Intro and Law School GPA

Hi, Everyone! I’m new to the forum and am glad to have found a place to discuss the challenging process of applying and getting into medical school!

I’m currently a practicing lawyer who is planning to apply to med school. My undergraduate GPA is a 3.8, which I hope to raise with the remainder of my pre-med courses; however, my law school GPA is a 3.02, which includes a D and a C+ I made my first year while dealing with clinical depression that I have managed to treat since that time. My goal is to pursue medical research and policy work and possibly a career in academia. To do this, I likely will need to go to a top research institution. Assuming all other factors (GPA, MCAT, etc.) are within range to get me into a research-focused medical school, is my my law school GPA likely to preclude entrance nonetheless?

Also, what is the best way to go about explaining the low law school GPA to medical schools? Would you suggest writing an addendum up front or waiting to see if it’s brought up during interviews?

Thank you for your thoughts,


They’ll be able to see the law school grades, but I don’t know that they’ll necessarily scoff you for it since your undergrad and science GPAs are seemingly solid.

There’s a spot on a lot of the secondary apps that ask you to explain oddities in your academics or record. If you’d like, you could explain (not “make excuse”) for the blip in your record there. Otherwise, it may or may not come up in interviews. The biggest thing is that it happened, so own it, whatever it is. Be able to intelligently talk about what you learned/how you grew from the hard time and law school in general. On a side note: be ready for a question about why you went to law school and why, now, you don’t want to be a lawyer. I had a guy ask me 3 times in 1 interview why I got an MBA. And no, I didn’t bungle the answer the first 2 times he asked me.

If you can explain it well, it sounds like it could be a good essay for an “overcoming struggles” type essay question as well.

Look into Georgetown. They tout their Social Justice track that might interest you. It’s more research and advocacy, but I think they get exposure to policy makers that have an influence on future laws.

Thank you for your response. I’ll definitely look into Georgetown!

So a Doctor and a Lawyer walked into a bar…He was all alone! Ha - get it - you are both! (assumption made with “he”)

It is generally not recommended to put any big red flags in your personal statement, especially some mental health struggles. Even though depression/anxiety are not uncommon, if you are talking about it bringing down your grades during law school, they may skip right over your application for fear of you getting worse when you start medical school.

There are ways to frame the dip with digging into specifics.

Good luck with your journey!

The law school GPA will be a factor that will definitely be taken into consideration. Since the particularly low grades also appear to be anomalies in your overall record you will have to account for them somehow in your application materials (or interviews, if you make it through the screening process). It will also be critical to articulate in your personal statement why you’re making the switch to medicine from law. Wanting to do research/policy work is not usually a compelling enough reason for admission committees. Do you also want to care for patients?

Good luck!