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Should I write a GPA addendum?

Hi everyone!

To get right into it, I'm not applying to law school until next fall, but I want to ask this question now so I might be able to start preparing the addendum as soon as possible. I'm not entirely sure when an addendum is necessary to write, or even okay to write.

Personally, I'd like to write one. I was home-schooled almost my whole life, I went to a pretty rigorous STEM school and majored in biochemistry - I got a 3.0 GPA. Halfway through it, I figured I didn't really want to keep going with STEM, but I had no idea what I would want my major to be instead. I did know that law school was the path for me at that point, but I couldn't convince myself to take an extra semester/year (because of money) to major in something else that I was unhappy with.

In the end, I found out that I love philosophy by taking a philosophy course in my last semester of undergrad. I got into the M.A. program at my school and did well there, and my GPA in my last semester was far better because I was enjoying my education a lot more. I believe that my last semester in undergrad and my M.A. are much better indicators for my academic potential in law school than my first couple of years in undergrad when I was still figuring myself out and learning how to study in the first place.

That said, I want to get some other opinions before I bank on my intuition. Any advice/answers would be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • 69 karma

    Well, now I see that someone else just posted something very similar, but I can't see how to delete my post. The answers on that post are helpful, but they do seem a little related to OP's specific issues.

    I guess a more general question I have is this: is a GPA addendum able to be written by anyone, or will the school request it, or what? How does that work?

  • GeneralCherry4GeneralCherry4 Monthly Member
    32 karma

    It sounds like an addendum would be appropriate for your situation. One of my college professors advised me to write addendums structured as "X happened because... but X is not a problem anymore because..." Just make sure you give explanations, not excuses. What you have written in your main post sounds good.

    To answer your other questions: You write the addendum. The school won't request it unless you indicate somewhere on your application that you are attaching the addendum and then fail to attach it - then, they might reach out and ask you where it is. You can attach the addendum as part of your general law school application through LSAC.

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Member Admissions Consultant
    1963 karma

    Former admissions officer here. You should write a GPA addendum explaining your academic journey (homeschool, STEM, grad school) and providing context for the GPA that the committee will see in your LSAC CAS Report. While the law school will still need to incorporate your cumulative GPA into their incoming class stats for ranking and reporting purposes, they will also be able to determine your true academic potential if you provide context for your numbers. Keep the addendum concise and factual (one or two paragraphs at most). Good luck!

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