Bad/Good/Great Softs

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adameus
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby adameus » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:45 pm

jks289 wrote:For the most part you aren't going to get good advice about softs on this website. Generally law school admission is a numbers games. Beyond that there are common attributes (study abroad, internships, etc) and unusual attributes. The more unusual and impressive the better. However the only "bad" soft is to have done nothing at all outside of school. I think one "soft" people tend to underestimate is demonstrated writing skills. A quick search of this website will show that many people with decent numbers cannot form a coherent sentence in English, much less write an essay with thematic focus and direction that shows some talent for written advocacy.


I do agree with you here, I think this is more of a reflection of what you took in UG. If you were a social science, or liberal arts major I would expect you to write a fantastic essay as you've had a significant amount of practise along with a lot of feedback from your professors. This same person probably can't do multivariable calculus or calculate the NPV of future cash flows for a business opportunity...

PartyOfOne
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby PartyOfOne » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:47 pm

Hmmm. Well that's pretty discouraging.

On the bright side, there appears to be an upper-level management vacancy at a large Chinese manufacturing firm. Hopefully they are still accepting resumes.

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tomhobbes
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby tomhobbes » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:05 pm

At HYS, coming from an elite undergrad seems to be a pretty important soft factor. I would like my chances at Yale and Stanford slightly better if I could trade 2-3 LSAT points for HYP undergrad prestige.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:15 pm

tomhobbes wrote:At HYS, coming from an elite undergrad seems to be a pretty important soft factor. I would like my chances at Yale and Stanford slightly better if I could trade 2-3 LSAT points for HYP undergrad prestige.


only cuz you have the points to trade :P

personally, i think softs just really stand out if you're closer to the borderline anyways

if your numbers are already solid, just HAVE softs to show you did crap throughout your UG, a good PS, and strong LORs

my resume, compared to everyone else's here on TLS, is a 5 out of 10 easy

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BruceBarr
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby BruceBarr » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:44 pm

UFMatt wrote:Barring any surprises, my cycle is going exactly as predicted in terms of acceptances. I do feel, however, that my PhD has gotten me a bit more scholarship money than I otherwise might have gotten (looking at LSN). I think the single most important criterion for a soft is whether it will be benefit the school in a tangible way. With my science background, I'll have a strong shot at a high-paying IP law job. This, in turn, can help the school's placement stats and thus their USNWR. Someone else with, let's say, powerful political/business connections also would have a stronger shot than most at landing a solid job, helping the school in a similar manner. I think that is the key to determining strong softs, but of course this is merely speculation on my part. The bottom line is that you want strong stats so that you don't have to hope that your softs sneak you in.



Maybe... but I think schools are more interested in what you did, not what you can bring. I think schools just want to know that you did something other than schooling. For instance... with the exception of some work experience, I have nothing that would benefit the law school. But I did overcome some crazy stuff, spent some time living with an indian tribe in the amazon, climbed some big mountains, played in a touring/signed band, etc...

Just completely random shit that I did while an UG. It shows that I was active and involved outside of school, not what I can bring. And, it's random (often stupid)... and not cliche. Everyone does Teachers of America or is a Delta Gamma Whatever. Do something out of the box and it helps.

(innn my opinion)

dvt0004
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby dvt0004 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:36 am

I rarely find people addressing military experience as a soft. I know it shows diversity, and should be a URM IMO, but would it be considered strong? E.g. I served as an infantryman in Afghanistan from 05-06.

I have many other softs to go along with that experience but I believe that is my "rarest" soft.

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MURPH
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby MURPH » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:23 am

dvt0004 wrote:I rarely find people addressing military experience as a soft. I know it shows diversity, and should be a URM IMO, but would it be considered strong? E.g. I served as an infantryman in Afghanistan from 05-06.

I have many other softs to go along with that experience but I believe that is my "rarest" soft.
Thanks for your service. I've heard that Afgan and Iraqi vets do quite well but I don't have any numbers to back that up. I have three years active duty but no deployments. I don't think I am getting any type of admissions boost from it but it is hard to tell. I discussed some army shit in my northwestern interview and mentioned it briefly in an addendum in my apps. I can't complain, though. The post 9-11 GI bill is the best deal ever.

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englawyer
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby englawyer » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:13 am

dvt0004 wrote:I rarely find people addressing military experience as a soft. I know it shows diversity, and should be a URM IMO, but would it be considered strong? E.g. I served as an infantryman in Afghanistan from 05-06.

I have many other softs to go along with that experience but I believe that is my "rarest" soft.


it is strong, especially relative to stuff like president of the anime club, etc.

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gymboree
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby gymboree » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:28 am

PartyOfOne wrote:Not trying to bump here, but the answer to this question would probably be very enlightening:

If you are an HYS student or admit reading this, and you had either a sub-175 LSAT or a sub-3.8 GPA - would you care to tell us about your soft factors?

(I know there won't be many of these people out there.)


