Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
westbythesea

I have a low GPA. What do you think of my ideas to get into Law school?

Recommended Posts

Hello! Here is my situation:

 

In 2010, I left Simon Fraser University after my second year of study for a 4-year career working as a magazine editor. At the time, I had no interest in a graduate program and I didn't perform well in school. I also have some WEC's (withdrawal under extenuating circumstances) on my transcript due to family problems. Between 2014 and now, I've been taking 3-4 courses per semester to graduate. My grades have significantly improved and demonstrate consistancy.

 

I will graduate in Aug 2017 at the age of 29 with a GPA of approximately 3.2. My L2 is around 3.5. My degree is a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Communications and a Minor in Sociology. I haven't written my LSAT yet, so I cannot report my LSAT score. For the purpose of this thread, let's assume I score over 155. I understand that with my GPA, a high LSAT score will give me a sliver of a chance for entry into a Canadian law school. Naturally, I would prefer a top school.

 

I have brainstormed the following ideas to get into law school and appreciate your feedback:

 

A) Apply for a MBA, graduate, then apply to law school.

B) Spend a year working in a law firm while upgrading and studying for my LSAT. An application with relevant work experience and improved grades may boost my chance of acceptance.

C) Apply to the UK, return to Canada, write my NCA exams, and hopefully obtain an articling opportunity. I read on this website that some do paralegal work after returning and prior to articling. While I understand the hurdles this option has, the UK's 2-year program appeals to me as I can get the studying component out of the way sooner than later. 

D) Write my LSAT after obtaining my bachelor degree. Apply to Canadian schools and UK schools. Decide what to do from there. This means I would start in the UK in Jan 2018 rather than Sept 2017.

 

Do you have any advice to nudge me in the right direction? Any suggestions for schools would also be much appreciated. Thank you for reading and commenting!

 

Edit: My GPA is on a 4.33 scale. The magazine is a niche Vancouver-based publication.

Edited by westbythesea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your L2 is decent, not amazing, but combined with a decent LSAT score, say 160 or higher, you would have a respectable shot at L2 schools.

 

Also look into more holistic options like Calgary and Windsor.

 

You are far from having only a sliver of a chance. Really, you are a reasonable candidate and your PS will give you a good chance to explain your unique situation. Also, get some documentation for the WEC if you can and make a self-determination if you want to apply under access categories due to life circumstances. It may help.

 

EDIT: I caveat this by saying GO GET AN LSAT SCORE

 

Really anything said is moot until you obtain that score and see where you land.

 

Best of luck.

Edited by Draken
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You possibly don't need to go through all of that. Your softs might already be good enough (and your cgpa and l2 do not leave you DOA). Was it a major publication where you were an editor?

 

Is that a 3.2 and 3.5 out of 4 or 4.3?

 

Schools like TRU, UNB, Lakehead, Manitoba and Calgary might let you in. EDIT, Windsor too.

 

EDIT 2: Check our your GPA based on the formulas used at different schools. Some schools also focus more on GPA.

 

Will probably want at least a 160 though. I'd start feeling somewhat secure with a 163+.

Edited by catchthetraiin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second what the above poster says. Take an hour and look into the admission criteria for each school. Some look at your last 2 years, some drop courses, some will consider your entire GPA, and others will be much more holistic. 3.5 is probably more competitive than you think, and wouldn't it be nice to not have to do the MBA first?? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You possibly don't need to go through all of that. Your softs might already be good enough (and your cgpa and l2 do not leave you DOA). Was it a major publication where you were an editor?

 

Is that a 3.2 and 3.5 out of 4 or 4.3?

 

Schools like TRU, UNB, Lakehead, Manitoba and Calgary might let you in. EDIT, Windsor too.

 

EDIT 2: Check our your GPA based on the formulas used at different schools. Some schools also focus more on GPA.

 

Will probably want at least a 160 though. I'd start feeling somewhat secure with a 163+.

 

It was a niche publication in Vancouver. 

My GPA is out of 4.33

Thank you! It's good to know what to aim towards for my LSAT :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if a 4.33 changes things much, and to what degree at which schools. It might hurt you a bit.

 

You should convert your grades according to various schools' gpa scales and formulas.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! Here is my situation:

 

In 2010, I left Simon Fraser University after my second year of study for a 4-year career working as a magazine editor. At the time, I had no interest in a graduate program and I didn't perform well in school. I also have some WEC's (withdrawal under extenuating circumstances) on my transcript due to family problems. Between 2014 and now, I've been taking 3-4 courses per semester to graduate. My grades have significantly improved and demonstrate consistancy.

 

I will graduate in Aug 2017 at the age of 29 with a GPA of approximately 3.2. My L2 is around 3.5. My degree is a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Communications and a Minor in Sociology. I haven't written my LSAT yet, so I cannot report my LSAT score. For the purpose of this thread, let's assume I score over 155. I understand that with my GPA, a high LSAT score will give me a sliver of a chance for entry into a Canadian law school. Naturally, I would prefer a top school.

