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Ryn

I used to be on the admissions committee. AMAA

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22 minutes ago, palmtree said:

Hi Ryn. My understanding is that a WES report is not required for exchange transcripts, so I'm wondering how you would have determined what was below average. The reason I ask is that my UK exchange transcript shows a 60 and a 67, but since the scale is different, these actually aren't as bad as it would seem (more like a B+ and A-). Would it be worth it for me to include a WES report? I don't want these marks to be viewed negatively if they are just looked at alone.

Thanks!

This is a good question but honestly I don’t have an answer for it. I personally understood that UK grades were on a different scale, and so I’d take that into account when looking at them. But all of that said, we were instructed to use only the OLSAS cGPA as the ultimate determination of marks, and exchange grades are (as far as I had seen) not considered part of that. I only looked at exchange marks as a “soft” factor and would not put too much weight on them, provided you didn’t fail the exchange (no one that I saw did). If your exchange grades were super low, maybe I’d count it against you slightly but it’s unlikely to matter if your application was otherwise good. 

I don’t think a WES translation would be necessary but I am also mindful that other adcom members may view these kinds of soft factors more critically than I did. I doubt it, though. OLSAS grades prevail the majority of the time. 

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I should also add that I’ve never seen a WES translation of exchange marks. I would think it’d be unusual. But you can always call and ask the admissions office for their thoughts.

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On 11/7/2018 at 12:24 PM, Ryn said:

Depending on how low the stats were in the first place, it may be held. I’ve done that a couple of times. 

If a higher LSAT won’t make a difference I doubt it would be held. I certainly wouldn’t have. 

It only makes a difference if you’re borderline. If you would get in with your current score, the app will not be set aside. Similar to the above, if your score wouldn’t make a difference in terms of your chances, it probably wouldn’t be held. 

Hi Ryn,

Thanks for doing this! Super helpful. I’m wondering, without revealing the actual cutoffs, what constitutes as borderline? If your GPA is at the median level but your LSAT needs improvement, would that count as borderline? What if your GPA alone would not suffice but supported with a higher LSAT you’d be in? So basically, how low do you need to be for admissions to think a re write wouldn’t help your chances?

 

Also, when do admissions officially begin going through apps? Do they typically wait post-November bc a lot of people are writing then?

 

Thanks!

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Hey Ryn

With regard to medical circumstances mitigating a candidates GPA , how were those treated? How severe did the medical circumstances have to be before they tended to greatly affect the admission?  If someone say had a form of cancer for two years which wrecked their GPA, but still had a top 1% LSAT score and a high GPA in the years otherwise, what would the admission committee do in those circumstances?

 

Thanks for taking the time!

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5 hours ago, p1230 said:

So basically, how low do you need to be for admissions to think a re write wouldn’t help your chances?

It's a pretty subjective test and so I'd need to see an entire application to decide where I would personally vote in that kind of scenario. But in general, if the answer is "there is no way even a substantially higher score would see us admit this applicant," then we wouldn't wait for a new score.

5 hours ago, smalllaw said:

With regard to medical circumstances mitigating a candidates GPA , how were those treated? How severe did the medical circumstances have to be before they tended to greatly affect the admission?  If someone say had a form of cancer for two years which wrecked their GPA, but still had a top 1% LSAT score and a high GPA in the years otherwise, what would the admission committee do in those circumstances?

These were the most difficult applications I had a look at. I also think the admissions officers do far more of them than the committee members do. I only saw, I think, two or three total in my time on the committee.

My personal answer is: if (1) there was sufficient medical evidence to establish the condition; (2) there was a clear indication that the poor marks were a result of the condition; (3) the condition is now being managed; and (4) there is now ample evidence of excellent marks (i.e., not just a single semester of good marks; I would prefer at least a year, if not three semesters), then I would basically discount all of the bad years and put substantial weight on the new marks, along with the LSAT, which I may or may not weight more heavily than grades, depending on what other circumstances are at play.

It was a very difficult decision where there wasn't enough evidence of good marks. Sometimes all I could do was reject if there wasn't enough there.

I'm not sure what other committee members did.

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On 11/1/2018 at 2:28 PM, Ryn said:

Okay, probably enough time has gone by that I can reasonably make this post. 

At some point during my time at Osgoode, I was on the admissions committee. It was an extremely interesting experience with a process that I started looking at as an applicant, and it gave me some insights into areas that aren’t immediately apparent as an external observer. 

I reviewed lots of student files and saw plenty of things that presented strengths and weaknesses, and I saw how others on the committee perceived the same. So to that end, I am happy to answer questions that you might have about the process and your applications, in the hopes that my experience may help you. 

A few caveats:

Naturally, I won’t reveal confidential information. I won’t discuss specific files or give anything more than generic examples.

Please also don’t send me your applications so I can review them or give you my thoughts on them. Ask what you will here in public and I will do my best to answer. 

Lastly, what I say here may not be applicable to you or even generally. Admissions (everywhere) is partly subjective, and so what I think about a particular thing does not mean the same will be true for others. As well, the composition of the committee changes every year and therefore so does the general opinion of the body. So take what you will out of what I say, but don’t be surprised if things end up being different. 

Have a look first at the FAQ at http://lawapplicants.ca, which I built with the help this forum, my own experiences, those of my colleagues on the adcom, and from others I knew who served in similar capacities at other law schools.

If you have a question that isn’t answered by the FAQ, then ask away here!

ETA: I will be answering questions as I can, but there could be a delay. Just post and I will reply at some point, I promise!

Another question for ya Ryn. Did you guys ever look for explanations in the PS for a weak part of our application? 

I have a low LSAT and opted to not justifying it/talking about it at all, because really, there's no reason for it. 

Will admissions be looking for a reason as to why my LSAT sucks?

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9 hours ago, Ryn said:

I should also add that I’ve never seen a WES translation of exchange marks. I would think it’d be unusual. But you can always call and ask the admissions office for their thoughts.

Are undergrad foreign transcripts treated differently? I'm talking about those that have been evaluated by WES.

Is it a disadvantage if my transcript isn't from a Canadian university?

Edited by krnprykt

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1) I am currently doing my undergrad at a well known uni in the UK and was wondering if admissions looks at what school students went to and consider that as a positive factor? 

2) I sent a WES evaluation for the first two years of my undergrad (since Bachelors is only 3 years in the UK), do you think that is enough to be fully considered or do you think they will ask for more grades in the new year?

Thanks!

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Another question: in seeing that students have low LSAT scores, do you think they'll look into the sketchs for an answer? For example, I didn't put any indication as to why I might have lower lsat scores in the PS but I did indicate that I did have a full time job for the last two summers in the other parts of the application, do you think they will make the connection?

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