How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Frathard
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How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Frathard » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:08 pm

specifically an AA male


what numbers would you say are a LOCK with weak/average softs


I know theres no concrete number but educated guesstimations are appreciated

rundoxierun
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby rundoxierun » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:25 pm

Frathard wrote:specifically an AA male


what numbers would you say are a LOCK with weak/average softs


I know theres no concrete number but educated guesstimations are appreciated


I have fairly average to above average softs(for law school at least).. link to my lsn in my profile

Frathard
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Frathard » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:46 pm

tkgrrett wrote:
Frathard wrote:specifically an AA male


what numbers would you say are a LOCK with weak/average softs


I know theres no concrete number but educated guesstimations are appreciated


I have fairly average to above average softs(for law school at least).. link to my lsn in my profile


Ahh my softs are still weak compared to yours. I worked for a local state government during undergrad, besides that I have nothing. I also have no idea what my DS or PS statement should be about; there's nothing special or "diverse" about me. I need my numbers to get me in or I have no shot.

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BruceWayne
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:48 pm

Softs are very important for an AA male at any top 14; but they're especially important at HYS. Harvard is big enough that they can swallow a few people with almost any LSAT/GPA combo, not to mention their reputation is cemented so rankings don't mean anything to them, and be fine. As a result, they will often make the final decision to admit or deny an AA male based on softs. HLS really likes softs that show leadership skills.

Frathard
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Frathard » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:54 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Softs are very important for an AA male at any top 14; but they're especially important at HYS. Harvard is big enough that they can swallow a few people with almost any LSAT/GPA combo, not to mention their reputation is cemented so rankings don't mean anything to them, and be fine. As a result, they will often make the final decision to admit or deny an AA male based on softs. HLS really likes softs that show leadership skills.


I've got at least 2 cycles until I apply. What kind of activities would vastly help me improve my chance of admission?

rundoxierun
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:01 am

Frathard wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Softs are very important for an AA male at any top 14; but they're especially important at HYS. Harvard is big enough that they can swallow a few people with almost any LSAT/GPA combo, not to mention their reputation is cemented so rankings don't mean anything to them, and be fine. As a result, they will often make the final decision to admit or deny an AA male based on softs. HLS really likes softs that show leadership skills.


I've got at least 2 cycles until I apply. What kind of activities would vastly help me improve my chance of admission?


Dont base your life around law schools man.. its not nearly worth it. Do what you like and do it well. Tutor kids, do leadership activities, volunteer around your city, do research, whatever you like. At the end of the day you dont want to waste two years of your life for something that you may not get or even enjoy if you get it.

Frathard
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Frathard » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:09 am

tkgrrett wrote:
Frathard wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Softs are very important for an AA male at any top 14; but they're especially important at HYS. Harvard is big enough that they can swallow a few people with almost any LSAT/GPA combo, not to mention their reputation is cemented so rankings don't mean anything to them, and be fine. As a result, they will often make the final decision to admit or deny an AA male based on softs. HLS really likes softs that show leadership skills.


I've got at least 2 cycles until I apply. What kind of activities would vastly help me improve my chance of admission?


Dont base your life around law schools man.. its not nearly worth it. Do what you like and do it well. Tutor kids, do leadership activities, volunteer around your city, do research, whatever you like. At the end of the day you dont want to waste two years of your life for something that you may not get or even enjoy if you get it.


Very sold advice. I'm pretty set on going to law school(ha, who isn't on this site?) and i'm fortunate enough to have a job post graduation whether I decide to go or not. It's more of a personal thing for me to go to Harvard though.

I appreciate all the serious replies guys, I know these threads are a dime a dozen on here.

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Fresh
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Fresh » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:46 am

Frathard, frat hard for HLS

APimpNamedSlickback
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Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:14 am

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Last edited by APimpNamedSlickback on Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

getbuck
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby getbuck » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:25 am

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:if you're a black male, have no felonies, and have the numbers for HLS, you're in. bank on it. really, go ahead and borrow a million dollars and bet it all on getting in, even if your resume is a blank sheet of paper with a happy face on it.
harvard is massive and takes a relatively huge number of black folk. yale, harvard and stanford compete fiercely for the handful of truly numerically strong urm candidates, so h really doesn't have the luxury of dinging black dudes b/c their softs are weak.

that said, if you aren't so strong numerically, then you really do need to have excellent softs to distinguish yourself. and to the extent that your competition for a spot at harvard will be tougher than at most places, you'll definitely need to bring more to the table in softs.

but seriously, if you're a black male, just make things easy on yourself and kill the lsat. there is no surer way into harvard, if that is your goal.


you hit it right on the head...most t-14 programs can't afford to be nitpicky with their black male applicants--even at the top.

for example a graduate from my undergrad, a jc trasfer, had weak softs and snagged both harvard and stanford, however, he did have a respectable 3.88/165 combo.

in short, have numbers that are near the 25th percentile for harvard and you will get in--regardless if your resume is stacked or not.

females, on the other hand, is a different story from what i have observed; the resume has to be on point for them.

as far as what makes it a lock: 3.8+/167+...

djfe4president
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby djfe4president » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:55 pm

This is an interesting topic. I would like to hear more opinions. I've always wondered about the soft factor for these schools, especially HYS. This scenario always replays in my mind

If a black dude has a 3.7 and a 164 but no softs and another black dude has a 3.6 and 160 but amazing softs, who is more likely to get into harvard? Let me rephrase. Who do you think would have an easier time at getting in?

