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capitalttruth

Is it worth reapplying? [3.4, 3.88, 164 - Ottawa/Queen's]

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Posted (edited)

This upcoming cycle will be my third cycle. My main goals are to get into either uOttawa or Queens. Having been unsuccessful twice, I wonder what there’a any point to keep reapplying. My cGPA is a 3.27, my L2 is a 3.75, my LSAT is a 164. I also have an MA. I am applying in the Access category. I thought my Access claim, coupled with the stronger elements of my application, would be sufficient to prove to the admissions committee that I am a strong applicant. 

I got feedback on my application from Western, who said that it was my lack of a full course load, along with my LSAT writing sample, and the fact that my cGPA was below a 3.7 that led them to wait list me instead of admit me. 

To remedy this, I have gone back and registered for a full year of courses (at a full load) to show them that I can handle the demands of law school. I realize by doing this, though, that I am fighting an uphill battle with that requires a lot of time and effort for only a slight increase (3.27 to a 3.4) while my L2 would go from a 3.75 to a 3.88. 

I have also worked very hard to rewrite a strong personal statement, which I was told needed work. After taking stock of all of these things, my fears are that what if it’s still not good enough? Will my cGPA, despite the fact that it is being brought down significantly by two grades that were the result of a semester where I had an acute mental health problem (since managed by a consistent routine and abundance of supports) ultimately hold me back? How will law schools look at some of the things I’m doing? Or will I have to keep going back and doing courses to raise my GPA to a 3.7?

I just turned 28 and have put my life on hold for a long time trying to get in to my top choices, knowing I would be in a comfortable environment where my mental health would not encroach on my success. I am frankly miserable doing the day in and day out of remaining in limbo. I know law school is the best option for me given my career trajectory, but at what point would it be wise to stop trying according to my situation?

Edited by capitalttruth

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Do not listen to what Western said and take another year of classes to prove you can handle a full course load. It is a waste of time, money, and there's no guarantee your grades go up.

You are good, be patient, apply broadly, take what comes your way and don't be so set on a specific school. You have a 164, many people would kill for that. 

Also... writing sample? They actually read that? 

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16 minutes ago, almondbutter said:

Do not listen to what Western said and take another year of classes to prove you can handle a full course load. It is a waste of time, money, and there's no guarantee your grades go up.

You are good, be patient, apply broadly, take what comes your way and don't be so set on a specific school. You have a 164, many people would kill for that. 

Also... writing sample? They actually read that? 

Yeah I was surprised they did. 

I got into Windsor last year but didn’t think I was ready to move that far away from my support system (doctors, friends, and family) but I explained my situation to the Associate Dean and she said I would have a strong chance of getting in next year. So I’m going to be applying to Windsor again. But I still think my best chance to succeed is to get into a school closer to home. The courses to raise my GPA, I imagine, would appease Queens who are apparently sticklers for that too. The courses are not going to cost me any money (OSAP grants) and I’m not going to be doing much this year anyway. I will say that it definitely SUCKS having to do the day in and day out of doing courses, especially after completing a Masters at the same institution, but it still beats working.

Youre right in that there is no guarantee my GPA will go up but I view it as a likelihood that it will given that I have selected courses with profs who know me and my situation well. 

Still I wonder if there’s something else in my application I should focus on to make sure I communicate to law schools that I am a competitive applicant.

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16 hours ago, almondbutter said:

Do not listen to what Western said and take another year of classes to prove you can handle a full course load. It is a waste of time, money, and there's no guarantee your grades go up.

You are good, be patient, apply broadly, take what comes your way and don't be so set on a specific school. You have a 164, many people would kill for that. 

Also... writing sample? They actually read that? 

I kinda have to agree with almondbutter.  It's like dating - rejected twice by the same girl/guy time to move on.  I wonder if they begin to recognize people as well.  Not saying they wouldn't be objective in evaluating each new application, but when do you become "known" as someone who doesn't quick make the cut.  Your stats are good - as evidenced by Windsor.  If law school is your only future pathway (is it?  Any other career ideas with your MA?) then perhaps its time to make that the goal instead of two specific schools.  I understand the medical reasons to stick close to home but Ontario has other good options and a really good train service.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cwfromwc said:

I kinda have to agree with almondbutter.  It's like dating - rejected twice by the same girl/guy time to move on.  I wonder if they begin to recognize people as well.  Not saying they wouldn't be objective in evaluating each new application, but when do you become "known" as someone who doesn't quick make the cut.  Your stats are good - as evidenced by Windsor.  If law school is your only future pathway (is it?  Any other career ideas with your MA?) then perhaps its time to make that the goal instead of two specific schools.  I understand the medical reasons to stick close to home but Ontario has other good options and a really good train service.

