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CuriousSurge

Chances of getting in with a low CGPA and a disability

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Hi folks,

I'm entering my final year of my undergrad, and I'm seriously interested in entering a law program, however, I'm extremely concerned about my fairly low CGPA (2.8/4). This is primarily the result of struggling with ADHD and depression over the last 4 years (I have documentation for both). On the brightside, I do a few extra-curricular achievements (various club exec positions, organizational roles, competitive success). The law schools I'm primarily considering are UOttawa, Queens, Western, and UofC. 

My questions are as follows:

1) Assuming I do well this year, should I consider picking up an additional year of full-time to better CGPA?

2) How well would I need to do on my LSATs in order to give me a realistic chance of getting in to a law program?

3) Should I consider applying as an Access student? 

I'm very anxious about this is entire process so any and all help is much appreciated! Thanks! 

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1. Yes

2. For the schools you listed, aim as high as possible. 165+ with a 2.8. It also matters significantly what your best 2 and last 2 years' average GPA are, because those are the calculations used for Queens and Western respectively. So if you have a 2.8 cGPA but a 3.5 B2 (best 2) then you might have a pretty decent shot. That being said, you will have to ace the LSAT regardless. 

3. I have no idea about this. Access is, I wouldn't say, easier, but rather more forgiving or understanding on the basis of some kind of ailment or disability you have. However ADHD and depression might not fit the typical Access profile. Moreover, while it is very unfortunate that you had depression and I hope you are doing better, I don't think the best advertisement to a law school is to tell them that you were depressed for four years. It just doesn't inspire confidence. Honestly there's a debate to be had over that but personally I wouldn't do it. 

 

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41 minutes ago, Prospero said:

3. I have no idea about this. Access is, I wouldn't say, easier, but rather more forgiving or understanding on the basis of some kind of ailment or disability you have. However ADHD and depression might not fit the typical Access profile. Moreover, while it is very unfortunate that you had depression and I hope you are doing better, I don't think the best advertisement to a law school is to tell them that you were depressed for four years. It just doesn't inspire confidence. Honestly there's a debate to be had over that but personally I wouldn't do it. 

 

I disagree. Most Access applicants are people with mental illnesses that affected their academic performance. I applied Access and for Ottawa Law, they even gave us a form to be filled out by a doctor or mental health professional attesting to our condition. 

The only thing with Access is that you have to prove to them that you are now better and will not have the same struggles in law school as you did in undergrad. 

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On 7/29/2019 at 1:44 AM, CuriousSurge said:

Hi folks,

I'm entering my final year of my undergrad, and I'm seriously interested in entering a law program, however, I'm extremely concerned about my fairly low CGPA (2.8/4). This is primarily the result of struggling with ADHD and depression over the last 4 years (I have documentation for both). On the brightside, I do a few extra-curricular achievements (various club exec positions, organizational roles, competitive success). The law schools I'm primarily considering are UOttawa, Queens, Western, and UofC. 

My questions are as follows:

1) Assuming I do well this year, should I consider picking up an additional year of full-time to better CGPA?

2) How well would I need to do on my LSATs in order to give me a realistic chance of getting in to a law program?

3) Should I consider applying as an Access student? 

I'm very anxious about this is entire process so any and all help is much appreciated! Thanks! 

Ottawa put more emphasis on GPA. 2.8 may not do it.

What are your L2 and B2 ?

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No one can give you a legitimate appraisal of your chances right now. But you probably need to hear and understand that a 2.8 GPA makes acceptance to law school extremely unlikely under any circumstances, absent a magical LSAT, and not terribly likely even with a magical LSAT. Don't count on ECs or letters of reference to make up the difference. Honestly, everyone has those, and nothing you've suggested is even unusually strong. My point is, control what you can still control. Get A's in your final year, and you at least have a reasonable case to make that this better reflects your true ability. Turn in another year with a high C, low B average, and quite honestly, your chances are almost non-existent.

Control what you can still control.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/29/2019 at 1:44 AM, CuriousSurge said:

Hi folks,

I'm entering my final year of my undergrad, and I'm seriously interested in entering a law program, however, I'm extremely concerned about my fairly low CGPA (2.8/4). This is primarily the result of struggling with ADHD and depression over the last 4 years (I have documentation for both). On the brightside, I do a few extra-curricular achievements (various club exec positions, organizational roles, competitive success). The law schools I'm primarily considering are UOttawa, Queens, Western, and UofC. 

My questions are as follows:

1) Assuming I do well this year, should I consider picking up an additional year of full-time to better CGPA?

2) How well would I need to do on my LSATs in order to give me a realistic chance of getting in to a law program?

3) Should I consider applying as an Access student? 

I'm very anxious about this is entire process so any and all help is much appreciated! Thanks! 

I will preamble this by saying I was an access applicant and had to ask myself these questions before, during, and after my first year. 

Something you should really ask yourself is - do you think you can succeed in law school? That is the criteria on which you will be assessed by admissions, and if you find you are struggling in undergrad with depression and ADHD, it will only be that much more difficult in law school, and (I am speculating here) beyond in the practice of law. 

I am not trying to dissuade you from applying to law school or working towards it. What you want to demonstrate is that you can succeed despite these drawbacks, and unfortunately a 2.8 will not likely demonstrate that. If you can do well over the next few years and pull off a good LSAT, you will be fine at schools who look at later years. 

Edited by bhaywardio
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