Graduate or professional work is NOT summarized by LSAC but LSAC does list these transcript on the law school report and send copies of them to law school.
POLICIES RELATED TO TRANSCRIPTS SUMMARIZATION gives information which might be relevant; for example, which grades are excuded from grade conversion; how grades in a repeated course are counted. In this just-mentioned website, click on the fifth line, "Grades are converted to a standard 4.0 system." According to LSAC, their Grade Conversion Table converts grades to a standard 4.0 system (actually a Standard 4.33 system) in order to furnish law schools with a uniform basis for comparing applicants." Unfortunately this is not true: LSAC allows a 4.33 for a grade of A+ whereas "a standard 4.0 system" does not allow an A+ let alone a 4.33. Allowing some applicant a chance for an A+ while others havie no chance, does NOT "furnish law schools with a uniform basis for comparing applicants." All grades of A+ should be downsized to the graade of A.
At most colleges and universities, one drops a course and one withdraws from all courses although one will oftentimes hear about about someone withdrawing from a course and about someone dropping all their courses.
In calculating your GPA, the grades of Withdraw and Incomplete are ignored assuming that the issuing school considers these grades nonpunitive. The grade of Withdraw is almost never considered punitive; the grade of Incomplete is punitive at some schools (e.g. it may change to the grade of F after one year). For more details (e.g. information about WF), see TRANSCRIPT SUMMARIZATION especially the subsection "Grades Excluded from Conversion."
You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run. The Gambler The Gambler was a top 100 hit (debut date: November 4, 1978) by Kenny Rogers. It was in the top 100 for 22 weeks, maxing out at 16.
Every semester, mark on your calendar each of the drop dates; usually these drop dates are: The last day to drop without receiving a grade of 'W' and The last day to drop without receiving a grade of 'F.' Before each drop date, for each course that you are enrolled in, be realistic about your prospects; if you think you will greatly improve in a course, ask yourself why this is a reasonable expectation. Note that expecting to make the greatest comeback since Lazarus is usually not being realistic. If, with great effort, you may earn a grade of C, you may be better off taking a grade of 'W.' If you lack the time to do well in all your courses, it might be time to pull the plug on one of your courses.
New York University PreLaw Handbooks talks about withdrawals and says that "You should avoid withdrawing from courses whenever possible. This does not mean that you should never withdraw from a course, but a series of withdrawals over several semesters carries strong negative implications, from an attempt to manipulate the grade point average, to an inability to finish what you have started. Since most law schools have a prescribed first year curriculum, admissions committees look warily upon undergraduate students who fail to complete a term's expected course load."
The University of California at Berkeley Career Center say the following about taking courses Pass/Fail, "Although you may take some courses Pass/Fail, you should realize that the Law School Data Assembly Service counts a 'Fail' as an 'F' and calculates it into your GPA as a zero. The 'Pass' is given no value and is not factored into the GPA. Therefore, if you are considering applying to law school, be selective when using the Pass/Fail grading option.
Unless you have run out of courses that you can expesct to do well in, think twice before signing up for a Pass/Fail.
Whenever possible, choose courses that engage your interests and take them for letter grades."
New York University PreLaw Handbook say the following about the Pass/Fail Option: "Most admissions committees have what are best described as mixed emotions about the pass/fail option. Although committees sympathize with the notion that pass/fail grading may give a student the opportunity to take a course that he or she otherwise would not, committees also feel that the more of such marks on a transcript, the less information they have on which to base their judgment on your qualifications as an applicant. ... One of the consequences of a permanent record ladened with pass/fail credits is that increasingly greater weight is placed on your LSAT score. As a general rule, you should not take more than one academic course per year on a pass/fail basis."
You may want law schools to receive your fall semester grades, especially if they reflect continued academic excellence, an upward trend in your academic performance, or a meritorious effort on your part. In such cases, as soon as you know your fall semester grades, write a brief note to your prospective law schools indicating your fall semester grades and indicating that your college, acting on your instructions, will be sending your new official transcript to this prospective law school and to LSDAS [follow through by making sure that these two transcripts are sent]. LSDAS will submit an updated report to your prospective law schools that have indicated they will accept such updates.
