Answer: yes. Just not all of them.
In the article that follows, we’ll explain, and provide some tips to assist you with the application process.
Can I Get Into Law School with a 2.0 GPA? (EXPLAINED)
While many schools put a heavy emphasis on GPA in the admissions process, many do not.
In fact, GPA alone is often a poor predictor of success in law school, as well as out in the legal field post-graduation.
Law school is a professional school, where students are being trained to be able to go out into the world and do something.
The ability to get good grades is not enough.
Let’s face it.
A 2.0 GPA is a really low GPA.
Some schools have a minimum GPA to apply (meaning if your GPA is lower, it doesn’t matter if you have other amazing qualities or you can explain yourself).
If you are applying to a school without a minimum GPA, you’ll be competing against students who have excellent GPAs, along with other desirable credentials (work experience, public service, language skills, etc).
If you want to get into law school with a 2.0 GPA, you’ll want to be able to apply with:
- a stellar LSAT score, if the school you are applying to requires it
- significant work experience, especially supervision or managing other people
- leadership roles in school, sports, clubs, activities
- sharp and interesting resume
- polished and interesting personal essay
- if the school allows it, a persuasive addendum explaining away your bad grades
If you don’t have these attributes yet, it is best to take some time to build up your application.
Take an LSAT prep course and really work it to get the best score possible.
Get a job and make a good impression.
Volunteer, or perform some other meaningful public service work contributing to the overall benefit of the community.
Legal aid is a really good place for a future law student to land; you’ll gain truly useful experience that will help you during law school and afterwards.
Make yourself into an interesting person. Engage in unique or creative hobbies that would inspire a conversation. Take classes or workshops on topics that really interest you. Become an expert in something. Teach it if you can.
Meet people in the legal field in the city where you want to go to school, or in the city you want to live in post law school.
These people can help you prepare your resume, or provide you with guidance about schools to apply to or areas of law to avoid.
Your network might help you find a shadowing type position, or an internship.
You might also go back to school, and earn a master’s degree or some other certification.
This will show the admissions committee that you can be successful in a rigorous advance degree program.
You will also need to be prepared to apply to a lot of schools, and to receive a lot of rejection letters.
Should You Apply To Law School With a 2.0 GPA?
You’ll find that a lot of people have strong feelings about this question.
A 2.0 GPA will put a student near the very bottom of the barrel amongst his or her peers/colleagues.
Law school is quite challenging, and even the hardest workers can struggle (or even fail).
Heck, even people who had excellent GPAs in their undergraduate work get bad grades in law school or fail/quit.
Law school is extremely expensive (thousands a year).
Once you are through a year (whatever your grades are), you are on the hook for the cost of that first year, which is probably going to cost in the range of $30k-$60, depending on your school.
If you do not finish law school, you’ll have an unfinished law degree that you can’t do anything with, no practical experience that would even help you get a paralegal job, and you’ll owe a significant amount of money if you have financed the costs with a student loan.
Welcome to the ‘golden handcuffs.’
Many lawyers enter the practice and realize that they cannot quit, even if they want to, because of the loans they have to repay.
The last place a person would want to be is owing thousands of dollars without the ability to earn the money to pay the money back.
That debt could make it hard for the student to get loans for a car or home, get a credit card, build a good credit score, or even obtain housing (if the loans are in default).
There are many reasons to argue that if a student can go to law school, then he should go. Period.
But as someone who attended law school and graduated, my Facebook friends list is littered with former colleagues who did not complete law school, or who left the practice of law shortly after graduation.
If I were a 2.0 student, I would think long and hard about whether or not I wanted to take the risk of failing to get through all three years of law school, and whether I am willing to bear the risk of a $30k-$60k mistake.
I’d do everything I could to make sure that the practice of law was worth the risk, by interning in a law office or in law enforcement.
I’d talk to current lawyers and former lawyers who had left the practice to get their experiences and opinions about the practice of law.
For the ones that don’t practice anymore, ask them why they left, and whether they’d recommend law school for anyone.
Go into the admissions process (and law school) with your eyes wide open.
And if you do get in, prep for law school like your life depends on it.
Thinking about applying to law school soon?
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