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justanotherapplicant

Any chance? If not, any advice?

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cGPA: 2.59
L2: 2.31
B3: 2.88
LSAT: 165

I applied with access status for Western, Queens, and UOttawa, but not sure how much weight that has. I also applied to Windsor, U of T, and Osgoode. I know my cGPA is not good; after my first year I had a 3.7 and it all just went downhill from there. My last 3 classes have all been 3.7-4.0, so I'm hopeful that this will be a good year.

If you think I have no chance, please tell me, and if you have time, let me know if you have any advice for improving my chances for next year. It's my dream to be a lawyer so I will honestly do whatever it takes at this point. Not sure if it matters, but I go to one of the top 3 universities, and I'm majoring in computer science. I also have been working at a law firm since this past Summer.

Give me your thoughts. If I have no shot, then should I go to grad school and reapply? Work for the next year and get a better LSAT score and reapply? Apply to law schools in the UK? Any advice you have to give, I will listen to.

Edited by justanotherapplicant
Forgot pertinent information

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4 hours ago, justanotherapplicant said:

cGPA: 2.59
L2: 2.31
B3: 2.88
LSAT: 165

I applied with access status for Western, Queens, and UOttawa, but not sure how much weight that has. I also applied to Windsor, U of T, and Osgoode. I know my cGPA is not good; after my first year I had a 3.7 and it all just went downhill from there. My last 3 classes have all been 3.7-4.0, so I'm hopeful that this will be a good year.

If you think I have no chance, please tell me, and if you have time, let me know if you have any advice for improving my chances for next year. It's my dream to be a lawyer so I will honestly do whatever it takes at this point. Not sure if it matters, but I go to one of the top 3 universities, and I'm majoring in computer science. I also have been working at a law firm since this past Summer.

Give me your thoughts. If I have no shot, then should I go to grad school and reapply? Work for the next year and get a better LSAT score and reapply? Apply to law schools in the UK? Any advice you have to give, I will listen to.

You have a 3.7 first year and your last 3 classes have been 3.7 to 4.0 (are these 3 courses included in L2 calculation above ?)

What is your B2?  I don't think you are competitive for U of T, OZ, Ottawa. You have a chance to improve your B2 and L2 for Queens and Western. I suggest you do not graduate until you have 2 years of 3.7+ with full course load .

Not sure about your access claim. Your LSAT is good.  

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What is the basis for your access claim?

EDIT - Also, going to grad school will not much help you be a more competitive law school applicant afterwards. It wouldn't be considered in your GPA calculation and it is just a marginal soft factor.

Edited by CleanHands

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Unless you have an in with a researcher, those grades aren't high enough for grad school*. 

You would likely need a reason for an access claim. Access isn't a "welp, my grades are low" it's a "I worked full time while caring for my dying parents" or, from a past poster, they were blind and struggled with lsat due to their disability. 

If you're not successful this round, the area holding you back would be GPA. If law is your endgoal, you can always take more undergrad courses and apply to schools that would consider those.

 

*Well, I know engineering students with those grades that went to grad school.

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Severe mental health problems (depression/anxiety) as well as a death in the family are the reason for my access claim. No "welp, my grades are low" happening here, though I admit I don't feel elated when I look at my grades. Also lots of profs that did not accept my medical notes, made themselves unreachable, and/or were flat out jerks to me when a family member passed and I asked for a bit of consideration. I was also not in a place where I could advocate for myself well. Genuinely went through some tough shit throughout my undergraduate degree and struggled just to get through every day. I'm in a much better place now, but I mistakenly did not take time off from school when I should have. In addition to that I have ADHD, but I didn't take any accommodation for it in my LSAT or school even though I was entitled to it. It's also my personal belief that ADHD alone wouldn't be sufficient for an access claim, especially if I had received accommodation for it, so I didn't focus much on that in my statements about my access claim.

tl;dr is that I recognize my grades are not great, but I also feel (and hope it's recognized) that I have a legitimate access claim. It isn't a physical disability so perhaps I'm mistaken in thinking it should still be recognized as legitimate. Just going based off my experience though.

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The chances are stacked against you, but your LSAT still gives you an outside chance. You never know what can happen with your access claim.

