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cguy

Have I ruined my chances?

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50 minutes ago, cguy said:

Yup, that's what I seems like the best course of action! I just wanted to ask, would you know any strategies to pull up my L2 GPA and that looks good in the eyes of law schools? I have suggested to extend my degree to increase my GPA, take 4 courses per semester instead of 5, and take easy courses in upper years that you can later on explain that you were thinking about switching majors/minors, but is there any other things such as that? 

Thanks again for all the help!

Hello cguy, 

I am an applicant in this year's cycle and have been offered admission to one school thus far. I also started off in the sciences and made a switch halfway through my undergraduate degree. It took a lot of hard work but I have been able to bring up my GPA in my later years to where they are competitive for law school. Study hard for the LSAT and perform well on the test. Many schools have a holistic approach in assessing candidates. A genuine explanation for factors in your application wouldn't hurt. 

Law schools ideally want a full course load with the rationale being that the law school curriculum is challenging. In my experience, fourth year courses tend to have more leniency with regards to grading but I am not sure whether you would be able to take those courses as you mentioned you switched into a new degree. There may be some conflicts with pre-requisites. I would look further into that. 

Others have challenged you with regards to why you would like to pursue a legal career and I strongly encourage you to take some time to think deeply about why you want to apply to law school. Your response, particularly the fourth and fifth points, are not compelling. I don't know you past your posts on this forum but it appears as though you are looking for a shortcut or an easy route. I am not sure whether this is the right approach as believe me, the applicant pool for law schools is very competitive. Further, often times, law school involves taking on a lot of debt and I would recommend taking some time to re-consider whether it is the right move. Law school should not be seen as a backup option for a respectable career.

I write all this with the best intent. I hope that you are able to rebound in your academic career and I wish you the best of luck.

Best,

Chris

Edited by chrispbacon
typo
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1 hour ago, cguy said:

Yup, that's what I seems like the best course of action! I just wanted to ask, would you know any strategies to pull up my L2 GPA and that looks good in the eyes of law schools? I have suggested to extend my degree to increase my GPA, take 4 courses per semester instead of 5, and take easy courses in upper years that you can later on explain that you were thinking about switching majors/minors, but is there any other things such as that? 

Thanks again for all the help!

Look, you're not in a position to scheme a backdoor route into law school; that's the wrong approach. Don't assume that after 2.5 years of getting very low grades, you can change into an "easier" major, flip a switch and coast your way to a 4.0. Upper-year psychology courses are not easy, and you'll be competing against talented students who had their eyes on becoming a psychology major on day 1.

The best way for you to turn your GPA around is to stop trying to find the easy way out and to just focus on working your butt off from now on. 

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On 1/8/2019 at 8:53 PM, cguy said:

I just switched 2 days ago to a psychology major. From the psychology classes I have taken, I have done relatively good. 

You've been in a major for 2 days and are doing really good?

What is the basis to determine this? Test, assignments?

You could be a lawyer, but if I had a mental illness, I'd definitely question taking on a law career given that lawyers already seemingly develop or suffer a large amount of mental health stress.

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I'm concerned about the fact that OP has switched to a psych major when it was biological sciences that were holding them back. It may have changed since I was in school but in the first two years of a psych major there's a heavy emphasis on brain anatomy as well as the associated organs (in other words - biological science). In second year psych you will have to deal with statistics classes. I don't know what, precisely, the issue was with the biological sciences classes, but I would implore OP to consider more about their new major than it seeming to be "the easiest one to get". Psych is far from the easiest degree to get.

Also I wanted to note as well that regardless of how many classes you take in your last two years, OP, the UofA looks at the last 60 credits' worth of classes. While this is equivalent to two years of full-time study, if you take four classes per semester in your last two years, the UofA will look to your classes from the year before as well.