I think people are hesitant to share their softs at this point because a good/rare soft would instantly out you to lurking adcomms. I would be happy to share mine (I have very good softs) after the cycle, but am withholding at this point.

runn3rs
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby runn3rs » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:15 am

gymboree wrote:
PartyOfOne wrote:Not trying to bump here, but the answer to this question would probably be very enlightening:

If you are an HYS student or admit reading this, and you had either a sub-175 LSAT or a sub-3.8 GPA - would you care to tell us about your soft factors?

(I know there won't be many of these people out there.)


I think people are hesitant to share their softs at this point because a good/rare soft would instantly out you to lurking adcomms. I would be happy to share mine (I have very good softs) after the cycle, but am withholding at this point.


+1. I thought I had pretty great softs but thus far they haven't helped me much. I really wish I could share it with everyone but its definitely rare if it isn't spectacular and it would out me pretty quickly. Like I said though, it hasn't helped me much as I've been WL at some places where I was at both medians or at one median and just below another. Still waiting to hear back from a few places where I fall into that category and I'll be able to more thoroughly evaluate then.

Generally though, I think softs help you if you are just above both medians and a school has to decide between dozens of people with the same stats.

bahama
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby bahama » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:39 pm

People with "game changing" or great softs are unlikely to post the details because those details are unique enough that the individual will likely be identifiable to adcoms or even clasmates based on those softs.

There seem to be 2 kinds of "game changing" softs. The one impressive thing (Olympic Athlete or wrote a best seller) and the unique package (disadvantaged background, Div 1 athlete in college, served as a military officer, founded a charity to help Iraqi orphans while deployed...)

umichgrad
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby umichgrad » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:56 pm

My cycle is pretty much over so I'm not that nervous about sharing, but one of the things I think was a good soft for me and helped my apps this cycle was founding a 501(c)(3) non-profit org. It was related to my few years of work and volunteer experience (so I was able to highlight a theme in my app), and I was also able to incorporate it into a more or less unique PS. I think the key to any soft is being able to talk about it-- you can't just slap it on your resume and hope it catches an adcomm's eye. HTH!

r6_philly
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby r6_philly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:31 pm

bahama wrote:People with "game changing" or great softs are unlikely to post the details because those details are unique enough that the individual will likely be identifiable to adcoms or even clasmates based on those softs.

There seem to be 2 kinds of "game changing" softs. The one impressive thing (Olympic Athlete or wrote a best seller) and the unique package (disadvantaged background, Div 1 athlete in college, served as a military officer, founded a charity to help Iraqi orphans while deployed...)


you presume people with that kind of "softs" would want to hide them from adcoms and classmates. People with accomplishments don't always flaunt them, but they don't usually go to length to hide them neither. Maybe people with those softs have not yet been admitted to all the schools and don't know their real impact yet.

Judging from the fact most T14 schools who publish incoming profiles list the unique quality of some of their students, I think those "softs" are something to be proud of and cherished.

r6_philly
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby r6_philly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:35 pm

gymboree wrote:
PartyOfOne wrote:Not trying to bump here, but the answer to this question would probably be very enlightening:

If you are an HYS student or admit reading this, and you had either a sub-175 LSAT or a sub-3.8 GPA - would you care to tell us about your soft factors?

(I know there won't be many of these people out there.)


I think people are hesitant to share their softs at this point because a good/rare soft would instantly out you to lurking adcomms. I would be happy to share mine (I have very good softs) after the cycle, but am withholding at this point.


Let's be sure to start a thread after the cycle sharing then. I'd love to hear everyone else's softs. I choose not to share right now because I am not in at any school yet, and probably not for a little while.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:38 pm

r6_philly wrote:
bahama wrote:People with "game changing" or great softs are unlikely to post the details because those details are unique enough that the individual will likely be identifiable to adcoms or even clasmates based on those softs.

There seem to be 2 kinds of "game changing" softs. The one impressive thing (Olympic Athlete or wrote a best seller) and the unique package (disadvantaged background, Div 1 athlete in college, served as a military officer, founded a charity to help Iraqi orphans while deployed...)


you presume people with that kind of "softs" would want to hide them from adcoms and classmates. People with accomplishments don't always flaunt them, but they don't usually go to length to hide them neither. Maybe people with those softs have not yet been admitted to all the schools and don't know their real impact yet.

Judging from the fact most T14 schools who publish incoming profiles list the unique quality of some of their students, I think those "softs" are something to be proud of and cherished.


i think he means before they're accepted, and even after they wouldnt want to be identified by classmates. ppl like to have the license of anonymity online. when ppl know you irl (classmates) or on paper (adcomms), and can tack comments you say here to that, it is uncomfortable to say the least, and that's assuming you arent saying "regretful" things online

09042014
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:40 pm

Do we have any examples of people getting into schools they shouldn't have because of a soft?

This is funny, since I'm taking the side of "softs don't matter" when I infact only got into my school because of my work experience, a soft.