You surely have a reason because your LSAT shows you have the capability to do well. 

UofT is out of reach. 

But Western, Queen's, Ottawa and Windsor are are an outside chance (maybe 1 in 5 to 10?)

Osgoode is more an outside shot at 1 in 20.

I wouldn't say you have no chance. You have an outside chance.

Your application will depend on your PS and LSAT to carry you through.

Good luck and Happy Holidays.

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9 minutes ago, justanotherapplicant said:

Severe mental health problems (depression/anxiety) as well as a death in the family are the reason for my access claim. No "welp, my grades are low" happening here, though I admit I don't feel elated when I look at my grades. Also lots of profs that did not accept my medical notes, made themselves unreachable, and/or were flat out jerks to me when a family member passed and I asked for a bit of consideration. I was also not in a place where I could advocate for myself well. Genuinely went through some tough shit throughout my undergraduate degree and struggled just to get through every day. I'm in a much better place now, but I mistakenly did not take time off from school when I should have. In addition to that I have ADHD, but I didn't take any accommodation for it in my LSAT or school even though I was entitled to it. It's also my personal belief that ADHD alone wouldn't be sufficient for an access claim, especially if I had received accommodation for it, so I didn't focus much on that in my statements about my access claim.

tl;dr is that I recognize my grades are not great, but I also feel (and hope it's recognized) that I have a legitimate access claim. It isn't a physical disability so perhaps I'm mistaken in thinking it should still be recognized as legitimate. Just going based off my experience though.

Alright, so there is a foundation for an access claim. We were just confirming because you didn't elaborate on that in the OP, and we couldn't give you any useful input without that information.

Follow-up questions:

-Did the mental health issues and death coincide with your grades dropping from your 3.7 in first year?

-Since you are still currently a student, have you addressed your issues and are your grades going to improve?

The first question will be important in establishing a causal relationship between the issues and the impact on your academics. The second question is also important because an access claim is helpful if you can demonstrate that your undergraduate studies were impacted but you will still need to demonstrate that you have the capacity to succeed in law school (so if you are currently still struggling schools will likely be of the view that it's not appropriate for you to go to law school at this particular time).

Also, do yourself a favour and don't mention profs not being accommodating in your access claim. That may be true and I'm sorry to hear it, but it unfortunately creates skepticism about the legitimacy of your claims and comes across as finger-pointing and excuse-making rather than a reasoned explanation. Best to omit.

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Yeah I was sure not to mention the prof thing anywhere in any of my statements, especially because I felt it was best to take full responsibility for my grades. I know everyone comes across bad profs and strategizes to avoid that kind of thing, so I feel I deserve partial responsibility because I put myself in those situations. I also don't entirely blame the profs so it wasn't worth my time to mention. I undersold the issues I was having because I felt ashamed at having to receive extra treatment, so I can see how they could have suspected that I did not deserve the consideration I was requesting.

Perhaps I may have mentioned inadequate resources at my school if anything, but only in the context of me taking on extracurriculars that enabled me to improve what was available to students who came after me.


For the follow up questions:
The mental health issues and death did coincide with my grades dropping from my 3.7. I actually had an entire semester where I had to withdraw from my courses and after that semester, my grades were consistently low. 

I have addressed my issues and my grades as of this semester are vastly improved. No one can see how I feel inside unfortunately for me but I can confidently say I feel much better and my grades this semester reflect that. I did well-ish first semester last year, but unfortunately unexpectedly went through another wave of mental health issues in second semester, which is harder to explain.

 

Sorry this is all so long! I'm trying to give as much information as I can and genuinely have started looking into doing a 6th year. Do you know if there is any law school consultant or something that I could get help from? Thank you so much for listening to me go on and on. I very much appreciate it!!

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37 minutes ago, JaysFan364 said:

The chances are stacked against you, but your LSAT still gives you an outside chance. You never know what can happen with your access claim.

You surely have a reason because your LSAT shows you have the capability to do well. 

UofT is out of reach. 

But Western, Queen's, Ottawa and Windsor are are an outside chance (maybe 1 in 5 to 10?)

Osgoode is more an outside shot at 1 in 20.

