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determinus

Need serious input on chances! [2.84 / 155]

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Hello Everyone, 

Long-time lurker here. My stats are; 

BA Hons. (UofT)

- cGPA 2.84

- L2/B2 3.2

MA 2yrs (UofT)

Letter grades only. Lowest grade A- except for 1 B+.

Poor undergrad cGPA is due to really bad 1st/2nd year. Dealt with a number of family/community issues. 

 

Very strong ECs. Years of community volunteerism. Int'l internships. Recent government employment within a Ministry. Able to obtain LOR from Minister etc. Personal focus on immigration/refugee/human rights issues.


LSAT

2016 - 155 (No practice/study)

2017 - 155 (1 month of personal study)

Realized I need help with LG. Doing really well in LR/RC.

 

I would highly highly appreciate a brutally honest opinion on chances. Also, I would very much appreciate advice on methods to improve GPA situation. What can one do to improve those stats after the fact. Enrolling in a new undergraduate degree? Taking individual undergraduate courses? Any and all advice highly appreciated. 

 

Thanks folks! 

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Your target schools should be those that calculate your GPA based on your last two academic years. I estimate that you would need at least a 165. You need to go for broke and take an LSAT prep course. Speaking as someone who had to take a prep course to get their target score, throwing money at a problem sometimes works, in this case more often than not.

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4 minutes ago, NapoleonBonaparte said:

Your target schools should be those that calculate your GPA based on your last two academic years. I estimate that you would need at least a 165. You need to go for broke and take an LSAT prep course. Speaking as someone who had to take a prep course to get their target score, throwing money at a problem sometimes works, in this case more often than not.

Thank you for the feedback. Any recommendations on prep courses? From what I'm reading here, 7sage seems to be a top choice. Also, what are your thoughts on re-taking some undergrad courses or other options for boosting undergrad gpa? Thanks!

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1 minute ago, determinus said:

Thank you for the feedback. Any recommendations on prep courses? From what I'm reading here, 7sage seems to be a top choice. Also, what are your thoughts on re-taking some undergrad courses or other options for boosting undergrad gpa? Thanks!

I took Princeton Review so that's the only one I can recommend. Don't cheap out and get the cheaper one, this is a worthy investment.

My university allowed you to retake courses but the new grade didn't replace the original. I would check with your institution before going down that path. I'm not even sure you can boost gpa once you've graduated. What people usually do is delay graduation in order to take easy courses.

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Not great with those stats. Your ECs are nice, but you'd be surprised how average they are when compared to what some law students do. and Ecs and LORs cannot overcome bad grades and LSAT, they are a distant last place compared to other factors.

Some schools (most, I think) do not consider your MA grades in your GPA. I would look into whether any schools DO consider graduate degree grades, as it seems yours are stronger. Definitely apply to those schools.

In terms of re-taking undergrad courses, doing a second undergraduate degree, if you have the time and resources, may be your best option, but be realistic with what you can achieve. You've done well in your grad courses, but your best years if undergrad were 3.2 , which doesn't even meet the minimum cutoff for most Ontario schools (not sure about others). Simply re-taking courses will not replace the grade on your transcript, it will just add a new one - I've never heard of a school actually deleting a former grade from your transcript.

Basically, your grades are not competitive. That LSAT is not competitive. You can't apply with those stats and expect to get in. If you've got the resources to hire a private LSAT tutor, do that. If you can get yourself to a very high LSAT (170+), you may become what's know as a splitter. If you apply broadly across Canada, odds are you may get in somewhere.

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Posted (edited)

General Category

You have really bad chances for the general category. I second 3rdGenLawStudent's post that you can't apply with those stats and expect to get in. cGPA is a C+ and while the L2 showed improvement, you nonetheless fall very short of the goal (3.7). LSAT is also poor albeit to a lesser extent than the GPA is.

I do not think that taking undergrad courses or a new degree will help your cause because I believe adcomms only focus on the first degree taken. 

Edit: I just looked over Windsor's accepted thread and some of the later acceptances have comparable stats to yours, slightly better but your extracurriculars and work experiences could make up the difference. So it seems that you have a better chance in the general category at some schools and towards the end of the cycle than what I initially thought. 

Mature Category

You do have good extracurriculars and work experiences. As a result, I do not think that law school has shut you out just yet. If you can get a high 160 LSAT and apply in the mature category, you have a reasonable chance. I cannot speculate further as to what your chances would be in the mature category. 

Edited by Trew
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25 minutes ago, 3rdGenLawStudent said:

 

I've never heard of a school actually deleting a former grade from your transcript.

 

Berkeley does. But you're right in a Canadian context.

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Posted (edited)

I think it will take time to improve your stats to a competitive level. If law school is what you really want to pursue, it's worth considering the following:

1) Are you willing to go anywhere in Canada?

2) Your extra-curriculars may not be a factor at some schools, that is, they base their decisions on stats only. The schools that consider ECs (such as TRU and UofC) still place high priority on stats. 

3) It is possible to raise your L2 with additional courses. The kinds of courses that would be considered will depend on the school. I highly suggest you check in with them on that. Upper-level courses vs. lower-level courses, courses contributing to a degree, courses taken in the summer, courses taken as part of a diploma program, etc. are all things you will probably have to address with them. UofA is pretty generous with regards to "burying" old grades under new grades (but they will average your LSAT scores). You might not necessarily need to re-do an undergrad degree.

4) It's unlikely your Master's will be considered by most schools. However, I think UofM will include Master's degree courses in their GPA calculation.

5) I'd suggest re-writing the LSAT for a higher score. This might mean setting aside a solid amount of time and changing the way you studied previously.

 

Edited by Psychometronic
I don't think the Honour's designation will matter in your GPA calculation

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23 minutes ago, Psychometronic said:

4) It's unlikely your Master's will be considered by most schools. However, I think UofM will include Master's degree courses in their GPA calculation

I believe UofA accepts graduate grades for their L2.

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I’ve only applied to U of A (since I live in Edmonton), so am very familiar with their criteria. You might have a good chance here. They ONLY look at your last 60 credits of post secondary, even if that’s a masters. They will add in your last semester of undergrad if your masters is a bit less than 60 credits. So with a 155 lsat average (they do average all your attempts), if your last 60 credits turned out to average 3.8, you’re basically guaranteed acceptance. You might even be ok with a 3.6 if you’ve got outstanding softs, but they would have to be really outstanding.  U of A seems to be the only university that only cares about your last 60 credits. 

 

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