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On ‎1‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 9:23 AM, RGoodfellow said:

I'm concerned about the fact that OP has switched to a psych major when it was biological sciences that were holding them back. It may have changed since I was in school but in the first two years of a psych major there's a heavy emphasis on brain anatomy as well as the associated organs (in other words - biological science). In second year psych you will have to deal with statistics classes. I don't know what, precisely, the issue was with the biological sciences classes, but I would implore OP to consider more about their new major than it seeming to be "the easiest one to get". Psych is far from the easiest degree to get.

Also I wanted to note as well that regardless of how many classes you take in your last two years, OP, the UofA looks at the last 60 credits' worth of classes. While this is equivalent to two years of full-time study, if you take four classes per semester in your last two years, the UofA will look to your classes from the year before as well.

A lot of psych programs (or at least the ones I know of) have two streams: BSc and BA. The former focusing much more on neuro-anatomy and physiology.

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30 minutes ago, setto said:

A lot of psych programs (or at least the ones I know of) have two streams: BSc and BA. The former focusing much more on neuro-anatomy and physiology.

Thanks for the clarification!

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On 1/8/2019 at 6:39 PM, cguy said:

I do not have documentations, but I can get them if you would think that would help me in the long run. 

I want to pursue law because first, I took some courses regarding law and I really enjoyed them, second, I kinda figured out late that biological sciences is not for me (all my low marks are because of those courses), third, I heard about some schools only looking at the last two years, which give me a little bit of hope and not just completely drop out of school, fourth, I believe law would give a respectable job that I would be happy working for the rest of my life, fifth, I really do not have any other options that disregard my cGPA and look at my last two years. 
 

Get documentation and apply under the access category for schools. Boost up your grades in your last two years, score a high LSAT and you can stand a chance. 

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3 hours ago, penguinh said:

Get documentation and apply under the access category for schools. Boost up your grades in your last two years, score a high LSAT and you can stand a chance. 

That's easier said than done.

I think you should consider writing the LSAT first.

 

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On 1/8/2019 at 3:39 PM, cguy said:

I do not have documentations, but I can get them if you would think that would help me in the long run.

 

You need to go to ur doctor and have it on file that you experienced etc. Later on when you apply, this same doctor can vouch that you did indeed during a certain time period go though that. You can attach this as supplemental medical documentation then. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 9:48 PM, Iyaiaey said:

You've been in a major for 2 days and are doing really good?

What is the basis to determine this? Test, assignments?

You could be a lawyer, but if I had a mental illness, I'd definitely question taking on a law career given that lawyers already seemingly develop or suffer a large amount of mental health stress.

You can take classes in a subject that you are not majoring in. 

Also, really wish people would stop coming into these kind of threads ready to pounce. You don't know whatever op is dealing with and it is not at all helpful to determine from the small piece of info that you read whether someone should abandon their dream/career/etc. And holy fuck, forget about mental health stigma, the mere mention of a mental illness has given you the authority to tell op this? Never been depressed? Body image issues? Compulsive tendencies? Anxiety? Good for you but mental illness includes a variety of issues. The large majority of lawyers would be out of a job if we go by your criteria. 

 

Btw, It is possible to just not comment in a thread. 

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Can this be moved to General or something it's giving me anxiety every time I see a a new post in the Alberta forum

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I didn't see this initially. Frankly, OP's detailed questions are a bit of a smokescreen, because he (or she) isn't really at the point where those sorts of details even matter yet. So I'll concentrate on the thing that matters right now.

You are treating your academic challenges as a problem that exists independent of any external factors rather than a consequence of other problems. And with due respect to whatever mental illness you've just identified and are hopefully having treated, I find it very unlikely that you're going to pop a few pills or whatever, and on that basis alone transform yourself from a student who is getting grades in the mid-C to low-B range (which is where you are now), into a student getting straight A's (which is where you realistically need to be for law school). Instead, I'd really encourage you to look at your decision-making to this point. You took biology classes for what - three years? I assume you were telling yourself the whole time you would go to medical school. And yet, it would have been obvious to anyone paying attention that from your earliest term in school you weren't heading in that direction. So you ignored three years of evidence, then decided to take the easiest program available because you hoped it might get you into law school - law school being the apparently (focus on apparently) easiest option left for a professional degree that might somehow make up for not being a doctor. Now am I far off the mark?

