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Chances: 3.43 cGPA / 3.93 L2 / 3.86 B3 / 153 LSAT / Diversity+Unique Experiences

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2 hours ago, krnprykt said:

@providenceThat's true, is it safe to say that at the end of the day there are only the LSAT score and cGPA that matter?

Where does PS stand in this matter? 

Well it doesn’t have to be cGPA, depending on the school, but I’d be willing to put money on the fact that for most people, 75-90% of a decision is based on however marks are calculated for consideration and LSAT. Get those two locked down and as long as you don’t absolutely bomb your PS, it shouldn’t matter too much. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, RNGesus said:

Well it doesn’t have to be cGPA, depending on the school, but I’d be willing to put money on the fact that for most people, 75-90% of a decision is based on however marks are calculated for consideration and LSAT. Get those two locked down and as long as you don’t absolutely bomb your PS, it shouldn’t matter too much. 

I hope i'm not f*cked with a 56% lsat

Edited by stqust

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Posted (edited)

I went to Osgoode and worked in the admissions department, so I'll give you my thoughts. Based on numbers alone, you have no chance. The people who get into Osgoode with numbers in your range are anomalies and should not be taken as examples (probably less than 10 students out of a class of 290, and most of them were mature students with significant work experience). I say throw in an application to Osgoode but do not hedge your bets on it. Invest your time and energy at other schools like Windsor, that do have a truly holistic process and care more about your personal circumstances and extracurriculars. Osgoode receives 2500+ applications for 290 spots, and there will be people applying with better stats than yours who have similar experiences. I scanned your experiences and it's rather common among the Osgoode student body; this is not to take away from it but to say that it may not be as unique as you think. There were students in my class who came from poverty, who are immigrants, who are racialized minorities, who are LGBTQ, who had family and personal tragedies, who can speak multiple languages (very diverse class), who had significant work and volunteer experiences, etc. Osgoode is one of the most diverse law schools in Canada (along with Windsor and Ottawa).

I would also be careful about trying to get an acceptance through a "pity parade" of sorts. Ultimately, Osgoode does want to accept a class of very accomplished individuals, who would benefit the legal profession and bring respect and recognition to the school. Don't be misled by students getting in with lower stats - most of them were mature applicants with 5+ years of work experience under their belt. The average cGPA was a 3.67 and average LSAT score a 162 for the last couple of rounds. To put it into perspective, I had a 160+ LSAT score and 3.7+ GPA and fell into at least four of the "categories" you had listed under your experiences.

Good luck and I think you have a shot at other law schools, but not really Osgoode unless you get extremely lucky. 

Edit: Reference letters don't make or break an application (unless it's extremely negative). Profreader mentioned this in another thread, but you can't know how strong a reference letter is if you have not read them. Now if you have read them, then it's also subjective based on the person reading the letter. Most law school applicants have good/strong letters in general. 

Edited by Simbaa
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2 hours ago, stqust said:

Why TRU? I'm looking into  Manitoba and UNB right now too but would ideally like to stay in Ontario

Because they take a holistic approach!

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6 hours ago, stqust said:

I hope i'm not f*cked with a 56% lsat

You are

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Why do 3, 4, 5 more lsat points make such a big difference? Osgoode doesn't even publish 25th/75th percentile scores (like Toronto). If I can actually meaningfully enrich their class through my experiences (which i do believe are unique) and if my qualities and circumstances are underrepresented in the class and profession (which they are, based on their recent demographic surveys and LSUC reports/data), why should it matter, within reason of course, how far I am below their 161-162 lsat median? Is it because some applicants' situations are similar so Osgoode decides to take the highest #s?

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5 minutes ago, stqust said:

Why do 3, 4, 5 more lsat points make such a big difference? Osgoode doesn't even publish 25th/75th percentile scores (like Toronto). If I can actually meaningfully enrich their class through my experiences (which i do believe are unique) and if my qualities and circumstances are underrepresented in the class and profession (which they are, based on their recent demographic surveys and LSUC reports/data), why should it matter, within reason of course, how far I am below their 161-162 lsat median? Is it because some applicants' situations are similar so Osgoode decides to take the highest #s?

The extra points make a difference because 153 is in the 55.6 percentile, just above average, while 159 is the 77.6%, which is now above the top quarter. 160 is top 20%. 

