Conditional Program or Re-Apply for 2012?

Law school conditional programs can be great opportunities for those who otherwise would not be admitted to law school. By participating in a shortened law school program (either via Internet or on campus) and achieving a certain GPA, an applicant can be admitted to the J.D. program for that fall. Generally, you do not apply separately for this program. A school reviews your application and sends you a letter saying you are not admitted but invited to participate in their summer conditional program (or AAMPLE program). (Here is a list of law schools offering conditional acceptance programs)

However, there are drawbacks:

(1) A small percentage of people are usually admitted through these programs; (At Charlotte Law, only 20-50% are successful in any given year, Florida Coastal’s is between 20 and 54 percent, and Nova’s AAMPLE program success rate ranges between 11 percent and 62 percent, depending on whether people complete the online or in person program.)

(2) They cost money ($3200 at Florida Coastal); and

(3) If you don’t make it through and you’re reapplying next year, you may need to report your attendance (and failure to make it through) on some law school applications.

Anyone who would like to share their experiences with a conditional acceptance program is welcome to leave comments here!

24 thoughts on “Conditional Program or Re-Apply for 2012?

  1. Hi Ann,

    Sorry this is irrelevant to the above posting but wasn’t sure where else to post this question.

    My question is about how GPA is reported to the law schools. Are they rounded, say, to the nearest hundredths? Are they rounded up or donw if so?

    My GPA is 3.94 as of now, and if I take two classes and get A’s, then it becomes 3.945 but if I take four and get four A’s, then it becomes, I believe, 3.95.

    But if the GPA’s are rounded to the nearest hundredths, two situations will yield the same GPA’s and it wouldn’t mean much for me to take that many classes when I can spend that time for the LSAT.

    It’s fine if you are not sure or if it depends on schools. I attend top 10 college (private) as they appear on US news rankings.

    Thank you very much!

    • Jen, your GPA will show as a 3.94 but PLEASE don’t take extra classes just for this reason. The LSAT is much more important than having a 3.95 versus a 3.94. Seriously. It makes no difference to your application whatsoever which way this rounds. There are some things worth worrying about and this isn’t one of them, even for the very top law schools in the country. You will need extra time for the LSAT more than you will need that hundredth of a point.

    • Ellen, you usually can’t apply. You have to apply for admission and see if the school selects you. But you can email the school and express interest in the conditional program.

  2. SunDay on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I have been waitlisted to my #1 choice which is Valparaiso. I was denied admission to FL Coastal but accepted to the AAMPLE program (I opted for the campus version rather than online). I have sent in my LOCI to Valpo, but I have also paid the seat deposit & 1st tuition payment for the AAMPLE program @ FL. I thought this was a smart idea being that Valpo is not a guarantee and I don’t doubt that I could pass the classes for AAMPLE. Valpo isn’t picking off the list until April and AAMPLE begins early May. AAMPLE has a semi-decent refund policy. I figure even if I start the program, but recieve a call for Valpo, I can drop the program and focus on my acceptance to my top choice. My fear is that I don’t recieve that call until mid-late of the program or that I never recieve that call at all. Any advice/help/opinions that you could give me on my situatin would be very helpful and appreciated.

    -SunDay

    • SunDay, I think you’re doing this the right way by keeping your options open. Work as hard as you can with AAMPLE and keep letting Valpo know you would absolutely attend.

    • Keegan J. on said:

      SunDay,

      I would like to hear an update on your story. Did you go with the AAMPLE program or did Valpo call you? I believe I am going to find myself in the same situations and it would be refreshing to hear that you can walk out alive.

      Keegan J.

  3. Rachel on said:

    Dear Ann, thanks for the helpful posts.
    i am a Chinese student currently studying in Japan. the situation i am facing is that i might not be fully prepared for June LSAT. i know the best would be to take the Oct one but by that time i will be in China. and in China, there will be no LSAT offered in Oct.
    if i want to take that one, i will have to fly to HK or Japan which means i have to prepare a month for visa application…
    do you think i should bother to that or i should just take the December LSAT? because i am worried if this will affect my opportunities to be admitted in a rolling system.

    • Rachel, it sounds like December is the best choice for you. Lots of people get into great law schools with December LSAT scores. You’ll be in the best shape if you start getting all of your materials ready this summer, then spend the fall studying for the LSAT.

  4. I am seeing law school admissions. I have a 3.6 GPA and a 137 LSAT. The only conditional programs in my area (GA) are online. Do you recommend online programs, also I have two felony convictions. Will this hender my acceptance?