I sincerely hope that isn't the case. I think that would be grossly unfair. They give students every opportunity to improve their application and apply again. Judging by some posts on this forum, it is not uncommon for previously unsuccessful students to get in on their third or fourth tries. I'm just assessing the cost and benefits of continuing to apply. In any event, I'm going to take every opportunity to apply again to the schools I want to get into this year. I'll also apply to other schools, and will ultimately take whatever offers I get this year.

My other career wise is to do a PhD in Philosophy, which would take much more time and effort than a law degree would. I've determined law to be the career that makes the most sense for me in terms of my interests, my current age and career path, and my previous background.

Edited by capitalttruth

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Posted (edited)

If you’ve determined law is the best career path for you maybe it’s time to start considering other schools that will get you on similar career paths within 3 years rather than waiting 1-2 years to get into a particular school.

Edited by FingersCr0ssed
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They specifically said LSAT writing sample? Geez, I wrote about fifty words. 

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12 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

If you’ve determined law is the best career path for you maybe it’s time to start considering other schools that will get you on similar career paths within 3 years rather than waiting 1-2 years to get into a particular school.

Fair point. But my logic is that I won't adjust well enough in environments that I won't be comfortable in, causing me to potentially drop out or take much longer to complete the degree. My career is very important, but managing my mental health is even more important.

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Just now, capitalttruth said:

Fair point. But my logic is that I won't adjust well enough in environments that I won't be comfortable in, causing me to potentially drop out or take much longer to complete the degree. My career is very important, but managing my mental health is even more important.

If you can't handle moving for a little while, you won't be able to handle legal practice. I say this as someone who is leaving legal practice to be able to manage my own mental health better. 

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2 minutes ago, Mal said:

If you can't handle moving for a little while, you won't be able to handle legal practice. I say this as someone who is leaving legal practice to be able to manage my own mental health better. 

I don't mind moving. I would just like to be in a situation that is a little closer to home and in a city where I know people. Toronto or Kingston would be fine.

I appreciate your honesty. I've considered this and it's deterred me from seeking a career in private practice. I have heard, on the other hand, that there are other environments where I could practice law (government, non-profit sector) that arguably have better mental health resources. These align with my interests in law, anyway. But I'll consider this again.

I'd like to at least have the opportunity to try and see if I am fit for the profession.

 

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19 hours ago, capitalttruth said:

Yeah I was surprised they did. 

I got into Windsor last year but didn’t think I was ready to move that far away from my support system (doctors, friends, and family) but I explained my situation to the Associate Dean and she said I would have a strong chance of getting in next year. So I’m going to be applying to Windsor again. But I still think my best chance to succeed is to get into a school closer to home. The courses to raise my GPA, I imagine, would appease Queens who are apparently sticklers for that too. The courses are not going to cost me any money (OSAP grants) and I’m not going to be doing much this year anyway. I will say that it definitely SUCKS having to do the day in and day out of doing courses, especially after completing a Masters at the same institution, but it still beats working.

Youre right in that there is no guarantee my GPA will go up but I view it as a likelihood that it will given that I have selected courses with profs who know me and my situation well. 

Still I wonder if there’s something else in my application I should focus on to make sure I communicate to law schools that I am a competitive applicant.

If you feel that, now, you'd be okay moving to Windsor, okay. I can understand you applied last year but then decided better not to move. But, try not to do that again, I don't understand why you'd be willing to go to Western but not Windsor? I'm assuming because of Ottawa and Queen's that you're in eastern Ontario.

Also, and this is for you and your support system, will you be able to manage law school and being a lawyer? That's not to dissuade you, I don't know you, that's to encourage you to think and discuss with the people in your support system.

8 minutes ago, Mal said:

If you can't handle moving for a little while, you won't be able to handle legal practice. I say this as someone who is leaving legal practice to be able to manage my own mental health better. 

My sympathy, or good for you, or both...I did something similar (still practice PT but FT non-law).

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, epeeist said:

If you feel that, now, you'd be okay moving to Windsor, okay. I can understand you applied last year but then decided better not to move. But, try not to do that again, I don't understand why you'd be willing to go to Western but not Windsor? I'm assuming because of Ottawa and Queen's that you're in eastern Ontario.

Also, and this is for you and your support system, will you be able to manage law school and being a lawyer? That's not to dissuade you, I don't know you, that's to encourage you to think and discuss with the people in your support system.

My sympathy, or good for you, or both...I did something similar (still practice PT but FT non-law).

I am going to apply to Windsor again. I talked to the Associate Dean and she said she understands my reservations, and gave me another year to prepare myself if I have to move. 

