Soft factors: community service

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caffeinecalls
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Soft factors: community service

Postby caffeinecalls » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:50 pm

Question about community service. (I'm a junior seeking to apply this fall).

Although I have a pretty strong involvement on campus, I lack in community service activities. :( I just got extremely busy and swamped with school and never got around to participating fully in communtiy service activities I was interested in. The involvement I have on campus though is pretty strong- president of 3 campus organizations I've been in since freshman year..and I've also volunteered abroad with these organizations. I've also worked 20 hours a week since freshman year while balancing a full course load of classes.

I'm kinda getting concerned about community service though. I have SOME involvement, but it's never been long-term--more like a project or two here and there... volunteering a few hours here and there... Will this be considered a bad thing? My friend is in this prelaw frat at school, and her frat is always doing these free clinics and community service events. My friend's more of the traditional applicant I guess: internship last summer, study abroad, pre-law frat, community service activities with the frat. By the way, she has a 4.0 gpa (though she wont tell me what her LSAT is) and her parents pay for everything (tuition, rent, allowance, etc.) Sorry if I'm rambling. I guess I just feel insecure because my friend spent the entire dinner talking about her community service involvement and how I am basically screwed since I don't have too much.

The thing is, I've been really busy and swamped with my involvement with my clubs, as well as school and work. :( There was one summer when I even worked 40 hours/week with 3 summer school classes in order to pay for rent and help with a difficult financial situation at home. UGH. I just feel like crap now. Is community service that big of a deal? Will campus involvement offset this? I'm looking at my resume and there's a big BLANK under community service. I feel like the few activities I participated in don't even qualify to be put there since they were one-time events and not too significant.

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Dany
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby Dany » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:08 am

Schools will not care. Your LSAT and GPA are the most important parts of your application, and community service (or lack thereof) will not change these numbers. You have other involvement outside of class, including a job, so you'll be fine. Also, your friend sounds like she has no idea what admissions committees look for.

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NU_Jet55
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby NU_Jet55 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:12 am

eskimo wrote:Schools will not care. Your LSAT and GPA are the most important parts of your application, and community service (or lack thereof) will not change these numbers. You have other involvement outside of class, including a job, so you'll be fine. Also, your friend sounds like she has no idea what admissions committees look for.


TITCR

caffeinecalls
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby caffeinecalls » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:33 am

I feel more reassured...

My GPA is a weak point for me, too, so whenever this friend of mine flaunts her GPA and community service involvement, i always feel slightly panicky, since we're both going to be in the same admissions round... (from same undergrad! institution). :(

:( :( :( :( :(

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Panther7
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby Panther7 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:47 am

your friend is a dewsh.

icydash
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby icydash » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:52 am

If you had to put a percentage to it, roughly, law school admissions is about 40% UGPA, 40% LSAT, and 20% everything else (personal statement, resume, undergrad institution and major, LORs, etc.).

Long story short: a lack of community service means nothing. Don't worry about it. The only two things that really matter are your GPA and LSAT score. But, if your GPA is weak, you're going to need a huge LSAT score to offset it.
Last edited by icydash on Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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kalvano
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby kalvano » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:53 am

Your friend is going to be pissed when she finds out all that time volunteering could have been spent partying for all that law schools care.

icydash
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby icydash » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:54 am

kalvano wrote:Your friend is going to be pissed when she finds out all that time volunteering could have been spent partying for all that law schools care.


haha yeah for real. That volunteering BS means nothing to adcoms. She should have been out drinking and getting laid.

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kurla88
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby kurla88 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:02 am

Your campus is a community. Depending on what exactly your organizations do, you could possibly list them under community service?

Either way, it's no big deal, as long as law schools see that you get involved and commit yourself to things.

It's not too late for you to find a community service project that you can give a few hours every week to over the summer/fall semester etc, if it'll make you feel better.

icydash
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby icydash » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:06 am

kurla88 wrote:Your campus is a community. Depending on what exactly your organizations do, you could possibly list them under community service?

Either way, it's no big deal, as long as law schools see that you get involved and commit yourself to things.

It's not too late for you to find a community service project that you can give a few hours every week to over the summer/fall semester etc, if it'll make you feel better.


I agree with this, but really, it's completely unnecessary. You will be almost entirely judged by your LSAT score and GPA before they even look at the rest of your app.

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Cara
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby Cara » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:09 am

Don't worry about a lack of softs. GPA and LSAT are all that really count for law schools. If you have truly amazing softs that might give you a little bump but you aren't going to get those taking up some project now. I'd spend the time you would spend on the project studying for the LSAT instead.

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kalvano
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby kalvano » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:12 am

Crush the LSAT.

Spend all summer drinking beer while your friend does community service.

Get in to the same schools as her.

Laugh.

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Grizz
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby Grizz » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:43 am

Just don't say you have an interest in any variation of "becoming a lawyer to help people" in your PS and you should be fine. This is probably the only situation in which a lack of community service could hurt you.

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entrechatsix
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Re: Soft factors: community service

Postby entrechatsix » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:47 am

Panther7 wrote:your friend is a dewsh.


+1. she also seems clueless about ls admissions.

edit: i also wish that it was called a pre-law club, because i hated hearing people at my ug talk about the pre-law "frat."




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