  5. DL Carroll on said:

    After 20 plus years of work-experience at top corporations, international experience, graduate education at a Top 20 University, rigurous continuing education courses, work as Board of Director for a Non-Profit Organization, work as a Government and Industry Affairs Professional, working relationships with Federal, State and Local Officials, and a number of attempts to gain admission into law school (from 1994 to present)… I have successfully concluded that NONE OF IT MATTERS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A GOOD LSAT SCORE!

    I am so angry that schools tout that they read your essays, weigh you background and credentials, letters of recommendation and personal statements…only to confirm through a number of back channel discussions with Law School Admissions Counselors, that ITS ALL A NUMBERS GAME FOR LAW SCHOOLS! Its all about what school can say they have students with the best LSAT Scores, many of whom may not even make the best legal professionals!

    It is really sad because there are a number of highly talented individuals who are denied access, simply because they may not score well on standardized exams. Many of those people are actually rock stars within there respective fields. So NO there is NOT A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD when it comes to Law School Admissions! WHAT A HUGE (LEGAL< PROFESSIONAL AND POLITICAL) PARADOX! Where is the justice, ethical framework and source of equality for willing and clearly able students?

    I will say that after 20 plus years of seeking admissions into Law School, that I actually do have a seat in a 2012 Fall Class this year; however, I am still greatly disturb by the current system. I hope that Law Schools, Law School Admissions Counselors, and Legal Professionals will do what is right and ethical to correct the problem? Isn't our legal system designed to create equality? I would love to hear your thoughts?

    Kind regards,

    DLC

  6. The AAMPLE program is…..  tough. A lot of reading, a lot of problems.
    In the end, (if you do everything your told) it’s going to be worth it.
    I actually went to Jacksonville, FL for 6 weeks and participated in class session. I learn better in class verses online. Both, the online and in class sessions are amazingly similar.  The professors were nice, knew what they were talking about. There are NO office hours for the AAMPLE students… because they want to make sure the online students have the same advantages as the classroom students. You can ask questions in class but that’s it. There are NO quizes (non- graded) nor exams, ONLY your final exam- which is done online.

    I know its a huge investment.. but if you pass the program your money is refunded. So, work hard and good luck!

    Email me if you have any questions: jarvisa240@gmail.com Glad to help anyone interested in this program.

  7. Christopher on said:

    I have a question. I have been invited to participate in the AAMPLE programs at New York law school. They said they will send me a packet in the mail with information. Well I received an empty open letter nothing inside. From what I gathered online its reserved for first 20 students that accept it and ALL are granted admission if they maintain a 2.5. My question is this should I worry or care? I’ve already been accepted to New England law and Florida coastal with a half ride scholarship. And I’m still waiting for 15 other decisions.

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Christopher,
      You should call NYLS and tell them there was a mistake with the mailing and you need the information.
      Wait and see where else you get in since there are still a lot of decisions you are waiting for.

  8. Laylla on said:

    Hi
    Can someone give me their opinions regarding AAMPLE at Florida Coast and others? Is anyone currently enrolled or have been in the recent past? Thanks

  9. Dr. John on said:

    AAMPLE ® = Masochistically brutal!! Essentially, two, fifteen-week, second-year-law courses crammed into a half dozen weeks.

    Warning: Only attempt AAMPLE ® if prepared to devote fifteen hours per day, seven days per week, for the duration. Don’t even think about outside work, or “a life,” while enrolled.

    My experience with AAMPLE ®? As an observer of daughter’s recent commitment.

    Daughter’s background? A baccalaureate degree in business 15 years ago (3.65 GPA); employed as a senior executive with a publicly-traded company; took “a shot” at the LSAT without studying and did poorly – Duh!

    Professorial advice? In lieu of AAMPLE ®, with decent GPA and sub-standard LSAT score, consider enrolling in a “Kaplan” (or Kaplan-type) in-class, LSAT prep-course (not an on-line course), then retake LSAT.

    Wishing you the best of luck,

    John XXXXXXX, Ph.D., C.P.A
    P.S. I have no affiliation with Kaplan.

  10. Your suggestion is interesting, ” only attempt AAMPLE if prepared to devote fifteen hours per day, seven days per week”.

    Isn’t this somewhat the time needed for law student seeking top grades? Multiple hours each day, each week and studying long hours into their legal professions is required, regardless!!!

    Know it and accept serious lawyers, especially those without experience, MUST WORK smart!!!

    But good luck to all!

  11. Can someone provide their opinion to the AAMPLE program at Charlotte Law? Has anyone participated in the program before? Please help!

    • Krystle on said:

      Hi Steve,

      I’ve been accepted to Charlotte’s AAMPLE program as well! Just pray and do your best, we’ll get through it. What I have learned about these online forums is that people’s comments can negatively affect your outlook. Do what you feel in your heart is best for you.

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