 

I have brainstormed the following ideas to get into law school and appreciate your feedback:

 

A) Apply for a MBA, graduate, then apply to law school.

B) Spend a year working in a law firm while upgrading and studying for my LSAT. An application with relevant work experience and improved grades may boost my chance of acceptance.

C) Apply to the UK, return to Canada, write my NCA exams, and hopefully obtain an articling opportunity. I read on this website that some do paralegal work after returning and prior to articling. While I understand the hurdles this option has, the UK's 2-year program appeals to me as I can get the studying component out of the way sooner than later. 

D) Write my LSAT after obtaining my bachelor degree. Apply to Canadian schools and UK schools. Decide what to do from there. This means I would start in the UK in Jan 2018 rather than Sept 2017.

 

Do you have any advice to nudge me in the right direction? Any suggestions for schools would also be much appreciated. Thank you for reading and commenting!

 

Edit: My GPA is on a 4.33 scale. The magazine is a niche Vancouver-based publication.

(A) is nuts, it's one thing to get an MBA as part of a duel degree with a law degree, but on its own? (B) will help you not at all, working in a law firm as some sort of dogsbody isn't the sort of experience that will help you down the road, the best that could be said for that route is it will give you a better sense of what some lawyers do for a living. The issues with © are well documented and very real, even those who have succeeded on that route are the first to acknowledge the challenges. I don't at all see the merits of "getting the studying component" out of the way if it means you have to spend a year doing NCA and then working as a paralegal (and, I'm not sure that's an option in all Provinces - in Ontario paralegals are a license designed profession of their own) before artcling. That's just nuts. If a foreign school is the route you go, go to the most recognized law school you can and bust your hump to get a decent articling position.

 

Write the LSAT and figure out what your options are or even whether law school is a realistic option for you (the LSATs are not wholly arbitrary and if you end up with a dismal score, you may want to reconsider your career paths).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good LSAT score will spare you all the acrobatics you listed. Your L2 and a score of 159+ will get you into a school (TRU comes to mind - you're at SFU so this would also keep you in province). 

 

14 students were admitted into UAlberta with a 3.5 L2 and 161+ LSAT score for the current 1L cohort.

Edited by Girby
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! Okay.

My circumstances, vis-a-vis an initially weak GPA and then attempting to go back to law school in my late twenties/thirties, were once very similar to yours. After a lot of work to rebuild my GPA, I managed to get into various law schools. So: it can be done. There are plenty of success stories here of people who've turned their lives around and become lawyers. (Note, in fairness, that I'm not one of them---I haven't actually attended law school yet, but I have been admitted.)

So that's the good news: it can be done. Generally speaking, I believe that anyone who can get the grades you're getting in undergrad can become a lawyer - it just might take a long time and a lot of work, depending on your LSAT score. I hate when people come out swinging saying, "Nope, your stats are bad, there's no chance." If you have some abilities (and getting B+s in university is indicative of a certain level of ability) and enough of a work ethic, it can be done.

 

But - I say this in the spirit of kindness, from someone who has been where you are - why? Why is this something you want to do? There's a certain vibe of desperation I get from your post - like if someone showed up and said, "I've historically had no interest in sports, but now I want to be in the Olympics. Should I: A., start training really hard, B., start taking steroids, C., bribe some judges to say I'm a great figure-skater when I'm not, or D., saw my legs off so at least I can be in the Paralympics?" And it's, like, wait, hold up. It is very common for us to see posts from 20-year-olds who've been in school straight from kindergarten which go like, "I absolutely have to stay in school until I'm 30 and get a prestigious degree in an important profession to impress my grandma, and law and medicine are the two things I've heard of, and I'm bad at science, so how do I do law school?" But you're a mature adult who's had a career in another profession. You know law school isn't the only thing out there for you. So...what gives? Why do you want this badly enough that you're musing about the NCA route, which is a really hard thing to do?

I mean, two things. One: when longtime posters ask new posters, "Why do you want to go to law school so much?", the new posters often take that as a demand for virtue-signalling. And, no, that's not what I'm looking for. I'm not saying, "You have to really really really really really really really care about Justice and Truth and Helping The Little Guy, and if your caring is only at the six-reallys-and-none-of-them-italicized level, you are not worthy to go to law school." Be as honest with yourself as you can---why do you actually want to go to law school? Money? Power? Prestige? Impressing your grandma? Do you find it intellectually interesting? There are a thousand reasons, none of them inherently bad. But, two: once you've figured out what you want from a hypothetical legal career, think about if there are other, easier ways to meet those needs. I embarked---not for the first time---on a similar journey of self-discovery maybe a year ago. I figured out what needs I was trying to meet by trying to become a lawyer. Then I went out and found a job, using nothing more than the education I already had, that meets those needs. I was extremely fortunate to be able to do that. It's entirely possible that in your case, the underlying needs that make you want to become a lawyer can only be met by becoming a lawyer. That's true for some people. But if there are other, easier, non-sawing-your-legs-off ways to meet your needs, think about them.

