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Applying to Law Schools with a Non-Traditional Transcript?


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So when I entered my undergrad, I was strongly thinking that I would look for a career in the social sciences. I went to Hampshire College, which has an "experimental" structure where you have to design your own area of study, you receive written evaluations instead of letter grades, and your final year is primarily spent working on a project of some sort rather than taking classes (I still took two classes each semester, but spent the bulk of that time working on a 70-page research thesis). In addition, I was able to take classes at the other colleges nearby (Smith, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, UMASS), and got A's in all of the courses I took at these schools. I've taken 2 timed practice LSAT tests, and have scored a 159 and a 162; I'm studying pretty intensely and feel confident that I can gain more consistency in hitting the higher range of my scores by September, with a target goal of getting to 164. I graduated two years ago and have a strong professional resume, including leadership roles, successful completion of a scholarship program, certifications and trainings that I've completed through my employment, volunteer experience, etc etc. My professional experience has been in nonprofit mental health/advocacy work. 

My pretty obvious problem, though, is that I have no GPA. I know there are people from my college who have attended law school, but I'm wondering how big of a hurdle this will be, and how much my LSAT score would do to sway anyone who would otherwise be turned off by my school's written evaluations. 

This is an example of what my evaluations on my transcripts look like, for anyone curious:

"In this advanced seminar each student chose a topic in the research literature and took on several assignments: choice of the readings for and leadership of one class discussion; a final stand-up project presentation; an initial abstract and reference list for the final paper; a draft of the final paper; peer review of two other students' drafts; and a final 20-30 page literature review paper on the chosen topic.

------------- did excellent work in the course. She contributed regularly to class discussion and to the online forums. She was well prepared to lead the class discussion of her topic, and her final stand-up presentation was beautifully organized and presented. -----’s project concerned the problem of rehabilitating violent, incarcerated male offenders, who often suffer from complex post-traumatic stress disorders related to childhood experiences of abuse and neglect. Although the published research on this topic turned out to be rather thin, ----- produced a very well organized, thorough, and well written paper. In this course she demonstrated an ability to bring advanced academic skills to bear on a complex issue."

My school is regionally accredited despite its quirkiness. I'm not looking at schools that are alarmingly competitive, but are still in the top 100; my dream school is DU's Sturm Law School, which has  a median GPA of 3.45, and a median LSAT score of 158, and I'm hoping to go into public interest law. 

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@jarnayavaIf you obtain a LSAT score in the mid 160s you will not have a problem of being admitted at a host of schools, ranked in the 40-65 range. I would not worry about not having a traditional grades transcript—law schools deal with a variety of different circumstances and have alternative evaluation processes for these type of situations. (FYI, I served on admissions committees  at three different law schools, both public and private).

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