Both men are below the 25th percentile so wouldn't it make sense that you are drafting someone based on potential. Think about it.

Have you guys ever wondered about this

Frathard
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Frathard » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:37 pm

djfe4president wrote:This is an interesting topic. I would like to hear more opinions. I've always wondered about the soft factor for these schools, especially HYS. This scenario always replays in my mind

If a black dude has a 3.7 and a 164 but no softs and another black dude has a 3.6 and 160 but amazing softs, who is more likely to get into harvard? Let me rephrase. Who do you think would have an easier time at getting in?

Both men are below the 25th percentile so wouldn't it make sense that you are drafting someone based on potential. Think about it.

Have you guys ever wondered about this


This thought goes through my mind everyday. Its hard to find a legitimate answer since the sample size is so small and of that sample size very few post on here and lsn.

rundoxierun
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:45 pm

djfe4president wrote:This is an interesting topic. I would like to hear more opinions. I've always wondered about the soft factor for these schools, especially HYS. This scenario always replays in my mind

If a black dude has a 3.7 and a 164 but no softs and another black dude has a 3.6 and 160 but amazing softs, who is more likely to get into harvard? Let me rephrase. Who do you think would have an easier time at getting in?

Both men are below the 25th percentile so wouldn't it make sense that you are drafting someone based on potential. Think about it.

Have you guys ever wondered about this


I dont think either one of them has a very good shot(barring a strange grade trend or difficult courseload..) but if either was to get in i would think it would be the one with amazing softs.

djfe4president
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby djfe4president » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:16 pm

In all fairness. I think the 160 might have a better shot at Yale. Harvard is somewhat more predictable

Don't you agree

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LAWLAW09
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby LAWLAW09 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:42 pm

Frathard wrote:
Ahh my softs are still weak compared to yours. I worked for a local state government during undergrad, besides that I have nothing. I also have no idea what my DS or PS statement should be about; there's nothing special or "diverse" about me. I need my numbers to get me in or I have no shot.




When I read, "I need my numbers to get me in or I have no shot," my initial reaction was, "His application is not going to be as strong or as convincing as it could be regardless of what his numbers are."

You have URM applicants that are crafting their applications and thinking of strategies based on the belief: "My softs are going to get me in." The fact that most of them are unable to do that isn't important. What is important is that a lot of creativity results when one truly believes that or includes that approach in their law school strategy.

Part of being convincing involves believing in oneself and knowing oneself. (I think this is why a lot of HBCU grads, particularly Spelman & Morehouse grads, routinely outperform their numbers. I think the same is true for older low scoring URMs.)

I don't know if you're giving yourself the best chance, or doing yourself any favors, if you're viewing yourself and evaluating yourself completely off a numbers-based admission model that is not designed to benefit you or your community.

I say all that to say: Sometimes believing you are the shit, or figuring out what makes you the shit, is half the battle.

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Alltheirsplendor
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Alltheirsplendor » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:39 pm

LAWLAW09 wrote:
Frathard wrote:
Ahh my softs are still weak compared to yours. I worked for a local state government during undergrad, besides that I have nothing. I also have no idea what my DS or PS statement should be about; there's nothing special or "diverse" about me. I need my numbers to get me in or I have no shot.




When I read, "I need my numbers to get me in or I have no shot," my initial reaction was, "His application is not going to be as strong or as convincing as it could be regardless of what his numbers are."

You have URM applicants that are crafting their applications and thinking of strategies based on the belief: "My softs are going to get me in." The fact that most of them are unable to do that isn't important. What is important is that a lot of creativity results when one truly believes that or includes that approach in their law school strategy.

Part of being convincing involves believing in oneself and knowing oneself. (I think this is why a lot of HBCU grads, particularly Spelman & Morehouse grads, routinely outperform their numbers. I think the same is true for older low scoring URMs.)

I don't know if you're giving yourself the best chance, or doing yourself any favors, if you're viewing yourself and evaluating yourself completely off a numbers-based admission model that is not designed to benefit you or your community.

I say all that to say: Sometimes believing you are the shit, or figuring out what makes you the shit, is half the battle.