Doing things for silly and superficial reasons is not a recipe for success. I have no idea what your academic abilities might really be. But no matter what your best looks like, you're not going to perform at your best simply because you sorta care about finding a job that your parents can tell their friends about, and you want to make money, and ideally not work too hard to get there. I mean seriously. You're talking about professions here that people work their asses off to get into, and you are competing with them with a level of enthusiasm that has you poking your head up out of the sand every few years and finally acknowledging that you've been fucking the dog the entire time and it's just not happening.

Figure out what you actually want to do. Find some good answers. And for the love of God, when people point out that your answers suck, don't ask them what your answers should be. This isn't a test to try to find something that's going to impress an admissions committee. People are asking you what your actual reasons are, and trying to point out that those reasons have clearly been insufficient to motivate you to date. And if they've been insufficient so far, there's no reason to imagine that's going to magically change only because you are now associating those reasons with law school. Find truer and better reasons to do whatever it is you want to do - whether it be law school or otherwise. Because your grades are a symptom, not an independent problem.

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I agree with @Diplock but would add these specific thoughts or express things a bit differently to OP, @cguy :

I don't want to encourage you, you need to get advice IRL including from your treating professionals etc.

Whether for law schools, or just for your own self-assessment, there needs to be some basis for thinking you would get into law school, do reasonably well, and practice law well and with reasonable contentment. So far it sounds like you have only interest, and your belief you will have improved marks - you mention that you took some law courses and enjoyed them, but you don't say that you did well in them (not that that would necessarily mean a lot, but your post left me wondering).

As others have noted, you should work and get help and treatment and improve your marks regardless, even if you never go to law school.

But unless or until you actually improve your marks significantly and/or get a high LSAT, what objective basis is there for you, let alone a law school, to believe you'll succeed in law school?

That said, thinking of something low-cost, in both time and money, have you done a practice LSAT? The LSAT administrators have a guide to the LSAT and free sample test from a past year on the website. Let's say you read the guide to how tests work with some sample questions, try the sample questions in the guide and figure out what's going on, maybe read a bit more info that's free like a guide to the LSAT from the library, then write the full sample test under timed conditions with your phone off etc. (aka diagnostic?) and get a high score. Well then, while certainly not advising you to pursue this path - I don't know you, or your circumstances, and even for people who can easily get into law school it's not necessarily a good choice - you'd have some basis to argue that you expect to do well on the actual LSAT. And if you then write the LSAT and do well and also have significantly improved marks, you'd be able to point to something.

Again, not suggesting that even if all that happens that you should necessarily apply to law school!

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 I endured a barrier as well during my undergrad (concussion), and as a result my grades were not great. In order to optimize my chances of getting accepted I decided to pursue a Master's degree and kill my 4th year. The master's degree may help develop and hone certain skills needed in law school which could be considered an asset. Also, if you're looking at UWO they have an access category you can apply under which slightly reduces what you need to be considered a competitive candidate. Absolutely get documentation for your mental illness so you can speak to this in your application and provide proof if needed :)

Edited by aspiringlawyer10

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On 1/17/2019 at 10:01 AM, aspiringlawyer10 said:

 I endured a barrier as well during my undergrad (concussion), and as a result my grades were not great. In order to optimize my chances of getting accepted I decided to pursue a Master's degree and kill my 4th year. The master's degree may help develop and hone certain skills needed in law school which could be considered an asset. Also, if you're looking at UWO they have an access category you can apply under which slightly reduces what you need to be considered a competitive candidate. Absolutely get documentation for your mental illness so you can speak to this in your application and provide proof if needed :)

This is not good advice. I would never pursue a master's degree to try to get into law school. 

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