Whoever else said it is right, too. You aren't the only minority who was a refugee and poor and lived through family violence etc. That's a pretty typical refugee experience, and there are lots of refugees in Canada, and a few do make it to law school. All of those things and more are part of my life experience. So it isn't that unique and don''t get too fixated on that or try to spin them a big long sob story about it. I do agree that there is still under representation, but there will be minority refugees who score 158 and 160 and higher and can enrich the class as well as be close to the median. 

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3 minutes ago, stqust said:

Why do 3, 4, 5 more lsat points make such a big difference? Osgoode doesn't even publish 25th/75th percentile scores (like Toronto). If I can actually meaningfully enrich their class through my experiences (which i do believe are unique) and if my qualities and circumstances are underrepresented in the class and profession (which they are, based on their recent demographic surveys and LSUC reports/data), why should it matter, within reason of course, how far I am below their 161-162 lsat median? Is it because some applicants' situations are similar so Osgoode decides to take the highest #s?

Ultimately, all law schools want to admit students who they believe will be successful in law school, which theoretically will convert into having good jobs, which transforms people into good alumni. Osgoode is no different. They also have the laudable goal of having a diverse student body who represents a true range of experiences and backgrounds. But they still look for numbers that indicate an ability to succeed in school. You have that in your cGPA, which shows strong year-to-year growth and an ability to improve through difficult circumstances. You don't show the same in your LSAT.

And the 4 or 5 point different matters a lot for a few reasons. Being below the median isn't your issue - I was below the median at every school I applied to, but still got in to several schools. But the essential point is how far below the median you are. The median is around the 85th percentile, at Osgoode at least. You mentioned being 56th percentile. This is a large drop, even though it's represented by only a few points. SO I think what people in this thread have rightly noticed is an increased to a 157/158 LSAT would, while still falling below the median, put yourself vastly above the place you are at now. If you're at the 56th percentile, 44% of test takes did better than you. Let's do some junk math and say that means roughly 40% of applicants have a better LSAT than you do. Osgoode only accepts about 10-12% of those people who apply. Those rates demand the best stats you can give.

You've endured extremely tragic and difficult experiences in your life, and managed to come through it with strong grades. I have to believe you also have it in you to improve the LSAT, in which case you'll have a very strong app for Osgoode, and frankly any school, that values strength of performance along with diverse experiences that speak to strength of character.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm gonna retake in Nov and Jan (can't in Sept). Hopefully I can improve at least a few points. 4-5 takes probably looks horrible but I have no other choices at the moment lol.

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Posted (edited)

I had a full 5.0 course load in each Yr. In terms of 1000/2000 level courses, I had 1.0 of them in 3rd year, 3.0 in 4th and 2.0 in 5th. do you guys think the admissions committee will see that as a grade boosting scheme or should I be fine given than the marks are relatively high(basically all high 80 or low 90)

 

Also, could the MA help me stand out given my experiences and LSAT. How much so? only like ~20% of entering classes have it

Edited by stqust

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2 minutes ago, stqust said:

Thanks for the replies. I'm gonna retake in Nov and Jan (can't in Sept). Hopefully I can improve at least a few points. 4-5 takes probably looks horrible but I have no other choices at the moment lol.

That's a good move, although I'd also suggest doing what someone else on this forum suggested and taking a look at your study methods. I agree hiring a private tutor obviously is best, but I know that was never something I could afford, so I won't assume you can, either (though if you can, do that). You may consider trying a class, if you've just been doing self-study. I don't know whether you're doing online or paper practice tests. While paper is great for training for the day-of, some online sites like Princeton review let you do timed tests online, and then they'll break down your results by question type so you can focus your studying. Taking a  couple online tests to identify specific weak points may be worth your while.

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2 minutes ago, 3rdGenLawStudent said:

That's a good move, although I'd also suggest doing what someone else on this forum suggested and taking a look at your study methods. I agree hiring a private tutor obviously is best, but I know that was never something I could afford, so I won't assume you can, either (though if you can, do that). You may consider trying a class, if you've just been doing self-study. I don't know whether you're doing online or paper practice tests. While paper is great for training for the day-of, some online sites like Princeton review let you do timed tests online, and then they'll break down your results by question type so you can focus your studying. Taking a  couple online tests to identify specific weak points may be worth your while.

I used 7sage and hit 158-161 4x with realistic PTs one week before june 2018, but i blanked out

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3 minutes ago, stqust said:

I had a full 5.0 course load in each Yr. In terms of 1000/2000 level courses, I had 1.0 of them in 3rd year, 3.0 in 4th and 2.0 in 5th. do you guys think the admissions committee will see that as a grade boosting scheme or should I be fine given than the marks are relatively high(basically all high 80 or low 90)

I wouldn't stress about a few lower level courses- 3 seems like a lot in 4th year but I think overall you're grades are high and since you weren't exclusively doing low-level courses you should be fine.

