Will having a W on my transcript hinder me when applying to top law schools?

Title sums it up but I am currently enrolled at IU as a Junior. I chose to take a summer class for my minor (there were different class options so I don’t need this specific class) and took the first exam yesterday. It didn’t go well to say the least and I went from having an A in the class to a C+ because the test was weighted so heavily. I could possibly get my grade up to a B by the end of the class but even that would bring my GPA from a 3.88 to a 3.84 and that’s if i get it up to a B which isn’t guaranteed. I emailed my advisor and the drop date for a non-punitive W is in roughly a week so I was considering dropping the class but I wanted to know how that would affect my admission chances at the t14 law schools? What about specifically HYS? Also my grade trend the last year I’ve had all As so i don’t know how a B in a summer class would compare.

Did you try changing it to pass/fail? W is not a big deal as the reasons are many and varied for a W showing up on a transcript.

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If you were an engineer, there’s a good chance you have a W.

Anyway, they are looking at you in total. Your GPA and LSAT will matter most. If you have work experience that helps. And like regular college, make sure you have a safety or two you apply to.

But one won’t hurt you most likely.


Unfortunately I do not have a P/F option

Thanks! I am a criminal justice major so i worried since it’s seen as an ‘easier’ major if that would hurt it but the class was for my minor anyways not my major

Guess what - nothing you can do - apply to schools that you want - and ensure you have some within reason and some definite.

You’re a kid. You struggled in a class. You dropped it. It happens. Did you take it again ? Or never took it again. My son is an engineer - he has a W. Many he knows have Ws.

You’ll get your degree. That’s what matters. I’m sure you’ll end up in the same law school you would have without the W. But if someone turns you down, well, that’s why you have options and not just get emotionally attached to one. Truth is, when you get turned down somewhere, you’ll never know why.

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You’re better off with a W than risking a C. A single W across 3 years of college is not a big deal. It’s unlikely to make a significant difference in your law school outcomes, even at HYS.

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