I wouldn't say you have no chance. You have an outside chance.

Your application will depend on your PS and LSAT to carry you through.

Good luck and Happy Holidays.

Thank you! That's a huge relief to hear and that's what I was banking on by applying. I saw people in the Western acceptance thread saying they got in the first round with cGPAs that were lower than 3.5 in the general category, so I didn't think my chances were absolute zero, but I guess I'll find out in the next several months.

My thinking was that even if I have a 5% chance of getting in somewhere with my application being what it is, I'd rather apply and take my chances then jump into taking a 6th year which is far more expensive.

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For what it's worth it sounds like you have a compelling access claim, and your LSAT is good. Access applications are really hard for anyone to predict with any great certainty though. I share the other poster's belief that the odds aren't in your favour but you do have a shot, and you should apply broadly.

One thing you asked about that nobody addressed yet is applying to UK schools. If you want to practice in Canada I'd highly recommend that you considering applying broadly across Canada before seriously considering UK (or other foreign) schools. UK schools aside from Oxbridge are highly stigmatized in the Canadian legal market and you will have a rough time becoming a practicing lawyer in Canada with a UK degree. There are exceptions to this (that some have spoken of on this forum), but there are also quite a few people with UK law degrees working as legal assistants rather than lawyers in Canada.

At any rate, merry Christmas; I wish you the best of luck!

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1 hour ago, justanotherapplicant said:

Severe mental health problems (depression/anxiety) as well as a death in the family are the reason for my access claim. No "welp, my grades are low" happening here, though I admit I don't feel elated when I look at my grades. Also lots of profs that did not accept my medical notes, made themselves unreachable, and/or were flat out jerks to me when a family member passed and I asked for a bit of consideration. I was also not in a place where I could advocate for myself well. Genuinely went through some tough shit throughout my undergraduate degree and struggled just to get through every day. I'm in a much better place now, but I mistakenly did not take time off from school when I should have. In addition to that I have ADHD, but I didn't take any accommodation for it in my LSAT or school even though I was entitled to it. It's also my personal belief that ADHD alone wouldn't be sufficient for an access claim, especially if I had received accommodation for it, so I didn't focus much on that in my statements about my access claim.

tl;dr is that I recognize my grades are not great, but I also feel (and hope it's recognized) that I have a legitimate access claim. It isn't a physical disability so perhaps I'm mistaken in thinking it should still be recognized as legitimate. Just going based off my experience though.

Do you have documentation for your claims. 

You are not helping yourself for not requesting accommodations.

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Be careful not to underestimate how difficult it is to get in through the access category. You may have a valid access claim, but your application still needs to be competitive against the rest of the access applicant pool, and that's where stats come into play. 

For example, Queen's publishes their access matriculants' average stats here, and they're almost identical to the regular category averages (3.73/160 access vs 3.76/161 regular). Western expects competitive access applicants to have a 3.3+ cGPA, and Ottawa reportedly does, too.  

Edited by Tagger

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My suggestions:

1. get a higher LSAT then you have a shot at Manitoba (if your AGPA is around 3.4 you have a very good chance with 165 LSAT):

https://umanitoba.ca/student/admissions/media/law_bulletin.pdf

2. work for 5 years then apply in mature category.

3. get a paralegal diploma and work for some years then apply in mature category.

4. go to a foreign law school (US or UK). 

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I got into multiple Canadian law schools (none in Ontario) through access last cycle with a 2.7ish cgpa and 155 lsat. b2 definitely under a 3.0. One year out of undergrad working. I would suggest looking outside of Ontario, really fleshing out your statements and pick good references. If you have any questions feel free to message!

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37 minutes ago, undecidedlaw said:

I got into multiple Canadian law schools (none in Ontario) through access last cycle with a 2.7ish cgpa and 155 lsat. b2 definitely under a 3.0. One year out of undergrad working. I would suggest looking outside of Ontario, really fleshing out your statements and pick good references. If you have any questions feel free to message!

Which schools if you don’t mind me asking?

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Usask, thompson rivers and unb was very very late in the season. I wouldn't bet the farm on an acceptance but I know other people with strong access claims that got in on similar stats. 

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