About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

About Me
Columbus, OH
Political Score:
Temp @ JPMorgan Chase
Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
High School: Home Educated
Reading, standing in line for things, writing, research

About My Family
My mom is a
lawyer in Pickerington; my stepdad and dad are computer guys, and my stepmom (who works with my dad) is an engineer. My sisters are, in order of age, a photographer, an artist, and a person too young to have her own website. My brothers are, in order of age, living up north, and again, a person too young to have a website. At some point soon I'll be collecting links for my aunts, uncle, and cousins. ^_^

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NaNoWriMo 2007:
My Novel: Cipere Lumen

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2006:
My Novel: The Manatee Conspiracy

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

NaNoWriMo 2005:
My Novel: Beyond the Cliffs of Kefira

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

NaNoWriMo 2004:
My Novel: sul Okyar tir taTz'ileea

National Novel Writing Month

Sunday, December 25, 2005
Tier 4, Here I Come...  
[warning: whining ahead!]

So, I got a 170 on the LSAT (that's it -- next standardized test I take, my goal is going to be a perfect score; my goal for the SAT was 1350 and for the LSAT was 170, and I got 1380 and 170, respectively.)

But, my undergraduate GPA is something around 3.0 (I have to try and recalculate it using the LSDAS method to know for sure, but it'll be between 2.95 and 3.05, unless I've totally messed up my estimates or forgotten some "A" grades, which is possible but unlikely.)

Now, as far as I remember, these are my grades (very roughly):
Freshman - 3.4 (1997-98, age 16/17)
Sophomore - 2.1 (1998-99, age 17/18)
Junior - 3.5 (1999-00, age 18/19)
Senior - 3.7 (2000-01, age 19/20)

[Sophomore year could be lower, I don't have one of my grade reports so I can't be 100% confident that I got that year's GPA over 2.0 at the end of Spring 1999; Freshman year includes a repeated course (Calculus) that I got a D in the first time, so that might hurt me more]

My Sophomore year was... bad. Very bad. Mostly in the form of a quarter where I got two E's and a C- (there is a medical explanation that I'd rather not go into here, but I don't know if it'd be especially persuasive and my parents say that won't matter.) At the end of that quarter, I changed my major to History and Political Science (from Computer Science Engineering,) and got mostly A's with a few B's and at most two C's (I don't think it's that many, but it's been a while since I looked) after that.

I also did some good social stuff (e.g. volunteering at an AIDS charity) and career enhancing experiences (e.g. internship at the Department of State.) I took a lot of 500-level social science classes and got all A's in my majors (I dropped the History major in 2001 because I didn't want to take on loans for another full year of study.) I took the last 6 low-level classes I needed to graduate (Russian 2 and 3, Marine Biology, Geology, Environmental Geology, and World Regional Geography) at UCLA and some California area community colleges (think $11 a credit hour vs. $135, and semester versus quarter credits at that.) Except for Russian 3, I got A's (B in Russian 3.) Incidentally, I worked a lot harder on those community college classes than I would have had to at OSU. I haven't taken any college classes in two years, but haven't done anything remarkable professionally either (though working at Disneyland helped me figure out a lot of stuff.)

And my undergraduate GPA reeeeeally bites.

Meanwhile, my mom's law school has a really good deal for people with high LSAT scores. It's not a highly-ranked school, but it's hard to justify not trying for free tuition (or going to a place that's higher-ranked but incurring 4 times the level of debt.) And though it seems like it's really hard to get good grades there, I'm good at overworking classes and doing well when no one else does (in Marine Biology, I had the only A, and most of my friends got C's.) And now they've had someone go to be a circuit court clerk, and there's a graduate who's now teaching at Notre Dame. So. Maybe, if I decide to go the academic route (*) I can go to some place I'd really like to (e.g. Georgetown, where my great-uncle taught for a very long time) for an LL.M. program or something.

(*) people who try and convince me that that dream isn't feasible will be sh -- that is to say, their comments will be deleted. With prejudice. Grrr.

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Well, you can pretty much put into your personal statement what you just put into this post.

You don't need the details on the medical problems.

I started college at sixteen and my freshman year was a normal beginning. Then, just before I turned eighteen I got sick and ended up failing two classes (can I ask why you didn't retake them to replace the grades -- or was that an option?).

I recovered and had a 3.5 junior year and a 3.7 senior year.

With some good letters of recommendation, you should be just fine.

I graduated with a 3.28 (and the average I applied with was closer to a 3.15) -- but that put me 1.2 points higher than the departmental average and I was three years on the deans list and received the departmental honor. BYU took me.

Anyway, just FYI.

BTW, pick up a copy of Planet Law School (cruise half.com -- you can get them for about half price).

Just read the parts about preparing and use them.

http://www.adrr.com/law0/ for other thoughts.
I had a friend whose LSAT jumped from 580 to 740 (I'm old, they used different numbers, 740 is the mid 99th percentile).

He explained to Harvard that his typhoid had gotten treated by the second time he took the test and they accepted that as a good reason to ignore the first.

The key is to be mellow and explaining about things, not defensive or weird about it.
I went the low-rank, low-cost route. Same situation with low GPA and high LSAT. Got free tuition and monthly stipend.
That was 10 years ago. I am now a successful attorney at a top ranked mid-size firm in a mid-size city. No big loan payments.
In retrospect:
Pro: Free! Free! Free!
Con: At a more "elite" institution I might have learned more from my classmates and professors (in that order). As a conference junky I traveled quite a bit and always found myself drawn to the ivy crowds. More my level of discourse.
In terms of my career, the lower ranked school made little difference. I will note that I clerked after law school and the judge's enthusiasm for me and my abilities helped me land a higher-end job.
Final aside: My gpa in lawschool sucked too, but my professors loved me, because I actively participated in class and made a point of reading their articles. I like to read and learn; I hate studying for tests. Blah.
Good luck.
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Because only so many people can be eleventh in line.