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adameus
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby adameus » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:41 pm

what if you hooked up with over 100 girls during UG? I think that is quite impressive. And some dirty old men/women adcomms would likely be very impressed by this/interested in hooking up with you.

09042014
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:42 pm

adameus wrote:what if you hooked up with over 100 girls during UG? I think that is quite impressive. And some dirty old men/women adcomms would likely be very impressed by this/interested in hooking up with you.


Depends on the 25/50/75 percentiles of the girls you banged.

Four years of hogging aren't worth bragging about.

r6_philly
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby r6_philly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:45 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Do we have any examples of people getting into schools they shouldn't have because of a soft?

This is funny, since I'm taking the side of "softs don't matter" when I infact only got into my school because of my work experience, a soft.


The low LSAT score for last year's Yale class is 154 based on the info posted on their admissions website. Based on what Asha posted it must have taken an amazing rest of the application for the 154 to be compensated for. Since a 4.33 (if it was that high) only compensate for so much, the rest : WE, PS, LOR, 250, resume etc. must have been amazing then.

There are a few low scores every year. As a matter of fact, there are 50 plus people who get in year every year with a sub 168. They can't all be 167. So soft must matter (if what she said wasn't enough to be convincing to most).

lawyering
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby lawyering » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:48 pm

gymboree wrote:
PartyOfOne wrote:Not trying to bump here, but the answer to this question would probably be very enlightening:

If you are an HYS student or admit reading this, and you had either a sub-175 LSAT or a sub-3.8 GPA - would you care to tell us about your soft factors?

(I know there won't be many of these people out there.)


I think people are hesitant to share their softs at this point because a good/rare soft would instantly out you to lurking adcomms. I would be happy to share mine (I have very good softs) after the cycle, but am withholding at this point.


+1. happy to share later. i think my softs have done a LOT for me. with a 170 i shouldn't have gotten into 13 of 13 T20 schools so far.

edit: but the softs haven't helped at all with merit aid (except potentially some PI scholar programs)

r6_philly
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby r6_philly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:59 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
i think he means before they're accepted, and even after they wouldnt want to be identified by classmates. ppl like to have the license of anonymity online. when ppl know you irl (classmates) or on paper (adcomms), and can tack comments you say here to that, it is uncomfortable to say the least, and that's assuming you arent saying "regretful" things online


I understand the point. But maybe if people take some pride in themselves and choose real personal responsibilities they wouldn't have to worry about that.

I would also hope that people with real amazing accomplishments wouldn't need to run their mouth behind anonymity online.

Seems like I am the rarity here. I have been online since consumer Internet has been widely available in the early 90's. I guess my online persona has matured enough. But I have always stood up behind what I said online IRL. It is a tiresome exisitence to pretend to be someone online (or pretend to be IRL, if the online persona is the real one).

bahama
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby bahama » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:38 pm

R6,

There is a difference between being willing to stand behind what you say online IRL and being comfortable having your classmates and others (including future employers) be able to tie all your comments/opinions on a place like this to you individually. That's partially why you use a screen name not your legal name, right?

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bloodonthetracks
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby bloodonthetracks » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:43 pm

PartyOfOne wrote: I also don't think "having a great PS" qualifies as a legitimate soft. I would suggest that most great PS describe outstanding softs - in fact it's the other softs that generally make the PS great in the first place.


This makes no sense. You can write a fantastic personal statement about your relationship with your grandfather or your trip to Mongolia. These are not softs. A personal statement can give your app a boost if it exhibits intellectual curiosity, a sense of purpose, and outstanding writing skills. If you are just writing about your "other softs" in your personal statement, then your personal statement probably sucks.

09042014
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:52 pm

bloodonthetracks wrote:
PartyOfOne wrote: I also don't think "having a great PS" qualifies as a legitimate soft. I would suggest that most great PS describe outstanding softs - in fact it's the other softs that generally make the PS great in the first place.


This makes no sense. You can write a fantastic personal statement about your relationship with your grandfather or your trip to Mongolia. These are not softs. A personal statement can give your app a boost if it exhibits intellectual curiosity, a sense of purpose, and outstanding writing skills. If you are just writing about your "other softs" in your personal statement, then your personal statement probably sucks.


Soft is short for soft factor, and a Personal statement is definitely a soft factor.

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bloodonthetracks
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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby bloodonthetracks » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:54 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
bloodonthetracks wrote:
PartyOfOne wrote: I also don't think "having a great PS" qualifies as a legitimate soft. I would suggest that most great PS describe outstanding softs - in fact it's the other softs that generally make the PS great in the first place.


This makes no sense. You can write a fantastic personal statement about your relationship with your grandfather or your trip to Mongolia. These are not softs. A personal statement can give your app a boost if it exhibits intellectual curiosity, a sense of purpose, and outstanding writing skills. If you are just writing about your "other softs" in your personal statement, then your personal statement probably sucks.


Soft is short for soft factor, and a Personal statement is definitely a soft factor.


that was my overall point




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