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31 minutes ago, stqust said:

Why do 3, 4, 5 more lsat points make such a big difference? Osgoode doesn't even publish 25th/75th percentile scores (like Toronto). If I can actually meaningfully enrich their class through my experiences (which i do believe are unique) and if my qualities and circumstances are underrepresented in the class and profession (which they are, based on their recent demographic surveys and LSUC reports/data), why should it matter, within reason of course, how far I am below their 161-162 lsat median? Is it because some applicants' situations are similar so Osgoode decides to take the highest #s?

I think you will quickly realize once you ace the LSAT that despite law schools mindlessly marketing themselves as bastions of "diversity", the legal market is a brutal meritocracy and the only thing that really matters at the end of the day is how well you can do the work assigned to you. Maybe you'd be a great lawyer. I don't doubt it. But we don't know that and neither do law schools/firms. The best metrics they have to gauge your ability to work efficiently and appropriately are your GPA and LSAT. Having it rough is unfortunate, but all it tells us is that you had it rough, it is not informative about your academic/career potential. 

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Posted (edited)

OLSAS replied back to me and said when I apply there will be two separate records of my GPA: 4 year undergraduate degree, and non-degree undergraduate information. This should put my "real" numbers (without the 5th undergrad year) as a 3.293 CGPA and 3.795 L2. That's noticeably lower than the 3.43 CGPA and 3.93 L2. I wonder if schools' accepted students' statistics/ published GPA/data includes special/non-degree/2nd degree information. If not, my 5th year (3.99) and my MA would be, at best, soft factors.

Edited by stqust

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Now all there is left to do is cross my finger and toes and hope I win the Osgoode Lottery

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and my MA would be, at best, soft factors.



In Ontario, a graduate degree is always only a soft factor. No Ontario schools include graduate degree grades in the gpa assessment. Only a few schools in Canada do.

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OP I was admitted to Osgoode with a 3.86 and a 159, albeit with an interview as an "access" applicant. I will be echoing what everyone said in this thread and suggest rewriting to get as close to 160 as possible. Your situation was awful, and your ability to overcome them is inspiring. When law schools are reading about these experiences, they really only have one question related to them, especially when applying with an access category - how did these experiences impact your stats?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to what access means, and unfortunately no one has a concrete answer for how it exactly works. Giving chances on an access application is extremely difficult because of how each applicant's situation may vary. Some people/schools treat access as "I have had these experiences/I have this disability, I am diverse" and some treat it as "I have had these experiences/I have this disability, this explains this lower stat and here's how I overcome it". You want to demonstrate a connection between your low LSAT score and the experiences you've listed. As others have said, law schools want students that will reflect well on the school and will ultimately succeed. 

Best of luck to you OP

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to hear that you've had such a rough-go. You've nonetheless managed to do well in school and extracurriculars, so congrats on that. 

Solely looking at stats, the only Ontario school that I think you have a chance at is Ottawa. Perhaps you have a chance at Alberta and Calgary too, but I am less familiar with these schools.

As an access applicant, I cannot say what your chances are. I don't think anyone can unless they've been on an admissions committee, and even then, I expect that the schools vary in how they treat access applicants. I suggest you look through access categories to get a better idea of your chances. 

I also suggest you rewrite the LSAT. While you haven't done well in 3 tries, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Most schools take your top score anyways (all Ontario schools do). 

Edit: I know this is a chances thread, but I advise against attending the Toronto schools. I, too, was raised by a single parent and grew up poor. I chose Queen's over the Toronto schools based on tuition alone. Osgoode will promote the generous and gracious financial aid that's available, but at the end of the day, you're expected to accept the offer of admission at 28K x 3 and then you hear about what kind of bursary they can offer. I was not comfortable with this. The income contingent loan is also very difficult to get; since they notify successful applicants by February, it presumably goes to top applicants who received early admission. 

Edited by Trew
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OP, PM'd you back.  Just want to add for everyone else here, especially when it comes to outliers and Mature/Access applicants, one person's acceptance does not translate well to predicting others.  Everyone's application is very different, and I imagine especially when it comes to the outliers, access and mature applicants, it really comes down to individual merits and experiences.  I know for the mature process especially, it's a bit of a black box with no ability to predict likelihood of admission, and I imagine it comes down mainly to individual experience specifics and how they are framed to indicate potential success in law school.

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