This.

Great suggestions. And TK is right as well. Don't do what you think will look good. Believe me, you'll do yourself a disservice. When you do what you love you'll find that you'll flourish, and law schools will take notice of that. The worst that can happen is you end up doing something you love and find something to do besides law school. Kinda awesome, huh?

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vanwinkle
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:47 pm

Frathard wrote:I've got at least 2 cycles until I apply. What kind of activities would vastly help me improve my chance of admission?

Honestly? Get WE after law school, at least 1-2 full years worth, hopefully in something interesting and/or that'll demonstrate leadership experience, but in any case, just get some real-world experience to separate you from the hordes of fresh-out-of-UG applicants. That'll make a huge difference in itself.

Also, while you're out of UG and making money, prep for the LSAT and take it again if you want to be sure. The higher your score the better your odds. Softs are great, but softs with a truly strong LSAT score are even better. Prep courses are your friend if you're working full-time and can't self-study completely on your own.

But just be confident in your abilities. Do as much as you can in the areas you want to do before you go to law school. I've seen people get into top law schools who've demonstrated their dedication and resolve through art, photography, theater, sports, and many other things. Or they show it through working amazing jobs and proving they're more than just an undergrad degree that way. Go do something interesting, and do it well and with passion. Law school will still be there when you're done.

This stuff creates bonuses to throw on your app, but it also helps you develop additional skills and confidence that are actually useful once you're in law school.

Good luck.

Frathard
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Frathard » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:03 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Frathard wrote:I've got at least 2 cycles until I apply. What kind of activities would vastly help me improve my chance of admission?

Honestly? Get WE after law school, at least 1-2 full years worth, hopefully in something interesting and/or that'll demonstrate leadership experience, but in any case, just get some real-world experience to separate you from the hordes of fresh-out-of-UG applicants. That'll make a huge difference in itself.

Also, while you're out of UG and making money, prep for the LSAT and take it again if you want to be sure. The higher your score the better your odds. Softs are great, but softs with a truly strong LSAT score are even better. Prep courses are your friend if you're working full-time and can't self-study completely on your own.

But just be confident in your abilities. Do as much as you can in the areas you want to do before you go to law school. I've seen people get into top law schools who've demonstrated their dedication and resolve through art, photography, theater, sports, and many other things. Or they show it through working amazing jobs and proving they're more than just an undergrad degree that way. Go do something interesting, and do it well and with passion. Law school will still be there when you're done.

This stuff creates bonuses to throw on your app, but it also helps you develop additional skills and confidence that are actually useful once you're in law school.

Good luck.



If I don't get into my first choices I'll do this but I don't see a reason to if I can get into my first choices right out of undergrad.

djfe4president
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby djfe4president » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:43 am

You can get work experience while in UG. I'm applying straight from UG and adcoms have noted in acceptance letters about my experience for someone still in undergrad.

Keep grinding

Frathard
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby Frathard » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:07 pm

djfe4president wrote:You can get work experience while in UG. I'm applying straight from UG and adcoms have noted in acceptance letters about my experience for someone still in undergrad.

Keep grinding


This is what i'm currently doing. I should have a pretty badass LOR from the CEO of where I work as well.

djfe4president
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby djfe4president » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:57 am

Frathard wrote:
djfe4president wrote:You can get work experience while in UG. I'm applying straight from UG and adcoms have noted in acceptance letters about my experience for someone still in undergrad.

Keep grinding


This is what i'm currently doing. I should have a pretty badass LOR from the CEO of where I work as well.


Be sure to get recs from mostly professors though.. All of my recs were from teachers who were difficult (example: class to be a writing tutor) and gave me less than an A. It can show your growth as a writer and researcher....

For URM's, I think it is important that you can show the adcoms that you can do a lot of reading and writing. That by itself can be viewed as a soft.

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TatNurner
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby TatNurner » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:39 pm

djfe4president wrote:
Frathard wrote:
djfe4president wrote:You can get work experience while in UG. I'm applying straight from UG and adcoms have noted in acceptance letters about my experience for someone still in undergrad.

Keep grinding


This is what i'm currently doing. I should have a pretty badass LOR from the CEO of where I work as well.


Be sure to get recs from mostly professors though.. All of my recs were from teachers who were difficult (example: class to be a writing tutor) and gave me less than an A. It can show your growth as a writer and researcher....

For URM's, I think it is important that you can show the adcoms that you can do a lot of reading and writing. That by itself can be viewed as a soft.


:lol:

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birdmann783
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby birdmann783 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:33 am

Bump

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20121109
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby 20121109 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:58 am

Black, intelligent men with high aspirations.....?

ran here.

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vanwinkle
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Re: How much do softs at Harvard matter for a URM?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:10 am

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:Black, intelligent men with high aspirations.....?

ran here.

:lol:




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