Good luck!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! Here is my situation:

 

I haven't written my LSAT yet, so I cannot report my LSAT score...[f]or the purpose of this thread, let's assume I score over 155...

 

 

Get an LSAT score and them come back to ask about chances, and you'll get useful answers. Everything else right now is conjecture, and to your point, subject to important assumptions that may not hold true.

Edited by conge
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get an LSAT score and them come back to ask about chances, and you'll get useful answers. Everything else right now is conjecture, and to your point, subject to important assumptions that may not hold true.

 

I think the forum would be more useful for applicants if there was a ban on chances threads without full numbers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, he was asking about what he should do, as well as chances I suppose.

 

I don't see what the problem is, you want to know what you have to aim for, and perhaps if you should apply now without an LSAT score based on your GPA, due to the fact that there are application deadlines (in contrast to this perhaps not being advisable if you have no chance at the moment).  I understand in this case that the deadline has passed.  I get the whole "do as well as you can on the LSAT", but realistically, many do not.  It behooves the applicant to know if they should study for 6 months or 2.

 

It's easy to speak hypothetically though.  This seems like more of a pet peeve.  I'm not sure that it is that much more exerting than answering someone who has an LSAT score.

Edited by catchthetraiin
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not a pet peeve, I just think it's a waste of everyone's time. The LSAT is mandatory (forget about the false song of the foreign schools). Everyone has to jump in the pool. Once you do that, we'll tell you how many laps you have to swim.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, he was asking about what he should do, as well as chances I suppose.

 

I don't see what the problem is, you want to know what you have to aim for, and perhaps if you should apply now without an LSAT score based on your GPA, due to the fact that there are application deadlines (in contrast to this perhaps not being advisable if you have no chance at the moment).  I understand in this case that the deadline has passed.  I get the whole "do as well as you can on the LSAT", but realistically, many do not.  It behooves the applicant to know if they should study for 6 months or 2.

 

It's easy to speak hypothetically though.  This seems like more of a pet peeve.  I'm not sure that it is that much more exerting than answering someone who has an LSAT score.

 

My point was that any advice about the four choices presented depends almost entirely on two things: GPA and LSAT.

 

OP has a LS GPA of 3.5. So what if they score a 178? Then D will almost certainly be the best choice. But what if it's a 150? Well then B or D. 120? It might be C. With a score, we could even narrow it down to what schools would accept OP (e.g. Dal takes the L2, and I think a 160+ would give them a good shot there.)

 

Nonetheless, there is probably some good info in this thread for OP. My point is just that the info will be much, much better if OP came with an LSAT score (or even diagnostic score.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well generally they're looking for what they need to get into each school. So a basic range can be given to satisfy this curiosity.

 

I'd agree though that having an lsat score can simplify the process of giving advice. I just don't personally have a problem with chances threads with no lsat because I don't see a large distinction in the effort or quality of the advice able to be given.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its good to know what to aim for (LSAT wise) given someones GPA. For instance, if someone has a 4.0 and posts here we'd suggest a lower LSAT than someone with a 3.5 GPA. I agree with catchthetraiin. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone actually "aim" for anything lower than what they could otherwise achieve?

 

This comes up in LSAT discussions now and again and it's always a bit mystifying to me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone actually "aim" for anything lower than what they could otherwise achieve?

 

This comes up in LSAT discussions now and again and it's always a bit mystifying to me.

Of course.

 

I doubt I did as well as I could have, but I didn't want to take it again.  I did well enough to give myself a good chance at the schools I wanted to go to.

 

I think the fact that many people are able to achieve much higher scores with much more time spent studying is evidence of that.  You just don't want to put more time in.

 

edit, obviously you'd like to aim for the highest possible score in a hopeful sense, but not in a practical, what that takes sense (which is what I consider actually "aiming").  How many people take the LSAT on just 2 months of study?  Quite a few I imagine.  Now imagine taking off 6 months.

Edited by catchthetraiin
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course.

 

I doubt I did as well as I could have, but I didn't want to take it again.  I did well enough to give myself a good chance at the schools I wanted to go to.

 

I think the fact that many people are able to achieve much higher scores with much more time spent studying is evidence of that.  You just don't want to put more time in.

 

edit, obviously you'd like to aim for the highest possible score in a hopeful sense, but not in a practical, what that takes sense (which is what I consider actually "aiming").  How many people take the LSAT on just 2 months of study?  Quite a few I imagine.  Now imagine taking off 6 months.

 

To add onto this: Lets say the forums tell me with my GPA i'll need a 160 (based on past acceptances). I'll keep studying until I can hit 162-163 then take the exam. Instead of unnecessarily going to a 170 for instance (which we all know how long that will take compared to a 160). Of course it would be nicer to have a higher LSAT but why? If your top choice/dream school's requirement is lower.

 

Edit: This is why one would post here since they do not have the knowledge of what LSAT would get them in and therefore how much work they should put in.

 

Of course this post is based on the assumption that more studying = higher score.

Edited by Marwaho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...