Bad/Good/Great Softs

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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby r6_philly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:54 pm

bahama wrote: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?

I been using this username for 15 years. you will get more google hits on this username than my legal name. Knowing that, I still comfortably chose this username for this forum. R6 is my first racebike and philly was where I lived.

My domain is consider that one of my "softs"? lol I will know when I get admitted somewhere.

Dude there is no way for me to hide. I have tattoos on my forearms and my racing number on my bicep. I am comfortable with everyone knowing.

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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby PartyOfOne » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:17 pm

Blood -

You're right. I agree with your view that outstanding writing skills, intellectual curiosity, etc can make for a strong personal statement, which is a beneficial soft factor.

In my original post, I was just hoping to avoid getting an answer about what makes a good soft like, simply, "Having a great PS," because I don't think this says anything useful. You spelled it out by saying it's the intellectual curiosity, writing skill, and sense of purpose evident in the statement that can make the PS a great soft factor, so that's a valuable perspective. Arguably, what you're saying is that "other softs" (i.e. these skills) are what ultimately make the PS great, thus making it a legitimate soft, which is what I was saying. But that would be arguing a silly semantic difference so forget it. Overall, we agree here.

I still think other "soft" factors - i.e. meaningful leadership, work, and life experiences - usually make up the meat of a great PS. There are exceptions - the TLS sample personal statement in which every sentence goes "I am this.... but I am this" may be an example - but generally it's tough to show intellectual curiosity and sense of purpose without having something real to ground it in. Abstract PS are liable to be filled with a whole lot of BS - and it's a dicey proposition whether the adcomms will be impressed or not. The sample statement I reference above worked, but it was a huge risk, and I'd bet the applicant had very strong hard numbers.

We may disagree on that point.

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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby BruceBarr » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:58 pm

I bribed 7 adcomms...

HUGE soft. Especially at Yale where they have no money.

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Re: Bad/Good/Great Softs

Postby Scheveningen » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:44 pm

eskimo wrote:The answer to this question is really very simple. A "good soft" is a good soft, if it meets two criteria.

This is the right approach in my opinion. Instead of trying to list bad, good, and great softs ad infinitum, it might be more useful to identify criteria for evaluating softs and placing them into different categories.

Great softs, in my view, are (1) rare and (2) demonstrate exceptional promise for the study and practice of law (without necessarily being law-related). I was waitlisted at a T14 until the first day of orientation despite having a below 25th percentile GPA and LSAT score, so perhaps some of my softs fall into this category. (A list of them can be found at viewtopic.php?f=2&t=98959 for those who are interested.) According to LSN, another applicant who was also below both 25ths (but had a slightly higher LSAT score than me) was a military officer for several years.

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