You may want law schools to receive your spring semester grades, especially if they reflect continued academic excellence, an upward trend in your academic performance, or a meritorious effort on your part. In such cases, as soon as you know your fall semester grades, write a brief note to your prospective law schools indicating your fall semester grades and indicating that your college, acting on your instructions, will be sending your new official transcript to this prospective law school and to LSDAS [follow through by making sure that these two transcripts are sent]. LSDAS will submit an updated report to your prospective law schools that have indicated they will accept such updates.
SENIOR-YEAR FALL-SEMESTER GRADES
If your transcript was sent to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) during the fall semester, this transcript will not reflect your fall semester grades.
LOW UNDERGRADUATE GPA AND APPLYING TO LAW SCHOOL
A senior wth a low GPA but with high xpectations for his/her senior-year grades, you may want to delay applying to law school for a year so that your senior-year grades will be calculated into your GPA.
If you are a senior with a high GPA but expectations for lower first-semester senior-year grades, you may want to consider applying to law schools early enough in the fall semester of your senior year in order to prevent your senior-year grades from being calculated in your LSDAS GPA. If perchance you do better than you had reason to expect, you may want to have your first-semester senior-year grades calculated in your LSDAS GPA and sent to the relevant law schools.
In calculating the grade point average, LSDAS excludes all grades awarded after the first undergraduate degree is received. If this poses a problem, note that graduation can be delayed (usually not applying for graduation will do the job); if not, postponing a required course will certainly do the job).
If you have a low GPA when the time to apply to law school rolls around, make sure to maximize your effort on the LSAT. If this effort does not pay off, see our ranking of the LEAST SELECTIVE law schools or RETAKE THE LSAT.
The University of Notre Dame Prelaw offers the following useful advice: "If your GPA is really hurting your chances, taking several years off can help. The more distance you put between you and your undergraduate GPA, the lesser its negative impact on your application. If your GPA is low, but your LSAT is high, you might want to consider this option seriously. Letters of recommendation from professors who attest that your ability is not reflected in your overall GPA may also help.
Arizona State University Pre-Law indicates that "For those who have been out of school for more than a year or two, undergraduate GPA will be less important. Law schools will give greater weight to your LSAT score and accomplishments since leaving school."
University of Michigan Prelaw gives an answer to the the question, "My GPA is low but I really want to study law. What are my options?" Their answer is: "If you are truly interested in studying law, there are several law schools nationally where competition for admission is not as great. This does not mean that the programs at these schools are easier, simply that they have different admissions philosophies that allow more subjective evaluations of your ability to be successful. The pre-law advisor can help you to identify schools to optimize your chances of admission."
MANIPULATING THE LAW SCHOOL UGPA: BY GOING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL
HOW DO LAW SCHOOLS EVALUATE AN APPLICANT'S GRADUATE SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT? Law schools receive a copy of graduate school transcripts with the law school report, but do not calculate an overall grade-point average combining undergraduate and graduate school performance. Courtesy of LSAC.
Law schools receive a copy of graduate school transcripts with the law school report, but do not calculate an overall grade-point average combining undergraduate and graduate school performance. The graduate school experience is one of the many factors that schools consider when reviewing applications that contribute to the breadth and depth of a candidate's overall qualifications for the study of law.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE LSAT AND GPA ARE NOT IN SYNCH
Law schools Admission Committees (LSAC) first focus on the applicant's LSAT score and UGPA. On a typical undergraduate's application, these two factors are paramount. However, most law schools will tell you that the student's entire application is reviewed and considered. As a result, it would be to your advantage to supplement your curriculum with activities that demonstrate leadership, initiative, creativity, responsibility, analytical skills and research ability. University of California, Merced Law School Information
f your LSAT score and UGPA do not match up, explain this discrepancy (without bitterness, anger or defensiveness) on a separate piece of paper entitled Explanation of LSAT Score or Explanation of UGPA. This separate sheet of paper would be part of your law school addendum. Johns Hopkins University Law School Option