I feel I have made strides in managing my mental health. Although this has been lifelong, I have worked hard to identify my challenges adjusting to the academic environment. I completed my MA full time, studied and wrote the LSAT, and working part time at the same time. I may be misguided, but I believe this gives me the confidence to know that, with the right supports, I can adjust to law school. 

I'd like to be in an environment where I am comfortable, though, ultimately. Law school is no picnic and I think about the added stress of participating in the program while being in a city where I don't know anyone. This is hard for most people, but it's doubly stressful for someone with my condition. 

I understand this may be a reflection of me not being cut out to practice law, so I'm going to take more time to reflect on this. But I do feel that the law schools and the legal profession are trying to make room for people with disabilities because they add diversity to the profession. Resources to help persons with disabilities adjust are put in place. This gives me the confidence to believe that I can succeed in the profession.

I know friends in Western that sets me at ease in anticipating the potentially difficult transition.

My dilemma with Windsor, however, is making me think that there are challenges persons with disabilities still must face even in the existence of the proper resources. Perhaps my request to remain in a city closer to home is thus unreasonable and reflective of an inability to adjust to a legal career. I'll have to mull this over.

 

Edited by capitalttruth
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Posted (edited)

Consider reaching out to the Windsor Dean of Admissions or Dean of Student Services to ask to be put in touch with current students who have had similar experiences to you. Also - I had no idea schools even looked at the LSAT writing sample. That is bizarre.

Edited by ristiisa
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ristiisa said:

Consider reaching out to the Windsor Dean of Admissions or Dean of Student Services to ask to be put in touch with current students who have had similar experiences to you. Also - I had no idea schools even looked at the LSAT writing sample. That is bizarre.

I am not sure, but Western Law addresses as follows:

"Does Western review the LSAT writing sample? 
Yes. We consider writing a critical skill for law school study. We look for clear, concise, creative, and well-developed writing samples."

https://law.uwo.ca/future_students/jd_admissions/admissions_FAQ/law_school_admission_test.html

As far as I remember, among Ontario law schools, Western Law has been the only law school, which explicitly states that it will look at writing samples. (at least based on information from the homepages of Ontario law schools.)

I have an impression that the OP has a strong writing skill as he has completed his MA thesis successfully. So, it sounds very weird to me that the OP's LSAT writing sample became a substantive weakness, which Western Law did not like.  

Edited by ArchivesandMuseums
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21 minutes ago, ArchivesandMuseums said:

I am not sure, but Western Law addresses as follows:

"Does Western review the LSAT writing sample? 
Yes. We consider writing a critical skill for law school study. We look for clear, concise, creative, and well-developed writing samples."

https://law.uwo.ca/future_students/jd_admissions/admissions_FAQ/law_school_admission_test.html

As far as I remember, among Ontario law schools, Western Law has been the only law school, which explicitly states that it will look at writing samples. (at least based on information from the homepages of Ontario law schools.)

I have an impression that the OP has a strong writing skill as he has completed his MA thesis successfully. So, it sounds very weird to me that the OP's LSAT writing sample became a substantive weakness, which Western Law did not like.  

Never believe everything you read on the internet, unless it comes from a valid, verified source. 

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1 minute ago, Deadpool said:

Never believe everything you read on the internet, unless it comes from a valid, verified source. 

Thank you for your reply. Yet, can I still consider the information from the law school's homepage as "a valid, verified source?"

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Just now, ArchivesandMuseums said:

Thank you for your reply. Yet, can I still consider the information from the law school's homepage as "a valid, verified source?"

Definitely. Just not everything you read on an online forum. 

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Have you confirmed that they calculated your L2 as 3.75 since you didn’t have a full course load? I think your 164 was later on in the cycle and you initially went in with significantly lower lsat? That may have had an impact too.🤷🏻‍♀️

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Hopeful987 said:

Have you confirmed that they calculated your L2 as 3.75 since you didn’t have a full course load? I think your 164 was later on in the cycle and you initially went in with significantly lower lsat? That may have had an impact too.🤷🏻‍♀️

Yeah, these are all factors I considered. I'm hoping with the newer LSAT, the new PS, and the clarification of the course load (the courses im taking this fall/winter) will help me. Queens does not give individual application feedback which makes it a guessing game.

Edited by capitalttruth

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Posted (edited)

Just out of curiosity, did they specificallly say LSAT writing sample, or could it be possible that they meant the thing you submit on OLSAS as part of your application that is sort of like the LSAT writing sample?  It makes a lot more sense if it’s that instead of the actual LSAT writing sample. 

Edited by Shankar

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