You made it through school. But it wasn’t easy. Maybe you waited tables full-time to pay the bills. Or perhaps you were an athlete who kept your scholarship by lifting, practicing, watching film, and traveling. Then again, you could’ve been a late bloomer; the light simply didn’t come on until your third year. Those experiences will someday make you a driven performer for your clients. Unfortunately, your grades matter. Fair or not, they are an easy way to compare you against other candidates. Face it, you won’t get a pass for ‘extenuating circumstances’ in real life. Why should you when you apply to law school?
Sure, your grade point may hang over you like an albatross, but you still have options. Recently, Shawn O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Stratus Prep, outlined four ways to mitigate a mediocre GPA and give you an edge in the admissions process. They include the following:
1) Take Additional Classes: Looking to boost your standing? Enroll in courses after graduation that can sharpen your analytical and writing skills. While they won’t boost your GPA, they’ll reflect intellectual growth and initiative.
2) Score High On The LSAT: Sure, admissions will weigh both your GPA and LSAT, but a high LSAT, according to O’Connor, “may convince the committee to closely examine the rest of your application.” And it could earn you some financial aid too.
3) Include Strong Recommendations: If your GPA doesn’t stand out, make sure your references can demonstrate how your unique traits, experiences, intellect, and achievements will make you a significant addition to the class. In particular, focus on including recommendations from a professor and boss who can share how “your cumulative grades do not tell your full story.”
4) Add An Addendum: “Why should we accept a student with a 3.0 GPA when another candidate has a 3.7? Isn’t it logical that a student with a lower grade point average has less discipline and intellectual horsepower?” Yes, that’s exactly what an admissions officer is thinking. To counter that impression, you need to add an addendum to your application. Outline the reasons why you may have struggled, such as health issues or family emergencies. At the same time, list your most recent accomplishments – and how they’ll help you add greater value to the incoming class. Remember, you may start slow, but people only remember how you finish. And if you’re building momentum, your potential makes you a very appealing candidate.
Source: U.S. News and World Report