Chances with Low GPA, low LSAT, work + volunteer?

Hi everyone,
Just wondering if I can get some opinions on my chances of getting into law school. I've never applied but I have been thinking more about law school the last year or so.

I took the LSAT in Feb 2019 and got a 153. I wanted to take the November one but it's currently full so I'm planning on taking the January 2020 LSAT. I know there are a few schools that will accept January LSAT scores.

I had a lot of difficulties in universities and my cGPA for undergrad was 2.3. I finished with a B.Sc. I did end up going to college for the paralegal program in Ontario and finished with a 4.8 cGPA. Honestly, I felt like I found my calling in paralegal school because I enjoyed law so much. Also, I've been working the last 3.5 years as a legal assistant/paralegal.

My extra curricular activities consist of mostly volunteering at or in affiliation with my local religious organization - working with youth and children, hosting summer camp in various countries abroad, serving meals at a refugee house, and organizing events and serving on the administrative teams.

I can get reference letters from my supervisor/manager and a lawyer I worked under but I don't have any academic references. (I finished school 3.5 years ago and I didn't keep in touch with any professors...)

Do I have a chance in Canada with my current GPA, LSAT score and work/volunteer experience?
What LSAT score should I aim for in January 2020?
Are the academic reference really important?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

Comments

  • joshowens16joshowens16 Legacy Member
    73 karma

    Hey There,

    So I think it is important to realize that undergraduate GPA by no means necessarily dictates how well you would do in law school. If you have made a correction in the way you study and absorb information you should be able to put in the work and do well. Also, LSAT scores are weighed much more heavily in the application process than GPA, I've seen rough estimates that law schools value of the LSAT to GPA ratio is something like 70% (LSAT) and 30% (GPA). This is the optimistic side of things. By no means could someone get into a law school with a 4.0 GPA BUT a 140 on the LSAT, however you are not in that situation. So getting a better score on the LSAT is definitely worth your time.

    As far as the January LSAT goes, I would say that the majority of schools will accept a score this late in the cycle, however, remember that applying later in the application process lessons your chance of being offered a seat (because they've already began to fill your seat).

    The last piece of advice I would give is do WHATEVER you can that is completely within your control to make a law school look at you. Imagine you and 99 other applicants applied with the same GPA and LSAT score, what would make them pick you? This is where personal statements and all that other good stuff come into play.

    I am by no means an expert about this, this is just my personal opinion mixed with some of my knowledge.

  • bluetoronto7bluetoronto7 Member
    18 karma

    @joshowens16 said:
    Hey There,

    So I think it is important to realize that undergraduate GPA by no means necessarily dictates how well you would do in law school. If you have made a correction in the way you study and absorb information you should be able to put in the work and do well. Also, LSAT scores are weighed much more heavily in the application process than GPA, I've seen rough estimates that law schools value of the LSAT to GPA ratio is something like 70% (LSAT) and 30% (GPA). This is the optimistic side of things. By no means could someone get into a law school with a 4.0 GPA BUT a 140 on the LSAT, however you are not in that situation. So getting a better score on the LSAT is definitely worth your time.

    As far as the January LSAT goes, I would say that the majority of schools will accept a score this late in the cycle, however, remember that applying later in the application process lessons your chance of being offered a seat (because they've already began to fill your seat).

    The last piece of advice I would give is do WHATEVER you can that is completely within your control to make a law school look at you. Imagine you and 99 other applicants applied with the same GPA and LSAT score, what would make them pick you? This is where personal statements and all that other good stuff come into play.

    I am by no means an expert about this, this is just my personal opinion mixed with some of my knowledge.

    Thanks for your response @joshowens16

  • bluetoronto7bluetoronto7 Member
    18 karma

    @bluetoronto7 said:

    @joshowens16 said:
    Hey There,

    So I think it is important to realize that undergraduate GPA by no means necessarily dictates how well you would do in law school. If you have made a correction in the way you study and absorb information you should be able to put in the work and do well. Also, LSAT scores are weighed much more heavily in the application process than GPA, I've seen rough estimates that law schools value of the LSAT to GPA ratio is something like 70% (LSAT) and 30% (GPA). This is the optimistic side of things. By no means could someone get into a law school with a 4.0 GPA BUT a 140 on the LSAT, however you are not in that situation. So getting a better score on the LSAT is definitely worth your time.

    As far as the January LSAT goes, I would say that the majority of schools will accept a score this late in the cycle, however, remember that applying later in the application process lessons your chance of being offered a seat (because they've already began to fill your seat).

    The last piece of advice I would give is do WHATEVER you can that is completely within your control to make a law school look at you. Imagine you and 99 other applicants applied with the same GPA and LSAT score, what would make them pick you? This is where personal statements and all that other good stuff come into play.

    I am by no means an expert about this, this is just my personal opinion mixed with some of my knowledge.

    Thanks for your response @joshowens16

    Sorry, I accidentally pressed enter and my comment posted.

    Thanks again @joshowens16. Your response provides a lot of insight. Definitely need to work on my LSAT score in January.

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