Ha! :rolleyes:

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49 minutes ago, epeeist said:

[emphasis added]

Nothing to do with your admission chances, but I think that for some people in STEM programs, GPA is not as good a predictor of success in law school. Which doesn't help you get in, but may be a factor to consider in your self assessment about whether law school is for you or not, why did you get the GPA you did.

I found this article (from a US perspective) interesting, including some comments like:

"A second reason STEM (but not EAF) may be a positive predictor is that STEM courses often feature a lower grading curve, making a STEM major's 3.3 UGPA more impressive than a 3.3 in history; STEM courses typically give out fewer As and more C (or lower) grades. Thus, among students with identical UGPAs, the STEM majors show more potential – which may explain why STEM is a somewhat larger plus than EAF, in which the grading curves typically are not unusually tough...." [emphasis added]

http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1651&context=articles

Ha! :rolleyes:

Damn. I understand the logic of affirmative action leading to lower performance in blacks/latinos, but I didn't expect it for the Asians. Did the stereotypes get it wrong, or have the best and the brightest Asians all gone to med school instead?

 

Also, EAF arguably containing weaker students, yet half the people in my classes are pants-on-head retarded. Are other programs that much worse?

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